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Red Zone Usage - Risers and Fallers for Week 17


The fantasy championship weekend is upon us! There is no second chance, so it's more important than ever to know who has the best chance to reach the end zone. RotoBaller's Premium Red Zone tool can give you a sense of who is being utilized more in the all-important area of the field to provide more scoring potential. Just like targets are the lifeblood of a receiver's value in PPR leagues, red zone touches are the most relevant factor to consider for standard leagues.

In this article each week, we'll identify red zone risers and fallers who could see their fantasy value impacted by usage in the most critical area of the field. RotoBaller's Red Zone Sleepers tool is a great way to get an edge on the competition by identifying players with greater scoring opportunities.

Let's take a look at which fantasy football players could be touchdown and scoring risers or fallers in fantasy football for Week 17 of the 2018 NFL season, based on red zone opportunities.

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Red Zone Risers

RUNNING BACK

Leonard Fournette (RB, JAX) - 20.8% Red-zone touch %

The Jacksonville Jaguars have gone back to what got them success last year. Part of that is the fact that they don't have a reliable quarterback with both Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler struggling to move the chains through the air. After struggling with a hamstring injury earlier in the season, Fournette has returned to the lineup and now has the team high in red zone touches with 25. A matchup against the Houston Texans may not be the best matchup for the Jaguars, especially with the Texans chasing the second seed in the AFC. However, if there are any red zone visits, it's likely that Fournette will be the player to benefit.

Elijah McGuire (RB, NYJ) - 13.2% Red-zone touch %

The New York Jets run and pass in equal measure in the red zone, and in that case, a pass-catching running back is a good option to have. McGuire has no real competition in the backfield with both Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell out of the rotation, McGuire has 14 red zone touches this season which is only bettered by Crowell. The Jets finish their season with a matchup against the New England Patriots, a game in which McGuire will try and match his recent game against the Green Bay Packers where he scored two touchdowns on three red zone touches.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Antonio Brown (WR, PIT) - 17.4% Red-zone touch%

The Pittsburgh Steelers pass on 64.5% of their red zone plays, and while traditionally Brown has been quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's primary receiving option, it is the impressive JuJu Smith-Schuster who leads the team in red zone touches this season with 28. Despite that, Brown is such an elite talent that when he can get a small amount of separation he can make a play for the ball. Brown touched the ball four times in the red zone last week, scoring two touchdowns; he finishes the season in a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals this week.

TIGHT END

Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN) - 12.3% Red-zone touch%

The Vikings have passed the ball on 60.5% of the plays that they have run in the red zone so far this season. While that may change now that Dalvin Cook has returned to the lineup in recent weeks, Rudolph offers fantasy owners an opportunity to score touchdowns at a position where, outside of the elite options, touchdown opportunity is the key determination in selecting your player. The Bears struggled to contain George Kittle last week, and there is no reason why Rudolph cannot have a similar game, even with the inconsistent quarterback Kirk Cousins passing the ball.

 

Red Zone Fallers

RUNNING BACK

LeSean McCoy (RB, BUF) - 21.2% Red-zone touch%

The Buffalo Bills are not a good offense and have only run 99 red zone plays so far in the season, that unfortunately limits the upside for, arguably, the one fantasy relevant skill player in the offense. The Bills face the Miami Dolphins this week, so while the Bills may be able to stay in the game, McCoy isn't going to provide fantasy owners with the red zone touchdown upside they need.

WIDE RECEIVER

Devin Funchess (WR, CAR) - 7.9% Red-zone touch%

The Carolina Panthers are likely to struggle this week in a matchup against the New Orleans Saints, and Funchess has struggled to be involved in any capacity in recent weeks. The Panthers are unlikely to be able to make many red zone visits this week. Any opportunities they have are likely to go to the other options the team has with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel, who have all been involved in recent weeks.

TIGHT END

Eric Ebron (TE, IND) - 13.8% Red-zone touch%

The red zone king at the position is no more, having been overtaken by both Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz for red zone touches in recent weeks. The Colts seem to have moved away from their red zone tight end who they relied upon heavily in the early part of the season. The form of Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines is one reason as to why to that has happened. The matchup against the Tennessee Titans this week presents Ebron with a game where he may struggle to get red zone touches again.

 

Red Zone Sleepers

RotoBaller's Premium tools offer more detailed insight into player values and help you identify which players to target on the waiver wire and/or trade market. Start with a free one-week trial, including NFL Optimizer and DFS Premium and get an advantage on the competition!

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