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The second half of the fantasy football season is upon us. 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 9 of the 2018 NFL season, based on red zone opportunities.

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Red Zone Risers

RUNNING BACK

Marlon Mack (RB, IND) - 18.1% Red-zone touch %

The Indianapolis Colts are much improved since Mack returned to the team. While he hasn't yet hit the 20% mark of touches that make a running back part of that 'goal-line back' territory, the fact he is just below it having missed half of the games the Colts have played in this season shows the team relies on him in the red zone. Mack has touched the ball on 17 of his team's 94 plays in the red zone, converting them to three touchdowns which is equal production as running backs such as Tevin Coleman, Lamar Miller, and Ezekiel Elliott.

Adrian Peterson (RB, WAS) - 43.4% Red-zone touch %

Peterson has bounced back from his blip against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5  in some fashion, scoring over 97 yards in each game since then. Peterson is in a great position in terms of his red zone usage, currently only bettered in touch percentage by Todd Gurley, David Johnson, and Alvin Kamara. Peterson has enjoyed the lions share of the usage in the red zone, with the Redskins hugely favoring rushing plays by 62% to 38%, and has converted those touches into four touchdowns.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Sammy Watkins (WR, KC) - 12.0% Red-zone touch%

Watkins increased his red zone usage this week by hauling in two receptions for two touchdowns. The Kansas City Chiefs are a great team who are on fire with quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the helm. While Watkins is likely not the first option the Chiefs have in the red zone, the Chiefs make so many visits that Watkins has value as defenses aren't able to cover the different threats that the Chiefs possess.

Mike Evans (WR, TB) - 10.1% Red-zone touch%

Evans increased his red zone touch from 7% to just over 10% this week, his sheer size makes him a great red zone option for whichever quarterback is in position. Chris Godwin is the leading receiver on the team in the red zone (and appeared on this article last week) but with the quarterback changing it could be that the team would prefer to go back to going to their elite receiver in the red zone.

TIGHT END

Chris Herndon IV (TE, NYJ) - 7.1% Red-zone touch%

The New York Jets are in the bottom half of the league in red zone plays, and currently, the team is without leading receiver Quincy Enunwa, but the ability of Herndon in the red zone cannot be ignored. Herndon has touched the ball only four times of the teams 56 red zone plays but he has converted half of those into touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold may need to rely on his connection with the tight end going forward if Enunwa misses more time, and with running back Bilal Powell on injured reserve, Herndon represents one of the team's strongest red zone weapons.

 

Red Zone Fallers

RUNNING BACK

Kerryon Johnson (RB, DET) - 20.0% Red-zone touch%

The Detroit Lions seem as though they may have started to find their stride on offense at this point of the season. Johnson has admitted to himself that he isn't a goal-line back, and the Lions don't need him to be with LeGarrette Blount on the roster. The Lions also have running back Theo Riddick for passing plays in the red zone, so Johnson is likely to see his usage continue to decline in the red zone.

WIDE RECEIVER

Keke Coutee (WR, HOU) - 3.5% Red-zone touch%

The Texans have a really balanced attack in the red zone between rushing and passing, and although Will Fuller is now out for the season Coutee will likely continue to struggle for red zone touches. The team has elite receiver DeAndre Hopkins who simply cannot be ignored and with the team trading for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas- Coutee will struggle to make a red zone impact.

TIGHT END

Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE) - 2.4% Red-zone touch%

Gronkowski has been a favorite weapon of quarterback Tom Brady since he entered the league and has historically enjoyed success in the red zone. However, the team's focus seems to have moved away from using him in short field plays. The team has leaned upon their running back duo of Sony Michel and James White more this season, which combined with receiver Julian Edelman doesn't leave too many touches through the rest of the team, with Gronkowski only have 2 touches of the teams 82 plays in the red zone.

 

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!

More Risers and Fallers