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JUMbotron: Super Red Zone Report
John U. Miller
August 10, 2010
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A treat for you Huddlers, I compiled all the red zone data for the top QBs, RBs, WRs onto one convenient table.  It’s a useful chart to print out and reference while you’re drafting.  Very simple, the players are ranked by 2009’s numbers – QB Drew Brees is #1 with 96 red zone passes last year.  RBs by red zone carries, WRs by red zone targets. The ’08 and ’07 numbers are added where applicable, if only to get a wider perspective. I don’t list TEs because they rarely get above 20 red zone looks... and the position is deeper than ever.  Look below for my JUMbo thoughts on some of these numbers.

** Not in NFL that year or didn't play 8+ games
Players in yellow are with a new team in '10
Players in green: See my commentary below

  QB - RZ Passes 2009 2008 2007  RB - RZ Carries 2009 2008 2007  WR - RZ Targets 2009 2008 2007
Drew Brees 96 86 85 M Jones-Drew 66 35 49 Brandon Marshall 29 27 23
Brett Favre 88 76 70 Adrian Peterson 64 55 32 Andre Johnson 26 29 17
Aaron Rodgers 87 52 ** L Tomlinson 55 56 55 Marques Colston 25 11 32
Matt Schaub 85 65 30 Thomas Jones 53 64 48 Larry Fitzgerald 24 32 25
Peyton Manning 82 70 84 Knowshon Moreno 50 ** ** Steve Smith NYG 24 16 **
Kyle Orton 81 53 ** Brandon Jacobs 48 45 25 Sidney Rice 22 ** **
Tom Brady 79 ** 112 Joseph Addai 47 24 60 Randy Moss 22 24 34
Matt Cassel 75 83 ** Ray Rice 44 10 ** TJ Houshmandzeh 21 13 24
Tony Romo 74 40 68 Jonathan Stewart 43 28 ** Miles Austin 21 ** **
Eli Manning 73 85 75 Matt Forte 42 44 ** Reggie Wayne 21 8 23
B Roethlisberger 70 48 72 Marion Barber 42 40 51 Calvin Johnson 21 15 13
Jay Cutler 69 80 52 Ricky Williams 42 18 ** Roddy White 20 17 15
Jason Campbell 68 60 50 Laurence Maroney 42 ** 28 Hines Ward 19 20 23
Carson Palmer 67 ** 82 Ryan Grant 41 46 32 Bernard Berrian 18 8 14
Matt Hasselbeck 65 ** 74 Jason Snelling 40 ** ** Wes Welker 18 22 27
Philip Rivers 62 80 69 Ronnie Brown 38 38 ** Nate Washington 15 6 **
Matt Ryan 61 62 ** Chris Johnson 38 30 ** Antonio Bryant 15 17 **
Donovan McNabb 57 77 70 R Mendenhall 35 ** ** M Sims-Walker 15 ** **
Chad Henne 54 ** ** Steven Jackson 33 27 28 Roy Williams 15 6 11
Joe Flacco 54 37 ** Beanie Wells 31 ** ** Terrell Owens 15 17 17
David Garrard 53 49 55 Cedric Benson 31 20 ** Santana Moss 14 20 17
Matthew Stafford 42 ** ** Mike Bell 30 ** ** Josh Morgan 14 ** **
Alex Smith 42 ** ** Frank Gore 30 39 29 Steve Breaston 14 13 6
Mark Sanchez 41 ** ** Pierre Thomas 29 23 7 Auston Collie 14 ** **
Vince Young 36 ** 36 Ahmad Bradshaw 29 20 10 Pierre Garcon 14 ** **
Josh Freeman 31 ** ** Willis McGahee 28 33 36 Dwayne Bowe 14 20 16
Jake Delhomme 28 38 ** Darren Sproles 28 13 ** Santonio Holmes 14 11 9
Derek Anderson 24 35 67 Michael Turner 28 74 ** Derrick Mason 14 10 20
Marc Bulger 24 24 35 Fred Jackson 28 22 ** Chris Chambers 14 10 19
Kerry Collins 24 46 ** Jerome Harrison 27 ** ** Louis Murphy 14 ** **
Josh Johnson 22 ** ** DeAngelo Williams 27 38 23 Percy Harvin 13 ** **
Kevin Kolb 20 ** ** Tim Hightower 24 38 ** Chad Ochocinco 13 15 20
Trent Edwards 19 43 28 Marshawn Lynch 22 42 35 Andre Caldwell 13 ** **
  LeSean McCoy 22 ** ** Kevin Walter 13 24 14
Kevin Smith 21 37 ** Vincent Jackson 13 15 15
Jamaal Charles 20 ** ** Lee Evans 12 9 9
Ryan Moats 20 ** ** Patrick Crayton 12 7 15
Chester Taylor 19 18 22 Steve Smith CAR 12 15 18
Steve Slaton 19 66 ** Donald Driver 12 11 20
Sammy Morris 18 31 24 Braylon Edwards 12 15 25
C Buckhalter 17 14 9 DeSean Jackson 12 14 **
Julius Jones 16 16 28 Anquan Boldin 11 23 22
Donald Brown 18 ** ** Malcom Floyd 11 11 **
Reggie Bush 16 17 28 Greg Jennings 11 15 23
Justin Forsett 16 ** ** James Jones 10 ** 12
Clinton Portis 15 49 52 Justin Gage 10 7 6
Felix Jones 13 ** ** Jeremy Maclin 10 ** **
Cadillac Williams 13 ** ** Eddie Royal 10 10 **

Rookies & Notable Players That Didn't Make the 2009 Rankings Above (QBs) Rookies & Notable Players That Didn't Make the 2009 Rankings Above (RBs) Rookies & Notable Players That Didn't Make the 2009 Rankings Above (WRs)
Matt Leinart Ryan Mathews Fred Taylor Dez Bryant Kenny Britt
Matt Moore Shonn Greene Jerious Norwood Golden Tate Nate Burleson
A.J. Feeley C.J. Spiller Toby Gerhart Hakeem Nicks D Aromashodu
Sam Bradford Jahvid Best Jonathan Dwyer Mike Wallace Jacoby Jones
Jimmy Clausen Michael Bush Glen Coffee Michael Crabtree Josh Cribbs
Byron Leftwich Darren McFadden Willie Parker Devin Thomas D Henderson
Bruce Gradkowski Ben Tate Brandon Jackson Julian Edleman M Massaquoi
Michael Vick Arian Foster Rashad Jennings Donnie Avery Arrelious Benn
Patrick Ramsey Montario Hardesty Lynell Hamilton Jabar Gaffney Chaz Schilens
C Whitehurst Derrick Ward   Devin Hester Jason Avant
Tyler Thigpen Larry Johnson   Johnny Knox Lance Moore
David Carr Bernard Scott   Robert Meachem Davone Bess

QB Drew Brees – He led all QBs with 96 throws inside the 20 despite the Saints finishing 7th in the NFL in rushing attempts. How does that compute? Sean Payton lets him check out of a run anytime; they’re always in long, methodical drives. The Saints averaged a whopping 62 yards per scoring drive, #2 in the league behind Indy.  Drew is a surgeon. I believe he’s the only one guaranteed to be a top-three fantasy QB (sorry Peyton & Aaron).

QB Carson Palmer – Now he adds T.O. to the mix along with Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant. None of them are spring chickens, but damn that’s a lot of talent. Palmer was sort of middle-of-the-pack with 67 attempts. He could pop that number back into the 80’s (where he was in 2007) if they just sustain drives. Only seven teams had more three-and-out drives than Cincinnati last year.  

QB Matthew Stafford – Did you notice that Stafford only played 10 games but still managed 42 red zone attempts?  That’s 4.20 per game, right up close to Tom Brady (4.94) who appears to be throwing on every down. His blind side is pretty safe with LT Jeff Backus and there probably isn’t a more underrated lineman than RG Stephen Peterman.  I hope Stafford is my QB2 in 2010.

QB Matt Leinart – I’m glass half-full on Leinart.  The Cardinals are clearly leaning more toward the run now that they have the personnel. He’ll get the benefit of play-action to get in a rhythm, unlike Kurt Warner who had the burden of setting up runs with his passing.  Plus it’s been quiet on the Leinart party scene lately. No more photos of him funneling beers and squeezing on young chicks.  Maybe he’s working hard for once.

RB Joseph Addai – Wow, look up at that chart again… Addai actually led the NFL in red zone carries (60) in 2007. No wonder he was the fifth best fantasy RB that year.  Obviously he’ll never hit that mark again with Donald Brown stealing 18 red zone attempts. Though I gotta say, Addai pretty much held off Brown amidst all that rookie hype.  I know another fantasy “expert” who took Brown in the fourth round last year.  

RB Chris Johnson – I don’t have the archived red zone data from the Payton or Sanders era but I’m positive CJ is the first back to hit 2,000 yards with less than 40 red zone carries.  He was scoring from downtown, no doubt about it.  Stat of the Week #1: The Titans were 23rd in 3rd down conversions during their 0-6 streak – then up to sixth during the 8-2 run with Vince Young. 

RB Beanie Wells – Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (who really has the pulse of Ken Whisenhunt) says Tim Hightower will continue to “start” but Beanie Wells will get the majority of carries.  Sounds cool but for Beanie to deliver on the fantasy hype he must really elevate his carries – from the 13-15 range to 17-19 – and start catching passes too. He only caught (gulp) 12 passes in 18 games including the playoffs!

RB Michael Turner – Look at Jason Snelling way up the list with 40 red zone carries in basically half a season!  The way I see it, if Turner hadn’t suffered that high ankle sprain he would have led all RBs with 70+ attempts!  Look for Turner to have a sweet bounce-back year. Stat of the Week #2: Turner has 27 TDs in 27 games for Atlanta. Ssshhh…

RB Darren McFadden – I’ve mentioned before that McFadden has flashed big-time ability between all the injuries.  As a rookie he delivered a 10+ yard play once every 5.68 times he ran or caught the ball, good for third among all RBs that year.  I’m not going to trip over myself trying to draft a Raiders RB but if forced to choose – Michael Bush in the 7th or McFadden in the 8th – I’m going with Run-DMC.

WR Steve Smith – Yes, that’s “Other” Steve Smith up there tied for 4th in red zone targets. And not only did he have more than the Panther, he out-red-zoned him last year too!  The Giant is just an overall reception machine who’s caught 5+ passes in 13 of his last 20 games.  Is Eli-Smith becoming a Peyton-Harrison?

WR Randy Moss – On one hand, Moss’ red-zone looks are going down each year. Maybe he’s not getting as much separation -- so Brady’s throwing elsewhere?  On the other hand, if Welker misses time because of that surgically-repaired knee, part of his sizable red zone tally might go back to Moss.

WR Santana Moss – Even though Jason Campbell was relatively high in red zone passes (68) last year, Moss only got 14 of those his way. Now he just turned 31, had an offseason knee scope, and is linked to a federal HGH investigation.  I always seem to have Santana on my fantasy team but I swear he won’t join me this year.

WR Lee Evans – He’s perhaps the most underutilized top-shelf wide receiver of the decade. Only 30 red-zone looks in three seasons?   That’s criminal.  Evans has a beefy 15.8 yard/catch average over his career with two 1,000-yard seasons – despite the worst assortment of quarterbacking in the AFC. Whoops, Oakland… okay, second worst.  Anyway who cares if Evans is 5’10, just toss him the rock!

WR Greg Jennings – Dropping from 23 to 15 to 11?  Surely this trend for Jennings will reverse with Donald Driver coming off surgeries on both knees. The thing is, when Aaron Rodgers gets in the red zone he spreads it around – James Jones, Jermichael Finley, Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, even some dude named Havner.  Or he’ll pull it down and scoot.

WR Arrelious Benn – I’m not going to pretend that I know a whole lot about Benn, the second-round pick from Illinois.  But all you hear out of the Tampa media is how powerful the 6’2/220-lb receiver is.  Well, the NFC South is loaded with smallish defensive backs, and both Atlanta & New Orleans ranked in the bottom-7 in pass defense. 

JUM

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