Sunday, December 20, 2015

Red zone Receiving Outlook, Week 15

Yesterday, I ran through the top short-yardage rushing situations for Week 15 to identify the best bets for touchdowns. Let's take a similar look at Week 15's red zone passing outlook, with an eye on receivers who over over- or underwhelming in the red zone - and who'll find themselves in the end zone this weekend.

Note that the figures on the tables carry the same meanings as yesterday, with two exceptions: (1) TmRZAtPj refers to the number of red zone passes I expect that player's team to throw; and (2) I track targets from within the entire red zone, not just inside the 10. The numbers are gathered from each player's last 1-4 representative games (again, see yesterday's post for details).

WIDE RECEIVER


Gm TmRZAt TRZAtPj RZTar RZTD 10TDPrj
Doug Baldwin 4 21 5.4 9 4 1.31
Golden Tate 4 23 5.1 9 3 1.04
Calvin Johnson 4 23 5.1 6 3 0.94
Allen Robinson 4 28 6.1 8 3 0.79
DeAndre Hopkins 4 17 5.3 3 2 0.60
Jeremy Maclin 4 12 3.3 5 2 0.60
Antonio Brown 4 27 5.4 8 3 0.50
Tyler Lockett 2 13 5.4 2 1 0.48
T.Y. Hilton 4 27 6.5 4 2 0.45
John Brown 4 19 5.7 5 1 0.40
Sammy Watkins 4 11 3.7 2 1 0.39
Brandon LaFell 4 18 5.2 4 0 0.37
Michael Crabtree 4 14 3.3 3 1 0.34
Ted Ginn Jr. 4 24 5.2 3 2 0.33

  • The bottom will eventually fall out, and the Seahawks Passing Parade will wind down. But the red zone connection between Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin has been so strong that the numbers want us to bank on it again. It makes sense against the Joe Haden-less Browns, and Baldwin is still priced a bit below his ceiling, so indulge for one more week. By this time Sunday afternoon, he'll be either priced out of his stratosphere or back on earth in a cheaper pool of boom-or-bust WR3s.
  • Calvin Johnson should be one of the chalkiest plays of the week, and I'm fine with it - he projects to 0.94 short TDs, the third-best outlook of anyone. But he'll draw a lot of doubling, and Golden Tate looks poised to benefit, even in the red zone. Note that Tate's projection is skewed a bit by a wild, dive-for-the-deflection touchdown grab from Week 12. It was an impressive play, of course, but it doesn't give us the best picture of Tate as a red zone threat. Take it out of this equation, and Tate would slot behind Allen Robinson at a 0.69-TD projection. That's still high, but it's not the top-rung number it appears to be. Tate is still an easy top-10 value option with or without the nutty catch.
  • Robinson isn't on a single roster of mine; his date with Desmond Trufant really dings his outlook. He's been awesome in the red zone, but I'm not paying $7,600 - more than I'd be charged for Alshon Jeffery - to hope Robinson can beat an elite cornerback that's allowed just one TD pass all year.
  • Surprisingly, Odell Beckham, Jr. slots 35th out of 43 in red zone TD projection, at just 0.17. The Giants have spread the wealth near the goal line, and while Beckham has dominated the ball everywhere else, he's been just another face in the red zone (just four of 23 team targets). A matchup with All-World Josh Norman won't boost that outlook.


TIGHT END


Gm TmRZAt TmRZAtPj RZTar RZTD 10TDPrj
Gary Barnidge 3 27 7.1 7 2 0.53
Julius Thomas 4 28 6.1 6 2 0.44
Antonio Gates 4 21 4.8 4 2 0.41
Jordan Reed 4 7 2.5 3 1 0.36
Rob Gronkowski1 4 16 5.2 3 1 0.33
Zach Miller 4 15 4.8 2 2 0.29
Zach Ertz 4 13 4.0 2 1 0.28
Delanie Walker 4 10 2.5 3 1 0.25
Travis Kelce 4 12 3.3 2 1 0.25


  • Antonio Gates has been ignored by DFS players lately - though not exactly by Philip Rivers. He's drawn a healthy 20.9% of team targets over his last four games, and nearly the same number in the red zone, A few touchdown-less weeks have torpedoed his ownership, but he'll likely lead the Chargers' high-volume passing game in usage, both in and out of the red zone. He projects to 0.41 touchdowns today, but in such an injury-depleted offense, that looks like a floor expectation rather than a ceiling one.
  • Gary Barnidge has been one of the league's most successful red zone targets all year, and it's carried over to his connection with Johnny Manziel. Over Manziel's three recent starts, Barnidge has drawn seven of the team's 27 red zone targets, scoring twice. The Seahawks field a fine defense1, as you know, but covering TEs has long been a weakness. Barnidge has as strong of a Week 15 ceiling as anyone not named Gronkowski.



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