Welcome into the Week 9 edition of Redzone Risers and Fallers for the 2021 season. This is a brand new series for our site, and uses the redzone touches information that is freely available on our site. The reason for adding this tool, and making it available is its importance in helping you make better decisions when it comes to your roster. This week, and going forwards, we are going to also include fallers who have had decreased usage recently.
The idea is that if a player is starting to be used in the redzone more, then the opportunity to score is increased and you want to add them to your roster. If the opposite happens, you might look to sell that asset.
Now, in this series, we aren’t going to look at big-name players on the whole. That is to say, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara are expected to be used in and around the redzone. That is unless they start stop being used, in which case they will be included in the fallers.
Week 9 Redzone Risers
Melvin Gordon (RB, DEN) 29% RZ Touches
There isn’t alot to choose between Gordon and rookie Javonte Williams, but one area Gordon has an advantage is in the redzone. Gordon has seen his usage increase, dominating the recent touches with five of the last nine plays in the redzone going his way. The Broncos offense has been pretty balanced, but Gordon commands a team high share of 29% of the attempts. That usage gives him a reliable level of TD upside week to week.
Jordan Howard (RB, PHI) 14% RZ Touches
Howard has emerged as the Eagles RB that they never knew they needed. He has been a consistent mover of the chains, and has seen that usage translate to the redzone too. His 14% share might seem low, but don’t forget he has only been active in the past two weeks. The Eagles offense has started to prioritize moving the ball on the ground, and Howard is a big part of that- both in and out of the redzone.
Hunter Renfrow (WR, LV) 12% RZ Touches
The Raiders offense is having to rediscover itself with the issue around Henry Ruggs. We won’t get into that now, but it means there is opportunity for others to step up with the targets that are available. Renfrow has seen his usage increase in the redzone, now joint third on the team in redzone touches. With the targets he gets elsewhere on the field, this redzone upside is a massive bonus. There’s no reason why Renfrow can’t be a solid WR for your roster from here on out.
Van Jefferson (WR, LAR) 7% RZ Touches
If you have seen Jefferson on the field, it’s most likely you saw him on a downfield bomb, and that is great. But if he is going to be more reliable for your starting lineup, then he needs to be seeing more opportunities. That happened in the past week where he was able to have a quarter of the redzone plays come his way. If he isn’t owned in your league, then he should be without a doubt.
Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT) 12% RZ Touches
Freiermuth managed to do something that hadn’t happened in the opening eight weeks- catch a TD against the Bears. Up until last week, no TE had caught a single TD, and the rookie did it twice. Freiermuth has seen his usage increase, with Eric Ebron forced to miss time through injury. The limitation will be the number of redzone visits that are made in the season, and the dominance of Najee Harris. But, with the TE landscape being what it is, he has redzone appeal.
Week 9 Redzone Fallers
Khalil Herbert (RB, CHI) 16 % RZ Touches
Ok, I’m stretching to include Herbert. With the return of David Montgomery, it was a little obvious that Herbert would see fewer touches overall. But, the Bears have really opted to look elsewhere in the redzone. It’s unlikely that Herbert sees significant touches in the redzone while Montgomery is around.
Marquise Brown (WR, BAL) 10% RZ Touches
The Ravens have really been sharing the ball around in the redzone, with an obvious tilt to running the ball. Brown is one of three players tied for fourth on the team in terms of redzone touches. He has value elsewhere on the field, but with Devin Duvernay seeing more goal line opportunities recently, his TD upside has disappeared.
Zach Ertz (TE, ARI) 8% RZ Touches
Ertz has been a decent TE option since his move to Arizona, but that hasn’t yet translated to the redzone. It’s going to be tough for him to make an impact in the short-term too, with James Conner performing exceptionally well in that area of the field.