Welcome back to another edition of ‘The Fantasy Detective’, where this week, I will be taking a look at how much of an effect Redzone touch shares effect fantasy performance. It is no secret that scoring TDs is the best way to score fantasy points, so it is important to see how much redzone touch shares matter when making decisions on who to draft. Let’s jump right into it.
First we will take a look at RBs. Most teams now have split backfields, so there are many cases where backs lose a large amount of fantasy volume due to their larger, stronger counterpart in the backfield (Austin Ekeler is often a victim of this). Unsurprisingly, there is an incredibly high correlation between redzone touch percentage and fantasy WAR–our R squared-value tells us that 58% of the variation in WAR can be explained by the variation in redone touch percentage!
When we shrink this study to touches inside the 10-yard line, the correlation is still high, but not as high as it was previously (R squared-value is 0.37). This is likely due to the fact that there are simply less RBs who got touches inside the 10, hence a smaller sample size to up that correlation.
Below are the rankings of RBs redzone touch shares. Some key takeaways:
- Najee Harris controls the Steelers run game. You’ll never be worried about his backup getting TD carries!
- Devin Singletary gets a surprisingly high number of redzone touches, however this number will go down as James Cook might take the helm in Buffalo
- Leonard Fournette, Aaron Jones, Javonte Williams, and James Conner all struggled getting a dominant role in the redzone last season
Does this phenomenon apply to WRs as well? Yes! 67% of variation in fantasy WAR can be explained by variation in redzone touch share for receivers.
When we add TEs to the mix, the correlation drops a good amount (r-value down to 0.51). This makes sense, as TEs generally don’t score as many points (or TDs), so it makes sense that high-scoring TEs aren’t always pulling in a high number of TDs.
Below are the rankings for WRs and TEs for redzone touch shares. Some things to note:
- Despite Adam Thielen scoring a massive amount of TDs Justin Jefferson still leads the league in redzone touch percentage!
- Darnell Mooney ranked 6th in the league for redzone touch percentage as a rookie! Look for him to make a splash in 2022
- Tee Higgins had the highest share of redzone targets on the Bengals last season–can he keep it up in 2022?