Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

 2018 Red Zone Metrics

I hypothesize that Red Zone (RZ) Metrics are more variable than thought but FF researchers have to start at a reference point (reference class forecasting). I have some preliminary data suggesting RZ Passing data may be less variable and RZ FP are very dependent on Touchdowns.   Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

These metrics are the most recent data we have as to team, positional and player RZ activities. As with all the data, it must be used in the holistic view of 2019. Fantasy sports is a systems problem and requires deeper thinking.

I suggest you use all the material as experimental. You might add or drop aspects over the seasons to maximize your success (diary of your journey). The hardest thing to do is question all your methods, test them, and toss out what really does not work. Everyone will/can/might have a different method.

You will notice this article is a broad-brush approach to Fantasy football. Systems Fantasy Football is the study of the interactions between the components of Fantasy Football systems (league conferences divisions teams positions and players), and how these interactions give rise to the function and behavior of that system.

Sounds easy but it is not. Think about the information coming out now on social media, podcasts, etc. Its seems to be mainly focused on the players. We as researchers must also be broader in our research!

Team Level Passing vs Rushing with Reception/Rushing Ratios


  • Which teams are RZ balanced or Skewed to Rushing or Passing in the RZ?
  • What are the best and worst teams overall and in Rushing and Passing in the RZ?
  • What teams are more/less interesting for 2019 based on their metrics

2018 RZ Landscape Passing, Receiving and Rushing RZ Fantasy Points.

This table below I use as a snapshot for teams RZ activities. I have summed the RZ FP and sorted from worst to first. I then “tiered out” the league and colorized the weak vs stronger RZ teams (Red to Green).

The worst team from 2018 was JAX/ARI/MIA/BUF/WAS/NYJ. Why will these teams improve or not? It’s hard to draft too deep in weaker teams. Look at the 2019 ADP evidence what does the public say about these teams? Based on my quick ADP team analysis ARI/JAX and NYJ are thought to be stronger in 2019 while MIA/BUF/WAS remain at the bottoms! 

The top RZ teams were household names in 2018. KC/IND/LAR/TAM/SEA/PIT/CAR/ATL/CHI. Again determine which teams are though to stay toward the top and which are predicted to drop. Interestingly,  TB/LAR/SEA seems to be predicted strong vs PIT/IND/ATL. KC/CAR and CHI are seen as weaker overall in 2019.

Now is the time for that last few weeks of research to “nail” down your thinking.


A Plot of Team RZ FP Sums, Passing RZ FP, Receiving FP, and Rushing RZ FP.

If you need a visual kinetic view of the data, below is a colorful plot. I would take your finger and trace the metrics and stop and not the team in question. That should help place the data into a team context!  Note the trend of passing/receiving vs total RZ FP seems to be linked. The rushing RZ trend is not as connected.

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Those observations point to Rushing vs Passing Teams within the RZ! 2019 drafts require an understanding of this concept. Some teams will use rushing to score more vs passing. If I was looking at RB drafting, it would seem to be important to know that data.


2018 Receiving vs Rushing RZ FP

As part of my understanding, I develop simple ratios to compare two data streams. Below is the tabular presentation of all Teams in terms of Receiving and rushing RZ FPs. The ratio of REC/Rush metric informs us the shrew each team had in 2018 RZ.

I sorted the team data by REC/Rush of 4.3 from MIN (Highest) to BUF with 0.8 (lowest). I also have colorized the high and lows in both the Receiving and Rushing RZ. Interpret the data to mean that teams at the top will tend to pass in the RZ. Furthermore, that means WRs/ TEs and pass-catcher RBs are key targets on MIN.

The opposite team type such as BUF will try to rush into the RZ to score. Workhorse RBs are key in these teams. I would annotate my draft with these trends for a good tiebreaker between closely ranked teams.


A Plot of the 2018 Receiving vs Rushing RZ FP by Team

This is the visual for the table above. Its gives a nice landscape view of each team’s rushing vs receiving activity. I note the distance between the Receiving (blue line) and Rushing (light green line) is extreme in the teams higher in passing vs rushing and that difference shrinks move to the high rushing teams. That result suggests those teams use rushing to compensate for lack of solid passing.

This metric differential exposes these teams as mainly one dimensional? Now the research question is can we predict this in season? How many weeks before we can make a call on average?


RZ FP vs Total FP Analysis.

These next three figures include both tabular and graphical elements. Again, I am gathering a landscape view for each teams activities in terms of FP total, rushing and receiving in and out of the RZ.

I use the distance between the RZ FP vs Total FP to spot interesting teams. I see that as one might have predicted that KC/IND/NO/LAR, all seemed to be a tier above the league in 2018. They, of course, generated high total FP as well.

Another interesting aspect was that PIT and ATL (one-tier) and LAC, NE, and  PHI  ( a lower tier) had high total FP but lesser RZ FP.  Were they unable to close the deal? In 2019 will they leave points on the field instead of the scoreboard?

Additionally, I think the tiers can be seen going down to the bottom team in total FP. What teams in 2019 figure to improve or decline?


RZ Receiving FP vs Total Team Receiving FP. Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

The figure below presents RZ vs Total Team Receiving FP from 2018. I am looking for interesting teams that are extreme in their RZ activities. I sorted the teams by receiving RZ FP high to low (green to red) and placed the total reception based FP annotated high to low (blue to red). What teams will change in 2019? IND-with Luck health?


  • KC and IND Receiving RZ FPs exceeded the league by a level. Tier one!
  • NO had a balanced RZ and Total Receiving FPs- 2nd Tier.
  • The bottom teams had a large differential from RZ vs Total FP. 
  • The 3rd tier teams (LAR/ATL/TAM/PIT) had seemly higher Total FP vs RZ. Left Points on the table.
  • The 4th tier teams of CHI and SEA had efficient balance in receptions in the RZ vs total. (Much like NO but lower)


RZ Rushing FP vs Total Team Rushing FP. Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

The figure below presents RZ vs Total Team Rushing FP from 2018. I am looking for interesting teams that are extreme in their rushing RZ activities. I sorted the teams by rushing RZ FP high to low (green to red) and placed the total rushing based FP annotated high to low (blue to red). What teams will change in 2019?

Takeaways Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

  • NO was in tier 1 alone as Kamara really put them over the top. Their rushing RZ FP exceeded the total rushing FP as scaled below. 
  • LAR was tier two with Gurley
  • BAL was tier three and they get Ingram to continue that show for 2019. 
  • SEA and CAR are tier 4 and the efficiency is very different with SEA generating a league-high rushing FP but not enough RZ rushing FP. Can SEA change this in 2019?
  • KC and CHI tier 5 balanced teams
  • NE LAC TEN IND and PIT seemed to be less efficient rushing in the RZ.
  • The bottom teams MIA MIN JAX SF CLE need to focus on rushing RZ activity.
  • MIA with Drake did not do it in 2018. Ballage helps?
  • MIN-Can Cook add rushing to the RZ production in 2019? 
  • SF did not succeed in 2018. What’s changing in 2019?
  • CLE 2018 with Chubb did not succeed. Why is there a 2019 change?


RZ vs NON-RZ Reception vs Rushing FP Ratios. Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

I wanted to break the total FP into segments and at the same time use ratios to enlight the reader to see the team’s balance between rushing vs receiving FP. I then did a ratio of the ratios and annotated the trends in the RZ and outside the Non-RZ. This chart could be a nice reference for your upcoming drafts. Again how is 2019 going to shake out?

  • RZ REC/RUSH – the Ratio of the RZ Receinvg FP vs the Rush FP. High to Low Blue to Red and High vs Lower Passing
  • Non-RZ/RUSH – the Ratio od Non-RZ Receinvg FP vs the Rush FP. High to Low Green to Red
  • Ratio – RZ vs Non-RZ ratios. Spot the trends!

Team Classifications

These data allow users to classify teams by High, Avg and Low Red Zone Passing and High, Avg and Low Non-Red Zone Passing

  • High RZ Passing and Low Non-RZ Passing Teams  (SF WAS IND)
  • High RZ Passing and Avg Non-RZ Passing Teams   (GB LAC ATL DET DEN KC)
  •  RZ High Passing and High Non-RZ Passing Teams  (JAX HOU)
  • AVG RZ Passing and Low Non-RZ Passing Teams    (NYG SEA CAR DAL CLE)
  • AVG RZ Passing and Avg Non-RZ Passing Teams     (NO MIA LAR TAM)
  • RZ AVG Passing and High Non-RZ Passing Teams   (CIN CHI BUF)
  • LOW RZ Passing and Low Non-RZ Passing Teams   (NYJ TEN PHI)
  • LOW RZ Passing and Avg Non-RZ Passing Teams    (PIT BAL NE)
  • RZ LOW Passing and High Non-RZ Passing Teams   (MIN ARI OAK)

Thoughts for me are that these lower/average RZ passing team which are high passing in Non-RZ would seem to have aspects in place to improve for 2019. MIN ARI OAK CIN CHI and BUF?

Can the high passing RZ teams which seem to be lacking in the Non-RZ improve? What can they do to improve in 2019? SF WAS IND NYG SEA CAR DAL CLE?


Key Landscape View of RZ vs Non-RZ Passing Teams. Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

Check the extremes and determine the team’s issues for 2019.

The pink top line marks the 50% level for the RZ REC/Rush metric. I annotated the teams to the left as “More RZ passing” vs to the right as “Less RZ-Passing”


The lower pink line marks the 50% of the Non-RZ REC/Rush metric. Above are teams high in Non-RZ Passing as teams below are lower in Non-RZ passing.



Red Zone Metrics for 2019 Predictions

Fun Research in my textbook!

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