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Breaking down red-zone usage leaders at each position for fantasy football from Week 9

Here’s which players were used the most in the red zone in Week 9.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 05: Josh Jacobs #8 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates with Netane Muti #54 after a touchdown in the second quarter of a game against the New York Giants at Allegiant Stadium on November 05, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

When it comes to winning in fantasy football, why should you waste a flex spot on a risky “big name” player when you could opt for a player who consistently finds himself in a scoring position? The latter is a sound strategy, so long as you know where to look. With nine weeks of football in the books, it’s time to look back at which players led last week in red zone usage.

Here are the leaders at wide receiver, tight end, and running back following Week 9.

Wide receiver red-zone targets leaders

1. Brandon Powell, Vikings, 2
2. Nico Collins, Texans, 2
3. Odell Beckham Jr., Ravens, 2
4. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers, 2
5. Tee Higgins, Bengals, 2

Two of Powell’s three targets on the day were in the red zone, and he was able to capitalize by hauling one in for a touchdown. With Joshua Dobbs likely as the solidified starter moving forward, it remains to be seen whether he’ll continue to have such a rapport in the red zone, but it’s smart to keep an eye on him.

Meanwhile, while Tank Dell may be relishing in the role as C.J. Stroud’s deep threat, fantasy managers should continue to value Collins, who is a favorite for the rookie quarterback in the red zone.

Tight end red-zone target leaders

1. Cade Otton, Buccaneers, 3
2. Irv Smith Jr., Bengals, 3
3. Dalton Schultz, Texans, 3
4. Juwan Johnson, Saints, 3
5. T.J. Hockenson, Vikings, 3

Otton turned three of his red zone targets into two touchdowns, as he quickly became a favorite target of Baker Mayfield in Week 9. He’ll be a hot commodity off the waiver wire this week given the big names on the bye week, however, he should be treated as a solid starting option given the limited depth at the position when it comes to fantasy.

Normally, you might disregard Smith’s triple red zone targets as a one-week anomaly. However, with Ja’Marr Chase possibly indicating that a back injury is somewhat serious, fantasy managers may want to key in on Smith if he ends up seeing an elevated role in the passing game.

Running back red zone target leaders

1. Rachaad White, Buccaneers, 2
2. Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs, 1
3. Jonathan Taylor, Colts, 1
4. Alexander Mattison, Vikings, 1
5. Joe Mixon, Bengals, 1

There weren’t too many tailbacks to see multiple targets in the red zone this week, but it’s keen to note White’s impact as both a receiver and as a runner. His targets (2) and rushing attempts (7) in the red zone were most at the running back position, which means he carries strong value at least when in a scoring position. Mattison’s fantasy ceiling should take a much-welcomed leap as well with Joshua Dobbs likely the QB1 for the remainder of the season.

Running back red zone attempt leaders

1. Rachaad White, Buccaneers, 7
2. Josh Jacobs, Raiders, 6
3. Aaron Jones, Packers, 6
4. D’Andre Swift, Eagles, 6
5. Tyler Allgeier, Falcons, 4

Welcome back, Josh Jacobs and Aaron Jones! As is well-noted, the Raiders encountered monumental turnover when it came to the offensive coaching staff last week, but it paid off. Last year’s reigning rushing champion was effectively MIA for much of this season, but with a new energy in Las Vegas, perhaps his place among the top five in red zone attempts will become a consistent trait.

Allgeier’s four red zone attempts feel like an anomaly, but given Arthur Smitih’s questionable use of Bijan Robinson in the last few games, perhaps this trend stands to continue. If anything, Allgeier remains a solid handcuff option, and maybe even a decent flex candidate if this volume of red-zone attempts keeps up.