Same drill as yesterday’s piece. We’re scanning last year’s red zone touchdown rates (RZTDRs) for players with abnormally low efficiency who could easily return to form in 2014 and see a big jump in TDs. Remember most of these players on our list can be found at discounted ADPs based on their disappointing 2013 seasons.
Alshon Jeffery 19 Targets – 3 TDs – 16 percent RZTDR
Jeffery won a ton of leagues for RotoViz readers last year as he burst onto the fantasy football scene, but it’s scary that he could have been even better. Jeffery is listed at 6’3″ and 216 lbs which is a frame perfectly capable of posting consistently high RZTDRs from season to season. Jeffery proved he can dominate in the red zone his last season in college when he posted a RZTDR of 33 percent. There’s no reason to think Jeffery won’t improve in 2014.
Andre Johnson 18 Targets – 3 TDs – 17 percent RZTDR
Eighteen targets may seem like a small amount for a guy like Andre Johnson–and it is–but his limited opportunities were due to the implosion of the Texans offense, not because the coaches lost faith in his ability. Johnson actually had his highest market share of red zone targets since 2009, when he had 25 red zone looks. The Houston offense was just that bad. 2014 is a new year and it can only improve from here. Ryan Fitzpatrick should be better than any quarterback Johnson had throwing the ball last season. Before 2013, Johnson had a career RZTDR of 25 percent, which isn’t as high as you’d like to see from a 6’3”, 230-lb WR, but it’s better than the 17 percent rate he posted last season.
Michael Floyd 14 Targets – 2 TDs – 14 percent RZTDR
Floyd is quickly gaining hype and seems poised for a breakout season. His 2013 campaign looked promising, but it could have been even better. At 6’3″ and 220 lbs, Floyd was consistently above 30 percent in the red zone during his final three seasons at Notre Dame. As Larry Fitzgerald yields to father time, Floyd should see an increase in red zone targets as well as increased efficiency.
Roddy White 12 Targets – 1 TD – 8 percent RZTDR
The beginning of White’s 2013 season was a mess. Dealing with a serious leg injury, the Falcons only seemed to send him out every week as a decoy. As the season slipped away from Atlanta and Julio Jones succumbed to injury, the Falcons finally decided to let White heal up. When he returned he looked brand new, and ripped apart the last several weeks of the season. He’s clearly not done. White’s low RZTDR is likely due to his injury and the fact that the Falcons were a mess last year. Before 2013 Roddy had a 25 percent RZTDR, which is very solid for a player of his size. Plenty of people are catching on to White’s value for the upcoming season. This is just another reason to lock down Rowdy Roddy in 2014.
Jermaine Kearse 10 Targets – 1 TD – 10 percent RZTDR
This is probably a disappointing finale to most of you, but give Kearse a chance. The Seahawks clearly value him if he saw 10 red zone targets as the team’s fifth WR option (fourth if you subtract Percy Harvin) last season. The path to snaps is certainly a lot easier for Kearse this year with the departure of Golden Tate and Sidney Rice. I’m not saying Kearse is going to catch double-digit TDs this season, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility. The team’s top two options, Harvin and Doug Baldwin, are both under six-foot and 190 lbs. They’re not going to get it done in the red zone. Kearse, however, can get it done. Standing a 6’1″ and 209 lbs, Kearse posted a RZTDR of 40 percent or above his final three seasons in college. He’s by far the biggest red zone threat on the Seahawks’ roster. We know Seattle’s offense will be efficient enough to get into the red zone a good number of times; it’s just a matter of Kearse getting the opportunity, which seems too obvious not to happen.