Red Zone

Fantasy Football Definition of "Red Zone"

The "red zone" is the part of the playing field within twenty yards of the defense's goal line. When an offense gets within twenty yards of putting six points on the board, they are "in the red zone" -- an area of the field where it seems they are likely to score.

Usually, being in the red zone changes a team's offensive strategy. Some basic rules of end zone strategy are obvious -- long passes are to be avoided. There's less room for the defensive backfield to cover, so your QB is more likely to throw an INT, get hit by a coverage sack, or just plain run out of WRs to target. The general consensus seems to be that the red zone is a place for running the ball. Oh sure, you're going to see some passes in the red zone -- they won't be the types of passes your team is used to (and hopefully their defense too), but some passing still goes on. The fact is that a large portion of red zone play is made on the ground.

The way your fantasy player's team behaves in the end zone should inform the way you set your team up against different opponents. If your starting RB is going to get fewer red zone targets because the opposing team won't present much of a challenge, consider subbing him for a player facing an opponent that offers more targets.

Understanding what kind of fantasy points you're looking to get out of a WR or RB will influence how much you care about a team's red zone strategy. If you have your eye on a RB that is better known for grinding out yards than scoring points, you don't care what kind of end zone strategy he's a part of, sign him up. If, however, you are looking at a WR who scores most of his fantasy points on TDs, use that to figure out if he ought to be benched against smash mouth defenses.

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