Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker has been great in fantasy and in real life this season, especially when it comes to the red zone. He has caught seven TDs already this season to lead the league, and all seven of those touchdown catches have come in the red zone. A common grip made by some New England Patriots fans last season was that the Patriots lacked a red zone threat with Rob Gronkowski out, but they clearly overlooked Welker’s ability in the red zone. He may be small, but people misread red zone production. Height doesn’t lead to success in the red zone, except when it comes to jump balls. Red zone production is all about precision, and Welker’s route-running and ability to work in tight corners are what help make him such a great red zone threat.
With the Denver Broncos this season through five games, Wes Welker has been downright deadly in the red zone. According to Pro Football Reference, Welker has been thrown at 11 times in the red zone, and he has caught all 11 passes (!) for 63 yards. No receiver has been thrown at more in the red zone, no receiver has caught more TD passes in the red zone (both Dez Bryant and Jordan Cameron are second with five apiece), and no receiver has more yards in the red zone (Cameron has 60).
Among all pass-catchers with at least five red zone targets, only New Orleans Saints underrated running back Pierre Thomas has caught every pass thrown at him (six-for-six). Welker’s production in the red zone is absolutely remarkable, and it really jumped off the page when I was looking through the tables. He has been a huge key in the Broncos incredible red zone ability, as they have 20 touchdowns in that critical area of the field. So the next time you say that slot receiver can’t make a big impact in the red zone, just remember to take a gander at Welker’s numbers. They have been simply mind-blowing with 20 yards to go to paydirt.