Washington Redskins – 2019 A Look Inside

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Contributions from Joshua Hudson, Chris Molina, Chris Tyler, & Joe Zollo 02_NFLDraft As an Eagles fan, the Redskins draft annoyed me. How did teams let Dwayne Haskins fall into their lap? How did Montez Sweat, one of the best edge rushers in the Draft, fall into the 20’s, allowing the ‘Skins to move up and draft him? They absolutely killed it in the first round. I thought McLaurin was a reach in the third (he’s fast, but really, so what?), but his familiarity with Haskins should help them both. Bryce Love was a reach in the fourth, coming off an injury, but we know he has talent. A couple of Hog Mollies in the mid rounds should help provide depth to a line that was decimated in 2018 by injuries. And how the hell did Kelvin Harmon fall all the way to the sixth round?! Our own Chris Tyler is a big fan of Harmon’s, and after watching the tape, I can see why. Without a legitimate number one option at receiver, Washington could have themselves an Alshon Jeffery-type WR in Harmon for the low price of a dart throw. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson 03_Projected I would feel more confident in the Redskins lineup if it were a Dynasty roster in Fantasy. Seriously. There’s a ton of upside with youngsters like Haskins, Derrius Guice, Love, McLaurin, and Harmon. But their current starters lend little inspiration. Case Keenum is average (at best), Peterson was solid last year but approaching his mid-30s, Doctson has been a disappointment since being drafted in the first round in 2016, and Jordan Reed hasn’t played a full 16 games since, well, never. This will be Year Six for Head Coach Jay Gruden, and he’s likely coaching for his job. As a result, the youngster may not see as much playing time as we’d like. Target Washington players with caution heading into your 2019 Fantasy drafts. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson 04_Upside I know. The Washington Redskins and fantasy upside don’t belong in the same sentence, essentially analogous to orange juice and toothpaste. Stay with me though. The Redskins offense cannot get any worse than what it was last year. Exit Colt McCoy, Josh Johnson, & Mark Sanchez. Enter Case Keenum and rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. Running backs and offensive linemen are returning from injury, and there are targets available for wide receivers. This is a bit of a stretch, but there is one receiver who stands out to me that has the potential for some upside, and that is Josh Doctson. Josh Doctson had a stat line of 44/532/2. Gross. That was good for WR69.  He had Colt McCoy, Josh Johnson, and Mark Sanchez throwing him the ball for half the year. It can only go up from there, though. The Redskins were 26th in pass attempts. The offensive line suffered so many injuries that they were having fans from the crowd suit up. Also, Jamison Crowder and Maurice Harris left for greener pastures, thus freeing up 96 targets (a shade under 20%). Doctson had a 15% market share of targets last year, but that should go up as he inevitably moves up the depth chart. 17% is reasonable for a WR2, even if the offense is the Redskins offense. 17% target share of 560 attempts (509 last year), is around 100 targets. New quarterbacks likely means a higher completion percentage and thus a higher catch rate. Give Doctson 60 receptions, 750 yards (a/y per catch), and four TDs, and he would crack the top 40 wide receivers. There is no guarantee he gets here. However, there is also no guarantee the stat line looks even better if he finally cashes in on some of that potential. Doctson is currently being drafted as the WR72 on the Sleeper app (16.03 so last round on standard roster sizes). That means he is being drafted lower than last year’s worst-case scenario finish, despite impending improvements to the offense and likely 130-150 more targets up for grabs. With potential to crack the top 40, you can do worse with your last pick in the draft. There are so many unknowns with the Redskins WR corps that if Doctson hits, you have a flex option. If he doesn’t, then you are none the worse for wear. Keep him in mind as a dart throw in your draft’s sixteenth round. – Chris Molina Fantasy Downside (Joe) The entire Redskins backfield is a mess. Adrian Peterson was brought in late to Training Camp last year after injuries gave him an opportunity to start. He was great, but was also re-signed. Now, the starter who was injured that paved the way for Peterson is presumably healthy, but not guaranteed to start because of Peterson’s presence. That “starter” currently has an ADP in the fifth round. It’s Derrius Guice. It’s easy to write about Guice’s upside if given the role as the lead back. But here are the facts you need to know. Guice had not one, not two, but three different surgeries on his knee last year after suffering a torn ACL in the preseason. It was a torn ACL. That procedure is usually pretty cut and dry. That many additional surgeries tells me the recovery time to follow won’t be as easy as it is for most. Reports have stated his recovery has been slow and he hasn’t been cleared to play. When that will be is anyone’s guess. Because of these unknowns, why would you be willing to take a chance on Guice as early as the 5th round, which is where he’s currently being drafted? Peterson is currently going as RB45, at pick 113 (twelfth round in 10 team leagues). Just ask yourself this question — would you rather take Peterson in the twelfth and miss, or Guice in the fifth and miss? Minimizing risk is a staple of Fantasy Football championships. Drafting Guice in the fifth doesn’t fit that description. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudsonian 06_TrustFall As stated above, I’m not sure I’ll be targeting any Redskins players in 2019. There just isn’t much in the way of glitz and glam with so many youngsters and a coach fighting to keep his job. That said, if there’s anyone to trust on this offense, it’s not Adrian Peterson — who finished with more than 1,000 yards last year. No, it’s oft-injured TE Jordan Reed. (Hang on, I need to bust out the tequila to finish writing this.) Reed has averaged almost 11 games played a season since entering the league in 2013. Not great, but it could be worse. (He could be Tyler Eifert. **shrugs**) He averages 51.9 receiving yards per game which, if you exclude George Kittle since he’s only played two years, ranks 8th among TEs since he entered the league in 2013. Over the same time frame, Reed is 2nd behind Travis Kelce in receptions per game (5.06). Despite playing in only 13 games last year, Reed finished as TE14. And he played with four different quarterbacks! The ‘Skins went out and drafted a young QB (Haskins) and traded for Case Keenum (Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph finished as TE8 with Keenum at the helm in 2017) to hopefully provide stability at the position. What’s a young QBs best friend? A quality TE. I should mention that Reed also has the second highest catch percentage among TEs behind only Jack Doyle since 2013. It’s easy to pass on Reed because you know he won’t play 16 games. People knew Gronk wouldn’t either, and they still drafted him. Reed is productive when he’s on the field, and he’s currently going as TE22 (pick 159.8!). If you miss on Kelce, Zach Ertz, Kittle, maybe even O.J. Howard or Evan Engram, why not just load up at the skill positions and play Russian Roulette at TE with Reed as an option? He’s not on anyone’s radar, and you know what you’ll get when he does play. Couple that with the lack of a true number one receiver on the team, and you’re in line for more than 100 targets (Reed averages 6.86 targets/game) in 2019. That’s the definition of trustworthy. (Yep, the tequila’s definitely kicked in.) – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson 07_Rookie The Washington Redskins just added a new weapon to their passing offense for the 2019 season via the 2019 NFL Draft. That weapon? Kelvin Harmon. In college, he accumulated back-to-back thousand yard receiving seasons and ended his career with 16 touchdowns. Harmon is going to be a difference maker at the “X” position this year for the Redskins because he’s comfortable running the full route tree, which makes him dangerous to cover. He has good size at 6-2, 221 pounds, which makes him a big target and an easy mismatch for whichever quarterback emerges as the number one during camp. He didn’t have a stellar 40 time, but the way he uses his body and his skills tracking the ball in the air truly makes him a nightmare both in the red zone and all over the field. Don’t overlook him this upcoming season — he’s going to be a beast in the coming years. – Chris Tyler 08_Sleeper The Redskins are now infused with young talent they have acquired through the draft over the last few years. Dwayne Haskins takes the helm at QB with Derrius Guice in the backfield and multiple young talents at WR, including Haskins’ college teammate, Terry McLaurin. He could be the sleeper, but it is a different draft pick from one year earlier that could prove more valuable to your team. That would be the 7th round draft pick from 2018 — WR Trey Quinn Trey Quinn was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2018 draft, but he showed flashes of great potential in his rookie season. He started in just two games during his rookie season, but he showed his crisp route running and strong hands out of the slot. Quinn played his senior year of college football at the once great SMU, and caught the eyes of LSU before transferring during his junior year. Let me remind you that LSU has had some incredible talent at the WR position come out of the school in recent years, a la Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. I’m not saying that Quinn is that good, but clearly the coaches who saw greatness in Beckham and Landry, saw the same qualities in Quinn. He is not going to be a downfield threat, but his route running from the slot — combined with Dwayne Haskins impeccable accuracy within 20 yards — should set Quinn up for a good sophomore campaign. He is currently being taken as WR85. In most leagues, he is going undrafted, but if you need a WR late in the draft, Trey Quinn is one of my favorite sleepers this season. – Joe Zollo 09_IDP You could look at this Redskins defense and argue they have one of the best front sevens in the NFL. The young talent of Da’Ron Payne and Jonathan Allen on the defensive line with Ryan Kerrigan and 1st round pick Montez Sweat flying off the edge to pressure the QB, it makes for an underrated front seven that, when many are asked who is the best in NFL, Washington rarely comes up in the conversation. Both Payne and Allen finished inside the Top 25 last season amongst DLs in fantasy football, and are both worth taking to be backup players with tremendous upside to be your starting DL.  Kerrigan and Sweat are primarily pass rushers, which I have said in the past are players to avoid in fantasy football. The one LB, however, that could be of service to you is Mason Foster. When Foster is healthy and plays all 16 games, he scores over 200 points. But he has only played a full season twice since 2013. He is an injury risk,g so if you do plan on drafting him, take a reliable backup that can fill in when Foster will inevitably be injured.  Their secondary has arguably the best safety in the league, Landon Collins. Collins comes over from the division rival New York Giants and brings a hard-hitting mentality that Redskins fans have been missing since Sean Taylor. Due to injuries in 2018, Collins did not have his best season. But in the two seasons prior, he finished Top 3 among DBs, and even finished first in 2016. Lately, it seems that Washington is where good defensive backs go to die (see Josh Norman), but I have faith that Collins will continue to hit hard with his new team. Two of the teams in his division are run-heavy teams- the Giants with Saquon Barkley, and the Cowboys with Ezekiel Elliott. He will be used to stuff their run game and will ultimately rack up an exorbitant amount of tackles. – Joe Zollo