An unlikely choice could breakout
Training camp is upon us which means everyone is starting to reassemble their fantasy football leagues and mapping out their rankings.
The Redskins have had a few good fantasy football options the fast few years. Kirk Cousins was a great late season pick up after he over came his early season yips while Chris Thompson exploded onto the scene last year. Dustin Hopkins had proven to be a back end starter or streaming option while the offense was struggling to reach the end zone.
Thompson will again be an obvious option to draft, along with Derrius Guice, Crowder and Alex Smith. But, who this year, will be the Redskins you should keep an eye on and who should you avoid?
Paul Richardson, Jr.
With everyone’s focus on Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson, people are starting to overlook Richardson a bit.
Richardson is currently unranked by ESPN on their wide receiver list. While he is being considered the third option amongst the receivers on his own team, there is reason to draft him late and stash him on your bench. The health concerns of Reed and Doctson come to the top of my mind. Both players have proven they cannot stay on the field consistently which will open more opportunities for Richardson. You can also look at how they plan on using Richardson in the offense. There has been talk that he will fill the role that DeSean Jackson had when he was in burgundy and gold. Jackson broke 1,000 yards receiving and racked up over 50 receptions.
In a PPR league, Richardson will fill in nicely as a flex option. I would go further than that and say that at the end of the season he will be a solid WR3.
Reed is arguably the most talented tight end in the NFL, when healthy. He has not played a full 16 season since entering the NFL in 2013. Reed came the closest to playing a full season in 2015 when he played 14 games.
Reed is currently being graded out as a back end TE1. With his injury history, I don’t think he ends up within the top 15 overall. Alex Smith will be a net positive to Reed’s value, but you should expect him to miss at least two games. Smith also has experience with playing with Vernon Davis which could take away from Reed’s production.
If you choose to draft Reed high, I would make sure that you have a back-up plan to cover his loss of points in other areas of your team. But, this is a year where Reed’s fantasy value will be lower than is ADP and rankings.
It seems odd to put a non-position player on this list, but there is good reason to be high on the Redskins defense this year. With all the injuries that piled up on defense, the Redskins finished twelfth in the NFL with 41 sacks. The team also finished tied for fourteenth with 13 interceptions. Where the Redskins were brutalized was allowing near a league worst 24.3 points per game. That last number can be crucial in making or breaking a fantasy defense.
However, with it being unlikely that the Redskins are hammered as hard as they were by injuries last year, I would expect this number to improve and be around 20 points a game. The points per game number is also inflated because of a lack of running game last year. The better running game you have, the more you control the clock, the few chances an opposing team has at putting an obscene amount of points on the board.
If all things go well, you should would expect the Redskins defense to out play there outside of the top 20 ranking and push more towards the top 12 and be a fantastic streaming option week to week, if not your last defense taken off the board.