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Washington Redskins Fantasy Football Preview

Terry McLaurin Redskins
Sep 23, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) is introduced prior to the Redskins’ game against the Chicago Bears at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

By Craig Forrestal

Washington underwent a dramatic change this offseason by adding Ron Rivera as HC and Jack Del Rio as DC. The changes were much needed as Washington has struggled to get it right for a while now. Rivera and Del Rio are winners and will bring a winning attitude and culture with them. While the team will not have a winning record it will lay the foundation for what they want to accomplish in DC. This will be a scrappy team that will be better than last season but not by a wide margin. Much is expected out of second-year QB Dwayne Haskins as he finished the last 2 games of 2019 on a high note. The RB room looks crowded on paper but Derrius Guice is the guy you want.

Schedule

  • Week 1: Eagles
  • Week 2: at Cardinals
  • Week 3: at Browns
  • Week 4: Ravens
  • Week 5: Rams
  • Week 6: at Giants
  • Week 7: Cowboys
  • Week 8: Bye
  • Week 9: Giants
  • Week 10: at Lions
  • Week 11: Bengals
  • Week 12: at Cowboys
  • Week 13: at Steelers
  • Week 14: at 49ers
  • Week 15: Seahawks
  • Week 16: Panthers
  • Week 17: at Eagles

Players To Know

  • Antonio Gibson-RB: Ron Rivera said he has a Christian McCaffrey like skill set. Anytime a coach says that you store it in the back of your mind. Gibson should be used in a ‘gadgety’ type of way mainly from the RB and slot positions. Gibson is a brand new car if you look at the amount of work he logged at Memphis. However, on those limited touches, he scored TDs almost at will. He had 77 career touches and 14 TDs in 2 seasons at Memphis. Initially, his fantasy impact will be boom/bust and based purely on a big play.
  • Derrius Guice-RB: Guice is the lead dog in this backfield, but he is always hurt. He can’t seem to shake the injury bug. In 2018, Guice tore his ACL and last season he suffered a torn meniscus and later an MCL Sprain that ended his season. However, in small sample sizes, he has averaged nearly 6 YPC and over 11 YPR and shown flashes of big-time ability. Guice is expected to shoulder a heavy load for the offense this season. Guice should be in the mix as an every-week RB2 play.
  • Adrian Peterson-RB: This one hurts. It seems that AP isn’t going to be in the picture this season and would only be an impact player if Guice were to miss time. The other way AP finds fantasy relevance this season is if he is let go by the squad at some point and he signs with a team in need of an RB.
  • Antonio Gandy-Golden-WR: There is a real lack of depth at the WR position for Washington and AGG could be a starter sooner rather than later. There are two appealing parts to AGG as a fantasy option: 1) upside and 2) targets. The Washington offense is a work in progress and outside of Terry McLaurin who is going to catch the ball for them? So with that comes the upside and targets. Somebody will need to step up as the #2 option on the team and AGG seems to have the best shot. He is a big target and we saw what big targets AJ Brown and DK Metcalf did as rookies. However, it would be a little premature to expect weekly fantasy-relevant performances from AGG.
  • Terry McLaurin-WR: McLaurin was a shining star for an otherwise disappointing 2019 offensive unit. For the season, McLaurin had more than 900 yards receiving and caught 7 TDs. He is expected to take a major step forward this season. McLaurin is the undisputed WR1 on this team and should be viewed as a backend WR2 in season-long draft scenarios with WR1 upside.
  • Steven Sims Jr-WR: He got the chance to play at the end of last season seeing 58% of the snaps from Weeks 13-17. While it didn’t equate into a stellar output it should mean he is in the mix for a growing role. As mentioned with AGG, there is limited depth at the WR position so Sims Jr is somebody that could return WR3 value and be undrafted. Keep an eye on the battle for the other starting WR spot opposite McLaurin.
  • Richard Rodgers-TE: He is often injured and will be considered more for his blocking abilities and not his receiving skills. However, he might be the best option and is best known for the game-winning Hail Mary he caught against Detroit as a member of the Packers. He should not be viewed as a priority play at the position.
  • Thad Moss-TE: Very interesting landing spot for the son of Randy Moss, Hall of Fame WR. Thad Moss is going to compete for playing time as a UDFA and if he can pull the upset he has an outside shot of starting Week 1. Moss has nice hands and is a very good blocker entering the league. He may not be ready for full TE1 responsibilities but due to circumstances, he might be TE1. Even if he is TE1 don’t expect anything earth-shattering from Moss.
  • Dwayne Haskins-QB: Haskins left the 2019 season on a personal high-note as he tossed 4 TDs and 0 INTS and throwing for nearly 400 yards. Many expect Haskins to build off that late-season moment to make a big second-year jump; while others fear he may not beat out Kyle Allen in camp. I believe Haskins will begin the season as the starter but will be on high-alert as Allen had some levels of success in the Rivera offense in Carolina. I believe it is all or nothing will Haskins this upcoming season and I’m more willing to bet on the all side of things than the nothing side of things. While I don’t expect Haskins to turn into Patrick Mahomes, Haskins has a more than manageable schedule and could be a nice spot play based on matchup. I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the Haskins basket but don’t be afraid to draft him if you’re someone that rosters 2 QB. Haskins should finish around QB 20 overall.

Defense

The defense is the bright spot for Washington. While they were a middle of the pack defense against the pass it was the run where they were exposed. To remedy the situation Washington has brought in Jack Del Rio and Ron Rivera to handle the defensive transition to a 4-3. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the young DL in Washington with Chase Young (DE, 21 years-old), Montez Sweat (DE, 23 years-old), Da’Ron Payne (DT, 23 years-old) and Jonathan Allen (DT, 25 years-old). This DL should cause headaches for NFC East offenses for a long while to come and the NFL should take notice because this is the nucleus of a young with young talent to shape out the LB and DB groups. While Washington will not be playing for the playoffs this season expect the defense to keep them in some games they should be in and squeezing out an extra win or two this season. Expect the defense to once again be the middle of the pack.

Potential Breakout Players

  • Derrius Guice-RB
  • Terry McLaurin-WR

Rookie To Know

  • Antonio Gandy-Golden-WR
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