Fantasy Fix Week 3: Redskins-Lions

Fantasy Fix Week 3: Redskins-Lions
September 21, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Our weekly look at the Redskins' matchup from a fantasy football perspective. We all know the scoreboard reads 0-2, but the fantasy production hasn't been that bleak thanks to garbage points galore. The inconsistency makes for some anxious moments, but so far, fantasy owners aren't complaining-ish. As for the potential plays this week against the Lions...

The receivers

Pierre Garcon - Nothing to say here other than don't over think it. Garcon has 15 receptions on 24 targets and is one of only nine players to lead his team in targets (without ties) in each game this season. Must start each week and especially against the suspect Lions pass defense.

Josh Morgan - Until he scores or pops for over 75 yards, we're sticking with the same analysis: It's not often said of a player that led his team in receptions the previous season, but unless your league gives points for blocks, there is no case for owning Morgan, let alone starting him. So let's move on to...

Leonard Hankerson - In Week 2, the receiving tease did what receiver teases do: followed up a statistically productive game with one lacking helpful numbers, catching three passes for 35 yards against the Packers. Now Hankerson pops up as "questionable" on Friday's injury report after tweaking a hamstring in practice. Factor in the Redskins early game struggles with the passing attack and he's an unadvisable play even though the matchup is a potentially juicy one.

Santana Moss - Involved so far, as evidenced by his 14 year-to-date targets and touchdown last week, but has yet to crack 60 receiving yards. Until bye weeks pop, owners can find more upside plays elsewhere. 

Fred Davis - So, about the notion of Davis as a fantasy sleeper this season, um, yeah. Who knows what happens in the coming weeks when RGIII removes all rust from his game, but right now he's not looking Davis' way. Until that changes, no point in having the tight end on your fantasy roster let alone starting him. Landing on Saturday's injury report doesn't help either. On the other hand...

Jordan Reed - Ranked among my top-25 fantasy tight ends entering Week 2, Reed remains at that level after catching his first NFL touchdown (or one more than Davis has caught from Griffin in his career). The fact that he picked up the majority of second half snaps at TE against the Packers over Davis doesn't hurt. Remains a sign-and-stash option, but another good game (or if Davis doesn't play in Week 3) and we might need to upgrade Reed's weekly rating.

The runners

Alfred Morris - Other than Adrian Peterson's Week 1, first quarter 78-yard touchdown run, the Lions have allowed 114 yards on 46 carries. Start Morris regardless and hope the Redskins can get a lead for once and feed their back in the second half.

Roy Helu - Getting on the field hasn't been the issue; Helu appeared in 23 of Washington's 61 plays last week. Getting touches - only one against Green Bay - is another story. Still worth rostering in 12-team leagues, but not worth using in any capacity until the Redskins solves their offensive issues.

The passer

Robert Griffin III - In a results world, RGIII remains a fantasy hero. In a realistic world, evaluating Griffin's fantasy potential in Week 3 is a puzzler. Considering the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson connection alone, Detroit has the potential to put Washington into a deep hole for a third straight game. We know RGIII can thrive in such spots. What happens in a tight game where the opposing team avoids using their prevent defense remains a mystery. Well, maybe it doesn't. The Redskins offense still hasn't scored in the first half this season when, you know, the other side is attacking and scheming at max capacity. If you've been using Griffin so far, ride the wave in this plus matchup. If you remain skeptical and have another high-end option on your roster - who has made scoring plays before halftime- don't be afraid to sit RGIII either.

The defense and kicker

The Lions offensive line has allowed only one sack through two games. Stafford is no schlubby QB. Even if Reggie Bush sits, the Redskins defense is no better than a middling option. With Kai Forbath possibly out again this week, find another kicker on another team.

On the other side...

Nate Burleson - With the understanding that any viable fantasy option should be played against the Redskins defense until further notice, let's look at the Lions' receivers not named Calvin Johnson. Burleson has caught 13 of his 14 targets this season, making him a threat in PPR leagues not to mention a rather efficient target for Stafford. Factor in the Redskins pass defense struggles, he's a sneaky WR this week.