10 Redskins worth grabbing for fantasy football in 2017
10) Zach Brown, LB
Here’s a shout-out to the IDP (Individual Defensive Player) leagues. When an owner starts selecting linemen, linebackers and defensive backs is very much dependant on the specific rules, namely numbers of defenders required and points scoring categories. Whatever the scenarios, Brown is the likely first member of the Redskins off the board.
While there’s some suggestion of competition at the inside linebacker spots, it’s hard imagining the free agent addition not emerging after his 143-tackle campaign with the Bills. From there, D.J. Swearinger, Ryan Kerrigan, Su’a Cravens, Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman are the most interesting, but keep an eye on whether any of the ends or tackles (Jonathan Allen ?) pops in training camp.
9) Dustin Hopkins, K
That the Redskins scored plenty yet struggled in the red zone led to Hopkins leading the NFL with 42 field goal attempts. It’s worth noting he missed eight of those tries and ranked 22nd among kickers in FG% (min. 15 attempts). Washington isn’t bringing in any notable competition for training camp.
Assuming Hopkins doesn’t wobble during the preseason, he’ll enter 2017 as a low-end starting fantasy kicker. PSA – If you select a kicker at any point before the final 2-3 rounds in standard leagues, you’re likely doing something wrong.
8) Chris Thompson, RB
Ignore any indications that the 5’8," 191-pounder could serve as the starter and thus take on a major workload. That said, Thompson has the most stable role among Washington’s backs because of his pass-catching abilities (49 receptions) and shifty running style (5.2 yards per carry).
The more the Redskins trail in the second half of games or find themselves in shootouts, the more Thompson plays. He just won’t take over as the every-down back barring major issues elsewhere. It’s why he’s not even much of a handcuff for Robert Kelley or Samaje Perine owners, but there’s enough production for RB 4/5 consideration.
7) Josh Doctson, WR
We know the deal. An Achilles injury essentially wiped out his rookie season and in turn leaves his 2017 status a tad murky. We think his 6’2” size plus 4.5 40-speed and impressive vertical leap makes for a tremendous package especially around the end zone. But he still needs to put it altogether and gain the trust of coach Jay Gruden.
Don’t assume everything clicks until Doctson shows more during training camp – he still was behind Ryan Grant during mini-camp – but you can target him as a WR5 with upside along with players like Kevin White, Will Fuller and Breshad Perriman.
6) Samaje Perine, RB
Fantasy football owners love their rookie runners and many are gushing over Washington’s fourth-round pick. The Redskins’ running game faltered late in the regular season and the red zone offense didn’t always click regardless. Adding the 236-pounder provides a chain-moving force, at least that’s the hope.
Fantasy owners who take Perine in the 10-12 round range hope he emerges as the main man in Washington. It’s certainly possible, but don’t sleep on Robert Kelley’s game.
5) Kirk Cousins, QB
The gap between the eighth and 18th quarterback in fantasy football this season isn’t major, which is why waiting on taking a passer is ideal. Cousins, who threw for 25 touchdown passes and over 4,900 yards last season, falls somewhere in that range, though probably closer to 10 than 15.
The major changes at receiver – DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon out, Terrelle Pryor in – likely mean an adjustment period. Whether that takes training camp or several weeks into the season is the question. Then there’s the contract drama assuming Cousins doesn’t sign a long-term deal and the injury-fear with Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Reed.
Washington will throw plenty and Cousins will rack up stats, making him QB1 worthy. There’s just a little more going on around him than last season.
4) Jamison Crowder, WR
The slot dynamo plays much bigger than his 5’9” frame and is a volume-receiver in Washington’s offense. That Crowder isn’t a major touchdown threat limits the upside. That he’s the Redskins most trusted wide receiver makes him worthy of WR2 consideration in PPR formats.
3) Robert Kelley, RB
From undrafted free agent to Washington’s leading rusher in 2016 to entering training camp atop the depth chart. That’s some trajectory for the former Tulane standout, but there’s a potential roadblock in the form of rookie Samaje Perine. The masses are overlooking Kelley’s game in favor of Perine’s power and new-car smell.
By the time we get closer to the regular season, we’ll have a much better sense whether Kelley’s impressive vision and tackle-avoidance is enough to hold off the new guy. The uncertainty – and the presence of third-down back Chris Thompson – limits Kelley to RB3 consideration.
2) Terrelle Pryor, WR
The potential swings with Pryor’s stat line for 2017 is a bit severe. On the one hand, the 6’4 monster 77 receptions for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns with Cleveland last season, his first full-time NFL campaign at receiver. Now Pryor gets a major QB upgrade with Kirk Cousins and goes from the 30 the ranked offense in 2016 to No. 3.
However, he is changing teams/systems and joining an offense with a deep array of weapons. Plus opposing defenses now have some legitimate tape to watch. All that said, Pryor appears poised for a potent season as Washington’s big play receiver.
Maybe he doesn’t top 77 grabs, but he could double his touchdowns and then some. Pryor is on the WR2/3 border.
1) Jordan Reed, TE
The only question is health. Specifically the fear of yet another concussion. Reed suffered the sixth (diagnosed) of his football career in 2016 as he missed four games. Over the last four seasons, the Pro Bowler has played in 46 of 64 games. Yet when he plays, only New England’s Rob Gronkowski is arguably better.
Reed will typically start flying off draft boards in third round of standard leagues. He’ll provide a major week-to-week edge, but the injury risk cannot be ignored.