We often talk about the reality of the 2018 Washington Redskins. But it’s about time somebody dives into the fantasy realm.
Which Redskins could stand out regardless of who they're playing this season? Who could be a sleeper? What about a dud?
Who should you try to draft early, and which players can you wait to draft or pass on altogether? We'll answer all these questions and more in this fantasy breakdown for 2018.
Here’s a look at the projected value for the likely options as we move closer to the draft portion of the fantasy football calendar.
Derrius Guice, running back (See ranking here)
Any fears based on those dire pre-draft reports have proved wildly off base to date. What we’re left to evaluate Guice with is the skill and opportunity. Both are standout. He’s an aggressive runner with slithery moves and is projected as Washington’s starting running back Week 1 against the Cardinals. However, this year, a starter does not automatically mean workhorse. Samaje Perine and Robert Kelley remain in play for early downs, while Chris Thompson is the main pass-catching threat.
Other rookie running backs — namely, Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny and Ronald Jones — have less competition. Only Barkley tops Guice inability. The summer will show whether Guice’s fantasy draft ranking moves. The hype probably turns that move up the charts.
Jamison Crowder, wide receiver (See ranking here)
It’s interesting to see a fair amount of fantasy love for Washington’s slot receiver. Crowder is the only proven wideout on the roster, and his routes are perfect for Alex Smith. Yet, fantasy is about production, and frankly, I’m not sure Crowder is worthy of a seventh-round selection in 12-team leagues as the Rotoworld ranking suggests. He plays bigger than his 5-foot-9 size, but it’s hard imagining he becomes a major TD threat.
If Jordan Reed is healthy, the run game improves as expected, and the other receivers step up, meaning Crowder won’t be a high volume target. I’d drop him down one round at least from this level and perhaps two.
Chris Thompson, running back (See ranking here)
It’s a testament to Jay Gruden’s system that the Redskins offense largely held up last season despite countless injuries. For much of that time, Thompson’s playmaking skills as a receiver and runner played a huge role. Between the injuries, Guice and lack of goal-line work, Thompson isn’t a major fantasy factor outside of PPR formats. Of course, that’s what most said entering last season.
Jordan Reed, tight end (See ranking here)
This ranking seems spot on for a player with Pro Bowl talent who cannot stay healthy. Even if Reed looks great this summer, nobody should draft him until the top-5 names go off the board. Ponder Reed over Evan Engram, Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle and Kyle Rudolph, sure. But that’s the rub. Any player selected before the eighth round needs to play. Any player after that spot moves into the hope-and-see territory. Reed walks that line perhaps more than any fantasy player. If you take Reed, get another tight end sooner than later. Conundrum.
Alex Smith, quarterback (See ranking here)
For those Redskins fans new to this quarterback, don’t think you’re overlooking him as a sleeper. You’re not. Smith simply lacks the upside relative to others. That’s largely due to his checkdown style – except last season when the big play entered the equation. Thanks to Tyreke Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, Smith had numerous playmakers that could turn short passes into longer gains. The veteran passer also turned more aggressive. The combination led to Smith’s league-leading 8.6 yards gained per pass attempt after not topping 7.6 in any of his previous four seasons.
It’s conceivable Paul Richardson, Jordan Reed and Derrius Guice/Chris Thompson mirror Smith’s options from last season. Regardless, he still lacks the weekly potential compared to his peers. That’s some perception and a chunk of reality. Smith is a safe QBBC target for those who wisely pass on quarterbacks in the early rounds.
Paul Richardson, wide receiver (See ranking here)
The Redskins gave a four-year veteran with 95 career receptions a $20 million signing bonus. Sign of desperation after an *ugh* season with Terrelle Pryor or an understanding what the deep threat offers beyond speed? Sign me up for the latter. So much of the fantasy focus comes from the semi-unpredictable aspect of touchdowns.
Don’t let the limited production over four years in the Seahawks’ offense fool you. Richardson can run legit routes, and he offers toughness, despite his slender frame. As we bump Crowder down, I’d move Richardson up two or three rounds. Factoring in the likely draft range, Richardson is the one Redskin I’ll likely have on multiple fantasy teams this season.
Josh Doctson, wide receiver (See ranking here)
There are several wild-card candidates among Washington’s skill players. This red-zone threat certainly counts. Doctson led the Redskins in touchdowns last year and flashed some good work overall during the second half of the season. That said, Doctson still hasn’t popped the way many hoped when Washington selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Coming up with more 50-50 balls would change the situation dramatically. He makes for a good late round flyer. With a strong training camp/preseason, expectations could rise significantly.
Vernon Davis, tight end (See ranking here)
Davis compiled impressive stats during the first half of last season, but the numbers plummeted down the stretch as defenses sent more focus the 34-year-old tight end’s way. That early work presented a feel-good story. Davis has a true role as Washington’s No. 2 tight end. Fantasy owners who land Reed in deep leagues could go the handcuff route with Davis. If Reed’s recovery takes a hit before fantasy drafts, Davis probably jumps into the 15-20 range.
That’s about it, however. There are better upside plays at tight end and, of course, at other positions. Let Davis hopefully help the Redskins, but use your roster space for others.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS
- Fantasy football: Ranking 2018 rookie WRs
- 2018 outlook: Breaking down offensive tackles
- Guice projection: Can the rookie break 1,000 yards?