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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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After Patrick Mahomes' injury, could Case Keenum or Colt McCoy be on the move?

After Patrick Mahomes' injury, could Case Keenum or Colt McCoy be on the move?

Patrick Mahomes hurt his knee Thursday night, and while the severity is unknown, Kansas City's Super Bowl plans just got dealt a major hurdle. 

The truth is if Mahomes needs knee surgery then the Chiefs might need to recalibrate their hopes for January and beyond. If Mahomes only needs rest, however, then the Redskins might actually be able to help. 

It's no secret Washington and Kansas City know how to make a trade. January 2018 the two teams worked out a blockbuster when quarterback Alex Smith came to the Redskins and cornerback Kendall Fuller along with a third-round pick went to the Chiefs. The same power brokers are in charge now that pulled off that trade: Andy Reid in KC and Bruce Allen in DC.

And oddly enough the Redskins have a bit of a surplus in veteran quarterbacks. Neither Case Keenum or Colt McCoy can replace Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, but either signal caller might be able to keep the Chiefs afloat for a few weeks.

The trade deadline is approaching fast, coming October 29th. The Redskins are currently 1-5 and there is no reason to keep both Keenum and McCoy on the roster the rest of the year. 

Washington drafted Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick, and eventually, the Ohio State star will start for the Redskins. Beyond that, both Keenum and McCoy have contracts that expire after this season. Neither player figures in the long-term plans for the Burgundy and Gold, and certainly the future is to eventually go to Haskins.

Want one more mitigating factor? Even after his devestating injury last season, Alex Smith is due more than $20 million guaranteed next year. He has been at practice and games for weeks, and appears to be close with Washington upper management. It's not crazy to think that in some role Smith will be around in 2020 along with Haskins. That makes Keenum or McCoy that much more expendable down the stretch. 

If Kansas City needs somebody to run their offense for a few weeks, the Redskins should dangle McCoy or Keenum. Or both. 

It's unclear that either player would entice much of an offer, but keep in mind, McCoy is widely respected around the league and Keenum had the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game just two seasons ago. The return for Washington might not be much, but something is always more thank nothing. 

Most deals get made around necessity, and Kansas City might have a big need. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

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Fantasy Football: Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 7

Fantasy Football: Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 7

Week 7 is here and it is time to take a good look at your lineups and decide whether you like the direction your team is headed. If you are sitting at 1-5, its time to make a season-deciding trade. If you're sitting at 2-4 or .500, bolster your bench for later in the season. It's also time to stop wasting a roster spot on players that have continued to let you down.

Before we can get ready for Week 7, lineups need to be set, decisions need to be made and let's take a look at how last week's predictions fared.

Start ‘Em

QB: Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars: 163 Passing YDS, 1 INT, 4.6 PTS
RB: Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions: 34 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 2 Receptions, 27 Receiving YDS, 14.1 PTS
WR: D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers: 7 Receptions, 73 Receiving YDS, 13 Rushing YDS, 15.6 PTS
TE: Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams: 2 Receptions, 9 Receiving YDS, 2.9 PTS

Sit 'Em

QB: Jimmy Garrapolo, San Francisco 49ers: 243 Passing YDS, 1 INT, 1 Fumble, 4 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 12.1 PTS
RB: Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers: 18 Rushing YDS, 3 Receptions, 30 Receiving YDS, 7.7 PTS
WR: Robby Anderson, New York Jets: 5 Receptions, 125 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 23.5 PTS
TE: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: 3 Receptions, 36 Receiving YDS, 6.6 PTS

Week 1: 5/8

Week 2: 6/8

Week 3: 4/8

Week 4: 6/8

Week 5: 4/8

Week 6: 2/8 

Start 'Em

QB: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
Opponent: at Falcons


The Rams travel to Atlanta in Week 7 hoping to bounce-back after a terrible performance on Sunday at home at the hands of the 49ers. Goff was especially bad, completing only 13 of 24 passes for just 78 yards and a fumble. This week’s matchup gives him the chance to bounce back. The Falcons have been a disaster in 2019 after beginning the season with high expectations and despite Matt Ryan’s solid play, the defense has been atrocious. The Falcons’ defense has allowed the third-most fantasy QB points per game thus far, and the Rams will be locked and loaded and ready to capitalize.

RB: Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers
Opponent: at Redskins


Kyle Shanahan and the unbeaten 49ers make a pit stop in the nation’s capital on Sunday and their dominant ground attack should continue to roll through every opponent in their path. Tevin Coleman is finally healthy and has been a welcome sight and will look to continue against Washington.

WR: Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Opponent: vs. Eagles


With Amari Cooper not at 100% after suffering an injury against the Jets in Week 6, Michael Gallup will assume a larger target share regardless if Cooper is active or not against the Eagles. It couldn’t come at a more opportune time for fantasy managers who can slip him right into all lineups against a horrid Eagles secondary that gave up four touchdowns to the Vikings on Sunday as well as over 200 yards through the air. Gallup is a solid WR2 for the Sunday Night Football matchup with top-10 upside.

TE: Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Opponent: vs. Dolphins


The Bills come off of a Week 6 bye to host the Dolphins in Buffalo. With John Brown questionable for the matchup, the only other Bills pass-catcher I have confidence is Dawson Knox, who has shown flashes throughout the season but hasn’t had the opportunity or usage to capitalize on. This matchup provides that opportunity. 
 
Sit 'Em

QB: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: at Titans


The Chargers had playoff intentions before the start of the season. At Week 7, they’ll be luck to sniff .500 at 8-8 if all goes well from here on out. Injuries have decimated the club. Star second-year safety Derwin James suffered a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his foot before Week 1 and underwent surgery and was placed on IR and isn’t able to return until Week 9. 

Melvin Gordon returned from his holdout but hasn’t shed the rust. Keenan Allen came out blazing but has regressed of late. Philip Rivers can’t be the deciding factor in whether the team wins or loses, and going up against a stout Titans defense, he needs to be on your bench. 

RB: David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
Opponent: vs. Saints


The Bears come off their bye in Week 7 to host Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints. The Saints defense has been exceptional thus far at containing the run, allowing the sixth fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. The Bears' David Montgomery hasn't gotten off to the start most anticipated and this won't be the week he gets going.

WR: Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins
Opponent: vs. 49ers


The Redskins’ rookie phenom has been electric through the first six games of 2019 but faces one of the best pass defenses in football when the Burgundy and Gold host the 49ers. The San Francisco defense held Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to seven receptions and 35 receiving yards combined in Week 6 and held Odell Beckham Jr. to just two receptions for 27 yards the week prior. Curb your expectations for McLaurin on Sunday afternoon. 

TE: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
Opponent: vs. Texans


The Colts come off of their bye with a matchup against the red-hot Houston Texans. For the Colts, the only viable pass catching option for Frank Reich should be T.Y. Hilton. With Andrew Luck retired, the offense has pumped out a few victories but the team hasn’t been utilizing the tight end as much as last season. Through 6 weeks, Jack Doyle has only posted 14 receptions for 128 yards, which is well below what you need from a viable tight end to win your matchup. Greener pastures await for Doyle, but it would be best to find another option in Week 7.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 7
Running Back Rankings: Week 7
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 7
Tight End Rankings: Week 7