The Yahoo Fantasy analysts will preview all 32 NFL teams between now and the end of July as training camps open. We’ll tackle pressing season-long fantasy questions, Best Ball tips (new on Yahoo for 2019) and team win totals. Next up, the Washington Redskins.
Washington’s 2018 effectively ended once they lost quarterback Alex Smith to a season-ending injury (they also lost rookie running back Derrius Guice before the season started). Outside of a couple of productive weeks from Adrian Peterson and Jordan Reed, Washington wasn’t a fantasy bounty last season.
The QB-situation remains a work in progress; it looks like only a matter of time before Dwayne Haskins takes the reins of the offense. Reed has tons of potential when he’s healthy and the running back group has an intriguing combination of talent with a healthy Guice, but things look grim from there for the rest of the fantasy depth chart:
Dwayne Haskins, QB1?
Provide the percent chance (0-100) Dwayne Haskins starts Week 1. What are your general fantasy expectations both short and long term for the rookie QB?
Brad: 73.9 PERCENT. The Evans Algorithm™, the industry leader in erroneous computations, registers a high confidence level that Washington’s first-round pick starts Week 1. What’s his competition? Case Keenum tumbled down Pike’s Peak last season with the Broncos and Colt McCoy is, well, Colt McCoy.
In a highly competitive division, excluding the Giants, Jay Gruden should adhere to a sink-or-swim approach with Haskins. What’s the downside? Only shortsighted franchises still follow a Steve McNair or Aaron Rodgers let-them-watch-and-learn philosophy. Throwing a talented passer into the fire doesn’t guarantee instant success, but it expedites the learning process. Just look at Baker Mayfield’s ascension last year.
Haskins is a towering, unfazed pocket passer who posted the fifth-best adjusted completion percentage in college football last season. And he accomplished much of that against rigid Big Ten competition. He owns the poise, progressions and arm strength to deliver the ball accurately and on time. If he shows well in training camp and the preseason, he’ll start Week 1 at Philly.
Within three years he should develop into a viable back-end QB1 in 12-team fantasy leagues, provided he stays healthy and the receiving corps advances or is upgraded.
Andy: 39.85 PERCENT. I’ve run the simulations, guys. I’m deadly accurate with this stuff. Trust me. The answer is 39.85.
Washington didn’t draft Haskins at a spot that demands he start in opening week, necessarily. I think the most likely scenario is that the team uses Keenum to navigate the challenging early matchups (at Phi, Dal, Chi). But of course we all know Keenum is gonna vomit forth some sort of 19-for-42, 195-yard, two-interception performance in the first month of the season, forcing Haskins onto the field shortly thereafter.
Long term, given the right protection and a talented receiving corps (neither of which are currently present in Washington), Haskins could be fun. He has a huge arm and he was terrific from structure as a collegiate player — he eviscerated a few excellent defenses. But there’s no great rushing dimension to his game and he’s facing a daunting learning curve, so I don’t expect many useful weeks in his first season.
Can Derrius Guice make his mark?
OVER or UNDER 24.5 final fantasy RB rank for Derrius Guice coming off a complicated knee setback.
Brad: OVER. Guice’s road to recovery has been littered with unforeseen twists — three to be exact. That’s the number of additional procedures he needed after his initial ACL surgery, all stemming from infections. Gruden is optimistic the rusher will be available when training camp opens later this summer, but it’s far from a guarantee.
The last time we saw Guice in meaningful action, at LSU, he resembled a runaway beer truck. In 2017, he amassed 3.2 yards after contact per attempt and posted an exceptional 28.7 broken tackle percentage. Tough to wrangle between the pipes, he’s a certifiable power back who consistently plows through bodies for extra yards. If healthy, he should log anywhere between 13-15 touches per game.
Washington, however, isn’t exactly a pristine setting. The offensive line ranked ninth-worst in run-blocking efficiency last year according to Pro Football Focus. Worse, the ‘Skins’ suspect vertical attack could lead to an uncomfortable number of stacked fronts. Throw in the presence of Chris Thompson and possibly Bryce Love on pass downs and it’s hard seeing anything more than 1100 total yards with 5-7 scores. Tally it up and Guice is my RB27.
Liz: OVER. I’ve been fascinated with Guice’s journey long before he entered the NFL. Ascending from “the bottom,” the Louisiana native has his named scribbled all over LSU’s record books. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to show off his punishing running style at the next level, tearing his ACL last August.
There are conflicting reports as to whether or not he’ll be ready for training camp, which is part of the reason I’m down on the former Tiger. Mix in a crowded backfield that could include the ageless Adrian Peterson vulturing TDs as well as Chris Thompson and/or Bryce Love working in on passing downs and Guice’s upside is limited. Add in a limited number receiving threats available to stretch the field and the presence of inevitable stacked boxes further depress Guice’s stock. He’s my RB26.
Wide Receiver Roundup
Which wideout is the most fantasy rosterable in 12-team .5 PPR formats: Josh Doctson, Trey Quinn, Paul Richardson or Terry McLaurin?
Andy: Trick question, because none of these guys are particularly desirable. I won’t fight you for any member of the Washington receiving corps. I expect DOCTSON to lead this team in receiving touchdowns with, like, four. Maybe five. QUINN has a shot to lead the team in receptions with, say, 65. Excited? No, of course not.
Liz: This question has been cancelled. Flip a coin and pray.
Best Ball Bargain Bin
Andy: CHRIS THOMPSON is still around, likely to produce a pair of games in which he converts seven touches into 90 yards and one or two scores.
Brad: BRYCE LOVE. Two years ago Love was the finest RB prospect in the college game. Unfortunately, though, his efforts declined sharply in 2018. Most damaging, a knee injury prematurely ended his season. He’ll be brought along slowly to start, but there’s a chance he could flourish if gifted an opportunity over the regular season’s second half. The talent is most certainly there.
Mad Bets (From FanDuel Sportsbook): Washington 6 wins OVER (-135) or UNDER (+115)
Brad: OVER. Washington’s offense remains a wildcard, but adding Montez Sweat, Reuben Foster and Landon Collins to an already respectable defensive unit suggest seven or eight wins in the crystal ball. Showcasing the 11th-easiest schedule per Vegas win total projections also lends support. Pay the vig.
Andy: PUSH. This team reeks of 6-10.
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