2019 Fantasy Football: Washington Redskins Expanded Team Outlook
Washington Redskins Team Outlook
In this Washington Redskins Team Outlook, I will focus on each key aspect of the franchise: coaching, the draft, free agency, offensive line, schedule, defense and of course, each relevant Fantasy Football at the key positions: QB, RB, WR, TE and K.
Washington last won a Super Bowl in 1991 under the legendary Joe Gibbs (154-94 with three Super Bowl titles). Jay Gruden has 35-44-1 career record with one playoff appearance in four seasons. He has three years of experience as an offensive coordinator for the Bengals while being a coach in the NFL for 15 seasons. If he has more regression in 2019, Gruden should lose the head coaching job.
The Redskins lost their way offensively again in 2018 leading to a drop to 28th in offensive yards from third in 2016. They scored 61 fewer points (281 – 29th) than the previous season (342). Kevin O’Connell takes over as the offensive coordinator after running the passing game and quarterbacks in 2018. Kevin is a former player who has minimal game action in the NFL over five years. O’Connell has four seasons of coaching experience.
The defense in Washington was a problem for the previous six years before 2018. The Redskins moved to eighth in yards allowed and 17th in points allowed (359). Last year they finished 27th in points allowed (388) and 21st in yards allowed. Greg Manusky returns for his third season as the defensive coordinator after being the linebacker’s coach in 2016. Greg has 11 seasons in the NFL as a defensive coordinator.
Redskins Free Agency
The Redskins acquired Case Keenum to compete for the starting quarterback job after losing Alex Smith in 2018 to an injury. The only other player added to the offense was T Ereck Flowers who projects as a backup.
Washington moved on from QB Josh Johnson, QB Mark Sanchez, RB Byron Marshall, RB Rob Kelley, WR Jamison Crowder, WR Maurice Harris, WR Michael Floyd, G Shawn Lauvao, T Austin Howard, G Jonathan Cooper, C Luke Bowanko, T Ty Nsekhe, G Zac Kerin, and G Arie Kouandjio. The only player with value lost was Crowder who underperformed expectation over the last couple of seasons.
The big signing on defense was S Landon Collins. He’ll move into the starting line with a chance to offer playmaking form if he regains his previous success for the Giants. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the only player added to the defense.
They lost DT Stacy McGee, LB Zach Brown, LB Pernell McPhee, LB Preston Smith, and LB Zach Vigil. Brown will leave a void at the linebacking position.
Redskins Draft Picks
First Round pick, 15th overall: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.
Haskins is a big-bodied QB with an NFL arm. He projects a pocket passer with minimal value as a runner. If given time to throw, Dwayne could play well out of the gate. In his college career, he played out of the shotgun on most plays while having plenty of time to throw and talent at WR. I expect him to compete, and win the starting QB job in his rookie season.
First Round pick, 26th overall: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
Sweat brings explosive speed to the LB/DE position while needing to add more strength to help his potential impact value as a pass rusher. His power sits in the middleweight class while expecting him to add more bulk and fight as he develops his game. Montez needs to improve the value of his hands while developing more moves in the pass rush.
Third Round pick, 76th overall: WR Terry McLaurin, Ohio St.
McLaurin has the feel of an upside route runner with deep speed and strength. His initial steps off the line of scrimmage don’t instantly threaten defenders, which is why his game drops down a notch. Terry won’t offer an edge with his hands or his open-field running ability.
Fourth Round pick, 112th overall: RB Bryce Love, Stanford
Love battled injuries in 2018 (torn ACL), which led to him dropping in the draft. Even with some strength, Bryce won’t break a ton of tackles. His speed gives him a chance to beat defenders to the corner while offering home run ability. He plays with smarts and character while needing to improve in pass protection.
Fourth Round pick, 131st overall: G Wes Martin, Indiana
Martin is a power player who owns defenders if he lands his punch, but his blocking window does have limited range. His vision and feel give him an edge after the snap, but his feel can’t correct a misstep or a faulty read. Wes needs to improve when under duress rather than showcasing when he lands the first punch.
Fifth Round pick, 153rd overall: C Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
Pierschbacher looks the part of an upside player with quickness and technique, but he needs to improve his strength. Ross can’t make a difference until he improves his base, which will help correct some of his shortfalls in pass protection.
Fifth Round pick, 173rd overall: LB Cole Holcomb, North Carolina
In the fifth round, the Redskins added LB Cole Holcomb. He plays with speed and vision when attacking the line of scrimmage, but he’s developed better reads off the snap while adding fire to his attack. Holcomb may struggle to get through the bigger bodies at the line of scrimmage.
Sixth Round pick, 206th overall: WR Kelvin Harmon, NC St.
WR Kelvin Harmon is the choice in the 6th round. He gives Washington a big WR (6’2” and 220 lbs.) with strength. His speed and quickness don’t create separation while offering strong hands. Even with power, Harmon isn’t a lock to win vs. physical corners in press corners.
Seventh Round pick, 227th overall: CB Jimmy Moreland, James Madison
Moreland lacks size (5’10” and 180 lbs.) while offering a playmaking skill set. He has a physical style that has more upside when he adds more strength. He’ll struggle with size while needing to improve his technique when retreating while facing the line of scrimmage. Jimmy will have risk in run support.
Seventh Round pick, 253rd overall: DE Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma St.
Brailford is another attacking player who plays with acceleration and follow through. His hands grade well along with a winning motor. After the snap, his quickness disrupts with the punch and moves to land the QB on the mat. Jordan doesn’t have the size (6’3’ and 250 lbs.) to win as many battles close to the line of scrimmage while needing to add discipline and patience to his game.
The Redskins ranked 17th in rushing yards (1,774) in 2018 with 12 TDs. Their runners gained over 20 yards on seven plays while gaining 4.3 yards per rush.
Washington finished 28th in passing yards (3,021) with 16 TDs and 15 Ints. Their offensive line allowed 44 sacks and 98 QB hits.
LT Trent Williams
Williams missed three games in 2018 with a thumb injury in late October. While on the field, Trent played at a high level in pass blocking with growth as well in the run game. Washington drafted him fourth overall in 2010. When healthy, Williams is one of the better left tackles in the league.
LG Ereck Flowers
Flowers continues to underperform his 2015 Draft Value (First Round Pick). Last year he played his way off the Giants’ roster, which to him playing out the last eight games for the Jaguars. Ereck struggled in run blocking for two straight years while never being an edge in pass protection. This season he’ll try to shift to guard to help stabilize his fading skill set.
C Chase Roullier
Roullier started all 16 games in 2018 after being drafted the sixth round in 2017. His game improved as the season moved on in pass blocking while rarely delivering success in the run game.
RG Brandon Scherff
Scherff has been an asset in each year in the league after getting drafted in the first round in 2015. Last year he missed eight games with a pectoral injury. Brandon continues to improve in pass protection with success in run blocking in most seasons. Last year he did come up short ion his responsibilities in the run game.
RT Morgan Moses
Moses played at a high level in 2016 and 2017 after struggling in his rookie year, but he had regression in each of the last two seasons. His best value tends to be in run blocking. Washington rewarded him with a five-year extension in April of 2017. Morgan is a former third-round pick.
OT Geron Christian
He needs to add more strength in his upper body to improve his success in run blocking on quick-hitting plays. His foot speed grades well in pass protection while showing the ability to be a move blocker. Christian comes with useful base techniques except for his hands, which may come with more fire in his guns. His next step in his development comes from deciding when to attack or let the defender come to him.
In his rookie season, Christian saw minimal playing time after tearing his MCL in November. Geron has the talent to push his way into the Redskins’ starting lineup if he recovers from his knee surgery.
O-Line Fantasy Outlook
Washington’s offensive line should improve in all areas. They have two questionable spots in the starting lineup (left guard and center). At the very least, this offensive line will be league average with some upside.
The above data shows the strength of schedule as far as rushing attempts (RATT), rushing yards (YDS), yards per attempt rushing (YA), rushing touchdowns (TDs), completions (COMP), passing attempts (PATT), passing yards (YDS), yards per attempt passing (YA), and passing touchdowns (TDS).
This information is based on 2018, which will work as our starting point for 2019. We’ll look at all the changes on offense on each team in the NFL plus the upgrades and downgrades on each team on the defensive side. We’ll update this table when we finish the research on all 32 teams.
- LG Average = the league average of all stats from all 32 teams in 2018.
- Results = this is the results for each team in the NFL.
- Adjustment is based on the 2018 league average and the 2018 results for each team, this number will show if each team is above or below the league average in each stat category and the basis for the strength of schedule.
Schedule Fantasy Outlook
The Redskins start the year with three tough games (PHI, DAL, and CHI) for their rushing attack while also playing the Cowboys and the Eagles in Week 15 and Week 17. Their only favorable matchup on the ground comes against the Dolphins.
Washington should have success passing the ball in two contests (PHI X 2) with two games vs. teams that played well defending the pass in 2018 (MIN and BUF).
A quarterback and running back injury led to Washington ranking much lower than expected offensively in 2018. Their passing attack barely had a pulse while looking to be balanced on offense. This year the Redskins will be in transition offensively with a lot of moving parts.
As a sophomore for Ohio State with a starting job, Haskins passed for 4,831 yards with 50 TDs and eight Ints. His completion rate (70.0) edged out Kyler Murray while offering no upside as a runner (79/108/4). Dwayne comes to the NFL with a big arm and with prototypical size (6’3” and 220 lbs.). Most of his snaps came out of the shotgun in college while receiving a big passing window on a high-volume of plays. His game gives me a Philip Rivers feel while looking stronger with more rip on his throws.
Haskins can extend plays with subtle movements in the pocket, but his lack of trust in his speed kills his chances of breaking many runs over three yards. Dwayne will be a threat to beat defenses in the deep passing game while needing to improve his decision making when forced to settle for mid-level throws. If he lands on a team with a lousy offensive line, Haskins won’t be a difference maker early in his career. Upside talent who will be best served out of the gate as a game manager than volume passer on a weak team.
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The Redskins lack talent at WR with questionable upside at TE, which paints a low upside picture for Haskins in his rookie season if he wins the starting job. I like his future upside, but Dwayne would only be a QB3 option in the Fantasy market in 2019.
After an impactful showing with the Vikings in 2017 (11-3 with 3,547 passing yards and 22 TDs), Keenum floundered over 16 games last year for Denver. He finished with 3,890 passing yards with 18 TDs and 15 Ints. His completion rate (62.3) came in below his success in Minnesota (67.6). His experience gives him the inside track at the starting job in September while lacking a playable window in any format.
Other Options: Colt McCoy, Josh Woodrum, Alex Smith
A preseason injury to Derrius Guice created a 16-game starting opportunity for Peterson after being a free agent before the season. He finished with 1,250 combined yards with eight TDs and 20 catches. Adrian rushed over 1,000 yards in eight years in the NFL, pushing him to 8th all-time in rushing yards (13,318). This season he’ll compete with Guice for the lead role for the Redskins. Derrius suffered a torn ACL in his left knee last August while battling an infection in December. Peterson will start the year at age 34. I expect him to be the early-down back in September for Washington while losing momentum once Guice regains his health. A fair starting point would be 150 touches for 700+ yards with a handful of TDs.
Over his last two seasons at LSU, Guice rushed for 2,638 yards with 29 TDs plus 27 catches for 230 yards. His yards per rush (7.6) and yards per catch (11.8) were much more impressive in 2016. Those two stats fell to 5.3 and 6.9 last year. The difference in his previous two seasons in college came down to more long runs in 2016. Derrius will attack the line of scrimmage if the play calls for him to be a north/south runner plus run with vision and acceleration to the outside.
His burst upfield is sneaky leading to defenders being left in the dust if they fail to take the correct angle on a tackle. Guice creates space and separation with his quick cut and the ability to downshift and upshift in a matter of a couple of steps. He’ll break many tackles while also taking some unnecessary hits in his quest to finish runs. Derrius has a talent for breaking out of tight quarters when a play looks dead in the water.
Last season Washington’s RB ran the ball 329 times for 1,415 yards and 11 TDs. Their RBs gained only 4.3 yards per rush with only seven runs over 20 yards. Guice is a player who will upgrade the Redskins rushing attack and prove to be a factor at the goal line once he regains his health. His passing catching upside will be limited with Chris Thompson scheduled to be the third-down back. Derrius will handle his responsibilities in pass protection while still adding some value in the passing game. I don’t like players coming off significant injuries, so I'll sit out the 2019 season with any Guice investments unless his price point is dirt cheap.
Update 8/16/2019: Derrius Guice continues to get drafted as the starting RB for Washington, but he still hasn't been cleared for contact. He sat out the first two preseason games, and I don't expect him to play in any games until the regular season while being limited in his touches in September.
Two games into the 2018 football seasons, Fantasy owners thought they struck gold with Thompson after he gained 228 combined yards with 19 catches and one TD on 28 touches. He struggled over the next two weeks (79 combined yards with seven catches) before suffering rib and knee injuries in Week 5. He missed six of the next seven games while failing to make an impact over the last five games of the season (124 combined yards with 13 catches). Chris finished with 446 combined yards with 41 catches and one TD in what amounted to about a half-season of playing time.
Last year the Redskins’ RBs caught 81 passes for 613 yards and three TDs on 108 targets. Thompson will be the third-down/change of pace back with his best value coming in a chaser game. Possible 65+ catches with 850 combined yards and between four and six TDs.
After Christian McCaffrey left Stanford for the Panthers, Love rushed for 2,118 yards with 19 TDs while offering minimal value in catches (6/33). The next season he battled injuries during the year before his season ended with a torn ACL in his right knee. Bryce finished with 838 combined yards with six TDs and 20 catches in his senior year. His time/opportunity won’t come until 2020.
Other Options: Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall, Craig Reynolds
Over the last two seasons, Doctson received the same number of targets (78), leading to two short years (35/502/6 and 44/532/2). His catch rate (56.4) in 2018 was much better than the previous season (44.9), which was helped by shorter yards per catch (12.1). Josh finished with only one game with over 70 yards (4/84) and only two games (5/49 and 6/66) with more than four catches. Possible growth in his third full season of game action, but I don’t see an impact player. Washington is thin at WR, which create a viable opportunity. His next step should put him in a range with 55+ catches for 650+ yards and a handful of TDs.
In 2017, Richardson flashed at times for the Seahawks, which led to 44 catches for 703 yards and six TDs on 80 targets. In his seven games for Washington, Paul managed only 20 catches for 262 yards and two TDs on 35 targets while failing to score over 12 Fantasy points in any game. His season ended with a shoulder injury that required surgery in early November. The Redskins hope to have him ready for the start of training camp. Nothing more than a WR5 gamble with a chance to offer some big play ability.
Update 8/16/2019: After coming off the injury report in August with his recovery for his shoulder injury, Paul Richardson landed back on the injury list with a minor quad injury. Richardson should be ready for the start of the year while having question starting Fantasy opportunity.
With their last draft selection in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Washington added WR Trey Quinn. In the NFL, Quinn will need to earn his keep out the slot where his quickness and route running will offer the most value. Trey comes with good hands while needing to add more strength. Scouts question his value in the deep passing game, which is using an old-school mentality. Quinn has a short resume of success, and he’ll have to prove he can beat better defenders in the NFL. Washington should give him the first opportunity out of the slot in 2019. In his junior season at SMU, Trey caught 114 balls for 1,236 yards and 13 TDs. Worth a flier if his summer reports remain positive about his opportunity.
Update 8/16/2019: Trey Quinn drew attention from Fantasy owners in drafts due to his volume pass-catching potential. In August, Quinn suffered a minor thumb injury.
McLaurin brings speed to the Redskins’ offense. After minimal role for Ohio State in 2016 (11/114/2) and 2017 (29/436/6), Terry flashed home run ability in his senior year (35/701/11) while having natural ties to Dwayne Haskins. His route running gives him a chance while needing to improve his release.
Update 8/16/2019: McLaurin has a short resume in college, but he has been getting positive reviews in training camp. His ties to Dwayne Haskins remains positive in his development in his rookie season.
Other Options: Kelvin Harmon, Brian Quick, Cam Sims, Robert Davis, Jehu Chesson, Darvin Kidsy
Based on name value, Reed still commands attention in drafts while living on his excellent 2015 season (87/952/11). Last year Jordan did a decent job when on the field (54/558/2 on 84 targets), but his catch rate (64.3) was well below his previous resume (76.0). He played in Week 11 (7/71/1) and Week 12 (6/76) before suffering a foot injury that ended his season. In his career, Reed missed 31 if 96 games. He’s the best receiving option on the Redskins while bringing injury risk. In 2018, Washington’s TEs caught 85 passes for 980 yards and four TDs on 127 targets, which shows the upside of his opportunity. Easy 70+ catches for 85+ yards and a team-high in TDs if he plays 16 full games.
Other Options: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle, Matt Flanagan, J.P. Holtz, Donald Parham
Over the last three and half seasons with Washington, Hopkins made 85.3 percent of his 116 field goal chances over 55 games. In 2018, he made 26 of his 29 FG tries with success from 50 yards or longer (4-for-5). In his career, Dustin made nine of his 18 chances from long range while making 118 of his 124 extra-point chances. Washington scored 29 TDs last year with only 29 field goal chances. Solid leg, but he’ll be a tough Fantasy start without a huge step up in offensive production for the Redskins.
Washington Redskins Defensive Schedule
Most of the matchups for Washington in 2019 look to fall in a mid-tier range. They have three favorable games vs. the Vikings and the Eagles (2). Their toughest time defending the run will come against New England Carolina while both the Giants and the Cowboys have elite RBs.
The Redskins will be challenged in the passing game in six contests (GB, NE, PHI X 2, and NYG x 2) with three of those games coming over weeks 14, 15, and 16. They face three teams (MIA, BUF, and NYJ) with risk passing the ball plus three other mid-tier games (CHI and DAL x 2).
Washington Redskins Defense
Washington moved to 17th in rushing yards allowed (1,860). Ball carriers gained 4.5 yards per rush with 12 TDs plus only six runs over 20 yards.
The Redskins finished 15th in passing yards allowed (3,794) with 27 TDs and 15 Ints. QBs beat them for nine plays of 40 yards or more while their defense picked up 46 sacks.
DT Daron Payne picked up 56 tackles, five sacks, and three defended passes in his rookie season after getting drafted 13th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Payne offered a slight edge in run support. His game is built on power and strength, leading to a massive advantage against the run. His follow through in the pass rush tends to be boring if stalemated at the line of scrimmage. Daron has more speed than initial quickness off the snap.
DE Jonathan Allen was much better in his sophomore year in the NFL leading to 61 tackles and eight sacks after getting drafted in the first round in 2017. Allen has the tools to be an outstanding pass rusher at the next level with enough vision to help vs. the run. Even with talent, quickness, and athletic ability, he does come up short in his size (6’3” and 286 Lbs.) for an interior lineman while lacking the speed to be an impact option on the edge. Jonathan has upside for sure, but Washington needs to get him into favorable matchups as he can lose his value when doubled or facing size.
DE Matthew Ioannidis improved in each year in the NFL in sacks (0. 4.5, and 7.5) while setting a career-high in tackles (31). He tends to offer risk vs. the run.
Mason Foster added the most tackles (131) of his career in 2018, but he still has risk vs. the run with no impact value in the pass rush. Only once in his eight years in the NFL has Mason been an asset on defense.
Ryan Kerrigan is a playmaking beast, which is highlighted by his 37 sacks over the last three seasons. He’ll force plenty of fumbles while adding value to the run defense.
Jon Bostic will play for his fifth different team in 2019 after signing with the Redskins. In 2018, he had 73 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Rookie Montez Sweat should move into the starting lineup after Washington added him in the first round in 2019. His best value early in his career will come rushing the QB, which points to a rotational role.
CB Josh Norman hasn’t been the same player for Washington over the last two seasons. His defended passes slipped in nine in 2017 and 2018 after picking up 37 defended passes over the two previous years. He continues to add plenty of value in tackles (64) despite some risk in run support due to missed tackles.
CB Fabian Moreau saw the most action of his young career in 2018, but he allowed too many big plays and a high catch rate. He’ll help in coverage while needing improvement in his cover skills.
S Landon Collins was a stud in 2016 for the Giants when he delivered 125 tackles with four sacks, five Ints, and 13 defended passes. A change in scenery should lead to an impactful season in all areas especially if the Redskins can pressure the QB.
Montae Nicholson will battle Troy Apke for the other starting safety job in Washington. Nicholson chipped in with 41 tackles in 14 games while showing risk in coverage. Apke missed most of his rookie season with a hamstring injury.
Apke offers dynamic speed (4.34) from the safety position with great short-area quickness. He plays with vision, but his strength and finishing ability aren’t where it needs to be an edge in the NFL. Troy tends to be a thinker while learning the safety position, which puts him behind the play at times. His instincts when the ball is in the air tends to be late vs. top WR talent.
Redskins Fantasy Defense Outlook
The defense in Washington is moving in the right direction. Their defensive line has two elite players while offering a playmaker at linebacker, safety, and cornerback. The other supporting cast has enough talent to give the Redskins playable Fantasy value in multiple games in 2019. More of second defense with matchup value than a plug-in and play.