In the first year of the post-RG3 era, the 2015 Redskins unearthed their new star quarterback in Kirk Cousins – on the strength of his arm, the Redskins were able to capture the NFC East in 2015 with a record of 9-7, earning them a playoff run that would end on a loss to Green Bay in the first round. The Redskins also switched to a multi-running-back system with mixed results, alternating power and speed, depending upon the situation-at-hand. Overall, though, as the NFC East has been perennially up-for-grabs, the Redskins have established a firm foundation to build upon, but may still require game-changing superstar talent on both sides of the football in order to take their team and your fantasy team to the next level.
TE Jordan Reed
Let’s take a look at TE Jordan Reed’s stats from last year for a moment: 14 games, 87 receptions (second-highest of all TEs), 952 yards (fifth-highest of all TEs), 11 TDs (tied for second-highest of all TEs); mind you, he missed two games. With Washington having lost their deep-threat receiver DeSean Jackson earlier in the 2015 season, the Redskins had to play their passing game a little closer to the heart, so to speak, and this is where Jordan Reed has thrived – to be fair, he’s been fairly injury prone since the 2013 season, but even so, his in-game averages have remained surprisingly consistent – he’s been on pace for 900+ receiving yards in each of his three NFL seasons – the only problem is the amount of injuries he’s sustained within a relatively-short time-span. Reed’s stats speak for themselves, though – as long as he can remain healthy, he’s definitely a Top-3 TE1 pick – when tight-ends start going, it would be wise to verify his fantasy availability before looking elsewhere.
QB Kirk Cousins
After being franchise-tagged by the Redskins, quarterback Kirk Cousins is ready to fill Washington’s locker room with a slew of “you like that” chants. Cousins became a breath of fresh air to a troubled Redskins pass-offense after former-headliner Robert Griffin III suffered a nasty concussion during the 2015 NFL preseason. With relatively little known about Cousins, his playing ability shocked fans and ignited the 2015 Redskins with his passing prowess: 69.8% pass completion rate (top-ranking of all QBs, minimum 40 attempts), 4,166 yards (tenth-highest of all QBs), 29 TDs, 11 INTs, and somehow managed to tack on 5 rushing TDs (third-highest of all QBs) to his last-year stats. Even though the rushing TDs might be an aberration, Cousins’ passing accuracy is every bit as real as his stats project. As far as fantasy is concerned, he’s a definite somewhere between a QB1/QB2 look – he’ll likely crack 4,000+ yards in 2016, but there are QBs who will throw for more yards and touchdowns next year than Cousins – if he gets the start on a lineup, though, he surely won’t under-perform.
RB Matt Jones
Matt Jones is a young, big, powerful, fast, explosive running back – if you watch his tape, all of these claims should become pretty apparent. The problem is, he’s part of a committee-back system in Washington, so his stats don’t necessarily speak for his ability. Going into the 2016 season, though, Jones has now become the showcase of the Redskins’ ground game; last year, he was overshadowed by power-back Alfred Morris, who took the majority of the Redskins’ snaps (Morris attempted 202 runs to Jones’ 144). Even though the Redskins’ rushing attack was fairly ineffective last year (1,566, the 20th-lowest total, and the third-lowest average per-attempt at 3.7), with Jones soon to become a more instrumental part of their ground efforts, he should be considered a strong RB2 consideration come next year for fantasy.
Others of note:
- WR DeSean Jackson
- WR Pierre Garcon