Your 2015 NFC East champion Washington Redskins. I didn’t expect to be saying that when the 2015 season started.
The Redskins found their quarterback, and the NFL is a QB-driven league. Kirk Cousins led the NFL in completion percentage. I’m guessing that's because he had Jordan Reed healthy for the majority of the season. A team with a good QB is always a team to target in the fantasy world.
In 2015, Alfred Morris was drafted as one of the safest running back options in fantasy, but he only had 86.6 fantasy points. It's a new season and a new look in the Washington backfield. What once was a model of consistency is now high-risk, high-reward. Matt Jones has all the talent in the world. He’s big, fast, and can catch the ball. He also has lapses of focus and fumbles, and he was just was flat out ineffective last year. The Redskins also have Chris Thompson, a pass catcher extraordinaire, and the 7th round rookie Keith Marshall (RB). This is a backfield that could potentially win a few titles, or it could cost you at the position.
Kirk Cousins (QB) – 4000 yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs.
I loved seeing Kirk Cousins play well. Cousins was 4166, 29, and 11 with a near 70% completion percentage in 2015, his first season as a full-time starter. Cousins was much better when DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed were healthy, but who wouldn’t be? They draft a very talented rookie Josh Doctson (WR) in the first round. This will only help Cousins. Cousins is in the low-end QB1/streamer range. After last year, I can see him being over drafted. If you’re able to pair him with another low-end QB1/streamer, you can play the matchups. That's the best strategy for success with Cousins, who plays a first place schedule in 2016.
Matt Jones (RB) – 1050 yards, 8 TDs, 30 catches, 350 yards, 1 TD.
Jones is the hardest Redskin to project. I like Keith Marshall, but he was injured his whole college career at UGA and was a 7th round pick. I bring that up to bring this up: Matt Jones has no one to challenge him for running down touches. Jones had almost 500 yards rushing and 300 receiving in 2015. Those are not impressive numbers, but they were in 13 games and while splitting time with Alfred Morris. Jones will make or break a lot of fantasy teams in 2016, and he is a player I will be targeting with a Zero-RB strategy.
DeSean Jackson (WR) – 50 catches, 800 yards, 5 TDs.
DJax is the ultimate boom or bust player. He is a perfect flex option for a team needing to make up points. He could catch 3 for 180 yards and 3 TDs, or 3 for 14. Kirk Cousins is much better when DJax is playing because of Jackson's ability to take the top off the defense. I won’t have a ton of shares of DJax, but if you want a risk/reward WR, there are very few players that fit that bill quite like Jackson
Jordan Reed (TE) – 85 catches, 950 yards, 11 TDs.
Jordan Reed is good at football. Reed is going to make his QB a lot of money. Reed could potentially be the best tight end in fantasy. Yes, that sounds like blasphemy, but if Reed stays healthy, he could challenge Gronk for the top TE spot. Last season Reed went for 87 for 952 with 11 TDs - in 14 games. That’s the biggest problem with Reed: health.
If he plays a full 16 games, he should be around the 100/1000/10+ mark. I’ve seen Reed go as early as the second round in drafts so, if you want him, you have to draft him early.
Josh Doctson (WR).
Doctson, in my opinion, was the most polished WR coming out of the 2016 NFL Draft. There is a logjam in Washington at the wide receiver position. DJax has his position pretty well figured out. Outside of that, there is a lot of doubt. I don’t believe that Garcon will be on the roster when the season starts, so I think the Redskins receivers will shake down like this: DJax on the outside, Doctson between outside and inside, and Jamison Crowder on the inside. Those targets have to go somewhere, and Doctson should be the guy. I can see Doctson leading the WR in catches. He’s a late-round flier type, which could get you a few really good weeks, and fantasy football is a week to week game.
Pierre Garcon (WR).
Like I said before, I don’t believe Garcon will make the roster. I don’t expect anyone to get excited about Garcon. I believe he’s the 4th best WR on the roster and won’t be paid like that. Even if Garcon makes the roster, he’ll soon be pushed out by Doctson and Crowder. Don’t draft Garcon!
The Redskins should be fun to watch. For all of my friends in the NFC East, I don’t believe they are going away without a fight.