Fantasy Team Preview: Washington Redskins

What the Redskins weren’t in 2008 was an offensive juggernaut. A team that finished 8th in rushing and last in interceptions thrown was 28th in points scored. A 7-4 record in November turned into an 8-8 finish. Rookie coach Jim Zorn is back. The skill players are back. Yet, most people consider this a fourth-place team in the touch NFC East.

The constant refrain on Jason Campbell is that he’s had a different offensive coordinator from college through his three years as a pro. This year, he has continuity. He also listened to offseason chatter about the Redskins trading for Jay Cutler or Mark Sanchez. Campbell smartly made no negative comments and is still the starter. His six interceptions is laudable. 14 total touchdowns is less so. He could be a fantasy backup, but you’re not going to be excited about it.

Doesn’t it seem like Clinton Portis has been in the league longer than seven years? He finished with almost 1500 yards rushing and 1700 total yards. He’s not the sexy pick that he was when averaging 5.5 yards a carry during his two years in Denver. Fantasy experts worry about the magic 370 touches as a sign that a back’s going to suffer in the following season. Portis had 372 touches in 2007 and 370 in 2008. He may slip to 360 this year. Ladell Betts is the backup worth rostering in deeper leagues.

The Redskins, owners of pro sports’ most offensive name, spent two high draft picks on wideouts last April. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly had 18 catches total. Brandon Marshall had 18 catches in one game. Thomas could start this year and has sleeper potential. Last year’s #3 receiver for Washington, Antwaan Randle-El, had 53 catches. Excited yet?

Santana Moss has been a fantasy tease since his breakout #3 finish in 2005. Last year he finished with 79 catches, 1044 yards, and six touchdowns, and another one via punt return. Last I checked, he was ranked around 23rd among receivers, so he could be a slight value.

The real number two wideout for the Redskins is Chris Cooley. He might have been the last good player to come out of Utah State. He finished eighth among tight ends for one reason. He caught one touchdown pass. His previous career low was six. He set a career high in yards and receptions. Considering how little you’re hearing about the second-year wideouts and tight end Fred Davis, I’d say that Cooley represents draft-day value.

Shaun “not of the dead” Suisham and Dave Rayner will battle for he kicker job. Considering how bad the Skins were at scoring touchdowns, this could be a good pick as your K2.

The D does not look stout with its 2008 big numbers of 24 sacks, 13 interceptions, 11 fumbles recovered and one special teams touchdown. The upside is that Albert Haynesworth has been added to the DL. Haynesworth should help the team move up to around 40 sacks.

If you draft defensive tackles, Haynesworth is the position’s Adrian Peterson. As a defensive lineman, he’s a pretty solid second starter. DE Andre Carter should be the main beneficiary.

Starters at linebacker are London Fletcher (solid tackle guy), Rocky McIntosh (weakside) and Brian Orakpo (strongside). Orakpo, the first-round pick, is intriguing because he’s likely to play linebacker on running downs and defensive end on passing downs. He could be a good play.

Laron Landry is the defensive back of note. Whoever wins the strong safety job (Chris Horton or Reed Doughty) could help you as well. Fred Smoot, Carlos Rogers, and DeAngelo Hall will be the main cornerbacks.

It’s possible that the Redskins surprise and contend for a playoff spot. Other than Clinton Portis, do not expect a lot of fantasy fireworks out of this team.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes