2020 Fantasy Preview: Washington Football Team

Marc Salazar continues the 2020 Team Preview series with a fantasy-focused look at the Washington Football Team.

Washington Football Team

 

The 2019 Washington Football Team began the season 0-5 and remained downhill from there. While they managed to earn three wins, all of them came after Jay Gruden was fired in Week 6. Their best player, Trent Williams, held out the entire season and was traded to the 49ers in the off-season. The team’s top draft pick, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, took over as the full-time starter and had the typical rookie ups and downs. Scary Terry McLaurin was a bright spot though and the tandem gives fans something to look forward to. Head coach Ron Rivera takes over and will look to make his presence felt on a team that is in transition but whether or not fantasy owners can benefit remains to be seen.    

 

Quarterback

 

Dwayne Haskins

ADP: 238, QB31

Washington used their first-round pick in 2019, number 15 overall, on Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State. By Week 9 he was starting for a team that was circling the drain and did not have much help for him to succeed. Still, Haskins managed two wins in seven starts (nine appearances). Haskins spent much of his time in the pocket avoiding pressure, taking more than three sacks per game in his starts, and the team did address the holes in the offensive line in the off-season. Haskins is a player that needs to take a big step in his second-year if the team wants to move forward. Reports have been positive for Haskins, who worked hard on his diet and nutrition, and worked hard to become a more vocal leader on the team. Haskins is being overlooked in all but the deepest leagues but he could be a player that takes a big leap forward. Owners should be ready to acquire him quickly should he come out of the gate strong.  

 

Best Case Scenario

Haskins plays a full 16-games, easily cementing himself as the starter moving forward. Haskins tops 3,500 yards and 20 touchdown passes but he also struggles with interceptions.   

 

Worst Case Scenario

Haskins passes for just 150-yards per game and tosses more interceptions than touchdowns. Haskins is benched late in the year, and the team gives clear signs of drafting another quarterback in 2021.    

 

2020 Projection: 237 completions, 390 attempts, 3,125 yards passing, 16 passing touchdowns; 20 carries, 76 yards rushing, 1 rushing touchdown

 

Running Back

 

Adrian Peterson

ADP: 109.2, RB46

Washington running back Adrian Peterson has been fortunate in his time with the team. In 2018 an injury forced Peterson into the lineup and he took advantage by rushing for 1000-yards at age 33. Injury again gave him an opportunity in 2019, and he led the team in carries and yards at age 34. This season, circumstances have vaulted him atop the depth chart, but for how long will be the biggest question. Peterson is likely to start as the early-down back until another option presents himself. Whether that lasts just a few games or most of the season will be the fantasy question owners want to be answered. For now, Peterson is a good target to start the season and can be acquired for a late-round pick. However, Peterson offers little to no upside which could turn off owners.      

 

Best Case Scenario

Peterson leads the team in carries and yards for the third straight year, topping 225 carries and 1,000-yards as the primary early-down and goalline back. 

 

Worst Case Scenario

Peterson begins as the starter but is quickly overtaken as the lead back and has the least productive season of his storied career.   

 

2020 Projection: 167 carries, 682 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns; 22 targets, 13 receptions, 122 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

 

Antonio Gibson

ADP: 83.1, RB36

Antonio Gibson has flown up the draft boards since news broke about the Washington backfield. Gipson is an athletic monster, with a speed score (a measure of speed at a given weight) that is in the 99 percentile, an extraordinary metric for a running back. But is he a running back? At Memphis, in his two-year career, Gibson touched the ball just 77 times, but from a variety of positions. Washington invested a high third-round pick, number 66 overall, mostly because Gibson was electric with those 77 touches averaging 15.6 yards per touch and scoring 14 touchdowns. Some owners see a player with unlimited upside, while others see a gadget player without a true position. Which side is correct could decide fantasy championships. Gibson is worth a pick anytime after the 10th but if his price continues to rise he creeps in the fantasy starter range, which is too rich. 

 

Best Case Scenario

Gibson begins the year making explosive plays and coaches cannot keep him off the field. Gibson assumes the lead back role and tops 1,200 total yards from scrimmage. Gibson finishes inside the Top 20 fantasy running backs.  

 

Worst Case Scenario

Gibson flashes his explosive playmaking ability, but mostly in the return game, and fails to carve out a consistent role in the offense. With very little experience, Gibson learns on the job but sets himself up for a breakout year two. 

 

2020 Projection: 244 carries, 221 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns; 56 targets, 33 receptions, 223 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

 

Bryce Love

ADP: 145, RB55

The forgotten player competing for carries in the crowded Washington backfield is Bryce Love, the team’s fourth-round draft pick in 2019. Love was unbelievably productive in college at Wake Forest, with more than four thousand yards from scrimmage including 2,118 yards rushing his junior season. Love tore his ACL midway through his senior year and sat out his rookie NFL season while recovering. Love is not the athletic marvel that Gibson is, but he has the experience and production being a bell-cow in college. Often those skills will outweigh athletic traits in the NFL. Love is going as an afterthought in drafts and the savvy drafter will want to add Love as the late-round flyer, who could earn the starting role.    

 

Best Case Scenario

Love earns the starting role during the first month of the season and tops 800 yards as the primary early-down back.  

 

Worst Case Scenario

Love takes just a handful of carries, frustrating fantasy owners without a consistent every-week role. 

 

2020 Projection: 110 carries, 474 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns; 27 targets, 17 receptions, 171 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

 

Wide Receiver

 

Terry McLaurin

ADP: 54, WR23

The bright spot of the 2019 season was the emergence of wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Scary Terry started the year off with a bang, scoring 17+ points in his first three games. McLaurin struggled through a long stretch in the middle of the season but he scored ten or more points in 8 of 14 games. That was good enough for a WR29 finish, and an ideal flex starter. McLaurin’s price is currently a fantasy starter and a top 24 finish is certainly possible. McLaurin works within a limited offense which will limit his upside, and it might be tough for him to finish inside the Top 12. If he continues to score touchdowns at a high rate, however, he could continue to overperform from a fantasy perspective.

 

Best Case Scenario

McLaurin finishes inside the Top 20 receivers and is a consistent fantasy starter. McLaurin has his first thousand-yard receiving season and is a red zone monster. 

 

Worst Case Scenario

McLaurin is such a talented receiver, it is hard seeing him finish outside the top thirty fantasy pass catchers. While owners expected more, he remains an ideal flex option. 

 

2020 Projection:  107 targets, 66 receptions, 1,073 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns

 

Steven Sims

ADP: 189, WR79

Steven Sims closed out the 2019 season on a hot streak, with 230 yards and four touchdowns in the final four games. However, most of Sims’ damage came from the slot, which is not an ideal role for fantasy owners looking for consistency. Sims is a player that should not be drafted but is a top option as a matchup streamer.  

 

Best Case Scenario

Sims earns snaps on the outside and receives the second-most targets on the team. He is a player that can be used as a flex play in nearly any week. 

 

Worst Case Scenario

Sims does not earn a consistent role outside of the slot and frustrates owners week to week. Outside of a handful of startable weeks, Sims is not a fantasy asset that should be owned. 

 

2020 Projection: 69 targets, 45 receptions, 478 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns

 

Tight Ends

 

Logan Thomas

ADP: 353, TE36

Projecting who will be the primary tight end in Washington is an exercise in futility. Logan Thomas, Jeremy Sprinkle, and rookie Thaddeus Moss are battling for the role. Thomas is coming off the draft board as the TE36, highest among the available players but owners should look elsewhere when looking for a late-round breakout. This season, the late-round options at tight end are abundant but Washington does not have many promising options. 

 

Best Case Scenario

Thomas has a career year, but all that means is he tops 200 yards receiving. 

 

Worst Case Scenario

Thomas is cut in pre-season and other options emerge for Washington. 

 

2020 Projection: 35 targets, 22 receptions, 266 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

 

 

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

One response to “2020 Fantasy Preview: Washington Football Team”

  1. Mike sal says:

    Great insight. Thanks

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