What Fitzpatrick’s Unfortunate Injury Means for WFT

Chris Sanzo previews what lies ahead for offensive stars in Washington.

Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a right hip subluxation (minor dislocation) in the 2nd Quarter of the season opener against the Chargers on Sunday during the play below.

As of now, the Football Team has put Fitzpatrick on the IR and he will not be eligible to play for the next three weeks under the short-term IR rules. He is not expected to miss the entire season, but a 2-month recovery is far more reasonable than a 3-week rest period. The WFT have already said they will not bring in another QB, and at this time, it appears believable. They were always built to run the ball and play solid defense, so there shouldn’t be panic to bring in another QB. Fitz will be back before any playoff run and there are no free agents or trade worthy candidates that would outplay Taylor Heinicke by a margin necessitating a move, sorry Cam. While we wish Fitz a full and speedy recovery, we also look forward to what this means in fantasy terms.

 

Quarterback

 

Taylor Heinicke is not Ryan Fitzpatrick, and it is going to be nearly impossible to generate the passing volume fantasy owners were hoping for this offseason. Heinicke will start in his place, and while he will not give you the spike weeks we see every year from Fitzmagic, he also has a stable floor inside a tight, well-designed offense. WFT’s defense keeps them in games so the game script should very rarely, if ever, dictate the playcalling. He profiles as a QB2, but is probably not worth a roster spot in 1QB leagues.

 

Running Back

 

Antonio Gibson managers got what could be a boost to an already astronomically high ceiling. Combined, both QBs attempted just 21 passes on Sunday, 5 of which were to Gibson. He recorded 20 attempts which tied a career-high, and those 5 targets tied for 2nd. If the passing game can get into any kind of a rhythm, that still offers Gibson a chance at more targets and red zone work. I previously had Gibson ranked as my overall RB5, but now moves up to RB4 behind only CMC, Cook, and Kamara. This change has a minimal effect on J.D. McKissic.

 

Wide Receiver

 

This is not what you wanted to see if you are a Terry McLaurin manager, but it may not be as bad as it feels right now. Heinicke has shown he is happy to push the ball McLaurin’s way and Rivera has likewise shown they want to keep him involved with designed plays, so his floor should not change all that much. He was targeted five times (Four officially because of a Roughing the Passer that led to a “No Play”) with Fitz out, including 2 deep targets. One of the biggest issues working against him will be the schedule. There are very few favorable matchups upcoming but that’s where Fitz was going to help this offense put up big fantasy numbers regardless. He is never afraid to push the ball to his receivers, regardless of result, and McLaurin is one wideout that has the ability to make those plays every week.

It will need to be proven that the targets will be consistent, but there’s no reason to sell right now, even if he has a bad game on a short week against a decent defense. The news being so fresh kills his value and you would be selling at his basement price. He is fade in DFS on a short week, but I would not sit him in seasonal leagues. He slides down from WR8 to WR14 in my overall rankings. Dyami Brown is now nothing more than a speculative stash in deep roster leagues, and if you need the roster space feel comfortable looking elsewhere. Cam Sims is now my preferred 2nd WR over Dyami and Adam Humphries as he seemed to have chemistry with Heinicke and Rivera should up his snap counts to accommodate their new QB.

 

Tight End

 

Logan Thomas was never going to pay off the way fantasy managers wanted this year. He was a warm body to receive targets by default last season before Curtis Samuel and his big contract reunited with Rivera to play the slot. With Samuel still not seeing the field, Thomas may be the one player in the passing game to benefit from the switch in any meaningful sense; provided his snap count can stay afloat when Samuel returns. If he can catch another TD this week, I would consider moving him while at peak value. He moves up in my rankings from TE13 to TE10 overall.

 

(Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

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