What We Saw: Preseason Week 3

Washington Redskins vs Atlanta Falcons

 

Washington Redskins

 

Quarterbacks

 

  • Case Keenum: 9/15, 101 yards, 1 interception
  • Dwayne Haskins: 7/13, 74 yards

 

Case Keenum played the first half and looked like a game manager. The Redskins ran a slow-paced offense, often taking the play clock down below 10 seconds. Combined with a heavy commitment to the running game, Keenum was not asked to do much. Keenum looked frantic when pressured and also had a bad interception. But when the running game was going, he was able to make some plays in the play-action game. Dwayne Haskins played the second half and was asked to do even less than Keenum. Haskins often threw quick dump-off passes to the running backs in between Redskins rushing attempts. Haskins was not used in a way that would hint toward any kind of fantasy relevance just yet.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Derrius Guice: 11 carries, 44 yards | 1 catch, 4 yards
  • Chris Thompson: 3 carries, 20 yards | 2 catches, 4 yards
  • Samaje Perine: 4 carries, 16 yards, 1 touchdown

 

The Redskins seemed committed to giving Derrius Guice a heavy workload as he was given the ball early and often. With Adrian Peterson taking the night off, Guice was the featured running back in the first half. Guice was solid, if unspectacular, though seeing him healthy and playing fast is all that matters. It’s important to note, however, that Chris Thompson spelled Guice on every third-down play in the first half and also took the end of the half drive. Guice will be sharing work with Peterson on early downs, and if he is also losing 3rd down work to Thompson, it is hard to see a high ceiling for him. Samaje Perine took over to start the second half when Haskins entered the game and was average.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Josh Doctson: 1 reception, 16 yards
  • Jordan Reed: 1 reception, 10 yards
  • Cam Sims: 3 receptions, 48 yards
  • Jeremy Sprinkle: 1 reception, 28 yards
  • Kelvin Harmon: 2 catches, 37 yards

 

Jordan Reed left the game in the first half and is being evaluated for a concussion. Stay tuned for updates, but this is an all too familiar sight for Reed. Overall the Redskins pass catchers were asked to do very little in this one, as most of the damage was done as a complement to the passing game through play action. If this is how the Redskins run their offense this year, there is very little hope for much fantasy relevance from this group of receivers. Washington looks like a slow-paced offense that prefers to run the ball and incorporate its tight ends. Trey Quinn did not play with an injured thumb, though he appears close to a return. 

 

 

Atlanta Falcons

 

Quarterbacks

 

  • Matt Ryan: 9/14, 74 yards
  • Danny Etling: 2/6, 19 yards | 7 carries, 48 yards

 

The Falcons passing offense didn’t look explosive in this one, but missing Julio Jones will do that. Matt Ryan looked fine with the Falcons extending a three and out to open the game with a converted fake punt run. Ryan played the whole first half and led Atlanta to a drive that stalled out and resulted in a missed field goal, several drives that ended in punts, and a touchdown drive on a short field after a turnover. Danny Etling was signed last week from the Patriots, where he was attempting to convert to wide receiver. With little knowledge of the playbook, Etling was a zero in the passing game and was often running for his life.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Devonta Freeman: 2 carries, 3 yards | 1 catch, 6 yards
  • Ito Smith: 5 carries, 23 yards, 1 touchdown | 1 catch, 9 yards
  • Brian Hill: 4 carries, 7 yards
  • Qadree Ollison: 12 carries, 42 yards, 1 fumble

 

Devonta Freeman played the first drive and looked healthy, though the stat line doesn’t show much. At one point the Falcons went empty backfield and lined up Freeman out wide where he caught a six-yard pass. Ito Smith began to mix in on the first drive of the game and, after Freeman left, Smith was alternating with Brian Hill for the rest of the half. Smith had one of his best games so far, looking good on his lone reception while later scoring his third touchdown of the preseason. Smith seems to have the backup running back job in hand, which will likely involve him spelling the often injured Freeman from time to time. In the event of an injury to Freeman, Smith would be the best bet to lead the backfield in snaps. Hill was fairly unimpressive in the first half while Qadree Ollison entered after halftime to soak up the second half work. Ollison looks like a between the tackles grinder without much explosiveness, and his lost fumble certainly didn’t help his cause. While Smith was slipping down draft boards recently, he is back on the radar as the handcuff to own for Freeman owners as well as for those looking for a late-round bet against Freeman’s health.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Mohamed Sanu: 3 catches, 23 yards
  • Calvin Ridley: 1 catch, 9 yards
  • Austin Hooper: 1 catch, 2 yards
  • Justin Hardy: 1 catch, 24 yards

 

With Julio Jones taking the night off, the Falcons didn’t air the ball out much on offense. Calvin Ridley played and looked healthy coming off a minor hamstring injury, and he could have had a second reception if Ryan hadn’t underthrown him. Mohammed Sanu and Austin Hooper drew some short looks and appear to have their typical roles in the offense. Once Etling took over in the second half, the passing game disappeared. So, take the Falcons lack of receiving yardage with a grain of salt. Once Jones returns and Ryan opens things up in the regular season, expect there to be more room for the secondary options to work.

 

-Erik Smith

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

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