What We Saw: Week 1

Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Redskins

 

Washington Redskins

 

Quarterback

 

  • Case Keenum: 30/44, 380 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 sack

 

Case Keenum spent the first half of the game looking like an All-Pro Quarterback. He had a ton of time in the pocket, maintained composure, and sent pinpoint strikes to his receivers play after play. He seemed to always find a wide-open man and he threw beautiful dimes. Even without Trent Williams on the field, he seemed to have an eternity to throw. However, in the third quarter, he overthrew rookie receiver Terry McClaurin on what should have been an easy 73-yard touchdown. After that, things appeared to unravel. He began to see more pressure and his accuracy declined. He still put up great numbers in the game, but he certainly appeared to lose composure once the Eagles ate into the Redskins 17 point lead and completely dominated the time of possession.  Keenum could be a viable streaming option but shouldn’t be seen as an ironclad week-to-week starter despite the impressive Week 1 stat line.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Derrius Guice: 10 rushes, 18 yards, 3 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards
  • Chris Thompson: 3 carries, 10 yards, 10 targets, 7 receptions, 68 yards

 

With Adrian Peterson a healthy scratch, Derrius Guice was given the lion share of rushing work. The only problem was that he had absolutely nowhere to run. He was stuffed at the line of scrimmage on almost every rushing attempt. While he is likely to see a ton of volume this season, he showed little to demonstrate the ability to take advantage of that opportunity. Moreover, his line did little to give him lanes with which to work, which obviously hinders his upside. He tried his best to make moves to create opportunities for himself, but rarely committed to a gap and showed little burst. If you drafted him then you’re keeping him, but don’t look to acquire him if he isn’t already on your roster. The volume is there, sure, but I don’t see him doing much in the way of winning you games.

Chris Thompson led all Redskins in targets, which is not terribly surprising considering his receiving ability. He’s a value play in point-per-reception formats.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Terry McClaurin: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD
  • Vernon Davis: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 59 yards, 1 TD
  • Paul Richardson: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 36 yards
  • Trey Quinn: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards, 1 TD
  • Kevin Harmon: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards
  • Jeremy Sprinkle: 1 target, 1 reception, 8 yards

 

With Case Keenum spreading the ball to a wide variety of targets (his first 7 completions were to six different receivers), it’s hard to imagine more than one of these guys proving to be consistently fantasy relevant. However, Terry McClaurin absolutely stole the show for the Redskins on Sunday. He not only displayed his big-play ability with a deep touchdown catch with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter but also flashed contested catch ability with a beautiful sideline fight-and-catch against Ronald Darby a few minutes later. He would have had almost 200 receiving yards on the day if Keenum hadn’t overthrown him deep in the third quarter. He already looks like the real deal and should be the top target on this team. The only question is whether we should expect more of what we saw in the first half or the second half from the Redskins. If it’s the former, McClaurin could be a great addition to your fantasy roster and an intriguing option in DFS formats. 

Vernon Davis had a wild hurdle and scamper for a 48-yard touchdown in the first quarter that really had no business happening. However, that fluke play showed that he still possesses freak athletic ability. He’s not a terrible fill-in play at TE, but don’t expect a gravity-defying broken play to happen every week.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

 

Quarterback

 

  • Carson Wentz: 28/39, 313 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, 1 sack

 

The Eagles looked lackluster in the first half of the game. They looked rusty and quickly fell behind 17-0 to a Redskins team that appeared to be firing on all cylinders. Carson Wentz struggled early and appeared distraught under pressure and missed his guys on what should have been easy completions. However, Philly eventually the ball got rolling and once it rolled, it rolled. In the second half, Wentz reminded the world how good he could be. The Eagles absolutely dominated the time of possession after halftime, largely due to Wentz’s incredible accuracy. He seemed to always make the right throw, throwing guys open and avoiding turnovers. He’s an absolute machine, and he’s got the weapons around him to be consistently successful. I regret passing on him in my drafts this year.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Darren Sproles: 9 carries, 47 yards, 3 targets, 3 receptions, 16 yards, 0 TDs
  • Jordan Howard: 6 carries, 44 yards, 3 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards, 0 TDs
  • Miles Sanders: 11 carries, 25 yards, 2 targets, 1 reception, 2 yards, 0 TDs

 

What a headache. Darren Sproles looked great and saw a surprising amount of volume. Jordan Howard was used in the receiving game (and looked good–he caught one pass that appeared destined for his cleats). Miles Sanders showed that he is a more-than-competent pass blocker. This could be a very game-dependent backfield and will certainly be hard to project on a weekly basis. Every guy looked like a viable multi-role player. Darren Sproles showed the most in his performance, and you wouldn’t be wrong to say he lead the backfield on Sunday, but I doubt that today’s usage will be the norm moving forward.

Jordan Howard’s usage in the passing game was a bit surprising. He also showed some great patience and vision on a 17-yard scamper with a little over eight minutes left in the fourth. He’s unlikely to return anything more than RB3 numbers, but that’s more than enough to serve as an unfortunate damper on Miles Sanders’ upside. 

Speaking of Miles Sanders, he saw some goalline opportunities (which were unfortunately stuffed) and had a 21-yard touchdown called back due to a penalty by J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. He’s the guy I would be most interested in for fantasy purposes, but, again, there’s not going to be much weekly consistency from this group.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

  • Desean Jackson: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 154 yards, 2 TDs
  • Zach Ertz:  7 targets, 5 receptions, 54 yards
  • Alshon Jeffery:  6 targets,5 receptions, 49 yards, 1 TD 
  • Dallas Goedert: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
  • Nelson Agholor: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards

 

“What could have been” popped into my mind multiple times while watching Desean Jackson play on Sunday afternoon. In his first game in an Eagles uniform since being evicted by Chip Kelly (yikes), Jackson balled out. While at least one of his big touchdowns was very obviously the result of blown coverage (the safety bit on another receiver and left Jackson wide open), Jackson was certainly a favorite target of Carson Wentz in the contest. He didn’t appear to have lost a step despite being well past the notorious “age 30” mark, and he should continue to return fantasy value.

Alshon Jeffery produced on his opportunities and looked like a consistent safety valve for Wentz. He was also thrown open in a tight window in the endzone for a TD. While Jackson certainly stole the limelight with his two huge TDs, Jeffery’s production stemmed from more reliable and consistent plays. He’ll be a viable WR2 option as long as he’s on the field, though his upside isn’t quite at Jackson’s levels.

Zach Ertz was relatively quiet in the contest. He nearly scored on a sideline catch that he brought back toward the center of the field to end the third quarter but was caught up two yards short of the end zone. Look for Dallas Goedert to see a sizeable portion of work. He looked capable of performing all the same feats we’ve come to expect from Zach Ertz, so it wouldn’t really surprise me if Ertz loses value as a result of Goedert’s usage.

 

-Marshal Hickman

 

 

Michael Miklius

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

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