2013 was a bit of a mess for the Redskins that left them with a new head coach and a revamped receiving corp in 2014. Clearly, the key to the offense is Robert Griffin III. He showed major rust last season coming off his 2012 playoffs knee injury and will need to return to his rookie form if the Redskins are going to win back the NFC East crown. The ‘Skins have some intriguing fantasy options this year, so let’s break them down:
The success of the Washington Redskins in 2014 largely depends on the progression of Robert Griffin III in his third year in the league. Likewise, drafting him on your fantasy team will likely make or break your 2014 campaign. Hampered last year recovering from a knee injury and questions surrounding his focus and dedication, I would expect Griffin to have a bounce back year. He’s still down in sixth to ninth QB off the board range, but with the addition of DeSean Jackson and another year of chemistry with Pierre Garçon, bank on RGIII getting you steady fantasy production with a few monster games this season.
Star running back Alfred Morris is definitely the Redskin player to keep an eye on the most. Whenever a new regime gets into town, as has happened in Washington, there could always be a change in offensive focus or philosophy. Morris was a beneficiary of former head coach, Mike Shanahan’s run-heavy, zone-blocking schemes. Will that be the case under new coach Jay Gruden? Gruden claims it will, but it will ultimately be a wait and see game. Morris should still be a reliable RB1 as he has shown a knack for hard, downhill, between the tackle running, and squeezing every last yard out of his runs. Perhaps the biggest question besides his fit in the new offense: Will the Redskins will be in enough games to keep the ball on the ground and in Alf’s hands?
The Redskin’s two top wideouts, Garçon and Jackson, are both fringe WR1/WR2 guys. Jackson will probably end up being drafted first in most leagues since he’s the bigger name and the flashier player, but I’d go with Garçon first. He has more chemistry with Griffin, he has been a proven and reliable target, and I fully expect RGIII to continue to target him early and often. Garçon had the second most targets of any receiver last season with 176. That number will drop now that Jackson and his gang (sorry, had to) are in town, but it will also mean Garçon won’t constantly be in double coverage. Jackson will get his fair share of targets, too, as his downfield skill set is the perfect complement to Garçon’s dink-and-dunk underneath game.
Jordan Reed is a tough player to project for in 2014. He has a few things going for him: After a slow start to his rookie season, he really broke through from October through mid-November before going down with a concussion. He should build on his strong rookie campaign, and Jay Gruden will want to get the ball downfield a lot so that should benefit Reed as well. What he’s got going against him: The Redskins have a lot of weapons on offense and there are only so many balls to go around. In addition to Garçon, Jackson, and Morris, the Redskins’ third receiver, Andre Roberts, while probably not worth a draft choice, is no scrub himself. When all is said and done, I expect him to build on last season and end up being a the seventh to tenth best TE this year.
This will be brief: They suck. There should be no reason to ever roster the Redskins’ defense or their kicker, Kai Forbath. Forbath has an outside chance of being rosterable if the ‘Skins offense comes together and they start putting up points, but he also has competition from rookie Zack Hocker. Now that this article has been dragged down by two kickers, let’s wrap it up.
The Redskins should certainly be better than they were in 2013 and that will pay dividends fantasy wise. I expect the offense to roll with RGIII, Garçon, Jackson, and Morris. However, the defense is still highly suspect and that could dampen Morris’ impact if the Redskins are constantly playing from behind late in games.
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