2020 Fantasy Football Washington Preview

by Mike Bonni
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The 2019 Washington Redskins going into the year had a little bit of promise. They were bolstering one of the best looking defensive fronts in the league, having drafted multiple first-rounders on the defensive line, while also adding a first-round Quarterback from Ohio State and a fully healthy Derrius Guice. What could go wrong? We're going to dig into that in the 2020 Fantasy Football Washington Redskins Preview.

Well, there was a multitude of things to go wrong actually. Guice got injured forcing an old Adrian Peterson to carry the load at running back, QB play struggled, and they had to deal with the Trent Williams situation all year.

The one bright spot was the chemistry between their young QB Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State, and their young stud WR Terry McLaurin also from Ohio State. Can they build upon last year’s chemistry? Will new Head Coach Ron Rivera, and OC Scott Turner turn this team into a contender? Only time will tell. Enough with talking about regular football, let’s get to the fantasy aspect of the Washington Redskins.

2020 Fantasy Football Washington Preview

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In 2019 the QB’s for the Redskins struggled tremendously which hindered a lot of fantasy value for this team. Haskins didn’t start until Week 9 where he looked just average. He ended up with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions on the year.

Unfortunately, 2020 can end up being the same old story. Dwayne Haskins will come into the season as the starter with a decent amount of praise coming his way during the offseason.

According to Pro Football Focus, only Gardner Minshew(70.3) had a higher PFF grade than Dwayne Haskins(67.6) among rookies beating out the likes of Daniel Jones(65.7) and Kyler Murray(64.2). Haskins had significantly less playing time than the players mentioned above.

Haskins also had a higher BTT percentage(big-time throw) than Kyler Murray who is currently ranked as QB5 according to FantasyPros. So we know he can make big plays evident by his stats with Terry McLaurin which I go into later in this article.

Right now Haskins ranked QB28 according to FantasyPros and QB29 by our staff and is nothing more than a streaming QB. If he continues to improve as they say and his chemistry with McLaurin stays intact he has a real possibility of being a league winner coming off the waiver wires.

He must improve because Kyle Allen will be breathing down his back. Allen has no fantasy value right now but if he replaces Haskins I believe he will be nothing more than a streamer. Last year he definitely didn’t set the world on fire, finishing with 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Running Backs

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The Redskins are coming into the year with a new head coach Ron Rivera and new Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner, son of Norv Turner. The play-calling duties will fall on Scott Turner who previously called plays for the Carolina Panthers for the last four games of the year of 2019.

According to CBS Sports Fantasy during those four games the Panthers only had a play call run percentage of 32. If Scott Turner calls plays in any way that his dad called plays you should still see a lot of value in the RB’s still. According to the same CBS Sports article, Norv Turner throughout his play-calling career had a 58 to 42 pass/run ratio with 22.8 rushes per game. I expect Scott Turner to implement a little bit more of a balanced playbook.

Don’t let the 32% of run calls sway you away from the Redskins RB’s though. They still have Derrius Guice who if he can stay healthy should provide solid fantasy value.

He tore his ACL two years ago and last year he tore his meniscus in the first game. Guice returned with limited opportunities but showed what he can do in a Week 13 game against the Panthers where he had 129 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns.

He is currently being ranked as RB 31. I believe he can sneak his way into borderline RB2 territory. If he gets the passing downs in this offense also the sky will be the limit for him.

As for the rest of the running backs, I don't think there will be enough carries to spread around for any of these guys to have any real fantasy value(Love, Barber). Adrian Peterson will be relegated to goalline duties and a few carries here and there I believe which can make him a waiver wire pickup especially if Guice goes down.

OC Scott Turner said there will be a role for RB/WR hybrid draftee Antonio Gibson. However, I don't believe he will provide any fantasy value this year so I would stay away from him until he starts seeing more opportunities.

The stat that jumped out most to me in that same CBS article was the target distribution for RB’s in the passing game under Norv Turner. RB’s had a 30.4% target share in Norv Turner offenses.

This stat bodes well for Guice but more so with JD McKissic which could vault him into being a bye week fill in. He is the prototypical pass-catching back having had more targets in the passing game with 91 than he has had rushing the ball which he did so 88 times in the first four years of his career. He also boasts a really nice catch rate of 76.9% throughout his career.

Wide Receiver

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Last year the Redskins WR corps struggled mightily last year. There was one bright spot in 2019 for this group and that would be Terry McLaurin.

McLaurin enjoyed a spectacular year catching 58 balls for 938 yards(15.8 YPR) and seven touchdowns. Last year he ended up being the 27th ranked WR according to FantasyPros. I believe McLaurin can easily be a top 20 wide receiver in 2020, with a very good chance of breaking into the top 10 if he and Haskins chemistry continues.

According to PFF:

  • Haskins and McLaurin had a 153.8 passer rating together.
  • McLaurin, when targeted by Haskins, had a 19.3 yards per reception
  • A 72% catch rate when targeted by Haskins.

As for the rest of the receiving corps, I don't believe they have a chance at being fantasy relevant, although they added a productive receiver in the 2020 draft in Antonio Gandy-Golden. However, he is more looked at as a raw prospect for now.

Steven Sims Jr. will have the opportunity to possibly be a waiver wire pickup. I would suggest staying away from everyone in this group not named Terry McLaurin.

One other note on Terry McLaurin. In most of Norv Turner’s offenses, he always had a big play wideout which included Michael Irvin, Josh Gordon during his huge year, and D.J Moore last year with the Panthers. This is good news for Terry McLaurin not so much for the other receivers. As for Scott Turner in the final four games, he didn’t spread the ball around very much. D.J Moore had 19 catches for 270. The next closest was Curtis Samuel who caught 11 balls for 86 yards. Again this is good news for Terry McLaurin.

Tight End

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After years and years of significant production from TE’s there would be absolutely none of that in 2019. They combined for 44 catches, 467 yards, and three touchdowns.

Going into 2020 they will be without Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. This means the TE core is going to be led by Jeremy Sprinkle. They added Logan Thomas and Richard Rodgers. In the 2020 offseason, they signed undrafted free agent Thaddeus Moss who is the son of Randy Moss.

I don’t see any of these TE’s having any fantasy value, and I wouldn’t go drafting any of these guys. If there is hope for any of them I believe Thaddeus Moss has the best shot of not only taking the job from Jeremy Sprinkle, but possibly even being worth a waiver wire pickup.

Final Verdict

I don’t see this Redskins team providing a whole lot of fantasy value for you this year. This is of course outside of Terry McLaurin who I'm very confident in no matter who is under center. If Dwayne Haskins continues to improve both him and Mclaurin can become possible league winners although a lot needs to go right for that to happen. The chemistry him and McLaurin have is unprecedented, boasting a 153.8 passer rating together.

Guice has a great opportunity ahead of him to become fantasy relevant; it's just a matter of if he can stay healthy or not. Other than those few players I mentioned I would steer as far away as possible from the rest of this team in fantasy. Keep an eye on a few during bye weeks like Peterson or McKissic. If you see an increase in touches from Gibson or Thad Moss don’t be afraid to snatch them up just in case.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2020 season.

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