Every year, football fans around the globe become enthralled with all things pigskin once Hall of Fame selections are announced. One reason is because of an appreciation for the greats from seasons past. But let’s be honest, the other…we’re that much closer to fantasy football.
Here’s my take on the best fantasy options for the burgundy & gold, ahead of upcoming 2016 drafts.
FANTASY STUD: Jordan Reed, TE
After a breakthrough 2015, Jordan Reed was rewarded with a 5 year contract extension. And all information coming out of camp, is that he is looking even better.
2015 – 87 rec (114 targets) | 952 yards | 11 TDs
Arguably the best pure receiving TE in the NFL, Reed will be the second player off the board at the position (after Gronkowski) this year. In Washington’s lone playoff game in 2015, Reed had 9 catches for 120 yds on 17 targets. He’s definitely the best bet to produce in any format in 2016.
FANTASY VALUE PICK: Kirk Cousins, QB
Kirk rewarded HC Jay Gruden’s decision to name him the day one starter with a team record breaking season in 2015. With another year in the offense and continued development up front, the potential exists for an encore.
2015 – 4166 yds | 29 TDs | 11 INTs | *5 RTDs
The increased number of options available for QBs in a passing league, will push Cousins down into the great value realm in the right draft. With the weapons at his disposal, another 4000yd, 25+ TD year should be achievable for the QB slotted in the 10-12 range in most pre-draft QB rankings. High end QB2, very solid QB1 option.
FANTASY VALUE PICK: Desean Jackson, WR
Jackson is still one of the scariest covers in the NFL because of his elite level speed and ball tracking ability on deep passes. Health, unfortunately has been a concern in spots throughout his career.
2015 (8 games) – 30 rec (49 targets) | 528 yards | 4 TDs
Early showings out of training camp have been very promising, pointing to what could be a strong rebound year. With WRs being viewed at a premium these days, DJax should be available in the middle rounds of deeper leagues for WR2 and WR3 consideration. Pierre Garçon works in this slot as well. He’s the more solid of the two. I’m going Jackson though due to greater upside.
FANTASY SLEEPER: Matt Jones, RB
The second year back is the unquestioned starter in Washington’s backfield.
2015 – 144 att | 490 yards | 3 TDs + 19 rec | 304 yds | 1 TD
Provided his fumbling issues and the team’s rushing woes are in the past, Jones offers good value as an all-around back. The big fella boasts some big play ability w/career longs of 39 yards on the ground and 78 yards via reception. Fantasy experts will likely target him as a solid mid-late round RB2…who could easily surprise and be a big point producer by year’s end.
FANTASY WATCH LIST: Jamison Crowder, WR
Crowder was drafted as a playmaker who could be an immediate difference maker in the return game. Though he struggled on ST in year one, he became a regular contributor in the offense by season’s end.
2015 – 59 rec (79 targets) | 604 yards | 2 TDs
His low TD output may scare some, but in PPR leagues he could be a nice mid-season addition/injury replacement as he’s listed as a first teamer on Washington’s newly released depth chart.
* The Redskins DEF, could make for a solid pick for the first half of the season. The addition of Josh Norman helps. The loss of OLB Junior Galette (achilles) does not. At this point the team is a better bye week replacement, as they look to improve their sack numbers and play against the run in 2016.
featured image by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons