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2015 Player Outlooks: Washington Redskins


Robert Griffin III

Griffin is on a shaky ground and best viewed as a QB2 with a high ceiling until he shows consistency.

QB Robert Griffin III
(2014 QB Rank - No. 33, 13.8 FPts/G)

Griffin enters training camp as the starting quarterback of the Redskins after an injury shortened 2014 season in which he posted career lows across the board, including passing yards, yards per passing attempts, and rushing yards. 2015 is without a doubt a make-or-break year for the former first round pick out of Baylor, as the Washington front office has yet to extend Griffin to a long-term deal. It could also be head coach Jay Gruden’s last chance to prove he is the long-term solution for the franchise, opening the door for a short leash on Griffin should he begin the season slowly. The Redskins did address a glaring need in the offseason with the selection of tackle Brandon Scherff to help sure-up the offensive line. With a rebuilt offensive line and formidable players at the skill positions, all the pieces are in place for Griffin to prove he is a starting NFL quarterback. The question is can he stay healthy and will he be able to use his legs to produce the type of fantasy numbers he did as a rookie? If so, he could be a nice value in later rounds this season.

RB Alfred Morris
(2014 RB Rank - No. 13, 10.7 FPts/G)

Morris has been a model of consistency in his three NFL seasons with the Redskins. He has played in all 16 games, rushed for over 1000 yards, and scored at least 7 rushing TDs in each of his first three years in the league. However, his fantasy point per game average has gone down each season from his rookie year (15.4 FPts/G in 2012). In addition, his total number of carries, rushing yards, and yards per attempt have also all gone down each of his last three years. If he continues this trend, he will likely not reach the century mark this season and his yards per attempt average will dip below four for the first time in his career. On a positive note, he is still only 26 years old with lots of miles left on his legs. Also, the Redskins added offensive line guru Bill Callahan and first round pick Brandon Scherff to help improve a suspect offensive line in 2014. He is not a sexy pick, and his ceiling is lower than other top 15 running backs in the league. But if you are looking for a consistent tailback in the early rounds of drafts this summer, Morris is still worthy of a pick in all formats.

RB Matt Jones
(2014 RB Rank - N/A)

Rookie Matt Jones will likely be the primary backup and handcuff to starter Alfred Morris this season for the Washington Redskins. A 6’2, 232 pound bruiser from the University of Florida, Jones joins other young backs Chris Thompson, Trey Williams, and Silas Redd vying for the backup role. Jones is worthy of a late round flyer in deeper leagues, as he has impressed in minicamp and Morris has seen his production decline in each of the last two seasons after his breakout rookie campaign in 2012. If Morris struggles out of the gate, hot-seat head coach Jay Gruden may try to get Jones more active in the offense.

WR DeSean Jackson
(2014 WR Rank - No. 17, 10.2 FPts/G)

With 56 catches for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns, DeSean Jackson quietly delivered another top-20 WR performance in 2014. Not bad, considering the fact that Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, and Colt McCoy finished 32, 33, and 40 respectively in fantasy points per game at the quarterback position. Jackson posted six 100-yard games in 2014, including a five-catch, 157-yard performance against the Seahawks Week 5. His six touchdowns were spread out over six different games, making him a semi-consistent performer for owners. Unfortunately, he was also consistent in the fact that he did not receive enough targets to make him a WR1. In 16 games, Jackson managed double-digit targets once, did not post more than eight catches in a game and had five games fewer than 40 receiving yards. Despite his lack of volume and less than stellar quarterback play, Jackson is a solid WR3 this season who is slightly devalued in PPR leagues.

WR Pierre Garcon
(2014 WR Rank - No. 54, 5.8 FPts/G)

Pierre Garçon clearly did not benefit from the addition of DeSean Jackson and Jay Gruden, as the seven-year NFL vet posted his worst receiving yard and receiving touchdown totals of his career. Although he received 105 targets in 16 games, he managed to covert only 68 catches for 752 yards, reaching the end zone a pedestrian four times. His poor performance burned fantasy owners who drafted him last year in hopes that he would replicate his 2013 season in which he posted a career best 113 catches for 1346 yards. According to a report in the Washington Post, Garcon has been lining up in the “Z” wide receiver position more often in minicamp this offseason, which is the same position in the Jay Gruden offense that A.J. Green ran in Cincinnati. If that trend continues into the season and the Redskins continue to make an effort to get him the ball, he could have a bounce back season and deliver excellent WR3 production for fantasy owners.

WR Ryan Grant
(2014 WR Rank - N/A)

Second year wide receiver Ryan Grant has been turning heads in mini camps and could move up the depth chart to the third receiver behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. Grant, a 6-1, 191 pound native of Beaumont, Texas, caught 196 passes for 2,769 yards and 21 touchdowns in four seasons at Tulane. His excellent college career earned him a fifth round selection by the Redskins in the 2014 NFL draft. Head coach Jay Gruden has been beaming about Grant this summer, with glowing praise about his work ethic and ability to run routes. Fantasy owners in deep leagues should keep an eye on Grant as a late round sleeper.

RB Jordan Reed
(2014 TE Rank - No. 30, 4.2 FPts/G)

To say that third-year tight end Jordan Reed is injury prone might be one of the biggest understatements in fantasy. In his first two seasons with Washington, Reed played in only 20 of 36 possible games. The lure for fantasy owners, is that he played exceptionally well in those 20 games, posting just over 1000 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Perhaps most impressive, is the fact that Reed displayed excellent hands by catching nearly everything thrown his way, and he appeared to be a solid safety valve for all of the Redskins quarterbacks. The former Florida Gator underwent a knee procedure this offseason and will be out of action until training camp. Fantasy owners looking for an upside number two tight end may want to give Reed a flyer late in drafts, but expecting Reed to play a full 16-game season seems like a mistake.