Scheme and Metrics fantasy team preview- we’ll take a look at each of the 32 teams and look at a combination of offensive scheme/philosophy and some player metrics to give us something else to think about when drafting our fantasy squads this summer. In this edition, we’ll look at Washington.
• Jay Gruden hasn’t had much success with his offense during his time in Washington, as he doesn’t seem to have embraced analytics. He runs the ball too frequently on early downs against stacked boxes, and then he’s forced to predictably pass against nickel and dime defenses, which is mostly inefficient. He’ll be working without high-level play at QB and WR, so it’s difficult to imagine that there will be a lot of great fantasy production coming from this team.
• Derrius Guice is 5’11”, 224 pounds and he has 92nd-percentile speed, but he didn’t test for explosiveness or agility at the Combine., so that part of his profile is an unknown.
• Paul Richardson ran a 93rd-percentile 40-yd-dash time to go with 79th-percentile explosiveness and 53rd-percentile agility while having shown some acrobatic ability to make catches earlier in his career.
• Terry McLaurin has top-end speed, as he ran a 98th-percentile 40-yard-dash. He also possesses 77th-percentile explosiveness along with above average (58th-percentile) agility. This makes him look as if he should be able to operate effectively on either the outside or in the slot.
• Some analysts are creating buzz about Kelvin Harmon, but his metrics don’t support that buzz- He’s near the bottom of the barrel in explosiveness (15th-percentile) and agility (22nd-percentile), and although he has some speed (71st-percentile), his overall profile doesn’t seem to be one of a great player.
• Haskins has a great feel for the NFL and comes out playing far better than anyone could’ve imagined. He develops a quick rapport with Paul Richardson and Jordan Reed, which helps the passing game click while Derrius Guice is healthy and is an immediate superstar. Even in this scenario, the offense ends up near the middle of the league in terms of production.
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• The QB situation is a mess- the WRs are well below average- and Guice is still not back to full health. This leads to the offense struggling to score more than 14 points in many games.
• Dwayne Haskins is a pocket passer who seems likely to start the season over Case Keenum, though that’s yet to be determined. That said, HC Jay Gruden has failed to call game plans that put his QBs into good passing situations- there are far too many second/third and long plays after running the ball against stacked boxes. Washington likely won’t score a lot of points, so Haskins can’t reasonably be drafted as more than a QB2. They also lack high-end receiving weapons, so don’t look for big plays by WRs after short throws too often.
• Derrius Guice- a preseason ACL injury ended his rookie year, but there’s a good chance he comes back as a full go this year. If so, I’m not worried about Adrian Peterson taking work from him- AP was likely an insurance policy if Guice wasn’t ready. Many are saying Guice isn’t a receiving back, but he was used as a receiver out of the backfield in college, so he likely can play on all three downs. Sure, it’ll be a gamble to draft him in fantasy, but his ADP is way cheaper than last year, and the lack of positive preseason buzz has created an opportunity to buy. As a RB3, he’s a great investment.
• Josh Doctson has been a full-time player but done very little in 3 years. He only averaged about 35 yards while playing 15 games last year. He hasn’t shown enough to make anyone believe he has a breakout in him- maybe that’s why the team drafted a pair of WRs this year.
• During his career, Paul Richardson has missed time due to injuries, and he’s been in situations in which he wasn’t able to see consistent targets, but now he comes into the year healthy and he could be the most talented WR in Washington. He’s free in drafts (ADP over 200) and Dwayne Haskins has to complete passes to someone, and Richardson really is a talented player who might just need opportunity- this may be the one season of his career he finally shines, and I think he’s worth a late-round flier pick.
• Terry McLaurin is someone who could have a strong rookie season, largely because he played with Dwayne Haskins in college, so the duo already has trust and chemistry built, and when a rookie QB is overwhelmed, a lot can be said for that trust level. Between his ridiculous speed and above-average athleticism metrics, all he may need is to beat out Josh Doctson to see a full-time role. However, I’d only draft him late in a deep league because this could be a bad offense, and McLaurin still needs to ear regular snaps.
• Trey Quinn has less than average speed with 65th-percentile agility- he’ll be able to get open some in the slot, but he’s far from an elite option. If he catches passes, he could struggle to add yardage after the catch. In PPR leagues, he’s worth a really late pick as a WR6, but otherwise, he’s a hard pass.
• Jordan Reed played 13 games last year, the first time he’s hit that number since 2015. Unfortunately, he was the least productive of any point in his career, and he scored just 2 TDs with 558 yards. Not only is it tough to predict him to play another healthy season, but it looks like injuries have taken a toll on this once elite athlete. His ADP is simply too high for a player who is likely a TE2, and that’s if he stays healthy- he’s now 29 years old, and I don’t see him turning back the clock!