Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, today we are going hard with the Washington Redskins. They have a new Quarterback in Alex Smith that will heavily impact the receiving corp. As with the New Orleans Saints will this article not touch on the Running Back situation. That will instead be covered by the Fantasy Snapshot series on YouTube. This is of course also more convenient as the Derrius Guice got injured this week. Let's dig in!
So for this article I have removed any information about the Running Situation and have instead focused the tables on the passing game. The Redskins are facing opponents in 2018 that give up roughly 570 passes over the course of an entire season. Combining this with the Redskins own play calling trends and Alex Smith as a Quarterback, we end up with 547 passes to be divided up among the pass catchers.
The bulk of the passes will end up with the nr:1 Tight End who I have as Jordan Reed, more on him later as he is one of my favorite players to draft in 2018. Another 20% goes to the number one Receiver which currently is Josh Doctson on their depth chart.
With their play calling trends the other two guys might see very few targets to have a big impact on seasonal fantasy leagues, at least in standard scoring. They can of course still produce a good amount of points on a given week but with the limited opportunity the chance of them going off week to week is just not there. This is of course subject to change, any of these guys can emerge as the number one target, but in that case, expect the number one target to get the 107 targets and so on.
For y'all that have never watched or read anything I have done in the last year I quick walk through of the table above. D=Deep, S=Short, L=Left, M=Middle, R=Right. Deep=15 yards from the line of scrimmage, Short=From Line of scrimmage to 15 yards down the field. This means that a pass SR is a short pass that did not travel further than 14 yards in the air and was thrown outside the right hash mark.
Alex Smith had his best fantasy season ever last year but that will not be the case in 2018. He will see a negative regression. He is what he is and sometimes there are outliers but we pretty much know what we will get out of him. He throws 13% of his passes further than 15 yards from the line of scrimmage and heavily favorites throws to the short right zone.
His completion percentage for the deep throws are to no ones surprise average. He is not known for that deep throw even though his yards per completion has risen in the last few years (Tyreek Hill). His bread and butter are the short throws where he also is very average to be honest. Sure he will not give it away but the completion percentage is nothing too exciting. The main reason he can rack up yards in the short zones are the amount of throws that goes there.
Smith's passing trends will heavily impact the pass catchers. Guys that are productive and reliable in the shorter zones will thrive with him as QB while the guys that are more reliable on the deep balls will see a lack of opportunity.
Like I said above, I have Josh Doctson as their Wide Receiver one. This is not due to his stats at all but thanks to their depth chart. His catch rate is well below league average in every zone. He just has not caught anything that has been thrown his way.
Well, to be fair he does catch some balls and when he does he does fairly well with them. He gains plenty of yards on throws 15 yards from the line of scrimmage to the outsides while his deep middle is just terrible. This is alright with Smith since this it is to the outside he throws deep, but still not a great match since Doctson catches less than 50% of all deep passes.
These two players lack statistically synergy and he is not a guy that I think can keep the WR1 spot for too long.
The guy I expect to take over the WR1 spot after a couple of weeks are Jamison Crowder which would bump his targets significantly . He catches the ball way above league average in all short zones while at the same time being productive with the ball.
With over 70% catch rate in all short zones and 11 yards per catch he will rack up yards when Smith throws it short. This will be a great combo that has a lot of synergy.
I will not put Richardson above Doctson even though I believe that he has way more potential to be a great fit with Alex Smith. Teams just don't give up on first round picks and that will keep Doctson above Richardson, and that he does have talent, just has not shown it to a great extent.
Richardson catches the ball fairly often when it goes deep and he does make a lot with the ball when he catches it. The only deep zone he isn't great in is the deep left but I still rate him as a deep threat. His short are pretty darn good too, if he can raise the left and right to above 70% he will be a weapon all over the field.
My guy, Jordan Reed is and I say it again, a forgotten man in this year's fantasy draft. He catches almost 80% of all passes thrown less than 15 yards from the line of scrimmage while getting plenty of yards from those catches. But to understand how good his catch rate is in the short zones we have to compare him to other Tight Ends. The league average is SL: 65% SM: 67% and SR: 66% and players like Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce can't match Reed's numbers.
All this means that Alex Smith has a big target that he can throw it to at any time and he will catch it. We will see so many short throws from Smith to Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder that they will be extremely fantasy relevant and their PPR numbers will be amazing.
To the left y'all have the Score Projection for the players that I have discussed today with Jamison Crowder as Alex Smith's number one Receiver. To the right y'all see the same thing but with Josh Doctson as the number one Receiver.
The difference is pretty big between the two Receivers. Crowder has much better synergy with Alex Smith and will score more points as the number one target compared to Doctson. But as you can see they will not crack the top 25, and that is OK. Players are useful and can be productive without being a top 25 Receiver. It is all about where you draft them and what you expect.
Jordan Reed is my go to Tight End in this draft and I can't wait to pick him up in as many leagues as possible! Alex Smith falls down to Ben Roethlisberger level for me, none of them cracks the top 12. Smith had his best season ever and is still a good option when the matchup is good but
otherwise, he will not be someone I rely on in a 10 or 12 team league.
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The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD