Fantasy Team Preview: Washington
Washington struggled on both sides of the ball last year. Rob Griffin wasn’t the same player coming off of his knee injury, which led to poor overall play by the offense. Washington scored 102 points less than the previous season, and the defense allowed 90 more points. The lack of success led to a change at head coach. Jay Gruden is taking over the job after spending the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. He gained his first notoriety by earning six Arena Bowl championships with the Orlando Predators. Sean McVay was promoted from tight end coach to offensive coordinator. Last year the Redskins finished fifth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (135.2) while averaging 4.8 yards per rush. They finished above league average in passing yards (3751) with only 20 TD’s and 43 sacks allowed. Jim Haslett returns for his fifth season as a defensive coordinator. Washington has ranked close to the bottom third of the league in points allowed over the last four seasons. Last year they allowed the 20th most passing yards in the league (3896) while allowing 29 TD’s and recording only 36 sacks. The Redskins were also only league average in run defense (110.6 YPG).
Position Breakdown *Quarterbacks Robert Griffin (QB) – Griffin was a shell of himself in 2013. He struggled with his accuracy in multiple games due to increased pressure in the pass rush. He completed 60.1 % of his passes (65.6 % in 2012) on the year. He clearly didn’t have the same wheels as he only averaged 5.7 yards per rush compared to 6.8 in 2012. Robert was sacked 38 times in 13 games. Griffin finished with 3,203 passing yards with only 16 TD’s. His interceptions (12) more than doubled from his electric rookie season. Last year he didn’t have one rushing touchdown after delivering 7 in the previous season. In his two-year career, RGIII has averaged only 30.3 passing attempts per game, which is more than 10 % below the league average. This year he’ll have his best WR core of his career with the addition of DeSean Jackson. Griffin is a very talented player who should play at a much higher level with a full season to recover from his previous knee injury. His edge over other quarterbacks is his ability to run and score rushing touchdowns. He has 30 TD upside with a chance at much higher passing yards. I expect him to throw for 4,000+ yards for the first time in his career. I also believe he has a top five QB opportunity in 2014 due to his upside in the running game.