3-Point Stance: Cousins, Pryor, Perine possible fantasy monuments in Washington
As the mercury rises, Brad Evans and Liz Loza will tackle pressing fantasy questions tied to every NFL team. Read, ponder and get a jump on your offseason research. Friday’s topic: The Washington Redskins.
Pick your poison. What Washington running back will deliver the most goods this fall: Samaje Perine or Rob Kelley?
Liz – PERINE. This one is simple. Kelley was a fine band-aid when Matt Jones fumbled away the staring gig, but had he been the answer the team wouldn’t have gone after Perine in the fourth round. Clearly, the Skins have a type, as Kelley and Perine are both similarly built grinders with lots of power and little finesse. A short yardage specialist, expect Perine to compliment Chris Thompson, taking over on early downs and at the goal line.
Brad – PERINE. The Oklahoma product, overshadowed last season by Joe Mixon, is a freezer chest with feet. At 5-foot-11, 233 pounds, he breaks numerous tackles (3.3 YAC/attempt in ’16) and owns suitable receiving skills. Kelley will enter training camp atop the depth chart, but bank on the rookie pressing him hard from the start. Unless the sophomore suddenly morphs into Stephen Davis circa 2000, Perine wrests away the starting gig no later than Week 3. If that does occur, he’ll easily achieve RB2 level numbers in 12-team leagues operating as the early-down/goal-line steamroller. Keep in mind, Washington ranked top-five in run-blocking last year. His 103.1 ADP (RB31) is sure to climb.
Terrelle Pryor’s transition from QB to WR is nothing shy of extraordinary. Entering his second season as a full-time wideout, coming off a 1,000-yard campaign in Cleveland and gifted a premium situation, OVER/UNDER 79.5 receptions for the former passer this fall?
Brad – OVER. Endless superlatives will surely project from my mouth about Pryor during the next several weeks. Heck, it could rival some of my greatest hype hits (e.g. Brandon Jacobs, Ryan Mathews, Melvin Gordon). There’s no reason to sugarcoat it, I absolutely love the guy and his potential in a prolific passing offense. Recall last year catching passes from the Cleveland Hydra of Suck (Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, RGIII and Charlie Whitehurst), he compiled WR2 numbers, an incredible achievement all things considered.
Pryor’s move out from fantasy outhouse-to-penthouse will send his stock soaring. Cousins desperately needs to improve in red-zone efficiency, an area the receiver notched top-notch numbers in last fall (69.2 catch rate). Reed, Crowder and Doctson will vie for targets, but Pryor could match 2016’s target total (141). Remember, jettisoned DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon accounted for 37.1 percent of Washington’s vertical workload a season ago. Currently my WR11 (The man-crush is hard!), Pryor finishes in range of 90-1,200-8. Don’t be afraid to reach (41.2 ADP, WR21).
Liz – OVER. The question is basically asking whether Pryor will step right into to being this year’s Pierre Garcon (79-1,041-3). Considering DeSean Jackson has also left the team there figures to be a whole lot of targets for Pryor to absorb. The former Browns’ numbers could be additionally enhanced were second-year man Josh Doctson be able to get onto the field and make a difference, helping to alleviate some defensive pressure.
Ultimately, however, as the team’s clear-cut No. 1 WR, with an upgrade at QB, and in a division that often produces shoot-outs, Pryor shouldn’t have much difficulty matching his 2016 stats. I have him ranked just outside of my top-twenty players at the position (he was the WR22 overall last season).
There’s much to like about fiery QB Kirk Cousins. The past two seasons he finished inside the position’s top-nine in points scored. BELIEVE or MAKE BELIEVE: Cousins is an undeniable QB1 in 12-team formats this year.
Liz – MAKE BELIEVE. Washington put Cousins on a one-year prove it and he did just that. Posting nearly identical stat lines in 2015 and 2016, the acapella enthusiast has shown us his ceiling. However, the offense will have a different make up this season, and much needs to gel in order for Cousins to be successful. From a newly installed offensive coordinator (I suppose it helps that Matt Cavanaugh was the team’s QBs coach) to an overhaul of the depth chart, things are in flux in D.C.
It should also be noted that Cousins has begged out of the job, preferring to reunite with Kyle Shannahan in San Fran. Perhaps that could be seen as motivation, but this whole situation is messy. I don’t trust the drama. Given the depth at the position, I’d rather roll with Philip Rivers, who, according to current ADP data, is going three rounds later. For reference, I currently have Cousins ranked as my QB12 and Rivers as my QB13.
Brad – BELIEVE. Beam. Me. Up. Similar to Klingons and whatever the hell this thing was, NFL defenses will prove little match for Captain Kirk. He’s an efficient passer in a vertically aggressive offense who last year ranked inside the position’s top-10 in YPA (8.1), completion percentage (67.0) and fantasy points per dropback (0.48).
To be fair, Cousins morphed into Brock Osweiler at times as a red-zone passer in 2016, but with toe-tappers Pryor, Reed and Doctson on roster, he’s set up for success. Keep in mind, two years ago he posted the eight-best red-zone completion rate. My QB7, I prefer his services over the likes of pricier options Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Derek Carr. Another top-10 tally, his third-consecutive, seems inevitable.