Our weekly look at the Redskins' matchup from a fantasy football perspective.
Expect every aspect of this game, especially the passing part, to be affected by the wintry mix headed our way Sunday morning. Owners shouldn't let that deter them from starting say Pierre Garcon, but it could work as a tiebreaker against if other viable options exist.
Garcon hasn't found the end zone or topped 70 yards in three straight games, but he caught a season-high nine passes against the Giants in Week 13. Now he faces a Kansas City defense with its three worst pass yardage totals coming in the last three weeks. Sure, they faced Peyton Manning twice in that stretch. Focus more on the yardage, the reeling and the three-game losing streak and hope Garcon can exploit their recent downturn.
Jordan Reed burned owners last week with his late scratch in last Sunday's late game due to his lingering concussion. While the risk for another setback remains, all signs point to the rookie returning to action. That's what you call an early Christmas present for the Redskins offense. Outside of Garcon, only Reed has proven more than simply competent in the passing game. Even though Kansas City ranks No. 1 against the TE position this season - yes, No. 1 like best of the best - Reed's reliable hands and downfield skills makes him a TE1 option this week. Now, don't be so bold as to not have a backup just in case the concussion angle pops again.
Considering the weather, the opponent and that all 32 teams are playing this week, there is no reason to consider Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss or Josh Morgan. They're not even worthy of receiving the "bold" treatment in this article.
In case you haven't heard, Alfred Morris didn't receive his usual workload last week. By that we mean only 11 carries against the Giants after only 14 the previous game versus the Chiefs. The odd part is that Washington and New York played a tight game yet the Redskins gave up on the run. Don't expect a repeat against Kansas City, not with the weather concerns, the Chiefs allowing over 100 rushing yards in four straight games and 4.6 yards per carry on the season. I dropped Morris outside RB1 range this week, but feel confident about starting him. Those in desperation should skip on past Roy Helu this week unless your personal take is the Redskins are romped and throw lots in the second half.
For thoughts on Robert Griffin III, we turn to Rotoworld's Evan Silva: "This Week 14 matchup looked exponentially more daunting a month ago than it does now for Robert Griffin III. The Chiefs have since been gashed by Buffalo on the ground in Week 9, returned from a Week 10 bye to cough up over 100 combined points in the ensuing three games, and lost top edge rusher Justin Houston (elbow) in the process. Bookend OLB Tamba Hali played through a mid-ankle injury in last Sunday night's loss to Denver, but had zero impact in the pass game. RG3 now returns from one of his better outings of the year to face a Kansas City defense with all of two sacks over its last six games. Lock in Griffin as a low-end but intriguing QB1. He's still No. 8 in fantasy quarterback scoring on the season."
The defense and kicker
Thanks to quarterback Alex Smith's largely conservative ways, the Chiefs simply don't provide point-producing opportunities for opposing defenses. In fact not one this season has scored over eight points in standard scoring formats. Wackiness could occur with ice, rain and snow involved, but as a standalone play, the Redskins are not the way to go. ...Let's not bore anyone with kicking stats. Bad weather means boot thoughts of using Kai Forbath, especially since the Redskins offense hasn't exactly been that stellar lately.
On the other side...
From my FFToolbox.com Week 14 "Pickups" article: "Kansas City faces a Redskins defense that allows the fourth most points to fantasy quarterbacks, but just four TDP over their last three games and no 300-yard passers since Week 9. Alex Smith owners should note this improvement, but then largely ignore it. Sure, the Chiefs have lost three straight, but the Redskins aren't exactly on a roll. We know Smith isn't a volume passer, but between his rushing yards and the Redskins secondary woes, he's a borderline QB1 this week." Again, watch the weather warnings ...I was all set to talk up Chiefs TE Tony Fasano seeing as he scored in three straight weeks and would then face a Redskins defense that has allowed a TE touchdown in back-to-back games and five of seven weeks. Alas, injuries are keeping him out and putting Sean McGrath into the starting role. Even among class of suspect options outside of the top 12, McGrath is no more than a low-end TE2 option. Then again, back in Weeks 3-5 when he had a larger role, McGrath scored a TD and averaged 50 yards on 4.3 receptions. Calling for another score this week assuming the weather doesn't ruin the passing game for all. ...As for more useful thoughts
In addition to CSNwashington duties covering the Wizards, Hoyas and the college basketball scene, Ben writes about and ranks fantasy football players for FFToolbox.com, rated the most accurate site for the 2012 season.