Shanahan breaks down the Raiders with B-Mitch
Our weekly look at the Redskins' matchup from a fantasy football perspective...
Pierre Garcon - Third in the NFL with 37 targets, tied for fifth with 23 receptions. The Raiders have allowed six touchdown passes through three games. What else can be said other than Garcon is a must start.
Josh Morgan - Averaging a team-high 13.6 yards per catch. Of course Morgan only has eight receptions, just two in each of the last two games. Until he scores or pops for over 75 yards, we're sticking with the same analysis: It's not often said of a player that led his team in receptions the previous season, but unless your league gives points for blocks, there is no case for owning Morgan, let alone starting him. So let's move on to...
Leonard Hankerson - Receiving yards have dropped each week, down to 21 on three receptions against the Lions. Good news is Hankerson played a season-high 71.3 percent of Washington's snaps last week. Until he strings together a few statistically productive games in a row, the 6-foot-3 target is a true risk-reward pick. In this matchup and the way the Redskins' defense has surrendered points, he's an interesting flyer for those in a bind.
Tight end - Just as Jordan Reed reached the fantasy viability zone, the rookie suffered a quad injury against the Lion. Now he's not expected to suit up against the Raiders. That in theory means more opportunity for Fred Davis, but obviously he's done nothing with his chances to date. Expect him to share snaps with Logan Paulsen, who might haul in a few passes, but isn't a fantasy threat unless he finds the end zone. Safest play is avoiding all three this week with only Reed worthy of rostering for those not needing Week 4 assistance.
Alfred Morris - Impressive that Morris is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, topping his 4.8 as a rookie. Less impressive, only 13.3 carries a game through three weeks. For further comparison, 13 carries was his season-low in 2012. Obviously the team falling behind early limits the running opportunities. In theory a game against the Raiders represents a chance for Washington to jump in front. Based on what has transpired so far, not sure we can make such a leap. Based on Morris' solid work and the Redskins facing a middle-of-the-pack run defense, start him with confidence.
Roy Helu - Coming off his most productive game this season with three receptions for 35 yards, but Helu still has only one carry on the season. Worth rostering in 12-team leagues, but not worth using in any capacity until the Redskins solves their offensive issues.
Robert Griffin III - After two weeks of fantasy goodness, RGIII disappointed owners with 14 points against Detroit (Aldrick Robinson, smh). Until the rushing yards return, we shouldn't expect last year's fantasy dominant numbers back either. Seems appropriate that Griffin and Andrew Luck are tied for ninth in fantasy QB scoring with 18.3 points per game. As for this week, Oakland is allowing 244 passing yards, 17th in the NFL, but have zero interceptions. RGIII playing for the first time on a field that is partly a baseball infield adds an unknown element, but he remains a viable start unless owners have another high-end QB with a strong matchup.
The defense and kicker
For those dealing with a bye week or lousy options, the Redskins have some potential. At this moment it remains uncertain whether the mobile Terrelle Pryor or the pocket passing Matt Flynn starts at quarterback for Oakland. If it's Flynn, the Raiders will throw more, which provides more interception opportunities, especially with a QB making his first start since 2011. The Raiders offensive line has allowed seven sacks through two games, tied for ninth fewest. Kai Forbath could return this week, but between the offense's inconsistency and the field, find another kicker on another team.
On the other side...
Outside of running back Darren McFadden, who is a top-10 RB this week, there are no fantasy mainstays in Oakland unless you're one of those owners that loves the idea of having Sebastian Janikowkski kicking balls for your side. With the Redskins up next, that's not the case. If cleared from last week's concussion, Terrelle Pryor is a sneaky good QB choice with top 10-15 potential thanks largely to his legs. Wide receivers Rod Streater and Denarius Moore are downfield threats with WR3 potential because of the matchup. Meanwhile, fullback Marcel Reece is a super sleeper RB option in PPR formats.
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.