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Projecting Washington’s 2016 Offense

Here’s a look at my projections for Washington’s skill players for the 2016 fantasy football season.

Team Settings

Using Vegas lines, we expect Washington’s average point differential per play to be -2 points. I set their pass tendency (-0.01 vs expected) and pace (-0.9) by looking at their trends from the past two seasons.

1008.97 0.59 597.15 32.84 564.30 0.41 411.82

There’s my baseline team assumptions. As a cross reference for both the team and quarterback settings, I used the Team Splits App over the past two seasons to see what Washington has done with Kirk Cousins at QB.

download (54)

Note that the pythagorean expected win total in the Cousins split is 7.7 wins, which is very close to the 7.5 wins Vegas projects for Washington this year. The rush and pass totals also line up nicely.



I basically split the difference between Cousins 2014 and 2015 numbers, as you can see by comparing the dotted lines to the bars for those respective seasons.

Cousins, Kirk WAS QB 564.3 373.14 0.66 4600.55 29.55 12.7 26.77 107.07 0.87 305.41

That’s a good fit for Cousins performance over the past two seasons, as you can see in the Team Splits chart above. The one thing I can’t set in our Projection Machine is rushing TD rate for QBs, so Cousins only gets credit for about one rushing TD. Instead, I bumped his yards per carry up to give him credit for roughly one more rushing TD.1 It’s hard to see him rushing for another five TDs, but I think 1-2 is fair.

One note about that table, which shows raw data from our Projection Machine: it’s set to 25 yards per point, whereas many formats, such as FFPC, score at 20 yards per point. Using FFPC scoring, Cousins projects to about 365 points, which would have been QB8 last year. That might seem like a lofty projection, but my projected numbers aren’t far off Cousins pace from last season.

Wide Receivers

Jackson, DeSean WAS WR 112.86 67.72 1241.47 18.33 7.34 237.14 203.28
Doctson, Josh WAS WR 90.29 56.79 722.31 12.72 5.87 164.23 135.84
Garcon, Pierre WAS WR 79 50.56 572.77 11.33 3.95 131.54 106.26
ALL OTHER 47.97 27.39 339.17 12.38 1.97 73.1 59.41

I expect DeSean Jackson to be Washington’s top WR this season. I used his efficiency numbers and the average market share for Washington’s WR1 position over the past two seasons to set his line. That pace would have been roughly WR15 last year. I’m much more bullish on Jackson than our staff composite rankings, which project him as WR30. Obviously he’d need to stay healthy to my projection, but it’s not very different from what he did in 2014. I realize that much of his production in 2014 came with Robert Griffin at QB, but I think Cousins has improved since then, and that Jackson is their best option at WR, and should have no problem leading the way in targets.

I project Josh Doctson for 90 targets, and a PPR point total that would have been outside the top 36 last season. That might seem low, but my thinking went like this: Over the past 10 seasons, WRs drafted in the first round have averaged 79 targets,2, and Washington has two capable receiving options already in Jackson and Jordan Reed. So I don’t see how he goes much higher in targets, once you factor in things like being a rookie and learning the offense, yada yada yada. I did give him a very healthy TD total, based on expectations that he should figure prominently in the red zone.

For Pierre Garcon, I just used Washington’s two-year WR3 market share, and Garcon’s own efficiency numbers. It’s about as exciting as, well, Pierre Garcon. I could see Jamison Crowder taking work away from him.

Tight Ends

Reed, Jordan WAS TE 112.86 84.87 902.89 10.64 7.45 219.85 177.42
Paul, Niles WAS TE 25.39 17.47 183.42 10.5 1.09 42.36 33.63

I used Ben Gretch’s excellent FF Accounting series to help me figure out how to set Jordan Reed’s market share. That really helped me feel comfortable giving Reed a full 20 percent of the targets. I used Reed’s catch rate and yards per target average from the past two seasons, but split the difference on his TD rate. Last year it was an absurd 9.6 percent, but the year before it was zero. So I settled at 6.5 percent, which is roughly 75th percentile for TEs. His PPR projection works out to 220 points, a little under his 248 point pace from last season. That still makes him a top-5 TE.

Running Backs

Jones, Matt WAS RB 234.74 938.95 6.1 28.22 19.75 225.72 11.43 0.56 176.18 166.3
Thompson, Chris WAS RB 94.72 445.18 1.42 39.5 28.05 251.82 8.98 0.73 110.68 96.66
Marshall, Keith WAS RB 41.18 203.36 0.82 28.22 20.54 161 7.84 0.59 65.48 55.21
ALL OTHER 12.35 52.75 0.28 0 0 0 0 0 6.98 6.98

I’ve got Matt Jones at about the same pace as Jeremy Hill and LeSean McCoy last year. That’s solid RB2 territory, and makes him fair value (RB19 by ADP, RB20 by my numbers) at the moment.

To get the numbers for Jones and Chris Thompson I averaged their personal numbers from last season with Washington’s positional RB1 and RB2 numbers over the past two seasons. Barring injury, I don’t see much role for Keith Marshall. 


You can get our staff composite projections for 2016 from the Best Ball App or the Cheat Sheet App. You can also use the Projection Machine, as I did, to generate your own projections. Have at it, and let me know where we differ.

  1. It’s the same number of rushing attempts as last season, but about 50 extra yards, or about five extra PPR points.  (back)
  2. Pro Football Reference.  (back)

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