NFL free agency started on March 18th, but technically does not end until the end of the season. However, after a firehose of news the first week, and another run the second week, things quiet down to a trickle. There are still big names out there, but it’s going to take some time to get them signed, sealed and delivered.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at where teams stand after the early rush of free agency and what it means for fantasy football. We’re going to take a look at the skill positions, breaking down what the starting lineup and reserves will look like to assess fantasy value heading into August drafts.
Today, we’re taking a look at Washington. The team added depth to its quarterback room by acquiring Kyle Allen from the Carolina Panthers and also signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber on the offensive end. It also retained Adrian Peterson to another year, as Derrius Guice has continued to struggle with knee problems. Jordan Reed was released after six seasons with the team. Washington made a major addition to its secondary by signing cornerback Kendall Fuller to a four-year deal, but still has a lot of work to do.
Starter: Dwayne Haskins
Backups: Alex Smith, Kyle Allen
Haskins was QB36 in season-long fantasy and on DraftKings after throwing for 1,365 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions through nine appearances in his rookie season. He started in seven games and appears to be the front runner to start in 2020, but that isn’t guaranteed. Alex Smith is aiming to return to the field after missing all of 2019 and Allen finished as QB28 after starting 12 games for the Panthers.
There’s also a chance Washington could select a quarterback with the second pick of this month’s draft. That would diminish Haskins’ value even further. Either way, it’s uncertain that Haskins will start for the entirety of his sophomore season. Don’t expect him to crack the top 30 in year two.
Starter: Derrius Guice
Backups: Adrian Peterson, J.D. McKissic, Peyton Barber
Guice finished outside the top 60 in season-long fantasy and on DraftKings last season. He rushed for 245 yards and two scores while also hauling in one receiving touchdown, but only appeared in five games. Washington had high expectations for him before he tore his ACL and missed his rookie season in 2018, but he can’t stay on the field.
Peterson has taken the lead in each of the last two seasons and hovered around 30th among running backs among all running backs in 2019. It’s unlikely that he’ll match year’s 898 rushing yards and five scores, but he could be a top 30 option again if Guice can’t stay healthy. If Guice puts together a complete season, expect Peterson to fade.
Starters: Terry McLaurin, Trey Quinn, Steven Sims Jr.
Backups: Kelvin Harmon, Cam Sims, Cody Latimer
McLaurin cracked the top 30 in season-long fantasy and on DraftKings as a rookie, He tallied 919 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Running back Chris Thompson was second to McLaurin in receiving yards in 2019 with 378, and none of Washingtons other wideouts showed much promise. Look for McLaurin to have a bigger role in 2020, but don’t expect much movement in the fantasy standings.
Starter: Jeremy Sprinkle
Backups: Logan Thomas, Richard Rogers, Hale Hentges
Sprinkle was a top 50 option while Jordan Reed missed all of 2019. He tallied 26 receptions for 241 yards and a score last season. He should move up the list if he beats out Thomas for a starting job in 2020, but none of the tight ends is a consistently viable fantasy football option.