Washington Team Profiles 2016

Washington Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

If it wasn’t obvious to you that new HC Jay Gruden didn’t like like RG3…then you weren’t paying attention. Also, If you didn’t see that QB Kirk Cousins was the better quarterback in Washington…then you weren’t paying attention either. It was an unpopular move to make by HC Gruden with management and with the fans, but he made Cousins the starter, and they won the division. No one is questioning him now.

2016 Team Outlook – In the past 5 years, every team in the NFC East has won the division at least once. NYG in 2011, PHIL in 2013, DALLAS in 2014 and WASH in 2015. It didn’t take a great record to win the division in 2015. Washington won the NFC East with a 9-7 record. No team has the obvious edge heading into 2016.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –

QB- These are the quarterbacks from the 2012 NFL Draft- The jury is still out o QB Nick Foles, who has had some success in the NFL, and only Cleveland wasted their pick.

IND A Luck- Rd 1 #1
WASH R Griffin III- Rd 1 #2
CLEV B Weeden Rd 1 #22
DEN B Osweiler Rd 2 #57
SEA R Wilson Rd 3 #75
PHIL N Foles Rd 3 #88
WASH K Cousins Rd 4 #102

Cousins was the #9 quarterback in 2015, with 4166 passing yards and 29 TD passes. His numbers ranked him higher than QBs Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan, who all were able to play the entire 16 game season in 2015. Robert Griffin III is a free agent, and he is currently talking with the Jets organization. UPDATE: RGIII was traded to Cleveland and signed a 2 year deal with the Browns.

RBs– In most of last year’s fantasy football drafts, Alfred Morris was the 13th overall running back selected. If you were in a 10-12 team fantasy football league, and took Morris, he hurt your fantasy football season. Reliable in previous years, Morris ended 2015 as the #45 RB, with only 763 yards and only 1 touchdown. The 27-year-old free agent averaged a career-worst 3.7 yards per carry and failing to reach 1,000 yards rushing for the time in his career. RB Matt Jones is the assumed heir-apparent to the starting job, but in a few games last year when he was given the start, he failed to capitalize on the opportunity. He is an excellent receiving running back out of the backfield, but may not be a 3-down back. I doubt very much that he ends up with the most carries in Washington, when the 2016 season is over. Washington tendered exclusive rights free agent RB Chris Thompson. UPDATE: Free agent Alfred Morris signed a 2-year deal w/ DAL

WRs–  WR DeSean Jackson is an explosive play-maker when he is on the football field, which isn’t often. In 2015, Jackson only played in 8 games. HC Jay Gruden was clearly frustrated with Jackson’s 8 game season, but Washington doesn’t have a lot of depth in their receiving corps. DeSean will be back in 2016, but it will be his last season, if he doesn’t play. Pierre Garcon is the “Roddy White” in Washington, but still with a job. He was a talented receiver, but he just has too many miles on him. He was drafted by the Colts in 2008, so 2016 will be his 9th year in the NFL. Washington drafted 2 wide receivers in the 2015 NFL Draft, Jamison Crowder in Round 4, and Evan Spencer in Round 6. Neither is projected to do much in 2016.

TEs – In 2014, Jordan Reed was injured and had only 465 yards and 0 TDs. In 2015, Reed was healthier and played 14 games. He went on an offensive tear in the final 5 games of the regular season ( 498 yards and 6 TDs. ) He also had 9-of-17 targets for 120 yards and a touchdown in Washington’s Wild Card Round loss to Green Bay. For the season, Reed was the #2 tight end, just behind Gronk, with 952 receiving yards and 11 TDs. QB Kirk Cousins loves him and so should you in 2016. UPDATE: Free agent Vernon Davis signed a 1-year deal w/ WASH and Logan Paulsen re-signed 1-year.

K– Akers, Novak, Suisham, Cundiff, Gano, Hocker, Forbath, and Hopkins are just a few of the place kicker names associated with Washington. It can be a temporary gig. K Kai Forbath was replaced by Dustin Hopkins in September of 2015, who lost a preseason competition with Saints kicker Zach Hocker. Hopkins only missed 3 field goals last year ( 25 of 28 and 9th best percentage in the NFL), so hopefully he can stick around for awhile in Washington. Hopkins was a sixth-round pick of the Bills in 2013.

DEF– You wouldn’t think that Washington could win the NFC East again in 2016, with another defense that ranked #21, but none of the 4 teams in that division are very good. The Giants were #30, while Dallas and Philadelphia ranked #17 and #19 respectively. If one of these 4 teams can making significant improvements on defense, they’ll likely win the division because of it. Washington was 19th vs the pass, and 22nd vs the run in 2015.

2015 Washington Fantasy Surprises– QB Kirk Cousins was going to be the starter for Washington, but his #9 ranking for 2015 likely even surprised HC Jay Gruden. TE Jordan Reed finally played more than 11 games, since being drafted by Washington in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. 2015 was only RB Alfred Morris’ 4th season in the NFL, but he looked out of gas early on last year, and he isn’t getting much attention so far in free agency.

2016 Free Agents that Washington Needs to Address– QB Kirk Cousins (Re-signed 1-year deal), RB Alfred Morris, FB Darrel Young, RB Pierre Thomas, QB Colt McCoy, TE Logan Paulsen, ILB Mason Foster, CB Will Blackmon, OLB Junior Galette, NT Kedric Golston, ILB Will Compton (RFA), ILB Keenan Robinson, G/C Josh LeRibeus, NT Terrance Knighton,

2016 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of Washington is on their defense that ranked #21 in 2015. Washington needs inside linebackers and a revamped defensive line that can actually slow down an opposing team’s running attack. Like everyone else, they need help on their O-Line. ( former Brown’s Center Alex Mack would have been a huge acquisition, but he signed with ATL)- Washington still needs a workhorse running back and more talent in their receiving corps.-WASHINGTON’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know – Former Redskins Running Back John Riggins went to college at Kansas University where he broke the rushing record of another great Running Back, Gale Sayers.

Team Home Page: www.redskins.com

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS

Tennessee Titans Team Profile 2016

Tennessee Titans Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

On November 3, 2015, the Titans relieved Ken Whisenhunt of head coaching duties and announced that Asst HC Mike Mularkey would step in as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2015 season. On January 16, 2016, Tennessee officially named Mularkey as their full-time head coach for the upcoming season.

2016 Team Outlook– Indianapolis had won the the AFC South in 2 consecutive years, prior to 2015. With the Colt’s QB Andrew Luck on the sidelines last season, there was a better chance for Tennessee, Houston or Jacksonville to take the division. Houston ended up winning the AFC South, with a 9-7 record. Tennessee had a new rookie quarterback and ended with a 3-13 record. The Jaguars were 5-11 because they did not have a defense to compete with. If QB Luck is 100% healthy, I like the Colts to rebound, but Houston is making it interesting with their recent player acquisitions.


2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–

QB–  QB Marcus Mariota went #2 overall to the Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft, and started in Week 1. The rookie quarterback wasn’t able to play an entire 16 game season, diagnosed with a sprained right MCL after Week 15. Tennessee’s record dictated shutting the rookie QB down for the remainder of the season. Mariota ended 2015 with 2818 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns and 10 INTs. In Week 13 vs Jacksonville, Mariota had 9 rushes for 112 yards  and 1 TD. (most of the yards coming on a fun-to-watch 87 touchdown run in the 4th quarter) New HC Coach Mike Mularkey has stated that the Titans will “design more running plays” for Marcus Mariota in his second NFL season.

RB-  Down around #46 is where you’ll find the Titan’s top running back last season, Antonio Andrews. He had 556 rushing yards and 3 TDs. If you keep digging deep, you can find Tennessee’s other backs if you want, Bishop Sankey, Terrence West and David Cobb. Fantasy football owners were disappointed, and so were the Titan’s. On March 7, 2016 Tennessee traded for former Eagle RB DeMarco Murray. Happy to be out of Philadelphia, Murray signed a 4-year contract worth $25.5 million. Murray is a solid running back, but he was made special by Dallas’ #1 offensive line in 2014. There were 14 running backs I ranked ahead of Murray at the start of 2015, and #15 is my ranking for Murray in 2016. UPDATE: Titans acquired RB DeMarco Murray from the Eagles in exchange for undisclosed draft pick compensation.

WRs– The Titans have used the NFL Drafts to fortify their receiving corps over the past 4 years. Kendall Wright was selected in 2012 and Justin Hunter in 2013. In the  2015 NFL Draft, the Titans grabbed 2 more….6’5″ Dorial Green-Beckham ( 2nd round) and 6’0″ Tre McBride ( 7th round). Still trying to surround their quarterback with weapons, Tennessee signed former Dolphin wide out Rishard Matthews on March 9th, 2016. It’s an imposing core of receivers, and now fantasy football owners need to decide who will help them the most. No Titan receiver ranked in the top 50 last year. I would wait until the late rounds in 2016 fantasy football drafts to get a receiver from this team. UPDATE: former Dolphin WR Rishard Matthews signed a 3-year deal w/ TENN.

TEs– A tight end can be a rookie quarterback’s best friend. After the 2015 season was in the books, Walker was the #5 tight end in the NFL. He led all NFL tight ends with 94 receptions. He is a weapon that QB Mariota likes to get the ball to.

K– Mr. Irrelevant from 2009, Ryan Succop, did not have a great fantasy football season in 2015, but you can’t blame Mr. Irrelevant from 2009, Ryan Succop. The man only had 16 field goal attempts in 2015, and made 14 of them. That’s good for a 87. 5%…..11th best in the NFL. The Titans re-signed K Ryan Succop to a three-year contract.

DEF– The Titans were the 23rd worst defense in 2015. Tennessee was 24th vs the pass and 24th vs the run. Houston was the only team in that division with a strong defense (#8 in the NFL) and they won the AFC South. The Titans need a defense that isn’t ranked in the bottom 3rd every year.

2015 Tennessee Fantasy Surprises– 1) If you get as far as the NFL, you are a special talent. Tennessee had talented running backs on their roster in 2015, but none of them did very much, so they traded for RB DeMarco Murray. 2) I am a believer in letting a quarterback hold a clipboard for year, before throwing them at NFL defenses filled with world class athletes. Mariota was given very little time to be a starting NFL quarterback, and he was one.

2016 Free Agents that Tennessee Needs to Address–
TE Craig Stevens, ILB Zach Brown, CB Coty Sensabaugh, NT Sammie Lee Hill, NT Al Woods, RT Byron Bell, G/T Jamon Meredith

2016 NFL Draft–
The immediate needs of Tennessee is protecting the quarterback that they spent a #2 overall 2015 NFL Draft on. The Titan’s allowed a league-high 54 sacks in 2015. The Titan’s need defensive backs in April and need reinforcements on their defensive line. TENNESSEE’S 2015 DRAFT-

Did You Know– While playing for the Titans, Chris Johnson twice had the longest TD run of the season in the NFL. He did this with a 91 yard scoring run in 2009 and then again with a 94 yard touchdown run in 2012.

Team Home Page: www.titansonline.com

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS