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Fantasy Football Impact: Alex Smith Traded to the Redskins

Fantasy Football Impact: Alex Smith Traded to the Redskins
RotoExperts Staff January 30, 2018 10:58PM EST
So much for the Kirk Cousins era in Washington, huh? The Redskins shocked the football world Tuesday night by trading for Alex Smith and signing him to a four-year extension.

Okay, now that we have the unofficial details, what does this move mean for Fantasy Football purposes?

Washington Redskins

Alex Smith – He was never going to replicate last season, reaching career highs in completions, yards (540 over next closest season), touchdowns and Fantasy points. However, the Redskins would give him a decent chance to come close given their pass-happy offense. Over the past three seasons, Kirk Cousins attempted 543, 606 and 540 passes. Smith doesn’t have a game-breaking threat to the level of Tyreek Hill though, but a healthy Chris Thompson gives him one of the best pass-catching running backs out there.

Chris Thompson – Assuming he’s back to 100 percent, Thompson could have high-end RB2 value, as he had 804 yards (39 receptions, 510 receiving yards) and 112.4 points in 10 games. In PPR, that total jumps to 155.4, or 15.5 FPPG, which was 11th best. Samaje Perine is a between-the-tackle pounder, and Thompson’s value can even see a boost with Smith over Cousins, thereby offsetting any concerns over Perine stealing more work in 2018.

Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed (maybe) – Thompson is going to see a boost with Smith at quarterback given his west coast style and short-game tendencies. If Reed could ever stay on the field, he would get a bump too, as we have seen how much Smith loves his tight end with the use of Travis Kelce. The problem though… is that Reed can’t.stay.healthy!

Josh Doctson and Ryan Grant (or whoever the other outside receiver is) – The stock is down here. Doctson has yet to fulfill his potential, and that’s going to be even more difficult with Smith now at quarterback. As mentioned, Smith doesn’t go downfield often with Hill being more the reason for his plays of 20-plus yards and career year. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith has always ranked as one of the worst, and often the worst, at quarterback when it comes to aDOT (average depth of target).

YearaDOTRank
20177.933
20166.935
20156.837
20146.039
20136.942
20127.737
20118.033
20107.931
20097.636

Additionally, Smith topped 23 touchdowns for the first time in his career last year and it was only the second time he topped 20. Cousins had 29, 25 and 27 the past three seasons. That’s a downgrade to all receivers, but especially the outside options and red zone threats.

Kansas City Chiefs

It’s game on for Patrick Mahomes! Here’s an excerpt from my NFL Draft write-up on Mahomes.

You can argue – and I will – that Mahomes has the best potential in this class. Mahomes has a body ready for the NFL, great arm strength, which he flashes throwing from multiple angles and makes high-level throws on the move. He keeps his eyes up while scrambling and has a quick release that lets him find open receivers. Mahomes also has pinpoint placement with his throws, can hit the short, medium and deep passes and will throw his receivers open. He’ll also make the smart decision to throw the ball away or find the check-down options. It’s not all good with Mahomes though. His mechanics might need an overhaul, as his footwork in quite poor in the pocket and on drop-backs. He’ll also fail to reset completely and has a wide stance, leading to sailed passes due to his front leg being too stiff. Mahomes will often hold the ball too long and sometimes pull a Kirk Cousins: ignore the open/easy throw to make the more aggressive play.

You saw nearly all of these aspects in Mahomes’ only start in Denver for Week 17. While Mahomes is merely a QB2 for 2018 (albeit, high-end thanks to his rushing ability), the good news with the Chiefs offense is that Mahomes will lead to a higher scoring, more aggressive and bigger-play offense. The only concern for the Chiefs players is Mahomes’ potential for turnovers or speed bumps in his first year as a starter. There is a reason that the Chiefs were more than ready to move on from Smith though, and Fantasy Football owners should be excited.

Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

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