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Chris Thompson's 340 receiving yards are the most through a team's opening five games since Matt Forte (345 yards) in 2011.
65.4 percent (17-of-26) of Thompson's targets have come with Washington ahead on the scoreboard, the highest rate for all players with 20 or more targets on the season.
Jamison Crowder has 16.2 percent of the Washington receptions, but just 9.1 percent of their receiving yardage, the largest negative difference in the league.
Jordan Reed (last week he ran the most routes he’s had in a game since Week 1, but has yet to provide anything useful for fantasy while he’s been held to fewer than 40 yards in six of seven career games versus the Eagles).
Terrelle Pryor (he hasn’t topped five targets or three receptions since Week 1 since receiving 11 in this matchup Week 1 while Philadelphia has allowed a top-30 week to every lead receiver except for one)
1. Kirk Cousins
Well, that statline doesn't look very good for the best quarterback of the week, does it? The biggest factor here is that Cousins' interception didn't hurt his DYAR very much at all. It came on third-and-12, so the odds of success were very low anyway. And it was thrown very deep, resulting in a net switch of 48 yards of field position and giving the 49ers the ball at their own 20. In fact, there were more than 60 completed passes in the NFL this week that were worse, by DYAR, than Cousins' interception. Joe Flacco and Philip Rivers each had six of them. As for what Cousins did right, he made most of his big plays in the second quarter, going 8-of-12 for 120 yards with one touchdown, one sack, and yes, one pesky interception. He picked up two third-down conversions in the quarter, and also picked up a first down on second-and-22. Cousins also got a lot of help from his receivers -- his average completion produced 9.4 yards after the catch, nearly a full yard higher than anyone else.
4. Chris Thompson
A long run of just 11 yards and only two first downs, with one fumble and six runs for no gain or a loss. (How do you lose 9 yards on first-and-10?) But he had catches of 13, 20, 23, and 49 yards. And he did most of that work on his own, with 111 percent of his receiving yardage coming after the catch. That's not a typo -- he had -12 yards through the air, 117 after the catch.
If Cousins can continue to optimize the abilities of Chris Thompson, 4.9 yards per carry and 3.54 yards per route run (first among running backs), and fulfill the promise to use Josh Doctson (to whom he has 120.4 passer rating on his targets) more in the passing game, the Spreadskins could keep this one closer than they did in Week 1 and pull out the cover.
Protege tops mentor as Cousins and Shanahan vie
The dominant storyline for yesterday’s Redskins-49ers game was Kirk Cousins facing Kyle Shanahan, Washington’s former offensive coordinator who is now San Francisco’s head coach. Cousins threw two touchdown passes and scored a late touchdown on a 7-yard run, as the Redskins topped the Niners, 26–24. That result followed a recent pattern: Over the last three seasons, quarterbacks starting against a team whose head coach had been one of their former head coaches, offensive coordinators, or QB coaches have a 25–11–1 record.
Also of note: Cousins leads the Redskins with 10 rushing touchdowns over the last three seasons.
It was an incredibly efficient performance for Cousins, who spread the ball around to nine different targets, with none of his wide receivers gaining more than 40 yards. The most explosive plays came from the duo of running back Chris Thompson (105 yards) and backup tight end Vernon Davis (65 yards). Captain Kirk led all quarterbacks in Week 6 with a Performance Score of 92.
After a slow start to his season, Cousins now has multiple touchdowns in his last three games while still developing a report with new receivers like Terrelle Pryor and the now healthy Josh Doctson. And with star tight end Jordan Reed slowly returning to health, this offense should continue to gain momentum in the weeks ahead.
Total QBR vs. 49ers
NO. 3 OVERALL, WEEK 6
Cousins opened the season with Total QBRs of 34.2 and 35.2 in Weeks 1 and 2, but now has his third straight start with a Total QBR of over 80 after doing just enough to hold off the 49ers on Sunday. His 86.0 QBR since the start of Week 3 is second best in the league behind only Dak Prescott's 88.1. Cousins' biggest plays against San Francisco came via his legs. He had a 7-yard touchdown scramble for what proved to be the winning points late in the fourth quarter, as well as an 18-yard scramble late in the third quarter which helped set up a go-ahead field goal. Cousins was also money when throwing short, completing 78 percent of his passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He converted 13 of those for first downs, his most on such throws since converting 16 against Cincinnati in Week 8 of 2016. (Note: Washington had its bye in Week 5.)
Yesterday was Kirk Cousins' 20th game over the last three seasons with a passer rating of 100, tied w/Brees & Ryan for the most in that span pic.twitter.com/LEZpEqAZG6— ProFootballReference (@pfref) October 16, 2017
Chris Thompson Leads All RBs With an Average of 68 Receiving Yards per Game
Despite the Redskins already having their bye week, Chris Thompson's 340 receiving yards are actually 47 more than any other running back this season. And he has had to work for those yards, as he leads all NFL players with 333 yards after catch.
Thompson's current pace equates to 1,088 receiving yards over a full 16-game season, which would be the most ever by a running back. And he's on pace to get there in just 83.2 targets, which would be 19.8 less than it took Marshall Faulk to set his current record of 1,048 receiving yards back in 1999.
Among all players with 10 or more targets this season, Thompson has been the 3rd-most efficient, with 1.24 Reception NEP per target.
In Week 7, Thompson will get another crack at the Philadelphia Eagles, who let him rack up 52 receiving yards and a touchdown on 4 receptions in Week 1 of this season.
Last week I looked at the value of QB play in the NFL and this week I turned my attention to running backs. My valuation process was pretty similar. Players are awarded salary values are based on total net output both rushing and receiving, how that output compared to the average output, snaps played, and team record. Values are essentially based on the current market prices and what teams are willing to pay for the position. By value again I am talking APY as that is the easiest and most sticky way of dealing with an accepted value for a player.
Chris Thompson ranks sixth in salary value ($6,00,233). That value is approximately $2.5M more than his $3.5M APY. The $2.5M difference between those two values ranks 17th out of the 49 running backs that were examined. Almost every running back ahead of Thompson on this list is still on their rookie deal; hence, the Redskins are getting one of the best values for a veteran running back in the NFL.
Chris Thompson has 25.5% of Washington's receiving yards on 5.2% of the team's air yards and 15.9% of the team's targets.— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) October 15, 2017
Chris Thompson now has more 100-yard rec games than Julio, Evans, MiThomas, Jordy, Amari and Dez combined through a third of the year... pic.twitter.com/zDUxfxNS6U— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) October 16, 2017
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins
But Crowder's role hasn't increased at all this season, as he's averaging fewer than five targets per game. That puts him on pace for 77 targets, not nearly enough to be a legitimate fantasy football factor. If he continues performing the way he been has, that reduced role will probably continue.
Per our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, Crowder is putting up an unbelievably bad 0.09 Reception NEP per target. Small sample size aside, that's three times worse than what Tavon Austin managed on a per-target basis last season, which happened to be the sixth least-efficient performance by a wide receiver who'd received 50 targets in a season since 2000, out of 1,441 such instances.
Start of the Week: Terrelle Pryor at Eagles: He’s yet to top 70 yards in a game and has just one touchdown on a badly-defended deep ball against the Chiefs in Week 4. Since seeing 11 targets in Week 1, Pryor has averaged 4.5 targets per game. That’s just not cutting it, and owners are understandably frustrated as the offense seems to work through Chris Thompson and the tight ends. However, the Eagles have long defended tight ends and running backs well, while struggling badly with perimeter receivers. This is a breakout spot for Pryor, who continues to lead Redskins receivers in snaps. Philadelphia is 28th in fantasy points, 31st in yards, and 32nd in catches allowed to opposing receivers. The Eagles have allowed the fourth-most 40-plus-yards pass plays. No. 1 CB Ronald Darby remains out with an ankle injury, and fill-in top outside CB Jalen Mills has been getting whooped in coverage. Mills is currently Pro Football Focus’ No. 104 cover corner out of 112 qualifiers and has surrendered three touchdowns, tied for fourth-most among those 112 corners. The 48.5-point total in Redskins-Eagles is the second-highest of the week. Both offenses can light it up through the air, so this has some serious shootout potential. It’s starting to become now or never for Pryor.
I'm anxiously awaiting the time when Redskins make Doctson a featured part of this passing game, but so far he's been limited to just three targets or less each week. He scored in Week 6 against San Francisco on an 11-yard catch, nearly had a touchdown to win the game in Week 4 at Kansas City and caught a 52-yard touchdown in Week 3 against Oakland. This could be the week Doctson goes off, and he's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues. Philadelphia has allowed five touchdowns in the past four games to opposing receivers and seven receivers have scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league against the Eagles over that span.
Jay Gruden has already talked about getting Doctson more involved. Which is great because even on just 26 percent of the snaps, he's provided a touchdown in two of his last three. So I'm very comfortable with him this week. The matchup is pretty good against the Eagles so the future starts today.
Through five games, Doctson has shown glimpses of his potential, so it’s understandable that the team wants to increase his role. He’s hauled in all four of his catchable targets for two touchdowns and 90 receiving yards, with 72 of those receiving yards coming on on deep passes that traveled 20-plus yards in the air. When targeting him, quarterback Kirk Cousins has posted a passer rating of 120.4. Ryan Grant (122.5) is the only Redskins receiver to generate a better passer rating.
It's stunning to see Reed still being started in 70 percent of CBS Sports leagues. Why??? What has he possibly done to make you feel reliant in him as a Fantasy starter? Even though he's played plenty he's maxed out at six catches and 48 yards with two red-zone targets on the season. The Eagles happen to be pretty good against opposing tight ends -- only Travis Kelce has burned them for more than eight Fantasy points on the season. They've also bottled up Reed for less than 50 yards and no scores in six of seven career meetings. Don't torture yourself -- give Reed a rest.
The Washington Redskins pulled out a tight win Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers. A key component in the team’s win was getting a monster performance from right guard Brandon Scherff, who put up an absurd 96.3 game grade, the top game grade among guards on the season.
Scherff was dominant in the run game, producing the season’s highest run-block grade across all positions of 99.8. His impact run block percentage of 34.4 percent led the NFL this week, as he routinely won his block at the point of attack and got to the second level.
Not allowing a single pressure on 42 pass-block snaps, Scherff kept a clean sheet in pass protection also.
With his huge game this week Scherff now ranks third among guards with an overall grade of 85.0. His run block grade of 91.8 ranks second.
These tackles didn't allow any pressures in Week 6 pic.twitter.com/nr4MNJPc8r— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 21, 2017
In his Monday Morning QB column today, Peter King claimed the NFL is a "mismash of mediocrity." Maybe. But maybe underappreciated defensive designers have figured out some new schemes to combat the NFL's highpowered offenses and recent drafts have delivered truckloads of talented DBs to execute those designs. QC considers 6.7 QCYPA to be ground zero of NFL mediocrity. In 2016, only 6 teams held opposing pasers to less than 6.7 QCYPA (Denver, Minnesota, Houston, Arizona, NY Giants and Jacksonville). Through 6 weeks, 12 NFL teams are holding opposing passers below that figure (Atlanta, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, LA Chargers, Seattle and Washington) and 2 more are just barely over 6.7 (Minnesota and NY Jets). Those numbers describe defensive excellence, not mediocrity.
14. Washington Redskins
BEST-GRADED STARTER: Kendall Fuller, CB, 88.4
WORST-GRADED: Ziggy Hood, DI, 41.1
The Washington pass-rush has been revamped this season, with unexpected contributions from Junior Galette, coming off the back of multiple season-ending injuries, as well as second-year man Matt Ioannidis up front. Rookie interior lineman Jonathan Allen has been as good as expected but is now feared out for the season, and they have had some surprising positives in the secondary.
Heading into the draft, Allen was PFF’s top-rated defensive tackle, after he ended the 2016 college season with ‘elite’ grade 92.1. However, Allen fell to the Redskins at pick 17 and has been an excellent addition to the team’s defense since. He’s played 159 snaps in five regular-season games, and is currently ranked 28th of 124 interior linemen with a PFF overall grade of 81.3.
Through five games of the 2017 season, 85.5 percent of Allen’s snaps have come in the pass-rush, and he has been mightily impressive. On those 106 pass-rushing snaps, Allen has produced three sacks, three hits and 10 hurries, resulting in a pass-rush productivity of 12.0 that ranks fifth among 107 interior linemen with at least 50 pass-rushing snaps.
With Allen out, increased opportunities will arise for veterans Stacy McGee, Ziggy Hood and Terrell McClain, but they will have to dig deep if they’re going to emulate Allen’s success in the pass-rush. Through five games, Allen’s 16 pressures are more than Hood, McGee and McClain have combined.
8. Jonathan Allen, DI, Washington Redskins
PFF Grade: 81.3
PFF Elite Stat: Allen leads the NFL’s DTs with at least 30 pass-rush snaps with a 13.1 pass-rush productivity mark.
Charging up the rookie rankings is Allen, after a third strong performance in as many games, against San Francisco in Week 6. Against the 49ers, Allen registered another four QB pressures giving him 13 total for the season, most among rookie interior defenders. Most impressively, he’s reached 13 pressures on just 80 snaps, less than No. 2 and No. 3 on the list of most pressures out of a rookie DT (Adam Butler, 9 pressures, 93 pass-rush snaps; Jeremiah Ledbetter, 6 pressures, 89 pass-rush snaps). In all, his pass-rush productivity mark of 13.1 is first among all the league’s DTs with at least 30 pass-rush snaps.
In 13 career games against the Philadelphia Eagles, OLB Ryan Kerrigan has at least a sack or QB hit in all but two of them #HTTR— PFF WAS Redskins (@PFF_Washington) October 18, 2017
PHI RT Lane Johnson is one of the highest graded Tackles in the league & has only given up one sack this season - to Ryan Kerrigan in week 1— PFF WAS Redskins (@PFF_Washington) October 20, 2017
A key matchup will be Redskins inside linebacker Zach Brown vs. Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount.
In Week 1, Brown had five tackles, four at or behind the line of scrimmage, and helped Washington hold Blount to just 46 rushing yards on 14 carries. Since then, Blount has 344 yards (sixth-most among running backs) and a touchdown, with a whopping 5.5 yards per carry after contact. In addition, only Kareem Hunt (27) and Le’Veon Bell (26) have caused more missed tackles than Blount (22) since that Week 1 matchup.
Agholor is on pace to shatter his previous career-bests across the board and is third on the Eagles in targets. Running 86.3% of his routes out of the slot, Agholor will see a ton of Redskins CB Kendall Fuller on Monday night. Fuller is Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 cover corner but hasn’t seen anyone worth his salt, going up against guys like Trent Taylor, Albert Wilson, and Seth Roberts. Agholor faced these Redskins in Week 1 and caught a 58-yard touchdown on a busted play on his way to a final 8-86-1 line.
Lowest Opp QBRating (min 100 pass snaps; 92 players)— SportsInfo Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) October 20, 2017
1. J. Smith (13.7)
2. J. Ramsey (27.5)
3. K. Fuller (28.9)
4. A. Bouye (29.1)
Lowest burn % (through Week 6)— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) October 20, 2017
R. Robinson 44
T. White 45
T. Mitchell 49
Montae Nicholson, SS, Washington Redskins (63 snaps/88%)
If you're looking for a DB streamer, you might want to consider Nicholson. In Week 6, he saw his snap usage increase to 88% and posted a 9.5% tackle rate. Nicholson is a versatile safety who's capable of making plays around the ball.
The Big Spenders
Our final group averaged $73.9 million in new contracts. When you spend this kind of money you are expecting a far better result than the year before. For some teams that can only be measured by playoff success or failure. The teams in this group are the Dolphins, Panthers, Bears, Vikings, Lions, Redskins, Steelers, and Browns.
The spending has paid off to some extent. As a group these teams were 56-71-1 last year and are currently 23-23. The Panthers are the team that has improved the most signing some massive extensions and one big free agent and many smaller mid level contracts. The Vikings made massive investments in their own players and may be peaking. Washington is may be bit better than last year and the Dolphins, even with really uninspiring numbers, have found their way to pretty much be on pace with last year’s record. The Steelers and Lions are a bit off last years pace but still in some contention.
A mild but notable concern is Cousins’ road-game splits. Beginning with most recent, Cousins’ last five passing yards/touchdown totals in away games are 220/2 > 179/1 > 270/1 > 234/2 > 271/1.
Washington’s wide target distribution has torpedoed the reliability of their individual pass catchers while Cousins flourishes. Pryor “leads” the team with just 5.8 targets per game. Pryor remains a tough fade in the most favorable matchup he’ll get all year. 11 different wideouts have cleared 50 yards against Philly in six games, including eruptions by Keenan Allen (5/138/0), Sterling Shepard (7/133/1), Tyrell Williams (5/115/1), Kelvin Benjamin (9/99/0), and Odell Beckham (9/79/2). … Doctson logged a season-low 26% snap rate coming off the bye and can’t be trusted. … Crowder hasn’t been the volume monster he looked set up to be entering the season and has the toughest matchup in Washington’s wideout corps against breakout slot CB Patrick Robinson, who is currently No. 2 in PFF’s cornerback grades. … Grant has five targets or fewer and fewer than 40 yards in four straight games. … The good news is Reed’s post-bye 73% playing-time clip was his highest since Week 1. The bad news is Vernon Davis (3/65/0) out-produced Reed (4/37/0) and the Eagles play stout tight end defense, giving up the
This is a smash spot for Ertz against a Washington defense that Ertz shredded for 8/93/0 receiving in Week 1, and was since rinsed by Rams tight ends (4/104/0), Raiders tight ends (5/42/1), and Travis Kelce (7/111/1). … Jeffery was contained (3/38/0) in that Opening Day game, as have been Pierre Garcon (5/55/0), Tyreek Hill (5/35/0), Cooper Kupp (3/30/0), Sammy Watkins (2/30/0), Robert Woods (1/8/0), Michael Crabtree (1/7/0), and Amari Cooper (1/6/0) by the Redskins. One reason for Alshon optimism is Norman and Breeland’s shaky health and/or availability.
QB Kirk Cousins vs. Eagles’ Pressure – Since he took over as the team’s starter in 2015, Kirk Cousins has posted a passer rating of 72.2 on his 399 total pressured attempts, good for 12th among quarterbacks with at least 250 attempts over that time. However, that figure falls 19.5 points when we look at the 64 passes he has thrown when pressured by the Eagles.
WR Josh Doctson vs. CB Patrick Robinson – Earlier this week, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden spoke about getting Josh Doctson more involved in the offense, so this could be the week we see the second-year receiver in an expanded role. Through five games, Doctson has hauled in all four of his catchable targets for two touchdowns and 90 receiving yards, and when targeting him, Cousins has posted a passer rating of 120.4. He’ll be eager to build upon his start, but it’ll be hard work against cornerback Patrick Robinson, who has been playing at an elite level for the Eagles this year. Through six games, Robinson has been targeted 36 times in coverage and he’s logged two interceptions, six pass-breakups and is allowing a passer rating of just 70.5.
TE Jordan Reed vs. LB Jordan Hicks – Reed has been hindered through injury so far this year and it’s resulted in a slower-than-usual start for the fifth-year tight end. At this point last season, Reed had seen 44 targets and put up 365 receiving yards at an average of 1.81 yards per route run. However, this year, Reed has seen just 24 targets, for 142 receiving yards and he currently ranks 15th among tight ends with an average of 1.48 yards per route run. It’s only a matter of time before Reed has a break-out game, and that could very well come against Jordan Hicks, who has allowed a passer rating of 110.4 when covering tight ends this year, and currently ranks 35th among linebackers with an ‘average’ coverage grade of 71.7.
T Jason Peters vs. Edge Preston Smith – Age is just a number for Philadelphia’s left tackle. Peters’ 86.9 overall grade is currently the top mark at his position, while his 97.5 pass-blocking efficiency ranks third. The veteran has allowed just three total pressures in his last four games, all of which came in a Week 5 victory over Arizona. This week, Peters will be lined up against Preston Smith on most snaps. Over his last three contests, the Redskins’ young pass-rusher has accumulated 10 total pressures- three sacks, three hits and four hurries. Smith accumulated four pressures in 26 pass-rush snaps in the teams’ Week 1 matchup.
RB Wendell Smallwood vs. LB Zach Brown –This will be an intriguing matchup on multiple offensive fronts. Smallwood is averaging 3.17 yards after contact on 29 rushing attempts, forcing three missed tackles. With Darren Sproles on IR, he is also the Eagles’ top pass-catching running back. The sophomore is averaging 1.00 yard per route run in 2017. On the other side of the ball, Brown has earned the third highest run-defense grade (87.2) among linebackers. He has also matched up up against opposing rushers on a number of coverage snaps. On the year, Brown has struggled covering running backs, allowing all 14 of his targets to be caught for 124 yards and two touchdowns. This could be a matchup for Philadelphia to exploit.
WR Nelson Agholor vs. CB Kendall Fuller – Agholor has been a revelation in his third year due in large part to his move into the slot (86.3 percent of routes). The former first-round pick is averaging 2.1 yards per route run from the slot, leading the league with four touchdowns there. Agholor’s 317 slot receiving yards ranks second in the NFL behind Golden Tate’s 319. Fuller has excelled as Washington’s primary slot corner this season. The second-year player earned an 85.8 overall grade last week against San Francisco, allowing just one catch on three targets. When in slot coverage this year, opposing quarterbacks have 57.8 passer rating when targeting Fuller.
Team Expected Points Added per Game pic.twitter.com/9r07Wdltw2— Brian Burke (@bburkeESPN) October 16, 2017
NFC EAST / MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
4. Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Matchup quality: 63 out of 100
FPI win projection: Eagles, 70 percent
FPI playoff leverage: Redskins 21 percent, Eagles 9 percent
Aaron Rodgers' injury crushed the Packers, and it also shook up the landscape of the NFC.
All of a sudden, the Eagles are the new favorites in the conference. And it's not even that close. Philadelphia has a 45 percent chance of entering the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the NFC, dwarfing the main challengers in the Vikings (15 percent) and Seahawks (14 percent). The Eagles also have the best shot to reach the Super Bowl (31 percent) of any team in the conference.
What's fueling the Eagles is the obvious: Carson Wentz. The former North Dakota State quarterback was treated like a rising star after last season despite largely playing poorly. But this time, the breakout is legitimate. Wentz is third in Total QBR, trailing only other neophyte signal-callers in Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott.
Teams are passing on Philly 71% of the time (most). Teams are passing on Washington 64% of the time (second-most). They play on Monday Night— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) October 18, 2017
How many receiving yards will Josh Doctson have on Monday Night Football against the Eagles?
This poll is closed
25 or fewer
26 to 50
51 to 75
76 to 100