One of the breakout stars for the 2016 season was Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder. After a decent rookie season, Crowder was able to cash in on big plays in 2016 and became a legit WR3 or flex play in PPR leagues. Fantasy owners were looking forward to an even better performance in 2017. A majority of Crowder owners are probably disappointed with this past season, however. Is their disappointment justified, though?
In 2016, Crowder finished as the WR31 and 78th overall in PPR leagues. In 2017, Crowder only fell two spots to WR33, but all the way down to 96th overall. If Crowder hadn’t missed one game in 2017, he probably would have finished better in all categories outside of touchdowns than he did in 2016.
The numbers across the board are almost identical. I am most happy to see his yards per reception stick around the 12 mark. Everyone’s favorite slot receiver, Jarvis Landry, finished the season with 8.8 yards per reception. If Crowder can carry that number over to 2018 and inch closer to 100 receptions, you’re in business. I want to see Crowder beef up those touchdown numbers again, though. He was not able to replicate his touchdown numbers from 2016, but should that be enough to completely turn the fantasy community against him? Touchdowns can be a fluky category if you are not one of the top wide receivers in the game and a legit WR1. The Redskins offense as a whole saw a huge decline from 2016 to 2017, falling from 12th in points to 16th and third in yards to 16th. Washington spent the entire year fighting through ineffective play (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) and injuries (Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson) which lead to issues for everyone on that side of the ball. Crowder’s “down” season was a product of everything around him. Besides the touchdowns, though, there is another reason why Crowder fell so far in overall points.
2017 will be remembered as year of the running back. We saw some great performances from veterans and rookies alike that have dynasty owners salivating to add running backs regardless of the cost. This will probably be a trend for a while. When you look at the top 100 players in 2016 and 2017, the amount of running backs and wide receivers in the top 100 didn’t change much.
2016: RB – 22 / WR – 43
2017: RB – 24 / WR – 38
This is where the real difference is. In 2016, only 18 running back finished ahead of Crowder in PPR leagues. In 2017 though, 24 running backs finished ahead of Crowder. That is why Crowder only fell from WR31 to WR33 but fell from 78th overall to 96th overall. Crowder, and a lot of wide receivers, will be facing an uphill battle in terms of ADP as we close in on draft season for dynasty leagues. A very strong season from running backs has a lot of receivers seeing a decrease in their value. Performance is not necessarily to blame. Just look at Crowder’s ADP from the beginning of 2017 through January 2018.
Crowder’s value tanked toward the end of September and continues to get worse. More than likely it will not recover before the beginning of the season. That is what happens when your team switches from Kirk Cousins to Alex Smith as their starting QB. Smith had a tremendous 2017, but there is no way he will continue that in 2018. Smith will be good enough to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers, though, and the No. 1 playmaker for the Redskins right now is Crowder.
The only player currently healthy for Washington that could challenge Crowder for targets is Doctson, but I am not sold on him being the WR1-type Washington thinks he is. In fact, the WR1 for Washington next season will be Crowder. Reed can’t stay on the field, Thompson is on the way back from surgery and Pryor is on the way out after his one-year deal was a complete disaster. I assume the Redskins will add playmakers in the passing game through the draft or free agency this year as well, but that will only help Crowder.
Smith showed he still has enough in the tank to get players the ball downfield, which will help Crowder. He won’t need to be a check-down option from the slot. He will still be allowed to find some of those big plays that helped him break out in 2016. If you toss touchdowns out the window, Crowder was almost the same exact player in 2016 as he was in 2017. Dynasty owners are not nearly as high on him this offseason though. The best way to get Crowder will be with rookie picks. When the draft is complete and rookie fever officially hits the high point of the season, cash in. I would be comfortable offering up a mid-to-late second round rookie pick and another small piece to bring Crowder aboard.