By choosing Josh Doctson in the first round of the NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins surprised some people. They also piqued the interest of many fantasy football owners. The TCU product was a receptions machine in college. He was heavily targeted and won battles against top corners time and time again.
But this is the NFL. In Washington, Doctson won't be relied upon like a No. 1 wideout right away. He'll compete for looks and catches with a bevy of other pass-catchers. So how will the Redskins go about sharing one football?
I think one given is that Doctson will not change DeSean Jackson's role or usage. While Rashad Ross could be another deep threat, he is not anywhere close to Jackson's experience level as a receiver. D-Jax will continue to be a low-volume, boom-or-bust WR3. He will accumulate 1,000 or so yards and score a handful of touchdowns again. He just has a special skill set and will continue to do what he has done pretty consistently since 2008.
I think the Redskins wideout most in danger of losing a significant amount of targets because of Doctson is Pierre Garcon. There was even a thought from some outside of team headquarters that the Redskins might release Garcon in the wake of drafting Doctson. That won't happen, but fans have probably seen the best he has to offer. Garcon is a strong possession receiver with moderate speed and does great work over the middle of the field. Doctson is the same player in many ways, except younger, much more athletic and two inches taller.
The rookie needs to add strength and improve his routes, but as he erases his weaknesses, I expect him to seize the No. 2 WR job from Garcon. Maybe that changing of the guard won't appear on the lineup card often; Garcon will probably start plenty of games. But in terms of targets and production, Doctson looks like he could be the No. 2 man fairly soon. He won't be A.J. Green, but Doctson could be a consistent WR3 in fantasy, especially in PPR leagues. Garcon is more of a WR4 or WR5.
Elsewhere in the wide receiving core, Jamison Crowder may lose a few looks because of Doctson, who does have slot experience, but I don't think that will have a huge effect. Crowder will remain a name to watch in deeper PPRs only.
Finally, we have the Redskins' new $50 million man, tight end Jordan Reed. He is coming off a tremendous season in which he caught 87 balls for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Sure, Doctson could chip into his production, but I don't see that. Kirk Cousins has a great deal of trust in Reed, and that bond is not going anywhere. Head coach Jay Gruden will want to emphasize that connection, considering how well it worked last season and in order to get the most out of the franchise's investment in Reed. If anything, having another outside option that defenses must respect should give Reed a little more room to work between the seams.
As for Cousins, you know he thoroughly enjoyed seeing Washington give him another weapon early in the draft. Do you realize that he was the No. 8 fantasy quarterback in standard leagues last season? With another year in Gruden's system and surrounded by familiar receivers plus a pro-ready newcomer, he could have another QB1 campaign. Of course, if the Redskins' defense improves, the team won't have to dial up as many pass plays.
To recap, I think Doctson can be a decent WR3 in 12-team leagues this season. Most of Washington's veteran receivers will still have the opportunity to put up their similar numbers, though Pierre Garcon will probably see his stats dip the most because of Doctson.
Talk sports and whatever else with Brian Murphy on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy
To get instant Redskins notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HEREnull