Daily Dr. Roto — June 21, 2018
Fantasy Football Draft Kit: James Washington Rookie Profile – Deep Sleeper
Fantasy Football is not an easy game to play, mainly because it requires a considerable balancing act. Fantasy owners have the responsibility to understand the skills of the players, the schemes of the offensive coordinators, and the nuances of the weekly lineups. More often than not, the things that seem apparent in Fantasy Football are seldom that way. For instance, last year, most Fantasy owners did not see a pathway for Saints RB Alvin Kamara to have a successful Fantasy season as he started out third on the team’s depth chart. A shrewd Fantasy owner would have realized that Kamara brought a unique skill set that neither Adrian Peterson nor Mark Ingram had thanks to his ability to catch the ball well out of the backfield. Is this easy to see? No, but if you drafted Kamara, you might have ended up with a Fantasy championship.
This brings me to Steelers WR James Washington. At first glance, Washington looks nothing more than an 18th round sleeper in a deep league. But I think there is more to him than that. Look at his highlight video:
Washington has the uncanny ability to catch almost all the 50-50 balls that Mason Rudolph threw last season. Even more interesting is the fact that Washington is not necessarily the fastest wide receiver on the field. His 40 time is 4.54, but it looks like he plays faster than that. Guys who had that skill were Jerry Rice and Cris Carter. Now, I am not saying that Washington is going to be a future Hall of Famer, I am saying that even though Rice and Carter weren’t the fastest guys in the league, they played fast on Sundays.
Most Fantasy owners will look at the Steelers depth chart and see that Washington is buried deep behind a ton of talented players. Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the game, Juju Smith-Schuster was a revelation as a rookie last season, TE Vance McDonald has good hands, and RB Le’Veon Bell is one of the top pass-catching running backs in the game. So where does Washington fit in now? He doesn’t. But, the question is not where does he fit in right now, but where will he fit in on Weeks 14-16 when you are playing for a Fantasy championship? If Brown and/or Juju are out for any reason, Washington can fill in and be a difference maker.
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