The name Mike Shanahan has a special place in the pits of dynasty league owners’ stomachs. Shanny is notoriously the toughest coach to predict as far as depth charts and production of fantasy players go, especially running backs. When he was named the new head coach in Washington, there was immediate and justified panic among owners of a lot of Redskins players. Now that most of the personnel shakeups have happened, let’s take a closer look at the revamped Redskins in the latest edition of the dynasty capsule.
Players in their Prime
Donovan McNabb QB
If Jason Campbell can find a way to throw for 3,618 yards and 20 touchdowns with the personnel he had last year, McNabb should fare much better with Shanahan in town. While the running back carousel is something nobody is looking forward to, Shanahan does tend to get the most out of his quarterbacks. McNabb won’t find the same caliber of wide receivers he had in his last year in Philadelphia, but he should have enough to turn in another fine McNabb-like season. After all, he’s put together some great fantasy seasons with mediocre to poor skill position talent before. He’s getting older, but I don’t see McNabb’s value falling off the cliff quite yet. He’s a sneaky get in dynasty leagues as a veteran lower end No. 1 or top tier No. 2 QB.
Chris Cooley TE
Fred Davis seems to be in the plans more for the upcoming season, but the coaching staff should fall in love with Cooley's natural ability. They already have him running the entire route tree and learning how to play in the slot. His value is stable as a lower end No. 1 TE.
Fred Davis TE
Davis showed his receiving ability at USC could translate to the NFL when he took over after Cooley’s injury. He currently has trouble blocking a chair, but seems to be steadily improving in that area. If he becomes a complete TE, he has No.1 TE upside.
Malcom Kelly WR
Santana Moss may have some legal troubles on the way, and Devin Thomas has been less than impressive with his consistency so far in practice. That means the door is wide open for Thomas to take advantage and claim some valuable playing time. Shanahan has apparently already told him they’re going to be creative in finding ways to get him the ball.
Players with Falling Values
Clinton Portis RB
Nobody may have been more disappointed in the Shanahan hiring than Portis. It wasn’t too long ago that he was jettisoned from the Broncos by the same regime in exchange for Champ Bailey. Besides, his lack of explosion was evident last year. He’s simply running out of gas and he’ll be shown no allegiance on the depth chart. If I had another owner asking about him, I’d sell immediately.
Larry Johnson RB
It wasn’t too long ago that LJ took off the diapers and single-handedly won league championships for dynasty owners across the country. Unfortunately, he was run into the ground by Kansas City and is simply a shell of what he used to be. He couldn’t reclaim that magic in Cincinnati and won’t in Washington, either.
Willie Parker RB
Fast Willie was one of the greatest waiver wire wonders in dynasty league and fantasy football history. His time in the spotlight is over, though. Thanks for the memories!
Santana Moss WR
I still believe he’s good enough to be a low-end No. 2 or high-end No. 3 wide receiver this season. However, the suspension talk has me worried after his name was reportedly in the “NFL File Folder” seized by authorities in a Toronto-based HGH investigation. Long-term outlooks for wide receivers who are 31 with just one or two seasons left on their contracts are historically not great, either.
Devin Thomas WR
He’s been a total disappointment thus far in his career. The hope is a new coach, better offensive line, and new QB are just what the doctor ordered. I don’t expect an incredible breakout season for Thomas, though. He’s already disappointed the coaching staff with his inconsistent offseason.
Ryan Torain RB
Nobody really fits the bill for a conventional sleeper on this team at this point, but Torain is most definitely a deep sleeper in dynasty circles. Many owners were salivating when Torain finally got his first start in Denver two years ago, but were left crushed when he tore up his knee that same night. Injuries are a huge concern for Torain and have been since he was at Arizona State, but the coaching staff is very familiar with him and we know how quickly a depth chart can change on a team led by Shanahan. He’ll likely be left off the final roster, but he’s worth monitoring.
Gone is the putrid offense of Jim Zorn in Washington. This franchise now has the backing of a dedicated owner, a head coach who knows how to win, and an effective starting QB for the first time in ages. The new regime is dedicated to turning this once proud franchise back to prominence and dynasty owners hope the success that’s followed this coaching staff continues in D.C.
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