In a surprising-to-some but expected-to-many outcome, the Washington Football team, led by Coach Ron Riviera, has moved on from their 2019 first-round QB Dwayne Haskins.
The preseason clearance of former Pro Bowl QB Alex Smith and the trade for Kyle Allen, who replaced Cam Newton in Carolina last year under Ron Riviera, meant that Haskins owners should’ve been hoping for a far better start to the season than what the Rose Bowl MVP and Ohio State Alumn has given us.
There were red flags coming into the league for Haskins, a top 15 pick: only starting one season at Ohio State, a team that featured J.K. Dobbins, Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, and K.J. Hill. While the season he started was incredible, leading him to be a third-team All American, his entry into the NFL has been uninspiring for a team that is struggling with so many other issues.
He would probably count himself unfortunate after being benched coming off of what some say is his best performance so far as an NFL starting QB. However, the pattern leading up to this has been trending negative for a while.
Haskins has thrown for just 11 TDs in his 13 games with a completion percentage below 60%. While these numbers seem bad, it’s much worse. He contributed 10 interceptions against those 11 touchdowns, has been sacked 42 times (at an average loss of 7.5 yds) and fumbled the ball an additional 10 times.
We know Haskins probably isn’t playing to the standard that we would expect, and that’s why he is making the Gatorade this week. The worrying thing is not only is he reverting to a backup but that Washington has moved him all the way to QB3 on the depth chart.
Options Going Forward
Of course, there is the fairytale story of Alex Smith who many feared would lose his leg in one of the more gruesome on-field injuries in recent memory. The former Pro-Bowler may likely get a start later in the season if they continue down the spiral, leading to an early pick. Wise fantasy owners have either picked up or held onto shares in deeper leagues. If Smith isn’t owned in your Superflex league, go grab him. In deeper 1QB leagues, if you have the bench space, he is worth a stash. He is a solid QB with rushing upside, having three seasons of 350+ rushing yards to go with a strong TD:INT ratio.
The initial starter will be none other than the QB who replaced Cam Newton in 2019, Kyle Allen. The question will be what are we going to get from the former Texas A&M signal-caller. While he produced an uninspiring season last year with 17 touchdowns vs. 16 interceptions, his poor choices were not reflected in a reasonable completion percentage. His college resume, while uninspiring, led one of the more experienced coaches in the NFL to sign the UDFA last year and trade for him this year.
The question now is what to do with all this. It’s ugly and to be honest, contending teams should be trying to steer clear of this like any muddied situation. But cagier owners who have paid attention can stand to double-up on profits here. If you own Kyle Allen or Alex Smith, now is the time to evaluate their use. If you’re contending, hold, and with this COVID affected season, the depth could come in vital with some teams losing multiple starters to the virus in any given week. However, if you have the depth, shop them around for 2021 second- or third-round picks in Superflex leagues to owners of Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill, or other players affected by the upcoming bye weeks.
A Second Chance
It is likely that, given there are no real long term viable backups in Washington, we do see Dwayne Haskins again before the season is out. Riviera’s experience guiding Cam Newton over the years will likely see this as a teachable moment for the young QB, as two quarterbacks who better understand the systems in place go-ahead for a few weeks. This is probably an opportunity to buy a starting QB on the cheap over the next 2-3 weeks, and owners should be looking to offer up aging players, mid-round picks, or fringe squad players to secure a young QB at a discount. The former top 15 pick will likely get another shot somewhere in the NFL, the question is with who and when?
Thanks for reading! Reach out to me on Twitter @markbullishere with any fantasy questions.