With the departure of Desean Jackson prior to the 2017 season, the Washington Redskins’ offense lacked a playmaker who consistently could blow the top off opposing defenses. Enter Paul Richardson, the ex-Seahawk is a 6-foot, 175 lbs. receiver with blazing 4.4 speed coming off a career season in Seattle.
Here are the workout metrics of Paul Richardson courtesy of PlayerProfiler.com.
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As the overall WR39, P-Rich enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 fueled by an air-it-out-first approach by the Seahawks. As the third option in the passing game, the former Colorado Buffalo thrived as the team’s deep threat. Russell Wilson had a 104.3 QB rating when targeting Richardson, including 13 20+ yards pass plays and 3 40+ yard plays including a season long 61-yard touchdown reception.
Fast forward to 2018, Paul Richardson will assume the role of Desean Jackson in a Jay Gruden orchestrated pass-first offense. The truth is P-Rich will be a better real-life addition to the offense than for fantasy purposes. In the past, Gruden often utilized the deep threat as more of a decoy to either draw a penalty down the field or pull coverage away from other receivers running intermediate routes. The other problem is that Richardson will not enjoy a higher target share (15% in Seattle) for two reasons. First, Washington’s offense will not be as imbalanced in favor of the pass as the Seahawks were last year. The other factor holding back Richardson’s production is the myriad of alternative receiving options on the team including Josh Doctson, Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, Chris Thompson, and Vernon Davis.
Ultimately, Paul Richardson should repeat similar fantasy results to last season as a WR4. The good news is there is room for optimism, considering a few key points. Almost all skill -position players in the Washington offense missed games in 2017 due to injury. Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder endured hamstring issues along with Chris Thompson breaking his fibula. Add in the oft-injured Jordan Reed and there is a great liklihood that Richardson will find a few games with increased opportunities. When deep threats in a Jay Gruden offense receive extra passing volume, good things tend to happen. Although they are different players, below is what Desean Jackson averaged per game in Washington:
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The Alex Smith Connection
Changing offenses is hard enough, but it’s often challenging for a new receiver to gel with a new quarterback. Smith is coming off a career year in which he excelled at throwing the deep ball. Together, Smith and Richardson will form a dynamic duo next season and the stats below illustrate why.
Throwing the Deep Ball
Passer rating: 134.7 (first)
Completion rate: 54.2 percent (first)
Percentage of yards: 30 percent (first)
Touchdown rate: 18.6 percent (second)
Throwing into Tight Windows
Completion pct.: 42.2 (fifth)
Passer rating: 67.6 (sixth)
Adjusted YPA: 5.27 (10th)
In the 2018 season, the Washington Redskins will have added a new dynamic to their offense with the addition of the deep threat. If Paul Richardson can find extra targets, you’re looking at a WR3/4 with tremendous upside, especially in a division that finished in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to receivers. Ultimately in fantasy, it comes down to target volume, making Paul Richardson yet another intriguing boom or bust receiver.