Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jamison Crowder
- Ian Hartitz breaks down what the Jamison Crowder signing means for the wide receiver, the Jets and Redskins from a fantasy football perspective.
Football never sleeps, even in the middle of March. Draft analysis will have to wait, because free agency is finally here!
We have you covered with fantasy analysis on all of the week’s key signings here, but we’ll dig deeper into the bigger moves, including Jamison Crowder’s decision to sign with the New York Jets.
What follows is a breakdown of the fantasy football impact of Crowder in New York, as well as how the Washington Redskins will move forward without their former slot receiver.
What It Means for New York
Crowder was banged up with an ankle injury for a large portion of 2018. He ultimately caught 29-of-49 targets for 388 yards and two touchdowns in nine games of action.
The 21st-percentile SPARQ-x athlete is just 5-foot-9 and 177 pounds, but has demonstrated the ability to function as one of the better players on the field once he gets the ball in his hands.
Crowder’s best season came in 2016, when he set career-high marks in receptions (67), yards (847) and touchdowns (7) under then-Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay. Crowder finished the season as the PPR WR26.
The move doesn’t bode well for free-agent Jermaine Kearse’s future in New York. It seems likely that the Jets will utilize 3-WR sets with Crowder in the slot along with Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa on the outside. Tight end Chris Herndon also figures to be plenty involved.
Anderson is a restricted free agent, but was tendered at a second round level. He might remain the offense’s No. 1 receiver thanks to his strong late-season chemistry with Sam Darnold, but Adam Gase has a history of featuring his slot receiver.
Crowder’s deal is reportedly a three-year contract worth $28.5 million that includes $17 million guaranteed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That type of deal — for better or worse — indicates that the former fourth-round pick will have a significant role in the Jets offense.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Crowder ultimately leads the Jets in targets, but Anderson should still be able to rack up fantasy points thanks to his field-stretching ability from the outside. Herndon and Enunwa are the real losers here, as both will have some of their underneath-target share eaten up by Crowder.
What It Means for Washington
The Redskins might have the league’s worst group of wide receivers at this point.
Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson have flashed over the years, but both are best utilized as vertical weapons on the outside.
Washington turned to Maurice Harris to man the slot with Crowder sidelined last season. Harris ended the season with an underwhelming 28-304-0 line on 37 targets. The former undrafted free agent has gained 50-plus receiving yards in just three-of-28 (11%) career games.
Case Keenum made a habit of targeting his slot receivers in Minnesota (Adam Thielen) and Denver (Emmanuel Sanders), but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be the Week 1 starting quarterback.
Volume is always crucial in any format of fantasy football, but the Redskins’ passing “attack” should be approached with extreme caution in its current state.