- Tom Carpenter, Fantasy and Insider
For those of you who took part in games like our Gridiron Challenge last season, any time a team was going up against the hapless New Orleans Saints defense, it meant there was a very good chance that the top players on those teams would have their best statistical outing of the year. It also meant that secondary players were even capable of chipping in some fantasy-friendly stats.
After three weeks of games (sans the Monday night battle between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders), it appears that this season's version of the sad-sack defense is the Washington Redskins D. Per Elias Sports Bureau, the 1,464 yards give up by the Redskins defense are the most by any team through the first three games during the Super Bowl era. That includes the 1,432 yards allowed by the Saints in their first three games in 2012.
To their credit, the Redskins have minimized some of the impact of their porous defense. As ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando noted Monday, they "scored a touchdown Sunday while making sure Detroit got only three points off two Washington turnovers" and "the Redskins allowed 101 points in their first three games last season, three more than they've allowed this season."
So maybe they aren't quite as bad as being the all-time worst at something might suggest. On the other hand, if they are giving up a ton of yards, fantasy owners should be smiling at the statistical opportunities the Redskins might afford their players in the coming weeks. This is especially true in salary-cap games or player eliminator games, where you have the entire NFL player pool at your disposal each week.
The Redskins hit the road to face the Raiders in Week 4. That should make Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden intriguing plays, and possibly WRs Rod Streater and Denarius Moore. Perhaps the Redskins D will regroup after their Week 5 bye. If they don't, they are going to have their hands full with a schedule that has the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Broncos up next. You may want to hold off on using offensive stars from those teams in the Gridiron Challenge until they face the Redskins, because they might have their best games of the season then.