Washington 2021 NFL Preview: Football Team Outlook For Fantasy Football + Betting

Frank AmmiranteSenior Sports Writer
@FAmmiranteTFJ
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Here’s The Game Day’s Washington Football Team 2021 Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook.

Washington Football Team 2021 NFL Preview: Washington 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Washington Football Team 2020 Season Recap

  • Final record: 7-9 (3-5 Home / 4-4 Away)
  • Division regular-season finish: First
  • Result: Lost in NFC Wild Card Game

The Washington Football Team benefitted from a weak division last season, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2015. They overcame mediocre quarterback play from Alex Smith, Kyle Allen, Dwayne Haskins, and Taylor Heinicke to ride the coattails of a young and talented defense. They put up a good fight against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but were ultimately ousted in the NFC Wild Card Round.


2021 Washington Football Team Offseason Changes

Washington Football Team 2021 Offseason Departures

  • QB Alex Smith (Retired)
  • EDGE Ryan Kerrigan (Eagles)
  • CB Ronald Darby (Broncos)
  • LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Texans)
  • LB Ryan Anderson (Giants)
  • CB Fabian Moreau (Falcons)
  • WR Robert Foster (Dolphins)
  • TE Jeremy Sprinkle (Cowboys)

Washington Football Team 2021 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions

  • QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Dolphins)
  • CB William Jackson III (Bengals)
  • WR Curtis Samuel (Panthers)
  • OT Charles Leno (Bears)
  • S Bobby McCain (Dolphins)
  • WR Adam Humphries (Titans)
  • OG Beau Benzschawel (Texans)
  • C Tyler Larsen (Panthers)
  • CB Darryl Roberts (Lions)
  • LB David Mayo (Giants)
  • WR DeAndre Carter (Texans)

Washington Football Team 2021 NFL Draft Picks

  • LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky (Round 1, Pick No. 19)
  • OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas (Round 2, Pick No. 51)
  • CB Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota (Round 3, Pick No. 74)
  • WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina (Round 3, Pick No. 82)
  • TE John Bates, Boise St. (Round 4, Pick No. 124)
  • S Darrick Forrest, Cincinnati (Round 5, Pick No. 163)
  • LS Camaron Cheeseman, Michigan (Round 6, Pick No. 225)
  • DE William Bradley-King, Baylor (Round 7, Pick No. 240)
  • DE Shaka Toney, Penn State (Round 7, Pick No. 246)
  • WR Dax Milne, BYU (Round 7, Pick No. 258)

Washington Football Team 2021 Outlook

The Washington Football Team looks to build on a division title and playoff berth to continue to develop a winning culture under head coach Ron Rivera. The team had an impressive draft class and made some upgrades via free agency to help get them to the next level as a playoff contender.

New starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a capable veteran who can help the offense function at a high level. He’ll be surrounded by upgraded weapons that include wide receivers Curtis Samuel, who excels at making plays after the catch and rookie Dyami Brown, who can make plays downfield.

Running back Antonio Gibson looks like a future star, poised to take on more of a role in the passing game. The same goes for wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who will now have a nice supporting cast to help draw away opposing coverage. Tight end Logan Thomas is also a dependable target in the short-to-intermediate passing game. The addition of veteran tackle Charles Leno and rookie tackle Samuel Cosmi can help bolster the offensive line, which was one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.

The defense is absolutely stacked with a nasty front-seven that includes first-rounders Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat, and Da’Ron Payne. Coach Rivera and Jack Del Rioknow their linebackers, so rookie Jamin Davis should make an immediate impact. Add in cornerback William Jackson III, who excels in man coverage, and you have the makings of an elite defense.

The main concern here is that while Washington has improved, the same can be said of every other team in the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys have improved their leaky defense and get franchise quarterback Dak Prescott back under center. The New York Giants added Kenny Golladay to give Daniel Jones an alpha wide receiver one. They also have an improving defense. The Philadelphia Eagles will get a full season out of Jalen Hurts and now have a healthy offensive line.

While the NFC East is there for the taking, Washington looks like the most balanced team in the division. They just need to make sure that their 38-year old starting quarterback can make it through a full season, which is something he hasn’t done since 2015. If Heinicke is forced into action, Washington could easily plummet to the bottom of their division.


Washington Football Team 2021 Fantasy Football Tips

Fitzpatrick finished as QB24 in fantasy points per game last season, but he could improve with Washington since he’ll be firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback. Fitzpatrick will have an assortment of weapons on offense, but it’s unlikely we see too many shootouts with Washington because of their dominant defense. Consider him more of a streaming option for this season.

McLaurin (WR20 in PPR PPG) dealt with a myriad of injuries last year, which suppressed his production down the stretch. The problem is that there are more mouths to feed in this offense with the additions of Samuel and Brown. McLaurin is priced as a WR1, but he should be considered an upside WR2, especially with the lack of shootouts we’ll see with this defense shutting down opponents.

We can consider Samuel (WR27 in PPR PPG) an upside WR3 who would need McLaurin to miss time or the defense to falter in order to ascend to WR2 status. Brown projects as a volatile deep-threat best suited for BestBall formats, since it’ll be difficult to determine when he reaches his ceiling. Tight end Thomas (TE6 in PPR PPG) was one of the biggest surprises last season, but he’s an easy fade this year with so many new weapons on offense.

Gibson (RB17 in PPR PPG) showed signs of a future RB1 in his rookie season, ranking as RB2 in PPR PPG from Weeks 7-12 before his season was ruined by a turf toe injury. While there are reports that the injury can still affect him, I’m not too worried heading into his sophomore season. The coaching staff wants to use Gibson — a former wideout in college — in the passing game, which could send his fantasy value to the moon. Gibson is firmly in my top-10 running backs this year.

The uptick in Gibson’s receiving volume should come at the expense of J.D. McKissic, who was heavily targeted by check-down specialist Smith. With Smith now retired, McKissic will likely return to a minor role and spell Gibson on third downs from time to time. McKissic is off my draft boards this year.


Washington Football Team 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips

Washington Football Team Over 8.5 Wins (-120)

Washington won seven games last year despite starting four different quarterbacks. They had limited weapons on offense with McLaurin and Thomas leading the way with McKissic racking up check-downs and Gibson carrying the load on the ground.

This year, they upgraded at QB, WR, and OL. Their defense was already good and it now improved with Jackson and Davis. We also get an extra game this season. Nine wins looks firmly within reach and is one of my favorite preseason futures bets.

Washington Football Team To Win NFC East (+250)

Washington is the most balanced team in the NFC East. If Fitzpatrick can stay healthy and continue to play like he has in the last few years, this team is going to be dangerous. The defense looks like it could be the best in the NFL this season.

While the division has undoubtedly gotten much tougher, Washington will be right there at the end and at +250, this is terrific value.

Chase Young To Win Defensive Player of the Year (+1400)

Young racked up 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 10 tackles for loss in his rookie season. Pass-rushers have won this award in eight of the last 10 seasons. Young was considered a generational prospect coming out of Ohio State and improved throughout his rookie season. He’ll be surrounded by a ton of talent on defense and should be able to rack up sacks this year.

Young looks like a good value at +1400 to dethrone Aaron Donald and take home this hardware.

Washington Football Team Win Total Over/Under, odds and lines courtesy of BetMGM. BetMGM has a welcome offer for a Second-Chance Bet of up to $600. Use promo code THEGAMEDAY or click here to sign up for a new account.

Author

Frank Ammirante

Frank Ammirante is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously, he wrote for 4for4 Football and RotoBaller. Frank is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association while maintaining an active presence within the community. He has competed in industry contests like the Scott Fish Bowl, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and more. Frank will be making his debut in Tout Wars this year. He's got a diverse sporting background, but specializes in football and baseball.

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