Over the last few weeks, Jamison Crowder has finally gotten his place at the fantasy football wide receiver table. Going into the season, many thought that the drafting of Josh Doctson would supplant the uptick in production that Crowder saw towards the end of last year. Unfortunately for Doctson backers, his season has been derailed by injury. Crowder has stepped back into the role he started to fill last season and has been extremely productive of late.[embedit snippet=”jeff-ads”]
Crowder started the season with 25 targets in three games, and he went for two scores and 175 yards. The yardage total is a bit low, but scoring in two of three games is encouraging (he didn’t score week one, though, so it’s unlikely he burned anyone). What came next was a sudden drop in targets, and production, as he averaged only 36 yards per game in that span. Jay Gruden, at that point, had seemingly realized the weapon that he had, and Crowder has gone for over 100 yards over the last two games and scored last week. He’s also scored in two of his last three games.
However, that production is unlikely to continue this weekend as he takes on the Vikings at home. Minnesota has been the second-best at stifling wide receiver fantasy production this season, and their offensive production and season are quickly spiraling down the drain. Their strategy du jour is turtling, a strategy that slows down the game to limit the amount of time the opposing team has the ball. They go for short plays, working their way down the field on drives that chew up a ton of the clock. Outside of last week where they ran up against the Lions and the Jim Bob Cooter for President Express, Dorial Green-Beckham was the only non-top flight wide receiver to get a touchdown against the Vikes (the three other scores were by Alshon Jeffery, DeAndre Hopkins, and Jordy Nelson).
Crowder has had chunks of production this season opposite a stretch of abject uselessness. He’s seen an uptick in targets, and Washington will be without DeSean Jackson this weekend, which means more targets for Crowder but also more Xavier Rhodes for Crowder. It isn’t going to be a great matchup this week for him, but he is still worthy of having a roster slot. Crowder is in the WR4 territory this week, so you may have to use him, but going up against a stingy Minnesota secondary means he doesn’t have a ton of upside. His main use this weekend will be in PPR leagues, given his target opportunity.