Fantasy Football: The Case For Kirk Cousins

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This article is part of The Fantasy Court series, be sure to check out The Case Against Kirk Cousins by @kyle_borg.

Check out where Andy, Mike, and Jason have Kirk Cousins ranked.

Opening Statement

Late round QB is a strategy that seems simple in concept but can be difficult in application.  Allow me to make your decisions easier in drafts.  Kirk Cousins is the QB you want when employing this trendy, high-value strategy.  The following is my case for Captain Kirk Cousins.

Previous Production

Since taking over as the full-time starter in 2015, Cousins has been a fantasy football stud.  In 2015, he finished as the QB #8 and in 2016 he improved to the QB #5.  With 63 total touchdowns and 9,083 passing yards, the Redskins signal caller has been a force to be reckoned with.

Season Passing Yards Passing TDs Rushing TDs Fantasy Points QB Rank
2015 4,166 29 5 291.44 8
2016 4,917 25 4 300.28 5

Not only are his season-long stats impressive, Cousins has been a very reliable fantasy starter.  Since 2015, the only QB to play two full seasons and finish as a weekly QB1 more often than Kirk Cousins is Aaron Rodgers.  (Kirk has finished as a top 12 QB 53.13% of the time).

Situation

In 2016, the Redskins were 6th in the league in pass attempts and attempted 36 passes inside the opponent’s 10-yard line.  This means that Cousins will be given regular opportunities to produce points for your fantasy team.  Additionally, I expect Cousins to be even more effective with his red zone opportunities now that the team has added 6’4 WR Terrelle Pryor (recently highlighted in Fantasy Court series) and 6’2 WR Josh Doctson is finally healthy.  Alongside Jordan Reed and deceptive red zone weapon Jamison Crowder, Cousins will have far superior red zone weapons than his 2016 team that included 6’0 Pierre Garcon and the generously listed 5’10 DeSean Jackson.

The formula hasn’t changed for the Redskins, they need Cousins to carry this team with his arm again.  Pro Football Focus ranks this offensive line as 11th best in the league, which should be more than capable of giving Cousins the time he needs to go through his progressions.  And though they added rookie RB, Samaje Perine, Jay Gruden hates fumblers (just ask Matt Jones).  When this team gets in close and needs a TD, I expect them to put the ball in Kirk’s hands, either as a passer or as a runner.  Kirk Cousins even leads the team in rushing TDs over the last two seasons.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The cherry on top of the Sunday (get it?) that is Kirk Cousins’ situation in 2017, is that he is in a contract year.  I know that the contract year narrative is overplayed and most of us are numb to it by now, but Cousins’ contract year isn’t like the others.  In fact, 2017 will be his 3rd consecutive contract year and the team cannot feasibly franchise tag him a 3rd time.  If Cousins balls out this year, like I know he will, he could very well set records with his next contract should he hit the open market.

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Price

You may think to yourself that consistently finishing in the top 12 is great, and a 5th and 8th place season long finish is alright, but it’s nothing to get excited about.  But I haven’t even gotten to the best part: Kirk Cousins’ ADP.  According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Cousins is being drafted in the 8th round as the 10th QB off the board.  Considering he has never finished worse than the 8th best QB, his current price is a steal and fits perfectly into the popular ‘wait on QB’ strategy.  In fact, if you play in a league that is full of late QB drafters, it is likely that you can scoop up Cousins even later in your drafts.

Conclusion

Kirk Cousins has earned his way to the starting gig in Washington out playing not one, but two higher draft picks.  Likewise, he deserves more respect than he is being given in fantasy drafts.  But the disrespect creates a huge buying opportunity for those of us looking to scoop up a top QB late in drafts.  Oh Captain, My Captain [Kirk], rise up draft boards and hear the bells of celebration, for many #FootClanTitles will be won by your owners.