Redskins Sign Andre Roberts
The Washington Redskins have signed wide receiver Andre Roberts to a four-year, $16 million contract with $8 million guaranteed. The former Arizona Cardinal will serve as the No. 2 receiver alongside Pierre Garcon and give Robert Griffin III a much-needed new weapon.
Checking in at a slight 5’11” and 195 pounds, Roberts is billed as a perfect fit for the slot, though he only played 51 percent of his 2013 snaps in the slot. While Roberts has been a steady role player in Arizona for the last four years, he has been far from a fantasy dynamo. In 2013, he posted 43 receptions for 471 receiving yards and two touchdowns, which ranked him as the No. 74 WR in standard scoring and No. 69 in points per reception (PPR).
No longer buried on the depth chart, Roberts figures to improve upon those numbers in Washington, but he’ll lose the battle for targets to Garcon and most likely to promising young tight end Jordan Reed.
Roberts’ 2012 numbers — 64 receptions for 759 yards and five touchdowns — may establish a soft ceiling for his fantasy output, but similar numbers in 2014 would put him in the WR3 conversation. Those 2012 totals were good for a No. 39 finish in standard leagues and No. 34 in PPR.
One factor that puts a damper on Roberts’ fantasy outlook is his lack of production with the opportunities he’s been given. In 2013, his fantasy points per opportunity (PPO), which shows a fantasy player’s output per carry and route run, ranked 84th among wide receivers in standard scoring and 82nd in PPR. Even during his more productive 2012 season, his PPO left something to be desired. He was 67th in standard scoring and 71st in PPR.
Another concerning factor is how his snaps and by extent, targets, fell off from 2012 to 2013. In ’12, he played 84 percent of the snaps and was targeted 107 times. Once offensive guru Bruce Arians rolled into town in ’13, Roberts only made it out on the field for 56 percent of the snaps and saw the ball come his way 73 times, as Michael Floyd rocketed past him on the depth chart.
The Cardinals originally selected Roberts in the third round of the 2010 draft out of The Citadel. While The Citadel is not exactly known as a factory for pro pass-catchers, it’s noteworthy that he is still the school’s all-time leading receiver with 3,743 yards and 37 touchdowns.
At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash time and was noted for his burst, his strong hands, and plus route-running skills. He was knocked for his lack of elite top-end speed and failure to show he can compete against upper-level competition.
Still only 26 years old and headed for a fresh start in a new city, Roberts’ arrow is pointing up. As with Washington’s offense as a whole, much of the newly acquired receiver’s fantasy value will hinge on the health and production of Robert Griffin III, as well as how much more help they acquire through free agency and the draft. If the Redskins patch up some of those leaks in the offensive line and Griffin’s knees hold up, it’s possible this offense could move back toward its 2012 form, which would bode well for Andre Roberts’ fantasy value going forward.
Johnny B. Davis is a staff writer for PFF Fantasy. He likes to root out raw, young dynasty talent and spread the gospel of IDP. Follow Johnny on Twitter @JohnnyBDavis