Week Seventeen Analysis:
Pierre Garcon has topped 128 yards and crossed the stripe in two straight games. He's caught at least five balls in every game, and as a result, he leads the NFL in receptions. The Redskins pay a visit to the Giants this week, who have defended the pass well over the last three weeks, allowing 105 yards per game to receivers. Still, Garcon had nine catches on 12 targets in the first meeting, and his hot streak makes him a safe start.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
People that stuck with Pierre Garcon were paid off last week, and he could yield similar results with the invisible Cowboys pass defense in town this week. Garcon caught a respectable six balls for 69 yards in their first meeting, but the Cowboys' secondary has regressed badly since then. They've allowed multiple receiver touchdowns in the last two weeks and more than 190 yards per game to the position on the season. In terms of targets and receptions, Garcon is off the charts. He ranks third in total looks and is one of two players with at least five catches in every game. Kirk Cousins got him into the end zone last week, something Robert Griffin seemed unable to do.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
Pierre Garcon garnered 12 targets for the second straight week, but failed to do much with them, as he's now been held out of the end zone and under 70 receiving yards in four straight games. In all fairness, he had some tough matchups during that stretch, and the change at quarterback to Kirk Cousins could breathe some life into this offense. The Redskins travel south to face the Falcons this week, who have allowed the fourth-most touchdowns to receivers despite recently facing the sputtering offenses of the Bills and Packers. Keep in mind that Garcon has only scored on the road this year and is also averaging 10 more yards per game at 84.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Pierre Garcon isn't putting up a ton of fantasy points with touchdowns, but in terms of usage and volume, there are few receivers who compare. Garcon is the only player to see double-digit targets in 10 games this season, and he's garnered the third-most red zone targets all year. But he's converted those red zone looks into a meager three scores this year. The opportunities are there, but inconsistent play from Robert Griffin has been a huge problem. They'll both look to rebound at home against the spiraling Chiefs. In the last five weeks, Kansas City has allowed more than 240 yards per game to receivers and should remain without sack-happy outside linebacker Justin Houston, which is a plus for Pierre and the entire passing game.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
It should be Robert Griffin at the helm again, although not without an Obamacare level of controversy in the DC area. Either way, Pierre Garcon will get his looks against the Giants, who surprisingly haven't allowed a wide receiver to score in their last five games. Washington's offense has been dreadful, but you have to consider playing Pierre because he holds the second-highest target percentage among receivers in the last four weeks and has recorded less than six receptions just once this season. Garcon also had eight catches, 106 yards, and a touchdown the last time he saw New York.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Pierre Garcon is one of two players to garner double-digit targets in eight games this year, and he'll need to be heavily involved for the Redskins to have a shot against the 49ers on Monday night. San Francisco is stout against the pass, having allowed just one touchdown to wideouts in the last five weeks. But they're also one of only four teams to allow 14 receptions and over 170 yards per game to receivers during that span, so Pierre should have some chances to produce yards if nothing else. Helping his cause are the cracked ribs sustained last Sunday by 49ers' starting cornerback Tarell Brown, and teammate Leonard Hankerson's season ending knee injury.
Week Eleven Analysis:
He didn't seem all that physical as a Colt, but Pierre Garcon runs angry with the ball. He can break tackles with brute force or break ankles the old fashion way by stopping and shifting on a dime. Garcon is second in the league in yards after the catch and is one of four receivers with more than 60 receptions and 800 yards on the season. He'll continue his Pro Bowl campaign this Sunday against the Eagles, who have surrendered 14 touchdowns to receivers and allow over 218 yards per game to the position (worst in the league). Philly should have their top cornerback Bradley Fletcher back in uniform, but Pierre remains a must-play regardless.
Week Ten Analysis:
Pierre Garcon has only scored in road games this season, and nearly 70% of his career touchdowns have come away from home. And wouldn't you know it, the Redskins are at the Vikings, one of three teams surrendering more than 15 receptions, 187 yards, and a touchdown per game to opposing receivers. Minnesota also allows 31.5 points per game. And their secondary could be short Jamarca Sanford, Xavier Rhodes, Chris Cook, and Josh Robinson, each of whom are questionable. Garcon is one of just five receivers with more than 50 catches and 650 yards, which, combined with the Vikings shaky secondary makes him a very strong play on Thursday.
Week Nine Analysis:
Pierre Garcon is virtually the only wide receiver on the Washington Redskins. He has seen at least 40 more targets than teammates Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss, and his total is more than the efforts of those two combined. The Redskins will play host to the Chargers, who rank second-to-last in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. They are also one of two teams allowing over 15 catches, 200 yards, and a touchdown per game to opposing wideouts this season. Garcon ranks third in yards after the catch among receivers and should find some open space on Sunday.
Week Eight Analysis:
Washington put up 45 points last week but Pierre Garcon surprisingly wasn't one to walk on painted grass. He still saw eight targets and his five receptions were a season low. His teammates at receiver have totaled individual efforts of five or more receptions only three times all season. Washington makes their way toward the Rocky Mountains this week to duel with Denver, who racks up points but can be almost equally porous on defense. Denver ranks third worst in wide receiver yards allowed per game, at 214. That's usually the making of a shootout, which coupled with RG3's improved play, bodes well for Garcon, who has averaged more than two red zone targets per game in the last five games.
Week Seven Analysis:
On average, Pierre Garcon leads all receivers in targets per game, and he has more catches than the combined efforts of teammates Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss. Garcon sees plenty of work as Washington's primary pass catcher, and that won't change against the Bears, who have allowed four wide receiver touchdowns in the last four weeks. Peanut Tillman is expected to return after missing last Thursday's game, but it might not matter. Washington averages 42 pass attempts per game, the second most in the league, so unlike the government, expect Pierre to do plenty of work this week in DC.
Week Six Analysis:
Pierre Garcon has the second-most red zone targets since the opener. That, despite having a bye last week. He also remains top-25 in receiving yardage and has a favorable matchup this week against the Cowboys – one of 10 teams to have allowed 900-plus yards to wide receivers this year. Garcon gathered 86 yards and a touchdown his last time in Big D, and coming off a bye week, he should be a nice play against a team that has allowed the most passing touchdowns in the NFL.
Week Four Analysis:
Pierre Garcon has averaged nearly six receptions and 99 yards in five of his last six road games to go along with three touchdowns. The Raiders pass coverage has been deplorable this season, as they have allowed the most receptions to wide receivers and are the only team without an interception. Garcon's 37 targets are the second-most in the NFL, and he should be a premium play in Oakland against a secondary that will probably be without one of their starting corners, Tracy Porter. He suffered a concussion last Monday night and is questionable to play.
Week Three Analysis:
The Redskins are a disaster of a team right now, but from a fantasy perspective, they are performing admirably. Of course that's all thanks to garbage time. Last week against Green Bay Pierre Garcon was targeted 13 times for eight catches, 143 yards, and a touchdown. Robert Griffin rarely looked another receivers' way, and he should continue to pay Pierre plenty of attention at home against the Lions. But be warned, Detroit has allowed only 19 catches to wide receivers thus far. They are also just one of four teams to have not surrendered a score to a player at the position.
Week Two Analysis:
Despite his 11 targets, Pierre Garcon managed a modest seven receptions and 64 yards last Monday night against the Eagles. Robert Griffin came out rusty and his throws were grossly inaccurate. Pierre paid the price. But RG3 rounded into form the second half, passing for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Leonard Hankerson was the beneficiary, but Garcon is very much the guy you want going against Green Bay. Last week the Packers were gashed by Anquan Boldin for 13 catches, 208 yards, and a touchdown. The similarly built Garcon possesses the skillsets and surrounding weapons to potentially replicate Boldin's brilliance.
Week One Analysis:
It's plain and simple with Pierre Garcon. When he plays, he can produce with the game's elite receivers. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the highest Points per Opportunity in both standard and PPR formats last year. Garcon missed six games because of a troublesome foot, but he's back to 100% and looked good catching a touchdown in the Skins' third preseason game. Pierre had a nice outing against Philly last season in Week 16 with seven receptions for 89 yards, but he will be facing an entirely different secondary from the one that surrendered the most touchdowns to wide receivers last year. The inking of Patrick Chung somewhat solidifies the safety core, but Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are hardly an upgrade at corner over Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
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If you've been living on an island all naked and afraid for the last year, you may have missed that Pierre Garcon became a member of the Redskins, burst on to the scene with an 80-yard touchdown in Week 1, and then spent nine weeks nursing a turf toe injury. If you haven't paid attention this offseason, you may have missed that Garcon never had surgery on the injured toe and has been quoted as saying about his malady, "I can't say I'll be 100%, but I'll be helping in any way possible." He had better help. In the games in which Garcon started and finished last season, the Redskins went 8-0. Down the stretch, while healthier, Garcon emerged as Griffin's favorite target, netting 9.2 targets per game, and I expect no less this year.