Don't Trust Crowder
Should you trust Jamison Crowder down the stretch?
Isaac Petersen, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa, relies on predictive analysis techniques and clustering to segregate players by position. The graph below shows his rankings for widereceivers for week 12. While Crowder beat his projection by 1.8 points in week 12, this didn’t account for Jordan Reed missing a portion of the game because of a shoulder injury. Reed returned and scored two touchdowns that may have gone to crowder. As you can see, Crowder isn’t in good company; he’s sandwiched between Kenny Britt and Willie Snead.
Furthermore, he received a 13 and 9 targets those weeks which was an aberration from his general three. Crowder got slotty again on Thanksgiving, but after watching the end of the Redskins/Packers game (where Crowder only got 3 late targets) it became apparent that there’s a pattern with Crowder’s usage. Crowder is really only putting up these numbers when the Redskins are losing. If you look at the three games that Crowder has put up these numbers it was Detroit (L), Cincinnati (Tie), and Cowboys (L). Cousins threw the ball 39, 56, and 53 times in those respective games. The Redskins don’t play a team with a winning record down the stretch, so don’t expect them to rely on Crowder for the long ball. Without consistent production and without big game potential, it’s hard to be confident that Crowder will give you a WR1 in any of the next four games.
The gilded, TD dependent nature of Jamison Crowder becomes apparent when you think about who you would start over him. Imagine you had to choose whether to take Crowder, a supposed WR 1, or Michael Thomas (WR21). I'd take Thomas. What about Demaryius Thomas against JAX, TEN, NE, and KC? I'd take him too. I'd probably take most Thomas's over him. I mean the fact of the matter is it's hard to make an argument for Jamison Crowder's production to continue and if you trust him down the stretch it could cost you a title.