RG3
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RG3 has certainly been the hot topic this spring. He is a low-risk option for the Cleveland Browns and fantasy football players alike. Griffin’s career has dropped like an anvil since his outstanding rookie season when he looked like the future of the NFL. Can  he resurrect his value with Cleveland?
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Getting away from Washington is a blessing for RG3. If anyone needed a fresh start, it was him.
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RG3 set the world on fire in 2012 throwing for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns to five interceptions on a 65.6 completion rate. He also ran for 815 yards and seven touchdowns. Griffin looked like the second coming of Randall Cunningham. Big hits took their toll on Griffin. He never was quite the same. In 2013 Griffin threw for 3,203 games, but his touchdown to interception ratio went to 16:12. He still completed a fair amount of his passes, 60.1 percent to be exact, but his running game took a back seat. Griffin finished with 489 yards and failed to score a rushing touchdown.
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2014 effectively signaled the end of his run with Washington, though he hung around one more year.  Griffin threw for 1,694 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. He ran for 176 yards and one score. RG3′s yards per carry went from 6.8 to 5.7 to 4.6 in three years. After throwing 20 touchdowns to five picks in his first year he threw 20 touchdowns and 18 picks in the next 22 games.
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Griffin is trying to get things back in order. He is working with QB guru Tom House (see story). Cleveland coach Hue Jackson liked what he saw while the team was pursing RG3. He should have every opportunity to run with the starting job. If he falls on his face in the preseason, you should know that and subsequently avoid him in fantasy drafts.
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RG3 has the upside to return to QB1 form, particularly if Josh Gordon is reinstated. He is a nice option to take a chance on as your QB2. If he gets hurt or struggles you can cut bait.

Alfred Morris
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Alfred Morris is staying within the NFC East as he leaves the Washington Redskins to handle lead back duties for the Dallas Cowboys.
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Morris had 751 yards and one touchdown last year to go along with 10 catches for 55 yards.
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In his first three years Morris ran for 1,610 yards and 13 touchdowns, 1,275 yards and 7 touchdowns and 1,074 yards and 8 touchdowns. Morris only has 47 receptions in four seasons for 365 yards so don’t expect him to take on a more dynamic role, but he should still be able to pound the ball with a great offensive line.
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Despite his decline each season Morris is just 27. He’ll share the load with Darren McFadden, but Morris’ presence should mean fewer carries for McFadden, though he should remain active in the passing game.
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Morris could be a RB3 or RB4 with upside if McFadden lives up to his injury prone history.


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About the only stable running back scene in the NFC East belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles. LeSean McCoy ran for 1080 yards and seven touchdowns. He added to his totals with a ridiculous 78 catches for 592 yards and two more scores. Sure, he’ll lose some touchdowns to Michael Vick, but he doesn’t have much competition from other running backs. McCoy is a solid RB1.
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Felix Jones is the lead back in Dallas, but the Cowboys fully expect to share the workload. Tashard Choice and rookie DeMarco Murray will be in the mix, but they probably won’t do enough for fantasy teams barring injury. Jones is best suited as an RB3 at this point. Marion Barber III is unlikely to return gone.
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Ahmad Bradshaw is in limbo until the lockout is settled. If he become a restricted free agent he will likely remain with the Giants. If he is unrestricted he’ll go to the highest bidder. I like his prospects better if he stays with the G-Men, but I wouldn’t shy away from him if he bolts. Bradshaw is a solid RB2 regardless. Brandon Jacobs is also in limbo. The Giants could ask him to take a paycut. Whether or not he’ll be willing to do so will determine his fantasy worth. Like Bradshaw I like Jacobs better if he returns to the Giants. He’s a solid RB3 that would get a boost in value if Bradshaw leaves.
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Then there’s Washington. Ryan Torain had some moments last year, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. He’s a big risk that should probably be no better than a RB4. Torain will have to share the load with rookie Roy Helu, who has a good chance of becoming the most productive of his class this year. Clinton Portis is unlikely to return.
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Also check out:


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The NFC East has three established quarterbacks and one messy situation.
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Michael Vick is the number one fantasy quarterback in the division. He’s a bit of a risk in part because of injuries and in part because he’s never had a season like last year. He has the tools to succeed and the weapons around him to flourish, but we won’t know if he still has the drive to be a better quarterback. He’s easily a top tier QB1, but he has more risk than the likes of Rodgers, Brees, Brady, and Manning. Kevin Kolb is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league. He could find himself traded, possibly to Arizona. He makes a decent QB2 if he’s a starter.
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Tony Romo put up big numbers when he is healthy. Dez Bryant is immature, but he gives Romo another quality weapon. He’s averaged 2699.5 yards and 1.9 touchdown passes per game over the past four years (51 games). His lack of playoff success keeps him from the Brady, Peyton, and Brees discussions, but he is possibly the best value among fantasy quarterbacks because of it.
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Eli Manning reached 4000 yards for the second straight season. Not bad for a team that historically likes to run the football. His career high of 31 touchdowns gives him an average of 29 over the past two years and 25 over the past six. He really formed a nice rapport with Hakeem Nicks and remains a solid QB1 if you want to address other needs or a high-end QB2.
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Then there is Washington. Donovan McNabb is as good as gone, which marks the second straight season he’s been sent packing. I don’t know if he’s a starting caliber quarterback anymore. Even if he finds a new gig, his fantasy days are most likely behind him. Rex Grossman could be brought back, but it appears John Beck could get a chance to show what he can do. This is a situation to avoid. Not only are the QB options mediocre at best, but they are running thin in the playmaker department.
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Also check out:


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Clinton Portis was released by the Redskins as expected. Portis was limited to just 54 carries last year as he ran for just 277 yards with two touchdowns. After running for 9202 yards and 72 touchdowns in his first seven years, Portis has totaled just 721 yards and three touchdowns the past two years. Portis will turn 30 in September, but he has a lot of mileage on those tires. Clinton has 2230 carries for 9923 yards.
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He will likely find work somewhere, so he had top the 10K yardage mark, but his days of fantasy greatness are long behind him. He still could have some value depending upon where he lands.
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Right now Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams would likely handle the load, but don’t be surprised if they add some new blood to compete for the carries.


Image courtesy of Icon SMI
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I was asked to participate in the FantasyPros.com Featured Pros segment this week. Click here to see the full article and the responses from from The Scores Report, Chet Gresham from Razzball.
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Question 1
Give us 2 or 3 players that might be available off of waivers that you would target to stash away now for the playoffs (weeks 14-16), and tell us why.
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My Response:
Beanie Wells’ knee concerns me. Even if he’s able to go this week, I’m not convinced he comes away Monday without swelling. If they lose as expected to Kansas City this week, they will be 3-7. With nothing to play for, Arizona’s front office could shut down Beanie Wells, meaning Tim Hightower could get some starts down the stretch. They have a favorable schedule ahead with St. Louis, Denver, Carolina, and Dallas looming in Weeks 13-16.

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Arrelious Benn has scored in consecutive weeks and is finally showing up on the fantasy radar. He too has a nice stretch of games in Weeks 13-16 as he faces Atlanta, Washington, Detroit, and Seattle. If you aren’t able to get his teammate Mike Williams, Benn may be a sneaky force down the stretch. continue reading »

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It is going to be weird on Sunday when Donovan McNabb returns to The Link sporting the Redskins burgundy and gold. He’ll still wear that trademark smile and don the #5, but everything else will be different. 
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The question is, how will he be received by Philadelphia’s notorious fans? They booed Mike Schmidt and Santa Claus. They’ve thrown snowballs. How will they treat the QB they booed on draft day back in 1999?
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My guess is that he’ll receive a warm introduction. Sure, there will be some boos, but for the most part the Eagles fans will show their appreciation prior to kick-off.
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I attended Charles Barkley’s first game back to the Spectrum following his trade to Phoenix and Barkley had a raucous standing ovation from the Sixers crowd. In fact, the Sixers players were booed during their introduction because the fans felt they weren’t given enough time to cheer Sir Charles. A fan came on the court while Barkley was shooting a free throw to hug him.
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Granted, Charles Barkley was a more beloved figure in Philly than McNabb, but I do believe the fans have appreciated the success the Eagles have had.
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Once the game starts though, all bets are off.
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As far as his level of play, I believe he’ll rise to the occasion, which is why I have him on the Start side of the ledger in this week’s sit/start article (click here to see the article).

Written by Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com

 


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The Washington Redskins have three established, veteran running backs on their roster, not too mention youngsters Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams.  Let’s take a look at the battle for playing time and try to determine who may have fantasy value for the upcoming season:

 

Clinton Portis
The odds on favorite to emerge as the Redskins starter, when healthy he has proven to be among the best running backs in the league.  In the six seasons where he has played at least 13 games, his worst season is 1,262 yards and only once has he had less then nine rushing TDs.

 

He’s also a receiving threat out of the backfield, routinely topping 30 receptions.  The addition of Donovan McNabb, who knows how to integrate the RB into the passing game from his time with Brian Westbrook, certainly makes this seem like a perfect marriage.

 

He’ll turn 29-years old on September 1, so there certainly is a chance that he’ll start slowing down, but he’s not over-the-hill by any stretch.  He’s also coming off a year where he played just eight games due to concussion problems, the more worrisome proposition.

 

Of course, let’s not forget that Portis thrived under Mike Shanahan’s system when both were in Denver.  He’s the running back I’d draft, if I were going to go with the muddled Redskins backfield, as long as I get him as my RB3.  There’s too much of a risk to draft him as more then that.
continue reading »


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The price is going to be right for McNabb. His ADP according to Mock Draft Central is 103, which puts him as the seventh pick in the ninth round of 12-team fantasy drafts. He is the 14th QB coming off the board. I actually have him as the 11th QB (click to see my ranking), which would make him a starter, but he clearly has some risk associated with him.

 

He made the obvious switch from the Eagles to the Redskins. While Mike Shanahan’s concurrent arrival helps, there is still something to be said about switching teams after eleven years with an organization. Even if the transition is flawless, there are other factors that could jeopardize your fantasy team.

 

McNabb will turn 34 this year. While that isn’t nearly as old as the QB the Vikings are waiting on, it’s still an age where you feel the bumps and bruises a little more. If we were talking about an Iron Man like Favre or Peyton Manning, I wouldn’t stress it as much, but this is a guy who has missed multiple games in five of the past eight seasons. Washington tied for 4th in the league with 46 sacks allowed last year. They addressed their line adding rookie LT Trent Williams, but it is still cause for concern.

 

As are his lack of playmakers. His top wideout Santana Moss is a major downgrade from the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson. Devin Thomas (40 career receptions), Malcom Kelly (28 career receptions), and Terrence Austin (rookie) have to prove they can excel at this level. Tight Ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis both have ability, but how often will they both be running routes at the same time. Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker aren’t making anybody envision Brian Westbrook.  McNabb has dealt with inferior talent before, but he at least had Westbrook to lean on.

 

McNabb also isn’t the runner he once was. He hasn’t topped 250 rushing yards in a season since 2003. He has only had 4+ rushing TDs twice in his career, the last one being in 2002. McNabb only has two years of 3600+ passing yards and has thrown 26+ TDs just once, back in 2004 when he had Terrell Owens.

 

So do you trust him as your starting fantasy football QB? Personally I do not. I would rather address the position early and get someone that I rank in the top 8 or so. If you do take McNabb, I urge you to add a high-end backup QB. One that you could envision becoming your full-time starter. Just in case.

 

What do you think of Donovan McNabb?

The Redskins made a big splash by adding Donovan McNabb in the offseason. After a couple years of actually having some weapons in the passing game, McNabb takes a major step back with Washington’s offering. He always seems to find a way to make it work, so expect the Skins’ offense to improve.

 

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Moderate
They open up the fantasy playoffs against Tampa Bay at home in Week 14. They then go on the road to face Dallas and Jacksonville.

 

Five Star Fantasy Options
None

 

Four Star Fantasy Options
Donovan McNabb – Normally I would give him a five star rating, but he does have an injury history, and he has the aforementioned drop-off in talent at WR. Perhaps his best options are TEs Chris Cooley and Fred Davis.

 

Three Star Fantasy Options
Clinton Portis – The Redskins brought in competition in the form of Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. McNabb’s presence should open things up for the ground game. If he can stay healthy, Portis brings the most to the table.

 

Santana Moss – Moss isn’t the player he once was, but he hasn’t had a QB the caliber of McNabb, perhaps ever. He is notoriously inconsistent, but he should have some big games still left in him. Brian Orakpo should pile up the sacks.

 

Chris Cooley – The Skins have a good problem having two talented TEs. Mike Shanahan is gifted enough to figure out a way to get both Cooley and Davis involved in the passing game.

 

Redskins Defense/Special Teams – The Redskins will need Albert Haynesworth to make nice with the team to remain a decent fantasy defense. Highlights include the Rams (Week 3), Lions (Week 8), and the Bucs (Week 14).

 

Two Star Fantasy Options
Larry Johnson – If Portis were to go down or finally hits the wall from the extensive use in his career, LJ would be the one to step in and carry the load. I think he still has some football left in him. It’s just a matter of how many  opportunities he’ll get.

 

Devin Thomas – He hasn’t lived up to his expectations yet, but McNabb should help. He is not afraid to rely on young receivers. Thomas has good size (6’2″, 215) and speed. He just has to put it all together.

 

Fred Davis – Davis stepped in when Cooley went down and ran with his opportunity. He had 41 catches for 464 yards and 6 TDs in the Skins last ten games. The Skins can’t ignore that kind of production, especially with a sub par receiving corps.

 

One Star Fantasy Options
Willie Parker – If he can stay healthy, he should be able to produce in spots for the Skins. That won’t help your fantasy team go. Unless he can earn the #2 RB gig, he’s not a viable fantasy option.

 

Malcom Kelly – Kelly is a 6’4″ receiver that has failed to score a TD in 21 games. That should change with McNabb, but don’t expect him to transform into a stud.

 

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