Washington Redskins, fantasy heroes


Washington Redskins, fantasy heroes

Love of the Redskins Week 1 extended far beyond the DMV and into fantasy football leagues from coast to coast. Everyone loves a sleeper, a bargain, a steal and the burgundy and gold certainly provided that and more with a 40-point performance. As for what it all means going forward...Robert Griffin III Now thats what you call a debut, in both real and fake football where RG3 outscored the likes of Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and 27 other starting quarterbacks. Only Atlantas Matt Ryan posted more opening week points than the Griffining wonder. The Heisman trophy winner generally ranked in the 12-14 range on most fantasy football sites so he easily outperformed expectations (were talking those of fantasy pundits and owners, not face painting fans).Griffin made for an upside fantasy draft pick for those owners who missed out on the truly elite options. However, starting him on the road in his pro debut was no doubt risky, which is why only 30 percent of owners did so,according to MyFantasyLeagues.com. Expect that number to rise dramatically even against a Rams defense that intercepted Matthew Stafford three times and held the potent Lions offense without a passing touchdown until the final moments. Does that mean owners should who spent an early round pick on the aforementioned or other passing studs should do the fantasy equivalent of the Seattle Seahawks - sitting the expensive Matt Flynn for the newbie Russell Wilson by benching those veterans for the charismatic rookie? Um, no, in most cases, though over at FFToolbox.com we ranked RG3 ninth this week. Seeing as Michael Vick doesnt figure to light up the scoreboard in Week 2 against the Ravens, owners that drafted one running threat QB to backup another should seriously consider flipping the depth chart, for one week anyway.Alfred Morris Whether they came via Twitter or Facebook, email or just from those bending my ear in casual conversation, questions about how to handle the Redskins backfield in Week 1 ranked very, very high among all fantasy football queries. Considering the location, the Saints being favored and the head scratching scenario the Morris-Roy Helu-Evan Royster troika presented, advising folks to wait a week before using any of the options seemed reasonable.Oops. Well, in fairness to yours truly even the most optimistic fans could not have envisioned a scenario where the Redskins would be in a position to run and run and run after halftime. The Florida Atlantic rookie took advantage and used his physically nimble style to rack up 96 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. His 21 fantasy points tied him with New Englands Stevan Ridley and Detroits Kevin Smith for second among with all running backs. Smith, who averaged 4.8 yards on 13 carries, finished with 91 total yards and two scores. Why does this matter? Because the effort came against theRams That bodes well for Morris, which is one reason why hes moved from uncertain to a top 24 RB play and starter in most formats this week. Yes, that accounts for the Mike Shanahan loves to mess with fantasy players factor. Pierre Garcon Sounds like No. 88 avoided major injury and now its a wait and see approach for this week, though Garcon vowed after the game to play against the Rams. When he lined up against the Saints, the ex-Colt was everything his new team could hope for, especially seeing as the Redskins so desperately needed someone with major YAC (yards after catch) potential.Last season the Rams allowed the eighth most points to fantasy wide outs. While their revamped secondary proved solid against the Lions, dont be shy about using Garcon as a low-end WR2 or flex assuming he starts. Should Garcon sit, Santana Moss figures to increase his so-so Week 1 numbers (3-43) though Aldrick Robinson took over for Garcon and shined. And the restFred Davis didnt seem to catch RG3s gaze much in preseason and that carried over into the opener, but he remains a starting fantasy tight end in 12-team leaguesWhile I wouldnt go out of my way to acquire them, starting Billy Cundiff or the Redskins defense this week isnt a stretch, especially the latter seeing as the Rams just lost their starting center and tackle to injuries. Forward thinking owners will also note the Redskins defense only faces one high-end quarterback (Matt Ryan) over the next five weeks so adding them as a sign-and-stash could work if your regular defense has tougher matchups.

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With the Capitals' offense in a funk, Barry Trotz tries out new lines Friday

With the Capitals' offense in a funk, Barry Trotz tries out new lines Friday

With the Capitals’ offense sputtering near the bottom of the NHL, Coach Barry Trotz has shaken up his forward lines — again — in the hopes of sparking a resurgence.

Based on reports out of Vancouver, here’s how the lines looked at practice on Friday:





A few observations...if these are, indeed, the lines Trotz rolls with Saturday night against the Canucks:

  • Ovechkin and Backstrom, together again. And for the first time this season. Trotz said recently that a reunion was possible. The continued offensive struggles seem to have expedited things.
  • Williams vaults from the third line to the first line. He's got one goal and no assists.
  • Wilson jumps from the fourth line to the second line. He’s the only full-time forward who has not recorded a point.
  • Burakovsky will have now seen at least one game on each of the top three lines, having started the season on the all-Swede second line before spending Wednesday on the top line with Ovechkin. Burakovsky has one point since tallying a pair of goals in the season opener. 
  • This is also the first time all season that Sanford and Connolly will be in the lineup at the same time. Both are still looking for their first point.
  • Winnik, who scored two goals against the Islanders, comes out for the first time all season.

Is Trotz sending a message or two? Is he simply trying to find the right mix? A little of both?

Whatever the reason, this much is clear: when a potentially potent offense musters only 14 goals in six games (and is ranked 28th entering Friday night's games) changes will be made.  

MORE CAPITALS: What's wrong with the special teams?

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John Wall's conditioning yet to catch up with fast pace of regular season

John Wall's conditioning yet to catch up with fast pace of regular season

ATLANTA — A slow start for John Wall had to be in the cards. He played five preseason games with the Wizards, but had yet to play starter's minutes as he worked his way back from months of inactivity after surgeries to both knees.

"I got shots I wanted. Just missing," said Wall, who erred on his first eight shots and finished 3-for-15 but did manage to record a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in Thursday's 114-99 loss at the Atlanta Hawks. "Those are shots I made in the preseason. The shots I took, I was just frustrated. Two or three layups I missed. A floater, I almost airballed. I think my adrenaline was rushing so much, being able to play the first game you get tired. You're not using your legs as much. I'll live with those shots."

Wall logged 30 minutes, six fewer than his average per game in 2015-16. He missed the first two exhibitions and was eased back in as his workouts increased. Coach Scott Brooks anticipated that Wall would play 30-32 minutes in the regular-season opener, and both said the point guard had trouble keeping up a frantic pace on both ends for his usual 8-10 minutes a game because of his conditioning. 

Wall still was on the court for the first eight minutes of the first quarter. He lost his footing a few times without being pushed or touched, it appeared, in the early going. 

Brooks is content he will get better because of the experience and adjustments on the offensive end. The committment Thursday, much like what Wall showed in rehabilitating since his May 5 surgeries, was there.

"He didn't shoot the ball well, but I thought he competed," Brooks said. "He had some turnovers we're going to be able to correct with better spacing. I thought for what he's been through the lasts four or five months I thought his conditioning was pretty good."

[RELATED: What went right in Wizards season opener]