Part of my duties outside the CSN world involveswriting about, analyzing and as you will soon read, ranking fantasy football players. In this case, top 25 keeper rankings for quarterbacks and tight ends. As you might imagine, two Redskins made the cut - and no, not Rex Grossman and Logan Paulsen.Before I reveal where Robert Griffin III and Fred Davis fell on their appropriate lists, note that Im viewing this on a short-term basis. In other words, for leagues where you can keep a player for one additional season as opposed to dynasty leagues where an owner can maintain hold of a player for years and years. Got it? Got it.Let's start with RG3, who I slotted 16th, behind Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco but ahead of Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford. First, my general take."The Redskins made a franchise-altering move when they jumped up to snag the Heisman winner. Now coach Mike Shanahan ends the speculation, by announcing RGIII will be the starter. Big question now is whether there are proper pieces in place especially along the offensive line - to ensure a smooth transition into the pro ranks. There is no questioning the mobile and strong-armed QB's immense upside."Despite the insanity that were Cam Newton's real life and fantasy numbers- better than any rookie quarterback in history - it's not realistic to think or any newbie, even RG3, could duplicate or potentially even sniff them.That's not saying Griffin cannot have a stellar first campaign for the Redskins.However, unlike Newton he does not have two stud running backs, Steve Smithand a strong offensive line to work with (and don't forget that like the Redskins, the Panthers also had a quality pair of tight ends). Also, I do not see Mike Shanahan consistently running the sleek Griffin up the gut at the goal line the way the Panthers employed the powerful Newton.However, RG3's legs will do wonders for his fantasy numbers. Between Davis, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss (if he sticks around) and Leonard Hankerson, there are targets that possess after-the-catch talent to help jack the passing stats. By his second season Griffin may be a fantasy starter, but right now he should not be drafted as one for 2012.That's why on this list he falls below the likely starters in 12-14 team leagues, but his potential ranks above the other burgeoning talents like Luck and Bradford. As for Davis, what to do, what to do. As I wrote in my blurb, talent-wise he stacks up favorably with the elite options at his position. Of course, I don't need to tell Redskins fans that he often has those watching wanting more. Maybe his previous quarterbacks are partly to blame. Maybe lacking full commitment to his craft - i.e., the failed drug tests - is the primary culprit.It would not stun me if Davis leads the Redskins in receptions; he has the skill, unlike Garcon and Josh Morgan he has experience in Shanahan's system and we all know that rookie passers supposedly looooove passing to their trusty tight end. The fear he could be suspended for a season looms over his keeper value as does the uncertainty of the Redskins offense under RG3 (for now just take "uncertainty" to mean something like Griffin could prefer throwing outside to Garcon and the wide receivers rather than to his tight end down the middle). Put it all together and Davis lands at No. 12. on my tight end keeper list. Even if Chris Cooley sticks around, Davis' value should not drop. If Cooley is a cap casualty, Davis' fantasy stock rises. If he avoids another positive drug test, fantasy owners could have a nice keeper on their hands.
At least 51 Redskins will be making the trip to London on Thursday night, including some who are pretty banged up. And there is hope that the other two will be able to make it across the pond.
“We're taking everybody, which is a good thing,” said coach Jay Gruden. “If something happens on Friday or Saturday, we can make adjustments if needed.”
He later clarified the statuses of tight end Jordan Reed and cornerback Josh Norman. Both of them are in the NFL’s concussion protocol, at least partially.
“I’m not too sure about this — Thursday they are going to the independent doctor and if they’re cleared they’ll go on the trip,” said Gruden. “If not, if we’re still having some pain and setbacks, at that point we’ll make that decision to probably leave them back.”
In other words, stay tuned on those two key players.
Two players were out of practice on Wednesday. Reserve linebacker Terrance Garvin was out with a hip injury, and starting running back Matt Jones missed with a knee problem.
The injury was as much a surprise to Gruden as it was to reporters when they saw that Jones was not participating in practice.
“He just came in, I guess, today, had some soreness laterally,” said Gruden. “Had some pain cutting, has to problem running straight ahead so we kept him out today.”
Limited in practice were wide receivers Jamison Crowder (groin) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring/shoulder); guard Brandon Scherff (shoulder), offensive tackle Trent Williams (knee), Reed, Norman, offensive lineman Spencer Long (chest), cornerback Bashaud Breeland (ankle) and tight end Vernon Davis (groin).
With six offensive starters limited and Jones out, Gruden had to alter practice somewhat.
“We had to do kind of a slower tempo on the offensive side of the ball because of the amount of injuries we had,” said Gruden.
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Both Josh Norman and Jordan Reed, two important players who are in the concussion protocol, were on the field for the early part of Redskins practice today,
But starting running back Matt Jones was not with the running back during individual drills. He out of uniform, doing some rehab work off to the side. The team did not announce an injury to him during or after the game.
The presence of Reed, who has missed the last two games after suffering a concussion on October 9, at practice was expected. Coach Jay Gruden announced on Monday that Reed would participate today for the first time in a week.
Norman left the Redskins game against the Lions last Sunday in the third quarter and was diagnosed with a concussion. It was a mild surprise to see him on the field so soon.
Reed and Norman practicing today is a positive sign but far from a guarantee that either will play against the Bengals on Sunday in London. Both must be cleared by an independent neurologist prior to playing and that usually doesn’t happen quickly. It’s possible that they may need to be cleared by tonight in order to go to London since there are no NFL-approved independent neurologists in England.
We will find out more about Reed and Norman and get information on Jones’ injury when Gruden addresses the media after practice.
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