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RB changes raise Morris' fantasy stock

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RB changes raise Morris' fantasy stock

Have you been sitting around trying to decipher how an injured Roy Helu and a newly signed Ryan Grant affectsthe Redskins backfield?In the world of fantasy football, there is no Da Vinci Code to crack: it'struly all about Alfred Morris now.The rookie runner's stunning rise up the depth chart from unassuming sixthround pick to weekly starter has actually moved up a notch, if possible,following the flurry of moves over the last 24 hours. Factor in a gimpy EvanRoyster (knee strain) and the word unassailable comes to mind when discussing Morris'hold on the gig. In pure fantasy terms and weekly matchup aside, the FloridaAtlantic product is a low-end RB2 with a chance for more should the Redskinsmaintain their high-scoring production. Though Tampa Bay, Washington's next opponent, rank tops in the NFL against the run thru three weeks, Morris remains a top 20 option innon-PPR (points per reception) formats.Based on last year's production, Helu figured to eventually be Morris'primary challenger for touches even if his style suggested change-of-paceoption. That might still be the case, but now that Helu has been placed oninjured reserve, it's a 2013 discussion.Royster could still suit up for against Tampa Bay in Week 4. While MikeShanahan has been known to switch lead backs on a whim - well, that's how itappears to us gamers anyway - there is little hint that he's ready to jettisonMorris out of the starting role for the ex-Penn Stater.This brings us to Grant, a former stud with the Packers, who has beenwatching from the sidelines this year after starting 14 of 15 games forGreen Bay last year. Never the most explosive runner even in his heyday, theterm plodding comes to mind when looking back on Grant's 2011 campaign, thoughhe still averaged 4.2 yards on 134 carries. Being familiar with the Redskinszone-blocking ways should help the self-described "one-cut" runner'sintroductory process.For the moment, at least until we see what the 29-year-old has left in thetank, any talk of Grant's signing should focus more on how he helps Robert GriffinIII rather than whether he's a threat to Morris' touches. The Redskins pass blocking is flawed.
One way to help the situation, add anexperienced running back trained in the art of pass protection. This was to beTim Hightower's role, but it's hard to stop ill-intentioned blitzers on oneleg. If Grant can compliment Morris - who does not have a reception this year -as a third or passing down option, that should help keep RG3's jersey clean (orat least clean-ish).For now, even handcuff-desiring fantasy owners can leave Grant on thewaiver wire; Royster and his youthful legs make for a better call if one feelscompelled to make such a move. Unless Grant shows more than just being RG3'sbackfield bodyguard or Morris' currently healthy yards per carry average starts(4.3) heading south, there is nothing for fantasy owners to see here.Well, other than Morris taking a stronger hold on the starting job.(P.S. Should Shanahan run Grant 20 times against the Bucs, this post will self-destruct)

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Running back Marshall expected to miss 3 weeks with elbow injury

Running back Marshall expected to miss 3 weeks with elbow injury

Rookie running back Keith Marshall is expected to miss three weeks after suffering a strained elbow in Friday's preseason game.

Marshall was scheduled to have an MRI exam on Saturday. While there has been no official word from the team as to the severity of Marshall's injury, CSN's Chick Hernandez is reporting he will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

RELATED: COMFORT THE KEY TO SMITH'S PURSUIT OF A BIG SEASON

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Redskins' starting defense is sharp in small preseason sample of work

Redskins' starting defense is sharp in small preseason sample of work

Judging by the small sample size that the NFL preseason has become it looks like the Redskins’ starting defense is ready to go for the start of the NFL season.

The Redskins’ opponents had six possessions with their staring quarterbacks in the lineup, which usually means that those teams had all of their healthy starters in the game. In those six possessions the Redskins’ opponents mustered 53 yards of total offense.

As far as the starting quarterbacks, the Redskins didn’t face anyone who is bound for Canton five years after retirement. But there wasn’t a Case Keenum in the group either. Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Matt Ryan combined to complete six of 18 passes for 46 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. That comes to a combined passer rating of 42.4.

This is a major improvement over the 2015 preseason when starting quarterbacks were much sharper against the Redskins’ defense. Josh McCown, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco completed 19 of 26 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a stellar passer rating of 128.4.

This year the other teams apparently wanted to get the QBs some work and didn’t run a lot. The Redskins gave up 36 rushing yards on eight attempts. That’s an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. Over a year that would be an improvement over last year (4.8 per carry) but still well above the league average (4.1).

It’s hard to overemphasize the small sample sizes involved here. It would be a mistake to draw any sweeping conclusions from a few dozen snaps. But among the goals of the preseason are to look competent and, as Jay Gruden said, create some “positive vibrations”. The Redskins defense can check the boxes next to both of those.

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Bryan Stork clarifies next move after days of speculation with Redskins

Bryan Stork clarifies next move after days of speculation with Redskins

After days of speculation if Bryan Stork would actually end up in Washington, the former Patriots center clarified his next move via Twitter. 

Redskins GM Scot McCloughan traded for Stork earlier this week after it became apparent New England intended to release the 2014 draft pick out of Florida State. It was unclear, however, if Stork would accept the trade to the 'Skins as he mulled retirement options. 

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Stork has dealt with a number of concussions in his two-year NFL career. After playing in a Super Bowl as a rookie, his 2015 season was limited by head injuries. 

Coming to the Redskins, Stork may have an opportunity to compete for playing time. Kory Lichtensteiger is installed as the starting center, but he struggled in the third preseason game against the Bills and was lost for much of the 2015 season to injury. 

McCloughan has openly said he wants big, tough guys up front on the offensive line. Stork - at 6-foot-4 and 310 lbs. - with a documented nasty streak definitely fits that bill. 

Whether or not Stork pushes Lichtensteiger for the starting spot - or even competes for the No. 2 center job with Spencer Long - the price for Stork is tough to argue. McCloughan gave up just a conditional seventh round pick to acquire the former New England starter.