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.
Here is my weekly look at playing time for the Redskins during their win over the Raiders:
—Defensively, the Redskins were in nickel a lot. Slot corner Kendall Fuller played 46 of the 51 defensive snaps. That generally means that they are playing fewer defensive lineman and indeed, nose tackle Ziggy Hood played only 18 snaps.
—Junior Galette played only 15 snaps, down from 19 against the Rams. He did get half a sack.
MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM THE REDSKINS' WIN
—It was surprising to see that Preston Smith got only 23 snaps. That is by far a season low but it’s hard to argue with the strategy. He was very effective with his limited snaps, getting a sack and tackling Marshawn Lynch for no gain on a third and two play.
—Rookie OLB Ryan Anderson is getting worked into the lineup more and more. He got 24 snaps on defense, one more than he had in the first two games combined, and another eight on special teams.
—The two defensive players who were in for 100 percent of the 51 defensive snaps were S D.J. Swearinger and ILB Zach Brown. CB Josh Norman played 47 snaps and ILB Martrell Spaight, Fuller, and CB Bashaud Breeland played 46 each.
—On offense, Josh Doctson (36) got more playing time than Ryan Grant (34) for the first time this year.
—Between Kirk Cousins and the five starting offensive linemen, only Shawn Lauvao missed any of the 68 plays run. Lauvao came out for one play to have his helmet fixed.
—TE Jeremy Sprinkle made his NFL debut, getting seven snaps.
—Besides Colt McCoy, the only player who was active who did not get into the game was rookie ILB Josh Harvey-Clemons.
A week from today, the 2017 MLB postseason is scheduled to take off with the American League Wild Card game.
Still with six or less games remaining for every team, there is little that we know in terms of the exact positioning of each team in the postseason.
As of Tuesday morning, there are seven teams that are guaranteed to be in the playoffs. Three spots, the NL Central and a Wild Card spot in each league, are still up for grabs.
RELATED: IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE WILD CARD RACE
Besides the NL Central, only the AL East is the other division that has not announced a division winner.
Also up for grabs is overall home field throughout the World Series. Without the MLB All-Star Game determining who starts as the host of the series, whichever team finishes with a higher record will have home field. That race is alive and well.
Right now it is the Los Angles Dodgers (100-57), who have leveled out after a rough August stretch, that leads the charge. Right behind them is the Cleveland Indians (1.5 GB), the Houston Astros (3.5 GB) and the Washington Nationals (4.5 GB). Surprisingly enough the Nationals face the easiest competition against the Phillies and Pirates to end the season. It will be tough for the Dodgers to keep up the pace finishing the season playing the Rockies who are still trying to claim the second NL Wild Card.
For the final three remaining postseason spots, there are nine teams mathematically alive as of Tuesday morning.
Since the last bracket update on September 22, the New York Yankees have clinched a postseason spot and the Arizona Diamondbacks have clinched the top Wild Card spot in the National League.
Leveling out and winning five of their last 10, the Dodgers are limping into the playoffs. Ultimately, with no push from the Nationals, Los Angeles will go on to claim the top spot in the National League.
With that, the Nationals will be regulated to second place as they have been resting their top players for over a week. Still the team is waiting for Bryce Harper to come back from what could have been a devastating injury. He is expected to be back in the line-up at some point this week.
Having a scary schedule to end the season, the Chicago Cubs (88-68) took care of business winning three of four against the Brewers this past weekend. It has garnered a magic number of now one for Chicago to claim the division and also the No. 3 seed in the postseason.
MORE NATS: WOULD YOU RATHER TAKE THE CUBS OR BREWERS?
The Arizona Diamondbacks are the only team in the postseason to know their fate once the season ends. They will be hosting the National League Wild Card Game on Oct. 4, clinching the first Wild Card spot.
Essentially, the only race in the National League is for the second Wild Card. Colorado holds the edge but only slightly as they play the Marlins and then host the Dodgers to end the year. The Brewers (1.5 GB) and Cardinals (-2.5 games) stay alive but have to win and hope for the Rockies to lose. Click here for an in-depth look at the NL Wild Card race.
If the season were to end today, here is how the National League bracket would look:
Wild Card Round (Winner-take-all):
No. 5 Colorado Rockies (84-73) at No. 4 Arizona Diamondbacks (90-67)
National League Divisional Series (Best-of-5):
No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers (100-57) vs. Wild Card Round Winner
No. 2 Washington Nationals (95-61) vs. No. 3 Chicago Cubs (88-68)
Wild Card Race:
Colorado Rockies: ---
Milwaukee Brewers: -1.5
St. Louis Cardinals: -2.5
Every year it seems that as the season comes to a close, the American League East is still up for grabs. Both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have already clinched a playoff spot, but with New York’s win and Boston’s loss on Monday, the race has opened up once again. It ultimately will be the difference between the No. 3 seed and the Wild Card play-in game, but likely the Red Sox are not going to relinquish the division crown.
Both the Indians (AL Central Division Winner) and the Astros (AL West Division Winner) now have a heated battle for the top seed in the American League. Neither team appears to be conceding to rest players either. The lead for Cleveland is currently at 2.0 games. The remaining schedule favors the Indians as the Astros face the Rangers and the Red Sox to end the year, all on the road.
By the end of the night, the Minnesota Twins, who have a magic number of two, could wrap up the second Wild Card. A win over Cleveland and a loss by the Angels against the White Sox is all they need to clinch a postseason berth. The only saving grace for Los Angeles is that the Twins do have a three game series with Cleveland who has won 29 of their last 31. Click here for an in-depth look at the AL Wild Card race.
If the season were to end today, here is how the American League bracket would look:
Wild Card Round (Winner-take-all):
No. 5 Minnesota Twins (82-74) at No. 4 New York Yankees (87-69)
American League Divisional Series (Best-of-5):
No. 1 Cleveland Indians (98-58) vs. Wild Card Round Winner
No. 2 Houston Astros (96-60) vs. No. 3 Boston Red Sox (91-65)
Wild Card Race:
New York Yankees: +5.0
Minnesota Twins: ---
Los Angeles Angels: -5.0
Texas Rangers: -6.0
Kansas City Royals: -6.0
Tampa Bay Rays: -6.0
All records and standings are as of Thursday morning at 9:00 am.