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Finding this year's fantasy breakouts

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Finding this year's fantasy breakouts

It's never too early to start scouting for your fantasy football draft, right? After all, NFL betting is a 30 billion annual industry. Not that we're endorsing gambling...

But you have a roster to build, bragging rights on the line and friends and foes alike to impress with your powerhouse team. And what better way to impress the league while earning the ire of your opponents than by snapping up this year's breakout stars?

Cam Newton. DeMarco Murray. Victor Cruz. Jimmy Graham. Mike Wallace. Matt Forte. If you were luckysavvy enough to have snapped up one or more of those guys in a later round last year --or better yet off waivers-- chances are your team avoided the lowly league basement.

Ready to plan ahead for this year's breakout stars? You won't have to look too far outside the Washington area to find what many experts believe to be the most eligible quarterback. But, as NFL.com's analysts point out, don't expect Robert Griffin III to be Newton 2.0:

Michael Fabiano:
"If you expect Griffin to duplicate Cam Newton and score close to 370 fantasy points as a rookie, well, you're going to be disappointed. With that said, I can see RG3 as a top 10 fantasy quarterback because of his combination of arm strength and skills as a runner. Draft him as a No. 2 fantasy quarterback with huge upside."
Dave Dameshek:
"While it'd be almost statistically impossible to repeat what Cam Newton did last year, I do think RG3 will use his big arm, speedy gams and keen noodle to have a great rookie season. If you're in a keeper league, he's worth reaching for as early as the second round."
Elliot Harrison:
"If there is any quarterback that has an opportunity to break into the top ten in fantasy this year, it's RG3. He's a rookie, yes, but according to Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, he'll start from Day 1. Griffin can get you major points on the ground and in the rushing touchdown department, a la Cam Newton last season. Also bear in mind that the Redskins signed wideouts Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, and hope to get a lot out of 2011 rookie Leonard Hankerson."

So there you have it. Chances are RG3 will go far too early if your league is stocked with DC-area GMs. So let them throw away an early pick on the unproven guy on a rebuilding roster. Keep a level head and think of RG3, whose star is undoubtedly very bright, as a premium 2.

Check out the full list of projected 2012 breakout performers here.

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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