Combining my roles as contributor on the Redskins Talk blog and Fantasy Football savant (or at least FFToolbox writer and podcast host ), heres my latest look at the Redskins fantasy options. QB: What remains clear at least until the Shanahans take the leash off their prized pupil and open up the playbook is that Robert GriffinIIIis not a fantasy starter but remains one to own. The top 12, from Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady to Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, are (barring injury) still set in stone (the players more than the exact order). While Jay Cutler and Matt Schaub are next up, especially as in case of emergency backup (think Michael Vick or Manning) , Bob Griffins upside is next followed by the true line of QB2 demarcation. Perhaps Andrew Luck makes it a foursome by the time your league drafts, but thats about it. For now, dont draftRG3 to start no matter how deep your burgundy and gold fandom runs, but youre hardly a homer takinghim around theeighth round in 12-team leagues.RB: Wow does this get uglier by the minute. Bad enough, from a clear-cut fantasy perspective, that hes not the Redskins starter, but now Roy Helu is dealing with Achilles tendon issues. For now, the seriousness of the injury remains unclear; this is also how fantasy football owners should view the overall backfield. Assuming he misses no time, Helu (No. 23 RB and pre-injury revelation rank) remains the best bet even with 12-15 touches a game. Based on his elusiveness and the productivity shown last season, he remains around the outer mark of the top 25 runners (discussing Helu plus those RBs above and belowhim on Tuesday's podcast). However, that rank comes not with a bullet but a question mark. Theres the history of Shananigans (i.e. frequently changing primary options). The current starting status of Evan Royster (not blown away by the beefier option, but if he is the short yardage back, worth a late round flyer). The uncertainty of Tim Hightowers health and role (let your other Redskins buddy draft him). In addition, RG3s legs will find the end zone way more than last years QB options. If you feel compelled to have a Redskin on your team, let it be at another positionWR:...like this one. From the physical Pierre Garcon (moving closer to WR2 territory) to the slot target and reshaped Santana Moss (potential steal as a WR4) to the up-and-coming Leonard Hankerson (tons of sleeper buzz for the red zone threat), there are plenty of options here for 12-team leaguers. As for Garcon, Ive been touting his fantasy goodness for weeks and backing up the talk as hes the only player on both of my industry league rosters (June and July mocks). Josh Morgan remains a waiver wire play and while his rise could enhance the Redskins offense, it could muddle the status for Moss.TE: Though currently ranked No. 7 at his position, it would be nice to see Fred Davis and his new QB show more on-field rapport than reports have currently suggested. More to the point, of Garcon is truly RG3s main target, Daviss lofty status could take a minor dip since it factors in the rookie QBs love throwing to their tight end premise is in play. Regardless, draft Davis with confidence -- and just hope hes also on his best off-field behavior.Defense: Personally, Id move this unit (25th overall) up into more the bye-week option range on the strength of the front-7, but the reality is the secondary is kind of scary. If the move inside turns DeAngelo Hall back into a playmaker then combined with the Orakpo-Kerrigan pass rush, this group has some juice. Not draftable, but interesting in Week 2 against the Rams.Kicker: Until we know who wins the job officially, dont take Neil Rackers or Graham Gano. Realistically, you shouldnt draft either booter of the ball regardless.Ben Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalistand his fantasy football thoughts at FFToolbox.com.
While starring for the Redskins from 2004-2010, Clinton Portis was a beloved player renowned for his toughness on the field and humor off of it.
But a Sports Illustrated story published Wednesday shows how different the post-football Portis was from the one who made a name for himself in the Burgundy and Gold.
After retiring from the NFL, Portis ran into severe money trouble when he trusted his money with people he wishes he hadn't, according to SI's Brian Burnsed. The running back filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and the financial issues he encountered pushed him to the brink of committing a serious crime.
"On a handful of late nights and early mornings in 2013 he lurked in his car near a Washington, D.C.–area office building, pistol at his side, and waited for one of several men who had managed a large chunk of the $43.1 million he earned with his 2,230 carries over nine NFL seasons," Burnsed writes.
“It wasn’t no beat up,” Portis told the writer. “It was kill.”
He never did follow through on the revenge he wanted, thanks in large part to a friend and therapist who forced him to consider how killing someone would affect his family and all he had worked for in his life. If he had found the person he was targeting, however, he's honest about what would've happened.
“We’d probably be doing this interview from prison,” Portis, who stopped participating in the story after two interviews, said.
Another notable part from the story is that the 35-year-old is experiencing memory lapses and often gets lost while driving, but is afraid to be tested because he's "really scared" of what those tests would find. Overall, though, Portis is in a better place now than he was a few years ago.
"Life is so much clearer after coming out of that storm," he said.
True or false: The Redskins will carry four tight ends on their roster this year.
Rich Tandler: True
The Redskins added a tight end to a roster that had four experienced players at the position already on it. But, make no mistake, fifth-round selection Jeremy Sprinkle was not a “luxury” pick.
Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are both stone cold locks to make the roster. They are the pass catchers who are expected to combine for perhaps 1,500 yards and at least a dozen touchdowns.
The third tight end could be Niles Paul, a veteran who has battled injuries the last two years. He appears to be healthy and if he stays that way he can play tight end, be the fullback on the six or eight snaps per game the Redskins use one, and be a strong contributor on special teams.
Sprinkle can fill a role that those three can’t—blocking tight end. Jay Gruden had to put tackle Ty Nsekhe on the field when they needed a three-tight end set. That made the job of the defense easier with essentially four eligible receivers to deal with.
With a well-defined role for each player, it would make perfect sense for the Redskins to carry four tight ends on the 53-man roster rather than the customary three. Of course, if they carry four at tight end they have to go with one fewer player elsewhere. They will find a spot.
Running back seems to be the logical place to go for that spot. If they keep, say, Mack Brown as the fourth running back, you then have a player without a defined role. He’s the backup to the backup to the backup. Sure, he can do special teams, but not as well as Paul.
Perhaps if you want to keep Brown you let go of Paul with his recent injury history and his $2.2 million cap number in mind. Or you can let Sprinkle get some seasoning on the practice squad.
But I think that the Redskins drafted Sprinkle with the plan to keep four tight ends. If they are going to go with their best, most versatile 53 that is what they will do.
JP Finlay: False
Man, this is tough. If you asked me this in May, I thought Niles Paul would be caught in a roster crunch. After watching the guys on the field through OTAs and minicamp, this decision becomes much harder.
Paul played well in those sessions, showed no rust from the injuries and impressed regardless what quarterback he was paired up with. Sprinkle looked like a rookie with a lot to learn, and while he's really big, he still seemed like his upper body could fill out in the NFL.
In a vacuum it's easy to say the Redskins should keep four tight ends. Like Tandler laid out above, Reed and Davis are roster locks. Paul can help in a ton of spots, and Sprinkle should evolve into the blocking tight end for the jumbo set.
But NFL rosters aren't made in vacuums. To keep a fourth tight end, the Redskins will have to make a cut, and Tandler suggested Mack Brown could be the guy. I don't see that happening. Jay Gruden and Randy Jordan speak glowingly about Brown.
This will be a fun roster spot to watch, but in June, before any injuries or the competition of training camp, I think the Redskins keep Reed, Davis and Paul. Then they really, really hope they can sneak the rookie Sprinkle to their practice squad.
Washington has not kept three healthy tight ends on their roster in the last few seasons, and if that trend continues, Sprinkle would make the NFL roster before the end of the year. Keeping four tight ends just isn't a luxury the Redskins have, especially keeping three quarterbacks like they're expected to do.