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RB changes raise Morris' fantasy stock


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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Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 23, 14 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 6
—NFL Combine (3/2) 7
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 53
—NFL Draft (4/27) 63
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 199

Free agent moves—Offense

Free agency starts two weeks from today. The Redskins have plenty of needs, both big and small. Let’s take a look around and see what offensive positions they might be looking to bolster when things get going. I’ll follow up with the defense in the next few days.

Quarterback—It could be a yawner at this position or there could be plenty of drama. If Kirk Cousins gets franchise tagged or defies current expectations and signs a long-term deal, the depth chart will remain the same. If he is gone via a trade, things could be shaken up. While they may draft a QB in late April they could go for a mid-priced veteran as insurance.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Running back—The Redskins have a depth chart loaded with young, unproven talent at this position. If they want a veteran presence in the meeting room they could look at someone like Robert Turbin (McCloughan had a hand in drafting him in Seattle in 2012) or maybe Knile Davis.

Wide receiver—Things will get very interesting if the word on the street comes to pass and both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are gone. They have a presumably healthy Josh Doctson in line to replace one but they would need a veteran. Maybe Kenny Stills or Kenny Britt, both young and productive, could be under consideration. If one of the veterans stays they likely will get depth in the draft.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Tight end—Vernon Davis seems likely to be back. If he’s not, the Redskins probably would rather have an alternative to Niles Paul as Jordan Reed’s primary backup. The probably won’t swim in the deep end of the pool with Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. But maybe they will look at Jermaine Gresham, who made the Pro Bowl twice in Cincinnati while Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator.

Offensive line—Yesterday, JP and I discussed what they might do at left guard if they want to upgrade from Shawn Lauvao. Perhaps they could go for Kevin Zeitler, another Bengal who played under Gruden. But he will command a contract in the $8-$10 million range and with Brandon Scherff coming up for an extension next year that might be too much to spend at the guard position. Look for the Redskins to take an eventual Lauvao replacement in the draft.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.


Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 


Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!