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Tier-ing up over RG3's slot among fantasy QBs

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Tier-ing up over RG3's slot among fantasy QBs

With NFL training camps opening for business, it's certainly time to start gearing up for the allimportant business of fantasy football. Or, to phrase it another way for all those in Redskins nation,determining where RG3 goes in fantasy drafts.I suspect in these parts Robert Griffin III's average draft position will be higher than the national average seeing as many locally have come down with a severe case of RGIII-itis (After a season dealing with Rex-Beck syndrome, it's a welcome problem). My take, excerpted below from an article I posted on FFToolbox.com and discussed on this podcast, looks at Griffin and all the fantasy quarterbacks from a tier (and non-burgundy and gold colored glasses) perspective. Essentially after the top 12 options, there is a very shallow pool ofpassers fantasyowners should target as starters in deep leagues or high-end backups with potential for stardom. The Redskins passer is one of them.For a single game, I can imagine selecting the likes of Joe Flacco or Josh Freeman or Ryan Fitzpatrick depending on the matchup for all involved. However, when you consider the potential for greatness - at least on a fantasy level - in 2012, I'll side with RG3's upside over the ordinary upside offered by the suspect bottom half of quarterbacks.The "Tier-ing up over fantasy quarterbacks" intro is below along with the section involving RG3 (plus Jay Cutler and Matt Schaub). Click here to find out which tiers the other 29 starting passers and intriguing backupslanded in...--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Based on the fantasy football calendar, it is now time to get in touch with my feelings, those that involve drafting one player over another, that is. Actually, I'm not much for rankings. As the title of this piece indicates, I'm more of a tier guy.

We can quibble about Tom Brady v. Drew Brees (Brady), Tony Romo v. Matt Ryan (Ryan), Griffin III v. Luck (RGIII) and so on, but in some of those cases we're talking eye of the beholder type differences. As Kramer once noted on Seinfeld, it's all about levels.

Just because, as the FFToolbox rankings currently indicate, Jay Cutler is one spot ahead of Andy Dalton does not mean the two are of comparable value. Brady vs. Brees, yes. An aggressive Cutler vs. a play it closer to the vest Dalton, no. Simply taking the next name on a list, especially when viewing the entire draft board, is not always smart business.

As Mike Tyson once famously said upon hearing before a fight that his opponent had a plan to beat him, Tyson brashly countered that, "everyone has a plan, until they get hit in the mouth." The fantasy football equivalent is stating, as many do, bumper sticker claims of "waiting on QB" or "drafting best available" yet not realizing when adaptability is called for. The best way to put all your strategic components together is tiers.

Unlike Kramer, I actually completed my quarterback levels, err, tiers with all six plus a bonus rainy day grouping listed below. The specific order of each player within said tier is indeed my personal and current preference, but that's certainly not the point of this exercise. Understanding when you can bob and weave and when you have to jab, jab, jab with a needed selection is
Tier 4 Jay Cutler, Robert Griffin III, Matt SchaubThe low-end QB1QB2 market dries up dramatically after these three. Cutler's jerky vibe can be tough to root for, but he played rather well last season and finally, finally has a legitimate WR in his former Broncos' buddy Brandon Marshall. Not ready to declare RGIII another Newton, but his legs make his fantasy floor higher than most and the Redskins receivers are better than projected. His presence speaks more to his dynamic potential than purely 2012 production. Schaub's proven, but is another Andre Johnson injury away from sliding.

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You probably don't realize how effective Kirk Cousins is as a runner

You probably don't realize how effective Kirk Cousins is as a runner

Back at the 2012 NFL Combine, Kirk Cousins ran his 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds.

Now, as far as QB 40-yard dashes go, that's not a bad number at all, but it's definitely not blazing, either. Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, for example, ran his in 4.77 seconds that same year (while weighing 84 pounds heavier than the Michigan State signal caller), and 13 out of the 20 passers invited to the event topped Cousins' time.

That, plus the facts that Cousins isn't physically imposing and he clearly prefers to operate within the safe confines of the pocket, would lead you to believe that he's not much of a threat as a runner. But a stat — and this stat is far from an advanced one or a hidden one — indicates otherwise.

MORE: PLAYING OVER/UNDER ON SOME KEY KIRK COUSINS STATS

Over the last two seasons, Cousins has the third-most rushing touchdowns amongst quarterbacks. Cam Newton has 15 (not surprising), Tyrod Taylor checks in with 10 (also not surprising), and then there's Cousins, who rushed for nine scores in 2015 and 2016, which is good enough for a bronze medal on this particular podium (that's quite surprising).

Washington's starter has actually found the end zone with his legs more than peers like Andy Dalton (7), Alex Smith (7) and Aaron Rodgers (5) since taking over the primary gig in D.C., and all of those guys have reputations as runners that exceed Cousins'.

In fact, no one on the Burgundy and Gold has crossed the goal line as a ball-carrier more than the 28-year-old in the past 32 contests; Rob Kelley and Matt Jones are both three short of the man who lines up in front of them on Sundays.

Of course, Cousins isn't going to flatten defenders like Newton does, and he won't run around them like Taylor does. He also won't rip off big-gainers down the sideline when opposing team turns their back on him in man coverage.

But as the following highlights show, he hasn't just cashed in on one-yard sneaks the last couple of seasons, either:

All three of those plays were designed runs, and Cousins, while not exactly resembling Madden 2004 Michael Vickexecuted them perfectly. He doesn't really rack up yards — the numbers vary depending on which site you use, but the consensus is he's picked up about 150 total since 2015 — but Jay Gruden and Co. have developed a tremendous feel of when to use Cousins' feet instead of his arm in the red zone.

Sure, he's not going to show up on your Twitter timeline juking out a corner, and he won't scamper for much more than 10 yards at a time. But in a few games in 2017, Kirk Cousins is going to finish a drive with an impressive touchdown run instead of a throw, and that might shock you — even though it really shouldn't.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER FROM BOTTOM TO TOP

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 22, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 50 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 19
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 28
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 42

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics from the past week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com.

What would a fair Redskins contract offer to Kirk Cousins look like?  As it turns out, the offer the Redskins made fell below “fair” territory. But perhaps they recognized that a deal never was going to get done, not this year anyway. Cousins is content to see things unfold in 2017 and decide on a longer-term destination next year. So, the team’s offer was not high enough but there really wasn’t an offer that was going to be sufficient.

Cousins explains why he's not offended by Redskins statement—Bruce Allen raised plenty of eyebrows by detailing some of the team’s contract offer in a statement. Clearly the intent of the statement, which revealed some details that weren’t very impressive under closer inspection, was designed to turn public opinion in their favor. Cousins, appearing on the radio the next day, didn’t have a problem with it and said that Allen had told him that he would do it. As expected, plenty of fans and media types decided to be outraged in his place.

Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room for possible Kirk Cousins offer—With the focus turning to 2018, the fact that the team will have about $60 million in cap space becomes relevant. It’s enough to give him the $35 million franchise tag and perhaps enough to match a front-loaded offer sheet if the Redskins use the transition tag. But the cautionary word is that they have at least a dozen starters and key contributors who also are set to be free agents next year. They will have to find money for them or their replacements somewhere.

Redskins depth chart preview--Safety—Cousins talk dominated the week but other topics did draw plenty of interest. The back end of the defense, with Su’a Cravens converting from linebacker and free agent D. J. Swearinger moving from being mostly a strong safety to playing free, will be under the microscope this year. Whether the defense gets better may hinge on the safety position. 

11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins offense—Does Trent Williams make the All-Pro team? How many yards for Rob Kelley? One prediction for each projected offensive starter here including how many non-receiving touchdowns for Jamison Crowder.

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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