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Offseason Primers: Washington Redskins

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Redskins were one of the most intriguing teams in 2012, and we hope this year will provide even more excitement with their young cast of stars. The key, of course, is the health of quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Before we get into Griffin, let's recap last year. The Redskins were 3-6 going into their bye in Week 10, and coach Mike Shanahan declared the season over. It was a tremendous rallying cry as Washington ran off seven wins in a row to win the NFC East and make the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the playoff loss against Seattle proved costly as Griffin suffered a knee injury, and his status for the start of this season is now in doubt. But we expect him to be back for Week 1 barring a setback, and the Redskins should continue to shine.

2012 Touches Leaders
810 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Alfred Morris 346 (335 car., 11 rec.) 42.7%
Josh Morgan 51 (3 car., 48 rec.) 6.3%
Pierre Garcon 46 (2 car., 44 rec.) 5.6%
Santana Moss 44 (3 car., 41 rec.) 5.4%
Leonard Hankerson 40 (2 car., 38 rec.) 4.9%
All Others 283 34.9%

They have a tremendous young running back in Alfred Morris, who was a star as a rookie in 2012. And Pierre Garcon leads a decent receiving corps that is only made better by Griffin's presence. Bringing back tight end Fred Davis as a free agent was also a quality move.

With the NFC East having no dominant team -- the Giants and Cowboys are good but not great and the Eagles are starting over with a new coach in Chip Kelly -- the Redskins could again by playoff bound. If they can improve on defense -- getting Brian Orakpo back from a torn pectoral muscle will help -- Washington should continue to be in the hunt.

But they won't do it without a healthy Griffin, and all eyes will be on him in training camp to see if he's back at 100 percent.

Robert Griffin III -- Injury-risk sleeper

2012 Target Leaders
442 pass attempts
Josh Morgan 73 16.5%
Pierre Garcon 68 15.4%
Santana Moss 62 14.0%
Leonard Hankerson 57 12.9%
Logan Paulsen 38 8.6%
All Others 144 32.5%

Griffin is a wild card for Fantasy owners this season. He had surgery to repair a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in January, and he's hoping to be ready by Week 1. If that happens, then Griffin could have an Adrian Peterson-like impact this year in his comeback from knee surgery. But if Griffin isn't ready by Week 1 or suffers a setback with his knee, then depending on when you draft him, he could be a bust. We consider Griffin a low-end starting option coming into the year based on the uncertainty. No matter what you do with Griffin, you better back him up with a quality No. 2 quarterback (think Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger or Jay Cutler, for example) in case he doesn't recover at 100 percent. When healthy, Griffin was a star as he showed last year with 344 Fantasy points, which made him the No. 7 quarterback in standard leagues. He averaged 22.9 points a week, something only four other quarterbacks (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning) did last year, and we hope Griffin can make a full recovery without any problems. Gamble on him with a pick as early as Round 5 or 6.

Alfred Morris -- Worth the price

Morris was one of the best surprises in 2012, and now he has to avoid a sophomore slump this year. Morris won the starting job for the Redskins in training camp, and he had a tremendous rookie season. He had 335 carries for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns and 11 catches for 77 yards. Morris was the No. 5 running back in standard leagues, and he had 12 games with double digits in Fantasy points, including six games in a row to close the season. Shanahan has said Morris could be more involved in the passing game this year, which would only enhance his value, but he'll be a quality option in standard leagues no matter what. He's a workhorse and a goal-line back with talent, and we know Shanahan has a great history with running backs. We expect Morris to play well again this year, and he should be drafted toward the end of Round 1 in standard leagues and Round 2 in PPR formats.

Pierre Garcon -- Breakout

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Robert Griffin III 70-77 overall
Alfred Morris 7-12 overall
Roy Helu Undrafted
Evan Royster Undrafted
Pierre Garcon 51-58 overall
Santana Moss Undrafted
Leonard Hankerson Undrafted
Josh Morgan Undrafted
Fred Davis Undrafted

Garcon is hoping his second season with the Redskins is better than the first. His debut season in Washington was met with mixed results in 2012. When he played, he was dominant, but Garcon missed six games and was limited in two others because of a nagging toe problem. But he had double digits in Fantasy points in four of the eight games where he was close to 100 percent and finished the season with 44 catches for 633 yards and four touchdowns. Garcon avoided surgery on his foot, which is a positive, but the injury could still be a concern. It's also a problem that Griffin is coming back from major knee surgery. But if all the reports on Garcon and Griffin are positive through training camp then Garcon should be considered a solid No. 2 Fantasy receiver. We would draft him as early as Round 5 or 6 in the majority of leagues, and this should be a great season for him if he can stay healthy all year.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

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Brice Butler scores twice in first game back from concussion
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(1:44 am ET) Raiders receiver Brice Butler worked his way back from a concussion with an impressive performance Friday against Green Bay. Butler scored twice with the backups in the second half. He led the team with 60 yards and two touchdowns on three receptions.

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(1:41 am ET) Bears defensive end Willie Young worked past a knee injury and led the team in tackles Friday night against Seattle. He had a sack and registered six total tackles (three solo), including a tackle for loss.

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(1:38 am ET) Bears running back Matt Forte was not asked to do much during Friday's preseason game against the Seahawks. Forte was limited to two series with the first unit. He took his first handoff for a gain of 11 yards and finished the game with 17 yards on three carries.

The 28-year-old led the league in touches last year and doesn't need to prove anything during the preseason. He ranked third with 289 carries, and his 74 receptions also ranked third among running backs in 2013.

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(1:32 am ET) Bears quarterback Jay Cutler endured a shaky performance Friday night against the Seahawks in exhibition play.

Cutler was held out of the end zone and his last pass of the night resulted in an interception by Jeremy Lane late in the second quarter. He was sacked twice and compiled 157 yards through the air while completing 12 of 20 passes. He finished the game with a 64.0 passer rating.

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(1:28 am ET) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch made his presence felt despite being limited to only one drive Friday night against the Bears in exhibition play.

Lynch took his first handoff for a gain of 3 yards. His second touch was a six yard dash and his third handoff resulted in a 7-yard touchdown run, capping off a seven-play scoring drive. He finished with three carries for 16 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.3 yards per touch.

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(1:23 am ET) Bears wide receiver Santonio Holmes made his Chicago debut Friday night against the Seahawks in Seattle. Holmes saw work in the third quarter with the backups. He caught a 7-yard pass from Jordan Palmer, his only reception of the night despite being targeted twice.

Russell Wilson catches fire with three scores Friday
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(1:20 am ET) Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson caught fire again during Friday's preseason game against the Bears.

Wilson scored a seven yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. In the second quarter, he Jermaine Kearse for a 12-yard strike and Christine Michael for a 7-yard strike. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 202 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked once and finished with four carries for 23 yards and a touchdown through the ground.

Wilson has compiled 360 yards through the air while completing 30 of 39 passes this preseason. He has five touchdowns, three of which have come through the ground. While completing 79.6 percent of his passes, he has not committed a turnover.

Matt Schaub has another disappointing night
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(1:13 am ET) Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub had another rough showing Friday night against the Packers in preseason play.

Schaub played into the first drive of the third quarter but was unable to complete half of his pass attempts. He found James Jones for a 14-yard touchdown strike after halftime, but the play was reversed after a replay challenge. He led the team to five straight three-and-outs. He was sacked twice and compiled 110 yards through the air while completing 13 of 27 passes, registering a 59.2 passer rating.

Schaub is 24 of 47 for 225 yards and no touchdowns with an interception through three preseason games. He's expected to be the starter come Week 1.

Andrew Quarless comes down with touchdown reception
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(12:58 am ET) Packers tight end Andrew Quarless got in the end zone Friday night against the Raiders in exhibition play. Quarless caught a 6-yard catch from Aaron Rodgers late in the second quarter. It was his only catch and target of the night.

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(12:56 am ET) Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson had a productive showing Friday night against the Raiders in preseason action.

Nelson caught a two-point conversion on the opening drive and came down with a 12-yard touchdown grab on a fourth down in the second quarter. He was targeted four times and finished with two catches for 19 yards and a touchdown.

 
 
 
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