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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 .

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Player News
Trent Cole, Nick Foles among notable inactives for Eagles Week 16
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:14 pm ET) The Eagles have ruled the following players inactive for Saturday's clash against Washington: Quarterback Nick Foles, safety Jerome Couplin, linebacker Trent Cole, offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde, offensive lineman Dennis Kelly, wide receiver Jeff Maehl and defensive end Taylor Hart.

Redskins unveil inactives for Saturday's game vs. Eagles
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:08 pm ET) The Redskins listed Jason Hatcher, Keenan Robinson, Gabe Miller, Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Kenny Okoro and Josh LeRibeus as inactive for Saturday’s game against the Eagles.

Broncos unveil final Week 16 injury report
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:57 pm ET) The Broncos released their final injury for the Week 16 game against the Bengals and listed C.J. Anderson, Chris Clark, Cody Latimer, Will Montgomery, Jacob Tamme, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas as probable.

The following players are listed as questionable: Ryan Clady (thigh), Ronnie Hillman (foot), Peyton Manning (thigh), Emmanuel Sanders (illness), Juwan Thompson (hip/knee) and Kayvon Webster (shoulder).

Linebacker Brandon Marshall (foot) and offensive tackle Paul Cornick (toe) were ruled out of the game.


Broncos list Peyton Manning as questionable vs. Bengals
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:04 pm ET) Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is listed as questionable for Monday’s game at Cincinnati.

Manning is dealing with a thigh injury which caused him to briefly leave Week 15's game against the Chargers.

While Manning is listed as questionable, coach John Fox told reporters Manning received a similar amount of reps in Saturday’s practice as he did the rest of the season.

The Broncos are 3-point favorites.


Report: Raiders to place cornerback Tarell Brown on IR
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:26 pm ET) Sources indicated the Raiders will place cornerback Tarell Brown on injured reserve, reports the CSN Bay Area.

Brown has been dealing with a foot injury.


Broncos' Emmanuel Sanders misses Saturday's practice
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:12 pm ET) Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was not able to practice Saturday while dealing with an illness.

The Broncos listed Sanders as questionable on the final Week 16 injury report. The Broncos will play at Cincinnati Monday.


Report: Cowboys expect DeMarco Murray to play Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) While the final decision won’t be made until Sunday, the Cowboys are expecting running back DeMarco Murray to play Sunday against the Colts, according to ESPN.

Murray has been medically cleared to play, but the official decision won’t be made until Murray tests his injured hand in pre-game work outs.

The Cowboys are 3 1/2–point favorites over the Colts.


Report: Browns place safety Tashaun Gipson on IR
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:55 am ET) The Browns have placed safety Tashaun Gipson on injured reserve, reports ESPN.

Gipson has been bothered by a knee injury and has not played since Nov. 23. To replace Gipson on the roster, the Browns elevated linebacker Scott Solomon from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. 


Packers upgrade Bryan Bulaga to probable
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:44 am ET) Packers offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga was upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

Bulaga sustained a concussion during Week 16's loss to the Bills, but by being upgraded to probable, it appears Bulaga has passed concussion protocol.


Report: Falcons' Julio Jones will determine playing status Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Whether or not Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones plays Sunday against the Saints will be determined during Jones’ pre-game workout Sunday, reports NBCsports.com.

Sources indicated Jones will work out before the game and his playing status will depend on how his injured hip reacts. Jones is listed as questionable heading into the game.

The Falcons are 6-point underdogs to the Saints.


 
 
 
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