Fantasy football. The place where you get to be your own GM and coach. It has become almost as big as football itself. Without it, there would be no reason why a 42-year-old guy from Seattle would care what the Tennessee Titans are doing. But he needs Chris Johnson to get him 10 more points so he can beat someone from the office.
Fantasy football has changed the way fans look at football. They still have loyalty to their team, but they pay attention to what their guys are doing too. God forbid those two ever conflict. Everyone is looking for that one player that will complete his roster.
The Washington Redskins did not have an impressive year in 2011, collectively or individually. Many people got burned by 'Skins they thought would play better. Yet, this year, it could be different. There is a lot of change in Washington, and a lot of excitement. It should translate into fantasy points, and that is another reason to be excited.
As we head into the fantasy preseason, here are five Redskins you need to look at putting on your roster.
This is a tricky one. Robert Griffin III has yet to play a down of football in the NFL. He will be starting as a rookie, on a team that had just five wins last year.
Yet, at the same time, he is the Heisman Trophy winner. He won the ESPY for Best Male College Athlete. He completed 72.4 percent of his passes, threw for 4293 yards and had 47 total touchdowns. Yes, that was in college, but you have to admit that it is impressive.
There is a little risk in drafting an untested player, especially a quarterback, in your draft, but it isn't every day that an RGIII comes around. With his athleticism, he should be able to get you the points you need. The Redskins have gotten him weapons that will help, and he should do well.
Verdict: RGIII is definitely worth picking up in the middle rounds to have as your backup quarterback. If he does well, you can even use him as your starter. He could also be a good trade commodity if your starter has an early bye week.
In 2011, Fred Davis had 59 receptions for 796 yards and three touchdowns. He had 90 fantasy points on most standard point systems, good enough for 12th in the league, and he played in just 12 games.
Now, the reason he missed four games was due to a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. That may be a concern for some fantasy owners, but hopefully he has learned his lesson and the stats are worth the risk.
There are two main reasons why I believe that Davis will have a great season. The first of which is that he will have a good quarterback. Robert Griffin III will be better than any quarterback Davis has played with. He should be one of Griffin's main targets in a league that is becoming more tight end friendly.
The second is that after being franchise tagged, Davis is in a contract year. It seems likely that the Redskins will want to re-sign him at the end of the year, but Davis is going to want to play well to increase his value. The extra motivation should help his performance on the field.
Verdict: Davis is definitely a starting fantasy tight end. He played just three quarters of the season with a 5-11 team and was good enough to start. With one more year of experience and a better quarterback, Davis should exceed his numbers from last year.
Roy Helu is technically in a competition for the starting running back spot in Washington with Tim Hightower and Evan Royster, but Helu has the edge.
Helu had 151 carries for 640 yards last season. The numbers aren't that impressive, but he didn't start for the first several games of the season. The big plus with Helu is his receiving skills coming out of the backfield. He had 49 receptions for 379 yards.
With RGIII at quarterback and good receiving options, defenses will be spread across the field. Yet. Mike Shanahan has always built his offense on the run. Look for them to try and do that with Helu.
Verdict: Helu will make a good second running back on your team. His ability to catch the ball and the new teammates will help his numbers. Look for him to greatly improve in his second year.
Pierre Garcon was the No. 23 fantasy wide receiver last year, playing in the No. 2 wide receiver role on the worst team in the league. He had 70 catches for 947 yards, his career highs, and he had 122 fantasy points.
Now playing with a better team, with a better quarterback and better playmakers around him, Garcon should improve on those numbers. He will now be the main target, which should help his numbers.
Griffin and Garcon are both very good with deep plays. Griffin has great arm strength, and Garcon can fly. Those two should combine for some big plays throughout the season.
Verdict: Garcon is a solid No. 2 receiver on your fantasy team, maybe even the top guy depending on how you draft. He is just starting to enter his prime and will have an opportunity to shine in the Redskins' offense.
The Redskins' defense has been up and down in the last few years. The one consistent thing has been their captain, London Fletcher.
For several years in a row, the Redskins had a top-10 defense. Over the last two years, the defense has slipped a little with the change to a 3-4. That was partially due to the fact that some of the players didn't fit the system.
With Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan going into their second year together as outside linebackers, a healthy Jarvis Jenkins at defensive end and the league's leading tackler in Fletcher in the middle, the Redskins have one of the best front sevens in football.
With that being said, the secondary has some concerns. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are the starting corners, and there is going to be a competition for the two safety spots.
London Fletcher has been one of the most underrated linebackers in history. He has been in the top five in tackles for years and had the most in the league with 166 last year. At 37, he is still one of the best in the league. Another plus with Fletcher is that he has played in every single game in his 14-year career. For a linebacker, that is incredible.
Verdict: If you just have a defense/special teams spot in your league, the Redskins are going to be a backup team. They have the potential to be good, but they have to prove that first. However, if you have a linebacker spot, Fletcher will be a starter—and a good one. He makes over 10 tackles a game and has a knack for knocking the ball lose.