Washington Redskins: Top 10 Fantasy Football Players

Tom NataliCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2013

Washington Redskins: Top 10 Fantasy Football Players

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    Before we delve into specifics, let me clarify my personal opinion about fantasy football. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. It’s fun, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends.

    However, the Redskins will always take precedence over my fantasy rosters. What I have noticed over the years is fans throughout are strictly rooting for players, not specific teams, which is alarming in my opinion.

    Anyway, these are my second annual Redskins fantasy football rankings.

1. Alfred Morris

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    Even though the NFL has become more pass oriented, running backs are the way to go when it comes to fantasy football.

    Only Adrian Peterson finished above Morris for last year’s rushing title, and whoever had the smarts to draft him struck gold nearly every week.

    Even with an impressive preseason, the jury was still out on Alfred Morris last season. For years, Mike Shanahan tortured fantasy owners with his running back decisions, which led to a collective reluctance when it came to drafting Morris.

    Anyway, he arguably turned out to be the steal of the draft.

    Despite Morris’ outstanding rookie season, he was consistently under the radar. A lot had to do with the fact that his teammate Robert Griffin III and other rookie quarterbacks were tremendously successful. However, Morris was labeled more of a “system” guy and benefited from the read-option.

    This year it’s different. Even though he was second in the league in rushing, ESPN has him as the ninth overall running back according to their projections.

    Even if the Redskins will revert back to a traditional style offense, the offensive line remains intact, and their zone-blocking system has been consistently successful.

    In addition to that, Morris will typically be the first option in goal-line situations and their workhorse until further notice. He’s worth a first-round pick or second round at the latest.


2. Robert Griffin III

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    Going into his rookie season, fantasy owners didn’t know what to expect from Robert Griffin, and all it took was his first game of the season in which everyone noticed how special he can be.

    What made Griffin a fantasy commodity last season was his dual-threat ability and efficiency.

    If RGIII was fully healthy, he would be a top-tier quarterback. However, he’s back to square one.

    Griffin’s fantasy value remains a mystery. Is he going to be as productive with a reconstructed knee? Will he be a threat as a runner, too? Are the Redskins coaches transitioning more toward a traditional offense?

    With all things considered, quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers will be taken beforehand.

    He’s now in that same group with Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan and Tony Romo.

    I can assume that at least one team per each league is willing to pull the trigger on the former Heisman Trophy winner.

    If I could make a prediction, I think we’ll see less rushing yards and touchdowns for Griffin but more passing attempts and touchdown passes.


3. Pierre Garcon

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    As long as Garcon can stay healthy, there should be no reason why he can’t earn over 1,000 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.

    He’s got speed, size and good hands, not to mention offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has gotten great productivity out of inferior receivers, so it’s safe to assume that Garcon can take advantage of that.

    It’s evident that Griffin trusts Garcon, and the two have developed a legitimate chemistry.

    While he’s not a premier No. 1 receiver, Garcon should be a solid WR2 or flex option for fantasy owners this season.


4. Fred Davis

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    After Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, a healthy Rob Gronkowski and Tony Gonzalez, there’s a significant drop-off in reliable tight ends.

    Fred Davis is under the radar, too. Coming off a torn Achilles, Davis’ expectations league-wide are not as high as the Redskins once hoped for.

    Unlike Garcon, Griffin and Davis’ chemistry between one another was developing at a slower rate.

    Excluding the four tight ends mentioned above, are there six tight ends that are getting drafted before Davis? I’d say yes.

    For now, it’s a wait-and-see approach for Fred Davis as far as fantasy football is concerned. On the other hand, if he is able to have the season like he had in 2011, then he’s going to be a late-round or waiver wire steal.


5. Josh Morgan

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    Josh Morgan should have a solid year from a realistic standpoint, but should he be on your radar come draft time? Probably not, unless you are in a 12-14 team league.

    The only real value for Josh Morgan is if Pierre Garcon or Santana Moss get hurt, which of course we don’t want to happen.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t expect a lot of high scores from Morgan. He’s going to be catching all the underneath routes as the rest of the Redskins wideouts will be utilized for their speed and elusiveness.


6. Santana Moss

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    Two reasons why I have Josh Morgan placed higher than Santana Moss: One is that he will get more snaps than Moss, and secondly, Morgan is fully established in this offense now in comparison to adapting to it last season.

    Either way, Santana Moss will be productive in limited duty but not necessarily for someone’s roster.

    By contrast, Moss did have a resurgence with eight touchdown catches a year ago.

    The best strategy is to keep an eye on Moss through the waiver wire.


7. Roy Helu

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    Roy Helu could potentially have some value if you are in a point-per-reception (PPR) league. He’s by far the best receiver out of the backfield on the team and will be used primarily on the third downs.

    What’s concerning about him is that it’s highly unlikely that he’ll get any goal-line rushes given Alfred Morris’ success in that department.

    Helu might be a good insurance policy as well. Hypothetically, let’s say Alfred Morris gets dinged up and misses a start (don’t worry, I’m knocking on wood). Helu would probably be penciled in as the starter and could put up great numbers.

    Most likely, Helu is another potential waiver wire transaction, but it might be prudent to stash him on your bench if opportunities come his way.


8. Aldrick Robinson

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    I was going back and forth on who should be rated eighth on this list. It was between Robinson and Leonard Hankerson.

    After watching Robinson in the preseason, his upside is obvious. Does he have enough to take plays away from Josh Morgan and Santana Moss? It could very well happen.

    His resume remains small, though. He only tallied 11 receptions last season, but what was impressive about that is he made each one of them count.

    Yes, Robinson’s skill set is tempting to draft, but I would hold off on him for now.


9. Leonard Hankerson

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    It seems that I can’t write an article about the Redskins and not talk about Hankerson’s inconsistency, which is why he’s ranked low on this list.

    He leads the team in touchdowns in the preseason so far, but it’s hard to imagine him taking reps away from three established veterans (Garcon, Morgan and Moss).

    On the other hand, the time is now for Hankerson to prove that he can be a valued receiver in this league, so maybe he’ll surprise us all.

    I know this is redundant, but Hankerson has very little chance at being drafted. Therefore, he’ll be available through waivers.


10. Darrel Young

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    It was between him and Evan Royster/Chris Thompson. We really have no idea who the other running backs are going to be this year, but it is for certain that Darrel Young will be the team’s starting fullback.

    Over the past two years, Young has shown that he can be a consistent receiver out of the backfield and even used in short yardage situations.

    With that being said, it’s very rare to see fullbacks even considered being on a fantasy roster, but since I wanted to make a top-10 list, I’m putting him on there.

    I’m a huge Darrel Young fan, but I don’t see any possibility of him receiving praise in the fantasy football department.


    Hope you all enjoy, and let me know what you think. You can also talk to me on twitter @tom_natali.