Tag Archives: Redskins

2013 Preseason Week 3: Buffalo vs Washington

BUFFALO

You know it was a rough day for the Bills when the best news of the day was that RB CJ Spiller came back from what initially looked like a bad leg injury.  As it turns out, it was only a cleat to the leg and a minor cut – Spiller checked back into the game and escaped without further problems.   Spiller remains a high 1st round pick in all formats, probably between 1.2 – 1.6

The Bills were not so lucky with QB Kevin Kolb who sustained a concussion- or something very concussion-like in this game.  There’s some talk out of Buffalo now that Kolb may retire – since he has had many previous concussions.  And with rookie QB EJ Manuel also sidelined with a knee injury, things at the QB position are down to QB Jeff Tuel who was an undrafted rookie free agent.

Tuel is not going to be an answer for them – he has a light arm, questionable accuracy, and (as with most rookies) problems going through his progressions.  Does he ruin the Bills offense for fantasy in 2013?  I don’t think so for a few reasons:

1st he shouldn’t be the QB that long, Manuel will probably be ready to go by week 2 or 3(if he can’t go week 1).

2nd Spiller appears immune to questionable QB play, since he is a rare combo of big play and workhorse – meaning that if the offense stalls, he could still rip off a 50 yard TD on reduced attempts.

3rd The passing game value does take a hit, but even if Kolb was ready to start the season, at some point Buffalo would be turning to a rookie QB in Manuel to play anyway, and that carries a lot of risk in itself.  So you shouldn’t have rated any WR’s or TE’s too high in your draft targets anyway.

WASHINGTON

While the Bills went with Tuel for most of the game, the Redskins countered with a rotation of QB Rex Grossman and QB Pat White.  White has been interesting this preseason and went from “camp body” to in a battle for the QB 3 job.  It’s just a nice story and doesn’t mean much for fantasy in 2013 and probably beyond.

The Redskins took their opening drive marched down the field and targeted WR Pierre Garcon twice in the redzone, connecting with him the 2nd time on a slant for a td.  Garcon has super upside this season and while his ADP is the 4th rd in 12 team leagues – he has a shot to outproduce that as a borderline fantasy  WR 1.   He’s someone you should target “sneakily” in drafts and def pounce on if you find him sitting there in the 5th or 6th rounds.

RB Roy Helu had 13 carries for 70 yards, and added 1 catch for 21 yards in what is becoming a very productive preseason.  The Redskins will find a way to use Helu this year behind Alfred Morris – so keep him in mind as a late RB stash in drafts, he could be a very nice RB 5 or 6 on your team this year.

:by Mike

2013 Preseason Week 2: Pittsburgh at Washington

Pittsburgh

You can’t be encouraged by virtually anything the Steelers showed on offense in this game.  Their OL looked terrible – guys like C Maurkice Pouncey, and G David DeCastro who are well thought of players – looked lost and gave up tons of pressure all of the 1st half.

RB Le’veon Bell ran the 1st 4 plays of this game.  He seemed to be a little slow, but he was finishing his short runs by at least moving the pile.  Then he developed a foot injury (to go with his recovery from a minor knee injury) and had to leave the game.  Bell has to be frustrating dynasty owners, who have now seen so little of him after probably drafting him high, and frustrating re-drafters who are trying gauge his value as a 5th-7th round back.   All I can say is cross your fingers and hope we get to see him in at least one more preseason game before you draft – b/c this guy is quickly becoming a “buyer beware” type of player.   He had average talent and was drafted into a fantastic situation, but if he’s not healthy enough to win the starting RB job in his rookie season his value takes a huge hit even for future seasons.

2 offensive  players who did look like they were ready for the season were WR Emmanuel Sanders & Marcus Wheaton. Sanders made some great catches in traffic and appears ready for his contract year break out season.   He has had health issues in the past, but barring injury he’s a great WR 3 or 4 for your fantasy team this season.  Rookie Marcus Wheaton hauled down a 57 yard TD, on a route that was basically just a speed on a fly patter – when he beat a 3rd string CB. Wheaton’s value is higher in a dynasty league right now – but he will get his chances this season as well working out of the Wr3 role.

I don’t often do this, and even players in IDP leagues won’t necessarily benefit from this guy this season…but S Shamarko Thomas is a man crush of mine.  He seems to be a combo of Ryan Clark (who’s already on the Steelers) and Bob Sanders (who was a game changer).   The Redskins who had a great need at safety this season ignored Thomas in the draft instead taking TE Jordan Reed (more on him below), and Shamarko repaid them in this one by making several bone crushing hits including causing a fumble.  If you play IDP in a dynasty format this guy should be a 1st round pick – he has to wait his turn behind the vets in Pittsburgh but he is going to be a major player in this league.

Washington

QB Kirk Cousins led the injured cast of Redskins from this one.   He left after being tackled awkwardly trying to get out of bonds and has a sprain of his right foot.  The MRI is to come with the dreaded “lisfranc” being a concern.   I’m not that concerned.  For 1 thing Lisfranc injuries are rare, but we focus on them like it’s the only type of mid foot pain one can have.  There are stats out there that suggest  x-rays can pick up 85% of lisc franc injuries, so on top of a rare injury there’s only a 15% chance that you’ll find one by the time you get to the MRI stage.

And for the 2nd thing:  Kirk Cousins is a backup QB people.  Sure there’s an outside chance he starts a game or 2 a season – even the 1st week (although RG3 was seen in good spirits joking with Shanahan and Dr James Andrews during the game), but for ffl in 2013 and probably beyond he has no real fantasy relevance.  Cousins may give the Redskins chances to win games in a pinch, but you’ll have better QB’s on your fantasy roster should any of your QB’s go down.

WR’s Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson also suffered minor leg injuries in this one.  Both of these guys are deeper WR 4 or 5’s for your 2013 season.

TE Jordan Reed made his debut in this one.  He’s a “move TE” that people like to compare to Aaron Hernandez (or at least they did before that murder thing) – he caught one short pass, dropped another, and ran such a terrible route on one that he caused a Rex Grossman interception b/c he was nowhere in the right area.  He’s a project player at best (and they could’ve had Shamarko!!)

RB’s Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison made their NFL debuts in this one.   Jamison ran well, but against the absolute last stringers in “give up” time.  Thompson an intriguing speedback,  ran the ball twice got blasted by Shamarko Thomas and fumbled the ball.  He also had a minor shoulder injury that he recovered enough from to check back into the game.  These 2 are competing for 1 spot behind RB Roy Helu – and Helu cemented his role on the team by ripping off a 30 yard TD on his only carry.

:by Mike

Preseason Week 1: Washington vs Tennessee

After writing about why it’s ok to miss the 1st week of preseason from a FFL perspective – we here at the Art of Score thought we’d highlight just a few things from each game, in case you took our advice and were curious as to what went down.

Washington

Kirk Cousins is an ok QB.  In this one he looked great mainly because the Titans starting d offered little pressure – and then the few times they were in Kirk’s face their secondary largely forgot to cover anyone.  On his lone TD pass to TE Fred Davis the entire Titans secondary bit on a bootleg and Fred was the 1st and only read needed on the play since he was so wide open.  Fred’ s lined up up for a very nice year in fantasy if he gets these goal line looks in the regular season.  I think his upside is top 5-7 TE status and he’s worth taking a shot on if you’re taking a TE in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft.

WR Leonard Hankerson and RB Roy Helu:  are fantasy players from Washington to watch going forward in the preseason.  Helu got a lot of touches behind the starting Washington O-line and performed a little better than average.  To me it doesn’t look like he has all his speed back yet, but he ran harder than I remember.  There was some talk about him being on the roster bubble, but I think it’s safe to say he’s on the team in Sept, and probably as the number 1 backup to Alfred Morris.    Hankerson had an up and down night, as he finished strong with a TD on a great 2nd effort – but he was also spoken to about not laying out his body earlier in the game for a 1st down.  Hankerson’s hands have been in question throughout his short career, but on this night he was one of the only WR’s that didn’t have a bad drop (Aldrick Robinson & Dezmond Briszcoe lowlighted those)

Tennessee

QB Jake Locker’s 7 for 11 for 58 yards seems like the typical conservative stat sheet for a starting QB warming up in a preseason game.  But, if you watched the game you’d notice it was far from it.  Locker faced uneven pressure as the Redskins forced 2 sacks of him, but he was also playing against a secondary that was comprised of 2 or 3 rookie starters on each of his attempts.  Instead of taking advantage of this,  he was a captain checkdown and even in those situations he sometimes lacked the zip on the ball required to make the throw – one throw to WR Kenny Britt in particular allowed the Redskins corner to close about 5 yards and bat it away on a simple toss in the flat.   Locker needs this preseason badly to improve his overall game, and should focus next week on building his repertoire of attempts as the Titans put in more of their gameplan.

WR Kendall Wright had a bad drop, and WR Justin Hunter blew a 1st down by catching a ball beyond the marker, and getting tackled back behind it while trying to fake out defenders.  Right now it’s tough to like anything Tennessee is doing in the air.

However, the story of this for the Titans on offense was their running game.   RB Chris Johnson’s 58 yard TD was a good thing to see….but we have to value it correctly as it came on a completely busted play by what has to be an embarrassed Redskins’ defense.   There was no containment by the team and then no one at the 2nd level took any kind of proper tackling angle.  So, while it was good to see Johnson recognize and perform the cutback, he really didn’t have to shed any tackles or make any moves on the play once he made the one cut.

RB Shone Greene the new acquisition to backup Chris Johnson ran hard as well.  He made several good reads, and cuts – and his TD came on an excellently blocked off tackle play.  We still don’t know how the Titans will (if) use Greene in the redzone this season as a short yard back, but he’s a player to monitor if he does get some of those.