Wizards

Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Steals

Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Steals

Steals
Anthony Gose, Blue Jays: Nobody has been hotter on the bases than Gose, as he's collected six steals during the past week, giving him a total of eight during the month of August. Gose is still struggling a bit with the bat (.208), but is hitting .250 during the past week so there is hope that he's finally turning the corner.

Darin Mastroianni, Twins: Denard Span is missing his sixth straight contest on Monday night due to shoulder issues, clearing the way for Mastroianni to see continued at-bats. He's been great all season on the bases, going 14-for-16 in stolen base attempts, all in part-time duty. If he ever got the chance to be a regular, he'd have a chance at a 50 steal season.
Jose Tabata, Pirates: With Starling Marte landing on the disabled list, it appears Tabata will have another crack at proving his worth in the majors. He was 2-for-7 in his return, and was caught stealing twice, with the good news being that he's active and looking to make things happen on the bases. He could be a sneaky play for those in need of steals over the course of the next two weeks.
Eric Young, Rockies: Young is thriving in regular duty in August, batting .406 with three homers and three steals. He's always had elite wheels, but has rarely gotten the chance to put them on display regularly. Remember, he swiped 27 bases in just under 200 at-bats last season, so the upside here is enormous.

Erick Aybar, Angels: Finally healthy, Aybar has been heating up recently, especially during the past week (.346, 2 HR, 2 SB). With four steals already in August, we may finally be seeing the speed that allowed him to tally 30 during the '11 season. At 41 ownership at Yahoo, he's likely freely available in your league.

Quick Links

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Sixers

usatsi_10354766.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Sixers

Here are the five best moments from the Washington Wizards' 120-115 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena...

1. John Wall posted up T.J. McConnell and finished with a thunderous left-handed slam in what was clearly the play of the game.

This may go down as one of the best dunks of the entire Wizards season:

2. Wall had some great dunks, but he played a solid game overall with 28 points and eight assists. Check out this block on Markelle Fultz, a fellow No. 1 overall pick who was making his NBA debut:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a strong game with 14 points and seven rebounds. He did a great job pitching in when Jason Smith left with an injury. His best play was this ridiculous putback dunk. Everything in the universe aligned perfectly for him to put one back and rock Capital One Arena in the process:

Oubre's postgame quote on the dunk was sensational:

"Man, I don't know. I just jumped in the air and the ball was in the rim. I blacked out, honestly, in that moment. I'm just happy it happened. It was all God. God took over my soul at that point."

4. Marcin Gortat had a monster night with 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. Ten of his points came in the fourth quarter alone, including this powerful dunk assisted by Wall. Gortat broke out his signature celebration afterwards:

5. Wall could not be stopped in the second half. This was his second-best dunk of the night, but still a great highlight:

Afterwards, when Wall was asked about his collection of dunks, he replied: "it's Wolf Season, just keep watching."

Quick Links

Need to Know: What will the Redskins do after Jonathan Allen's injury?

lanier_minicamp_ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: What will the Redskins do after Jonathan Allen's injury?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 19, four days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night football.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences, open locker room, after practice approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 10
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 17
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 35

Jonathan Allen’s absence

The Redskins defensive line has been one of the most improved positions on the team. Now they have a large hole to fill in that unit.

Jonathan Allen’s Lisfranc injury will require surgery and that means he will be sidelined for the rest of the season. He likely will go on injured reserve sometime this week.

The team’s first-round draft pick had been playing very well. He has helped to provide the Redskins with pass rush up the middle, an important element that has been missing from the defense. The 17th overall pick had a sack, three QB hits and 10 hurries.

What will the Redskins do in Allen’s absence? The first thing they’ll do is take consolation in the fact that they still have Matt Ioannidis to give them some inside pass rush. The second-year player rebounded from a 2016 season where he played sparingly and is providing consistent pass rush pressure between the tackles. He has 3.5 sacks and 16 pressures.

But Ioannidis can’t do it alone. He and Allen each benefitted from the presence of the other one. And edge rushers Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan have both been helped by the attention the other teams had to pay to the pass pressure threat from the interior.

With Allen gone, who will take his place?

That question has a few different answers. When Allen goes on injured reserve, a lineman will be signed to take his place. That could be rookie Brandon Banks, who has been on the practice squad all year. They could bring up A.J. Francis, who has been around on the practice squad for a couple of years but he has not been with a team since he was release in Redskins’ cut to 53 on September 2.

They also could find a veteran who is not currently working or sign a player off of another team’s practice squad. The Redskins tried out 16 players on Tuesday and the only defensive lineman among them was Owa Odighizuwa, who played in 18 games for the Giants in 2015-2016.

But whoever takes the roster spot likely will be inactive most of the time. Anthony Lanier, the second-year defensive end who has been on the team this year but has not been active for a game, will be active on Monday night. He is a pass-rush specialist and it seems likely that he will get most of Allen’s snaps in nickel situations.

In base defense, Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain will rotate in more frequently. It’s not as though they have been sitting on the bench this season. While the rotation has favored Allen and Ioannidis, McClain and McGee have played 131 snaps this year. Ziggy Hood has 155, Ioannidis 170 and Allen 159.

McClain and McGee are OK defending the run so there won’t be a huge drop off there. The spotlight will be on Lanier, who played in just four games last year before an injury ended his season, to continue to get push up the middle with Ioannidis.

He will get his chance on Monday as the Redskins take on the Eagles. In the season opener, the Redskins were able to get pressure on quarterback Carson Wentz (22 pressures on 41 pass dropbacks) but they weren’t often able to bring him down. We will see if Lanier can get to him a time or two and finish the job.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it