Redskins

Quick Links

In-depth chart: Linebackers

771618.png

In-depth chart: Linebackers

The Redskins 90-man offseason roster is set, at least for the time being. Its time to take a look at who they have, who will start, and who will be around when the Sept. 9 opener in New Orleans rolls around.Weve looked the the offensive backs, the line.and the receivers and tight ends on that side of the ball and at the defensive line. Today we put the linebackers under the microscope.Outside linebackerStarters: Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan
Reserves: Rob Jackson, Markus White, Chris Wilson
Fighting for a job: Monte LewisRarely is a position set in stone in May but this one may well be. Orakpo, a two-time Pro Bowl performer will get at least 90 percent of the snaps on the right side. Kerrigan, who could be a Pro Bowler if they continue to play the game, will play nearly every snap on the left side.Jackson seemed to do something to get noticed every time he took the field in relief of Orakpo. As a rookie, White made a nice transition from college defensive end to NFL outside linebacker, especially considering that he didnt have any offseason work due to the lockout. Those two and Wilson will compete for inclusion on the active list from week to week.The Redskins could decide to squeeze a roster spot here and go with only four outside backers since Lorenzo Alexander, who is learning the inside, could move back to his old outside spot in a pinch. If that happens, White probably would be safe as he is younger and has three more years left on his contract. Wilson and Jackson are both free agents after the season is over.Inside linebackerStarters: Perry Riley, London Fletcher
Reserves: Lorenzo Alexander, Jonathan Goff, Keenan Robinson
Fighting for a job: Donnell Holt, Bryan Kehl, Brian McNallyRiley and Fletcher both are three-down inside linebackers, a rarity in todays NFL. Fletcher, of course, is a proven performer over the long term and with his new contract he is set for the next two seasons. Riley showed some flashes of big-play ability last year and his aim is to develop more consistency.Alexander is the special teams captain and, as noted above, he is learning the inside positions so he can become a true utility player. The Redskins drafted Robinson with the thought of making him Fletchers successor in 2014 so he should make the roster but he could well spend much of the season on the inactive list.Goff is only 26 and he brings 20 starts and 37 total games of experience with him from the Giants. He could be the first player off of the bench in case of injury.Kehl is also relatively young (27) and has playing experience (57 games with the Giants and Rams). But he would appear to be the odd man out.

Quick Links

Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

cousins_aikman.jpg

Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.

Quick Links

Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

philip-rivers-vs-colts.png

Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

The Week 12 fantasy football rankings are out -- but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, everyone wants some player regardless of where they slot overall. Don't overthink it and take a lesser player, but for those on the fence or simply looking for Thursday action, here are some recommendations for all three games.

Vikings @ Lions

Obvious: Vikings -- Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs... running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are in the RB2/Flex discussion for most, but good luck picking between them; Lions -- Wide receiver Golden Tate and ... wide receiver Marvin Jones works in three-WR formats while quarterback Matthew Stafford is No. 14 among passers this week.

Start: Case Keenum averaged 19.3 points over the last four games while the Lions have allowed ample points to fantasy quarterbacks in that stretch, though only three touchdown passes. Having Thielen and Diggs up the potential for Keenum, who is QB17 in the Week 12 rankings. That's comparable with Matthew Stafford (QB14), Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and ahead of Derek Carr.

Add: Not sure there's any fringe skill player worth taking a flyer on so take a look at Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. He's attempted at least three field goals in four of his last five games and he kicked five extra points in the lone exception. ... Some will start Ameer Abdullah based on their options, but just know the Vikings allow the second fewest points to fantasy tight ends this season.

Chargers @ Cowboys

Obvious: Chargers -- running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen; Cowboys -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Alfred Morris and... quarterback Dak Prescott, though his production is down without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith.

Start: This hasn't been a vintage Philip Rivers season, but he's coming off his best performance (251 yards, two touchdown passes) since Week 5. The Cowboys aren't that special in the secondary and have surrendered two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. At QB13, he's on the cusp of QB1 status in 12-team leagues. 

Add: Kickers Nick Novak (Chargers) and Mike Nugent (Cowboys) are 15th and 16th respectively. So, there's that. 

Giants @ Redskins

The obvious: Giants -- tight end Evan Engram and... running back Orleans Darkwa is a viable RB2 option against a Redskins defense giving up gobs of yards on the ground; Redskins -- quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight Vernon Davis and...running back Samaje Perine is RB12 this week, though listed as questionable on the injury report with a finger issue.

Start: Jordan Reed is out for a fourth consecutive game, meaning Vernon Davis once again is Washington's main tight end. While he hasn't provided wow performances like Reed at his Pro Bowl best, Davis has been good for a solid 8-11 since taking on a larger role starting in Week 3. This could be his best statistical week of the season. The Giants allow the most points to fantasy tight ends on the season. Opposing tight ends scored a touchdown in each of the first 10 games before the streak snapped Sunday.

RELATED: NEW AND IMPROVED WEEK 12 FANTASY RANKINGS

Add: Josh Doctson is only owned in 55 percent of leagues on CBS even though he's moved into the role of Washington's top outside receiver. The second-year player had four receptions for 81 yards in Sunday's overtime loss, though all the production came in the first half. Consistency is the next step, but Kirk Cousins is showing more and more confidence in the 6'3" target especially on 50-50 balls. Doctson is WR36 in my Week 12 rankings, meaning he's worth starting consideration in three-WR formats regardless.