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Fantasy Football - Week 2 Waiver Wire

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Fantasy Football - Week 2 Waiver Wire

Whether your fantasy football team rocked Week 1 or struggled more than the Minnesota Vikings offense Monday night, attacking the weekly pool of free agents is an important part of the overall plan. Some position by position thoughts following Week 1.  

RELATED NFL Power Rankings: Week 1 featured no shortage of drama

Quarterbacks (Assuming Carson Palmer and Teddy Bridgewater are not available)

1. Marcus Mariota -- Wow. Calling that an impressive debut is like saying the movie "Titanic" once made some money at the box office. Mariota looked the part of an NFL quarterback and nothing like a player making his NFL debut. Don't expect four touchdowns each week, obviously, especially on a mere 16 pass attempts. Also, don't automatically rush to start Mariota this week in his second straight road game, though Cleveland didn't shine in its opener. Even owners with must start QBs can consider going for Mariota's upside, but don't go crazy with the auction dollars. Those with Cam Newton, Eli Manning and yes, even Peyton Manning and Tony Romo can spend a little more.

2. Alex Smith -- The poster boy for average fantasy QB rocked Week 1. The key here is the offense looked more formidable overall with Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin leading the receiver options compared to Dwayne Bowe last year. Far more solid than spectacular, but won't kill you most weeks either. Decent floor considering he'll run for yards.

3. Tyrod Taylor -- We saw the formula in the opener. Run for 40-50 yards, throw enough to keep the defense from focusing on LeSean McCoy and get the ball into hands of Buffalo's playmakers. Even though he won't throw 30-plus times most weeks, that's enough to give Taylor top 15 some weeks -- especially when Sammy Watkins get involved. Don't view Taylor as part of any QBBC, but rather a potential plug-and play option in the case of injury or bye weeks.

Others: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallet, Johnny Manziel -- The man from Harvard epitomizes streaky fantasy quarterbacks. Fitzpatrick tends to start strong before fading. Ride the wave for now in two-QB leagues.

Running backs (Assuming Bishop Sankey is not available)

1. David Johnson -- No way, Andre Ellington hurt already. Who could have imagined? OK, that's mean for Ellington owners and don't mean to pile on. Hopefully you were wise enough to back up the brittle runner with this Johnson rather than one many know as CJ2K. The rookie only had one touch in the opener, but he turned that into a 55-yard touchdown catch. If Ellington sits out this week, expect more work for the rookie. If you need help for Week 2, Chris Johnson is the best bet for touches. If you have other viable options, grab David Johnson's potential.

2. Ronnie Hillman -- Hillman should have been drafted in nearly all 12-team leagues. He offered potential Flex value considering coach Gary Kubiak's run-heavy approach -- and that was before Hillman matched C.J. Anderson with 12 carries and Peyton Manning's arm looked shot. Anderson owners shouldn't freak out about their guy losing his gig just yet, but everyone else should jump on Hillman and hope that's exactly what happens.

3. Dion Lewis -- Dominated the RB workload for the Patriots in Week 1, finishing with 15 carries for 69 yards and another 51 yards on four receptions. Now, trusting New England's RB distribution week to week isn't wise. LeGarrette Blount returns this week following a one-game suspension. He'll be the primary the runner and goal line threat, but Lewis looks like the new Shane Vereen. That gives him Flex appeal in PPR formats and potentially more depending on the matchup.

Others: Chris Johnson, Lance Dunbar, Benny Cunningham, Duke Johnson, Terrance West -- Duke Johnson arguably trumps all on this list other than David Johnson for ceiling. It shouldn't shock anyone if he emerges as Cleveland's starter at some point.

Wide receivers (assuming Pierre Garcon, Kendall Wright and Stevie Johnson are not available)

1. Terrance Williams -- Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Lance Dunbar might end up with more receptions any given week, but Williams is now Tony Romo's primary deep threat. That also means more defensive attention. We'll see if he can handle, but for now bump up Williams into borderline WR2 territory.

2. Donte Moncrief -- This one is tricky considering we don't know if T.Y. Hilton (bruised left knee) will miss the Colts' Monday night matchup against the Jets. If he does, there is a strong case for Moncrief as Indy's top playmaking option. Andre Johnson exists, but the 34-year-old didn't exactly look spry in the opener. Moncrief actually one more target (11 to 10) than Johnson and finished 6-46-1. If Hilton is out, Moncrief becomes a potentially explosive WR3 option.

3. James Jones -- Aaron Rodgers works wonders. Jones goes from being dumped by the Raiders and Giants to grabbing two touchdowns in Week 1. However, he only had four targets and overall finished with 51 yards. Jones is a TD-dependant player. Considering his QB, that means he could become a viable weekly option. Don't go crazy cutting a player who struggled in their opener for Jones. For those who are just looking to upgrade their bench, Brandon Coleman and Cole Beasley (PPR only) offer more potential. Then again, there is nothing wrong with having a piece of the Aaron Rodgers offense.

Others:  Brandon Coleman, Cole Beasley, Percy Harvin, Allen Hurns -- Coleman may emerge as New Orleans' second best fantasy WR behind Brandin Cooks before long. Add speedsters Tyler Lockett (Seattle) and Phillip Dorsett (Indianapolis) in deeper leagues, especially if players accrue points for special teams.

Tight ends

1. Tyler Eifert -- Depending on your league, tight ends outside the top-8 could have come off the board in almost any order. Eifert was my go-to target in that range and he rocked the Raiders in Week 1. Consider him a must-start unless you already own one of the better options.

2. Jordan Reed -- Talent is never the issue. Neither is opportunity considering how much the Redskins under Jay Gruden feed tight ends. As long Reed is healthy, he's a potential start -- at least in leagues that don't subtract points for penalties incurred. We kid, Jordan, we kid.

3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins -- Rookie quarterbacks throw passes to tight ends. This isn't breaking news, but a reminder. Jameis Winston can also target Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, but ASJ looks the part of a future TE1.

Others: Eric Ebron, Ladarius Green, Darren Fells -- Green's value takes a hit once Antonio Gates returns from suspension. For now, he's a viable start in most formats.

Defenses -- Week 2 specific

Ravens at Oakland

Rams at Washington

Saints at Bucs

Chiefs at Broncos

Dolphins at Jaguars

Titans at Cleveland

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who must step up in 2018

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five Redskins who must step up in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 25, 17 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Five Redskins who will have to step up in 2018

Originally published 12/26/17

WR Josh Doctson—This list is in no particular order but if it was, Doctson would be right here at the top. The watchword for Doctson is consistency. He makes some incredible catches and then there are throws that he drops or doesn’t quite seem to make enough of an effort to catch. There is promise there. The first-round pick has shown his ability and his teammates say he has a chance to be elite. But the potential must translate into production on the field, week in and week out.  

RB Samaje Perine—There is plenty of chatter about the Redskins’ need to sign or draft a top running back. But a look at this team’s recent history tells us that they are unlikely to invest major assets in the position. That means that Perine, a fourth-round pick in 2017, will have to become a more consistent runner. It’s not all his fault that he hasn’t done much since he had back-to-back 100-yard games in Weeks 11-12; tough defense, offensive line issues, and game score situations have slowed his production. But he needs to be consistently productive in 2018 no matter who he lines up against.

CB Josh Norman—Unless he gets a pick against the Giants, he will go through the year without any interceptions. Sure, they don’t throw his way all that often and INT’s don’t give you the complete picture of his play. But a CB taking up $20 million in cap room needs to get a couple of picks almost by sheer accident. Norman battled some injury problems and if he wants to justify the final two years and $23 million of salary remaining on his contract, his age 30 2018 season needs to be more impactful.

OLB Preston Smith—The third-year player started strong, with at least half a sack in the first five games. And he’s finishing strong, with three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble in the last two games. But in between, he had a total of just half a sack in eight games. This follows the pattern he displayed his first two years in the league of being dominant in some games and invisible in others. If he can develop some consistency in his 2018 contract year, he could cash in huge in free agency the following year.

Head coach Jay Gruden—Normally I only include players on lists like this one but if Gruden doesn’t do something to get the Redskins out of their near-.500 rut then nothing else will matter. He needs to change up something, whether it’s pushing the players hard in training camp or perhaps fine tuning his friendly approach to the players. Sure, better luck regarding injuries and a schedule that right now appears to be a bit less challenging will help. But Gruden needs to look at what he can change, too.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 4
—NFL Draft (4/26) 60
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 196

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197