Capitals

Fantasy Football: Draft cheat sheet

Fantasy Football: Draft cheat sheet

These rankings are based on a combined yardagescoring system (4 points for a passing touchdown, 6 points for a rushingreceiving touchdown, one point for every 25 passing yards, one point for every 10 rushingreceiving yards) and will be updated weekly until the season begins. In-season, we will offer weekly rankings based on the matchups at hand.

Last Updated: 817

Quarterback
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Tom Brady, Patriots
NOTE: Looks primed for a monster year.
3. Drew Brees, Saints
NOTE: How much is Payton's absence worth?
4. Cam Newton, Panthers
5. Matthew Stafford, Lions
6. Eli Manning, Giants
NOTE: You never lose money on him.
7. Matt Ryan, Falcons
NOTE: Letter perfect in the preseason.
8. Michael Vick, Eagles
9. Philip Rivers, Chargers
NOTE: Can he make it work with these wideouts?
10. Peyton Manning, Broncos
NOTE: King of continuity heads to new city.
11. Tony Romo, Cowboys
NOTE: Trouble with his supporting cast.
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
13. Andrew Luck, Colts
NOTE: Blew his cover with snappy preseason debut.
14. Robert Griffin III, Redskins
15. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
NOTE: Could be a sleeper offense if key guys stay healthy.
16. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
NOTE: Will get most of the lost stats back.
17. Matt Schaub, Texans
NOTE: Nothing special to see here.
18. Jay Cutler, Bears
19. Carson Palmer, Raiders
NOTE: Good setup, but he'll make some loose throws.
20. Joe Flacco, Ravens
21. Andy Dalton, Bengals
22. Alex Smith, Niners
NOTE: They've added pieces, but do they trust him?
23. Matt Cassel, Chiefs
24. Christian Ponder, Vikings
NOTE: Vastly improved in season two.
25. Jake Locker, Titans
26. Sam Bradford, Rams
NOTE: The jury is getting restless.
27. Matt Flynn, Seahawks
28. John Skelton, Cardinals
29. Mark Sanchez, Jets
NOTE: Sabotaged by his own organization.
30. Tim Tebow, Jets
31. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
32. Brandon Weeden, Broncos
33. Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
34. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
35. Matt Moore, Dolphins
36. David Garrard, Dolphins
NOTE: When you have three quarterbacks, you have a problem.
37. Chad Henne, Jaguars
38. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
39. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
40. Shaun Hill, Lions

Running Back
1. Arian Foster, Texans
2. Ray Rice, Ravens
3. LeSean McCoy, Eagles
4. Chris Johnson, Titans
NOTE: Strangely enough, he's a high-floor pick.
5. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
6. Matt Forte, Bears
NOTE: A force between the 20s, but often pulled at goal.
7. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
8. Darren McFadden, Raiders
NOTE: Already missed 19 pro games.
9. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
10. Trent Richardson, Browns
NOTE: How quickly can he get healthy?
11. Fred Jackson, Bills
12. Steven Jackson, Rams
13. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
NOTE: Looks good, but they like Hillis as well.
14. Michael Turner, Falcons
NOTE: On his last legs, but still a goal-line factor.
15. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
NOTE: No one knows the right answer here.
16. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
NOTE: Gets points for toughness, but the surgeries keep adding up.
17. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
NOTE: How soon can he claim job?
18. Ryan Mathews, Chargers
19. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals
NOTE: Vanilla all the way, but in a good spot.
20. Frank Gore, Niners
NOTE: Air is seeping out, and there's depth here.
21. Darren Sproles, Saints
22. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
23. Willis McGahee, Broncos
24. Donald Brown, Colts
NOTE: Has significant growth potential.
25. Reggie Bush, Dolphins
26. Peyton Hillis, Chiefs
NOTE: Reunited with OC from breakout 2010.
27. Shonn Greene, Jets
28. Ben Tate, Texans
NOTE: The most intriguing backup in the league; mad upside.
29. Beanie Wells, Cardinals
NOTE: No one likes him, not even the Cards.
30. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
31. Isaac Redman, Steelers
NOTE: Looked like a nifty sleeper before groin injury.
32. Stevan Ridley, Patriots
NOTE: There's some upside here, but team typically rotates backs.
33. C.J. Spiller, Bills
34. Mark Ingram, Saints
35. Roy Helu, Redskins
NOTE: Nicked up, and Shanahan loves to trick us.
36. Michael Bush, Bears
37. Pierre Thomas, Saints
38. Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
NOTE: Exciting youngster will cut into Turner's time.
39. Toby Gerhart, Vikings
NOTE: Better than you think.
40. Kevin Smith, Lions
NOTE: By default, could be Detroit's starter.
41. Ryan Williams, Cardinals
42. James Starks, Packers
43. Rashad Jennings, Jaguars
NOTE: Ready to go if MJD isn't placated.
44. Isaiah Pead, Rams
45. Evan Royster, Redskins
46. David Wilson, Giants
47. Shane Vereen, Patriots
48. Alex Green, Packers
49. LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers
NOTE: Has he finally grown up?
50. Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers
51. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
NOTE: Doubtful they force him into action right away.
52. Mike Goodson, Raiders
53. Felix Jones, Cowboys
54. Bernard Scott, Bengals
55. Cedric Benson, Packers
NOTE: On his last legs, but has a chance to start.
56. Ronnie Brown, Chargers
NOTE: Nothing special, but Mathews is hurt.
57. Kendall Hunter, Niners
58. Montarrio Hardesty, Browns
59. Bilal Powell, Jets
NOTE: Greene doesn't have infinite leash.
60. Taiwan Jones, Raiders
61. Tim Hightower, Redskins
62. Mikel Leshoure, Lions
NOTE: Out two games from drug suspension.
63. LeRon McClain, Chargers
64. Joe McKnight, Jets
65. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
66. Mike Tolbert, Panthers
67. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins
68. Alfred Morris, Redskins
NOTE: Any Washington back could emerge, that's how it works.
69. Robert Turbin, Seahawks
70. LaMichael James, Niners
71. Brandon Jacobs, Niners
72. Javon Ringer, Titans
73. Jahvid Best, Lions
74. LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals
75. D.J. Ware, Giants

Wide Receiver
1. Calvin Johnson, Lions
NOTE: In a tier of his own.
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
NOTE: A shift to Skelton would be appreciated.
3. A.J. Green, Bengals
4. Roddy White, Falcons
5. Julio Jones, Falcons
NOTE: Looks like obvious breakout player.
6. Jordy Nelson, Packers
7. Mike Wallace, Steelers
8. Wes Welker, Patriots
9. Victor Cruz, Giants
10. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
NOTE: Coming back from foot injury.
11. Andre Johnson, Texans
12. Greg Jennings, Packers
NOTE: Go away, concussion problems.
13. Steve Smith, Panthers
14. Miles Austin, Cowboys
15. Marques Colston, Saints
16. Brandon Marshall, Bears
17. Percy Harvin, Vikings
NOTE: Those rushing yards come in handy.
18. Eric Decker, Broncos
19. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
20. Antonio Brown, Steelers
NOTE: Should be in 7-9 touchdown range this year.
21. Stevie Johnson, Bills
22. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
23. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
NOTE: In a contract snit.
24. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots
NOTE: Back with Josh McDaniels, though Pats are crowded.
25. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
26. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
27. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
28. Robert Meachem, Chargers
NOTE: You worry about him changing teams.
29. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders
NOTE: Oakland's wideouts are plenty deep.
30. Torrey Smith, Ravens
31. Pierre Garcon, Redskins
32. Denarius Moore, Raiders
33. Reggie Wayne, Colts
NOTE: Lots of bargains on this offense.
34. Lance Moore, Saints
NOTE: Has mind meld working with Brees.
35. Malcom Floyd, Chargers
36. Greg Little, Browns
37. Austin Collie, Colts
38. Kenny Britt, Titans
NOTE: Is he worth the constant headache?
39. Anquan Boldin, Ravens
NOTE: Upside has left the building.
40. Santonio Holmes, Jets
NOTE: When's the last time you really trusted him?
41. Nate Washington, Titans
NOTE: Underrated by everyone, Tennessee included.
42. Michael Crabtree, Niners
43. Titus Young, Lions
NOTE: Upside candidate, though he's trendy.
44. Mike Williams, Buccaneers
45. Laurent Robinson, Jaguars
46. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
NOTE: Most reliable wideout here.
47. Danny Amendola, Rams
48. Sidney Rice, Seahawks
NOTE: Uncertain health encouraged Owens move.
49. Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
50. Jonathan Baldwin, Chiefs
NOTE: Should be much improved in year two.
51. James Jones, Packers
NOTE: Never will be a star, but could elevate if others are hurt.
52. Vincent Brown, Chargers
53. Brandon LaFell, Panthers
NOTE: No sure thing but has ability.
54. Kendall Wright, Titans
NOTE: Might be needed right away.
55. Nate Burleson, Lions
56. Randall Cobb, Packers
57. David Nelson, Bills
58. Terrell Owens, Seahawks
NOTE: We're not expecting much.
59. Davone Bess, Dolphins
60. Randy Moss, Niners
NOTE: See Terrell Owens.
61. Leonard Hankerson, Redskins
62. Jerome Simpson, Vikings
63. Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers
64. Steve Smith, Rams
NOTE: He's raised eyebrows in camp.
65. Alshon Jeffery, Bears
66. Josh Morgan, Redskins
67. Santana Moss, Redskins
68. Stephen Hill, Jets
69. Rueben Randle, Giants
70. Mario Manningham, Niners
71. Donald Jones, Bills
NOTE: Still in running for starting spot.
72. Michael Floyd, Cardinals
NOTE: Hasn't picked up pro game very quickly.
73. Devery Henderson, Saints
74. Early Doucet, Cardinals
75. Brian Quick, Rams
76. Mohamed Sanu, Bengals
77. Steve Breaston, Chiefs
78. Mohamed Massaquoi, Browns
79. Jason Avant, Eagles
80. Brandon Stokley, Broncos
81. Josh Gordon, Browns
82. Earl Bennett, Bears
83. Danario Alexander, Rams
84. Kevin Walter, Texans
85. Golden Tate, Seahawks
NOTE: Struggling for a prominent role.
86. Devin Hester, Bears
NOTE: No one is impressed anymore.
87. Andre Caldwell, Broncos
88. Jeremy Kerley, Jets
89. Jacoby Ford, Raiders
90. Mike Thomas, Jaguars
91. Riley Cooper, Eagles
92. Chaz Schilens, Jets
93. Eddie Royal, Chargers
94. Donald Driver, Packers
NOTE: Not much left in the tank.

Tight End
1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2. Jimmy Graham, Saints
NOTE: Interchangeable with Gronk, do what you like.
3. Antonio Gates, Chargers
NOTE: Moving well in early camp.
4. Jermichael Finley, Packers
NOTE: Mad skills, but drops too many passes.
5. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots
6. Vernon Davis, Niners
NOTE: Finally has feel of Harbaugh's offense.
7. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
8. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
9. Jason Witten, Cowboys
NOTE: Spleen injury is worrisome.
10. Fred Davis, Redskins
NOTE: Super receiver, but has he grown up?
11. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
12. Jacob Tamme, Broncos
NOTE: Knows Manning, but will he play at goal?
13. Brent Celek, Eagles
14. Jared Cook, Titans
NOTE: Trendy sleeper, but let him come to you.
15. Greg Olsen, Panthers
16. Dustin Keller, Jets
17. Owen Daniels, Texans
18. Coby Fleener, Colts
NOTE: Played with Luck at Stanford.
19. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
NOTE: A tight end not bogged down by the dirty work, which is good.
20. Heath Miller, Steelers
21. Dennis Pitta, Ravens
22. Martellus Bennett, Giants
NOTE: A sleeper, just ask him.
23. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars
24. Dwayne Allen, Colts
25. Anthony Fasano, Dolphins
26. Evan Moore, Browns
NOTE: So underrated, he's actually overrated.
27. Lance Kendricks, Rams
28. Scott Chandler, Bills
29. Tony Moeaki, Chiefs
30. Kellen Davis, Bears
31. Tony Scheffler, Lions
32. Ed Dickson, Ravens
33. John Carlson, Vikings
34. Dallas Clark, Buccaneers
NOTE: The bus left for good a while ago.

Kicker
1. David Akers, Niners
NOTE: Deserves this slot, but don't chase 2011 stats.
2. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
3. Mason Crosby, Packers
4. Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders
NOTE: Long-distance leg, but still a wild card.
5. Alex Henery, Eagles
6. Matt Bryant, Falcons
NOTE: Could be a fun offense to bankroll.
7. Dan Bailey, Cowboys
8. Rob Bironas, Titans
9. Robbie Gould, Bears
10. Randy Bullock, Texans
NOTE: Great situation, but make sure he wins job.
11. Matt Prater, Broncos
12. Jason Hanson, Lions
NOTE: When does the age start to show?
13. Garrett Hartley, Saints
14. Neil Rackers, Redskins
15. Billy Cundiff, Ravens
NOTE: Had a good season before playoff mishap.
16. Nate Kaeding, Chargers
17. Mike Nugent, Bengals
18. Lawrence Tynes, Giants
19. Shaun Suisham, Steelers
NOTE: Good luck kicking in Heinz Field.
20. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks
21. Ryan Succop, Chiefs
22. Jay Feely, Cardinals
23. Rian Lindell, Bills
NOTE: Wind tunnel doesn't help him.
24. Phil Dawson, Browns
25. Connor Barth, Buccaneers
26. Dan Carpenter, Dolphins
27. Josh Scobee, Jaguars
28. Josh Brown, Jets
NOTE: This offense looks absolutely toxic.
29. Adam Vinatieri, Colts
30. Greg Zuerlein, Rams
31. Justin Medlock, Panthers
32. Blair Walsh, Vikings
33. John Kasay, Saints
34. Olindo Mare, Panthers
35. Nick Folk, Jets
36. Nick Novak, Chargers
37. Shayne Graham, Texans

Defense
1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. New York Giants
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Chicago Bears
6. Seattle Seahawks
NOTE: Especially nasty at home.
7. Buffalo Bills
8. Detroit Lions
9. Dallas Cowboys
NOTE: Follow the sacks.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
11. New England Patriots
12. New York Jets
13. Houston Texans
14. Baltimore Ravens
NOTE: A sure bet to be overdrafted - avoid.
15. Denver Broncos
16. Kansas City Chiefs
NOTE: A tough out at Arrowhead.
17. Atlanta Falcons
18. Cincinnati Bengals
19. Arizona Cardinals
NOTE: A few playmakers offer run-back juice.
20. San Diego Chargers
21. Minnesota Vikings
NOTE: Even with Jared Allen, not much here.
22. Tennessee Titans
23. Washington Redskins
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Cleveland Browns
NOTE: A better group than many realize.
26. New Orleans Saints
27. Oakland Raiders
28. Miami Dolphins
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
30. St. Louis Rams
31. Indianapolis Colts
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
NOTE: Offense will sell them down the river.

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Despite all the challenges of the early season, Reirden’s promotion still a ‘dream come true’

Despite all the challenges of the early season, Reirden’s promotion still a ‘dream come true’

Since taking over as the head coach of the Washington Capitals, Todd Reirden has had to deal with Tom Wilson getting suspended, a number of injuries and a team-wide Stanley Cup hangover.

So how would he describe the start to his first season as an NHL coach?

“It’s obviously a dream come true,” Reirden told NBC Sports Washington in a recent interview.

Reirden’s playing career came to an end in Europe in 2007, but his coaching career really began in 2004 while he was a player with the Houston Aeros of the AHL. Out with an injury, head coach Todd McLellan encouraged Reirden to take more of a coaching role with the team. It didn’t take long for Reirden to realize his real future in the game was as a coach and not as a player.

Reirden climbed the ranks as a coach from college, to the AHL and finally to the NHL. He spent the last eight seasons in the NHL behind the bench as an assistant and associate coach before finally getting the opportunity to become a head coach.

“Something when you start coaching just as I used to think about as a player, was the ultimate was to be able to play at the highest level,” Reirden said. “I was able to do that as a player and now able to see that dream come true as a coach. First things first is it's been amazing from that standpoint.”

The history of the NHL – and all professional sports for that matter – is full of assistant coaches who just could not make the transition from assistant to head coach. There is no doubt Reirden knows what he’s doing when it comes to the development of players and on-ice strategy. The last few years working with the Caps as an assistant and then associate coach have shown us that.

But being a head coach is about more than just what happens on the ice. That’s the part that first-year head coaches seem to struggle with initially.

“How everything works behind the scenes in terms of organizationally, dealing with the salary cap and sending down players, keeping them on board and the constant contact with Hershey,” Reirden said. “You spend a lot of time on those type of things. It's been a little bit of a transition too I would say with two new staff members in terms of how I'm delegating responsibility and empowering them in their particular areas. That's probably been the things that have been the most different for me.

“The hockey part, the coaching part, talking to the players in between periods, the media, that stuff has all gone really smoothly,” Reirden said. “No real transition there. But I'd say more the stuff behind the scenes is the stuff that's been a little bit different than expected.”

Reirden is certainly getting a crash course on roster construction given the recent spate of injuries and recalls. That has unquestionably affected the play of the team and is a major reason why the Caps have looked so inconsistent to start the season. It is not how Reirden would have scripted his first season to start.

But even with everything his first season has thrown at him and a 9-7-3 record, Reirden still feels like he is exactly where he wants to be.

“Every day is a chance for me to grow and get better and get used to responsibilities as a head coach,” Reirden said. “So it's been a lot of fun and definitely a challenge, but something I love and wouldn't trade places with anybody in the world for.”

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Three things to watch for Wizards vs. Blazers, as John Wall and Damian Lillard square off

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Three things to watch for Wizards vs. Blazers, as John Wall and Damian Lillard square off

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Dwight Howard and the Washington Wizards take on Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and the Portland Trail Blazers. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Schedule heats up

The Wizards really needed that one on Friday night. Though the Nets, even without Caris LeVert, aren't an easy out, the Wizards wanted to fully take advantage of a soft spot of their schedule. It's tough to lose to the Nets when you consider the road ahead.

The Wizards play seven straight games against teams at .500 or better. That includes a road game against the Raptors, who are tied for the league's best record. They also see the Rockets, the Pelicans twice and play at the Sixers. It all begins Sunday against the Blazers, who are tied for the fourth-best record in the NBA.

Rematch

Most of the Wizards' games this season have been lopsided one way or the other, and usually in the direction they would not prefer. But they have played a few close games and their most entertaining one happened to come against this same Blazers team.

The Wizards and Blazers went to overtime on Oct. 22 in Portland. The Wizards forced the extra period thanks to a three by Bradley Beal, and they won thanks to Otto Porter Jr. blocking Damian Lillard's shot in the closing seconds. 

The Wizards and Blazers have played some classics in recent years. Markieff Morris beat them with a game-winning three two years ago and last season Beal dropped 50 at the Moda Center. The matchup between both teams' star guards seems to bring the best out in everyone.

Howard vs. Nurkic

Much of the focus in this matchup is always on John Wall and Beal vs. Lillard and C.J. McCollum, but there will be a lot of action in the paint with Dwight Howard going up against Jusuf Nurkic. The Blazers are one of the best rebounding teams in the game and Nurkic, who pulls in 10.7 per game, is a big reason why. Nurkic also averages 15.5 points.

Howard is coming off his best game as a Wizard. He had 25 points and 17 rebounds against the Nets on Friday night. He was hurt when the teams first met in Portland.

Both are bruisers around the rim who don't stretch the floor with outside shots. It should be a physical battle on Sunday night.