Redskins

NFLPA's Smith: player safety an ongoing challenge

NFLPA's Smith: player safety an ongoing challenge

CARSON, Calif. (AP) DeMaurice Smith has a difficult job.

As the Executive Director of the NFL's Players Association, it's Smith's job to strive to keep his players healthy.

Smith spoke at The Home Depot Center on Friday for the NFLPA's Collegiate Bowl, which will be played Saturday.

Player safety was the topic, and Smith knows there's more work to do.

``In 2009 when I took this job the head of the league's concussion committee was a rheumatologist,'' Smith said.

New rules have been implemented to improve safety, but he acknowledges that his job is an ongoing challenge.

``From our perspective, there will never be a time in the National Football League when members of this union, and in particular, me, will be happy and content with where we are on the issue of health and safety,'' Smith said. ``Our role is to make sure we are constantly challenging and imploring the National Football League to do a better job.''

While the league has been cooperative in implementing and enforcing safety standards for play on the field - such as stiff fines and suspensions for helmet-to-helmet contact - Smith said the greater challenge he has faced with the league has come off the field - in the front offices, trainers' rooms and doctors' offices.

``We as a union have an obligation to keep the players' employers accountable,'' Smith said. ``If any one of you gets hurt at your job, we call that a workplace accident and you have the opportunity of availing yourselves to workers comp protections. ... Yet in the NFL, we have our teams engaged in a systematic effort to deny our players workers' comp.''

Smith said that not every team has been reluctant to comply with some of the union's requests.

``There are teams in the NFL that do an incredibly good job of protecting their players and doing things that are smart,'' he said. ``Our challenge as a union is to have proper rules, and that we insist on levels of accountability that are applicable to everyone.

``But the fact is, at times there is a wide disparity between the way they approach issues like wellness, like workers compensation, like informed consent.''

Smith said he understands that there is a mentality prevalent in the NFL in which players will go to great lengths so they can play on Sundays.

``I tend to give the same speech that I give to every team when we see them,'' Smith said. ``We talk about a third to a quarter of the individuals in that locker room are going to be in need of a major hip, knee or joint replacement by the time they are 60 years old.

``They hear that the reported injury rate in the NFL last year was 4,500 reported injuries, while we only had about 1,8000 active players. We also tell them the injury rate in the NFL is 100 percent.

``So it's making sure the players understand the business model they're in. We are pretty blunt with them, telling them that the business model is one that asks them to trade their physicality and their mental ability in exchange for compensation.''

Smith said a snag in a potential agreement in testing for Human Growth Hormone is the league's unwillingness to use a system similar to what Major League Baseball has implemented.

``Our issue with HGH is a rather simple one,'' Smith said. ``If the NFL players are going to be held accountable to a standard, if the league is going to use a standard by which they are going to conclude that a player has unlawfully taken HGH supplements, we want to know what the standard is,'' Smith said.

Smith also mentioned field conditions, coming off complaints about FedEx Field in Washington and the knee injury to Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Smith said the condition of all NFL playing fields - or what he calls ``workplace safety issues'' - will be a top priority for the union in the next two years.

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Fantasy Football QB Rankings 2019 2.1

Fantasy Football QB Rankings 2019 2.1

With the preseason off and running it is finally time for fantasy football leagues to do the same. Andrew Luck's sudden retirement shook up the sports world and will absolutely alter fantasy football drafting strategies.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Tight End

Quarterback always seems to be the murkiest position during fantasy drafts. There is always that one person that selects Aaron Rodgers, and now this year Patrick Mahomes, WAY too early and throws the remainder of the draft selections out of proportions. The best methodology is to select your quarterback as far back in the draft as possible. The dangers of selecting too early vary, and it's not worth it to blow that high of a pick on a player who puts up comparable stats to someone you can grab much later

TIER 1: Showtime

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Stats: 5,097 Passing YDs, 50 Passing TD, 12 INT, 272 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB1
Previous Ranking: 1

TIER 2: Elite Starters

2. DeShaun Watson, Houston Texans
2018 Stats: 4,165 Passing YDS, 26 Passing TD, 9 INT, 551 Rushing YDS, 5 Rush TD, 2018 QB4
Previous Ranking: 2

3. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 Stats: 3,296 Passing YDS, 33 Passing TD, 7 INT, 299 Rushing YDS, 2017 QB5
Previous Ranking: 4

4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2018 Stats: 4,442 Passing YDS, 25 Passing TD, 2 INT, 269 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB6
Previous Ranking: 5

TIER 3: Near Elite

5. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
2018 Stats: 3,725 Passing YDS, 26 Passing TD, 14 INT, 131 Rushing YDS, 2018 QB16
Previous Ranking: 6

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
2018 Stats: 4,924 Passing YDS, 35 Passing TD, 7 INT, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB2
Previous Ranking: 7

7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
​​​​​​2018 Stats: 3,395 Passing YDS, 24 Passing TD, 13 INT, 488 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 2018 QB13
Previous Ranking: 8

8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2018 Stats: 3,992 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 5 INT, 22 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 2018 QB8
Previous Ranking: 9

TIER 4: Late-round options

9. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2018 Stats: 3,448 Passing YDS, 35 Passing TD, 7 INT, 376 Rushing YDS, 2018 QB9
Previous Ranking: 10

10. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
​​​​​​2018 Stats: 4,308 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 12 INT, 2018 QB11
Previous Ranking: 11

11. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Previous Ranking:
 12

12. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 2,992 Passing YDS, 19 Passing TD, 14 INT, 2018 QB21
Previous Ranking: 13

TIER 5: Potential is there

13. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Stats: 4,688 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 12 INT, 108 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB7
Previous Ranking: 14

14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 Stats: 5,129 Passing YDS, 34 Passing TD, 15 INT, 98 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB3
Previous Ranking: 15

TIER 6: Backup Options

15. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears

2018 Stats: 3,223 Passing YDS, 24 Passing TD, 12 INT, 421 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB15
Previous Ranking: 16

16. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
2018 Stats: 4,298 Passing YDS, 30 Passing TD, 10 INT, 123 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 2018 QB12
Previous Ranking: 17

17. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
2018 Stats: 2,074 Passing YDS, 10 Passing TD, 12 INT, 639 Rushing YDS, 8 Rushing TD, 2018 QB21
Previous Ranking: 18

18. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
2018 Stats: 3,885 Passing YDS, 22 Passing TD, 8 INT, 305 Rushing YDS, 6 Rushing TD, 2018 QB10
Previous Ranking: 19

19. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2018 Stats: 1,201 Passing YDS, 6 Passing TD, 3 INT, 695 Rushing YDS, 5 Rushing TD, 2018 QB28
Previous Ranking: 20

20. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
2018: Tore ACL in Game 3
Previous Ranking: 21

21. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
2018 Stats: 1,413 Passing YDS, 7 Passing TD, 4 INT, 2018 QB35
Previous Ranking: 22

22. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
2018 Stats: 4,049 Passing YDS, 19 Passing TD, 10 INT, 2018 QB17
Previous Ranking: 23

23. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2018 Stats: 4,355 Passing YDS, 29 Passing TD, 11 INT, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB14
Previous Ranking: 24

24. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
2018 Stats: 3,777 Passing YDS, 21 Passing TD, 11 INT, 2018 QB19
Previous Ranking: 25

25. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
2018 Stats:
2,865 Passing YDS, 17 Passing TD, 15 INT, QB26
Previous Ranking: NR

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Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2019 2.1

Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2019 2.1

With the preseason off and running it is finally time for fantasy football leagues to do the same.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Tight End

By far the deepest position in fantasy football, wide receiver is also the hardest to predict. Statistics will yield trends in terms of matchups and volume, but can't account for injuries, whether or not the player is heavily targeted in one game or the next, or if a player in a good situation gets moved to an iffy one (see Golden Tate) or vice versa (see Amari Cooper). Some opt to select their wideouts later than others, but some wideouts (see DeAndre Hopkins) will put up just as good numbers as the best halfbacks that you can't afford to miss on them if you are selecting towards the back end of your draft.

TIER 1: First-round talent

1. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

2018 Stats: 115 Receptions, 1,572 Receiving YDS, 11 Receiving TD, 2018 WR1
Previous Ranking: 1

2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
2018 Stats: 111 Receptions, 1,386 Receiving YDS, 13 Receiving TD, 2018 WR2
Previous Ranking: 2

3. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
2018 Stats: 125 Receptions, 1,405 Receiving YDS, 9 Receiving TD, 2018 WR6
Previous Ranking: 4

4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
2018 Stats: 113 Receptions, 1,677 Receiving YDS, 8 Receiving TD, 2018 WR4
Previous Ranking: 5

TIER 2: Borderline WR1's

5. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
2018 Stats: 75 Receptions, 1,005 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR19
Previous Ranking: 3

6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Stats: 87 Receptions, 1,479 Receiving YDS, 12 Receiving TD, 2018 WR3
Previous Ranking: 13

7. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 Stats: 111 Receptions, 1,426 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR8
Previous Ranking: 8

8. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
2018 Stats: 106 Passing YDS, 2 Passing TD, 77 Receptions, 1,052 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR15
Previous Ranking: 6

9. Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders?
2018 Stats: 104 Receptions, 1,297 Receiving YDS, 15 Receiving TD, 2018 WR5
Previous Ranking: 12

10. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
2018 Stats: 97 Receptions, 1,196 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR12
Previous Ranking: 9

11. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
2018 Stats: 113 Receptions, 1,373 Receiving YDS, 9 Receiving TD, 2018 WR7
Previous Ranking: 7

12. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
2018 Stats: 76 Receptions, 1,270 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR14
Previous Ranking: 17

13. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 86 Receptions, 1,524 Receiving YDS, 8 Receiving TD, 2018 WR9
Previous Ranking: 11

TIER 3: High-end WR2's

14. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

2018 Stats: 40 Receptions, 566 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR50
Previous Ranking: 10

15. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
2018 Stats: 102 Receptions, 1,021 Receiving YDS, 9 Receiving TD, 2018 WR10
Previous Ranking: 16

16. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
2018 Stats: 57 Receptions, 965 Receiving YDS, 10 Receiving TD, 2018 WR16
Previous Ranking: 20

17. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Stats: 157 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 86 Receptions, 1,219 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR11
Previous Ranking: 15

18. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
2018 Stats: 74 Receptions, 850 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR20
Previous Ranking: 29

TIER 4: On the cusp

19. Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams

2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 80 Receptions, 1,204 Receiving YDS, 5 Receiving TD, 2018 WR13
Previous Ranking: 18

20. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
2018 Stats: 70 Receptions, 1,063 Receiving YDS, 5 Receiving TD, 2018 WR21
Previous Ranking: 19

21. AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals
2018 Stats: 46 Receptions, 694 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR43
Previous Ranking: 14

22. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 59 Receptions, 842 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR27
Previous Ranking: 21

23. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
2018 Stats: 172 Rushing YDS, 55 Receptions, 788 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 2018 WR36
Previous Ranking: 22

24. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
2018 Stats: 76 Receptions, 1,028 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR17
Previous Ranking: 26

25. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 43 Receptions, 664 Receiving YDS, 10 Receiving TD, 2018 WR32
Previous Ranking: 39

26. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Stats: 65 Receptions, 843 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR26
Previous Ranking: 32

TIER 5: Best of the rest and late-round finds

27. Josh Gordon, New England Patriots 

2018 Stats: 41 Receptions, 737 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR47
Previous Ranking: NR

28. Will Fuller V, Houston Texans
2018 Stats: 32 Receptions, 503 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR68 
Previous Ranking
: 23

29. Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 81 Receptions, 976 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR18
Previous Ranking: 25

30. Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
2018 Stats: 65 Receptions, 891 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR28
Previous Ranking: 35

31. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
2018 Stats: 64 Receptions, 821 Receiving YDS, 10 Receiving TD, 2018 WR22
Previous Ranking: 38

32. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
2018 Stats: 55 Receptions, 754 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR39
Previous Ranking: 28

33. Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions
2018 Stats: 35 Receptions, 508 Receiving YDS, 5 Receiving TD, 2018 WR62
Previous Ranking: 27

34. Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Stats: 40 Receptions, 519 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 2018 WR63
Previous Ranking: 24

35. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
2018 Stats: 1 Passing TD, 69 Receptions, 734 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR25
Previous Ranking: 30

36. Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears
2018 Stats: 33 Receptions, 423 Receiving YDS, 7 Receiving TD, 2018 WR59
Previous Ranking: NR

37. Devin Funchess, Indianapolis Colts
2018 Stats: 44 Receptions, 549 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR58
Previous Ranking: 31

38. Robby Anderson, New York Jets
2018 Stats: 50 Receptions, 752 Receiving YDS, 6 Receiving TD, 2018 WR38
Previous Ranking: 37

39. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Stats: 1 Rushing TD, 41 Receptions, 774 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR41
Previous Ranking: 40

40. Golden Tate, New York Giants
2018 Stats: 74 Receptions, 795 Receiving YDS, 4 Receiving TD, 2018 WR29
Previous Ranking: 34