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New and improved fantasy football Week 12 rankings

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USA TODAY Sports

New and improved fantasy football Week 12 rankings

The bye weeks are over, finally. Good thing because the injuries keep piling up around the league and certainly in Ashburn. 

Not that you need a reminder, but Thanksgiving means three games on Thursday. Oh, and spending time with your family, obviously. It's probably not a good idea ranking your relatives in any first-to-worst order, but I will provide you my first look at the Week 12 fantasy football rankings.

Quarterbacks

1.  Tom Brady, NE
 
2.  Russell Wilson, SEA
 
3.  Kirk Cousins, WAS
 
4.  Alex Smith, KC
 
5.  Carson Wentz, PHI
 
6.  Cam Newton, CAR
 
7.  Matt Ryan, ATL
 
8.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
 
9.  Marcus Mariota, TEN
 
10.  Dak Prescott, DAL
 
11.  Drew Brees, NO
 
12.  Jared Goff, LAR
 
13.  Philip Rivers, LAC
 
14.  Matthew Stafford, DET
 
15.  Andy Dalton, CIN
 
16.  Jacoby Brissett, IND
 
17.  Case Keenum, MIN
 
18.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF
 
19.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB
 
20.  Derek Carr, OAK
 
21.  Eli Manning, NYG
 
22.  Blake Bortles, JAC
 
23.  Paxton Lynch, DEN
 
24.  Josh McCown, NYJ
 
25.  Matt Moore, MIA
 
26.  Joe Flacco, BAL
 
27.  C.J. Beathard, SF
 
28.  Blaine Gabbert, ARI
 
29.  DeShone Kizer, CLE
 
30.  Mitch Trubisky, CHI
 
31.  Brett Hundley, GB
 
32.  Tom Savage, HOU

Running backs

1.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT
 
2.  Todd Gurley, LAR
 
3.  Kareem Hunt, KC
 
4.  LeSean McCoy, BUF
 
5.  Mark Ingram, NO
 
6.  Leonard Fournette, JAC
 
7.  Melvin Gordon, LAC
 
8.  Alvin Kamara, NO
 
9.  Lamar Miller, HOU
 
10.  Carlos Hyde, SF
 
11.  Jordan Howard, CHI
 
12.  Samaje Perine, WAS
 
13.  DeMarco Murray, TEN
 
14.  Tevin Coleman, ATL
 
15.  Dion Lewis, NE
 
16.  Joe Mixon, CIN
 
17.  Alfred Morris, DAL
 
18.  Christian McCaffrey, CAR
 
19.  Adrian Peterson, ARI
 
20.  Alex Collins, BAL
 
21.  Orleans Darkwa, NYG
 
22.  Latavius Murray, MIN
 
23.  Jerick McKinnon, MIN
 
24.  Devonta Freeman, ATL
 
25.  Jay Ajayi, PHI
 
26.  Rex Burkhead, NE
 
27.  Doug Martin, TB
 
28.  Frank Gore, IND
 
29.  Marshawn Lynch, OAK
 
30.  Jamaal Williams, GB
 
31.  Ameer Abdullah, DET
 
32.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE
 
33.  Bilal Powell, NYJ
 
34.  Damien Williams, MIA
 
35.  C.J. Anderson, DEN
 
36.  Duke Johnson, CLE
 
37.  Devontae Booker, DEN
 
38.  Derrick Henry, TEN
 
39.  Austin Ekeler, LAC
 
40.  Kenyan Drake, MIA
 
41.  Marlon Mack, IND
 
42.  Jonathan Stewart, CAR
 
43.  J.D. McKissic, SEA
 
44.  Elijah McGuire, NYJ
 
45.  James White, NE
 
46.  Danny Woodhead, BAL
 
47.  Rod Smith, DAL
 
48.  Ty Montgomery, GB
 
49.  Theo Riddick, DET
 
50.  Byron Marshall, WAS
 
51.  LeGarrette Blount, PHI
 
52.  T.J. Yeldon, JAC
 
53.  Corey Clement, PHI
 
54.  Tarik Cohen, CHI
 
55.  Giovani Bernard, CIN
 
56.  Jalen Richard, OAK
 
57.  Alfred Blue, HOU
 
58.  Matt Breida, SF
 
59.  Thomas Rawls, SEA
 
60.  Eddie Lacy, SEA
 
61.  Charcandrick West, KC
 
62.  Javorius Allen, BAL
 
63.  DeAndre Washington, OAK
 
64.  Jamaal Charles, DEN
 
65.  Shane Vereen, NYG

Wide receivers

1.  Antonio Brown, PIT
 
2.  Julio Jones, ATL
 
3.  A.J. Green, CIN
 
4.  Michael Thomas, NO
 
5.  Adam Thielen, MIN
 
6.  Brandin Cooks, NE
 
7.  Mike Evans, TB
 
8.  Tyreek Hill, KC
 
9.  Doug Baldwin, SEA
 
10.  Alshon Jeffery, PHI
 
11.  Keenan Allen, LAC
 
12.  T.Y. Hilton, IND
 
13.  Devin Funchess, CAR
 
14.  Dez Bryant, DAL
 
15.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
 
16.  Stefon Diggs, MIN
 
17.  Michael Crabtree, OAK
 
18.  Golden Tate, DET
 
19.  JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
 
20.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
 
21.  Jarvis Landry, MIA
 
22.  Jamison Crowder, WAS
 
23.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN
 
24.  Cooper Kupp, LAR
 
25.  Robby Anderson, NYJ
 
26.  Amari Cooper, OAK
 
27.  Rishard Matthews, TEN
 
28.  Sammy Watkins, LAR
 
29.  Davante Adams, GB
 
30.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
 
31.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL
 
32.  Sterling Shepard, NYG
 
33.  Kenny Stills, MIA
 
34.  Jeremy Maclin, BAL
 
35.  Marvin Jones, DET
 
36.  Josh Doctson, WAS
 
37.  Marqise Lee, JAC
 
38.  Devante Parker, MIA
 
39.  Ted Ginn, NO
 
40.  DeSean Jackson, TB
 
41.  Corey Davis, TEN
 
42.  Paul Richardson, SEA
 
43.  Corey Coleman, CLE
 
44.  Mike Wallace, BAL
 
45.  Nelson Agholor, PHI
 
46.  Danny Amendola, NE
 
47.  Tyler Lockett, SEA
 
48.  Marquise Goodwin, SF
 
49.  Jermaine Kearse, NYJ
 
50.  Martavis Bryant, PIT
 
51.  Brandon LaFell, CIN
 
52.  Jordy Nelson, GB
 
53.  Dontrelle Inman, CHI
 
54.  Terrance Williams, DAL
 
55.  Ryan Grant, WAS
 
56.  Tavarres King, NYG
 
57.  Bruce Ellington, HOU
 
58.  Randall Cobb, GB
 
59.  Tyrell Williams, LAC
 
60.  Mike Williams, LAC
 
61.  Roger Lewis, NYG
 
62.  Zay Jones, BUF
 
63.  Taylor Gabriel, ATL
 
64.  Aldrick Robinson, SF
 
65.  Deonte Thompson, BUF
 
66.  Donte Moncrief, IND
 
67.  Kenny Golladay, DET
 
68.  Russell Shepard, CAR
 
69.  Kelvin Benjamin, BUF
 
70.  Eric Decker, TEN

Tight ends

1.  Rob Gronkowski, NE
 
2.  Travis Kelce, KC
 
3.  Zach Ertz, PHI
 
4.  Evan Engram, NYG
 
5.  Jimmy Graham, SEA
 
6.  Vernon Davis, WAS
 
7.  Delanie Walker, TEN
 
8.  Greg Olsen, CAR
 
9.  Jack Doyle, IND
 
10.  Jared Cook, OAK
 
11.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ
 
12.  Jason Witten, DAL
 
13.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN
 
14.  Tyler Kroft, CIN
 
15.  Austin Hooper, ATL
 
16.  Hunter Henry, LAC
 
17.  Cameron Brate, TB
 
18.  Charles Clay, BUF
 
19.  Benjamin Watson, BAL
 
20.  Eric Ebron, DET
 
21.  Julius Thomas, MIA
 
22.  Marcedes Lewis, JAC
 
23.  Coby Fleener, NO
 
24.  O.J. Howard, TB
 
25.  C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU

Defenses

1.  Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT
 
2.  Jacksonville Jaguars, JAC
 
3.  Cincinnati Bengals, CIN
 
4.  Baltimore Ravens, BAL
 
5.  Philadelphia Eagles, PHI
 
6.  Carolina Panthers, CAR
 
7.  Seattle Seahawks, SEA
 
8.  New England Patriots, NE
 
9.  Kansas City Chiefs, KC
 
10.  Atlanta Falcons, ATL
 
11.  Minnesota Vikings, MIN
 
12.  Washington Redskins, WAS
 
13.  Arizona Cardinals, ARI
 
14.  Tennessee Titans, TEN
 
15.  Houston Texans, HOU
 
16.  Oakland Raiders, OAK
 
17.  Los Angeles Chargers, LAC
 
18.  Denver Broncos, DEN
 
19.  Dallas Cowboys, DAL
 
20.  New York Jets, NYJ

Kickers

1.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE
 
2.  Harrison Butker, KC
 
3.  Matt Bryant, ATL
 
4.  Greg Zuerlein, LAR
 
5.  Justin Tucker, BAL
 
6.  Wil Lutz, NO
 
7.  Chris Boswell, PIT
 
8.  Matt Prater, DET
 
9.  Blair Walsh, SEA
 
10.  Jake Elliott, PHI
 
11.  Kai Forbath, MIN
 
12.  Ryan Succop, TEN
 
13.  Nick Rose, WAS
 
14.  Graham Gano, CAR
 
15.  Nick Novak, LAC
 
16.  Mike Nugent, DAL
 
17.  Adam Vinatieri, IND
 
18.  Giorgio Tavecchio, OAK
 
19.  Josh Lambo, JAC
 
20.  Brandon McManus, DEN

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Redskins still absorbing rule changes involving kickoffs, contact with helmet

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Associated Press

Redskins still absorbing rule changes involving kickoffs, contact with helmet

The NFL has passed two major on-field rule changes in the last two months. One, the rule that prohibits players from lowering their helmets to initiate contact with another player. That one passed during the spring meetings in March but it was just recently clarified. The other one changes how kickoffs are executed. 

Both rules, designed to make the game safer for the players, could have a major impact on the game. And the Redskins are still a little unclear about how to handle them. 

Safety D.J. Swearinger is one of the Redskins’ hardest hitters. After saying that the helmet-lowering rule, which is outlined in some detail in this video from the NFL, would not affect him because he hits low, he wondered why he was even wearing a hard hat at work. 

“I’ve got a helmet on, but I can’t use it or hit nobody with it, might as well take the helmet off if you ask me,” said Swearinger following the Redskins’ OTA practice on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, coach Jay Gruden had not yet been filled in on the details of the helmet-lowering rule. He said that the team will sort it out over the three and a half months between now and the start of the regular season. 

“The lowering of the helmet, I don’t know which ones they decided to go with, so we’ll see,” he said. “I know there’s been a lot of talk about bull rushes and they’re trying to obviously protect the players, but we’ve just got to be careful.”

Gruden said that special teams coach Ben Kotwica went to meetings to help hash out the kickoff rule. What they ended up with looks a lot like another special teams play according to the player who will be executing the kickoffs. 

“It looks like they’re trying to make it more like a punt,” said kicker Dustin Hopkins. Among the similarities are that the kicking team will not be able to get a running start as the kicker approaches the ball. They will have to be stationary a yard away from the line where the ball is until it is kicked. 

The league probably will be happy if the play does more closely resemble a punt. The injury rate on punt plays is much lower than it is on kickoffs. 

Some believe that this change will lead to longer kickoff returns. Gruden didn’t disagree, but he said that he needs more information. 

“I think without the guys getting a running start, number one, it could be,” he said. “I think it’s just something I have to see it before I can really make any judgments on it.”

The new rule prohibits wedge blocking meaning that you are unlikely to see any offensive linemen on kickoffs as they were used primarily to create or break wedges. 

“I think for the most part, you’re going to see more speed guys,” said Gruden.

The Redskins will start to wrap their heads around the new rule during the next three weeks, when they have their final two weeks of OTAs and then minicamp before the break for training camp. Gruden said that they will continue to work on it in Richmond. He said that the joint practices with the Jets and the four preseason game will be important for sorting out just how the team will implement kickoffs. 

The best way to handle it might be to just let Hopkins pound the ball into the end zone every time. Last year 72.5 percent of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. He could have had more touchbacks, but he occasionally was told to kick it high to force a return with the hope of getting better field position. But if the rules lead to longer returns it may not be worth the risk. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- OTAs: Practice report: Smith sharp
- Injuries: Kouandjio out for the season

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.

 

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Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

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Associated Press

Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 24, 64 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

What Jay Gruden and Alex Smith had to say from the podium

After yesterday’s OTA practice, Alex Smith and Jay Gruden took the podium. Here are some of their quotes and my comments on them:

Smith was asked about getting together with his new teammates:

So I think every guy these last two days has enjoyed just getting back out there and losing yourself in the game, right? To be limited, it does make you miss it, and I think it makes you appreciate it, so that’s been nice. 

Comment: This is a guy who loves football and everything that goes with it. Smith would start playing games tomorrow if they were scheduled.

Gruden was asked how Smith has looked in these first two days of OTAs:

He’s got good command of the offense already. Great command in the huddle. He’s just getting a feel for the receivers, the players around him, how we call things, but overall, the first two days, I would say I’m very pleased with his quick progression and learning. I knew that wouldn’t be an issue with as much as he’s played in a similar-style system.

Comment: It did seem that Smith was in sync with his receivers, Jamison Crowder in particular. He and Paul Richardson connected on a deep pass after giving each other a look at the line of scrimmage. The encouraging thing is that he is coming from a similar offensive system, so the learning curve should not be too long. 

Smith had a great analogy when asked about similarities to the offenses he has run:

Both from West Coast worlds, so it’s kind of like they are all Latin-based languages, you know, but they are not the same. There are some similarities, structure of the playbook, of how we call things, things like that. There are a lot of similarities but it’s not the same language. I guess that’s the best analogy I can make

Comment: If terminology is the biggest obstacle for Smith to overcome it will be a smooth transition for him. 

Gruden was impressed with the running backs. 

“I’ll tell you what, just today in general, you could see the competition. You could see Rob Kelley step up. Samaje Perine’s had a couple big days. Byron Marshall, I mean, he had a couple great routes today. He’s running the ball between the tackles. [Kapri] Bibbs had some big runs yesterday. Obviously, Derrius Guice has come in here and fueled the fire a little bit.

Comment: I think that the Redskins are going to have to release some good running backs. Rob Kelly never really earned the nickname “Fat Rob” but he looked particularly lean and quick running the ball. He wants nothing to do with being on the roster bubble. Marshall moved quickly and showed his speed. Although Gruden wouldn’t say it, Guice clearly was the best of the bunch; his ability to change direction while maintaining his speed will serve him well. It must be noted that they are not in pads and not getting tackled so more definitive opinions will have to wait until we are in Richmond for a few days. 

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 and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 19
—Training camp starts (7/26) 64
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 78

The Redskins last played a game 144 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 108 days. 

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