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DraftKings strategy: Buying into the Vikings?

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DraftKings strategy: Buying into the Vikings?

Each week on Comcast SportsNet, Ben Standig and J.P. Finlay debate their favorite DraftKings plays for the week. However, with all the banter and other topics on the show, there isn't always enough time to discuss every the decision. For Week 8, Ben shares his pre-production notes on his lineup. Watch the video above and catch the entire show every Friday at 6:00 p.m. with re-airs throughout the weekend including Sunday at 11:00 a.m. 

Teddy Bridgewater ($5100) 

Each week I typically look at my lineup with a high price, mid-tier and low-cost quarterback option. Sometimes it's worth spending the extra money for a great situation. Philip Rivers ($6600) at the Ravens certainly counts while Andy Dalton ($6000) makes for a nice value. Those two will be in other lineups of mine, but for the show, I went with Bridgewater because: 

1) He's cheap which allows me to have an insane array of playmakers elsewhere

2) He's actually throwing lots of passes now.  Part of his slow start involved simple math. It's hard to produce with only 26 attempts per game. Over the last three games -- which coincides with the emergence of wide receiver Stefon Diggs -- Bridgewater is averaging 36 passes per game.

3) The Bears have allowed the second most touchdown passes (15) and the fifth most points to fantasy QBs this season.

4) I generally like stacking my lineup with a QB-receiver combo. That works here since Diggs is surging and comes in at a relatively cheap cost ($4800) 

Justin Forsett ($6100)

The Ravens lead RB hasn't been on my radar much this season either in standard or daily fantasy football. His $6100 isn't a bargain based on past production. However, it could be when the Ravens and Chargers conclude.

The duel-threat option faces a San Diego defense allowing an NFL-worst 5.3 yards per carry. We've noted lately in these parts the Redskins have allowed over 100 rush yards 3 straight games. Well, double that and you reach San Diego's current streak. 

Antonio Brown ($7800)

When Ben Roethlisberger was healthy, Brown posted crazy stats and his DraftKings salary reflected such work, reaching a high of $9200. Then Big Ben goes down with a knee injury and Brown's production declined, as did his DK cost. Now Roethlisberger is back, but Brown's salary remains at his reduced levels. Players can get Brown at 7800, thus saving $1400 from his previous high with his desired starting QB. Oh, he also had 16 receptions and over 240 yards in two games against Cincinnati last year. 

Julio Jones ($9200)

The highest priced WR on the board. That's crazy expensive, but the Bucs are crazy bad against fantasy WRs. They have allowed at least 16 receptions and 200 yards in four of their last five games with six touchdowns in that span.

Rams ($3200) 

Going with a cheaper option with defense is often the right approach. Not this week. St. Louis has reached double-digit points in three of its last four games including a monster 25 in Week 7. Now the Rams face a 49ers offense that is without running back Carlos Hyde. Opposing defenses are scoring 12.2 points per week (third overall) against the 49ers. 

Ravens-Chargers 

With Forsett, Danny Woodhead and Ladarius Green, I have three players from this game in my lineup. Let's note that the Las Vegas odds makers set the Ravens-Chargers over/under at 50.5, which is the highest of the remaining games. Ideal scenario and in my opinion the likely one, Baltimore jumps ahead early. That means more Forsett in the second half and lots of passing by San Diego after halftime. Woodhead and Green, the likely TE starter with Antonio Gates dealing with a knee injury, racked up plenty of garbage points last week. Using them also gives me a piece of Rivers in case he goes off.

Todd Gurley ($6300)

Barring injury or worse, he won't be this cheap again this decade. Get him while you can.

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The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list

Every offseason the NFL Network polls a number of current players to determine the Top 100 stars in the league.

It's a fun discussion topic during an otherwise slow time in the football calendar, and while the rankings carry no official meaning, it would be silly to dismiss the process altogether. After all, these are players voting for their fellow players. 

Over the last few seasons, the Redskins have seen a various number of their players make the list. Trent Williams is a mainstay, Jordan Reed made an appearance, and while he was playing in Washington, QB Kirk Cousins made the list. 

For example, in 2017, Cousins ranked 70th on the NFL Top 100. That same season, while quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith came in at 81 on the list. 

Now Redskins QB, there is a bit of a mystery surrounding Smith.

The NFL has revealed numbers 100 to 11, and Smith hasn't made the list. Cousins, now a Viking, landed 94th, the first QB on the list.

Another 10 QBs have been named to the Top 100: Jimmy Garoppolo (90), Derek Carr (60), Philip Rivers (56), Case Keenum (51), Deshaun Watson (50), Jared Goff (38), Matt Stafford (31), Matt Ryan (29), Ben Roethlisberger (18) and Russell Wilson (11).

Smith had the best statistical season of his career in 2017, and he led the NFL in passer rating. He certainly belongs higher on the Top 100 than a number of the quarterbacks listed above, particularly young players without his track record of success like Keenum, Watson or Goff. 

But does Smith deserve a Top 10 ranking in the NFL?

For Smith to make the list, it will mean a Top 10 ranking. Consider too that Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz have not yet landed on the Top 100. All four of those players seem like locks for the Top 10, which will be revealed next Monday night on NFL Network. 

It might seem surprising for Smith to land in the Top 10 of the NFL Top 100, but it would make zero sense for him to be left off the list altogether. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

#REDSKINSTALK PODCAST

Don't forget to subscribe to the #RedskinsTalk podcast, hosted by JP Finlay.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below.

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Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 20, 36 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Emptying the notebook from the offseason practices

—Last week I wrote that Gruden expects Alex Smith to be ready to win in Week 1. Smith understands those expectations and plans to meet them. “No, I don’t think you can rely on the fact that, ‘Oh, it’s the first year here.’ Nobody cares,” he said when asked about his transition into the new offense. “It’s not like in the fall, you guys are going to be like, ‘Ah, well, this is his first year here. We’ll give him a break.’ It just doesn’t work that way.” Of course, Smith is right. If the Redskins are 1-3 in October, nobody is going to cut them any slack if their veteran quarterback who got a contract with $71 million guaranteed is struggling with the new offense. 

—I didn’t count reps during the practices that were open to the media, but it seemed that they were giving DL Jonathan Allen a light workload. “I think he did a great job of rehabbing in the offseason,” said defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. “We were kind of a little bit hesitant early on when he was here just taking reps and stuff but looks like he’s just keeps on progressing from where he kind of left off last year and the sky’s the limit for him.” The Redskins essentially will be adding two first-round picks to their D-line with Allen’s return and the addition of Daron Payne in the first round this year. I would look for Allen to get a full workload when training camp starts. 

—There are questions about Kevin Hogan making the 53-man roster as the third quarterback. Jay Gruden had some rather tepid praise for him last week. “He’s done good,” he said. “I like Kevin. He’s a smart kid and he’s got some deceiving escape ability to him. He can run a little bit. We saw one today, he popped out of there for about a 20-yard gain. I like where he’s at.” But near the end of that practice, Hogan threw a red zone pass right into the arms of rookie CB Greg Stroman. If we see much more of that, the Redskins may keep a sixth wide receiver or tenth offensive lineman rather than a third quarterback. 

—When he is asked about the performance of undrafted rookies, Gruden usually declines to praise specific players so when he does pick out individuals it’s worth paying some attention. On Wednesday he said that WR Cam Simms and CB Danny Johnson “stood out” at their respective positions. Looking at it right now, there don’t appear to be roster spots available for either of them. But one or two undrafted players break through and make the roster every year and Simms and Johnson are two to watch. 

— “In the second year, we expect major strides for all first-year guys. I’ve said it before. So just understanding pro football, what it’s all about in your first year, you have the four preseason games and 16 regular season games,” Gruden said when asked about RB Samaje Perine. “It’s a grind, mentally. It’s all-day football, not like college where you only get 20 hours a week, so I think he understands the grind and our system a lot better.” The answer obviously applies to all of the 2017 draft picks. In particular, they will be counting on next steps from OLB Ryan Anderson, CB Fabian Moreau, WR Robert Davis, and CB Joshua Holsey. History tells us that some will take big steps, others will not.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was born on this date in 1978.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 36
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 50
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 73

The Redskins last played a game 171 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 81 days. 

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