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Fantasy Football Week 7: Waiver Wire picks


Fantasy Football Week 7: Waiver Wire picks

The nice folks at asked yours truly and a handful of other fantasy football writers to rank 25 potential waiver wire options based on the rest of the season. They provided the names -- all running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. My rankings are below along with additional thoughts on Stefon Diggs, bye week QB options and more.

1. Christine Michael (RB - DAL)  -- We're talking about a running back with two carries on the season playing in a backfield with a player who scored three touchdowns in one game this campaign plus Darren McFadden. Yet all signs point to the Cowboys giving the ex-Seahawk a legitimate shot at becoming the team's primary ball handler. I made this call early on Monday and before reports that Michael was handling most of the first team reps during Monday's practice. Bidding 35 percent or more of your FAAB isn't a bad thought, especially if RB woes are ruining your team, but we should all acknowledge this somewhat a leap of faith.

2. Marvin Jones (WR - CIN) -- Monster performance in Week 6. Issue has been weekly consistency. Issue this week? Cincinnati is on a bye.

3. Stefon Diggs (WR - MIN) -- We were asked to identify one player on the waiver list that intrigued us most. I picked Diggs:

“There are receivers and there are playmakers, but not all receivers are playmakers. Stefon Diggs, he is indeed a playmaker. Anybody who watched him at the University of Maryland knows this truth and also understands that injuries rather than talent knocked him from becoming a Day 2 NFL Draft pick into the third round. Minnesota’s roster includes several intriguing options at receiver, but only Mike Wallace is producing. Until now that is. Diggs has weekly WR3 upside and ranks second in my ROS rankings among these options only because Cincinnati’s Marvin Jones has a longer track record/plays with a better quarterback.”

4. Brandon LaFell (WR - NE) -- It's quite possible this ranking is about three slots to low, especially if LaFell and Brady show the same chemistry they developed when the receiver joined the team last year. LaFell (foot) is eligible to return from the PUP list. All indications are pointing to that occurring. We'll see later in the week if he's ready to practice, let alone play.

5. James Starks (RB - GB) -- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy didn't announce Starks as the starting going forward Monday. Green Bay's bye week gives Eddie Lacy a chance to rest. Therefore, only Lacy owners MUST add Starks if possible, but all should considering doing the same.

6. Theo Riddick (RB - DET) -- Entered the season third on the depth chart, but only Lions running back putting up stats as runner and receiver. 

7. Charles Sims (RB - KC) -- Doug Martin is the clear No. 1, but Sims offers potential Flex appeal now. If he lands starter job, Bucs RBs have fifth easiest schedule going forward.

8. Eddie Royal (WR - CHI) -- Jay Cutler receivers put up stats and the slot target remains best bet as second option opposite Alshon Jeffery.

9. Cecil Shorts (WR - HOU) -- At some point teams are going to start triple-teaming DeAndre Hopkins, right?

10. Jamison Crowder (WR - WAS) -- Not going away even when DeSean Jackson returns, whenever that is.

11. Ted Ginn (WR - CAR) -- Coming off a nothing week, but has been Cam Newton's top receiver.

12. Ben Watson (TE - NO) -- That was some monster performance last Thursday. Maybe not a weekly play. Then again, Saints passing game hierarchy isn't exactly set.

13. Kamar Aiken (WR - BAL) -- Clearly the Ravens will be in plenty of shootouts going forward.

14. Dorial Green-Beckham (WR - TEN) -- Pure lottery ticket with jackpot potential due to impressive size and speed.

15. Malcom Floyd (WR - SD) -- Value shoots up if Keenan Allen's hp injury worsens.

16. Javorius Allen (RB - BAL) -- WIll Justin Forsett make it through all 16 games?

17. Michael Floyd (WR - ARI) -- Big upside due to red zone size and Carson Palmer's hot hand, but behind Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown.

18. Crockett Gillmore (TE - BAL) -- Combo with Maxx Williams gives Baltimore options at tight end, though they also cancel each other out in fantasy.

19. Ahmad Bradshaw (RB - IND) -- Reminder: Frank Gore is 32. Not that Bradshaw is a kid, but he's the one in waiting.

20. Danny Amendola (WR - NE) -- Good stats Sunday night, but hard counting on him week-to-week especially with LaFell returning.

21. Albert Wilson (WR - KC) -- Only worth mentioning in case Jeremy Maclin misses time. 

22. Robert Woods (WR - BUF) -- Higher value for Week 7 considering no Sammy Watkins or Percy Harvin.

23. Kenny Stills (WR - MIA) -- Bummer there are so many receiver mouths to feed in Miami.

24. Derek Carrier (TE - WAS) -- Hey, it's not like we know when Jordan Reed returns or how long he remains available if he does. 

25. Robert Turbin (RB - CLE) -- Potentially interesting if Duke Johnson needs time off.

Click here for the article and the combined rankings among all the rankers.

Week 7 only picks


1. Ryan Tannehill

2. Blake Bortles

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Others: Landry Jones, Brian Hoyer

Running backs

1. Theo Reddick

2. Christine Michael

3. Darren McFadden

4. Knile Davis

5. Charles Sims

6. Chris Thompson/Matt Jones

Wide receivers

1. Stefon Diggs

2. Malcom Floyd

3. Rishard Matthews

4. Jamison Crowder

5. Kamar Aiken

Tight ends

1. Ben Watson

2. Crockett Gillmore

3. Zach Ertz


1. Giants 

2. Redskins

3. 49ers

4. Browns

5. Jaguars

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Defensive line

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Defensive line

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Defensive line

Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope. Over the coming week, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Defensive line

Additions: Daron Payne (drafted in first round), Tim Settle (drafted in fifth round)
Departures: Terrell McClain (released)

Starters: Payne (NT), Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis
Other roster locks: Stacy McGee, Anthony Lanier, Settle
On the bubble: Ziggy Hood, Phil Taylor

How the defensive line compares

To the rest of the NFL: We are going to have to see about this. Over the last couple of years the D-line has been transformed from an aging group into one where youth is in good supply. Ioannidis is the oldest of the starters at age 24. Allen is 23 and Payne just turned 21 in May. It looks like there is great potential there but we haven’t seen enough of it on the field to make solid comparisons to other lines around the league. Allen missed 10 games of his rookie year with an injury and Ioannidis missed two and was hampered in a few more with a broken hand. Payne, of course, is a rookie. Let’s check back in late October and see how things are going then. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  The primary reason that the line should be significantly better this year is the presence of Payne and Settle on the roster. That means that it is very unlikely that Hood will have to play nose tackle. He has been the starter there for the past two years, forced there by injuries. Jim Tomsula that Hood is not well suited to play the nose. So they have an improvement there. If they get a mostly healthy season out of Allen and if Ioannidis continue to improve this will be the best defensive line they have had since moving to the 3-4 defensive in 2010. 

2018 outlook

Biggest upside: As noted, Payne just turned 21. He seems to have a rare understanding of the game for a rookie. You often see rookies just trying to survive on physical ability early one. Payne has plenty of that, but he also seems to realize that strength and ability alone won’t let him thrive at this level. He pays close attention to his technique during drills, making sure he does things the right way the first time. If he builds on this for the next year or so the Redskins could have a legitimate star. 

Most to prove: Since so many Redskins fans are accustomed to seeing veteran defensive linemen the team signs as free agents play poorly, they automatically put McGee in the “bust” category. But many of his teammates said he was the most consistent player on the line last year. It’s safe to say that he played better than the popular perception. Next year, he will carry a $4.8 million salary cap number and like most players who are not starters but making good salaries, he will need to play well enough to justify that cap number.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins did not expect Settle to be available in the fifth round and he was too good to pass up when he was still on the board. He should get some opportunity as a rookie. He is likely to be the only other nose tackle on the roster besides Payne (sorry, but the numbers make it unlikely that Phil Taylor will make the roster). That could have him active on many game days and that usually means getting some snaps in the rotation. We will see what he can do with his chances. 

Bottom line: The Redskins were last in the league in rushing defense in 2017. It wasn’t all on the line—in particular, injuries to the inside linebackers hurt a lot—but the simple fact is that the organization long neglected the line. The philosophy was to create a patchwork unit from aging free agents. That has changed now with three homegrown players set to start and Settle and 2016 undrafted free agent find Anthony Lanier providing reserve help. It’s going to be a better unit, no question. But improvement over the last several years is a low bar and we’ll find out if this develops into a quality line over the next few months. 


Greg Manusky on Payne:

Payne is doing a great job. He’s trying to get acclimated to some of the calls, hasn’t had a lot of mental errors. He’s done a great job. Physical player.

2018 position outlook series

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


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10 Questions in 10 days: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart


10 Questions in 10 days: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

The Redskins top two linebackers rank among the most productive units in the NFL. When healthy, Mason Foster and Zach Brown are highly efficient tacklers. In fact, Brown led the league in tackles for most of 2017 before his season ended with a foot injury. 

The healthy part is the trick. 

Last year, Foster separated his shoulder against the Rams in Week 2 and was shut down for the season by October. Brown played through nagging injuries all year before shutting things down in December. 

When both players were on the field, the Redskins defense excelled. In just four starts, Foster made 30 tackles to go with an interception, a fumble recovery and half a sack. Brown logged double-digit tackles in nine games last season, and probably would have more without the foot trouble. 

Foster and Brown are very good in the Redskins scheme, and both players are expected to be fully healthy for the start of training camp. Their injuries from last season are not the type that suggest durability concerns, and both players posted full 16-game seasons in 2016.

Foster and Brown aren't the question. The depth chart after Foster and Brown are the question. 

Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight, Josh Harvey-Clemons and rookie Shaun Dion Hamilton are competing for two or possibly three roster spots. 

Spaight is the most recognizable name in the group. He's been a good special teams player for Washington, and is well liked in the locker room. By last December, however, Vigil was playing better football. 

More telling for both Vigil and Spaight was that Harvey-Clemons took the starter reps alongside Foster when Brown was absent during OTAs. The second-year man out of Louisville has more physical gifts than either Vigil or Spaight, and now given a full year to learn to play linebacker, Harvey-Clemons could make inroads.

A safety in college, Harvey-Clemons can run. He was a bit of a surprise last season making the 53-man roster out of camp, so expect him to definitely have a shot this year. 

Hamilton will be the wild card. An ultra-talented player out of Alabama, he dealt with a number of injuries in college. Redskins VP Doug Williams talked gushingly about Hamilton after the draft, and if the former 5-Star recruit can stay healthy, he could certainly push for a spot as well. 

Prior to 2017, the Redskins kept four inside linebackers on their final 53 roster. In 2017, the team kept five: Brown, Foster, Spaight, Will Compton and Harvey-Clemons. Compton left via free agency and is now playing in Nashville. 

Foster and Brown are roster locks, and it seems like Harvey-Clemons gets the third nod. 

Spaight, Vigil and Hamilton better be ready for serious competition in Richmond. 



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