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Ranking the top fantasy running backs in the NFC East

Ranking the top fantasy running backs in the NFC East

We previously argued that the NFC East is the top division when it comes to fantasy football wide receivers. There will be no such attempt with the running backs.

[2017 NFC East Running Back Rankings]

Ezekiel Elliott* rocks, but the Dallas Cowboys standout is the only obvious RB1 among the four teams. It's quite possible a true lead back will emerge with the Eagles, Giants and Redskins, but all have question marks with that top spot. There are young bucks -- Samaje Perine, Wayne Gallman -- entering the fray. There are second-year options -- Robert Kelley, Paul Perkins -- ready for more. There is a new guy -- LeGarrette Blount -- entering a very different offense from the one he scored an NFL-high 18 touchdowns in one year ago. There are veterans -- Darren Sproles, Chris Thompson, Shane Vereen -- not conceding their opportunities. 

Fantasy running backs are the most coveted options because of scarcity and constant uncertainty. Here's an attempt at trying to clarify the NFC East candidates ahead of the 2017 Fantasy Football campaign.

* Speaking of Elliott, it would be stunning if he suffered from a sophomore slump. There's the talent and that stellar offensive line. The biggest fear might involve quarterback Zak Prescott taking a step back now that opposing defenses had a full offseason to study his game. Otherwise, Elliott is a clear contender as the overall No. 1 running back along with Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell and Arizona's David Johnson followed by a group including Buffalo's LeSean McCoy, Chicago's Jordan Howard and Los Angeles Chargers starter Melvin Gordon.

2017 Fantasy Football Links:

Rookie running backs - No. 1, Leonard Fournette, Jaguars

Rookie wide receivers - No. 1, Corey Davis, Titans

Rookie quarterbacks - No. 1, Deshaun Watson, Texans

* NFC East wide receivers -  No. 1, Odell Beckham Jr., Giants

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Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season. In episode 1 titled "The Future Starts Now" the Redskins begin their journey toward improvement following the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign.

The episode begins immediately following the disappointing end to Washington's season as players participated in locker cleanout day. A somewhat somber atmosphere, the likes of Shaun Dion Hamilton, Adrian Peterson, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams reflect on the season and look ahead to 2019.

Following that, it's on to the additions and changes on the coaching staff. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on new defensive staff hirings Ray Horton and Rob Ryan as well as Kevin O'Connell's jump to offensive coordinator. Ryan and O'Connell also explain their excitement for next season in their respective roles.

With the coaching staff puzzle becoming clear, the episode transitions to the NFL Combine. Gruden along with Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, President Bruce Allen and Director of College Scouting Kyle Smith take you through the Combine process. Discussions about the interview process and what the Redskins are looking for in players give insight into how evaluations are done. 

The Combine portion has a heavy focus on players Kyler Murray, D.K. Metcalf and Montez Sweat among others. Released on March 20, one can see and hear from Sweat before the idea of him becoming a Redskin came to fruition and listen to Metcalf's thoughts on Jay Gruden.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Englehart also makes an appearance, discussing his viral moment with Ed Oliver at the combine and the fraternity-type bond conditioning coaches in the NFL share.

Washington's journey toward success in 2019 began the moment the clock ran out on the 2018 season. Episode 1 of "Redskins365" picks up right in that preliminary stage.

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Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

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Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

Trent Williams will not report to training camp this week when the Redskins head to Richmond to officially begin their 2019 season, according to NFL Network.

The news comes as no surprise, as Williams missed all of the Redskins voluntary offseason workouts and skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Reports streamed out that Williams was upset about his contract and looking for a new deal -- not to mention reports that he was angry with the team's medical staff after a missed diagnosis with a growth on his scalp. 

Williams has made no official statements, and the Redskins organization offered very little in terms of a timeline for his return. Washington team president Bruce Allen said he knows "the truth" about Williams' situation, and head coach Jay Gruden said he hoped things would be resolved before Week 1 in Philadelphia. 

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He's an immensely talented offensive lineman with two years remaining on his deal. Beyond the medical situation, Williams could be upset that in 2020, the final year of his deal, there is hardly any guaranteed cash. The team could release Williams with less than $2 million in salary cap penalty and save nearly $13 million against the cap. 

Without Williams, the Redskins could be in real trouble. Second-year pro Geron Christian did not seem capable of playing at a starting tackle level last fall, and that was before a knee injury landed him on IR. Morgan Moses should be locked in as the right tackle, but opposite him in Williams' spot will be dicey. 

Multiple sources with the Redskins and around the NFL suggested more cash could change Williams' mind before Week 1, and for now, it looks like the 31-year-old will be waiting for that increased payday. If Williams missed actual games, he would begin to lose money from this year's $14 million salary.

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