Redskins

Yahoo apologizes after fantasy site goes down

Yahoo apologizes after fantasy site goes down

Yahoo Sports is apologizing for a site outage that left thousands of fantasy football players complaining of last-minute lineup problems and possible lost money on an NFL Sunday.

Ken Fuchs, head of entertainment, sports and games at Yahoo Inc., emailed players early Monday to apologize for problems with the site and its mobile apps.

``I'm disappointed that we failed all of our fans today,'' Fuchs wrote in the email. ``Our first priority is having the best experience for our users, and today we fell short.''

Fuchs said the outage started about one hour before the first games kicked off, which he called ``awful timing.''

Yahoo, along with sites run by ESPN and CBS Sports, is one of the biggest players in the $800 million-per-year fantasy sports industry, hosting leagues where users pick a team of real-life players and compete based on their individual statistics. A study last year found that 32 million people in the United States and Canada were playing fantasy sports, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Football is by far the most popular fantasy sport.

Many players play casual leagues just for fun, but others gamble money - sometimes big money.

Yahoo said Monday afternoon on its fantasy football Twitter account that the website was back up, but users were still unable to make lineup changes on mobile apps.

Players enraged about the outage took to Twitter, Facebook and Reddit on Sunday and Monday to express their displeasure, some saying they planned to switch platforms as a result.

``I feel like I lost out a lot,'' said Bryan Smothers, a 27-year-old small business owner from Eureka, Calif., who said the site let him down during a week crucial toward determining whether his path will lead toward the playoffs or a lost $500 buy-in.

Smothers said he waited until Sunday morning to set his lineup because he wanted to be current on the latest injuries, but the outage meant his lineup became locked in with Patriots running back Stevan Ridley, receiver Brandon Lloyd and Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick all on the bench with lesser options in his lineup - including one player on a bye.

Smothers said he appreciated the apology but thinks it may not be enough for players who invest a lot of time and money into leagues.

``You're talking about millions of people,'' he said.

Hal Spivack, director of product development at fantasy site Fleaflicker, said players began emailing him and sending him tweets asking to migrate their league to the smaller platform, which currently has hundreds of thousands of players.

Spivack said he sympathizes with Yahoo's problems, as New York-based Fleaflicker had a brief midweek outage during Superstorm Sandy. But he said companies running fantasy sports have to prepare themselves for busy traffic and make sure their servers and sites can withstand high demand.

``Even the smallest of issues do get noticed a lot. There is backlash because ... people have bigger things riding on (their leagues),'' Spivack said. ``People tend to get very upset.''

Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, said almost every fantasy site has had some kind of failure and the Yahoo outage highlights the complexity and scale of how the games are operated.

He said players should have failsafe options in their leagues, like calling commissioners and opponents to let them know what they want to do if a site goes down.

``I would encourage players to remember that this game wasn't always played online,'' Charchian said. ``It's not the end of the world. They'll fix it.''

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Oskar Garcia can be reached athttp://twitter.com/oskargarcia .

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

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Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

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

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 

Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

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USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

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