Washington Redskins Fantasy Preview

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After dealing with the murder of their best player and, to a lesser extent, a season ending injury to their starting quarterback, the Washington Redskins went on one of the most inspirational runs in recent NFL history. The Redskins blew the first game after Sean Taylor's death because of a gaffe by head coach Joe Gibbs, but they rallied to win their final four games, secure a winning 9-7 record, and making the playoffs.

In fantasy terms, the Redskins are not one of the NFL's most attractive teams. Quarterback Jason Campbell is young and still unknown, and though Clinton Portis was extremely productive last year, he has a history of disappointing fantasy owners. If nothing else, Chris Cooley may be the only player in your league who is a blogger.

Quarterback
Jason Campbell
2007 stats: 2,700 yards, 12 TD, 11 INT
Notable backup: Todd Collins

If Campbell can protect the football, Washington's young signal caller has a chance to emerge this season. While his 12-11 touchdown to interception ratio wasn't all that troubling for a first year starter, Campbell fumbled 13 times, a number he'll have to at least cut in half to keep his job. Campbell is a decent option for a backup quarterback, and will either be a late round selection or go undrafted.

Running back
Clinton Portis
2007 stats: 1,262 yards rushing, 389 yards receiving, 11 total touchdowns
Notable backup: Ladell Betts

Fantasy owners have always had a contentious relationship with Clinton Portis. As a member of the Broncos, Portis was one of the top fantasy players in the NFL, topping 1,500 yards rushing and scoring at least 14 touchdowns during each of his first two seasons. Things haven't been so sunny in Washington, where Portis often failed to live up to his lofty draft status in fantasy leagues. But last season was a bit of a rebirth for Portis, and he now appears to be a first round draft pick again. No owner wants to call his name, but there won't be any problems if he can repeat his performance from last season.

Wide receivers
Santana Moss
2007 stats: 61 recs, 808 yards, 3 TD

Make no mistake, Moss is one of the NFL's biggest game breakers, but he isn't as valuable for fantasy teams. Because of his small 5-10 frame, Moss often does the heavy lifting to get Washington down the field, but rarely gets in the end zone. His three touchdowns last season were a career low. Still, Moss will be Washington's number one option all season and should be a serviceable number two or three fantasy receiver.

Antwaan Randle El
2007 stats: 51 recs, 728 yards, 1 TD
Notable backups: Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly

The Thornton product hasn't had as large of an impact as Washington hoped when they signed him as a free agent two seasons ago. Still, Randle El's low touchdown numbers (only four total in two seasons) could just be a coincidence. It wouldn't be surprising if he scored more than five times this season.

Tight end
Chris Cooley
2007 stats: 66 recs, 786 yards, 8 TD

As a card carrying member of Local Sports Blogging Union 204, I'm mandated to support Cooley through thick and thin. As the NFL's most awesome blogger, Cooley has written some great stuff all offseason. He's just as good on the field, as he has emerged into one of the NFL's elite tight ends.

Defense
2007 stats: 33 sacks, 14 INT, 19.4 points allowed

Jason Taylor instead of Phillip Daniels? As a Bears fan who saw Daniels during his 'prime', let me tell you, this is a great trade off for Washington. Taylor is one of the NFL's most feared sack artists, and since he's likely to retire after this season, he should be motivated to have one of the best seasons of his career. Expect big time sack numbers out of Washington this season.

***
I'm hanging out at Full Court Press all week as well, so stop by.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Ricky O'Donnell published on July 21, 2008 12:56 AM.

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