Alfred Morris Fantasy News

Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:22pm

CSN Washington - [Full Article]

Redskins RB Alfred Morris’ performance will be critical to the success of the offense. If they bunch up on him, he has to make the first man miss as he always has and grind out some tough yards. If the defense is spread out, Morris has to make the defense pay with some big plays in the running game. He’s right up there with the team’s most valuable players.

Roy Helu will be the third-down back. He occasionally flashes some dynamic ability as a pass catcher and is solid in pass blocking. Others may have more big play ability but until someone learns to protect as well as Helu does, it’s his job.

Fantasy Impact:

Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 5:51pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Redskins beat writer John Keim discusses the team's backfield split:

"Roy Helu can catch the ball and perhaps he’ll run better out of a shotgun spread formation than in the outside zone. But I can’t imagine him in a Giovani Bernard role; the Bengals’ back had 226 touches from scrimmage last season. Though Helu averaged 4.4 yards per carry, he’s not a move-the-chains runner (eight carries against an eight-man front resulted in a total of 14 yards). Even against seven-man fronts Helu averaged 4.06 yards, which is fine but is much less than Morris (4.96, with an NFL-best 937 rushing yards against that type of front).

"The point? Helu will be able to handle the third-down duties again, but there’s little reason to take a whole lot away from Alfred Morris."

Fantasy Impact:

Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 1:38pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The sense is that the Redskins won’t need to use play-action pass as much because of an improved receiving corps, one that is much more capable of winning one-on-one battles at the line (unlike last season).

Therefore, in theory, it should result in quicker opportunities for QB Robert Griffin III. That will allow the Redskins to use less complicated reads until Griffin and the receivers grow in the offense.

Fantasy Impact:

The story also adds the run game is going to remain the same, something many assume wouldn't be the case. That's due to Alfred Morris being a workhorse back. The story added the Griffin had a great offseason, but this is his first legitimate NFL offseason and he's learning his second offense. However, with the Skins investing so much in the passing game, look for them to utilize it.

Alfred Morris preparing for larger role in passing game
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 1:04pm

Redskins.com - [Full Article]

While Redskins RB Alfred Morris has proven fully capable of carrying a heavy workload on the ground, he has been preparing himself both mentally and physically for a larger role in the passing game.

“I’m just building that trust with the quarterbacks and the coaches to get that confidence that I can catch it to be a viable option in the passing game,” Morris said. “Even within myself, I’m building that confidence that I can handle the pressure of a 3rd and 5, and I’m running that choice route to win and catch the ball to keep us on the field.

“It comes down to confidence in myself, confidence of the coaches and quarterbacks in me. Just working hard, making sure I look the ball in before I catch it. I like to run before I secure the ball, but I just have to work on securing the ball before I run.”

Fantasy Impact:

We've heard this song before, but there's a new coaching staff in town, so Morris may get a chance to work into a larger role in the passing game. There has also been talk of Roy Helu seeing a bigger role since new HC Jay Gruden used two running backs last year while he was coordinating the Bengals' offense. We're projecting Morris for a career high 23 catches, which is still very below average for a starting running back.

Beat: Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart to see 12-15 carries per game
Saturday, July 5, 2014, 8:17pm

Florida Times-Union - [Full Article]

The Jaguars have floated out 12-15 carries a game for RB Toby Gerhart.

Earlier this off-season, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said: “The league has turned into one that there wasn’t a one player who averaged 20 carries per game last year – no running back had 320 carries last year. [Philadelphia’s] LeSean McCoy was closest with 314. So you’re not looking for that workhorse back per se that can handle 20-25 carries every game for 16 weeks. It doesn’t happen.”

Since five backs reached 320 carries in 2010, only three backs have done so: Jones-Drew (343 in 2011), Peterson (348 in 2012) and Alfred Morris (335 in 2012).

If the Jaguars are in more games, that will mean more rushing attempts, but look for Gerhart to be in that 12-15 range (with a couple outlier games) and have roles for Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson.

Fantasy Impact:

Gerhart has touched the ball 15+ times in seven career games -- that's carries and catches -- and has averaged low-end RB1 numbers (12.6 FP) with that type of workload. The former Heisman candidate will start for the Jaguars and should see a lot of work in that role. Gerhart has fantasy RB2 potential as a lead back.

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 6:50pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Beat writer John Keim was asked if Alfred Morris's role would be like BenJarvus Green-Ellis last year or more like Morris's role the last two years: "Well, he's better than BenJarvus Green-Ellis so I would expect Alfred Morris to get a lot more carries. Plus I'm not sold that the Redskins have their Giovani Bernard type to take away that many carries from Morris. Roy Helu will get some and perhaps Lache Seastrunk, especially in the spread. But I would expect Morris to still be a factor. But how much of one? Honestly don't know yet. I know the Redskins will keep the same run game, but I also know Jay Gruden's reputation is that he likes to throw the ball (it was also Kyle Shanahan's, too, until he landed Morris and Robert Griffin III). Morris 'only' had 276 carries last season compared to 335 as a rookie (losing so often last year didn't help). I could see his totals being closer to last year than his rookie year, just because of the added weapons in the pass game. Green-Ellis, by the way, carried 278 times two years ago but only averaged 3.9 yards per carry. Morris averaged 4.6 yards last year and 4.8 as a rookie. Big difference."

Fantasy Impact:

Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload.

Redskins RB Roy Helu may see an expanded role
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 10:42am

CSN Washington - [Full Article]

While running the offense of the Cincinatti Bengals, new Redskins HC Jay Gruden liked to get more running backs involved, limiting the punishment one runner would take. For that to continue as head coach of the Washington Redskins, Gruden will likely need to lean on Roy Helu more.

As Alfred Morris' backup, and a more nimble pass catcher out of the backfield, Helu took the ball on about 13 percent of Washington's run plays.

Fantasy Impact:

While Gruden did involve both Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the Cincy offense in 2013, he did not involve two running backs in 2012, when BJGE received almost 65% of the carries. Green-Ellis ran the ball 278 times that year; the next highest carry total by a Bengal RB was 36 (by Cedric Peerman). So while the possibility exists for a larger role for Helu, it's entirely possible that Gruden leans mainly on Morris.

Monday, June 23, 2014, 8:56am

Real Redskins - [Full Article]

It seems that Jay Gruden is going to utilize the outside zone run game that was so effective for the Redskins under Mike Shanahan but at the same time he wants bigger offensive linemen to protect the quarterback. This is a “have your cake and eat it, too” situation and how it shakes out will be vital to the team’s fortunes.

Fantasy Impact:

This is something that Alfred Morris owners need to monitor in the preseason.

Redskins 'unlikely' to get too pass happy
Sunday, June 22, 2014, 10:46am

Real Redskins - [Full Article]

The Redskins were fifth in the NFL in rushing yards last year and with Alfred Morris returning, they should be able to move the ball on the ground. Will Jay Gruden get too pass happy? That seems unlikely, as the Bengals were in the top 10 in rushing attempts two out of the three years he was calling plays as the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati.

Fantasy Impact:

Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload.

Beat: Others may be 'chipping away' at workload of Alfred Morris
Monday, June 9, 2014, 1:47pm

John Keim, ESPN - [Full Article]

From the time coach Jay Gruden was hired, the word has been clear: They will continue to use the same run game as under former coach Mike Shanahan. That's among the reasons they kept offensive line coach Chris Foerster. While they have added size along the offensive line, the players they added all can block in the outside zone -- where Alfred Morris excels. So he'll continue to put up good numbers. I do wonder how many carries he'll get after receiving 611 combined his first two seasons. Remember, one knock on Gruden in Cincinnati: He abandoned the run too often. He also didn't have the depth at receiver he now has in Washington.

The Redskins will spread the field and I can see them throwing more, or at least wanting to. Or they'll spread the field and run the draw; will Morris be the guy they want in that situation? Or someone with a little more burst (or a threat in the pass game) such as Roy Helu or even rookie Lache Seastrunk, who was perfect for this sort of setup at Baylor. The Redskins would like Morris to catch 20-25 passes; he's working on his route running this offseason. He's still their best running back, but if they want to diversify I can see others chipping away a little at his work. Or because they want to throw more.

Fantasy Impact:

Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload. He looks like a rock solid RB2 with a high floor.

Alfred Morris working on pass-catching skills
Thursday, May 15, 2014, 11:33am

ESPN - [Full Article]

At the owners meetings, coach Jay Gruden said Alfred Morris could develop into a 20- to 25-catch running back. Clearly the Redskins would want someone else to handle the third-down role, whether it's Roy Helu this season or Lache Seastrunk in the future.

But with the weapons Washington has at receiver, Morris could be a forgotten man by defenses on early downs. Therefore, it would be wise for him to improve in this area. It’s not just about his hands, though. He said he needs to do a better job running routes against man coverage.

“My focus is building confidence in the quarterbacks as well as the coaches to let them know I can catch,” he said. “I know I can catch the ball.”

Gruden said, "Obviously we want to have him be an all-around back. His hands aren't the most natural, but it's something you can work on."

Fantasy Impact:

There was a similar report last year around this time where Morris talked about improving as a receiver, and he increased his catch total to 11 from his previous total of nine, so take this talk with a grain of salt. Roy Helu will likely lead the Redskins' running backs in receptions. One thing working in The Butler's favor is there is a new coaching staff in town, and change usually follows. Gruden may very well follow through with his plan to make Morris a 20-catch running back.

Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:30am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Redskins coach Jay Gruden called RB Chris Thompson “one of the most exciting backs” while at Florida State. But he also wondered about his durability.

“He’s a guy who has to stay healthy and do his best to get on the field so we can see what he can do,” Gruden said. “Interesting guy. He’s very, very exciting when he gets the ball in his hands, but it’s hard to get the ball in his hands when he’s not out there.”

Fantasy Impact:

Roy Helu probably has the edge on Thompson to be the pass-catching back to Alfred Morris, but it's something to watch. In a more pass-heavy offense, whoever wins this job could have some deep, PPR league fantasy value.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 9:26am

John Keim on Twitter - [Full Article]

Redskins HC Jay Gruden says he'd like RB Alfred Morris to be more of a pass catching threat. Hopes he can get 20-25 catches. Says not natural hands.

Fantasy Impact:

Morris' fantasy value was a high-end RB2 last year when the Redskins were a run-oriented team. But, with a possible switch to a more pass-heavy game plan, well, that may not be good news for Morris, who has never really got involved in the passing game. Roy Helu could benefit by more passes.

Andre Roberts says the Redskins will be pass-heavy
Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 10:58am

ESPN - [Full Article]

WR Andre Roberts said that QB Robert Griffin III was one of the main reasons he signed with the Redskins:

“When you have a guy that talented, that’s that motivated and willing to work, the sky’s the limit. Being a receiver, having a quarterback like that, that’s what you want, especially in a passing offense which we will be in now for the most part. When you have a quarterback that’s motivated and coming off the year he had with a chip on his shoulder, that’s what you want as a receiver.”

A passing offense? The Redskins were more run-oriented the past two years (or wanted to be; trailing so often last season altered those plans). Roberts said he based that comment on knowing Gruden’s style with Cincinnati and also after talking with former Arizona quarterback John Skelton, who spent last offseason and preseason with the Bengals.

Fantasy Impact:

We know Gruden likes to throw the ball, so Alfred Morris's stock is taking a hit. He'll still be a solid RB2 in standard formats, but since he doesn't do much in the passing game, he'll need a heavy rushing workload to reach RB1 status again.

Alfred Morris will anchor Redskins' running game
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 11:31am

CSN Washington - [Full Article]

Are the Redskins better off giving some more of Alfred Morris’ workload to Roy Helu? Maybe a few carries per game to keep Morris fresher in the fourth quarter. But in the big picture it doesn’t make much sense to move a lot of carries from a back who averages 4.7 yards per carry to one who averages almost half a yard less.

Fantasy Impact:

New HC Jay Gruden ran a two-back system in Cincinnati, but Morris is quite a bit better than BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Helu does not have the talent of Giovani Bernard. We're expecting Morris to be the lead back, though his inactivity on third down puts a dent in his value in PPR formats.