Evan Royster Starting Tonight: Fantasy Implications

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 04: Evan Royster #35 of the Washington Redskins warms up prior to a game against the New York Jets at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Evan Royster is going to get the first shot at starting. We break down the fantasy implications.

Redskins running back Evan Royster will start against the Buffalo Bills in their first preseason game tonight. Tim Hightower is expected to be out for at least two preseason games while still in recovery from his knee injury last season, so Royster will have the opportunity to win the starting job and the majority of carries outright. Roy Helu appears to have fallen considerably behind him in the race and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said of Royster, "With Evan, it’s about him realizing he can be as good as he wants. He can be a top back in this league."

Analysis: It appears that Royster, a sixth round pick last season, is starting to lose the "Sleeper tag" and just become a legitimate starting option for fantasy owners. Helu led the team in carries last season, but only had 151 of them and 200 total touches, while Royster carried the ball 56 times for 328 yards. Fantasy owners have constantly struggled with trusting Mike Shanahan to stick with one running back, but when a player does get a start in his offense, they can be very valuable.

For more on the Redskins, check out Hogs Haven and SB Nation DC.

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