Articles By Mark Ross

All taxonomy terms: Chicago Bears, New York Jets, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/chicago-bears-vs-new-york-jets-game-preview-and-prediction
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Teams that were on the opposite sides of comebacks last week will put the finishing touches on Week 3 when the Chicago Bears take on the New York Jets on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Chicago trailed by 17 points in San Francisco last week before Jay Cutler rallied his troops to an improbable 28-20 win in the first-ever game at Levi’s Stadium. New York built an 18-point lead on Green Bay at Lambeau Field only to watch Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson bring the Packers all the way back and win 31-24.

 

The Bears have beaten the Jets the last three times these two teams have played, the most recent a 38-34 victory in Chicago in 2010.

 

Chicago Bears at New York Jets

 

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: New York -2.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. A Funny Thing Happened in the Second Quarter…

The second quarter last week proved to be the turning point for both Chicago and New York in their respective matchups. The Bears trailed San Francisco 17-0 with a little more than two minutes until halftime in front of a raucous, sold-out crowd in the 49ers’ first-ever game at Levi’s Stadium. The Jets raced out to a 21-3 lead on Green Bay less than five minutes into the second quarter in front of a stunned Packer fan base at Lambeau Field. After that, however, the momentum dramatically shifted, taking the direction of each game with it. In San Francisco, Jay Cutler and the Bears took full advantage of counterpart Colin Kaepernick’s four turnovers, as the visitors scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to shock the 49ers 28-20. In Green Bay, the Packers turned things around quickly, scoring 21 unanswered points before putting the Jets away thanks to an Aaron Rodgers-to-Jordy Nelson 80-yard touchdown. The comeback victory wasn’t secure, however, until a potential game-tying touchdown pass from Geno Smith to Jeremy Kerley was negated due to an inopportune timeout called from the Jets’ sideline. The chaos of that fateful series only added to the sting the Jets felt afterwards knowing they let a golden opportunity to get a huge road win slip away. The Bears meanwhile enter this game riding high with the confidence gained from coming back last week on the road against a playoff team, especially since it followed a lackluster performance in their season-opening overtime loss to the Bills at home. NFL players are taught to have short memories, but one can’t help but wonder if what transpired last week will carry over into tonight, whether that be in a negative or positive way.

 

2. Monday Night is Geno’s Night?

Now in his second pro season, Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith is 9-9 in 18 career starts with an unimpressive 14:23 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The good news for Smith, and hopefully his team and Jets fans, is that the young signal-caller is 1-0 on Monday nights. Last season, Smith and the Jets traveled to Atlanta to face the Falcons in Week 5. Taking the “Monday Night Football” national stage for the first time, Smith put together by far the best game of his short career. Even though he finished with just 199 passing yards, Smith completed 80 percent of his passes (16 of 20) and tossed a career-best three touchdowns with no interceptions. To put this into perspective, consider that in his 17 other starts, Smith has thrown twice as many picks (23) as touchdowns (11). New York would beat Atlanta 30-28 on a 43-yard field goal by Nick Folk as time expired, and the win still stands as Smith’s high-water mark thus far. Case in point: over the next seven games after the win in Atlanta, Smith completed less than half of his passes and posted an ugly 1:11 TD:INT ratio, along with two rushing scores and two lost fumbles. Not surprisingly, the Jets went 2-5 during this stretch. With consistent play clearly being an issue for Smith, the question becomes can he rediscover the form he flashed on this same stage nearly a year ago and run his Monday night record to 2-0?

 

3. Chicago’s Offensive Forté

Last week was all about Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, as the Bears’ quarterback-wide receiver tandem produced three of the four touchdowns scored against the 49ers. Marshall isn’t the only weapon at Cutler’s disposal, however, as fellow wideout Alshon Jeffery (1,421 yards, 7 TDs in 2013) and tight end Martellus Bennett (2 TDs this season) are equally capable targets. That said, the primary engine to Chicago’s offense is running back Matt Forté. A 1,000-yard rusher who also is one of the NFL’s most dangerous receivers out of the backfield, Forté amassed 1,933 yards from scrimmage, caught 74 passes and scored 12 total touchdowns last season. The two-time Pro Bowler has gotten off to a slow start thus far, with just 205 total yards and no touchdowns after two games. San Francisco did a really good job of bottling Forté up last week (29 total yards on 17 carries) and that will be New York’s challenge tonight. To their credit, the Jets have been very good in both facets of the running game, leading the NFL in both rushing offense (179.0 ypg) and defense (52.5 ypg). Chicago has proven it can win without a significant contribution from its do-everything back, but when the Bears get Forté going early, it only makes this fast-paced, attacking offense that much more dangerous.

 

Final Analysis

 

Chicago enters this one with plenty of momentum following last week’s comeback win in San Francisco. New York is still picking up the pieces of the golden opportunity it let slip by after coughing up a big lead at Green Bay and then getting in its own way late in the game. The Bears’ offense clicked late against the 49ers and that’s without any significant contribution from Matt Forté. The Jets have a good defense, have been running the ball extremely well, and are generally a tough out at home, but I think the Bears have too much size and too much firepower on offense for Rex Ryan’s team to contend with. Geno Smith and the Jets hang tough, but Jay Cutler connects on some big plays in the second half, as Chicago carries over its road success from one coast to the other.

 
Prediction: Chicago 27, New York 20
Teaser:
Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Monday, September 22, 2014 - 10:00
Path: /nfl/san-francisco-49ers-vs-arizona-cardinals-game-preview-and-prediction
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Early control of the NFC West is on the line when San Francisco and Arizona get together this afternoon on FOX. The 49ers (1-1) will try and rebound after last week’s discouraging loss to the Bears in the first-ever game at their new stadium. The Cardinals (2-0) have gotten off to a hot start, as they have been able to succeed despite dealing with a rash of injuries on both sides of the ball.

 

San Francisco has won the last four meetings between these division rivals and holds a 28-17 lead in the series.

 

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

 

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: San Francisco -3

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Kaepernick’s Mulligan?

At 26 years old, Colin Kaepernick is in just his second season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback yet he’s already accomplished quite a bit. He’s played in one Super Bowl and consecutive NFC title games. He holds the record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game when he ran for 181 (on 16 carries) against Green Bay in a 2012 playoff game. He also signed a six-year, $126 million contract extension in June, cementing his status as one of the top young quarterbacks in the league and a franchise player for the 49ers. But like any other signal-caller still learning his craft, Kaepernick has experienced his share of struggles. One of his lowest points of his career came last week when he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in a 28-20 loss to Chicago. To make matters worse, the 49ers led 17-0 at one point and it was the first game played in brand-new Levi’s Stadium. Turnovers fueled the Bears’ fourth-quarter comeback and to his credit, Kaepernick claimed full responsibility for his mistakes, describing his play as “terrible.” But that was last week and fortunately for Kaepernick, he has been successful in his previous starts against Arizona, going 3-0. In those games he has completed 58.2 percent of his passes with six touchdowns, one interception and one lost fumble. As poorly as he played last week, Kaepernick’s in no danger of losing his job. However, now’s the chance for Kaepernick to show both his team and his critics his toughness and resolve by bouncing back and not letting one poor game carry over to the next, especially since this is a divisional contest.

 

2. Playing D Out in the Desert

Even though they missed the playoffs last season, the Cardinals won 10 games despite playing in the tough NFC West. Part of the reason for their success was a defense that finished seventh or better in the NFL in five major categories, including leading the league in rushing defense (84.4 ypg). The hope was that this defense would be a team strength yet again and that has been the case through two games, although not under “normal” circumstances. Before the season even started, the Cardinals experienced three major losses. Linebacker and leading tackler Karlos Dansby departed via free agency, fellow linebacker Daryl Washington was suspended for the entire year for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy, and Pro Bowl defensive end Darnell Dockett tore his ACL during training camp. Despite these key personnel losses, Arizona’s defense has stood strong, ranking third in rush defense (66.5 ypg) and yielding a total of 31 points in wins over San Diego and the New York Giants. San Francisco will present a new challenge with a strong running game and a potentially potent passing attack, but thus far the Cardinals’ defense has been up to the task, despite being shorthanded.

 

3. Cardinals’ Offense Ready to Take Flight?

Arizona has relied heavily on its defense through the first two games, as the offense has had to deal with some injury issues of its own. While the Cardinals have allowed 15.5 points per game, the offense has managed just 21.5. Running back Andre Ellington, a popular breakout candidate entering his second season, has been playing with a partially torn tendon in his foot, while quarterback Carson Palmer missed last week with a nerve issue in his shoulder. Ellington has still been effective, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, but the injury has limited his touches (34 total in two games). Meanwhile backup Drew Stanton did his job filling in for Palmer against the Giants, but he finished with just 167 yards passing and no touchdowns (albeit no turnovers either). Stanton will get the start again this afternoon, as Palmer has been relegated to backup duty (if he plays at all) because of what is being described as a bruised nerve in his throwing shoulder. Stanton did what was necessary to help his team win the the game last week, but San Francisco figures to be a tougher opponent. Arizona's shorthanded defense has been able to get the job done thus far, can the offense follow in its footsteps this afternoon?

 

Final Analysis

 

Arizona is undefeated and San Francisco is licking its wounds after a tough opening loss in its new stadium. Neither team is at full strength, as the Cardinals have weathered injuries to key players on both sides of the ball and the 49ers are without two All-Pros on defense. Arizona’s shorthanded defense has gotten the job done to this point, but with Carson Palmer unable to start a second straight game because of a nerve issue in his shoulder and Andre Ellington’s lingering foot issue, I’m worried the Cardinals are just outmanned against the 49ers. San Francisco’s defense has held up well thus far too and the offense has not yet found its rhythm. This will be a typical NFC West tilt in that it will be hard-fought, physical and most likely go down to the wire. But in the end, I like Colin Kaepernick to bounce back from last week’s turnover-marred performance and help lead his team to an important divisional win on the road.

 
Prediction: San Francisco 23, Arizona 20
Teaser:
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/denver-broncos-vs-seattle-seahawks-game-preview-and-prediction
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It’s the rare Super Bowl rematch everyone’s been waiting for when Denver and Seattle face off this afternoon on CBS. The Broncos (2-0) enter this game plenty motivated after two less-than-stellar efforts and memories of their 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII drubbing still fresh. The Seahawks (1-1) return home to the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field with the intent of not only showing Denver they are still the best team in the NFL, but also putting last week’s discouraging road loss to the Chargers behind them.

 

For historical perspective, this will be just the sixth time teams that played in the Super Bowl will face each other the next season. The last time it happened was during the 1997 season when Green Bay matched up against New England. The Packers beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI and also claimed victory the following season. Can Seattle “sweep” Denver in the same fashion?

 

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

 

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: Seattle -4.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Denver Takes A Page from San Diego’s Playbook?

The Chargers did what the Broncos couldn’t — beat the Seahawks — and don’t be surprised if Denver takes a page or two from its AFC West rival’s playbook. San Diego dominated time of possession against Seattle, holding the ball for 42:15. Besides keeping Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the rest of the offense on the sideline, this ball control display also helped wear down the Seahawks’ defense, especially on a 90-plus-degree afternoon in San Diego. Denver’s offense is certainly capable of making the quick strike, but Peyton Manning and company may be better served by putting together extended drives. The Chargers also nearly doubled up the Seahawks in terms of first downs (26 to 14), a statistic that was helped by converting 10 of 17 third down opportunities. Ball security of course is important, and Phillip Rivers and his teammates didn’t commit a single turnover. And while Rivers did a good job of spreading the ball around to six different receivers, he and tight end Antonio Gates did most of the damage. The longstanding duo hooked up seven times, three of those connections resulting in touchdowns. Manning has his own dangerous tight end in Julius Thomas, who is tied for the NFL lead with four touchdown catches through two games. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; so don’t be shocked if Denver’s game plan looks a lot like San Diego’s this afternoon.

 

2. Seahawks’ D vs. Broncos’ O Take Two

Back in February, Seattle’s vaunted defense got the better of Denver’s record-setting offense, holding the Broncos to a single touchdown and 306 total yards. While some of the faces on each respective unit have changed, the main cast of characters remain. Will there be any sort of Super Bowl carryover that allows the Seahawks to continue their dominance or are the Broncos ready to flip the script, and the results, on the reigning world champions on their own turf? Seattle figures to stick to the game plan that worked for them the first time – dominate Denver physically, run the ball effectively to set up the pass, and apply consistent pressure to disrupt the Broncos’ passing game and their offensive tempo. Denver meanwhile hopes its restocked offensive line (All-Pro left tackle Chris Clady did not play in the Super Bowl because of injury) and a more balanced attack will have more success moving the ball and scoring points. This also will be the first game that Peyton Manning will have his full complement of weapons with wide receiver Wes Welker returning from suspension. How quickly Welker finds his rhythm in the offense, remains to be seen, but Manning won’t lack for options to try and get the better of the “Legion of Boom” this time around. Can the Broncos do what the Chargers did and “expose” Richard Sherman and his cohorts?

 

3. Litmus Test for Denver’s Revamped D

In many ways this is the game that Broncos general manager John Elway went on his offseason free-agent spending spree for. Even though Seattle’s defense got most of the credit for beating Denver so handily in the Super Bowl, the Broncos’ defense had its share of issues in that game. Elway knew he needed to beef up his defense if he wanted to take some of the pressure off of Peyton Manning and the offense and put a more balanced team on the field. That’s why Elway added pass-rush specialist DeMarcus Ware, lockdown cornerback Aqib Talib and physical safety T.J. Ward to his roster. Those three along with linebacker Von Miller didn’t face this Seahawks offense in February, and Elway and head coach John Fox are hoping they can be difference-makers this afternoon. This revamped unit is still finding its way, however, as evidenced by its struggles in getting off of the field and committing penalties last week. Denver’s defense allowed Kansas City to convert on third down on five different occasions when the yards to go were eight or longer, including a third and 20. The Broncos also were called for eight defensive penalties against the Chiefs, four of which resulted in first downs. Denver’s defense clearly needs to continue to gel and clean up its mistakes, but the question everyone is asking is has Elway’s defensive moves leveled the playing field against the defending Super Bowl champs or is the gap still as big as it was back in February?

 

Final Analysis

 

A rare Super Bowl rematch could also end up as a Super Bowl preview. Regardless of how this season turns out, this game has been circled on everyone’s calendars ever since the schedule was announced. For Seattle, this is an opportunity for the Seahawks to demonstrate their dominance once again, this time in front of their beloved and boisterous “12th Man.” Denver meanwhile is tasked with trying to defeat a team that not only soundly whipped it earlier this year, but also one that’s playing at home with the support of the loudest fan base in the NFL.

 

The Broncos have made some changes on both sides of the ball, gets a big weapon back in Wes Welker, and still has Peyton Manning at quarterback and a wealth of talent throughout their roster. The Seahawks are coming off of a loss, but motivation won’t be an issue for this game, and this team has basically been unbeatable at home dating back to last season. Don’t expect another blowout, but Russell Wilson shows why he belongs in the elite quarterback conversation by leading his team to another victory over Manning and the Broncos.

 
Prediction: Seattle 30, Denver 28
Teaser:
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 10:00
Path: /nfl/pittsburgh-steelers-vs-carolina-panthers-game-preview-and-prediction
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Teams that follow similar blueprints will face off against each other when Pittsburgh takes on Carolina tonight on NBC. The Steelers (1-1) and Panthers (2-0) are somewhat carbon copies in that they are defensive-oriented teams who have big quarterbacks calling the shots on offense. Pittsburgh is coming off of a lopsided road loss to AFC North rival Baltimore, while Carolina stifled Detroit’s offense last week to seize control of the NFC South.

 

This is just the sixth meeting all-time between these two teams. After losing the first matchup, Pittsburgh has won the past four by an average margin of 21 points. The last meeting was back in 2010 when Ben Roethlisberger threw for 320 yards and a touchdown in the easy 27-3 home victory. This will be Cam Newton’s first time facing the Steelers.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers

 

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC

Spread: Carolina -3.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Getting Defensive

Pittsburgh’s reputation as a defensive team is well known, going all the way back to the days of the original Steel Curtain. However, the Steelers’ defense has slipped somewhat in recent seasons and is off to another slow start in 2014. Carolina meanwhile broke through defensively in a big way in 2013, finishing second in the NFL in both yards and points allowed. The Panthers have built on this success, holding their first two opponents (Buccaneers and Lions) to less than 294 yards and 10.5 points per game. While Pittsburgh has undergone a youth movement on defense, Carolina has a front seven that matches up with any in the league, led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year linebacker Luke Kuechly. With the Panthers’ defense playing as well as it has and given Carolina’s issues on offense, this figures to be a low-scoring game. The defenses will likely dictate the outcome and while it may be too much to expect Pittsburgh to out-perform Carolina’s defense on its own turf; the Steelers still need to make enough plays on that side of the ball to give their offense a fighting chance.

 

2. Cam Can’t Do It All Alone

Carolina has a championship-caliber defense, there’s no disputing that, but in order for this team to be considered a legitimate contender in the NFC, the offense will have do its part. And with apologies to Derek Anderson, the success of the offense falls on the shoulders of one player – Cam Newton. After missing the season opener with bruised ribs, Newton returned and helped lead his team to a convincing 24-7 victory over Detroit. Working behind a retooled offensive line and throwing to a practically brand-new receiving corps, Newton completed 22 of 34 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown. The bigger concern with Newton right now is making sure his bruised ribs don’t get any worse. One way to do this is to not ask him to not make as many plays with his legs. Against the Lions, Newton ran the ball just four time for 19 yards. Unfortunately, that was good enough for second on the team and he also was sacked five times. Starting running back DeAngelo Williams didn’t play last week because of a thigh injury and Jonathan Stewart managed just 37 yards rushing on 15 carries in his absence. Through two games, Panther running backs have combined for 135 yards rushing on 49 carries. That’s an average of less than three yards (2.8 ypc to be exact) per attempt. That’s not going to get the job done, even against a team like Pittsburgh, who gave up 157 yards on the ground to Baltimore last week. Carolina’s offensive line is a work in progress and the receiving corps also needs more time to gel and develop chemistry. That means it is critical that the Panthers’ running game picks up some of the slack. And without asking an already banged-up quarterback to do the heavy lifting.

 

3. Molding the Steelers’ Offense

In the season opener, Pittsburgh piled up 503 yards of offense and 30 points behind its superstar trio of Ben Roethlisberger (365 yards passing), Le’Veon Bell (197 total yards, including 109 rushing), and Antonio Brown (five receptions for 116 yards and a TD). Compare that to last week’s offensive output against Baltimore (301 yards, two field goals), as the Ravens pushed the Steelers around up front on both sides of the ball. The 26-6 score could have been much worse considering Baltimore had to settle for field goals on four separate trips into the red zone. Comparatively speaking, Pittsburgh’s collection of offensive weapons is better than Carolina’s. The problem is the Steelers have a much tougher task ahead of them in trying to solve and move the ball against the Panthers’ stout defense. Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown will lead the charge, but supporting players like wide receiver Markus Wheaton, tight end Heath Miller, running back LeGarrette Blount and of course the offensive line, will have to do their part as well. Pittsburgh could receive an additional boost with the expected debut of veteran wideout Lance Moore and the possible return of all-purpose back Dri Archer. The bottom line is that points figure to be hard to come by tonight, so Big Ben and company need to make the most of their limited opportunities if they want any chance of leaving Bank of America Stadium with a win.

 

Final Analysis

 

Pittsburgh and Carolina are mirror images of each other in many ways, so this should be an entertaining cross-conference matchup. The Panthers have become one of the toughest teams to beat at home, thanks in large part to a stingy defense. The Steelers are coming off of a tough divisional loss on the road, and even though the extra rest gained from playing a Thursday night game will benefit them, I don’t believe this is the best timing for them to play the Panthers. Pittsburgh will continue to get better as the season progresses, as a young defense continues to gel and the offense finds its rhythm. But as far as tonight goes, Carolina’s defense is just too tough and Cam Newton and the offense make just enough plays to stay perfect on the season.

 
Prediction: Carolina 24, Pittsburgh 20
Teaser:
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
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One workhorse running back out West is ready for Week 3 while another playing on the East Coast is dealing with a hamstring injury. Here are the running back injuries you need to know before setting your lineup.

 

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

Probable – Back
Lynch is on the injury report with a back issue, but he’s listed as Probable and was a full participant in practice both Thursday and Friday. There’s no way he’s missing this Super Bowl rematch and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be in your starting lineup.

 

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans at New York Giants

Questionable – Hamstring
After being limited in practice all week, the Texans have listed Foster Questionable with a hamstring injury. Head coach Bill O’Brien talked about limiting Foster’s practice reps after registering 55 carries in the first two games, but this appears to be something more than just giving his workhorse some rest. Foster already has 241 rushing yards, so his status leading up to kickoff is something that should be watched carefully. Remember, a Questionable designation puts the player’s chances of playing at 50-50.

 

Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Questionable – Thigh
Pierce was added to the injury report on Thursday when he was limited in practice due to a thigh injury. He practiced in full on Friday, but be careful and don't take his Questionable designation too lightly. One thing Pierce could have in his favor is while he has dealt with his share of injuries in two-plus seasons, he’s yet to miss a game. If Pierce does play he’s in the RB2/flex discussion against a Browns team that’s allowing 150.5 rushing yards per game. If Pierce doesn’t go, Justin Forsett would see the bulk of the carries, putting him in flex territory.

 

Shane Vereen, RB, New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders

Questionable – Shoulder
Vereen was only a limited participant this week at practice and is listed as Questionable for today’s game with Oakland. While his shoulder injury doesn’t appear to be serious, it’s worth noting that after getting 12 touches in the opener, he saw just six last week, as Stevan Ridley carried the load (25 att.). Not saying that Bill Belichick has committed to Ridley as his workhorse, but the fact that the Patriots were successful running the ball last week coupled with Vereen’s shoulder injury is enough to at least downgrade Vereen to flex consideration this week with slightly more upside in PPR leagues.

 

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Questionable – Thigh
Williams was made inactive prior to last week’s game because of a thigh injury, but he clarified his situation earlier this week and said it’s a hamstring issue he’s dealing with. Regardless of what it’s called, it’s enough of an issue that it continues to limit him in practice and has him listed as Questionable for the second straight week. But after taking reps with the first team on Friday, the Panthers are hopeful they will have their starting running back for tonight’s game against Pittsburgh. Even if Williams does suit up, he’s a risky play given the late kickoff and his health concerns, even if the Steelers have struggled to defend the run thus far.

 
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots

Questionable – Hand
Jones-Drew missed last week’s game, but he returned to practice this week. He is wearing extra protection on his surgically repaired right hand, but was able to get some work in on Thursday and Friday, which increases his chances of playing. Even with the Questionable tag, I wouldn’t rush to get MJD back into your lineup. There’s no telling how his injured hand will respond should he even play, and don’t forget he had just 11 yards rushing in Week 1. Darren McFadden may not have put up huge numbers, but the Raiders seem perfectly content to let him handle the workload. That said, I’m not ready to trust any Raider offensive player in my starting lineup, with the exception of wide receiver James Jones.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football Week 3 Injury Updates: Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Bernard Pierce, Shane Vereen
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
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Another popular running back will play in Week 3 despite a foot injury, while another attempts to give it a go just a week after suffering a high ankle sprain. Those are just some of the running back injuries covered below.

 

Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

Probable – Foot
The torn tendon in his foot is still an issue, but Ellington has yet to miss a game and was even able to practice on a limited basis Thursday and Friday. After being Questionable last week, Ellington is listed as Probable, so he’s definitely a RB2/flex candidate. The only real question comes down to how many touches will Ellington get? Last week he totaled 101 yards on 16 touches (15 rush, 1 catch), but it was Jonathan Dwyer who got into the end zone. Dwyer has been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list stemming from his recent arrest on assault charges, so he won’t be a factor anytime soon. Hopefully this will be the week that Arians trusts Ellington with a bigger workload.

 
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins

Questionable – Ankle
From “out indefinitely” to practicing to Questionable. It’s already been quite the whirlwind for Charles and his owners, who watched their stud leave last week’s game against Denver in the Chiefs’ first series. Diagnosed with the dreaded high ankle sprain, Charles made a surprise return to practice on Thursday and was back at it on Friday. He’s listed as Questionable for this afternoon’s game, but no one really expected his shot of playing this week to be 50-50 in the first place after the initial prognosis. Still with the late kickoff and, more importantly, the presence of one Knile Davis, I would err on the side of caution when it comes to Charles this week and try and make do without him in your lineup.
 

Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Probable – Knee
Whatever Bell’s knee injury is, it was serious enough to limit him in practice the entire week. However, he did practice enough to earn the Proabable designation, so there should be no real trepidation in rolling Bell out today as your RB2/RB3/flex. After two games, Bell is seeing more touches than backfield mate Reggie Bush and today’s matchup with Green Bay could develop into a high-scoring affair.

 

Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts

Probable – Foot
Gerhart increased his practice participation each day this week, so he should be good to go today. He’s listed as Probable and maybe a matchup with the Colts will help Gerhart finally get on track. After two games, Gerhart has rushed for 50 yards on 25 carries (2.0 ypc). He’s no more than a “safe” flex option until he shows a little more consistent production.

 

RBs Already Ruled Out:

 

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints – Off to a terrific start (143 yards, 3 TDs), Ingram broke his hand last week and underwent surgery to repair the damage. He’s expected to miss at least a month. In the meantime, while Pierre Thomas’ role as the primary pass-catching back doesn’t figure to change, Khiry Robinson should see an increase in his workload. Thomas is already flex-worthy, especially in PPR leagues, but Robinson could enter that territory himself, if not higher, if he can step in and replace Ingram’s production.

 

Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers – Mathews is expected to miss at least a month after spraining his MCL last week. Danny Woodhead will maintain his role as a receiving threat out of the backfield while Donald Brown should get most of Mathews’ carries. If Brown is able to produce, he could develop into a reliable RB2/flex option.  

 

Knowshon Moreno, Miami Dolphins – Moreno is out at least a few weeks after dislocating his elbow early last week against Buffalo. He is hoping to return following the team’s Week 5 bye. For now, the starting job will go to Lamar Miller, who hurt his ankle against the Bills, but does not appear on the injury report. Miller’s stock dropped after Moreno exploded in Week 1, but he’ll get a second chance to show he’s capable of providing similar production.

 

Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns – Tate sprained his knee in Week 1 and hopes to return following the team’s Week 4 bye. In the meantime, rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell will handle the backfield duties. Both are averaging at least 4.8 yards per carry, but West is seeing the bulk of the carries, making him the more appealing fantasy option. Crowell is capable of flex production, but he’s also risky because of the uncertainty related to his workload.

Teaser:
Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Jamaal Charles, Andre Ellington, Joique Bell
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-3-injury-updates-tony-romo-colin-kaepernick-carson-palmer
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Back, shoulder, thigh and ankle are the injuries that several high-profile quarterbacks are dealing with entering Week 3. Are any of these injuries severe enough to threaten their playing status?

 
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Probable – Back
Kaepernick first appeared on the injury report Thursday, but he was a full practice participant then and also on Friday. He’s listed as Probable so there doesn’t appear to be much to his back issue. What’s of more concern, however, is how does Kaepernick bounce back following last week’s home loss to Chicago in which his four turnovers helped the Bears overcome a 17-0 deficit? Arizona’s defense has been pretty stout early on, so it may be wishful thinking to expect Kaepernick to perform like a QB1 this week too.

 
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams

Probable – Back
Romo underwent back surgery this offseason, so anytime that part of his body shows up on the injury report, it’s going to draw some attention. However, there doesn’t appear to be any reason for concern. After sitting out Wednesday’s practice due to tightness in his back, he was a full participant on Thursday and Friday. He’s listed as Probable and it would be a mild surprise if he doesn’t suit up against the Rams. The Cowboys have been effective running the ball thus far, which has limited Romo’s numbers. But unless you have a better option, you should start this Cowboy.

 

Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

Questionable - Shoulder
Palmer was somewhat of a surprise late scratch last week because of a shoulder injury. What has since been described as a bruised nerve in his right shoulder continues to be a hindrance, as not only is Palmer listed as Questionable for the second straight game, head coach Bruce Arians has already said that Drew Stanton will get the start this afternoon against San Francisco. So even if Palmer does play, it will be as Stanton’s backup. My advice is simple: ignore Cardinal QBs this week.

 
Shaun Hill, QB, St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys

Questionable – Thigh
Hill didn’t play last week and he’s Questionable again with the same thigh injury. He did make some progress in that he was able to do some things in practice, but he will most likely be a “game-time decision” once more. For now, count on Austin Davis to make his second consecutive start and continue to stay away from any and all Ram QBs.

 

QBs Already Ruled Out:

 

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins – RGIII dislocated his ankle last week and while there was no fracture, it’s not known when he will be able to return to the field. Kirk Cousins will take over and, depending on whom you ask, is considered to be a better fit for Jay Gruden’s system. Cousins impressed (250-2-0) last week after RGIII went down and it’s possible he could provide borderline QB1 production. This week’s start against Philadelphia, in what could be a high-scoring contest, is a good barometer game to gauge Cousins’ fantasy potential moving forward.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football Week 3 Injury Updates: Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo, Carson Palmer
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-3-fantasy-football-injury-updates-aj-green-dez-bryant-tavon-austin
Body:

A Cowboy wide receiver with a bum shoulder and a Bengal wideout with a bad toe are both planning on being on the field in Week 3. Here’s the latest on those wide receiver injury situations and more.

 

Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams

Questionable – Shoulder
Bryant injured his shoulder last week against Tennessee yet finished the game with 10 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. He missed one day of practice, was limited the other two and is listed as Questionable, but Bryant said he’ll be “ready to roll” on Sunday and who am I to not believe him? Unless something changes before kickoff (1 p.m. ET), leave Bryant in your starting lineup and hope he can pick up where he left things off last week.

 
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans

Probable – Toe
After missing practice time last week because of a foot issue, Green didn’t even make it through the first quarter against Atlanta after suffering what has been called a turf toe injury. Initially his chances of playing this week did not look good, but Green was a full practice participant on both Thursday and Friday. His Probable designation is a good indicator he will play and other than doing a courtesy check before kickoff to make sure he’s active, I think you need to have one of the NFL’s best wide receivers in your lineup.

 

Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys

Questionable – Knee
Austin left last week’s game early with a knee injury and missed all of practice this week. He’s listed as Questionable, but I would be surprised if he plays and even more surprised if anyone was willing to trust the second-year pro at this point. All he’s done in the first two games is catch three passes for 34 yards, and all of that came in Week 1. A disappointment as a rookie last season, it’s probably past time to quit waiting on Austin and take a chance on someone else instead.

 

Already Ruled Out:

 

Odell Beckham, New York Giants – Beckham’s NFL debut will have to wait at least one more week, as a lingering hamstring issue will sideline him for a third straight game. Jerrel Jernigan (foot) was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, leaving Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle as the primary wide receivers. Cruz and Randle should be rostered, but given the Giants’ offensive struggles it’s hard to have a lot of confidence in either right now.

 

Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals’ No. 2 wide receiver is still recovering from foot surgery. The hope is he will be back following the Week 4 bye. With A.J. Green also dealing with an injury, Mohamed Sanu could be a sneaky pickup.

Teaser:
Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Tavon Austin
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-3-fantasy-football-injury-updates-cecil-shorts-julian-edelman-cordarrelle-patterson-ty
Body:

Jacksonville’s depth chart at wide receiver remains a volatile situation entering Week 3. Here’s the latest on that situation and other wideouts around the league.

 

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders

Probable – Back
Edelman was limited in practice this week with some sort of back issue, but his Probable designation is a strong indicator he will play. Tom Brady’s favorite target, Edelman is a solid WR2 option with the upside for WR1 production if the Raiders’ defense continues to struggle and Brady decides to air it out.

 

Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee and Cecil Shorts, WRs, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts

Probable – Ankle; Probable – Hamstring
Hurns turned his ankle last week and while he missed some practice time, he’s listed as Probable to face the Colts. Lee has already been ruled Out because of a hamstring injury, the same type of injury that has prevented Shorts from getting on the field this season. That it is until today, as it appears Shorts will finally make his season debut as he’s listed as Probable and indications are he will start. Shorts was the Jaguars’ top wide receiver last season and he should reclaim that role fairly quickly. Since a huge first quarter in the opener, Hurns has been very quiet. It’s risky trusting either, but I have more confidence in Shorts, who at worst should be a reliable WR3/flex option.

 

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Probable – Chest
Patterson is dealing with a chest injury similar to what he had last season. The good news is this injury didn’t cause him to miss a game in 2013, and that’s the expectation for this week too, as he’s listed as Probable. Patterson was a popular breakout candidate entering this season and delivered on that promise with 102 yards rushing in the opener, but he’s yet to have much impact as a wide receiver. Hopefully that will change starting this week now that the Vikings will have to do without running back Adrian Peterson for the foreseeable future. Patterson is a safe, every-week WR2 with the upside to enter WR1 territory.

 

T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks, WRs, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

Probable – Groin; Questionable – Illness
Hilton is on the injury report with a groin issue, but he’s listed as Probable so there’s little doubt he won’t play. Nicks is listed as Questionable, as illness caused him to miss some practice time, but unless it’s something serious, he should be out there too. Reggie Wayne has regained his status as Andrew Luck’s favorite target, but there’s plenty of room for Hilton and Nicks to produce. Hilton’s role seems to be a little more defined right now, so for this week he is the safer WR3/flex option.

Teaser:
Week 3 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Cecil Shorts, Julian Edelman, Cordarrelle Patterson, T.Y. Hilton
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-3-injury-updates-vernon-davis-antonio-gates-jordan-cameron-rob
Body:

San Francisco and Cleveland may both be without their starting tight ends for Week 3. Are there any other big targets who may not play today?

 

Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills

Probable – Hamstring
The hamstring issue is still there, as it limited Gates’ practice participation on Thursday. However, he was a full go on Friday, is listed as Probable and oh yeah, he’s coming off of a three-touchdown performance against the defending Super Bowl champions. Do I really need to say anything more?

 

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Questionable – Ankle/Knee
Davis left last week’s game with what was reported to be an ankle injury, but apparently he’s also dealing with a knee issue. Those two injuries combined with the fact he didn’t practice at all this week and his Questionable designation and it sounds like a backup plan is in order. The late afternoon kickoff only reinforces this strategy, as waiting until after the 1 p.m. ET games start to make a decision could end up shrinking your replacement pool even more.

 
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Questionable – Shoulder
As was expected, Cameron missed last week because of the shoulder injury he re-aggravated in the opener. He is listed as Questionable, but was able to return to practice in a limited capacity. Cameron will be a game-time decision again. It’s an early game, but I wouldn’t include Cameron in your game plan this week unless you simply don’t have another option.

 

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders

Probable – Knee
Here’s that man again. Yes, he’s on the injury report. Yes, he’s listed as Probable. And yes he will play barring something unforeseen happening in warmups. But for Gronkowski, it still comes down to how much playing time he will get. After seeing limited snaps in Week 1, his total actually decreased in Week 2. He did catch a TD in the opener, but those who took a chance on him in the draft are hoping for much more than just four catches and around 40 yards per game. Depending on your options, you may want see if a trip to the bench is what Gronk needs to get him going.

 

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Questionable – Abdomen
Rudolph practiced all week, but in a limited capacity due to an abdomen injury. He’s listed as Questionable for today’s game and his owners would be wise to check on his status before the 1 p.m. ET kickoff to make sure he’s playing.

 

Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Questionable – Knee
He’s yet to miss a game, but it’s pretty clear that Clay is not at 100 percent. He’s shown up on the injury report several times with a knee issue that has impacted his practice participation and earned him a Questionable designation. A pleasant surprise last season, Clay has nine catches for 58 yards through two games. While he may remain in the Dolphins’ starting lineup, he probably shouldn’t be in yours unless it’s as a TE2.

 

Already Ruled Out:

 

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Rams – Eifert dislocated his elbow in the opener and is on injured reserve with a designation to return. The soonest he will be back on the field is Week 10. Jermaine Gresham will take Eifert’s place in the starting lineup and is TE2 material and could be a borderline TE1 option depending on the matchup.

 

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars – Lewis went on the injured reserve/designated for return list earlier this week because of a high ankle sprain. Unless you have an IR spot and/or are smitten with Lewis, there’s no reason to hold onto him or even stash him away on your roster.

 

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins – Reed will be out an extended period of time due to a hamstring injury. Niles Paul has replaced Reed in the starting lineup and has already thrust himself into TE1 consideration following his eight-catch, 99-yard effort that also included a touchdown last week against Jacksonville.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football Week 3 Injury Updates: Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Jordan Cameron, Rob Gronkowski
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-3-injury-updates-keenan-allen-alshon-jeffery-brandon-marshall-eric
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A trio of wide receivers are Questionable for the Monday night finale in Week 3, while a couple of others may not be on the field when action kicks off this afternoon. Read all the latest information on these injury situations and others below.

 

Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, WRs, Chicago Bears at New York Jets (Mon.)

Questionable – Hamstring; Questionable – Ankle
Just like last week, Jeffery and Marshall are Questionable. But last week there definitely was more concern one or both would miss the game against San Francisco than there is entering their Monday night matchup with the Jets. And last week both not only played, each also contributed to the comeback win over the 49ers, especially Marshall (3 TD catches). The hamstring and ankle continue to be an issue for the duo, but both were able to practice to some degree. Based on what happened last week, I would be surprised if both didn’t at least start the game. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any risk in keeping them in your lineup though. For one, the Monday night factor alone means you pretty much have to make up your mind before this game is even played. That said, New York’s suspect secondary is certainly an appealing matchup for these two rangy targets, so as long as you understand the risk and are OK with it, I would grin and (ahem) bear it with Jeffery and Marshall.

 

Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills

Questionable - Groin

Allen was added to the injury report following Thursday’s practice after injuring his groin. He was limited on Friday and is listed as Questionable to face the Bills. Allen has gotten off to a slow start, but the Chargers’ first games have been against Arizona and Seattle, arguably two of the top secondaries in the NFL. Unless this injury gets worse, Allen’s numbers should only get better. Keep an eye on his status leading up to kickoff (1 p.m. ET), but if he plays, I would keep Allen in my lineup.

 

Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets vs. Chicago Bears (Mon.)

Questionable - Hamstring
Decker has contributed immediately to his new team, leading the Jets in every receiving category, so they can ill afford to be without him. A hamstring injury kept him out of practice until Saturday and has him officially listed as Questionable for the Monday night game. Most likely, Decker will be a game-time decision, but if you have him on your roster you need to make the decision sooner. Even though Decker is the Jets’ No. 1 wide receiver, he’s not putting up huge (9-137-1) numbers. If you have the depth, it might be best to leave Decker on your bench this week just in case he’s unable to go on Monday night.

 

Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. San Diego Chargers

Probable – Ribs; Probable – Ankle
EJ Manuel’s top two targets both appear on the injury report this week. Watkins still hasn’t completely recovered from the bruised ribs he suffered during the preseason, while Woods has been dealing with an ankle injury. Both are listed as Probable although Woods was only a limited participant in practice on Friday. Watkins is the more appealing fantasy option and the rookie enjoyed a breakout game (8-117-1) last week. Watkins is a clear-cut WR2 option, but I would exercise extreme caution with Woods. He’s only caught five passes for 83 yards thus far and it’s possible his ankle flares up during warmups or the coaching staff decides to sit him. At best, Woods is no more than a flex option in deeper leagues.

 
DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Questionable – Shoulder
Jackson left last week’s game early with a shoulder injury and is considered Questionable for today’s game. He was able to practice some, which helps his chances, and there’s the added motivation of playing against his former team who unceremoniously dumped him this offseason. Even if he plays, Jackson figures to be limited while his impact with his new team has been minimal thus far. There’s nothing wrong with waiting to make a decision, but if you do decide to roll with Jackson be sure to temper your expectations.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football Week 3 Injury Updates: Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, DeSean Jackscon
Post date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-wide-receiver-rankings-week-3
Body:

It’s only fitting that the top two wide receivers in fantasy football right now occupy the same space in Athlon Sports’ Week 3 rankings at the position. Calvin Johnson and Jordy Nelson are set to share the same field when Detroit hosts Green Bay in what should be an entertaining and likely high-scoring affair Sunday afternoon. Megatron checks in at No. 1 in our rankings, but it’s actually Nelson who’s the top scorer at WR, after exploding for 209 yards against the Jets last week. Other matchups this week to watch include Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary against the Broncos’ stable of Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Wes Welker, who was reinstated this week according to the stipulations of the NFL's new drug policy. Chicago’s Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery each gutted through injuries last week, and on Monday night they will try and take advantage of the same Jets’ passing defense that Nelson and his Packer teammates torched in Week 2.

 

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

 

2014 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

 

RankPlayerTeamOppComments
1Calvin JohnsonDETvs. GBPanthers held Megatron in check (6-83, 13 targets).
2Jordy NelsonGBat DET80-yard TD highlights huge (9-209-1) game.
3Brandon MarshallCHIat NYJ (Mon.)3 TDs vs. SF. What ankle injury?
4Julio JonesATLvs. TB (Thurs.)His usual productive self (7-88-1) vs. Bengals.
5Dez BryantDALat STLSomewhat quietly posted 100-yard game vs. TEN.
6Demaryius ThomasDENat SEATweaked his knee, but played through it and scored.
7Antonio BrownPITat CARAvoided injury scare, paced Steelers (7-90).
8Randall CobbGBat DETNelson got the yards, but Cobb gets 2 TD grabs.
9Andre JohnsonHOUat NYG 
10Julian EdelmanNEvs. OAKClearly Brady's No. 1 target right now.
11Alshon JefferyCHIat NYJ (Mon.)Played through sore hamstring.
12Vincent JacksonTBat ATL (Thurs.)He and McCown struggling to get on same page.
13Mike WallaceMIAvs. KCTwo games, two TDs in new O. Progress.
14Percy HarvinSEAvs. DENRushing TD nice, but need more than 1 catch.
15Keenan AllenSDat BUFNot that impressed with Richard Sherman.
16Roddy WhiteATLvs. TB (Thurs.)Dealing with hamstring injury, but should play.
17Cordarrelle PattersonMINat NOFour catches and no rush attempts vs. Pats.
18Jeremy MaclinPHIvs. WASJust four catches, but one went for TD vs. Colts.
19Pierre GarconWASat PHIWill he and Cousins click?
20Reggie WayneINDat JACQuiet (3-28) vs. Eagles on MNF.
21Emmanuel SandersDENat SEAMaking himself right at home with new team.
22Michael FloydARIvs. SFSix targets, but only one catch (19 yds.) vs. Giants.
23Michael CrabtreeSFat ARIMost productive 49er target (7-82-1) vs. Bears.
24Sammy WatkinsBUFvs. SDHello breakout. 8-117-1 vs. Dolphins.
25DeSean JacksonWASat PHILeft last week w/ shoulder injury. Watch status.
26Larry FitzgeraldARIvs. SFTargeted 10 times (6-51) by backup Stanton.
27Marques ColstonNOvs. MIN0 targets vs. Browns? Not good.
28Wes WelkerDENat SEAWelcome back Wes! Hello Legion of Boom!
29Eric DeckerNYJvs. CHI (Mon.)Hooks up with Smith for first TD as Jet.
30Golden TateDETvs. GB 
31Steve SmithBALat CLELeading receiver after two games w/ new team.
32T.Y. HiltonINDat JACLed the way with 6 rec., 65 yds. vs. Eagles.
33Kendall WrightTENat CINOvershadowed by Bryant, Walker vs. DAL.
34Victor CruzNYGvs. HOUStill looking for fit in new offense.
35DeAndre HopkinsHOUat NYGJust three catches, but one was for a TD.
36Kelvin BenjaminCARvs. PIT 
37Brandin CooksNOvs. MINSecond-most targets (6) behind Graham (13) vs. CLE.
38A.J. GreenCINvs. TENToe injury could sideline him. Watch closely.
39Brian QuickSTLvs. DALMost effective Ram WR (14-173) thus far.
40Torrey SmithBALat CLETorrey been non-existent Smith so far for Ravens.
41Anquan BoldinSFat ARI 
42Mohamed SanuCINvs. TENBengals' No. 1 WR with Green, Jones sidelined.
43James JonesOAKat NEHas been Derek Carr's favorite target thus far.
44Justin HunterTENat CINGetting the snaps, still waiting on the breakout.
45Markus WheatonPITat CAR 
46Andrew HawkinsCLEvs. BALBrowns' No. 1 WR until further notice.
47Greg JenningsMINat NO 
48Terrance WilliamsDALat STL 
49Dwayne BoweKCat MIAHauls in three passes in his season debut.
50Riley CooperPHIvs. WAS 
51Cecil ShortsJACvs. INDHas yet to play due to hamstring issue.
52Rueben RandleNYGvs. HOUTD catch hopefully sign of things to come.
53Mike EvansTBat ATL (Thurs.) 
54Miles AustinCLEvs. BALHooked up with Hoyer for TD pass last week.
55Allen HurnsJACvs. INDJust 2 rec. and sprained his ankle.
56Marqise LeeJACvs. INDOne of many Jags who struggled vs. Redskins.
57Danny AmendolaNEvs. OAKDisappearing Danny? 0 targets vs. Vikings.
58Donnie AveryKCat MIA 
59Malcom FloydSDat BUF 
60Harry DouglasATLvs. TB (Thurs.)Role could expand if White (hamstring) is limited.
61Davante AdamsGBat DETRookie appears to have replaced Boykin as No. 3.
62Hakeem NicksINDat JAC 
63Robert WoodsBUFvs. SD 
64Aaron DobsonNEvs. OAK 

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

 

Need more fantasy help? Visit www.FantasyRundown.com

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2014 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Post date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-tight-end-rankings-week-3
Body:

Jimmy Graham’s two touchdown catches against Cleveland was more than enough for him to maintain his hold on the top spot in Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings for Week 3. However, for the second straight week, Graham didn’t post the best numbers for his position. Instead that honor in Week 2 belongs to Antonio Gates, who victimized Seattle’s vaunted defense for three touchdowns as the Chargers overwhelmed the defending Super Bowl champions 30-21. Even though this game took place in San Diego and the Seahawks return home to CenturyLink Field for a Super Bowl rematch with the Broncos, one can’t help but wonder if Julius Thomas will enjoy similar success Sunday afternoon. After all, despite Graham’s and Gates’ big days, it’s Thomas who is tied for the NFL lead with four touchdown grabs after two games.

 

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

 

2014 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

 

RankPlayerTeam Comments
1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. MINGets first 2 TDs vs. Browns.
2Julius ThomasDENat SEATied for NFL lead w/ 4 TD catches.
3Rob GronkowskiNEvs. OAKPlaying time becoming an issue.
4Greg OlsenCARvs. PIT 
5Antonio GatesSDat BUFWho's old now? 3 TDs vs. Seahawks.
6Dennis PittaBALat CLEUpstaged by Daniels in win vs. Steelers.
7Zach ErtzPHIvs. WASAlready has seven catches of 20+ yards.
8Martellus BennettCHIat NYJ (Mon.)Two games, two TD catches.
9Kyle RudolphMINat NO 
10Vernon DavisSFat ARILeft loss to CHI early w/ ankle injury. Watch status.
11Jason WittenDALat STLSlow target for reliable target.
12Delanie WalkerTENat CINEnjoys career day (10-142-1) vs. Cowboys.
13Jordan CameronCLEvs. BALDNP (shoulder) Week 2. Watch very carefully.
14Travis KelceKCat MIAYoung buck made some nice plays vs. DEN.
15Niles PaulWASat PHISteps in for injured Reed, excels (8-99-1).
16Larry DonnellNYGvs. HOUQuickly making name for himself.
17Charles ClayMIAvs. KCFantasy impact has been minimal to this point.
18Heath MillerPITat CAR 
19Jared CookSTLvs. DAL 
20Coby FleenerINDat JACReserve Jack Doyle had more rec., TD.
21Dwayne AllenINDat JACFollowed up solid Week 1 w/ dud (0 rec.).
22Jermaine GreshamCINvs. TEN 
23Owen DanielsBALat CLETwo TDs among five receptions vs. Ravens.
24Garrett GrahamHOUat NYGMade season debut (back) last week.
25Levine ToiloloATLvs. TB (Thurs.) 
26Eric EbronDETvs. GBPosts first three career catches.


Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

 

Need more fantasy help? Visit www.FantasyRundown.com

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2014 Tight End Rankings: Week 3
Post date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-3
Body:

Seattle’s coming off of a loss and gets Denver at home in a Super Bowl rematch, so, for at least one week, there’s a new team leading off Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings for Week 3. After struggling with Miami’s running game in Week 1, New England’s defense rebounded in a big way on the road against Minnesota. The Patriots collected six sacks, picked off Matt Cassel four times and scored as many points as the Vikings’ offense (six) thanks to a blocked field goal that Chandler Jones returned 58 yards for a touchdown. The good times should continue this week with 0-2 Oakland and rookie quarterback Derek Carr set to visit Gillette Stadium.

 

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

 

2014 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

 

RankPlayerOppComments
1New England Patriotsvs. OAKPats rack up 6 sacks, 4 INTs and block FG for TD.
2Carolina Panthersvs. PITPanthers' D has been stout thus far.
3Cincinnati Bengalsvs. TENBengals picked off Ryan 3 times last week.
4Houston Texansat NYGAfter feasting on Raiders, TO-prone G-Men next.
5San Francisco 49ersat ARI49ers struggled to stop Bears after 1st Q.
6Seattle Seahawksvs. DENChamps struggled vs. SD, get Manning and co. next.
7Arizona Cardinalsvs. SFCards' D getting job done early.
8Baltimore Ravensat CLERavens' D manhandled Steelers last week.
9Denver Broncosat SEABarometer game for Broncos' new-look D.
10Buffalo Billsvs. SD6 sacks, 5 takeaways in 2 games.
11St. Louis Ramsvs. DALRams gave up 144 rushing yards to Rainey.
12New Orleans Saintsvs. MINSaints' D usually tougher at home.
13Chicago Bearsat NYJ (Mon.)Revamped D came up big (4 sacks, 4 TAs) vs. SF.
14Cleveland Brownsvs. BALPick-six helps fuel Browns' W over Saints.
15Kansas City Chiefsat MIAShorthanded D kept Broncos in check.
16Tennessee Titansat CINTitans got run over by Murray last week.

 

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

 

Need more fantasy help? Visit www.FantasyRundown.com

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2014 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 3
Post date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-kicker-rankings-week-3
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Stephen Gostkowski checks in at No. 1 on Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings for Week 3, but he’s yet to show off his powerful leg. Matt Bryant leads all kickers with two field goals of 50 yards or longer, while 10 other kickers have already connected from that distance as well. Dallas’ Dan Bailey is one of those, as he was good on four attempts from 40 yards and beyond, including a 51-yarder, in the Cowboys’ easy 26-10 road win over the Titans. Dallas travels to St. Louis this week, a game that features two kickers with big legs in Bailey and the Rams’ Greg Zuerlein (career long of 60 yards).

 

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

 

2014 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

 

RankPlayerTeamOpp
1Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. OAK
2Steven HauschkaSEAvs. DEN
3Justin TuckerBALat CLE
4Matt BryantATLvs. TB (Thurs.)
5Nick NovakSDat BUF
6Dan BaileyDALat STL
7Mason CrosbyGBat DET
8Cody ParkeyPHIvs. WAS
9Adam VinatieriINDat JAC
10Phil DawsonSFat ARI
11Shayne GrahamNOvs. MIN
12Dan CarpenterBUFvs. SD
13Mike NugentCINvs. TEN
14Robbie GouldCHIat NYJ (Mon.)
15Greg ZuerleinSTLvs. DAL
16Brandon McManusDENat SEA

 

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2014 Kicker Rankings: Week 3
Post date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-quarterback-rankings-week-3
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A Super Bowl rematch has led to some shuffling at the top of Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings for Week 3. Denver and Seattle will go head-to-head once again, but this time the game will take place in the Pacific Northwest, not the Big Apple. Regardless of the venue, the Broncos’ matchup with a Seahawks defense that held them to one touchdown and forced three turnovers back in February is enough reason to drop Peyton Manning out of his usual No. 1 spot. Instead, top billing for this week goes to Drew Brees. The Saints’ offense has struggled some out of the gates, but it’s usually pretty reliable, not to mention productive, at home in the comfy Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Another intriguing matchup to keep an eye on is Green Bay vs. Detroit at Ford Field. This has all the makings of a high-scoring affair.

 

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

 

2014 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

 

RankPlayerTeamOppComments
1Drew BreesNOvs. MINHoping for some home cooking vs. MIN.
2Aaron RodgersGBat DETEarly fumble only miscue (336-3-0) vs. Jets.
3Andrew LuckINDat JAC3 TDs on MNF vs. Eagles, but costly INT.
4Matthew StaffordDETvs. GBYards (291) there, but little else vs. CAR.
5Peyton ManningDENat SEAMust-see rematch vs. Seahawks D.
6Matt RyanATLvs. TB (Thurs.)Picked off 3 times in sloppy effort vs. CIN.
7Jay CutlerCHIat NYJ (Mon.)Only 176 yards, but 4 TDs, 0 INTs in huge W.
8Nick FolesPHIvs. WASDid enough (331-1-1) to get the MNF W.
9Cam NewtonCARvs. PITWelcome back Cam! Solid (281-1-0) vs. DET.
10Russell WilsonSEAvs. DENMore success against Denver coming?
11Tom BradyNEvs. OAKBrady throws for just 149 yds., TD in win.
12Philip RiversSDat BUFMade it look easy (284-3-0) vs. champs.
13Colin KaepernickSFat ARI"Terrible" (4 TOs) vs. Bears.
14Kirk CousinsWASat PHIIt's his show now w/ RG3 (ankle) out.
15Tony RomoDALat STLSo-so numbers (176-1-0), but Cowboys won.
16Andy DaltonCINvs. TENAlready missing Eifert, may be w/o Green.
17Ryan TannehillMIAvs. KC 
18Joe FlaccoBALat CLE 
19EJ ManuelBUFvs. SD 
20Ben RoethlisbergerPITat CARNeeds to be wary of Panthers' pass rush.
21Alex SmithKCat MIA 
22Geno SmithNYJvs. CHI (Mon.)Bears had 3 INTs vs. SF last week.
23Josh McCownTBat ATL (Thurs.) 
24Jake LockerTENat CINStruggled (18-34, 2 INTs) vs. Dallas D.
25Ryan FitzpatrickHOUat NYG 
26Chad HenneJACvs. INDSacked 10 times by Redskins.
27Eli ManningNYGvs. HOUTurnovers (4 INTs) still an issue for Eli.
28Brian HoyerCLEvs. BAL 

​Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:
OFFENSIVE SCORING

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

 

Need more fantasy help? Visit www.FantasyRundown.com

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2014 Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Post date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-running-back-rankings-week-3
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Injuries and off-field matters have certainly left their mark on the NFL season thus far, as Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings for Week 3 can attest. When Adrian Peterson will return (if he returns) is anyone’s guess, while Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Ryan Mathews, Ben Tate, Knowshon Moreno, Maurice Jones-Drew, Mark Ingram and DeAngelo Williams all either got hurt last week or missed last week because of injury. With so many backfields already impacted, it’s good to know there are still some constants to lean on. Such as LeSean McCoy, last year’s rushing champion who has produced back-to-back games of at least 95 total yards. Shady should be in for another productive afternoon when the Eagles host the Redskins on Sunday.

 

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

 

2014 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

 

RankPlayerTeamOppComments
1LeSean McCoyPHIvs. WASPicked up 102 total yards, TD vs. Colts.
2DeMarco MurrayDALat STLNo. 1 fantasy RB ran wild (167 yds.) vs. Titans.
3Arian FosterHOUat NYGTwo straight 100-yard games for Foster.
4Marshawn LynchSEAvs. DENJust six carries (plus 4 rec., TD) vs. Chargers.
5Giovani BernardCINvs. TENGio's talents (90 rush, 79 rec.) on display vs. ATL.
6Alfred MorrisWASat PHIWho needs catches if you score 2 TDs?
7Matt ForteCHIat NYJ (Mon.)Bottled up (36 total yds.) vs. 49ers.
8Le'Veon BellPITat CAR107 total yards in loss to Ravens.
9Eddie LacyGBat DETHeld to just 43 yards rushing vs. Jets.
10Knile DavisKCat MIAStepped up (79 yds., 2 TDs) after Charles injury.
11Montee BallDENat SEASlow start could be prolonged vs. Seahawks.
12C.J. SpillerBUFvs. SD5.8 ypc + 102-yard KOR for TD vs. MIA.
13Rashad JenningsNYGvs. HOU109 total yards vs. Cardinals.
14Zac StacySTLvs. DAL 
15Joique BellDETvs. GBTwice as many touches (16 to 8) as Bush.
16Andre EllingtonARIvs. SFAveraging 5.1 ypc despite foot issue.
17Stevan RidleyNEvs. OAKThe 25 carries are certainly encouraging.
18Darren SprolesPHIvs. WASLittle man came up HUGE (152 rec. yds.) on MNF.
19Lamar MillerMIAvs. KCShould see bulk of the carries w/ Moreno out.
20Reggie BushDETvs. GBHopefully better matchups ahead for Bush.
21Frank GoreSFat ARIBig TD run vs. Bears wiped out by penalty.
22Doug MartinTBat ATL (Thurs.)Late scratch (ankle) last week. Watch closely.
23Bernard PierceBALat CLEGot the work (22 att.) and yards (96).
24Pierre ThomasNOvs. MINMore work coming w/ Ingram (hand) out?
25Toby GerhartJACvs. IND8 yards on 7 carries not getting it done.
26Chris JohnsonNYJvs. CHI (Mon.)Averaging just 3.6 yards per carry thus far.
27Ahmad BradshawINDat JAC70 yds. rushing and 2 rec. TDs.
28Terrance WestCLEvs. BALRookie did his job (68, TD) vs. Saints.
29Shane VereenNEvs. OAKOut-touched (25 to 7), upstaged by Ridley.
30Matt AsiataMINat NOHis job for now w/ Peterson on exempt list.
31Bobby RaineyTBat ATL (Thurs.)Exploded for 144 yds. In Martin's absence.
32Chris IvoryNYJvs. CHI (Mon.)Just 43 yards, but was still better than CJ.
33Khiry RobinsonNOvs. MINFigures to benefit from Ingram's (hand) injury.
34Donald BrownSDat BUFShould see more work w/ Mathews out.
35Trent RichardsonINDat JACLooked great against Eagles until fumble.
36Fred JacksonBUFvs. SDSpiller more effective against Dolphins.
37Steven JacksonATLvs. TB (Thus.)Yet to be much of factor.
38Danny WoodheadSDat BUFWill his role change w/ Mathews (MCL) out?
39Shonn GreeneTENat CIN 
40Darren McFaddenOAKat NEOut-rushed by QB (37 to 58) w/ MJD out.
41Jeremy HillCINvs. TEN15 carries and first career TD vs. Falcons.
42Jonathan StewartCARvs. PITStruggled as starter w/ DeAngelo (thigh) out.
43DeAngelo WilliamsCARvs. PITDid not play last week b/c of thigh injury.
44Justin ForsettBALat CLE8 carries vs. BAL compared to 22 for Pierce.
45Isaiah CrowellCLEvs. BAL11 carries a good sign for him moving forward.
46Carlos HydeSFat ARI 
47Bishop SankeyTENat CINGets two carries in loss to Cowboys.
48Jerick McKinnonMINat NORookie could get more opportunities w/ Peterson out.

 

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

 

Need more fantasy help? Visit www.FantasyRundown.com

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2014 Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Post date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/5-running-backs-replace-jamaal-charles
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Kansas City All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles will miss an extended period of time after suffering an ankle injury in the Chiefs’ Week 2 loss. Charles, last year’s leading fantasy scorer (Athlon scoring) at running back, didn’t make it through the team’s first series before leaving after rushing the ball twice for four yards and catching one pass for eight.

 

The good news is that Charles’ MRI came back “clean,” showing no fracture or significant structural damage. The bad news is that head coach Andy Reid has already thrown out the dreaded phrases “high ankle sprain” and “out indefinitely.” So fantasy owners are faced with a dilemma similar to the Adrian Peterson situation last week. How does one replace one of the best scoring options at his position?


In fact, this dilemma also could apply to an owner who drafted Ryan Mathews (out 4-5 weeks with a sprained MCL) or Doug Martin (did not play last week because of an ankle injury) or Ben Tate (sprained knee, return unknown). Injuries have not been kind to the running back ranks early on with Knowshon Moreno (dislocated elbow), Mark Ingram (broken hand), Maurice Jones-Drew (hand injury) and DeAngelo Williams (thigh) also hurting.

 

And after some initial optimism, Peterson owners find themselves in a different boat now that he's been placed on the exempt/commissioner's permission list. Any initial hopes of getting the No. 1 overall pick in many leagues have now been dashed. The only difference is that Peterson is not technically suspended, so no on one knows when he will be back this season, if at all. Depending on how your league (referring to redraft leagues, not keeper/dynasty) is structured, an owner may have no other choice but to simply "sit" on Peterson unless they want to risk the chance of dropping him and someone else stashing him in hopes of an eventual return this season.

 

Here are five running backs that could help a Charles or similarly beleaguered owner weather the storm.

 

Knile Davis, Kansas City Chiefs

The no-brainer for Charles owners, who hopefully were wise enough to grab him with a late draft pick. Now the starter for the Chiefs, Davis has top-10 fantasy potential given his familiarity with the offense and how Reid uses his backs. Case in point, Davis posted 79 yards rushing on 22 carries, caught six passes for 26 yards and scored both of Kansas City’s touchdowns in the 24-17 loss to Denver. A back that is likely to see 20-30 touches each game? Yes please.

 

Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin was a late scratch last week, opening the door for Rainey. And all the diminutive (5-8) back did was explode for 144 yards on 22 carries against St. Louis. Rainey has excelled as the starter before, rushing for a total of 290 yards in games against Atlanta and Buffalo last season, so this isn’t exactly out of the blue. Add to this that his latest 100-yard effort came against a pretty good St. Louis defense and the fact the Bucs have a short week ahead of them, it’s highly likely Rainey will get another crack at those aforementioned Falcons on Thursday.

 

Khiry Robinson, New Orleans Saints

Ingram was off to a great start (6.0 ypc, 3 TDs) before breaking his hand against the Browns. New Orleans still has Pierre Thomas, but his role doesn’t figure to change that much moving forward. If anyone can benefit from Ingram’s injury, it’s Robinson who should see more rushing attempts, especially as the short-yardage and goal-line back. To this point, Robinson has more carries (14) than Thomas (10) and he’s been fairly effective (4.2 ypc, TD) when he’s gotten the ball. Robinson also could be attractive because unlike Davis and maybe even Rainey, he’s more likely to fly under the radar.

 

Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts

Trent Richardson is still getting his chances, but even when he’s been able do something positive (79 yards on 21 carries on Monday night), he does something else to cancel it out (2 fumbles, 1 lost). Regardless, Bradshaw is not going away, as the veteran is certainly a factor in the passing game. Look no further than his two touchdown catches against the Eagles, while also chipping in 70 yards on the ground. He may be No. 2 on the depth chart, but he’s currently seventh in fantasy points at his position.

 

Donald Brown, San Diego Chargers

Similar to Pierre Thomas in New Orleans, San Diego has Danny Woodhead, a versatile back who is more of a factor in the passing game. So it looks like that Brown will be the one given the opportunity to fill Mathews’ role as the primary ball-carrier. While Brown’s early impact with his new team has been minimal (9 att., 3 rec., 23 total yards), this is a guy who’s been successful before. He was Indianapolis’ leading rusher last season, averaging 5.3 yards per carry with six touchdowns. He’s also a capable receiver out of the backfield, which should only help his fantasy potential with Mathews out of the picture for at least a month. It may be time to find out what this Brown can do you for your fantasy team.

Teaser:
5 Running Backs to Replace Jamaal Charles
Post date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 13:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-waiver-wire-week-3
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Injuries and other circumstances have not been kind to fantasy football superstars early this season. Many this week had to make do without any solid contributions from Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, A.J. Green or Robert Griffin III to name a few. And to make matters worse, some of these highly drafted players are going to miss more than one game. So yet again, beleaguered and bewildered owners will have to turn to their league’s waiver wire in hopes of finding a lifeline.

 

And in that respect Athlon Sports is here to help you sort through some of the potential free agent options. The players listed in our weekly fantasy football waiver wire may be one-week adds, some may be worth holding on to all season long and some are of the “sleeper” variety that you may simply want to keep an eye on.

 

Quarterbacks

 

Week 1 Recap: Joe Flacco wasn’t spectacular (166 yds., 2 TDs), but he was steady and mistake-free in leading the Ravens to a big win over the Steelers. Jake Locker struggled against Dallas, throwing two interceptions and just one touchdown. Carson Palmer didn’t play against the Giants due to an elbow issue.

 

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III dislocated his ankle against Jacksonville, potentially putting his season in jeopardy. Then again, given how well Cousins performed after RGIII went down, the Redskins appear to be in pretty good shape under center. Cousins completed 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and no picks in Washington’s dominating 41-10 win at home. With appealing matchups against Philadelphia and the Giants looming, Cousins could be one of the most added players this week.

 

Running Backs

 

Week 1 Recap: Mark Ingram collected 104 total yards and scored his third rushing touchdown of the season in the Saints’ last-second loss to Cleveland, but he's also expected to miss up to a month because of a broken hand. Terrance West led the way for the Browns on the ground with 68 yards rushing and a score, while Isaiah Crowell chipped in 54 on 11 carries. Bernard Pierce got 22 carries against Pittsburgh and turned them into 96 yards, while most of Justin Forsett’s 56 yards rushing (8 att.) came on a 41-yard burst. Chris Ivory not only got more carries (13) than Chris Johnson (12), but he also finished with more yards (43 to 21) and scored another rushing touchdown in the Jets’ loss to Green Bay.

 

Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson was deactivated on Friday due to an ongoing legal issue in Texas, which meant Asiata got the starting nod against New England. He rushed for just 36 yards on 13 carries, but caught five passes for 48 yards, including a 25-yard TD to open the scoring. Peterson has been reinstated by the Vikings and is expected to play Sunday, but his owners just may want to be safe and add Asiata to their roster if they have room. As is the case with any legal- or personal conduct-related issues in the NFL, especially this season, there's no telling what will happen next.

 

Knile Davis, Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles went down early with an ankle injury, but the Chiefs’ rushing attack didn’t miss a beat with Davis. The former Arkansas star posted 79 yards rushing on 22 carries and scored both of Kansas City’s touchdowns in the 24-17 loss to Denver. With Charles sidelined "indefinitely" with the dreaded high ankle sprain, Davis will take over as the starter, beginning with a road date in Miami.

 

Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani Bernard is No. 1 in the pecking order, but the Bengals are not forgetting about the new guy either. While Bernard carried the ball 27 times on Sunday, Hill also got 15 carries. He finished with 74 yards rushing and also picked up his first career NFL touchdown. Through two games Hill has averaged nearly 10 carries a game and is averaging nearly five yards per attempt. This rookie is quickly entering the RB2/RB3/flex discussion.

 

Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin was a late scratch due to an ankle injury, opening the door for Rainey to see more touches. And all the diminutive (5-8) back did was explode for 144 yards on 22 carries against St. Louis. Rainey has excelled as the starter before, rushing for a total of 290 yards in games against Atlanta and Buffalo last season, so this isn’t exactly out of the blue. Add to this that his latest 100-yard effort came against a pretty good St. Louis defense and the fact the Bucs have a short week ahead of them, it’s highly likely Rainey will get another crack at those aforementioned Falcons on Thursday.

 

Wide Receivers

 

Week 1 Recap: Andrew Hawkins led the Browns in targets (12), catches (6) and yards (70) for the second straight game, including a critical 28-yard reception late in the fourth quarter that set up the game-winning field goal. Steve Smith Sr. was the Ravens’ leading receiver for a second straight week, catching six passes for 71 yards against the Steelers. In that same game, Markus Wheaton hauled in five grabs for 58 yards while also picking up 22 yards rushing on two carries. Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns followed up his huge Week 1 effort with two catches for just 13 yards, but was still better than teammate and fellow rookie Marqise Lee (2, 11), as the Jaguars’ struggled to move the ball against Washington’s defense (see below).

 

Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns

The new drug policy negotiated by the NFL and NFLPA is reportedly close to being finalized. While several players will be reinstated immediately once this deal becomes official, Gordon is not among them. However, Gordon’s season-long suspension will reportedly be reduced to 10 games. So even though Gordon won’t be seen on the field until Week 12, if he’s still available in your league, you need to act now. After all this is a guy who led the league in receiving yards last year despite playing just 14 games. Sure there’s plenty of risk in stashing Gordon away, but the payoff come fantasy playoff time could be well worth it.

 

James Jones, Oakland Raiders

He’s not in Green Bay anymore, but Jones looks like he’s become rookie quarterback Derek Carr’s favorite target for the Raiders. Jones caught nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Houston and was targeted (14) twice as many times as any other player. Through two games, Jones is averaging 12.2 yards per catch and has caught a touchdown pass in each game. Remember in fantasy, it’s not the uniform that’s important; it’s the numbers the player puts up.

 

Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green left early with a toe injury, one that could sideline him until after the Bengals’ Week 4 bye. With Marvin Jones already out with a broken foot and tight end Tyler Eifert on IR (dislocated elbow) that leaves Sanu as one of Andy Dalton’s primary targets. He led the team with 84 yards and a touchdown on just three catches and also completed one pass for 50 yards in the win over Atlanta. Except Sanu to be just as busy this coming Sunday against Tennessee.

 

Tight Ends

 

Week 1 Recap: Dwayne Allen followed up a strong return to the field with an absolute dud (1 target, 0 catches) in the Monday night loss to Philadelphia.

 

Larry Donnell, New York Giants

Larry who? Donnell is a 2012 undrafted free agent out of Grambling State who has gone from being cut to a practice squad member to Eli Manning’s new favorite target. In his first two career games, Donnell has caught 12 passes (on 17 targets) for 137 yards and a touchdown. He leads the Giants in targets, receptions and yards. Donnell may not be Julius Thomas 2.0, who came out of nowhere last year and wound up as a top-three fantasy tight end, but at this rate he’s definitely worth considering as a backup or TE2.

 

Niles Paul, Washington Redskins

Jordan Reed is expected to miss several weeks because of a hamstring injury and Paul has already taken advantage of his absence. After leading the team with 86 yards on four catches in Week 1, Paul took top honors across the board with his 11 targets, eight receptions, 99 yards and a touchdown in the dominating win over Jacksonville. With Kirk Cousins (see above) taking over for an injured Robert Griffin III, it appears that not even a quarterback change can slow Paul’s hot start.

 

Defense/Special Teams

 

Week 1 Recap: Houston continued its impressive start, forcing four turnovers and keeping Oakland scoreless until the fourth quarter in its 30-14 victory. Next up for the Texans is a road date with the turnover-prone Giants.

 

Washington Redskins

I know, I’m as shocked as you are that I’m including the Redskins here. But any time a team racks up 10 sacks and holds a team to as many points, it’s worth noting. This defense is not going to do this every week; at least I don’t think it will, but there’s nothing wrong with giving credit where it’s due either. That said, it is possible that Washington’s D puts together two solid games in a row, considering it gets Philadelphia and the Eagles’ banged-up offensive line next.

 

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point PER 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2014 Waiver Wire: Week 3
Post date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 10:00
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Week 2 of the 2014 NFL season concludes with what could be an entertaining matchup between Philadelphia and Indianapolis on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Andrew Luck and the Colts are hoping to bounce back at home after their second-half comeback in Denver last week came up short. On the other side, Chip Kelly’s Eagles are aiming to start their season 2-0 by defeating the defending AFC South champions in Lucas Oil Stadium.

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts

 

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Indianapolis -3

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. The Eagles’ Takeoff

After the first 30 minutes of Philadelphia’s season-opener last week against Jacksonville the home team and defending NFC East champions trailed the lowly Jaguars 17-0. Quarterback Nick Foles had committed nearly as many turnovers in just 20 minutes (3) as he had all of last season (4). Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense generated just 129 yards in the first half. Fortunately for the Eagles and the home crowd, things turned around in a big way in the second half, as Philadelphia outscored Jacksonville 34-0. Foles finished the game with 322 yards passing and two touchdowns, one of them a 68-yard scoring strike to Jeremy Maclin. New Eagle Darren Sproles got the rally started by taking a handoff on fourth-and-1 and busting up the middle 49 yards for the first touchdown. The scoring ended when Fletcher Cox recovered a fumble and returned it for a score with less than two minutes remaining. After a sluggish first half, Philadelphia found its footing and made enough plays on both sides of the ball to beat a Jacksonville team that everyone expected it to beat. The Eagles can’t afford another slow start tonight, not on the road against the Colts, the defending AFC South champions who went 6-2 in Lucas Oil Stadium last season.

 

2. Offensive Line Attrition

One week into the season and neither team is at full strength up front for different reasons. Philadelphia’s offensive line, one of the best units in the NFL in 2013, was already having to deal with starting right tackle Lane Johnson’s four-game suspension before things got worse against Jacksonville. All-Pro left guard Evan Mathis and Allen Barbre, who was filling in for Johnson at right tackle, both got hurt before halftime. Mathis has a MCL sprain, which is severe enough that the Eagles placed him on injured reserve with a designation to return. The earliest Mathis will be eligible to play is Week 10. Barbe meanwhile is done for the season after injuring his ankle against the Jaguars. The team signed former Houston Texan guard Wade Smith, a 11-year veteran who made the Pro Bowl in 2012, and elevated tackle Kevin Graf from its practice squad, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding how Chip Kelly will put all of these pieces together. For Indianapolis, its offensive line issues arose before the season started, as left guard Donald Thomas suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury and center Khaled Holmes sustained an ankle injury that limited him during the majority of training camp and the preseason. The Colts’ reshuffled line held up pretty well against Denver last week but will be tested tonight by an Eagles pass rush that generated three sacks in Week 1. The battle in the trenches is always important in the NFL and tonight’s game could likely be determined by which depleted offensive line rises to the occasion.

 

3. Balanced Offense Produces Winning Results?

Both Philadelphia and Indianapolis racked up more than 400 yards of total offense in their season openers, but the teams got there in different ways. The Eagles put together a more balanced attack, gaining 145 yards on the ground and 275 through the air. The Colts on the other hand were much more one-dimensional, throwing for 370 and rushing for just 54. Nick Foles played a big part in his team’s second-half comeback against Jacksonville, while Andrew Luck was practically his team’s entire offense in its similar attempt in Denver. Besides the passing, Luck was Indianapolis’ second-leading rusher with 19 yards and a touchdown, meaning Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw combined for just 35 yards. Compare that to the 70-plus rushing yards LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles each produced. Foles and Luck are Pro Bowl quarterbacks who are capable of making plays with their arm and their legs. However, as last week showed with these two teams, asking your signal-caller to do it all is not necessarily the best formula for winning. Will this trend and the subsequent results continue tonight?

 

Final Analysis

 

Offensively speaking, Philadelphia is a more balanced team with LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles in its backfield. However, Indianapolis has enjoyed quite a bit of success with Andrew Luck pretty much doing it all by himself. After falling behind in Denver big last week, Luck almost brought the Colts alll the way back with his arm and legs. Indianapolis, just like Philadelphia, is a defending division champion who is usually tough to beat at home. Even though the Eagles enter this one with the momentum of being 1-0, this is not a team without its own flaws. Tonight, I think Indianapolis is able to expose a depleted offensive line and take advantage of some holes in the Eagles' defense. And while McCoy and Sproles will do their part, I'm looking for either Trent Richardson or Ahmad Bradshaw to give Luck some support and help the Colts take care of business on their own home turf.

 

Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Philadelphia 20
Teaser:
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Monday, September 15, 2014 - 10:00
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Kansas City’s injury-ravaged defense could be in for another tough day at the office when it faces Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High this afternoon on CBS. The Chiefs (0-1) not only lost their season opener at home to the Titans last week, it also lost All-Pro linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive lineman Mike DeVito to season-ending injuries. The Broncos (1-0) meanwhile jumped out to a 24-0 lead on the Colts before holding off a furious rally by Andrew Luck and company to win their opener.

 

Denver has won its last four meetings against its AFC West rival, all of which have featured Peyton Manning under center. The Broncos have outscored the Chiefs 117-57 during this span, 65-20 at home.

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

 

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: Denver -13.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Are the Chiefs Defense-less?

Nothing went right for Kansas City in its season-opening home loss to Tennessee. The Chiefs were outgained 450 total yards to 245, went 1 for 12 on third-down conversions and committed three turnovers. However, the biggest losses came on the defensive side when the aforementioned Johnson and DeVito each tore their Achilles. That’s two starters gone, Johnson being an All-Pro and one of the anchors, from a defense that was struggling to begin with. Also, no one is going to mistake the Titans’ offense, which is led by a third-year starting quarterback, for Denver’s, which set numerous records last season and is headed up by one of the greatest signal-callers to ever play the game. Peyton Manning is 11-1 (including playoffs) against Kansas City in his career with a 24:11 TD:INT ratio and close to 300 yards passing per game. The Chiefs’ defense had enough trouble slowing down the Broncos’ offense last season with Johnson and DeVito on the field. This task will be that much tougher without them.

 

2. Getting More out of the Ground Game

With Kansas City’s issues on defense, even more of the burden will fall on the offense to carry this team. The Chiefs’ offense starts and ends with running back Jamaal Charles, an All-Pro last season who tied for the NFL lead with 12 rushing touchdowns and led with 19 total scores. Last week against Tennessee, Charles finished with just 19 yards rushing on seven carries. Usually active in the passing game (7 TD catches in 2013), Charles was targeted only four times against the Titans. After the game, head coach Andy Reid said Charles’ lack of touches was “negligence” on his part, so expect that to change against Denver. A big key will be how successful Charles is running behind a revamped offensive line that saw three starters depart in free agency and is without another who is suspended. The Broncos gave up just 54 yards on the ground last week to Indianapolis, but the Colts don’t have an All-Pro talent like Charles in their backfield. Whether Denver’s Montee Ball is on the same level remains to be seen, but the Broncos are hoping for big things from their second-year back, who is taking over for the departed Knowshon Moreno. While Moreno racked up 134 yards rushing in his Miami debut, Ball was held in check by the Colts, finishing with 67 yards on 23 carries. As a team, the Broncos finished with 102 yards on the ground, but need to improve on their 3.2 yard-per-carry average. The Titans racked up 162 yards rushing last week against the Chiefs, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.

 

3. The Other Passing Attack

Everyone is well familiar with the efficient, productive machine that is Peyton Manning and the Denver passing attack. Even though Eric Decker is now a New York Jet and Wes Welker is currently suspended, Manning and company did their usual thing against Indianapolis – 22-of-36 passing for 269 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Meanwhile, Alex Smith barely completed half of his passes (19 of 35) for 202 yards, one touchdown and three picks in Kansas City’s home loss to Tennessee. To be fair, Smith was missing his best wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe, who was serving a one-game suspension. That said, Bowe struggled last season and even if he rebounds to his 2010 Pro Bowl form, Smith’s group of pass-catchers simply doesn’t match up with Manning’s stable. Kansas City will have to find a way to move the ball and score some points to keep up with Denver’s high-octane offense at home, which means the passing game will need to do its part. And it will have to do so against a Broncos defense that has added a trio of Pro Bowlers in pass-rushing specialist DeMarcus Ware, lockdown cornerback Aqib Talib and hard-hitting safety T.J. Ward.   

 

Final Analysis

 

Even at full strength, Kansas City’s defense figured to have its hands full trying to slow down Peyton Manning and Denver’s offense, especially at home. The Chiefs’ pass rush could cause some issues for Manning in the pocket, but without Derrick Johnson in the middle and Mike DeVito up front, I just don’t see this defense being able to hold the Broncos down long. And regardless of what the defense is able to do, the Chiefs’ offense has its own issues and will be working to fix them against a markedly different defense than it faced last season. Denver was near unstoppable (9-1) last season at home, a trend I fully expect to continue this afternoon.

 

Prediction: Denver 38, Kansas City 20
Teaser:
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: Chicago Bears, NFC, San Francisco 49ers, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/chicago-bears-san-francisco-49ers-game-preview-and-prediction
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San Francisco will christen brand-new Levi’s Stadium by facing off with Chicago tonight on NBC. The 49ers (1-0) look to continue the momentum from their convincing 28-17 win in Dallas last week by breaking in their new building with a victory in front of what’s sure to be a raucous home crowd. The Bears have the difficult task of heading to the West Coast to face a championship-caliber team while also attempting to rebound from a disappointing 23-20 overtime home loss last week to the Bills.

 

This will be the 60th all-time regular season meeting between these two proud and historic franchises. The series is tied at 29-29-1, but the 49ers have won the past two games as well as the last eight played at home, although this will be the first at Levi’s Stadium.

 

Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers

 

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC

Spread: San Francisco -7

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Introducing Levi’s Stadium

After 43 seasons and 205 regular season victories, the most by any team in its home stadium, the 49ers have bid a fond farewell to Candlestick Park. Tonight’s game will mark the debut of Levi’s Stadium, a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, forward-thinking facility in Santa Clara, Calif., that seats approximately 68,500 and cost $1.2 billion to build. The first NFL stadium built in California since 1967, Levi’s Stadium has already made a name for itself by becoming the first NFL venue to receive LEED Gold certification, a recognition of commitment to environmental sustainability in design and construction. The stadium’s other amenities and features are equally top-notch, even if the turf has already been replaced. The site of the Pac-12 Football Championship Game in December and Super Bowl 50 in February 2016, Levi’s Stadium is sure to get its share of coverage during tonight’s broadcast. On the field, the 49ers’ focus will be on making themselves comfortable in their new surroundings with the goal of ending the night 1-0 at Levi’s Stadium.

 

2. Bear-ing Down on the Ground

Chicago had trouble stopping the run last season and that’s putting it lightly. The Bears were dead last in the NFL at 161.4 rushing yards per game allowed. The defensive line was beset by injuries and a lack of depth in 2013, something the team focused on fixing this offseason. A trio of veteran defensive ends in Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young were brought in and the team also drafted a pair of defensive tackles in Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. Unfortunately, as Week 1 showed, coordinator Mel Tucker’s defense is still a work in progress. Buffalo rushed for 193 yards on 33 carries (5.0 ypc), including a 47-yard run by Anthony Dixon and a pivotral 38-yard run by Fred Jackson that set up the Bills’ game-winning field goal in overtime. Things won’t get any easier tonight against San Francisco, a team that loves to run the ball. Frank Gore has put together three consecutive 1,100-yard rushing seasons and the 49ers have added second-round pick Carlos Hyde to their backfield. This duo combined for 116 yards on 23 carries (5.0 ypc) in the Week 1 victory in Dallas, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s running ability can’t be overlooked either. To put it simply, Chicago’s defense needs to gel and quickly if it doesn’t want to get run over by the home team. One thing that could help the Bears’ defense is support from its running game. DeMarco Murray piled up 118 yards rushing last week on a depleted San Francisco defense and Chicago has its own Pro Bowl-caliber running back in Matt Forté, who had 82 yards on the ground against Buffalo.

 

3. Quality Quarterback Play

Last season, Chicago’s offense under first-year head coach Marc Trestman developed into one of the NFL’s most productive and explosive units. The Bears finished among the top eight in the league in total, passing and scoring offense. The triggerman for this attack is Jay Cutler, who needs to make smart decisions for this offense to be most effective. Case in point: Cutler threw two interceptions in last week’s overtime home loss to Buffalo. He has now thrown at least two picks in 29 career games. In those games, his teams are 6-23 compared to 50-25 when he limits his throwing miscues to one or fewer. The team showed its trust in Cutler when it signed him to a seven-year, $126 million extension. Now he needs to show that it was money well spent. On the other side, Colin Kaepernick is in his just his second full season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback, but the expectations are just as high as they are for Cutler, if not higher. That's what happens when come on the scene as a relatively unheralded rookie in 2012, take over for a concussed Alex Smith and lead your team to the Super Bowl. The 49ers made it back to the NFC title game last season and the goal remains the same in 2014. On a team that’s dedicated to running the football and playing tough defense, Kaepernick’s not asked to do too much, but if the 49ers want to become that much more dangerous, and likewise tougher to defend, on offense they will have to open up the playbook some. In 24 career regular-season starts, Kaepernick is 18-6 with a 33:11 TD:INT ratio. Kaepernick also has had success against the Bears before, as his first career start came against them in Week 11 of the 2012 season on “Monday Night Football.” In that game, Kaepernick threw for 243 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in an easy 32-7 win. If he plays that well tonight chances are he will run his career mark to 2-0 against Chicago, especially if Cutler’s ball-security issues continue to make an appearance.

 

Final Analysis

 

Football fans are in for a real San Francisco treat tonight as the 49ers unveil their brand spanking new stadium. The home team will no doubt be fired up and focused on breaking in Levi’s Stadium the right way – with a win. Chicago is reeling after last week’s disappointing overtime home loss to Buffalo, a defeat that opened up some old wounds from the 2013 season. The Bears’ offense, when healthy, is good enough to give any defense problems, especially a 49ers unit that’s missing some key pieces. However, Chicago enters this game missing two starters on the offensive line and with both of its top wide receivers dealing with injuries. Momentum is squarely on San Francisco’s side, as well as the added excitement, energy and emotion that’s associated with this being the first game in its new stadium. Chicago puts up a fight, but the 49ers make enough plays on both sides of the ball to make the first-ever game at Levi's Stadium a happy memory for the home fans in attendance.

 

Prediction: San Francisco 37, Chicago 20
Teaser:
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers Game Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-2-injury-updates-eddie-lacy-cam-newton-carson-palmer-deangelo-williams
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The Carolina Panthers will have their starting quarterback for Week 2, but may be without their No. 1 running back. Meanwhile Green Bay’s workhorse should be back on the field after suffering a concussion last week. Here are some other QB and RB injuries you need to know about before setting your starting lineup.

 

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions

Probable – Ribs
Newton was held out of the season opener because of bruised ribs, as the Panthers decided to err on the side of the caution. The move paid off as backup Derek Anderson led them to a road victory over the Buccaneers. But Newton is the franchise quarterback for a reason. He got in a good week of practice and head coach Ron Rivera has already said that Newton will start today. He may not run as much as usual, but if Newton’s your guy, you need him to put him in your lineup.

 

Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers vs. New York Jets

Probable – Concussion
Lacy spent more time on the sideline than on the field last week against Seattle due to a concussion he sustained. Not the first concussion the second-year back has had as a pro, Lacy was a late returnee to practice this week as he went through the league-mandated tests and protocols. The good news for Lacy owners is he’s listed as Probable, which means he has cleared the required tests and is able to play. The matchup against the Jets is better than last week, but it’s still no walk in the park. Also don’t be surprised if James Starks gets a few more carries to take some of the load off of Lacy. Still, Lacy is a must-start RB1 in any league.

 

Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants

Questionable - Shoulder
Palmer was a somewhat surprise appearance on the injury report, but he’s reportedly dealing with a shoulder issue. He hasn’t thrown much this week due to what head coach Bruce Arians is calling a “nerve issue.” Palmer is listed as Questionable and that along with the curious diagnosis is enough reason to be concerned. Palmer was one of the biggest surprises of Week 1, but those looking to cash in on this Cardinal and the appealing matchup with the Giants better have a Plan B in place.

 

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Probable – Shoulder
Moreno showed up on the injury report earlier this week because of a shoulder issue, which limited him in practice. However, it appears to be a minor issue, as he is listed as Probable for today’s interesting AFC East matchup with Buffalo. Moreno is the NFL’s leading rusher after one week, as he gashed New England for 134 yards. His stock may have been slipping entering the season, but those who took a shot on Moreno have already been rewarded. He’s a solid RB2 play this week.

 

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions

Questionable – Thigh
Williams missed practice both Thursday and Friday because of a thigh injury. He is listed as Questionable to play against the Lions and it’s probably best to find a different option for your lineup. If Williams does miss this game, Jonathan Stewart and MikeTolbert figure to see more work, especially since the Panthers may not let Cam Newton run that much after missing Week 1 because of bruised ribs. Stewart could be a flex option for those looking for help.

 

Shaun Hill, QB, St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Questionable – Quad
Already down one quarterback because of Sam Bradford’s torn ACL, Hill suffered a quad injury last week against Minnesota. He has not been able to practice, is listed as Questionable and head coach Jeff Fisher said Hill will be a “game-time decision.” Hill wasn’t exactly the most appealing fantasy option to begin with, so it’s probably best to stay away from any Ram QB as Austin Davis will make his first career NFL start if Hill can’t go.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football Week 2 Injury Updates: Eddie Lacy, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, DeAngelo Williams
Post date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-2-fantasy-football-injury-updates-andre-johnson-cecil-shorts-mike-wallace-justin-hunter
Body:

A tough Texan and a wounded Jaguar are just some of the wide receiver injuries fantasy owners should be aware of for Week 2. Be sure to read this before setting your starting lineup today.

 

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans at Oakland Raiders

Probable – Ankle
Johnson has been nursing a minor ankle injury that’s limited his practice participation. But he is listed as Probable and it’s not like this tough Texan hasn’t played through injury before. Johnson has proven time and again that he can be effective even when he’s not at 100 percent so you can plug him into your starting lineup with confidence.

 

Cecil Shorts and Marqise Lee, WRs, Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins

Doubtful – Hamstring; Probable – Knee
Shorts missed last week because of a hamstring injury and it’s not looking good for Week 2 either. The hamstring continues to hamper him and causing him to miss practice, and don’t forget Doubtful is just one step removed from Out. Meanwhile Lee is Probable with a knee injury, so he should be able to play. Even though Lee is probably the safer bet long term, it appears that Allen Hurns, last week’s out-of-nowhere fantasy stud will get another week as a key target for Chad Henne. I don’t have an issue with having either in your lineup; just don’t bank on a repeat of Hurns’ Week 1 success.

 

Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Probable – Hamstring
Wallace was limited in practice earlier this week because of a hamstring issue, but he’s expected to be on the field today against the Bills. It’s just one game, but Wallace already appears much more comfortable in the Dolphins’ new offense than he did last season. He caught seven passes for 81 yards and a touchdown against New England last week. Wallace is a fine WR2 option with upside.

 

Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans vs. Dallas Cowboys

Probable – Knee
Hunter missed practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury. He shows up on the injury report, but he’s listed as Probable and there’s no reason to not expect him to play. A popular breakout candidate entering the season, Hunter could post big numbers against a suspect Cowboys’ secondary. Nothing wrong with plugging Hunter in as a WR2/WR3/flex and seeing what happens.

Teaser:
Week 2 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Andre Johnson, Cecil Shorts, Mike Wallace, Justin Hunter
Post date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-2-injury-updates-brandon-marshall-alshon-jeffery-aj-green
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The Week 2 fate of a pair of Chicago wide receivers could go down to the wire. Those are just a few of the injury stories we are keeping tabs on.

 

Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, WRs, Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers

Questionable – Hamstring; Questionable – Ankle
Last week was not a good one for Chicago, who not only lost at home in overtime to Buffalo, but also saw its top two wide receivers get hurt. Jeffery sustained a hamstring injury that kept him on the sideline for the rest of the game, while Marshall hurt his ankle, but was able to return. Both wideouts missed the majority of practice this week and are listed as Questionable for tonight’s game in San Francisco. Right now, Marshall’s chances of playing appear higher, but given the late kickoff it may be best to leave both on the bench and look elsewhere. Even if either plays, expectations should be tempered due to their health and the matchup with a 49ers defense that’s ready to come after Jay Cutler, who is missing two of his primary protectors up front.

 

A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons

Probable – Foot
Green missed some practice time this week because of a foot issue, but he’s Probable and head coach Marvin Lewis said he will play. This is more a team being cautious with their No. 1 wide receiver, who finished his Week 1 effort with an electrifying 77-yard touchdown reception. Green is a bona fide WR1 who only leaves your lineup when he’s on bye.
 

Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns

Probable – Quadriceps
Stills missed last week because of a quad injury, which was still limiting him in practice this week. However, he’s been upgraded to Probable, so there’s a chance he will play today. That doesn’t mean he should be plugged into your lineup right away, as rookie Brandin Cooks looked quite comfortable last week and Drew Brees also has Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Pierre Thomas to throw to. Stills could provide sneaky production down the road, but he’ll most likely only be valuable in deeper leagues.

 

Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals

Out – Hamstring
The wait for the debut of the Giants’ No. 1 pick will continue, as Beckham will miss a second game because of a lingering hamstring issue. Those who have stayed with Beckham this long may as well continue to ride it out, but strong showings from either Rueben Randle or Jerrel Jernigan could push Beckham even further down the pecking order.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football Week 2 Injury Updates: Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, A.J. Green
Post date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 06:30

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