Articles By Mark Ross

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Still riding high following its victory over New England at home on “Monday Night Football,” Carolina has ascended to the top of Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 12 defense/special teams rankings. The Panthers are third in fantasy points among DSTs, behind only Kansas City and Seattle, and will take on Miami this Sunday. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has had his problems with turnovers (16 total) this season, and he’s also been sacked an NFL-worst 41 times.

Houston, led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, was among the league leaders in sacks last season, but 2013 has been a struggle for the Texans DST. Near the bottom in fantasy points, Houston’s DST could be a replacement/bye week fill-in option this week, as the Texans host Jacksonville. The Jaguars are not only last in both total and scoring offense; they are giving up the second-most fantasy points to DSTs.

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.

2013 NFL Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle

RkTeamOPPNotes
1Carolina Panthersat MIAKeep rising to the occasion - late INT to seal MNF win vs. NE.
2Kansas City Chiefsvs. SDDidn't record a single sack vs. Peyton Manning last week.
3San Francisco 49ersat WAS (Mon.)49ers' D still seething over what happened in New Orleans.
4Baltimore Ravensvs. NYJCan the Ravens take advantage of Geno Smith's growing pains?
5New Orleans Saintsat ATL (Thurs.)This is not the same Falcons team Saints beat in Week 1.
6Houston Texansvs. JACGave up 3 TD passes to Raiders, but just 176 passing yards.
7Arizona Cardinalsvs. INDCardinals' D has been pretty tough out in the desert.
8St. Louis Ramsvs. CHICan the Rams get to McCown? Slow down Forte?
9New York Giantsvs. DAL11.8 ppg, 253.3 ypg, 11 takeaways during 4-game winning streak.
10Green Bay Packersvs. MINPeterson (groin) wasn’t at full strength last week vs. Seattle.
11Pittsburgh Steelersat CLEHorrendous first half, solid second half last week vs. Lions.
12Chicago Bearsat STLBears have picked off at least one pass in 5 straight games.
13Tennessee Titansat OAKTitans' rushing defense could be tested by Raiders.
14Cleveland Brownsvs. PITBrowns gave up 224 yards (118 passing) last week to Bengals.
15Oakland Raidersvs. TENRaiders' D has been pretty solid in the Black Hole.
16Dallas Cowboysat NYGCowboys come off of bye for critical NFC East showdown.

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

Additional Week 12 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends

Kickers

Week 12 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 12
Post date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 07:30
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Seattle’s Steven Hauschka, the top scorer at his position, is on bye so it’s only fitting that Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 12 kicker rankings is headlined by two who will share the same field on Sunday night. New England’s Stephen Gostkowski may trail Hauschka in fantasy points, but he’s No. 1 in this week’s rankings with Denver’s Matt Prater right behind him. The Patriots host the Broncos Sunday night and expect both kickers to play a role in determining the winner of this matchup of AFC division leaders.

New Orleans also is in first place in its division (NFC South), and the Saints have an opportunity to extend that lead Thursday night against Atlanta. After a few rocky outings, Garrett Hartley has seemingly righted the ship, which makes the Saints offense that much more dangerous. Hartley entered last week’s big game against San Francisco connecting on just two of his past six field goal attempts. It got so bad that the team actually brought in some kickers to try out, although the decision was made to stick with Hartley.

Hartley rewarded the coaching staff’s loyalty by knocking through all three of his attempts against the 49ers, including a long of 42 yards that tied the game at 20 with a little more than two minutes left. The most important one, however, was the 31-yarder he made as time expired to give the Saints a hard-fought 23-20 victory over the defending NFC champions. Hartley is a clear-cut, top-10 option this week against a Falcons defense that’s allowing the most fantasy points to kickers.

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.

2013 NFL Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers
Teams on bye this week: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle

RkPlayerTeamOPPONENT
1Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. DEN
2Matt PraterDENat NE
3Dan BaileyDALat NYG
4Nick FolkNYJat BAL
5Justin TuckerBALvs. NYJ
6Garrett HartleyNOat ATL (Thurs.)
7Adam VinatieriINDat ARI
8Mason CrosbyGBvs. MIN
9Robbie GouldCHIat STL
10Ryan SuccopKCvs. SD
11Shaun SuishamPITat CLE
12Nick NovakSDat KC
13Phil DawsonSFat WAS (Mon.)
14Josh BrownNYGvs. DAL
15Graham GanoCARat MIA
16Blair WalshMINat GB

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

Additional Week 12 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 12 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings: Week 12
Post date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 07:30
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With the fantasy playoffs just around the corner, there’s not much time left for those teams looking to make a last-minute push. To that end, Athlon Sports has scoured the waiver wire to identify those potential free agent pickups that could potentially buy your squad more time, as you aim to keep those fantasy postseason hopes and championship dreams alive.

The players listed in Athlon’s weekly fantasy football waiver wire may be one-week adds, some may be worth holding onto all season long and some are of the “sleeper” variety that you may want to keep an eye on. So without further ado, here are some players you may want to consider.

Teams on bye in Week 12: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle

Quarterbacks
Week 11 Recap: Ryan Fitzpatrick posted nearly 250 total yards of offense with no turnovers on Thursday night against Indianapolis, but he managed just one touchdown pass in the close loss to the Colts. The elements certainly were a factor in the Ravens-Bears game in stormy Chicago, as Josh McCown struggled with his accuracy (19 of 31) and finished with 216 yards passing. He did have a touchdown pass with no turnovers and helped lead his team to an overtime victory, bringing his record as the Bears’ starter to 2-0. McCown will get a shot at 3-0 this week with Jay Cutler (ankle) already ruled out against St. Louis.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
With a significant helping hand from Michael Floyd (see below), Palmer posted his best numbers of the season, throwing for 419 yards and two touchdowns in the win in Jacksonville. The yards were Palmer’s second-highest total in his career and, more importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over. Palmer has 17 or more fantasy points (Athlon scoring) in four of his past five games and has two appealing matchups on tap in Indianapolis and Philadelphia. After that, however, the sledding gets much tougher with an ending slate of St. Louis, Tennessee, Seattle and San Francisco. Think of Palmer as a short-term investment, especially if you need some QB help to get you into the playoffs.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
It wasn’t always pretty, but Big Ben (above) made the most of his opportunities against the Lions. In a game that didn’t lack for offensive fireworks, Roethlisberger out-dueled Matthew Stafford by throwing for 367 yards and four touchdowns. He also didn’t turn the ball over and now finds himself just on the outside of the top 10 in fantasy scoring among quarterbacks. He is by the far the least owned when it comes to the top scorers at his position, despite the fact Roethlisberger has gone over 34 fantasy points in two of his last three games. His schedule the rest of the way is very manageable with four games against teams that are ranked in the top 18 when it comes fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Big Ben is no stranger to postseason success having won two Super Bowl titles. Perhaps he can do the same for your fantasy team this season.

Running Backs
Week 11 Recap: Chris Ivory had a game-high 98 yards rushing in the Jets’ loss to the Bills on Sunday with 69 of those coming on one carry during garbage time in the fourth quarter. He also had a short touchdown run and appears pretty locked in as the Jets’ lead back for the rest of the season. Shane Vereen had just seven rushing yards on Monday night against Carolina, but he led the Patriots with 11 targets, eight receptions and 65 yards receiving. Vereen should be active enough in the Patriots' offense to maintain flex consideration, especially in PPR leagues. Rashard Mendenhall got a team-high 13 carries, but he managed just 14 yards against the Jaguars. He did post his second rushing touchdown in three games and as long as he gets more touches (16) than Andre Ellington (10), he will remain a factor.

Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Was Sunday night a coming out party for the highly regarded rookie? Even though Knowshon Moreno dominated the carries (27 to 8), Ball scored two rushing touchdowns and caught three passes in the Broncos’ big win over the previously undefeated Chiefs. Ball’s not going to take the No. 1 job away from Moreno, not as long as he continues to have issues with ball security (fumble against the Chiefs) and in pass protection, but it’s clear the Broncos aren’t going to ignore him either. He has seen consistent work in each of the past three games and has three touchdowns during that span. It’s a bit of risk with Moreno getting the vast majority of the touches, but Ball could be setting the stage for a strong finish to his rookie season.

Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts
Brown is not a “new” name for this space, but it’s probably time to start viewing him, and not Trent Richardson, as the Colts’ primary back. Brown led the team in carries (14) against Tennessee on Thursday night, turning those into 80 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile Richardson had just 22 yards on eight carries. Richardson isn’t getting the job done, and considering Brown’s versatility (15 rec., 153 yds., TD), don’t be surprised to see him get more touches than T-Rich the rest of the way.

Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Following Mike James’ injury, the thinking was that Brian Leonard would get the majority of the carries. Instead, the coaching staff turned to the diminutive (5-8) Rainey, who gashed the Falcons for 163 yards on 30 carries. Rainey also had two rushing touchdowns and caught another, which is pretty impressive considering his size and the fact that he started the season with Cleveland. There is no guarantee that Rainey will come anywhere close to replicating this type of success, especially with some tough games remaining (Carolina, Arizona, San Francisco), but any back who gets more than 30 touches and produces more than 35 fantasy points deserves a little recognition.

Wide Receivers
Week 11 Recap: Jerricho Cotchery caught three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown against Detroit. It was his fifth touchdown catch in three games and it’s possible he could continue his hot streak if Emmanuel Sanders’ foot injury causes him to miss some time. Aaron Dobson had four catches for 38 yards in New England's Monday night loss to Carolina, as the Panthers' defense did a good job limiting the big plays. Percy Harvin made his season debut for the Seahawks, catching his lone target for 17 yards, but he also had a 58-yard kickoff return, displaying the explosiveness and big-play ability that makes him so appealing in fantasy. St. Louis rookie Tavon Austin has a similar skill set and is coming off of his best game (314 total yards, 3 TDs) as the Rams got an extra week to prepare for Sunday’s home date with Chicago.

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
Similar to Harvin (see above), San Francisco’s offense could get a much-needed jolt with the return of Crabtree. The 49ers’ leading receiver last season, Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon in late March, but returned to practice last week and could be activated in time to play in the Monday night game against Washington. While it’s certainly risky to trust Crabtree to produce immediately, don’t forget that in the 10 games, including playoffs, that Colin Kaepernick started last season, Crabtree posted the following numbers: 61 receptions, 880 yards, 8 touchdowns.

Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
After injuring his shoulder last week, Floyd was actually questionable to even play against Jacksonville. Six catches, 193 yards and a touchdown later, the only question that remains is how good can Floyd be the rest of the season? Floyd was targeted a team-high 11 times and his touchdown came on a catch-and-run that covered 91 yards. Larry Fitzgerald (9 targets, 6 rec., 61 yds., TD vs. Jaguars) is the Cardinals’ top target, but if Carson Palmer (see above) can continue his recent strong play, there should be enough passes for both Fitz and Floyd to provide WR1/WR2-level production.

Marquise Goodwin, Buffalo Bills
A long jumper on the 2012 U.S. Olympics team, Goodwin also has plenty of speed to burn on the football field. He ran a 4.27 in the 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Combine, one of the reasons why the Bills took him in the third round of April’s draft. He and fellow rookie Robert Woods are considered the Bills’ future at wide receiver, but with Woods nursing a high ankle sprain and Stevie Johnson hobbled by a groin injury, Goodwin has made the most of his additional opportunities. He has 56 or more receiving yards in three of his past four games, including 81 on six catches in Sunday’s win over the Jets. He also has two touchdown catches in his last three outings, both of those covering more than 40 yards. The Bills are on bye this week, but Goodwin is certainly one to keep an eye on as the season winds down, especially if Woods’ or Johnson’s injury lingers.

Tight Ends
Week 11 Recap: John Carlson led Minnesota in catches (five) and receiving yards (69) for the second straight game, further strengthening his case for more ownership as long as Kyle Rudolph is sidelined with a broken foot.

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Walker’s role in the Titans’ passing game has seemed to evolve as this season has progressed. A member of San Francisco’s NFC championship team, Walker signed with Tennessee during the offseason and he has quietly put together respectable numbers, totaling 39 catches for 403 yards and five touchdowns. He may not be Jimmy Graham, but Walker has three touchdowns in his last four games and has averaged 12.6 fantasy points per outing during that span. He recorded a season-high 10 catches (on 10 targets) for 91 yards and a score against the Colts on Thursday night. Put it all together and he’s a borderline top-10 fantasy tight end who is barely owned in a fifth of all Yahoo! leagues.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 11 Recap: The New York Giants’ DST maintained its stretch of hot play with three interceptions, including one by Jason Pierre-Paul returned for a touchdown, and only 13 points allowed in a win over Green Bay. This Sunday the G-Men host Dallas and still have two games with Washington on the schedule.

New Orleans Saints
It has been quite the turnaround for the Saints’ defense. From setting the all-time record for most yards allowed (7.042) last season to ranking fourth in the NFL in the same category entering Week 12, first-year defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has done an impressive job. The Saints have been especially stingy against the pass (191.4 ypg) and are near the top of the rankings in sacks (32). Next up is an Atlanta (2-8) team that is in shambles and one that New Orleans fared pretty well against back in Week 1. The Saints sacked Matt Ryan three times, forced two turnovers and held them to just 17 points in their season-opening victory, and that was with Julio Jones in the lineup. Jones is on injured reserve, a bunch of other key Falcon players are banged up, and this is basically a team that’s ready to pack it in and focus on turning things around next season. With Seattle, Cincinnati and Buffalo all on bye, there are worse fill-in DST options than New Orleans.

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 2013 Waiver Wire: Week 12
Post date: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 08:00
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The New Orleans Saints host the San Francisco 49ers this afternoon at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX in a game that could carry significant playoff implications as the NFC postseason picture continues to develop. The Saints (7-2) are in first place in the NFC South looking to maintain their winning ways at home and stay at least a game ahead of the surging Carolina Panthers. The 49ers (6-3) are trying to keep pace with the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks and also bounce back from last week’s disappointing home loss to the Panthers.

Head coach Sean Payton’s Saints have yet to lose in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season and are coming off of their best performance of the season last week in which they posted 49 points and an NFL-record 40 first downs against Dallas. Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers have played very well on the road (3-1), but the offense led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick has struggled on more than one occasion. The 49ers managed just nine points and 151 yards of offense in last week’s 10-9 loss at home to Carolina. 

3 Things to Watch

Saints’ Home Cooking
New Orleans is one of five teams undefeated at home (5-0) this season, joining Denver, Kansas City, New England and Seattle in this distinction. The Saints’ dominance in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, however, goes far beyond their perfect record. In five home games, the Saints are averaging 35.2 points and 463.6 yards per game on offense, including the 49 points and 625 yards they put up on Dallas last Sunday night. It hasn’t just been the offense flexing its muscles in front of the raucous home crowd either. The defense, which has gone from the NFL’s worst to one of the top units under first-year coordinator Rob Ryan, is allowing just 15 points and 287.4 yards per home contest. The Saints are an entirely different team in the Big Easy than on the road, as the Superdome has become one of the loudest and most intimidating home environments in the NFL. San Francisco is somewhat familiar with this, although the 49ers were the ones who came out victorious in a 31-21 decision last season in the Superdome. There’s one rather large caveat when it comes to that game however. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended all of the 2012 season for his role in the Saints’ Bountygate scandal, and his absence clearly showed as the team stumbled to a 7-9 record. With Payton on the sidelines, the Saints have won 13 in a row at home. It’s safe to say that Cajun food isn’t the only type of home cooking happening down in the Big Easy.

“Dome Sweet Dome” for Kaepernick?
As was referenced above, this will not be Colin Kaepernick’s first game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Besides beating New Orleans in Week 12 of the 2012 regular season, San Francisco returned to the Superdome two months later to play Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII. Now while the 49ers came up short against the Ravens, Kaepernick played pretty well in both of these games and perhaps the somewhat familiar surroundings can help jumpstart what has been a very inconsistent 2013 campaign for the athletic, dual-threat quarterback. In two games at the Superdome last season, Kaepernick was 32-of-53 passing (60.4 percent) for 533 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and he also rushed 13 times for 89 yards (6.8 ypc) and two scores. Those numbers may not jump off of the page, but they are considerably better than what he’s been averaging this season. In nine games, Kaepernick has a total of 12 touchdowns (9 pass, 3 rush) to go along with nine turnovers (5 INTs, 4 fumbles). He is completing 56.4 of his passes for an average of only 186.1 yards per game and his rushing average is down (5.8 ypc compared to 6.6 in 2012) as well. The 49ers are still winning games, but they are dead last in the NFL in passing offense. Can Kaepernick rediscover last season’s form in the dome? It remains to be seen, but two potential obstacles in the way are the absences of wide receiver Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. Crabtree is recovering from a torn Achilles he sustained in late March and while he is closer to returning, he is considered a longshot at best to play this afternoon. Meanwhile, Davis sustained a concussion last week and will need to pass the mandatory tests before he is cleared to face the Saints. In the Super Bowl loss to the Ravens in February, Crabtree and Davis combined for 11 catches, 213 yards and a touchdown. So while it may be a familiar scene for Kaepernick this afternoon, he likely won’t see the same faces when he drops back and scans the field for an open target.

Which Defense Stands Tall?
San Francisco is sixth in the NFL in total defense and fourth in scoring defense, which is not a surprise to anyone who closely follows the league. However, it’s New Orleans’ defense that’s opening many people’s eyes in 2013, as the Saints are just behind the 49ers in both categories. First-year defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has done nothing short of a miracle in turning around a unit that set an NFL record for yards allowed (7,042) last season into one of the league’s stingiest in 2013. Statistically speaking, only seven total yards and eight points separate these two defenses. The 49ers have done a little better job stopping the run, while the Saints are giving up less than 200 yards passing per game. The Saints’ defense has been at its best at home, using its attacking style to create pressure (29 sacks, tied for 8th in the NFL) and force teams to make mistakes (15 takeaways). The 49ers have allowed more than 300 yards passing to a team just once and that was Green Bay back in Week 1. On the road, San Francisco’s defense is yielding 291 yards and less than 17 points per contest. New Orleans’ high-powered offense will no doubt be one of the toughest tests San Francisco has faced this season, but the reality is that even if the 49ers’ defense is able to slow down Drew Brees and company, the Saints’ stop-unit could have just as much say, if not more, in the outcome of this game.

San Francisco Key Player: Frank Gore, RB
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been very inconsistent as a passer this season, putting more pressure on Gore to carry the load on the ground. The veteran workhorse is sixth in the NFL in rushing with 700 yards and tied for third with seven rushing touchdowns. Gore is averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season and, not surprisingly, has been instrumental in the 49ers’ success. In the team’s six wins, Gore is averaging 86.7 yards rushing per game. That drops to 60 yards per contest when the 49ers lose, and all seven of Gore’s rushing touchdowns have come in victories. As well as New Orleans’ defense has played this season, teams have said some success running the ball (117.7 rushing ypg). The 49ers obviously need Kaepernick to be more productive when he drops back to throw, and a strong game from Gore could go a long ways towards making his quarterback’s job easier.

New Orleans Key Player: Mark Ingram, RB
The Saints are more known for their passing attack, but that doesn’t mean head coach Sean Payton totally ignores the ground game. New Orleans is 23rd in the NFL in rushing offense at 97.8 yards per game, but posted a season-high 242 yards in last week’s 49-17 rout of Dallas. Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles have been the primary ball carriers this season, but it was Ingram who broke out in a big way against the Cowboys. Prior to this past Sunday night, Ingram had totaled 50 yards rushing on 21 carries (2.4 ypc), as a toe injury and ineffectiveness had limited him to just three games. Against Dallas, Ingram exploded for 145 yards on just 14 carries (10.4 ypc) running over Cowboy defenders and refusing to let the first would-be tackler bring him down, looking every bit of the Heisman Trophy winner he was as a sophomore at Alabama in 2009. The Saints don’t need 100-plus yards out of Ingram every game, although they will gladly take it. They just need their 2011 first-round pick to be the between-the-tackles runner they drafted him to be. When effective, Ingram is the powerful, punishing rusher that rounds out the Saints’ talented backfield trio. In other words, a productive Ingram gives head coach Sean Payton and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael yet another weapon to play with, which is pretty much the last thing an opposing defensive coordinator wants to worry about.

Final Analysis

This game could have serious playoff implications by the time the dust settles in the NFC. New Orleans is trying to stay ahead of Carolina in the NFC South, while San Francisco can ill afford another loss with NFC West-leading Seattle already three games up on the 49ers in the win column. San Francisco may be the defending NFC champs, but this is a team still searching for its identity on offense, while the Saints have shown they are much more than just Drew Brees throwing the ball all over the field.

The Saints have been near unstoppable at home this season and while I don’t expect Brees and company to march down the field at will; I do think Sean Payton and his quarterback will be able to find some plays that work against the 49ers’ defense. On the other side of the ball, the Saints’ defense adds to Collin Kaepernick’s woes, as the 49ers lose their second game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in a span of less than 10 months.

New Orleans 24, San Francisco 20

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The AFC’s top two teams go head-to-head when the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos get together tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The Chiefs (9-0) are coming off of a bye looking to go two games up on the Broncos (8-1) in the AFC West. This is the first of two meetings between the division rivals, with the rematch set for Dec. 1 in Kansas City.

First-year head coach Andy Reid has directed a remarkable turnaround of a Chiefs team that went 2-14 last season. The Chiefs’ defense is largely responsible for this, as linebacker Derrick Johnson and his running mates rank first in the league in points allowed. For the Broncos, interim head coach Jack Del Rio is filling in for a recovering John Fox, as the Peyton Manning-led offense is putting up more than 40 points per game and has yet to really be stopped by any team.

4 Things to Watch

No. 1 Offense vs. No. 1 Defense – Something’s Got to Give
Denver is far and away No. 1 in the NFL in scoring offense at 41.2 points per game. The Broncos have scored 40 or more points five times and their season low is 28, which came last week against San Diego. Kansas City is tops in scoring defense, giving up just 12.3 points per game. The Chiefs have held three opponents to seven points or fewer and the most they have allowed are 17 (twice). This is the head-to-head matchup everyone will be watching, as no defense has been able to hold Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ offense to less than 397 yards of offense. The Chiefs have allowed that many in a game just twice and also lead the league in sacks (36) and takeaways (23). Denver has made a habit of running away with games, as its 371 points through nine games is a NFL record and it has outscored teams by 133 points or 14.8 per game. Even though Kansas City is averaging nearly 18 points fewer per game (23.9) than Denver, the Chiefs have still outscored the opposition by 104 because of their stingy defense. The Broncos have been able to control the tempo and direction of games all season with their offense. The Chiefs have done the same, but with their defense. Whichever unit handles its toughest challenge yet will more than likely be well positioned to win tonight.

Protecting Peyton
It’s no secret. The key to Denver’s prolific offense is No. 18. A surefire, first-ballot Hall of Famer, the four-time MVP has raised his production to another level this season. In nine games, Manning has thrown for 3,249 yards, 33 touchdowns and just six interceptions. To put it another way, Manning is averaging more yards passing per game (361) than 20 NFL teams are in total offense and his 33 touchdown passes alone account for more points (198) than 12 teams have scored this season. While it’s certainly true that Manning has the benefit of throwing to some talented pass-catchers like wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas, the running game led by Knowshon Moreno and the offensive line deserve a fair share of credit too. According to ProFootballFocus.com, the Broncos’ offensive line ranks as the top unit in the league, which is impressive considering the team is without All-Pro starting left tackle Ryan Clady and have employed Manny Ramirez, normally a guard, at center all season. As a whole this unit has allowed just 13 sacks, which is the second-fewest in the league, although eight of these have come in the past three games. Manning is not known for being a mobile quarterback, especially now at 37 years old, and he has taken some pretty big hits recently. He sustained a sprained ankle a few games ago, and re-aggravated the injury last week against the Chargers. While the ankle injury won’t prevent him from playing, it has had a noticeable effect on his mobility as well as the crispness and velocity of his intermediate and deep passes. Kansas City leads the league with 36 sacks, as linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston have combined for 20. Denver’s offensive line already has its work cut out for them, but Manning’s ankle injury only makes it even more critical that the front line finds a way to hold the Chiefs’ pass rush at bay and keep Manning’s jersey clean. The Broncos can ill afford to lose their lead horse.

The Von Miller Effect
Kansas City’s defense has far better statistics than Denver, but that doesn’t mean the Broncos’ unit should be overlooked. While Denver is giving up nearly 50 yards more (374.9 ypg to 326.9) per game and more than twice as many points (26.4 ppg to 12.3) per contest compared to Kansas City, a big reason for this is the success of the Broncos’ offense and the fact that most of the games have been blowouts. To put it simply, Denver has given up a lot of yards and a fair amount of points in what is known as “garbage time.” That said, the Broncos’ defense has had its issues, especially against the pass, but it’s been a different unit over the past three games. In its first six games, Denver yielded more than 400 yards per game. In their last three contests, the Broncos have given up less than 310 yards per game. So what has changed over the last month? How about the return of All-Pro linebacker Von Miller? After missing the first six games due to suspension, Miller has picked up right where he left off last season when he finished second to Houston’s J.J. Watt in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year. Miller’s presence has recharged the entire Denver defense, which is playing its best football of the season. This defense has produced eight sacks and six takeaways over its last three games and also is holding teams to fewer than 190 yards passing per game during this span. The statistics may not match up but the Broncos’ defense is just as capable of taking over a game as its counterpart, and no doubt it would certainly like to prove just as much tonight.

Charles in Charge
While Kansas City’s defense has been outstanding in preventing other teams from scoring, the Chiefs’ offense has had to do its part as well. Head coach Andy Reid may have had the most to do with the team’s turnaround in 2013, but another new Chief shouldn’t be overlooked. Quarterback Alex Smith has made the most of his fresh start, as the former San Francisco starter has done just what the coaching staff has asked him to do since trading for him in the offseason. Smith’s statistics pale in comparison to Peyton Manning’s, but the two quarterbacks run entirely different offenses. Smith deserves plenty of credit for his steady play, as he has accounted for 10 total touchdowns (9 pass, 1 rush) with just four interceptions. However, Kansas City’s offense begins and ends with running back Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs’ most productive offensive weapon, Charles ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing with 725 yards. He is fourth in the league in carries (170) and also has posted a team-leading 47 receptions for 389 yards. Charles is second only to LeSean McCoy in both yards from scrimmage (1,114) and total touches (217). All told, Charles is accounting for 37.2 percent of the Chiefs’ total offense this season, so he will need to find a way to do some damage when he gets the ball tonight. His task won’t be easy, however, as Denver is fourth in the league in rushing defense (87.0 ypg). The most yards on the ground the Broncos have given up to any player this season is 93 (Alfred Morris), so that would be a good number for Charles to aim for tonight. In fact, if Charles is able to run the ball successfully not only will he be doing his offense a favor, he also will be helping his defense by keeping the ball out of Manning’s hands.

Kansas City Key Player: Dwayne Bowe, WR
Even before Sunday, Bowe’s season could only be labeled as disappointing. After signing a five-year, $56 million contract extension, Bowe has struggled to develop any sort of consistent chemistry with new quarterback Alex Smith. Bowe is second to running back Jamaal Charles in receptions with 33, but he has totaled just 369 yards (11.2 ypr) and two touchdowns. Supposedly the Chiefs’ best vertical threat, Bowe has three catches of 20 yards or more. Things only got worse for Bowe when he was arrested early Sunday, during the team’s bye week, for marijuana possession and speeding. Bowe has already been suspended once by the NFL, four games in 2009 for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, but his latest legal matter is covered by a different policy. That is the main reason why Bowe will be on the field tonight, as both the Chiefs and the NFL are prohibited, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), from disciplining Bowe until the matter is resolved by the police and the legal system. The bottom line is Bowe’s arrest is an off-the-field matter and distraction the Chiefs didn’t want to have to deal with, especially this week. As it relates to his legal issues, it doesn’t matter one way or the other how well he plays. As it relates to his teammates, however, tonight would be the perfect time for Bowe’s production to start matching up with his paycheck. 

Denver Key Player: Knowshon Moreno, RB
Kansas City has Jamaal Charles, but Denver has its own productive running back in Moreno. Largely an afterthought after the Broncos selected Wisconsin’s Montee Ball in the second round of April’s draft; Moreno has earned the starting job due in large part to his pass-protection skills, and has certainly made the most of his opportunities. Moreno enters this week 17th in the NFL with 521 yards rushing, but his eight rushing touchdowns are second only to Adrian Peterson. Moreno is not a workhorse, averaging 14 carries per game, but he’s also been a presence in the passing attack (37 rec., TD) and has yet to lose a fumble in 160 total touches. More importantly, he’s one of the reasons why Peyton Manning has been sacked just 13 times, as he’s adept at picking up the blitz and taking care of his assignments in pass blocking. Kansas City leads the league in sacks (36), but the Chiefs have been somewhat susceptible to the run this season, giving up 118.6 yards rushing per game. With Manning dealing with a lingering ankle injury, Moreno’s dual role as rusher and pass protector bears even more importance tonight. For once, it may be in Denver’s best interests to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands and instead let Moreno carry the load.

Final Analysis

It’s not often that you have two NFL teams that have lost a total of one game face off in the middle of November. Other than the records, however, Denver and Kansas City have little in common. The Broncos have been doing it with offense, the Chiefs defense. Denver has a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback, while Kansas City has a signal-caller who fits the mold of “game manager” to a tee. Even the head coaches are opposites, as Andy Reid hails from an offensive background and Broncos’ interim head coach Jack Del Rio is the team’s defensive coordinator.

It’s easy to understand why the focus for this game has been on Denver’s offense vs. Kansas City’s defense and that would be the case even if Peyton Manning wasn’t walking around on a gimpy right ankle. However, I think the deciding factor will be which of the unheralded units, the Broncos’ defense or the Chiefs’ offense, makes the bigger contribution.

In the end, I think Manning and company are able to put together enough scoring drives and the defense makes the game-saving play late in the fourth quarter to earn the narrow victory. And whether this matchup plays out like a classic confrontation or not just remember, these two teams will do it all again in just two weeks.

Denver 23, Kansas City 20

Teaser:
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 09:00
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Several workhorse running backs are nursing injuries entering Week 11. Are any in danger of not playing today?

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
Peterson did not participate in practice on Thursday or Friday, as the Vikings wanted to give him extra time to rest his sore groin. He is Probable and expected to be ready to go for this afternoon. If you own Peterson you’re playing him, even if he is matched up against Seattle’s physical defense. The Seahawks have had some issues with their run defense recently, and there’s no doubt Peterson is capable of taking advantage should these problems continue.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Arizona Cardinals
MJD missed some practice time this week because of a knee injury, but he was a full go on Friday and is considered Probable. It has been a struggle for Jones-Drew this season, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry, but he’s in absolutely no danger of losing any of his touches. The Cardinals are third in the NFL in rushing defense, so don’t be surprised if it’s another disappointing day at the office for MJD.

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders
Tate’s broken ribs still haven’t healed completely, but he is listed as Probable and will get the start today. Dennis Johnson will get a few carries, but Tate is the Texans’ primary back for the rest of the season and is pretty much a must-start.

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
Mathews is on the injury report with a hamstring issue, but he was able to practice fully on Friday and is considered Probable. After posting back-to-back 100-yard games in the two games prior to the Chargers’ Week 8 bye, Mathews has rushed for a total of 93 yards in his last two outings. He has scored a touchdown in two of his last three games, but Danny Woodhead is very much a part of the offensive game plan, so Mathews’ value is no more than a RB2 with upside.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers
Jacobs must be improving, because he is Questionable this week after being Doubtful and missing his third game in a row last week. It really doesn’t matter if Jacobs plays or not, as Andre Brown has replaced Jacobs as the primary ball carrier and Brown is the Giant back you want to own.

Already Ruled Out

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders – McFadden will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury. This is good news for Rashad Jennings owners, as he has 283 total yards in his last two games. The going may be a little tougher today against Houston, but considering the Raiders will be starting rookie Matt McGloin instead of Terrelle Pryor at quarterback, Jennings is probably the only Raider you would even consider starting.

Done For the Season

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans – Injured reserve (back)

Mike James, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Injured reserve (broken ankle)

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Injured reserve (shoulder)

David Wilson, RB, New York Giants – Injured reserve (neck)

Teaser:
Week 11 Injury Updates: Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ben Tate, Ryan Mathews
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
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At this point of the season very few fantasy relevant wide receivers aren’t dealing with some sort of bump or bruise. Are any of these injuries serious enough to prevent them from taking the field in Week 11?

Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson, WRs, Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers
Johnson’s knee injury is still enough of an issue that he missed two days of practice this week. Still with a Probable designation, there’s no reason to not expect him to suit up against the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s pass defense has been pretty good this season, but this is Megatron we are taking about. As long he is playing, you are starting Johnson. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Burleson will be lining up alongside him. Despite practicing the past two weeks for the first time since breaking his forearm in September, Burleson is considered Doubtful. Whether he’s still not healthy enough to get back on the field or the coaching staff just doesn’t think he’s ready, don’t count on Burleson this week. This means that Kris Durham will serve as the Lions’ No. 2 wide receiver, making him a possible WR3/WR4/flex option against the Steelers.

Cecil Shorts and Mike Brown, WRs, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Arizona Cardinals
Shorts (right) is still dealing with a lingering groin injury, which is impacting his ability to practice. He is listed as Probable, so there’s no reason to not expect him to play, but he also faces a pretty tough matchup this week in Cardinals’ cornerback Patrick Peterson. Shorts is the Jaguars’ No. 1 target, but quantity may not equal quality this week. Brown is dealing with an ankle injury, but he’s also Probable and should play. He has yet to take full advantage of replacing a suspended Justin Blackmon as the starter opposite Shorts, so it’s hard to expect that to change this week against a solid Arizona passing defense.

Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts, WRs, Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars
Floyd injured his shoulder last week and is listed as Questionable. He was limited in practice both Thursday and Friday, but head coach Bruce Arians said he expects Floyd to play. Roberts is dealing with a knee injury, but he is Probable, making him more of a certainty than Floyd. The Cardinals haven’t exactly thrived in the passing game this season and everyone knows that Larry Fitzgerald is the No. 1 target. Floyd is the No. 2 wideout with Roberts serving as the slot receiver. Floyd and Roberts more or less compete for looks behind Fitzgerald, so unless Floyd is ruled out prior to kickoff (1 p.m. ET), he and Roberts appear to be very risky options this week.

Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins vs. San Diego Chargers
Wallace is listed as Questionable because of a hamstring injury, but he said he fully expects to play, barring a setback. The later kickoff time (4:05 p.m. ET) complicates matters somewhat, especially considering Wallace’s general lack of production. The highly paid vertical threat has two 100-yard games and just one TD catch in his first season in a Dolphins uniform. Already relegated to WR2/WR3 status, it may not be worth the headache to wait long enough to see if Wallace suits up against the Chargers.

Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
Royal is making a habit out of not practicing during the week yet still playing come Sunday. Royal’s toe injury continues to prevent him from practicing and has resulted in a Questionable designation for the fourth straight week. However, Royal has yet to miss a game, so it seems likely this pattern will continue. Royal’s value is clearly tied to his ability to get in the end zone (7 TD catches), so keep that in mind should you decide to roll the dice once again with a “hobbled” Royal.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 11: Calvin Johnson, Cecil Shorts, Michael Floyd, Mike Wallace
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 06:30
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Atlanta, Buffalo and the New York Jets have banged up wide receiving corps entering Week 11. Here’s the latest injury-related information on those wide receivers and a few others to help you get your lineup ready.

Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Jackson was limited during Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury, but was able to go full speed on both Thursday and Friday. He is listed as Probable and could post some pretty nice numbers against Atlanta. The Falcons have struggled on defense this season and Jackson caught a season-high 10 passes for 138 yards and two scores against them the first time they played. It pretty much goes without saying, but VJax is a legitimate WR1.

Harry Douglas and Roddy White, WRs, Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Injuries have not been kind to the Falcons this season. Already without All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, Matt Ryan’s current favorite targets – Douglas and tight end Tony Gonzalez – are both Questionable. Douglas is dealing with a knee injury and his only practice participation this week was a limited appearance on Friday. He’s probably a game-time decision, although the early kickoff (1 p.m. ET) should allow for enough time to make up your mind on Douglas. White (right), on the other hand, is Probable, so for the first time in many weeks his playing status seems pretty clear. Production is still an issue, but Douglas’ potential absence and Gonzalez’ uncertain availability could mean more targets for White. All in all, this is not shaping up to be a promising situation for anyone who has an Atlanta offensive player in their lineup.

Percy Harvin, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings
It took a while, but Harvin is on track to make his much-anticipated season debut for the Seahawks. Harvin is considered Probable and it’s only fitting that his first game will come against his former team. There’s no denying Harvin’s talent and potential, but he’s coming back from offseason hip surgery and hasn’t played in over a year, so if you are planning on starting him this week, be sure to temper your expectations.

Greg Jennings, WR, Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
Jennings was limited in practice this week because of a strained Achilles tendon, but he is listed as Probable and should play today. The bigger concern when it comes to Jennings is his lack of production (34 rec., 2 TDs), the matchup against Seattle’s 2nd-ranked passing defense and the fact that his quarterback, Christian Ponder, is dealing with a dislocated (non-throwing) shoulder. Put it all together and you have one risky fantasy play.

Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill, WRs, New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
The Jets have had to deal with injuries to their wide receiving corps for a good part of the season and this week is no different. The good news is that Holmes, who has missed the last five games because of a hamstring injury, is Probable and expected to return today. Hill is dealing with a foot injury, but he too is Probable, while Kerley has already been ruled Out because of a dislocated elbow. Even with Holmes’ return, it’s very hard for me to endorse any Jets wide receivers right now. For one, the Jets have been employing the committee approach, as David Nelson and Greg Salas have also been factors in recent weeks. Second, quarterback Geno Smith is still trying to get acclimated to the pro game, as the Jets are just 26th in the NFL in passing offense and have a total of eight touchdown passes in nine games.

Already Ruled Out

Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods, WRs, Buffalo Bills – EJ Manuel will be without his top two wide receivers against the Jets, as Johnson (groin) and Woods (ankle) have both been ruled out for today. T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin should get the start in their absence, but both probably carry more risk than reward if you are considering employing them this week.

Teaser:
Week 11 Injury Updates: Vincent Jackson, Harry Douglas, Roddy White, Percy Harvin, Santonio Holmes
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 06:30
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A certain sprained ankle may be getting all the attention entering Week 11, but that’s not the only quarterback injury you need to know about. Athlon Sports has the latest on the quarterback injury front around the NFL.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
This one is a bit of a surprise. Pryor was listed as Questionable on the Friday injury report with a knee injury, but he was downgraded to Out on Saturday afternoon. Matt McGloin, an undrafted rookie from Penn State, will make his first career NFL start against Houston, which owns the NFL’s No. 1 passing defense. Forget about McGloin’s fantasy outlook, those who own wide receiver Denarius Moore should be concerned about the possibility of minimal fantasy production and may want to consider starting someone else in his place.

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
This is the most-watched ankle in the world. Manning was limited in practice this week because of a high ankle sprain, but he is listed as Probable and there’s no doubt he will take the field tonight against the undefeated Chiefs. The bumps and bruises are starting to pile up somewhat for the 37-year-old quarterback, so it’s critical that he get rid of the ball quickly and the Broncos’ offensive line do its job against the NFL’s most disruptive and productive pass rush.

Jason Campbell, QB, Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Campbell is dealing with some bruised ribs, but Cleveland is coming off of its bye and he was a full practice participant all week. He is Probable and will get the start against the Bengals. Believe it or not, Campbell may be worth a look if you need a replacement or are in a 2-QB league. Cincinnati’s defense is pretty good, but Campbell has five touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games, one of which was against Kansas City.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
Ponder dislocated his non-throwing shoulder in last week’s win over Washington, but he is listed as Probable and on track to start today. However, considering today’s matchup with the Seahawks on their home turf, there’s no guarantee that Ponder will finish the game and it’s probably best to steer clear of him this week.

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins
Vick got in some practice time this week and has actually improved from last week’s Doubtful designation to Questionable. That said, Nick Foles is fully expected to get the start against the Redskins, as he has 10 touchdown passes in his last two games. There’s no reason for the Eagles to risk Vick re-injuring his hamstring (again) with the bye week on tap in Week 12. If anything, Foles has made a pretty strong argument for keeping the starting gig even after Vick is back to 100 percent health, and Foles is definitely a bona fide starting option, even in shallow leagues, against a generous Washington defense.

Also Ruled Out

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears – As expected, Cutler will miss today’s game against Baltimore because of the high ankle sprain he sustained last week. Josh McCown will get the start and he has been impressive in his limited playing time, throwing for 538 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in three games. McCown is definitely in the bye week fill-in or 2-QB league conversation for this week.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers – Rodgers will miss his second game because of a broken collarbone. Seneca Wallace got the start last week, but he suffered a groin injury and was placed on injured reserve, leaving third-stringer Scott Tolzien as the last healthy Packer quarterback standing. Tolzien will make his first career NFL start today against a New York Giants defense that has been playing very well lately. There are only two teams (Dallas, St. Louis) on bye this week, so even with all of the other QB injuries; I still think you should be able to find a “safer” option than Tolzien to use as your starter.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 11: Terrelle Pryor, Peyton Manning, Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 06:30
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The Week 11 injury report reads like a “who’s who” when it comes to the tight end position. Here is the latest injury-related information you need to read before setting your lineup.

Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gonzalez hasn’t missed a game since the 2006 season, but that streak (111 games) could come to an end today. Gonzalez has a toe injury that kept him out of practice for basically the entire week. He is listed as Questionable and more than likely will be a game-time decision to face the Buccaneers. The Falcons have several banged up weapons, as wide receiver Harry Douglas also is Questionable and fellow wideout Roddy White has been dealing with injuries all season. Even if he plays, Gonzalez will be limited by the toe injury, so if you plan on starting the future Hall of Famer, don’t count on TE1 production from him.

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
Davis sustained a concussion last week against Carolina, but he appears on track to play this afternoon. He is listed as Questionable and was limited in practice, but barring a setback, he is expected to be on the field. Davis has emerged as Colin Kaepernick’s favorite target over the past month or so, so the 49ers desperately need him in the lineup. There’s always a risk when it comes to someone who sustained a concussion, and the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff adds to it in this case, but the potential reward in playing Davis should outweigh the risk, unless you have another viable starting option.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers
Graham’s plantar fasciitis won’t be completely healed until after the season, but unlike the past few weeks, he is listed as Probable for today’s big game against San Francisco. The 49ers’ defense is among the best in the NFL, but Graham has shown that’s he the best at his position and he doesn’t have to be 100 percent to be productive. Start him with confidence.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers (Mon.)
Gronkowski continues to be limited in practice due to several injuries, but the Patriots are coming off of their bye, so in some ways Gronk should be as healthy as he’s been in a while. He is listed as Probable for Monday night’s tilt with Carolina and Gronk will be needed against a Panthers defense that is second in the NFL in both yards and points allowed. There’s no question you start Gronk, just don’t be surprised if he doesn’t put up huge numbers.

Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears vs. Baltimore Ravens
Bennett was a late add to the injury report after not practicing at all on Thursday and being limited on Friday because of an ankle injury. He is Questionable and most likely will be a game-time decision today. The early game time (1 p.m. ET) will help, but he has just one touchdown in his last seven games, so maybe it would be best to just leave Bennett on the bench this week.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns
Gresham missed the last game because of a groin injury, but he was back at practice this week and is listed as Probable. The interesting thing to see is if he and Tyler Eifert will go back to a timeshare or if Eifert will get the majority of the targets. Last week, Eifert got a season-high nine targets, catching three of them for 55 yards. Eifert probably carries a little more upside than Gresham, but as long as both of them are sharing the targets, they are very hard to trust from a production standpoint.

Already Ruled Out

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings – Rudolph will miss several weeks with a fractured foot and John Carlson has already taken advantage of the additional playing time. Last week against Washington, Carlson led the Vikings with nine catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Seattle’s defense is tough, especially at home, but that doesn’t mean that Carlson still can’t catch enough balls to produce. He’s certainly a viable replacement option if you own Rudolph and belongs in the TE2 conversation.

Teaser:
Week 11 Injury Updates: Tony Gonzalez, Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski
Post date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 06:30
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Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-positional-rankings-week-11
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There are just two teams, Dallas and St. Louis, on bye in Week 11, so rosters shouldn't be as stretched as they were in previous weeks. That is unless you have Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Zac Stacy or either the Cowboys or Rams DST on your roster. Then there are also the injuries to deal with, as Jay Cutler (ankle) and Jake Locker (Lisfranc) both got hurt again, while Arian Foster (back) and Mike James (broken ankle) joined the ranks of those on injured reserve.

In fact, there are plenty of key players who appear to be at less than 100 percent entering this week's games, starting with Peyton Manning. The top scorer in fantasy this season by a rather wide margin, Manning took some big hits in last week's win against the Chargers and is dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday. Manning is fully expected to play Sunday night against the undefeated and AFC West-leading Chiefs, but how well he moves around the pocket on a gimpy ankle is certainly something worth keeping an eye on, especially against the Chiefs' potent pass rush.

Manning's ankle and the Chiefs' defense (No. 1 fantasy DST) are certainly factors that could impact the production of the Broncos' other skill players, namely running back Knowshon Moreno, wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas. The Chiefs' offense boasts Jamaal Charles, the No. 1 fantasy RB, so at least this week it looks like the game on the field will imitate the game off of it. By that I mean not only is Chiefs-Broncos the NFL's "game of the week," it's also a matchup that carries a great deal of fantasy importance.

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 website can give you.

2013 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 11 Waiver Wire

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

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

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 2013 Positional Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
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There's a change at the top of Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 11 quarterback rankings, as health and matchup definitely play a part in the decision. Peyton Manning may be the No. 1 fantasy scorer at his position, but he's starting to show some wear and tear from the hits he has taken recently and faces undefeated Kansas City on Sunday night. The Chiefs not only are ahead of the Broncos in the AFC West, they lead the NFL in sacks and are the top-scoring fantasy DST.

At least for this week, Drew Brees gets the nod for No. 1 in our rankings, despite his upcoming date with San Francisco. The 49ers' defense has played very well lately, but Brees and the Saints are at home, where they have been basically unstoppable. Last Sunday night, Brees torched the Cowboys for 392 yards passing and four touchdowns, as the Saints put up 49 points and piled up an NFL-record 40 first downs. Brees has an 18:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season (five games), which was enough of a reason to slot him ahead of a gimpy Manning.

From a matchup standpoint, however, the top two choices would probably be Robert Griffin III and NIck Foles, whose teams meet up in Philadelphia. After a slow start, RGIII has shown improvement and more of the explosiveness he had as a rookie with each passing game. He put up 281 yards passing and three touchdowns last week against Minnesota and will get his second crack at a Philadelphia defense that is second-to-last in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Meanwhile all Foles has done is throw 16 touchdown passes without an interception so far, including 10 in his last two games. Remember, Foles didn't start against Washington in Week 1, Michael Vick did, and the Redskins are near the bottom of the rankings when it comes to yards (388.6 ypg, 27th) and points (31.9, 31st) allowed and also have surrendered 19 touchdown passes.

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 website can give you.

2013 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks
Teams on bye:
Dallas, St. Louis

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Drew BreesNOvs. SFHas thrown 18 TDs vs. 2 INTs in 5 home games.
2Peyton ManningDENvs. KCWill ankle injury be an issue vs. KC pass rush?
3Russell WilsonSEAvs. MINVikings giving up second-most fantasy pts. to QBs.
4Matthew StaffordDETat PITHas played very well on the road (12:3 TD:INT ratio).
5Cam NewtonCARvs. NE (Mon.)NE allowing QBs to complete 55.4 percent of passes.
6Robert Griffin IIIWASat PHIEagles second-to-last in NFL in passing D (306.5 ypg).
7Andrew LuckINDat TEN (Thurs.)Doubled his INT total (from 3 to 6) last week vs. Rams.
8Nick FolesPHIvs. WASFoles has 10 TD passes, 0 INTs in last 2 games.
9Philip RiversSDat MIAHas just 1 TD pass in three of last four games.
10Tom BradyNEat CAR (Mon.)Panthers giving up fewest fantasy pts. to QBs.
11Matt RyanATLat TBThrew for a season-low 172 yards last week.
12Case KeenumHOUvs. OAKHas 7 TD passes, 0 INTs and 0 wins in 3 starts.
13Colin KaepernickSFat NOSaints giving up less than 200 passing ypg (3rd).
14Andy DaltonCINvs. CLEHas 2 TD passes and 6 INTs in last 2 games.
15Ben RoethlisbergerPITvs. DETBig Ben has at least 1 INT in each of last 3 games.
16Mike GlennonTBvs. ATLAveraging 22 attempts, 153.5 yards over last 2.
17Eli ManningNYGvs. GBPackers have given up 17 TD passes w/ just 3 INTs.
18Josh McCownCHIvs. BALHas put up 538-4-0 in 3 games, just 1 start.
19Joe FlaccoBALat CHIJust 140 yards passing, 2 TDs, 3 TOs last week.
20Terrelle PryorOAKat HOUTexans are No. 1 in passing defense (166.6 ypg).
21Alex SmithKCat DENBroncos have given up 188.3 passing ypg over last 3.
22Ryan TannehillMIAvs. SDHas just three games with 250+ passing yards.
23Carson PalmerARIat JACHas 2 TD passes in each of past two games.
24Ryan FitzpatrickTENvs. IND (Thurs.)Solid (264-2-0, rush TD) after Locker got hurt.
25Jason CampbellCLEat CINDealing with bruised ribs, but should start.
26Geno SmithNYJat BUFHas just 1 TD pass, 5 INTs in last 4 games.
27EJ ManuelBUFvs. NYJRusty (22-of-39, 155-1-1) in first game since Week 5.
28Scott TolzienGBat NYGFirst career start comes vs. rejuvenated Giants D.

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

Additional Week 11 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 11 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Quarterback Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-running-back-rankings-week-11
Body:

Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 11 running back rankings begin in Seattle, as two of the NFL's best will share the Pacific Northwest spotlight. Marshawn Lynch gets the edge over Adrian Peterson this week, as Lynch has been in "Beast Mode" the past two games, rushing for a total of 270 yards. Peterson hasn't been a slouch himself, totaling 215 yards on the ground and three touchdowns during the same span, but the Seahawks' defense figures to be a tougher test for the reigning MVP than the Vikings' defense for Lynch.

Elsewhere around the league, in many ways what has been a disappointing season for running backs either from a performance (Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew) or health standpoint (Arian Foster, Doug Martin, Steven Jackson, C.J. Spiller, David Wilson), there have been some bright spots when it comes to younger players. Zac Stacy and Eddie Lacy have certainly had an impact, but Giovani Bernard, the first running back taken in the 2013 NFL Draft (2nd round, 37th overall), could emerge as the most dynamic, versatile and productive of his class before the end of the season.

Entering the 2013 campaign, Bernard's potential was limited somewhat because he was sharing carries with incumbent starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis. As this season has progressed, however, the Bengals have put more of an emphasis on getting the ball into Bernard's hands, and the strategy has paid off. Bernard has three total touchdowns over the last two games, two of them being of the highlight-reel variety, and last week got a season-high 22 touches. Cleveland's defense has been pretty good this season, but when it comes to Bernard's speed, explosiveness and big-play ability, he has almost reached must-start status.

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 website can give you.

2013 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Back
Teams on bye: Dallas, St. Louis

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Marshawn LynchSEAvs. MINHas 270 yards rushing over last 2 games.
2Adrian PetersonMINat SEAPeterson vs. Seahawks D should be fun.
3Jamaal CharlesKCat DENRested, ready to take on DEN's 4th-ranked rush D.
4LeSean McCoyPHIvs. WASGashed Redskins for 184 yards rushing in Week 1.
5Frank GoreSFat NOSaints giving up 5 yards per carry.
6Reggie BushDETat PITSteelers 29th in NFL in rushing defense.
7Knowshon MorenoDENvs. KCTeams have been able to run some on Chiefs.
8Alfred MorrisWASat PHIHas put up back-to-back games of 120+ yards.
9Matt ForteCHIvs. BALHeld to season-low 49 total yards last week.
10Eddie LacyGBat NYG73 yards vs. Eagles lowest total in six games.
11Chris JohnsonTENvs. IND (Thurs.)Colts giving up 126.6 yards rushing per game.
12Le'Veon BellPITvs. DETSeason-high 22 carries (57 yds., TD) vs. Bills.
13Andre BrownNYGvs. GBWelcome back! 115, TD in first game of season.
14Giovani BernardCINvs. CLESaw season-high 22 touches last week.
15Stevan RidleyNEat CAR (Mon.)Panthers second in rushing defense (82.0 ypg).
16Ben TateHOUvs. OAKStarter rest of way with Foster done for season.
17Ryan MathewsSDat MIA93 yards in last 2 G after 100+ in Weeks 6 and 7.
18Chris IvoryNYJat BUFPosted season-high 139 yards in last game.
19Fred JacksonBUFvs. NYJGained 72 yards on just 7 carries in first game vs. Jets.
20Andre EllingtonARIat JACCards plan to continue to limit Ellington's touches.
21Darren SprolesNOvs. SFScored on ground and through air last week.
22Danny WoodheadSDat MIALeads all RBs with 53 receptions (4 TDs).
23Lamar MillerMIAvs. SDDolphins rushed for franchise-low 2 yards vs. TB.
24Maurice Jones-DrewJACvs. ARICardinals third in NFL in rushing defense.
25C.J. SpillerBUFvs. NYJHad 9 yards on 10 carries vs. Jets in Week 3.
26Ray RiceBALat CHIHas there been a bigger bust this season?
27Rashad JenningsOAKat HOUHas posted 283 total yards in last 2 games.
28Steven JacksonATLat TBTotal of 11 yards on 9 carries vs. SEA last week.
29Pierre ThomasNOvs. SFLed all RBs in fantasy points (26.6) last week.
30DeAngelo WilliamsCARvs. NE (Mon.)Led team with 46 yards, TD in win over 49ers.
31Trent RichardsonINDat TEN (Thurs.)Had just 5 rushing attempts last week.
32Brian LeonardTBvs. ATLMike James (fractured ankle) out indefinitely.
33Donald BrownINDat TEN (Thurs.)Posted 5 receptions for 64 yards, TD last week.
34Shane VereenNEat CAR (Mon.)Hasn't played since Week 1 (broken wrist).
35Rashard MendenhallARIat JACLed team with 13 carries last week.
36BenJarvus Green-EllisCINvs. CLEGio got more carries (14 to 9) last week.
37Mark IngramNOvs. SFGashed Cowboys for 145 yards last week.
38Jonathan StewartCARvs. NE (Mon.)Team-high 13 carries (41 yds.) against 49ers.
39James StarksGBat NYGJust four carries for 5 yards last week.
40Bernard PierceBALat CHIHe may start to eat into Rice's workload.
41Bobby RaineyTBvs. ATLOpportunity to share the load with Leonard.
42Willis McGaheeCLEat CINAveraging just 2.6 yards per carry.
43Shonn GreeneTENvs. IND (Thurs.)Has 9 carries in each of last 2 games.
44Bilal PowellNYJat BUFBills have given up just 3 rushing TDs so far.
45Mike TolbertCARvs. NE (Mon.)Seeing fewer carries w/ Stewart back.
46Jacquizz RodgersATLat TBSJax' struggles keeping Rodgers relevant.
47Dennis JohnsonHOUvs. OAKRemember, Tate is playing with broken ribs.
48Chris OgbonnayaCLEat CINMcGahee not exactly getting the job done.

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

Additional Week 11 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 11 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Running Back Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-wide-receiver-rankings-week-11
Body:

Calvin Johnson remains atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 11 wide receiver rankings, but his two touchdown catches last week were topped by a stampeding Bronco. Demaryius Thomas hauled in seven passes for 108 yards against San Diego, three of those counting for six points. Thomas is tied with Johnson and teammate Wes Welker for the NFL lead intouchdown receptions by a wide receiver with nine, and he also leads his peers in yards after the catch (YAC, 377). Thomas, Welker and Eric Decker could have their work cut out for them on Sunday against Kansas City, which is ranked sixth in passing defense.

Some wide receivers that don't figure to see as much resistance this week include Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper and Washington's Pierre Garcon. Not only are Jackson and Garcon among the top 11 fantasy scorers at wide receiver, Cooper has been on quite a roll of his own lately. Teaming with quarterback Nick Foles, Cooper has recorded 16 receptions for 342 yards and five touchdowns over the last four weeks. That's good for fourth at his position during that span. And if that's not enough to like about this Eagles-Redskins matchup, how about the fact that these two teams are first and third, respectively, when it comes to fantasy points allowed to wide receivers in 2013. Some weeks it's all about which team you are playing.

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 website can give you.

2013 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers
Teams on bye: Dallas, St. Louis

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Calvin JohnsonDETat PITOnly 83 yards receiving, but 2 TDs vs. Bears.
2Brandon MarshallCHIvs. BALHas 100+ yards in each of last two games.
3Demaryius ThomasDENvs. KCCaught 3 TD passes vs. Chargers last week.
4Andre JohnsonHOUvs. OAKAll 5 of his TD catches have come in last 2 games.
5DeSean JacksonPHIvs. WASPut up 9-104-1 in Week 1 win over Redskins.
6A.J. GreenCINvs. CLELeads NFL with 1,013 yards receiving.
7Vincent JacksonTBvs. ATLHis 4 TD catches came in a 2-game span.
8Antonio BrownPITvs. DETHas had at least 9 targets in every game but two.
9Wes WelkerDENvs. KCTied for team lead in TD catches (9).
10Pierre GarconWASat PHISeventh in the NFL in yards (803), 2nd in YAC (334).
11T.Y. HiltonINDat TEN (Thurs.)Has 251 yards receiving in 2 G w/o Reggie Wayne.
12Victor CruzNYGvs. GBTied season low with just 3 catches last week.
13Torrey SmithBALat CHITargeted 14 times last week, just 5 rec. (and TD).
14Josh GordonCLEat CINCaught four passes for 71 yards in Week 2 vs. CIN.
15Jordy NelsonGBat NYGFrom Rodgers to Wallace now to Tolzien at QB.
16Larry FitzgeraldARIat JACHas one 100-yard game this season (Week 6).
17Alshon JefferyCHIvs. BALHas 28 targets (14-174-1) in last two games.
18Eric DeckerDENvs. KC 
19Harry DouglasATLat TBClearly Matt Ryan's No. 1 target right now.
20Keenan AllenSDat MIARookie drawing more attention from defenses.
21Cecil ShortsJACvs. ARITitans held Shorts to just 2 catches, 42 yards.
22Golden TateSEAvs. MINSeahawks should be able to throw on Vikings.
23Marques ColstonNOvs. SFWent for 7-107-1 after missing previous game (knee).
24Danny AmendolaNEat CAR (Mon.)Coming off of bye, hopefully he'll stay healthy.
25Hakeem NicksNYGvs. GBStill in search of first TD of the season.
26Riley CooperPHIvs. WASWith Foles starting: 18 rec., 449 yds., 6 TDs.
27Mike WallaceMIAvs. SDTwo 100-yard games, just 1 TD catch so far.
28Denarius MooreOAKat HOUPryor's accuracy issues hurting Moore's production.
29Steve SmithCARvs. NE (Mon.)Still looking for that breakout game.
30Anquan BoldinSFat NOMuch more miss than hit lately.
31Kendall WrightTENvs. IND (Thurs.)One of the least productive No. 1 WRs in league.
32Percy HarvinSEAvs. MINSeason debut comes against former team.
33Emmanuel SandersPITvs. DETJust six targets last week (11 in each of last 2 G).
34Jarrett BoykinGBat NYGLed team with 8 catches for 112 yards last week.
35Rueben RandleNYGvs. GBLeads Giants with 5 TD receptions, all in last 5 G.
36James JonesGBat NYGJust 1 TD in 4 games since coming back from injury.
37Dwayne BoweKCat DENNewest legal woes add to disappointing season.
38Kenny StillsNOvs. SFHas four catches of 40+ yards this season.
39Roddy WhiteATLat TBCaught 1 pass (20 yards) after missing a month.
40Aaron DobsonNEat CAR (Mon.)Carving out role as Patriots' top vertical threat.
41Brian HartlineMIAvs. SDPer-game average since Week 1: 4-53 w/ 1 TD.
42Michael FloydARIat JACInjured shoulder last week, should play vs. Jags.
43Stevie JohnsonBUFvs. NYJInjured his groin last week, watch status.
44Greg JenningsMINat SEAIs averaging 4 catches for 31.6 yds. over last 5 G.
45DeAndre HopkinsHOUvs. OAKSix catches vs. Cardinals was most since Week 3.
46Marvin JonesCINvs. CLE 
47Lance MooreNOvs. SF 
48Santonio HolmesNYJat BUFExpected to return from hamstring injury.
49Nate BurlesonDETat PITShould see first action since Week 3 (forearm).
50Andre RobertsARIat JACHauled in first TD of season last week.
51Marlon BrownBALat CHI 
52Jerricho CotcheryPITvs. DETHas 9 receptions, 4 TDs in last 2 games.
53Stephen HillNYJat BUFBills giving up second-most fantasy pts. to WRs.
54Doug BaldwinSEAvs. MINFalling in right behind Tate in pecking order.
55Rishard MatthewsMIAvs. SDFins' new slot guy went for 11-120-2 on MNF vs. TB.
56Eddie RoyalSDat MIAHis value heavily dependent on TDs.
57Nate WashingtonTENvs. IND (Thurs.)Veteran hasn't made much of an impact recently.
58Darrius Heyward-BeyINDat TEN (Thurs.)Has yet to take advantage of Reggie Wayne injury.
59Mario ManninghamSFat NOMade season debut last week.
60Brandon LaFellCARvs. NE (Mon.) 
61Kris DurhamDETat PITHis role could diminish even more with Burleson back.
62Mike BrownJACvs. ARIJags need Brown to step up opposite Shorts.
63Dexter McClusterKCat DENBroncos' pass D has played better lately.
64Cordarrelle PattersonMINat SEARecorded first career TD catch last week.

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

Additional Week 11 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 11 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-tight-end-rankings-week-11
Body:

As dominant as Jimmy Graham has been this season, his bad foot and tough matchup are enough reasons to remove him from the top spot on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 11 tight end rankings, at least for this week. Rob Gronkowski isn't exactly 100 percent healthy, but he is coming off of a bye and in his last game caught nine passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.

Graham still leads the NFL in touchdown catches (10) and is dominating his peers when it comes to on-field production and fantasy points, but the plantar fasciitis he is battling in his foot continues to limit his snaps, and he has a difficult test ahead of him in San Francisco's athletic, physical linebackers and secondary. Gronk and the Patriots take on Carolina, who has a pretty nasty defense of its own, but from a fantasy perspective the Panthers have been more generous to tight ends than the 49ers.

These aren't the only two tight ends worth paying attention to either, as Denver's Julius Thomas has somewhat quietly put together an impressive breakout season. Thomas is second only to Graham in both touchdown catches (9) and fantasy points, as Peyton Manning's big, athletic target has scored in all but one game so far. The Broncos host undefeated Kansas City, and as impressive as the Chiefs' defense has been this season, the only top-flight tight end it has faced is Cleveland's Jordan Cameron. And when it comes to comparing the Browns' offense to the Broncos' attack, it's pretty obvious that Thomas has a much more dangerous and productive supporting cast to help draw attention and coverage away from him. This should be an interesting game-within-the-game to watch Sunday night.

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 website can give you.

2013 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: Dallas, St. Louis

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Rob GronkowskiNEat CAR (Mon.)Coming off of bye, went for 9-143-1 in last game.
2Jimmy GrahamNOvs. SFNo TD last week for just third game this season.
3Julius ThomasDENvs. KCSecond only to Graham with 9 TD catches.
4Jordan CameronCLEat CINCaught season-high 10 passes in Week 4 vs. CIN.
5Antonio GatesSDat MIANo TD catches in last five games.
6Jordan ReedWASat PHINo. 1 fantasy TE over last four weeks.
7Vernon DavisSFat NOSuffered concussion last week, monitor status.
8Tony GonzalezATLat TBInjured his toe last week. Iron man streak in jeopardy?
9Greg OlsenCARvs. NE (Mon.)Held to season lows across the board by 49ers.
10Coby FleenerINDat TEN (Thurs.)Saw season-high 10 targets (4 rec.) last week.
11Martellus BennettCHIvs. BALHas 3 TDs in first two games, just one since.
12Charles ClayMIAvs. SDJust 13 receptions, 1 TD over last four games.
13Timothy WrightTBvs. ATLHeld to just 1 catch (19 yards) on MNF vs. MIA.
14John CarlsonMINat SEACame up big (7-98-1) in first game w/o Rudolph.
15Scott ChandlerBUFvs. NYJBest game of season vs. Jets (5-79-1) in Week 3.
16Tyler EifertCINvs. CLESaw season-high 10 targets w/ Gresham out.
17Rob HouslerARIat JACRecorded first career TD catch (34 GP) last week.
18Brandon PettigrewDETat PITPosted season-high 70 yards receiving last week.
19Heath MillerPITvs. DETMinimal impact over last four games.
20Delanie WalkerTENvs. IND (Thurs.)Hauled in fourth TD catch last week.
21Garrett GrahamHOUvs. OAKKeenum TD to TE last week went to Griffin not Graham.
22Zach MillerSEAvs. MIN 
23Dallas ClarkBALat CHI 
24Jermaine GreshamCINvs. CLEDid not play last week b/c of groin injury.
25Brent CelekPHIvs. WASRedskins have given up 7 TD catches to TEs.
26Jeff CumberlandNYJat BUFMissed last game two weeks ago (concussion).

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

Additional Week 11 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 11 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Tight End Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-defspecial-teams-rankings-week-11
Body:

There is a familiar face at the top of Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 11 defense/special teams rankings, but that doesn't mean this DST doesn't have a tough task ahead of it. Seattle maintains its top billing in our rankings in large part because the Seahawks are at home and playing a Minnesota team that ranks near the bottom of the offensive rankings. However, the Seahawks' defense will be without cornerback Brandon Browner for the foreseeable future because of a groin injury, meaning the "Legion of Boom" secondary has lost one of its biggest hitters.

The 'Hawks also know that priority number one is to slow down Adrian Peterson. After surrendering more than 200 yards rushing in a two-game span, Seattle's run defense bowed up last week against Atlanta, holding the Falcons to just 64 yards on the ground. The reigning MVP is obviously a different kind of challenge, as the last time he played in the Pacific Northwest Peterson gashed the Seahawks for 187 yards rushing and two touchdowns (Week 9, 2012).

One DST that has been at the top of its game lately is the New York Giants. That's right, the same Giants defense that gave up an average of 391.3 yards and 34.9 points per game in getting off to an 0-6 start has completely turned things around. Over its last three games, all wins, the Big Blue Wrecking Crew has allowed 206.3 yards per game and only two offensive touchdowns. The G-Men also have nine sacks and eight takeaways during this span. Antrel Rolle and company welcome Green Bay to MetLife Stadium on Sunday, as third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien will make his first career NFL start against one of the NFL's hottest defenses. This may be the last time you can buy low on a DST that has a pretty appealing second-half schedule to close things out.

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.

2013 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: Dallas, St. Louis

RkTeamOPPNotes
1Seattle Seahawksvs. MINLegion of Boom will miss Browner's (groin) physical presence.
2Arizona Cardinalsat JACCardinals 3rd against run, 20th against pass.
3Carolina Panthersvs. NE (Mon.)Passed first test vs. 49ers, Pats up next on MNF.
4Cincinnati Bengalsvs. CLEBengals had issues with Browns' passing game back in Week 4.
5New York Giantsvs. GB9 sacks, 8 TOs, just 2 off. TDs allowed over last 3 G.
6New England Patriotsat CAR (Mon.)Patriots 30th against run, 12th against pass.
7Kansas City Chiefsat DENCan pass rush get to gimpy Peyton?
8Houston Texansvs. OAKNo. 1 passing D vs. No. 31 passing O.
9Cleveland Brownsat CINBrowns 5th in total defense, 10th in passing.
10Green Bay Packersat NYGPackers' D also feeling the absence of Rodgers.
11San Francisco 49ersat NONinth-ranked pass D will be tested by Brees and co.
12Tennessee Titansvs. IND (Thurs.)Can Titans' pass rush do to Luck what Rams (3 sacks, 3 INTs) did?
13Denver Broncosvs. KCBroncos' D has been much better against pass in last 3 games.
14Oakland Raidersat HOUHeld Giants to 118 yards passing, forced 3 TOs (INT TD) last week.
15Miami Dolphinsvs. SDPass rush virtually non-existent in MNF loss to Bucs.
16New York Jetsat BUFGave up season-high 120 yards rushing to Bills in Week 3.

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

Additional Week 11 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends

Kickers

Week 11 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-kicker-rankings-week-11
Body:

Even with Sunday night's matchup with Kansas City's nasty defense on tap, Matt Prater maintains his top billing on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 11 kicker rankings. Denver's offensive potential alone is enough to keep Prater in the top spot, as is the case for Stephen Gostkowski even though New England will be on the road to take on the NFL's second-stingiest defense (Carolina).

But both of them are looking up to someone else when it comes to the No. 1 fantasy scorer at the position. Seattle's Steven Hauschka has passed both Prater and Gostkowski for that honor (although to be fair the fact that Seattle has yet to go on bye has a lot to do with this), thanks to his strong leg and a lot of opportunities over the past month. Hauschka is second in the league in made field goals with 22 and half of those have come from 40 yards and beyond. He has eight successful three-pointers and 12 PATs in his last four games to make him fantasy's most productive kicker during that span. This week Hauschka and the Seahawks host a Minnesota team that is giving up 31 points per game and the eighth-most fantasy points to kickers this season. Looks like this Seahawk may soar yet again this 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.

2013 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers
Teams on bye this week: Dallas, St. Louis

RkPlayerTeamOPPONENT
1Matt PraterDENvs. KC
2Stephen GostkowskiNEat CAR (Mon.)
3Steven HauschkaSEAvs. MIN
4Nick FolkNYJat BUF
5Robbie GouldCHIvs. BAL
6Justin TuckerBALat CHI
7Nick NovakSDat MIA
8Shaun SuishamPITvs. DET
9Ryan SuccopKCat DEN
10Garrett HartleyNOvs. SF
11Mason CrosbyGBat NYG
12Phil DawsonSFat NO
13Adam VinatieriINDat TEN (Thurs.)
14David AkersDETat PIT
15Graham GanoCARvs. NE (Mon.)
16Josh BrownNYGvs. GB

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

Additional Week 11 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 11 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-waiver-wire-week-11
Body:

As the saying goes, patience is a virtue, but it’s often easier said than done when it comes to managing your fantasy football roster. As we enter Week 11 of the NFL regular season, some owners may be rewarded for their patience when it comes to certain players.

For example, Percy Harvin finally appears ready to make his long-awaited debut for the Seahawks, while the similarly talented rookie, Tavon Austin, finally posted the type of all-around game everyone expected when he was a popular fantasy pick entering this season. But remember, patience is a virtue, and will be required for those banking on an encore performance from Austin since St. Louis (and Dallas) are both on bye this week.

The players listed in Athlon Sports’ weekly fantasy football waiver wire may be one-week adds, some may be worth holding onto all season long and some are of the “sleeper” variety that you may want to keep an eye on. So without further ado, here are some players you may want to consider.

Teams on bye in Week 11: Dallas, St. Louis

Quarterbacks
Week 10 Recap: Nick Foles (right) followed up his seven-touchdown game with three more against Green Bay on Sunday. Foles now has 16 touchdown passes on the season with no interceptions. Next up is a Washington defense that is 27th in the league in yards allowed and 31st in points. Case Keenum has yet to win a game, but he’s also yet to throw an interception, as he put up 201 yards passing and three touchdowns against Arizona on the road. He did have a costly fumble on the Texans’ opening drive that was returned for a touchdown by the Cardinals in the 27-24 defeat.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans
Jake Locker could be done for the season after suffering a foot injury on Sunday, which means the job is Fitzpatrick’s once more. The former Buffalo starter struggled in his previous two starts (2 total touchdowns, 4 INTs), but he was effective in leading the Titans’ comeback attempt against Jacksonville. In a little more than two quarters worth of action, Fitzpatrick threw for 264 yards and accounted for three touchdowns (2 pass, rush) against the Jaguars. The Titans play Indianapolis twice in the next three games, the first one coming this Thursday night, sandwiched by game in Oakland, so the schedule appears manageable for those willing to give the Harvard grad a shot.

Josh McCown, Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler got the start against Detroit, but it was apparent he was not at 100 percent, especially in regards to his mobility. To make matters worse, he sustained an ankle injury late in the fourth quarter and was replaced by McCown with a little more than two minutes remaining and the Bears down by eight. The backup then proceeded to march the Bears 76 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown, giving his team a chance to tie the game with a two-point conversion. The Lions stuffed running back Matt Forté on the conversion attempt, but it wouldn’t have even been possible if not for McCown’s orchestration of the two-minute drill. Cutler has already been ruled out this week with a high ankle sprain, so McCown will get the call against Baltimore. And considering he has completed 60 percent of his passes this season for 538 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Running Backs
Week 10 Recap: Sunday night was the Mark Ingram everyone envisioned when he entered the 2011 draft after being a Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama. Ingram ran over the Cowboys to the tune of 145 yards on just 14 carries (10.4 ypc) and a touchdown. It’s just one game, granted, but if Ingram can bring the effort he brought against Dallas every week, he will get his share of opportunities to tote the rock. Rashad Jennings put up more than 100 total yards against the Giants, including 88 on the ground on 20 carries (4.4 ypc). He didn’t score, but he should remain the Raiders’ starter with Darren McFadden hampered by a hamstring injury. Ben Tate had 56 yards rushing on just 15 carries, as the Texans abandoned the running game in the second half of their loss in Arizona. As long as Tate’s broken ribs don’t get any worse, he will be the starter with Arian Foster set to undergo season-ending back surgery.

Chris Ivory, New York Jets
The Jets were on bye last week, but the last time Ivory was on the field, he gashed the Saints for 139 yards rushing on 18 carries (7.7 ypc). Ivory doesn’t have the workload all to himself, as Bilal Powell has had his moments as well, but there was a reason the Jets traded for Ivory prior to the start of this season. Slowed by injuries to start the season, he has posted 100-yard games in two of his last three outings and seems to be settling in with his new team and offense. It’s a bit of a risk, but between the two, I would consider Ivory the closest thing the Jets have to a No.1 back.

Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have Andre Ellington, who is considerably more explosive than Mendenhall, but the coaching staff seems leery of giving the rookie a bunch of touches. On Sunday against Houston, even though Ellington had more yards (73) than Mendenhall (51), the veteran got two more carries (13 to 11). If this pattern continues, it probably means that both Mendenhall and Ellington are probably nothing more than flex options, but at least it keeps the veteran on the fantasy radar.

Shane Vereen, New England Patriots
Vereen has played in a total of one game this season after injuring his wrist in Week 1 against Buffalo, but he is expected to return to action this Sunday following the Patriots’ bye. New England doesn’t lack for backfield options, but Vereen totaled 159 yards in his only game, so I am pretty sure the coaching staff will look to get him involved early. While my guess is that Stevan Ridley will remain the primary ball carrier, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Vereen basically make Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount irrelevant. It may take a game or two for things to shake out, but Ridley and Vereen are the only two Patriot backs I would focus on the rest of the way, barring another injury.

Wide Receivers
Week 10 Recap: Riley Cooper and Nick Foles continued their magic, as the duo combined for three connections for 102 yards and two touchdowns in the road win in Green Bay. Doug Baldwin led the Seahawks with eight targets, catching five of them for 76 yards, in the easy win over Atlanta. Mario Manningham made his season debut and led the 49ers in targets (six), receptions (three) and yards (30), as Colin Kaepernick finished with a paltry 91 yards passing in the 10-9 home loss to Carolina. Mike Brown had as many targets (four) and catches (two) as Cecil Shorts in Jacksonville’s win over Tennessee, as the Jaguars’ passing game focused primarily on screens and dump-offs to the running backs and tight ends. Lance Moore had just one catch for 14 yards in the Saints’ rout of Dallas on Sunday night, as Drew Brees spread his 34 completions out to nine different receivers.

Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
It would figure that just as soon as Austin breaks out and flashes the all-purpose talent that made him the Rams’ first-round pick he would go on bye. However, even if you have to wait another week, it may be worth going ahead and taking a plunge for a chance to add a multi-threat like Austin to your roster for the stretch run. Against Indianapolis on Sunday, Austin caught two passes, had one rushing attempt and returned five kicks. But those eight total touches produced 314 total yards and three touchdowns, all of which were 57 yards or longer. Austin had two TD receptions (57 and 81 yards) and also returned a punt 98 yards for a score. It appears the Rams’ patience with the rookie is paying off, and he may be ready to do the same for someone fantasy’s team in the second half of the season.

Jerricho Cotchery, Pittsburgh Steelers
I was hesitant to include Cotchery in this space last week despite recording three touchdowns against New England. After finding the end zone a second straight week, I can’t ignore him any longer. Antonio Brown is Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target and I don’t see that changing, but Cotchery’s role in the passing game seems to be expanding, at the expense of fellow wideout Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Heath Miller. There’s no guarantee Cotchery will keep this up, but four touchdown catches in two games is worthy of a little recognition, don’t you think?

Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots
Dobson has already been mentioned here before, but the rookie makes a second appearance based on his expanding role in the Patriots’ passing game. On bye last week, Dobson went into the break with plenty of momentum, posting nine catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games. He exploded for an 81-yard touchdown against the Steelers and is starting to develop into the productive vertical threat the Patriots had in mind when they drafted him in the second round of April’s draft. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and fellow wideout Danny Amendola will still serve as Tom Brady’s primary targets, but their presence also should help open the deeper routes for Dobson. At minimum, it appears that Dobson has moved past both fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins and Julian Edelman in the Pats’ pecking order.

Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks
Consider this a public service announcement. Harvin is expected to make his season debut for the Seahawks on Sunday at home against Minnesota. While it’s anyone’s guess as to how many snaps he will get or how effective he will be in his first game in over a year, there’s a reason Seattle traded for the Pro Bowl kick return specialist. Whether it’s on a punt or kickoff return, catching passes or getting the handoff, Harvin, when healthy, is a threat to take the ball all the way when it’s in his hands. Think a more experienced and polished Tavon Austin (see above) with a longer track record. It also just so happens that Harvin’s first game will come against his former team. Bottom line is even though it may take Harvin a game or two to get comfortable, time is quickly running out to add this potential difference-maker to your roster.

Tight Ends
Week 10 Recap: Jared Cook had one catch for 17 yards in the Rams’ rout of Indianapolis, pretty much ending any momentum he had built up in recent weeks. The Rams are on bye this week and it may be time to say bye-bye to Cook’s chances of being a valuable fantasy contributor this season.

John Carlson, Minnesota Vikings
Kyle Rudolph is expected to be out a month with a broken foot, so what does Carlson do in his first game as the starter? Lead the Vikings with seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown of course. Carlson has been an after-thought since joining the Vikings in 2012, taking a backseat to Rudolph, but this is a veteran tight end that posted back-to-back 50-catch seasons in 2008-09 with Seattle. There’s no guarantee Carlson can put up similar numbers each and every week, but with the starting job secure, he should at least enter the TE2 conversation.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 10 Recap: Miami managed just two sacks and an interception on Monday night against Tampa Bay, as the defense allowed 20 points to the previously winless Buccaneers in a disappointing 22-19 defeat.

New York Giants
After getting pushed around and offering very little resistance to start the season, the Giants’ defense has come back strong. The G-Men’s DST is averaging nearly 17 fantasy points (Athlon scoring) over its last three games, holding each opponent to 213 yards of offense or less during that span. The Giants also have forced eight turnovers, collected nine sacks and given up just two offensive touchdowns in these three games. The Giants still have two games with Washington and a home date with Dallas on their schedule, and this Sunday will host a Green Bay team that will start third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien. Despite a horrendous start, the Big Blue Wrecking Crew may be rounding into form and could be poised for a strong second half.

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 2013 Waiver Wire: Week 11
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The NFC’s hottest two teams go head-to-head when the Carolina Panthers square off with the San Francisco 49ers at 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX. This is a matchup of second-place teams, as the Panthers (5-3) trail the Saints by one game in the NFC South and the 49ers (6-2) are behind the Seahawks by a game and a half in the NFC West.

The Panthers have won four games in a row behind a more efficient Cam Newton and one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses, while the 49ers have rattled off five wins a row by dominating teams on both sides of the ball and thanks to more consistent play from Colin Kaepernick. San Francisco is averaging 34.8 points per game during this streak and has outscored opponents by 22.6 points per contest.

These two teams have played each other 17 times with Carolina leading 10-7 in the series. The Panthers have won the last three meetings, but this will be Newton’s first game against the 49ers and likewise Kaepernick’s first versus Carolina.

3 Things to Watch

Cam vs. CK
When it comes to the evolution of the quarterback position in the NFL, two of the first names that come to mind are Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, both members of the 2011 draft class. After being the No. 1 overall pick of that draft, Newton has helped usher in the new era of dynamic, athletic, dual-threat signal-callers. The AP Offensive Rookie of the Year his first season, Newton has developed as both a passer and decision maker and has taken his game to a new level this season. Through eight games, Newton is completing a personal-best 64.4 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has been even sharper over his last four outings, posting a completion percentage of 72.3 with seven touchdowns and just two interceptions. While he may not be running as much as he did in his first two seasons, Newton still is making things happen with his legs. He is averaging 4.6 yards per carry with four rushing touchdowns, three of those coming in his last four games. Kaepernick went in the second round of the ’11 draft, 35 picks after Newton and had to wait even longer to get on the field. His first significant action didn’t come until midway through last season when he took over for an injured Alex Smith. Once Kaepernick got the job, however, he never looked back, going 5-2 in the regular season, leading the 49ers to the NFC West crown. But where Kaepernick really shined was in the playoffs, starting with a game to remember in the NFC Divisional round against Green Bay. Against the Packers, Kaepernick broke the NFL single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 181. He also threw for 263 yards and had a total of four touchdowns in the win. Even though San Francisco came up short against Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII, the future seemed incredibly bright for the newest dual-threat quarterback to burst onto the scene. This season started great for Kaepernick, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 1 victory over Green Bay, but he has struggled to replicate that sort of statistical success. For the season, Kaepernick is completing just 57.1 percent of his passes (62.4 in 2012) and has accounted for a total of 12 touchdowns (9 pass, 3 rush) with nine turnovers (5 INTs, 4 fumbles). The good news is Kaepernick has played better during the 49ers’ current five-game winning streak. He has nine total touchdowns (6 pass, 3 rush) and just three turnovers (INT, 2 fumbles) in his last five outings. Even though Newton has been more productive and efficient so far this season, Kaepernick is just as capable of breaking out at any point. The bottom line is these two quarterbacks are similar in many ways and it will be interesting to see which one puts together the better performance this afternoon.

Dominating Defenses
San Francisco may have the reputation as being one of the NFL’s nastiest defenses, but Carolina’s unit is putting up better numbers this season. Both are ranked in the top six in the league in yards and points allowed. The Panthers are second in rushing defense (79.1 ypg), while the 49ers are ranked 11th (104.6 ypg). A total of 0.3 yards per game separates the two teams when it comes to passing defense and both are giving up fewer than 18.2 points per game. The Panthers have allowed 20 points or more in a game just twice all season, while the 49ers have surrendered an average of 12.2 points per contest during their five-game winning streak. Both defenses have star power at every level and each is capable of completely taking a game over. If there is any weakness to either defense it’s getting to the quarterback, as neither team ranks near the league leaders in sacks. Both offenses do a solid job of protecting the quarterback, so if one defense is able to pressure the pocket this afternoon it could be a determining factor. Otherwise, if you like defensive football this could be the type of game for you because if both units are at the top of their games, points may be hard to come by at Candlestick Park.

Offensive Supporting Cast
As talented and explosive as Newton and Kaepernick are, they cannot be asked to do it all on offense, especially against two of the top defenses in the NFL. Each quarterback will need their teammates to step up, whether that is in the running game or as a receiver. San Francisco is No. 1 in the league in rushing offense right now at 153 yards per game, while Carolina is eighth (130.1 ypg). Newton and Kaepernick haven’t been as busy running the ball as they were last year, which means more carries for the backs. DeAngelo Williams is the Panthers’ leading rusher with 519 yards, but he gets plenty of support from Mike Tolbert, who is tied for the team lead with four rushing touchdowns, and Jonathan Stewart, who made his season debut last week after undergoing offseason ankle surgery. For the 49ers, Frank Gore continues to get the job done, as he’s seventh in the league in rushing (618 yards) and has scored seven times on the ground. Neither offense has been prolific in the passing game with Carolina at 202.6 yards per game and San Francisco last in the NFL at 189.9. That doesn’t mean either offense doesn’t have any playmakers, however, as wide receivers Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell and tight end Greg Olsen serve as Newton’s top targets. Kaepernick has leaned heavily on wideout Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis this season, as the two have combined for more than half (67) of the 49ers’ receptions (114), more than two thirds of the yards (1,069 of 1,587) and all nine touchdown catches. A big reason for this has been the absence of Michael Crabtree, the team’s top pass-catcher last season, who tore his Achilles in late March. Crabtree could be back in a few weeks, but the offense is expected to have veteran Mario Manningham in the starting lineup this afternoon. Manningham tore his ACL late last season and while he’s not as talented, explosive or productive as Crabtree, his return should help boost a passing attack that needs more reliable options. Whether it’s a Panther or a 49er, someone other than the quarterback will need to step up and make a big play, pick up a key first down or provide some sort of meaningful contribution to help put their team in position to win. Because in a game like this with seemingly evenly matched teams and strong defenses, one key play or drive could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Carolina Key Player: Steve Smith, WR
The veteran Smith has been the Panthers’ top wide receiver for more than a decade. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and total touchdowns, and quarterback Cam Newton has relied on him heavily since coming into the NFL in 2011. Smith also is 34 years old and playing in his 13th season, and his numbers have been down across the board thus far. He is leading the team in catches with 36, but he has just 387 yards receiving and three touchdowns. His season-high for catches in a game is six (Week 1) and his best yardage total has been only 69 (Week 7). These are the not the numbers of a No. 1 wide receiver, especially not the caliber of Smith. Newton has been on fire recently, completing better than 72 percent of his passes and he has done most of this without Smith’s assistance. This needs to change if the Panthers want to beat the defending NFC champions on their home turf and in the process send a message to the rest of the NFL that they are a team to be feared. After all, Smith’s penchant for trash talk is well known. Instead of just talking a big game, it’s time for him to follow through with one on the field too.

San Francisco Key Player: Aldon Smith, LB
The 49ers have arguably the top linebacking corps in the NFL. Led by Patrick Willis, the group also features fellow All-Pros NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks and Smith. A pass-rushing specialist, Smith amassed 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons, the most of any player in NFL history. He leads the team in that category again this season with 4.5 and he has done so in just three games. Smith has been out of action since Week 3 so he could seek treatment for his substance-abuse issues. He was suspended by the team during this time, and while he still may have to deal with the NFL in regards to additional punishment stemming from his various legal matters, Smith was re-activated from the non-football illness list on Tuesday and is expected to be on the field this afternoon. While the priority is on Smith getting his life in order and staying clean and sober, his return should energize a defense that has struggled to pressure the quarterback consistently. As well as the defense has played during this five-game winning streak, allowing just 12.2 points per game, the unit has a total of five sacks in the past four contests. Remember, Smith has 4.5 by himself in three games this season and racked up 5.5 in a single contest last season against Chicago. Who knows how much better this defense can get now that it has its sack-master back?

Final Analysis

Cam Newton has his Panthers above .500 for the first time in his career, but he’s not doing it alone. Carolina’s defense is third in the NFL in yards allowed and second in points, and quickly establishing its own reputation.

San Francisco has won five games in a row in dominating fashion and has done this without a huge contribution from Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers are coming off of a bye and are getting some major reinforcements with several players returning, most notably All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith.

To me, this is a game of similar, evenly matched teams that are where they are thanks in large part to their defenses. Newton has never been more efficient running the offense, and his numbers show this. I also truly believe that Carolina is a legitimate playoff contender in the NFC. However, San Francisco is red hot right now and that’s without Kaepernick being at his best. The 49ers are more seasoned and battle tested than the Panthers and I think that will be the difference in what I expect to be a back-and-forth, physical, grind-it-out type of game.

In the end, Kaepernick flashes some of his 2012 postseason form on a key scoring drive in the fourth quarter and the 49ers get significant contributions from the cavalry, namely Smith. Newton holds his own and the Panthers show they are a worthy potential challenger to the 49ers’ throne, but the defending NFC champs make it six victories in a row by taking care of business at home.

San Francisco 23, Carolina 20

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Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers Preview and Prediction
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The Saints should have their sparkplug back for tonight’s primetime matchup, while the Texans and Buccaneers will have to make do without their workhorses in Week 10, if not longer. Here are those and some other injured running backs you need to know about.

Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
Sproles posted just one catch for two yards last week against the Jets before leaving the game with a concussion. The good news is that he practiced all week, has been cleared to return and is listed as Probable for tonight’s game. Sproles has been somewhat inconsistent this season, but his versatility and role in the Saints’ explosive offense is enough to keep him in your lineup, especially in PPR leagues. The Cowboys are second-to-last in the NFL in yards allowed and this could be a fairly high-scoring affair. Sproles’ return doesn’t impact Pierre Thomas (right) that much, but it could mean fewer touches for Mark Ingram, who is averaging 2.4 yards per carry and carries little fantasy value at this point.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Jones-Drew was limited in practice Friday, which is not a good thing, because of a knee issue, but he is listed as Probable on the injury report. Unless something changes, MJD should be out there, but it’s been a struggle for him this season. Although he has been able to stay healthy after playing in just six games last season, MJD has just two touchdowns and is averaging 3.2 yards per carry. The Titans have struggled some against the run (122.5 ypg), but there’s not a lot of evidence to suggest MJD will break out this week. His ceiling is probably set at RB2 with RB3/RB4/flex-type production more likely.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants vs. Oakland Raiders
Jacobs’ hamstring injury must be really bad because not only has he missed the past two games, he is still listed as Doubtful for today’s game despite the fact the Giants are coming off of a bye. Honestly, at this point Jacobs may be droppable, especially since Andre Brown is expected to make his season debut after breaking his leg in the final preseason game. Expect Brown to be fairly active today against the Raiders with Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox possibly figuring in. Brown is the Giant running back you want to own.

Already Ruled Out

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans – This is the big one, as Foster has already been ruled out and there have been reports he may need season-ending surgery on his back. He apparently suffered the injury in the first series of last week’s game against Indianapolis, and he looks to miss at least a few more games, if not the rest of the season. Ben Tate is playing with four broken ribs, but he is Probable and should get the majority of the carries with undrafted rookie Dennis Johnson providing the occasional breather. For now, hold pat with Foster, but be sure you have a plan B (or C) on your roster. As long as Tate can play with the broken ribs, he looks the part of a reasonably safe RB2 with upside.

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – After missing the past two games because of a shoulder injury, Tampa Bay placed Martin on season-ending injured reserve this week. Martin is now droppable in any league except a keeper/dynasty, as Mike James will remain the starter. James went for 158 yards rushing against Seattle last week and on Monday night faces a Miami defense that has given up nine rushing touchdowns. James is a RB2 option for the rest of the season and could possibly move into RB1 territory if he continues to produce and has a good matchup.

Teaser:
Week 10 Injury Updates: Darren Sproles, Maurice Jones-Drew, Arian Foster, Doug Martin
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
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Beast Mode could be unleashed in Atlanta, while a rookie running back is aiming for a third straight 100-yard game in Week 10. What other injured running backs do you need to keep an eye on before setting your lineup?

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
Lynch is still listed on the injury report with a knee injury, but he is Probable and will play in the rematch of last season’s NFC Divisional round matchup with the Falcons. Lynch rumbled for 125 yards last week against Tampa Bay and is a RB1 this week going up against a Falcons defense that is giving up more than 116 yards rushing per game.

Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts
Stacy has put together back-to-back impressive performances, rushing for a total of 261 yards in his last two games. He is listed on the injury report with a foot issue, but he practiced fully on Friday and is Probable for today’s game. Stacy may be a rookie, but he’s all but secured nothing less than RB2 status from here out. In fact, he could make it three 100-yard games in a row today considering the Colts are near the bottom of the NFL in rushing defense at 124.9 yards per game.

Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts vs. St. Louis Rams
Richardson didn’t practice at all on Wednesday because of an ankle injury, but he was able to put in a full session on Friday. Although Questionable, head coach Chuck Pagano expects him to play. Unfortunately, questionable also can be used to describe Richardson’s production since being traded to the Colts. In six games he is averaging less than 42 yards rushing per game and has scored two touchdowns. The coaching staff also may be losing patience with Richardson, as he carried the ball just eight times last week against Houston. Donald Brown is very much a factor when it comes to the Colts’ backfield, so it’s just a matter of can you stomach the potential of another poor performance from Richardson this week?

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans
Mendenhall missed the Cardinals’ Week 8 win over Atlanta with a turf toe injury, but he was able to heal during the team’s bye week and not only is he Probable for today’s home game, he is expected to start. That said, rookie Andre Ellington posted 154 yards rushing in that victory against the Falcons, and he figures to see the majority of the touches moving forward. Mendenhall won’t be completely shut out and could even post a decent game here or there, but his fantasy potential is limited, while Ellington’s speed, explosiveness and big-play ability (80-yard TD run vs. Atlanta) makes him the Cardinal back you want on your roster.

Already Ruled Out

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders – McFadden will miss at least one game after re-aggravating a hamstring injury last week against Philadelphia. Rashad Jennings will get the start in McFadden’s place and posted 102 yards rushing and a touchdown against the Eagles. Jennings is a RB2/RB3/flex option against the Giants today.

David Wilson, RB, New York Giants – Wilson was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, ending his season. He hasn’t played since suffering a scary neck injury in Week 5 and this really is just the final chapter in what has been a disappointing sophomore season. Unless you have him in a dynasty or keeper league, it’s time to cut ties with Wilson, if you have haven’t done so already.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 10: Marshawn Lynch, Zac Stacy, Trent Richardson, Darren McFadden
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
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A quartet of wide receivers coming off of bye still isn’t at 100 percent entering their Week 10 matchup. Are they and any other key wideouts in danger of not playing today?

Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants vs. Oakland Raiders
Cruz suffered a neck injury on Oct. 27 against Philadelphia, but he was able to return and finish the game. While it seemed to be nothing of concern at the time, especially with the Giants on bye last week, Cruz drew plenty of attention when he missed practice on Wednesday and then was spotted in a red, non-contact jersey on Thursday. He was back in there on Friday, however, and declared himself “good to go” to reporters then. The team has him listed as Probable, so unless something changes before kickoff, you need to have Eli Manning’s top target in your lineup.

Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson, WRs, Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
The Lions were on bye last week, but Johnson’s knee injury apparently is still bothering him some. He (right) practiced in a limited capacity each day this week and is Probable for this key NFC North matchup. Remember, Megatron is coming off of a monster 14-catch, 329-yard effort in his last game and he’s had a week to rest. He will not miss this game against a division rival and obviously Johnson must be in your lineup. Burleson, on the other hand, returned to practice for the first time since breaking his forearm in a car accident in September. Burleson is close to getting back out there, but it won’t happen this week, meaning Kris Durham will remain the Lions’ No. 2 wide receiver and a possible WR3/WR4/flex option this week.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Coming off of a bye, Shorts is still dealing with a groin injury. However, he did practice on Friday and is listed as Probable to face the Titans. With Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely, Shorts should expect to see the 12+ targets he averaged earlier in the season when Blackmon was, once again, suspended. Shorts is a borderline WR1, as the only thing really holding him back is quarterback play. Mike Brown also has a golden opportunity as he is expected to start opposite Shorts with Blackmon out of the picture. Brown is a wait-and-see option for now, but don’t forget how productive Shorts and Blackmon were together for a brief period of time.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Indianapolis Colts vs. St. Louis Rams
Heyward-Bey didn’t take advantage of his first game filling in for an injured Reggie Wayne last week, as he got hurt himself early against the Texans. DHB sustained what at the time was believed to be a concussion, but instead ended up being a shoulder injury. He practiced all week and is listed as Probable, so the shoulder doesn’t appear to be a big issue. While sliding into a starting slot opposite T.Y. Hilton is no doubt appealing, it doesn’t guarantee Heyward-Bey immediately becomes an every-week fantasy starter either. The potential is there, but DHB has been teasing us with his speed and talent since he came into the league as the seventh overall selection of the 2009 draft.

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks
White is listed as Questionable, but he ramped up his practice activity this week and has said he is hopeful of returning to the field today. While he would obviously provide a boost to the Falcons’ passing game, there is no guarantee he will be able to produce right away. For one, White has been a shell of himself all season and today’s matchup with Seattle’s physical secondary isn’t ideal. Here’s hoping that White will look more like his old self before the end of the season, but Harry Douglas remains the Falcon wide receiver to own and start.

Teaser:
Week 10 Injury Updates: Victor Cruz, Calvin Johnson, Cecil Shorts, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Roddy White
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-10-injury-updates-jay-cutler-terrelle-pryor-ej-manuel-michael-vick-aaron-rodgers
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One NFC North team is slated to get its starting quarterback back in Week 10, while another begins life without theirs. Elsewhere, a rookie signal-caller who should see his first action in more than a month is just one of the many quarterback injury situations covered here.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
Cutler missed the Monday night game, but he returned to practice on Wednesday, is listed as Probable and is expected to start today. Josh McCown filled in quite well for Cutler in the win against Green Bay, but head coach Marc Trestman has said all along that Cutler is his starter. Cutler will be looking to redeem himself after turning the ball over four times against Detroit in Week 4 loss, and this is a Lions defense that’s 26th in the NFL against the pass. Cutler may not be a must-start QB this week, but he’s certainly capable of producing like one.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders at New York Giants
Pryor left last week’s loss to Philadelphia in the fourth quarter after injuring his knee, but it appears to be a minor thing. He practiced fully all week, is listed as Probable and should be good to face the Giants. If anything, the bigger concern with Pryor has to do with his performance. Prior to departing the game against the Eagles, he had thrown two interceptions and didn’t have a single touchdown. He has a total of seven interceptions in his last three games with just two touchdowns. The Giants’ defense has been playing better lately and is coming off of a bye, while the Raiders had to make the dreaded cross-country flight from the West coast for an early (1 p.m. ET) kickoff. There’s no reason to not start Pryor, but you may want to temper your expectations and double-check your available options.

EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
For the first time since injuring his knee in Week 5, Manuel will start at quarterback for the Bills. The rookie missed four games with an LCL sprain, but he made it through his first full week of practice since the injury just fine and is Probable to face the Steelers. Pittsburgh set franchise records for both points (55) and yards (610) allowed in last week’s loss to New England, but that doesn’t make Manuel an absolute, must-start. He hasn’t played in more than a month and is working with a banged-up wide receiving corps. Manuel has struggled with his accuracy at times and enters this game with five touchdown passes and three interceptions. He appears to have a bright future, but for now the best course of action would probably be to let Manuel develop his game on your bench.

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
Vick was able to practice on a limited basis this week, but he’s listed as Doubtful and there is no reason to expect him to return. Not with Nick Foles coming off of a record-tying seven touchdown passes against Oakland. Chances are the Eagles will wait until after their bye in Week 12 to re-evaluate Vick and the starting quarterback situation. For now, if you have Foles you may as well ride his hot hand and see what he can do against a Green Bay team that doesn’t have Aaron Rodgers under center and a defense that is allowing more than 250 yards passing per game with 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Don’t Forget…

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers – Rodgers (above) will miss at least three games because of a broken collarbone sustained on Monday night against Chicago. Seneca Wallace will get the call, at least for the time being. Wallace didn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in relief of Rodgers against Chicago, so unless you have no other options, there is no reason to give him much consideration, despite today’s matchup with the NFL’s worst defense (Philadelphia). That doesn't mean there aren't any potential replacement options for Rodgers on the waiver wire.

Teaser:
Week 10 Injury Updates: Jay Cutler, Terrelle Pryor, EJ Manuel, Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-10-wes-welker-dez-bryant-marques-colston-eddie-royal-robert-woods
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Denver is coming off of its bye and should have all of its offensive weapons available for its Week 10 contest, while a key Cowboy wide receiver is dealing with a back issue. Which injured wideouts can you start with confidence today?

Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
The Broncos are coming off of their bye, but Welker’s lingering ankle injury was still enough of an issue to keep him from being a full-go at practice until Friday. Still, he’s listed as Probable, so it would be a shock if he wasn’t on the field against the Chargers. Welker leads all wide receivers with nine touchdown catches and even though he’s yet to post a 100-yard game this season, he’s a must-start if you own him.

Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, WRs, Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints
Bryant (right) missed some practice time this week with a back issue, but he was a participant on Friday and it didn’t seem to be bothering him then. The team has said they believe Bryant’s issue is a muscle-related and not a disk problem and he is Probable for tonight’s primetime matchup with New Orleans. Bryant is a must-start, while the same can’t be said of Austin, who is Doubtful once again because of a hamstring injury. Austin is an after-thought at this point, with Terrance Williams replacing him as the starter opposite Bryant. 

Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
Listed as Questionable headed into last week’s game, Colston was deactivated prior to kickoff versus the Jets. He is Questionable yet again this week, but he was able to participate in practice on a limited basis. While it looks likely he could return, this doesn’t mean that Colston should do the same for your lineup. Despite the numbers that Drew Brees has been able to put up, Colston has just 27 catches and one touchdown on the season. Brees has been able to rely on the likes of Jimmy Graham, rookie Kenny Stills and, in the past two games, Lance Moore, to get the job done in the passing game. Brees appears to have moved on from Colston and you should probably do the same.

Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
Once again, Royal did not practice all week and is listed as Questionable on the injury report. However, this has been the case for the past two games, which were sandwiched by the Chargers’ bye, and not only did he end up playing, he caught a touchdown in each contest. Royal is typically a hit-or-miss player, and even though he’s at less than 100 percent, he appears to be in the midst of one of his hot streaks. It’s your call if you want to see if he can keep it up for another week, just don’t be surprised if Royal doesn’t come through.

Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, WRs, Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers
Two of the Bills’ 2013 draft picks got hurt last week in the loss to Kansas City. Woods sustained an ankle injury and Goodwin hurt his hamstring. Woods did not practice all week and is considered Doubtful while Goodwin was a full go on Friday and is Probable. Even with the expected return of quarterback EJ Manuel, the safest Bill wide receiver to employ right now is Stevie Johnson. Woods has been too up-and-down in recent weeks and could end up not playing at all, while Goodwin just doesn’t get enough targets to count on for consistent production.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 10: Wes Welker, Dez Bryant, Marques Colston, Eddie Royal, Robert Woods
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-10-jimmy-graham-jermaine-gresham-garrett-graham-jermichael-finley
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A pair of tight ends named Graham appears on the Week 10 injury report. Here’s the latest on their playing status and a few other injury situations to make you aware of.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
In two games playing with a bad foot, Graham has caught 12 passes for 153 yards and four touchdowns. So while he is listed as Questionable yet again this week, there is no reason to not expect him to play against Dallas. In fact, at this point, the bigger surprise would be if he didn’t catch a touchdown pass against the Cowboys.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Gresham is dealing with a groin injury that kept him out of practice both Thursday and Friday. He is listed as Questionable but head coach Marvin Lewis has said he expects his tight end to be fine to play the Ravens. The Bengals have an interesting situation at tight end, as Gresham and rookie Tyler Eifert have basically been splitting the targets. With this timeshare in effect, it makes it very had to rely on either as a fantasy starter, but should Gresham not play today, this could be just the opportunity Eifert has been waiting for to bust out. If you own either, pay close attention to any updates prior to the 1 p.m. ET kickoff.

Garrett Graham, TE, Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals
Filling in for an injured Owen Daniels (broken leg), Graham showed up on the injury report this week with a thigh issue. He was limited in practice on Wednesday, but back to a full go by Friday, so his Probable designation appears in line. Graham has three touchdown catches on the season, but none since Week 4, so he doesn’t come without risk. That said, Case Keenum has thrown the ball very well since becoming the Texans’ starting quarterback and the Cardinals are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends so this just may be the week to take a flyer on Graham.

In Case You Missed It….

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers – Not surprisingly, the Packers placed Finley on injured reserve, ending his season. Finely’s healthy recovery from his spinal injury is secondary to his football playing status right now. Andrew Quarless will be Green Bay’s starting tight end the rest of the way, but he has yet to really produce and with Aaron Rodgers expected to miss at least three games, there’s really no reason to even keep Quarless on your radar.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 10: Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Gresham, Garrett Graham, Jermichael Finley
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30

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