Articles By Mark Ross

All taxonomy terms: Adrian Peterson, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/adrian-peterson-suspended-where-will-he-play-2015

The Adrian Peterson saga returned to the national spotlight with the NFL announcing early Tuesday that the Minnesota Vikings’ All-Pro running back has been suspended without pay for at least the remainder of the 2014 season. The league suspended Peterson for violating the league’s personal conduct policy and said he will not even be considered for reinstatement before April 15, 2015.


Peterson’s suspension is the latest development from his September indictment on a felony charge of injury to a child stemming from an incident involving his four-year-old son. Peterson was placed on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List shortly after the indictment was handed down. While on the exempt list, Peterson was not allowed to be with the Vikings, but he was still paid.


On Nov. 4, Peterson pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless assault, seemingly paving the way for his removal from the exempt list and eventual return to the field. However, the NFL kept Peterson on the exempt list while reviewing his case, a decision that prompted the NFL Players Association (NLFPA) last week to file a grievance for immediate reinstatement on his behalf.


A hearing on the grievance was held on Monday and the arbitrator is expected to announce a decision soon, but the NFL decided to act first, suspending Peterson without pay for a personal conduct violation. From a legal perspective, Peterson’s case is far from being over, but it appears that he will not play again this season.


But what about next year? Peterson can apply for reinstatement in April and provided he adheres to the conditions (including counseling and treatment) laid out by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, there’s no reason to think his professional career is over.


For one Peterson won’t turn 30 until March and he played just one game prior to being placed on the exempt list, so in essence, he has one less year of wear and tear than would be expected. Second, this is a player who is just two seasons removed from a MVP campaign during which he ran for 2,097 yards. He has rushed for 10,190 yards in 104 career games and is not just one of the top players at his position, but also in the entire league.


As a player, there’s no NFL team that wouldn’t want Peterson on its roster. But we all know that talent and ability are no longer the only factors when it comes to personnel decisions. Even if he’s reinstated, Peterson will join the growing list of players who come with plenty of baggage.


However, Peterson’s case is unique in that no player, not even fellow running back Ray Rice whose career was put on hold this season because of a disturbing incident involving his then-fiancée, now wife, with perceived “baggage” is of the same caliber as it relates to on-field production and accomplishments. So with that in mind, here is a look at which NFL team Peterson could wind up playing for in 2015.


Why Not Minnesota?

Peterson is under contract with the Vikings through 2017, so he is their property until they decide otherwise. However, given everything that’s transpired this season, it’s certainly not out of the question that the team decides to part ways with Peterson, either by trade or simply releasing him. Minnesota would obviously save cap space by getting rid of Peterson and the dead money ($2.4 million in 2015) amount it would absorb should the Vikings release him is certainly manageable. The Vikings saw one major sponsor cut ties with them as soon as Peterson was indicted, so no one would be surprised if the team decides it’s time to turn the page and move on.


The Best Fits:


New England – Stevan Ridley tore his ACL in Week 6 and the Patriots right now are relying on third-year journeyman Jonas Gray to carry the load. Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger and depending on whom you ask, New England’s championship window with him is getting narrower. What better way to help an aging quarterback than give him an All-Pro running back? Besides, it’s not like Bill Belichick hasn’t gone down this road before. Do the names Corey Dillon or Randy Moss ring a bell?


Indianapolis – The Colts have a franchise quarterback in place in Andrew Luck. They thought they traded for the running back they needed last season when they acquired Trent Richardson. It has not worked out that way, to say the least, and Indianapolis just lost reliable veteran Ahmad Bradshaw to a broken leg. Luck is much younger than Brady and Peterson could be the missing piece the Colts need to become a perennial Super Bowl contender.


Seattle – The Seahawks’ defense of their Super Bowl title has not gone smoothly. The team has already traded Percy Harvin and now it appears that Marshawn Lynch is not a happy camper. Lynch was a late report to training camp due to a contract dispute, and he will be a free agent after next season. He’s a year younger than Peterson, but chemistry seems to be a rather important factor when it comes to Pete Carroll’s team. If the Seahawks were to cut ties with Lynch what better way to replace him than by bringing Peterson on board?


Oakland – This one’s pretty simple. The Raiders need all of the offensive playmakers they can get. It looks like Oakland has a building block in rookie quarterback Derek Carr, but there’s been no semblance of a running game this season. The Raiders also have a reputation for attracting “bad boys,” if you will, and I have little doubt that the Black Hole wouldn’t welcome Peterson with open arms should he end up on the West Coast.


Dallas/Houston – Peterson is a Texas native who was a star for three seasons at Oklahoma. The Cowboys connection is not only obvious, it’s also already apparently been discussed by Peterson and Jerry Jones. Tampering allegations aside, I think Jones will sign DeMarco Murray to a long-term contract before Peterson’s even eligible for reinstatement. But there’s more than one team in the Lone Star State and Houston may decide it’s time to move on from injury-prone Arian Foster. Foster is under contract for two more seasons, but most of the guaranteed money has already been paid out, limiting the hit the Texans would take if they decided to release him. Both teams are probably a long shot, but Peterson would certainly consider any opportunity to play in his home state.


Other Possible Options:


Atlanta – Steven Jackson has not aged well since joining the Falcons, so Peterson would be a definite upgrade to an offense that already has a potent passing attack.


Carolina – The Panthers like to run the ball and need to run the ball to make life easier for Cam Newton, but haven’t had a 1,000-yard back since 2009. Injuries and ineffectiveness have been the main products of Carolina’s backfield since Newton was drafted in 2012.


Denver – Peyton Manning paired with Adrian Peterson. Who wouldn’t want to see that? Putting Peterson in the Broncos’ high-powered offense would only help extend Manning’s career in his quest for another Super Bowl ring. Financial resources and offensive system could be possible obstacles, but it’s still fun to dream, right?


Jacksonville – Just like Oakland, the Jaguars need superstar players like Peterson to help speed up the development of a young team led by a rookie quarterback. Peterson also would be a coup for Jacksonville in terms of marketability and a reason for the fan base to get engaged. And if there were one team where financial resources shouldn’t be an issue it would be the Jags and their billionaire owner Shad Khan.


New York teams – The Jets are probably more likely than the Giants, given the former’s current running back situation and uncertainty surrounding the coaching staff, but what better place for Peterson to rebuild his image off of the field and reputation on it than the media capital of the world?


Rest of the NFC North – If Peterson were a vengeful guy, he would want a situation that would present him with the most chances to exact some payback on his former team. That’s where the NFC North enters the picture, since joining one of Minnesota’s division rivals would guarantee two games against the Vikings every season. Green Bay’s been down both sides of this path recently, first with Brett Favre then Greg Jennings, but the Packers have Eddie Lacy so I don’t see a “need’ there. Chicago added former Viking Jared Allen this season, but the Bears have Matt Forté and let’s face it, offense is the least of this team’s problems right now. That leaves Detroit where Peterson would easily become the best running back the Lions have had since Barry Sanders tormented defenses in the 1990s. The only difference is that Sanders never had a supporting cast that included the likes of Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Could Peterson be the final piece that helps the Lions finally reach the Super Bowl?

Adrian Peterson Suspended: Where Will He Play in 2015?
Post date: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 13:15
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-waiver-wire-week-12

Just two teams on bye in Week 12, but Carolina and Pittsburgh aren’t the only teams whose players may not be available. Denver, Indianapolis and New Orleans are among the teams who may have to dig a little deeper into their depth charts this week. And the same can no doubt be said for a number of fantasy owners. The flip side to this coin is that injuries always present an opportunity for someone else on a roster to emerge, as was the case for a New England running back this past week. And don’t forget about the impending return of a certain wide receiver in Cleveland either.


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


Teams on bye: Carolina, Pittsburgh




Week 11 Recap: Josh McCown made it back-to-back strong outings with 288 yards passing, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a victory over Washington. Drew Stanton helped his Cardinals beat the Lions and threw for 306 yards, but his two touchdowns were offset by two interceptions. Teddy Bridgewater could not get much going against the Bears, finishing with just 158 yards passing with a touchdown and a pick and only two yards rushing.


Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills

Orton threw for as many touchdowns (zero) as you or I last week, but things should be better this Sunday. The Bills host the Jets, who are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. Yes, the Jets are coming off of their bye and Orton is apparently dealing with a minor toe injury, but he also put up by far his best numbers (238-4-0) against New York just three weeks ago. It’s a bit of leap of faith to trust Orton in a week where only Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger are on bye, but his matchup against the J-E-T-S certainly looks appealing.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill’s roller-coaster season continued Thursday night with 240 yards passing and two touchdowns (one fumble) against Buffalo. Here is Tannehill’s fantasy output (Athlon scoring) the past five games: 27.9, 16.6, 34.2, 13.3, and 22.3. If this trend were to continue, Tannehill would be in for a down week. However, the Dolphins will be in Denver Sunday to take on a Broncos defense that is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Perhaps this is the week Tannehill breaks his pattern?


Running Backs


Week 11 Recap: C.J. Anderson didn’t score and had just 29 yards rushing, but he caught eight passes for 86 yards in the Broncos’ loss to the Rams. Anderson also escaped unscathed; something Montee Ball was unable to do, re-aggravating a groin injury. With Ball and Ronnie Hillman ailing, Anderson should see a heavy workload Sunday against a solid Dolphins defense. Alfred Blue filled in admirably for an injured Arian Foster (groin), rushing for 156 yards on 36 carries in the Texans’ win over the Browns. Blue could remain in the RB2 picture should Foster miss another game. Fred Jackson apparently returned too soon, as he was held out of the Bills’ Thursday night loss in Miami, somewhat because of the quick turnaround from the previous week.


Jonas Gray, New England Patriots

When Stevan Ridley tore his ACL, the thought was that Shane Vereen or Brandon Bolden or even rookie James White would get the majority of the carries. That was until Gray made his presence known with an 86-yard effort against the Bears a couple of weeks ago. And that’s definitely the case following his monster 201-yard, four-touchdown breakout performance Sunday night against the Colts. The Patriots fed Gray early and often (38 att.) and the third-year pro answered with an impressive and record-setting (rushing TDs in a game by a Patriot) showing. I wouldn’t expect 35-plus carries moving forward, especially Sunday against a stout Lions run defense, but there’s no reason to think Gray won’t get his fair share of touches either.

Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams

Mason picked up 113 yards on 29 carries on Sunday against Denver’s No. 1-ranked rushing defense. It was the first 100-yard game for the Rams’ third-round pick, who has averaged 21 carries over the last three games. Mason seems to have grabbed hold of the No. 1 job in St. Louis’ backfield and Jeff Fisher has a reputation for running the ball. The Rams’ next two games are against the Chargers and Raiders, which are 14th and eighth, respectively, in terms of most fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs.


Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

Richardson is averaging a woeful 3.4 yards per carry and has scored a total of two touchdowns. But with Ahmad Bradshaw now sidelined, likely for the rest of the season, with a fracture in his fibula, Richardson is now the Colts’ No. 1 back. This doesn’t mean Richardson will turn into a fantasy monster, but touches shouldn’t be an issue. That is unless Daniel Herron seizes the opportunity and emerges.


Wide Receivers


Week 11 Recap: Jordan Matthews posted his second straight 100-yard game against the Packers and now has four touchdowns in his last three contests. It certainly looks like he and Mark Sanchez are on the same page. James Jones caught just two passes for 35 yards, but that was better than either Dwayne Bowe (2 rec., 18 yds.) or Preston Parker (1, 9).


Taylor Gabriel and Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns

Yes, Josh Gordon is back on the active roster and will immediately become the Browns No. 1 wide receiver. However, Gordon’s addition also could benefit his fellow wideouts, especially if tight end Jordan Cameron continues to be sidelined by a concussion. Hawkins has the better statistics (45-601-2) and more experience, while Gabriel is an undrafted rookie who is averaging 18.2 ypc and has posted four games with at least 81 yards receiving. Hawkins is probably the safer flyer option between the two, but it all depends on how Brian Hoyer distributes the targets with Gordon back in the fold.

Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars were on bye last week and still suffered a loss. This time it was on their roster, as rookie Allen Robinson, who was leading the team in catches (48) and yards (548) was put on injured reserve because of a broken right foot. Robinson’s loss should be Shorts’ gain. Shorts has been the Jags’ top target in each of the past two seasons and he was second only to Robinson this season, despite missing three games. Allen Hurns leads the team with five touchdown catches, but Shorts should be the one who replaces Robinson as Blake Bortles’ top target.


Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints

The Saints will be without first-round pick Brandin Cooks for at least a month because of a broken thumb, which means more snaps for Stills. Drew Brees still has tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Marques Colston to throw to, but as the No. 3 wideout Stills has managed three fewer catches than Colston (31 to 34), despite 18 fewer targets (42 to 60). Stills should replace Cooks, who was second only to Graham in all three receiving categories, as the No. 2 wide receiver, and it’s safe to expect the explosive Stills to be used in a similar manner. It’s now up to Stills to take advantage of this golden opportunity.


Tight Ends


Week 11 Recap: Jared Cook got five targets (3 rec., 19 yds.) in Shaun Hill’s first game back as the Rams’ starting quarterback. Austin Seferian-Jenkins and the rest of the Buccaneers took a back seat to the Mike Evans (7-209-2) show, as the big target caught just one pass for seven yards in the win over Washington.


Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts

Dwayne Allen left the Sunday night game early with an ankle injury and Fleener took full advantage. With the Colts trailing the Patriots the entire game, Fleener caught a season-best seven passes for 144 yards. And this comes on the heels of a four-catch, 77-yard effort (on a season-high 11 targets) two weeks ago before Indianapolis went on bye. It’s also possible that Fleener will be able to maintain this level of production moving forward, especially with Allen’s health up in the air and the added loss of running back Ahmad Bradshaw (broken ankle). And don’t forget Andrew Luck and Fleener were teammates at Stanford, so chemistry isn’t an issue either.

Defense/Special Teams


Week 11 Recap: Cleveland not only let a rookie, backup running back gash them for 156 yards on the ground (213 total), the Browns’ defense also managed just one takeaway (INT) against an offense that featured a quarterback making his first career NFL start.


Green Bay Packers

The Packers have scored 108 points in the last two games, and while Aaron Rodgers certainly had a big part in this, let’s not overlook the defense. Green Bay’s DST has put up 51 fantasy points (Athlon scoring) in dominating wins over Chicago and Philadelphia, including 32 on Sunday against the Eagles. While Rodgers and company filled up the stat sheet against the Bears and Eagles, the defense and special teams got into the act as well: seven sacks, seven takeaways (4 INTs, 3 fumbles) and four touchdowns (2 INT returns, fumble return, punt return). Next up is a Minnesota offense that managed 243 yards of offense against a Bears defense that had given up 106 points in its previous two games. The Vikings also are sixth in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing DSTs, including the 24 (6 sacks, 3 TOs, INT returned for TD) they yielded to the Packers back in Week 5.


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.

Fantasy Football 2014 Waiver Wire: Week 12
Post date: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: AFC, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/pittsburgh-steelers-vs-tennessee-titans-preview-and-prediction-2014

The Pittsburgh Steelers will try and get back on track when they take on the Tennessee Titans on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” The Steelers (6-4) had won three in a row before losing to the Jets last week, while the Titans (2-7) have dropped their past three games.


Pittsburgh is in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt, thanks to the NFL’s fourth-ranked offense, but the Steelers can ill afford to lose to a team they are expected to beat. Tennessee is playing more for pride and draft position than anything, but first-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt would no doubt love to see improvement and signs of growth, especially from rookies like quarterback Zach Mettenberger and running back Bishop Sankey.

The Titans have won two in a row against the Steelers, including last season’s 16-9 victory in Pittsburgh in the season opener. That game was dominated by both defenses, as Jake Locker and Ben Roethlisberger combined for just 316 yards passing and were sacked six times. Besides starting out 0-1, this game also was costly for the Steelers in that they lost starting center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker Larry Foote to season-ending injuries. Pittsburgh would go on to finish 8-8, missing the playoffs for the second straight season while the Titans would win just six more games, resulting in the firing of head coach Mike Munchak.


Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans


Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Pittsburgh -6.5


Pittsburgh’s Key to Victory: Don’t Play Down to the Competition

The Steelers are 6-4, including wins over AFC South division leader Indianapolis and AFC North foes Baltimore and Cleveland. Pittsburgh’s four losses have come against the aforementioned Browns and Ravens, the Buccaneers at home and the Jets on the road. There’s no shame in losing divisional games, especially in the AFC North, the only division in the NFL that has four teams with winning records. Tampa Bay and New York on the other hand are a combined 4-16. Besides the Steelers, the only teams the Buccaneers and Jets have defeated this season are the winless (0-10) Raiders and a 3-7 Redskins squad. That’s not exactly the resume of a playoff team is it? Fortunately for Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin, his team’s postseason hopes are very much alive, but the Steelers need to treat every game from here out as a must win. To be fair, it’s not like Pittsburgh was blown out by either Tampa Bay or New York. The Bucs won on a last-second touchdown pass while the Jets took full advantage of four Steeler turnovers, but a loss is still a loss and either could end up costing Pittsburgh a playoff berth. If there’s anything that stands out, statistically speaking, in the four losses it is turnovers (minus-seven) and a lack of a running game (89.5 rushing ypg compared to 125 in the six wins). However, it also should be pointed out that for whatever reason, the Steelers have had a tendency under Tomlin to not show up against what is perceived to be lesser competition. This pattern needs to end tonight, especially if Pittsburgh wants any chance of ending its longest playoff drought since the late ‘90s.


Tennessee’s Key to Victory: Embrace the Spotlight

The Titans have just one win since beating the Chiefs in Kansas City in their season opener. And that was of the two-point variety against 1-9 Jacksonville. There have been some close calls for Ken Whisenhunt’s bunch, namely a one-point loss at home to AFC North leader Cleveland and a two-point loss in Washington. But the reason Tennessee lost to the Browns was because the Titans coughed up a 15-point fourth-quarter lead while also allowing the Redskins to go 76 yards in the final 3:14 to set up the game-winning, chip shot field goal. There also have been some blowout losses (33-7 vs. CIN, 41-17 vs. IND), which should be expected from a team that entered Week 11 ranked second to last in the NFL in both total (308.7 ypg) and scoring (16.0 ppg) offense and 26th in point differential (-8.8 ppg). Other than draft position, the only thing the Titans really have to play for at this point is pride. Tonight is the first of two primetime games for Tennessee (at JAC for the Thursday night game in Week 16), something not typically afforded teams who are already out of the playoff picture. So why not embrace the national spotlight and the chance to play spoiler? Honestly, what do the Titans have to lose at this point?


Final Analysis


On paper, this is a complete mismatch. Pittsburgh has one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses while Tennessee has struggled to score any points of its own as well as slow down the opposition. However, the Steelers have been in this situation before, including twice this season, and have come out on the losing end. That said, there’s also some history between these two teams, and while it’s been nearly six years since the Terrible Towel stomp in Nashville, there are still a few players who were standing on Pittsburgh’s sideline when said incident occurred. One of those was Ben Roethlisberger and whether he will admit it or not, I expect Big Ben to make a statement or two of his own in the Music City tonight.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Tennessee 20
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans Preview and Prediction
Post date: Monday, November 17, 2014 - 10:00
Path: /nfl/philadelphia-eagles-vs-green-bay-packers-preview-and-prediction

Points could be plentiful at Lambeau Field when the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers get together this afternoon on FOX. The Eagles (7-2) are fourth in the league in scoring at 31 points per game with the Packers (6-3) just a tick behind (30.8). Last week alone they outscored their opponents 100-65.


Philadelphia is percentage points ahead of Dallas (on bye this week) for the top spot in the NFC East while Green Bay trails NFC North leader Detroit by one game. The Eagles are coming off of a season-high 45 points in their Monday night win against Carolina, which also was Mark Sanchez’ first start in place of an injured Nick Foles.


The Packers are a perfect 4-0 at home following a dominating 55-14 victory over the archrival Bears. Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes in the first half against a helpless Chicago defense. Green Bay’s offense has been clicking lately, averaging 419 yards and 36 points over the past four games.


From a coaching standpoint, Chip Kelly is 1-0 against Mike McCarthy courtesy of a 27-13 victory at Lambeau last season. Foles tossed three touchdown passes in the win, but this game is more remembered because it was the first one Aaron Rodgers missed after breaking his collarbone the previous week. Seneca Wallace started in place of Rodgers, but he left after just one series with a groin injury, giving way to Scott Tolzien. In his first NFL action, Tolzien finished with 280 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions.


Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers


Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: Green Bay -6.5


Philadelphia’s Key to Victory: Offensive Balance


On Monday night against the Panthers, Mark Sanchez completed just one of his first eight pass attempts, but eventually got it going. He finished with 332 yards passing and two touchdowns in the easy 45-21 victory. The 45 points were a season high, despite the fact that Philadelphia had just 37 yards rushing. While Sanchez’ final line looked impressive, he struggled with his accuracy (20-of-38 passing), mishandled two shotgun snaps and got a lot of help from both the defense (5 takeaways, 9 sacks, INT returned for a TD) and special teams (punt return TD).


One of the reasons why Chip Kelly’s offense has worked so well his first two seasons in the NFL is that it’s fueled by tempo and play-calling more than who is under center. The Eagles are fourth in the league in scoring and tied for seventh in offensive plays per game (71) even though they are second to last in time of possession (26:55). Kelly uses a diverse and creative running game to keep defenses off balance, and it is imperative Philadelphia runs the ball against Green Bay for several reasons. First and foremost, the more production the Eagles get on the ground from LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles and Chris Polk, the better for Sanchez. From the offensive line to the tight ends, this is by far the best supporting cast Sanchez has had around him as a pro, so why not put it to use? Second, even though Philadelphia isn’t known for time-consuming drives, success running the ball should translate into more scoring opportunities, which would then put more pressure on Green Bay’s offense to respond. It also, to a degree, would reduce the amount of time Aaron Rodgers and company would be able to possess the ball. Lastly, the Eagles need to stay committed to the run because the Packers have done a poor job stopping it this season. Green Bay enters this game 30th in the league in rushing defense and this is after holding Chicago to 55 yards last Sunday. Prior to that game the Packers yielded 193 on the ground to New Orleans and have already given up 200-plus twice (Seattle and the Bears in their first meeting). Sanchez did just fine in his first start, but there’s no reason for Philadelphia’s offense to, well, run solely through him.


Green Bay’s Key to Victory: Protect the Franchise


While Philadelphia managed its transition from Nick Foles to Mark Sanchez (at least for one game) under center seamlessly, there’s no question that the most important player on Green Bay’s roster, let alone the offense, is its No. 1 quarterback. Aaron Rodgers has been the MVP of both the regular season (2011) and the Super Bowl (XLV) and he is the career leader in passer rating (106.2). He’s 64-32 as a starter (39-11 at home) and if there was ever any doubt as to how much Rodgers means to the success of this team, look no further than last season. In 2013, the Packers got off to a 5-2 start and entered its Week 9 Monday night home date with the Bears on a four-game winning streak. But Chicago linebacker Shea McClellin sacked Rodgers in the first series, causing him to leave the game. Green Bay lost 27-20, but the real damage had already been done, as Rodgers was diagnosed with a broken collarbone. Beginning with the Monday night loss to the Bears, the Packers went 2-5-1 during Rodgers’ absence. He returned for the regular-season finale against the Bears and threw the game-winning touchdown pass with 46 seconds left to give Green Bay its third straight division title. With Rodgers under center, the Packers are a legitimate NFC and Super Bowl contender, regardless of how poorly the defense is playing or how little support he gets from the running game. Rodgers is a mobile quarterback capable of extending plays in the pocket and picking up yards on the ground when called upon, but he still needs his offensive line to give him time to find a receiver down field and to keep him upright. He has been sacked 20 times in nine games, but nine of those have come in the team’s losses to the Seahawks, Lions and Saints. Philadelphia has made a living putting pressure on the quarterback this season, ranking second in the NFL in sacks with 32. The Eagles sacked Cam Newton nine times on Monday night and have forced 16 (9 fumbles, 7 INTs) takeaways. Kelly’s Chip Kelly’s defense has been very opportunistic with those turnovers (six defensive touchdowns), but this unit also has given up a fair amount of big plays too. For Green Bay’s offense, it all starts under center, which is the one spot on the field Packer fans don’t want to see Matt Flynn. Unless of course their team is up 45-7 in the third quarter.


Final Analysis


Unless the weather takes a drastic change for the worse (expected to be cold, but no precipitation or significant wind), this should be a fairly high-scoring affair. Yes, Chip Kelly is employing a backup quarterback, but Mark Sanchez is just part of the equation when it comes to Philadelphia’s up-tempo, creative offense. On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers is the engine that makes Mike McCarthy’s system hum and it’s hard to see this Eagles defense keep the Packers in check all game long. Defense will still play a part, especially if one unit is able to create some turnovers and chip in a big play or two of its own, but in the end this game could come down to which team has to settle for field goals instead of six points. The Lambeau Field tundra may not be frozen just yet, but the Packers are 32-3 in their last 35 regular-season games that Rodgers has started. The Eagles will put up a fight, but R-E-L-A-X Packer fans, your QB’s got this.

Prediction: Green Bay 34, Philadelphia 26
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 09:00
Path: /nfl/detroit-lions-vs-arizona-cardinals-preview-and-prediction

The NFC’s best record will be on the line this afternoon when the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals face off on FOX. Entering this season, few if any would have predicted Jim Caldwell’s Lions (7-2) would be in first place in the NFC North this far into the schedule or that Bruce Arians’ Cardinals (8-1) would not only have a two-game lead in the NFC West, but also boast the NFL’s best record.


Leading surprising first-place teams is not the only thing Caldwell and Arians have in common either. Both have won Super Bowls as offensive coordinators (Caldwell with Baltimore in the 2012 season, Arians with Pittsburgh in ‘08) and are former Indianapolis head coaches as well. Caldwell took over for Tony Dungy in 2009 and went 26-22 in three seasons, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLIV in his first season. Caldwell was fired after the 2011 season and replaced by Chuck Pagano, who brought in Arians as his offensive coordinator. In 2012, Arians served as interim head coach while Pagano battled cancer, leading the Colts to a 9-3 record and earning AP Coach of the Year honors in the process. Despite their shared history, this will be the first meeting between Caldwell and Arians as head coaches.


Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals


Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: Arizona -1


Three Things to Watch


1. Drew Stanton’s Second Starting Stint

Arizona’s come-from-behind divisional win over St. Louis last week was somewhat bittersweet. At the start of the fourth quarter, Carson Palmer’s left knee appeared to give way when he dropped back to pass. He was eventually carted off the field and later diagnosed with a torn ACL. Drew Stanton replaced Palmer and promptly threw a go-ahead, 48-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Brown in the Cardinals’ next series. With Palmer on injured reserve and done for the season, this is now Stanton’s team. The pressure is on the seven-year pro to finish what Palmer started – win the NFC West and take this team deep into the playoffs. Stanton has started seven games in his career, but three of those came earlier this year when Palmer was sidelined by a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder. Stanton went 2-1 in those games, beating the Giants and 49ers before losing big to the Broncos in Denver. For the season, Stanton is completing less than half of his passes (46 of 93) for 614 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Stanton hasn’t been asked by Arians to do too much in the pocket, but he’s made plays when he’s needed to and, more importantly, he’s taken care of the football (no turnovers). Arizona has a very good defense and a productive running game powered by Andre Ellington, but much of its success moving forward also will depend on the quality of play it gets from Stanton. And to that end, he better be at the top of his game this afternoon against a Detroit defense that’s ranked No. 1 in the league in both yards and points allowed.


2. Ground to Gain?

Besides the aforementioned coaching ties, another thing Detroit and Arizona have in common is what has transpired on the ground. The Lions are No. 2 in the NFL in rushing defense (71.3 ypg) with the Cardinals close behind (78.6). Both teams have allowed just one opponent to rush for more than 100 yards and the most either has given up to a running back is 84. On the flip side, both teams also have had trouble establishing their own running games. Detroit is second to last in the league (77.8 ypg) in rushing offense with Arizona not faring much better at 29th (83.6). In summary, neither team has given much ground this season nor have they gained much. Will either side of this coin flip this afternoon or it will be more of the status quo?


3. Saving the Best for Last

A big reason why Detroit and Arizona are a combined 15-3 entering Week 11 is that both have excelled in late-game situations. The Lions have won four games in a row, with the last three by a combined six points courtesy of fourth-quarter comebacks. The Cardinals have orchestrated three fourth-quarter comebacks of their own, two of which featured the game-winning points within the final three minutes. Detroit did yield an eight-point, fourth-quarter lead at home in its 17-14 Week 5 loss to Buffalo, but the Lions haven’t lost since. In Week 6, two touchdowns in the final 3:38 served as the final points in a 24-23 win over New Orleans at home. Next was a 12-point fourth quarter capped off by a 48-yard field goal with no time left to edge Atlanta 22-21 in London. Then last week, an 11-yard Matthew Stafford-to-Theo Riddick touchdown pass with 29 seconds remaining produced a 20-16 win over Miami. The Lions have worked their late-game magic both at home and on the road, while Arizona’s three comebacks have all been at University of Phoenix Stadium. Both teams are certainly no stranger when it comes to late-game heroics, so it will be interesting to see which one gains the upper hand should this afternoon’s proceedings develop into a nip-and-tuck affair through three quarters. And considering just 1.5 points separate these teams when it comes to overall point differential, that’s an entirely plausible scenario.


Final Analysis


Detroit hasn’t enjoyed this much success since 1954, while Arizona has seized control of what many perceive to be the NFL’s toughest division, despite having to deal with a rash of injuries. Both the Lions and Cardinals have relied heavily on their defenses, so don’t be surprised if this is a low-scoring affair. Arizona has to carry on without Carson Palmer, but Drew Stanton more than held his own during a three-game starting stint earlier this season. Detroit may seem to have the advantage offensively because of the quarterback situation, but the Cardinals are undefeated at home and Bruce Arians has been pushing the right buttons all season. I don’t expect that to change this afternoon, even with a backup quarterback going up against the league’s No. 1-ranked defense.

Prediction: Arizona 20, Detroit 17
Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-11-fantasy-football-injury-updates-arian-foster-marshawn-lynch-robert-griffin-iii

Houston will be without its workhorse for Week 11, but Seattle’s bruising back is fully expected to play. Here are some other key backfield injuries to know about before finalizing your lineup.


Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs

Questionable – Calf/Rib
Lynch didn’t practice at all until Friday, but head coach Pete Carroll said that’s because his workhorse is “just banged-up.” This is understandable considering Lynch punished the Giants for 140 yards rushing and four touchdowns last week. Lynch is listed as Questionable, but there’s no reason to be concerned here. The Seahawks need every yard they can get from their big back against a pretty tough Kansas City defense at home. Lynch is a must-start RB1 firmly entrenched and perhaps the rest of the season.


Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Probable – Ankle
The Redskins are coming off of their bye, so it’s possible that Griffin is as healthy as he’s been this season. He was a full go at practice every day and is listed as Probable. He not only will get the start, but RG3 also is a against a Bucs defense that’s giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers. If you have stuck with RG3 this long, this may be the week that patience pays off.


Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Probable – Back
McKinnon was the Vikings’ third-round pick in May and all the rookie has done is lead the team in rushing since Adrian Peterson was placed on the exempt list. McKinnon apparently tweaked some sort of lower back injury on Wednesday, but after being limited on Thursday he was a full practice participant on Friday. He is listed as Probable so there’s no reason to not expect him to play. McKinnon should probably be started if he’s on your roster as the Vikings are facing a reeling Bears defense, but just remember that Matt Asiata has been filling the role of the goal-line back (i.e. touchdown vulture), which could impact McKinnon’s potential.


Josh McCown, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Redskins

Probable – Back
McCown suffered a thumb injury in Week 3 and was replaced by Mike Glennon as the Bucs’ starter. After going just 1-4 with Glennon under center, head coach Lovie Smith named McCown the starter prior to last week’s game. Tampa Bay lost again, but McCown posted by far his best numbers (301-2-2) of the season. McCown appears on the injury report with a back issue, but he was a full practice participant and is listed as Probable. The Bucs are a bad team, but this isn’t a bad matchup for McCown, who is worthy of QB2 consideration this week.


Already Ruled Out:


Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans – Foster injured his groin two weeks ago, but Houston was on bye last week so the expectation was that he would be ready in Week 11. Well Foster didn’t practice at all and even though he was listed as Questionable on Friday, the Texans downgraded Foster to Out on Saturday. With Foster inactive, sixth-round pick Alfred Blue will get the start. Blue filled in for an injured Foster earlier this season, rushing for 78 yards on 13 carries (6.0 ypc) vs. the Giants. Blue may not be Foster, but his workload as the Texans’ starter is enough to view him as a RB2, especially against a Cleveland defense that has struggled against the run.


Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Martin returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, but the team has already ruled him Out for Week 11. This will be the third straight game Martin has missed with an ankle injury, but it’s also safe to say that the team has decided to move on with Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims. Rainey got the start last week, but he wasn’t able to get much going (14 yds. rushing, 41 receiving). Sims, the Bucs’ third-round pick in May, made his much-awaited NFL debut and wound up with a team-high eight carries, but only 23 yards rushing and he also lost a fumble. Rainey may have missed an opportunity to seize the starting job, as it appears the coaching staff wants to see what Sims can do. Both should get touches, but it may take another game or two to figure out how the workload is going to be split. For now, it’s wisest to view Rainey and Sims as risky RB2s and a little safer flex options.

Week 11 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Robert Griffin III, Jerick McKinnon
Post date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-11-injury-updates-mark-ingram-rashad-jennings-frank-gore-giovani

The Giants will finally have their No. 1 RB back in the starting lineup for Week 11, but that’s not the case for the Bengals. Meanwhile, New Orleans’ and San Francisco’s top rushers are banged up, but both are fully expected to play today.


Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers

Probable – Knee
Jennings practiced, albeit on a limited basis, every day this week and is listed as Probable. So barring a setback leading up to kickoff (1 p.m. ET), Jennings should be back after missing the past four games with a MCL sprain. Jennings’ return pushes rookie Andre Williams to a complementary role, but it doesn’t make him irrelevant. Head coach Tom Coughlin already has said that he doesn’t intend for Jennings to handle a full workload in his first game back, so Williams should get some carries. Still, Jennings is more established and needs to be in your starting lineup. Williams remains flex-worthy, especially with Peyton Hillis going on injured reserve due to a concussion he suffered last week.

Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas, RBs, New Orleans Saints vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Probable – Shoulder; Out – Arm; Out – Rib/Shoulder
Despite all the injuries in the Saints’ backfield, the situation is pretty straightforward. Robinson and Thomas will miss yet another game, while Ingram, who is still dealing with a lingering shoulder injury, is listed as Probable and is a pretty safe bet for at least 20-25 carries today. Ingram has posted three straight 100-yard rushing games, pretty much cementing his status as a must-start RB1. With Robinson and Thomas out, Travaris Cadet figures to get some touches, making him a flex option, particularly in PPR leagues.


Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants

Probable – Hip
Gore was limited in practice on Wednesday, but was a full go on Thursday and Friday. The veteran is dealing with a hip injury, but he’s listed as Probable and should be fairly busy today against the Giants. Gore is coming off of one of his stronger efforts (81 yds., TD), and has now gotten at least 14 carries in six of the past seven games. The Giants coughed up 140 yards rushing and four touchdowns last week to Marshawn Lynch, so it’s no surprise that they are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Gore’s production has left something to be desired this season, but he’s because of his plum matchup.  Backup Carlos Hyde also should see some carries, but his touches and production have been so inconsistent it’s probably best to not have to rely on him, even as a flex.


Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, RBs, Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Probable – Ankle; Probable – Foot
It has been a rough season for the Panthers’ backfield, as every running back that has been on the roster has been hurt at one point or another. Stewart was limited in practice this week by an ankle injury, while Williams missed the first two days with a foot injury. However, both were full participants on Friday, are listed as Probable and expected to play. This duo combined for 67 yards rushing on 24 carries on Monday night against Philadelphia, and has scored a total of two touchdowns this season (both belonging to Stewart). There’s no clear-cut workhorse here and it’s really hard to endorse either as a flex option because of the lack of production. If you’re desperate, I would lean towards Stewart over Williams, but you’re probably better off steering clear from this situation.

Already Ruled Out:


Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals – Bernard has yet to return to practice while dealing with multiple injuries, so it’s no surprise that the Bengals ruled him out on Friday. Bernard will miss his third straight game, leaving Jeremy Hill and Cedric Peerman to carry the load. Hill disappointed (12 att., 55 yds.) last week against Cleveland, but the rookie from LSU remains a solid RB2 option today versus New Orleans. Peerman is listed on the injury report with a knee issue, but he’s Probable and expected to play. Peerman could be flyer-worthy as a flex option, but only in deeper leagues.

Fantasy Football Week 11 Injury Updates: Mark Ingram, Rashad Jennings, Frank Gore, Giovani Bernard
Post date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-11-fantasy-football-injury-updates-ryan-mathews-montee-ball-andre-ellington-reggie-bush

San Diego and Denver will welcome back a couple of rushers in Week 11, but Detroit may be down one of its ball carriers today. Here are some key injuries to pay attention to involving the later games.


Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson, RBs, Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams

Probable – Groin; Out – Foot; Probable – Knee
The Broncos’ backfield has been in motion recently and it’s set to take another turn today. Hillman has not only been ruled out for today’s game because of a foot sprain, but he’s also expected to miss at least one more. In the meantime, Ball (right) appears a safe bet to return after missing the past five games with a groin strain. But Ball is not the Denver back getting all of the attention this week. No that honor belongs to C.J. Anderson, who worked his way back up the depth chart and came up big (163 total yards, TD) last week. Anderson is the hot hand and the healthiest of the Bronco backs, but that is not a guarantee he will get the bulk of the carries. Ball was the starter entering the season and is a second-round draft pick. Anderson will probably get the majority of the carries today, but it’s best to err on the side of the caution and treat him as a RB2. Ball meanwhile is probably more of a flex flyer because of the time he missed and the uncertainty surrounding his workload. That leaves Thompson, who could end up being the one most affected by this RB roulette, especially if Anderson or Ball gets the goal-line work. For this week, Anderson carries the most upside, Ball the most intrigue and Thompson is probably odd man out.


Ryan Mathews, RBs, San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

Probable – Knee
Mathews was a full participant every day of practice and is listed as Probable. He is expected to play for the first time since Week 2 and will get the start. Mathews’ return leaves Donald Brown and Branden Oliver to fight for the leftovers. I expect the Chargers to use Oliver similar to how they used Danny Woodhead (on IR) last season, primarily as a receiver out of the backfield. This could make Oliver an intriguing flex option in PPR leagues. Mathews immediately goes back to RB2 status, especially based on his matchup this afternoon against the winless Raiders. I don’t think Brown will see enough touches to merit any fantasy consideration.

Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions

Probable – Foot
The coaching staff is wisely limiting Ellington’s practice time, as the Cardinals need their workhorse to stay healthy, especially with Drew Stanton taking over at quarterback for an injured Carson Palmer. Ellington is Probable, so he will be out there today. And even though the Lions are the No. 1 defense in the NFL, Ellington has earned his RB1 status.

Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

Questionable – Ankle
Bush left last week’s game early after re-aggravating a bothersome ankle injury and didn’t practice at all this week. Even though he’s looking (highly) doubtful, the Lions have yet to rule him out officially, listing him as Questionable. If he plays, he will not be anywhere near 100 percent, so that alone is enough reason to leave Bush on your bench. Joique Bell will continue to carry the load for the Lions, while Theo Riddick has more or less taken over Bush’s role. It’s a very tough matchup against a strong Cardinals defense, but Bell remains a low-end RB2 while Riddick is a decent flex candidate.


Already Ruled Out:


Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – Foles is out for several more weeks with a broken collarbone. Mark Sanchez will make his second start and is coming off of a solid showing (322-2-0) in the Monday night win over the Panthers. Sanchez is certainly QB2-worthy today in what could end up being a shootout against Green Bay, and depending on your options, he could even be QB1 material.

Week 11 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Ryan Mathews, Montee Ball, Andre Ellington, Reggie Bush
Post date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-11-injury-updates-brandon-marshall-martellus-bennett-kyle-rudolph

Week 11’s NFC North tilt between Minnesota and Chicago features a trio of pass-catchers who show up on the injury report. Will the Vikings and Bears have all of their weapons today?


Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

Probable – Ribs
Bennett played last week despite being listed as Questionable, so the mere fact he’s Probable pretty much means he’ll be out there again today. He didn’t practice on Wednesday, but was a full participant on Friday, which is another strong signal he will play. Bennett clearly didn’t look like himself against the Packers last week, but he’s still an integral part of an offense that really needs a strong showing. He may not be 100 percent, but Bennett needs to stay in your lineup because he’s been a pretty safe TE1 this entire season.


Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

Probable – Ankle
Among the many things that did not go right for the Bears last week against the Packers, was when Marshall re-aggravated his ankle injury. He didn’t practice on Wednesday, but he was out there some both Thursday and Friday. He’s listed as Probable and has yet to miss a game because of this bothersome ankle, so there’s no reason to expect that to change, especially with the Bears desperately needing a win. The Vikings’ defense has been solid this season against the pass, but as long as he plays, you’ve got to start Marshall.


Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Probable – Abdomen/Groin
Rudolph underwent surgery for a sports hernia on Sept. 23, but after taking part in practice in some capacity every day this week it looks like he’s finally ready to return. Rudolph hasn’t played since Week 3 and didn’t have the greatest stats (10-96-1) prior to his injury, but this is a guy who was viewed as a top-10 fantasy TE entering this season. He should definitely be owned, but don’t be surprised if the Vikings decide to ease him back into action. It’s probably best to leave Rudolph on your bench one more week and see how he fares today.

Already Ruled Out:


Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns – Cameron suffered a concussion in Week 8 and is still working his way back. He didn’t practice at all this week and has been ruled out for a third straight game. I would still hold on to Cameron at least until something more definitive comes out regarding his status.

Fantasy Football Week 11 Injury Updates: Brandon Marshall, Martellus Bennett, Kyle Rudolph, Jordan Cameron
Post date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-11-fantasy-football-injury-updates-calvin-johnson-delanie-walker-travis-kelce

Tennessee may not have their tight end on Monday night, but Detroit is expected to get three big targets back for its Week 11 showdown against Arizona. Oh and Calvin Johnson will play too.


Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon.)

Questionable – Concussion
Walker left last week’s game against Baltimore with a concussion after taking a big hit following a catch. He didn’t practice at all Wednesday or Thursday, but did get a limited session in on Friday. He’s listed as Questionable and reports are Walker still has to pass one more test to be cleared to play. Walker is the Titans’ most productive pass-catcher and a top-10 fantasy TE, but the combination of him not being completely cleared just yet and playing on a Monday night is more than enough reason to at least have a Plan B ready.


Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

Probable - Ankle
Johnson returned from his three-game absence by catching seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown last Sunday. He didn’t practice on Wednesday, but that was more a precaution, as he was back at it on Thursday and Friday. He’s Probable and there’s no doubt that he will be out there today. This is an intriguing matchup against a talented, athletic and physical Cardinals secondary, but he’s still a must-start WR1, as evidenced by our .


Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Seattle Seahawks

Probable – Ribs
Kelce’s still on the injury report, but he once again was a full go at practice and is listed as Probable. He didn’t do much of anything (2 rec., 19 yds.) last week, but could be in line for even more snaps today because Anthony Fasano is Questionable with a bruised knee. Even if Fasano ends up on the field, Kelce is the Chiefs target you want, especially considering the Seahawks have given up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing TEs this season. A top-10 fantasy TE with a top-10 matchup. What more could you ask for?


Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew, TEs, Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

Probable – Hamstring; Probable – Ankle; Probable – Foot
From no healthy tight ends to too many? That appears to be the case for the Lions, as Ebron, Fauria and Pettigrew, who have missed a combined 11 games this season, all practiced to some degree and are listed as Probable. If there’s a leader among this group, it’s probably Ebron, the team’s first-round pick, but his production has been inconsistent to the say the least. Fauria is a legitimate red-zone threat, but that’s also pretty much the only area of the field where the Lions use him, while Pettigrew is basically a blocking TE who catches the occasional pass. Ebron carries the most upside and potential, but probably still needs to show a little more before he becomes starting material, unless you want to take a chance on him as a TE2. I wouldn’t bother with Fauria or Pettigrew.

Week 11 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Calvin Johnson, Delanie Walker, Travis Kelce
Post date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-running-back-rankings-week-11

Marshawn Lynch was in vintage “Beast Mode” last week, but it's the workhorse who won't be playing on Sunday that's grabbing all of the attention as it relates to Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings for Week 11. Arian Foster injured his groin two weeks ago, but the Texans were on bye last week. With a week to recover, the expectation was that Foster would be good to go on Sunday against a Cleveland defense that is 28th in the NFL in rushing defense. Unfortunately, that's not the case as Foster was unable to practice at all and on Saturday the Texans downgraded him from Questionable to Out. Rookie Alfred Blue will get the start in Foster's place and while he's not as talented and explosive (or experienced) as Foster, he should still make for a decent RB2 this week. Some other key running backs are expected to return this week from prolonged absences due to injury, including Rashad Jennings (MCL sprain), Ryan Mathews (MCL sprain) and Montee Ball (groin strain).


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


Positional Rankings: I I I I I


2014 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs


Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Jets

Updated at 1 p.m. CT on 11/15/14 to reflect the news that Arian Foster will not play on Sunday. Alfred Blue (No. 22) will get the start in Foster's place.


1Matt ForteCHIvs. MIN
2Marshawn LynchSEAat KC
3Jamaal CharlesKCvs. SEA
4Le'Veon BellPITat TEN (Mon.)
5Mark IngramNOvs. CIN
6Eddie LacyGBvs. PHI
7Alfred MorrisWASvs. TB
8LeSean McCoyPHIat GB
9Andre EllingtonARIvs. DET
10Ahmad BradshawINDvs. NE
11Frank GoreSFat NYG
12Shane VereenNEat IND
13Jeremy HillCINat NO
14Rashad JenningsNYGvs. SF
15Steven JacksonATLat CAR
16Jerick McKinnonMINat CHI
17C.J. AndersonDENat STL
18Ryan MathewsSDvs. OAK
19Terrance WestCLEvs. HOU
20Joique BellDETat ARI
21Lamar MillerMIAvs. BUF (Thurs.)
22Alfred BlueHOUat CLE
23Ben TateCLEvs. HOU
24Trent RichardsonINDvs. NE
25Tre MasonSTLvs. DEN
26Bishop SankeyTENvs. PIT (Mon.)
27Jonathan StewartCARvs. ATL
28Montee BallDENat STL
29Darren SprolesPHIat GB
30Branden OliverSDvs. OAK
31Bobby RaineyTBat WAS
32Darren McFaddenOAKat SD
33Matt AsiataMINat CHI
34Jonas GrayNEat IND
35Bryce BrownBUFat MIA (Thurs.)
36Charles SimsTBat WAS
37Carlos HydeSFat NYG
38DeAngelo WilliamsCARvs. ATL
39Andre WilliamsNYGvs. SF
40Isaiah CrowellCLEvs. HOU
41Theo RiddickDETat ARI
42Anthony DixonBUFat MIA (Thurs.)
43Benny CunninghamSTLvs. DEN
44Knile DavisKCvs. SEA
45Roy HeluWASvs. TB
46Travaris CadetNOvs. CIN
47Juwan ThompsonDENat STL
48Reggie BushDETat ARI

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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


Need more fantasy help? Visit .

Fantasy Football 2014 Running Back Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 14:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-quarterback-rankings-week-11

Aaron Rodgers needed just one half to put up the most fantasy points last week, so it’s only fitting that he lead off Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings for Week 11. Rodgers tossed six touchdown passes against a helpless (and some might say hapless) Chicago defense in the first half, and now has his sights set on keeping pace with Philadelphia’s up-tempo offense. This will be Mark Sanchez’ first road game as the Eagles’ starter, but given how he fared Monday night and the potential for a shootout against the Packers, we have him ranked as a borderline QB1. However, the QB pairing everyone will be watching is Tom Brady vs. Andrew Luck. Brady has been red hot, tossing 18 touchdowns and just one interception over his past five games, while Luck continues to lead his peers in scoring. It should make for an entertaining Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.


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


Positional Rankings: I I I I I


2014 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks


Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Jets


1Aaron RodgersGBvs. PHI
2Peyton ManningDENat STL
3Andrew LuckINDvs. NE
4Tom BradyNEat IND
5Drew BreesNOvs. CIN
6Philip RiversSDvs. OAK
7Ben RoethlisbergerPITat TEN (Mon.)
8Colin KaepernickSFat NYG
9Matthew StaffordDETat ARI
10Robert Griffin IIIWASvs. TB
11Russell WilsonSEAat KC
12Jay CutlerCHIvs. MIN
13Mark SanchezPHIat GB
14Matt RyanATLat CAR
15Cam NewtonCARvs. ATL
16Josh McCownTBat WAS
17Eli ManningNYGvs. SF
18Ryan TannehillMIAvs. BUF (Thurs.)
19Andy DaltonCINat NO
20Teddy BridgewaterMINat CHI
21Derek CarrOAKat SD
22Alex SmithKCvs. SEA
23Kyle OrtonBUFat MIA (Thurs.)
24Brian HoyerCLEvs. HOU
25Shaun HillSTLvs. DEN
26Drew StantonARIvs. DET

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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


Need more fantasy help? Visit .

Fantasy Football 2014 Quarterback Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-wide-receiver-rankings-week-11

Calvin Johnson may not be No. 1 on Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings for Week 11, but he’s not that far off either. After missing three games with an ankle injury, Megatron was back to his old tricks last week, hauling in seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s win over Miami. This Sunday presents an interesting matchup against Arizona’s athletic and physical secondary, but there’s a reason Johnson was a consensus first-round pick in fantasy drafts. Elsewhere, Demaryius Thomas should have the advantage against a decimated St. Louis secondary while Jordy Nelson will try to follow up his 152-yard, two-touchdown performance last week against Chicago when his Packers host the Eagles. Antonio Brown, who continues to lead the NFL in catches (79) and yards (1,070), will look to bounce back on Monday night against Tennessee after delivering a rare dud (8 rec., 74 yds., 2 lost fumbles) in last week’s loss to the Jets.


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


Positional Rankings: I I I I I


2014 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers


Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Jets


1Demaryius ThomasDENat STL
2Jordy NelsonGBvs. PHI
3Antonio BrownPITat TEN (Mon.)
4Calvin JohnsonDETat ARI
5Jeremy MaclinPHIat GB
6Julio JonesATLat CAR
7Emmanuel SandersDENat STL
8Randall CobbGBvs. PHI
9T.Y. HiltonINDvs. NE
10A.J. GreenCINat NO
11Brandon MarshallCHIvs. MIN
12Alshon JefferyCHIvs. MIN
13Kelvin BenjaminCARvs. ATL
14Odell Beckham Jr.NYGvs. SF
15Mike WallaceMIAvs. BUF (Thurs.)
16Golden TateDETat ARI
17Mike EvansTBat WAS
18Roddy WhiteATLat CAR
19DeSean JacksonWASvs. TB
20Sammy WatkinsBUFat MIA (Thurs.)
21Vincent JacksonTBat WAS
22DeAndre HopkinsHOUat CLE
23Julian EdelmanNEat IND
24Martavis BryantPITat TEN (Mon.)
25Brandin CooksNOvs. CIN
26Keenan AllenSDvs. OAK
27Andre JohnsonHOUat CLE
28Anquan BoldinSFat NYG
29Larry FitzgeraldARIvs. DET
30Pierre GarconWASvs. TB
31Mohamed SanuCINat NO
32Reggie WayneINDvs. NE
33Michael CrabtreeSFat NYG
34Jordan MatthewsPHIat GB
35Brandon LaFellNEat IND
36Marques ColstonNOvs. CIN
37Doug BaldwinSEAat KC
38Cordarrelle PattersonMINat CHI
39Malcom FloydSDvs. OAK
40Kendall WrightTENvs. PIT (Mon.)
41Dwayne BoweKCvs. SEA
42Rueben RandleNYGvs. SF
43Michael FloydARIvs. DET
44James JonesOAKat SD
45Greg JenningsMINat CHI
46John BrownARIvs. DET
47Andre HolmesOAKat SD
48Jarvis LandryMIAvs. BUF (Thurs.)

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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


Need more fantasy help? Visit 

Fantasy Football 2014 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-tight-end-rankings-week-11

With both big bye weeks a distant memory, the upper tier of Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings for Week 11 looks a lot like many expected it would entering this season. An argument could be made when it comes to the first two spots, but no TE has been hotter than Rob Gronkowski. Even though he was on bye last week, none of his peers can match the 23 catches or 322 yards he has piled up over the past four weeks. And the only one who has as many touchdowns as Gronk (4) during this span is none other than Jimmy Graham, who has been a beast the past two games. Both should fare well this Sunday against Indianapolis and Cincinnati, respectively, and that’s not to take anything away from Julius Thomas, who leads the NFL in touchdown catches (12). Let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with any of these three (or Antonio Gates or Greg Olsen for that matter), that is unless you’re facing one of them.


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


Positional Rankings: I I I I I


2014 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends


Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Jets


1Rob GronkowskiNEat IND
2Jimmy GrahamNOvs. CIN
3Julius ThomasDENat STL
4Antonio GatesSDvs. OAK
5Greg OlsenCARvs. ATL
6Dwayne AllenINDvs. NE
7Martellus BennettCHIvs. MIN
8Travis KelceKCvs. SEA
9Larry DonnellNYGvs. SF
10Jordan ReedWASvs. TB
11Jared CookSTLvs. DEN
12Charles ClayMIAvs. BUF (Thurs.)
13Mychal RiveraOAKat SD
14Vernon DavisSFat NYG
15Heath MillerPITat TEN (Mon.)
16Zach ErtzPHIat GB
17Kyle RudolphMINat CHI
18Austin Seferian-JenkinsTBat WAS
19Jordan CameronCLE 
20Coby FleenerINDvs. NE
21Scott ChandlerBUFat MIA (Thurs.)
22Jermaine GreshamCINat NO
23Tim WrightNEat IND
24John CarlsonARIvs. DET

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points


Need more fantasy help? Visit 

Fantasy Football 2014 Tight End Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-11

Jacksonville doesn’t play this week, so for once the Jaguars don’t factor into Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings for Week 11. Instead, our top billing goes to Miami, the DST that has scored the most fantasy points (76, Athlon scoring) over the last four weeks. The Dolphins’ defense has been especially tough at home, as evidenced by a 37-0 whitewashing of San Diego two weeks ago, and should have the upper hand at Sun Life Stadium Thursday night against the Bills. On Sunday, Arizona hosts Detroit in a matchup featuring two of this season’s top-scoring fantasy DSTs. We like both as starting options, but ranked the Lions a little higher because backup Drew Stanton will be at quarterback for the Cardinals in place of an injured Carson Palmer (torn ACL).


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


Positional Rankings: I I I I I


2014 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams


Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Jets


1Miami Dolphinsvs. BUF (Thurs.)
2Denver Broncosat STL
3Detroit Lionsat ARI
4Buffalo Billsat MIA (Thurs.)
5Arizona Cardinalsvs. DET
6Seattle Seahawksat KC
7Kansas City Chiefsvs. SEA
8Pittsburgh Steelersat TEN (Mon.)
9San Francisco 49ersat NYG
10Houston Texansat CLE
11Cleveland Brownsvs. HOU
12New Orleans Saintsvs. CIN
13Green Bay Packersvs. PHI
14New England Patriotsat IND
15San Diego Chargersvs. OAK
16Philadelphia Eaglesat GB

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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


Need more fantasy help? Visit 

Fantasy Football 2014 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-kicker-rankings-week-11

When it comes to Athlon Sports’ Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings for Week 11, look no further than the Sunday night matchup. The Colts play host to the Patriots in prime time and Andrew Luck vs. Tom Brady won’t be the only fantasy positional pairing to keep an eye on. Stephen Gostkowski and Adam Vinatieri are currently first and second in fantasy points among kickers, with the former maintaining a 13-point lead. Gostkowski is No. 1 in both field goal makes (24) and attempts (25), while Vinatieri has yet to miss (20-of 20 on FGs, 32-of-32 on PATs). A 19-year veteran, the always-reliable Vinatieri is a perfect 7-for-7 on field goal attempts longer than his age (41).


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


Positional Rankings: I I I I I


2014 NFL Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers


Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Jets


1Stephen GostkowskiNEat IND
2Adam VinatieriINDvs. NE
3Cody ParkeyPHIat GB
4Mason CrosbyGBvs. PHI
5Steven HauschkaSEAat KC
6Chandler CatanzaroARIvs. DET
7Phil DawsonSFat NYG
8Caleb SturgisMIAvs. BUF (Thurs.)
9Cairo SantosKCvs. SEA
10Shaun SuishamPITat TEN (Mon.)
11Brandon McManusDENat STL
12Shayne GrahamNOvs. CIN
13Nick NovakSDvs. OAK
14Kai ForbathWASvs. TB
15Dan CarpenterBUFat MIA (Thurs.)
16Blair WalshMINat CHI

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Fantasy Football 2014 Kicker Rankings: Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2014-waiver-wire-week-11

The fantasy football season has entered the home stretch with Week 11 on the horizon. The fantasy playoffs will begin in a few weeks, which means these next few games could make or break many a season. Reinforcements are on the way now that the two big bye weeks are in the rear-view mirror. That doesn’t mean every team will be playing this week, however, as owners will still have to make do without the services of top scorers like DeMarco Murray, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, Justin Forsett and Ben Roethlisberger, among others, while also dealing with the myriad of injuries that have occurred this season.


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


Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, New York Jets




Week 10 Recap: Mark Sanchez got off to a slow start Monday night against the Panthers, but he picked it up and finished with 332 yards and two touchdowns. Helping his night was the fact he didn't turn the ball over, although he did fumble twice on shotgun snaps (able to recover both). As long as Sanchez takes care of the ball, he's in the QB1 conversation while Nick Foles (broken collarbone) is out.


Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

Bridgewater and the Vikings are coming off of their bye, so the rookie should certainly be rested and healthy. And while his overall numbers (60.4 percent passing, 4 total TDs, 5 INTs in six games) don’t blow you away, the first-round pick has shown signs of progress. He hasn’t thrown an interception in each of the past two games and after bottoming out at 157 yards passing in Week 7, he’s increased that total (from 241 to 268) during this same span. He’s also yet to lose a fumble in 19 rushing attempts (95 yds., TD). Then there’s also the matter of facing a Chicago defense that’s been torched for 106 points over its past two games. Now may be the ideal time to invest or take a chance on this young, dual-threat signal-caller.


Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Somewhat surprisingly, Lovie Smith went back to McCown over Mike Glennon as his starting quarterback, even though McCown had thrown twice as many interceptions (four) as touchdowns (two) in his first three starts. But after missing five games with a thumb injury, McCown got the call on Sunday against Atlanta. The end result was the same; another loss for the Buccaneers, but McCown had his best statistical outing, throwing for 301 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. The turnovers are still concerning, but McCown has a pair of explosive wide receivers (Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans) to throw to and a fairly appealing schedule (at WAS, at CHI, vs. CIN) ahead of him. There’s still enough time for McCown to have an impact fantasy-wise before this season is over.


Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer left Sunday afternoon’s game with a knee injury, which was confirmed on Monday as a torn ACL. Palmer’s season is over and Arizona head coach Bruce Arians will once again turn to Stanton to lead his offense. Yesterday, Stanton promptly entered the game and threw a go-ahead, 48-yard touchdown pass to John Brown. Stanton has already made three starts this season while Palmer was sidelined with a nerve issue, and he led the Cardinals to two wins. He’s not as established as Palmer, but Stanton’s gotten the job done when called upon and he has plenty of familiarity with the offense and his playmakers. The schedule’s pretty tough (DET, at SEA), but there are probably worse options out there if you’re looking for a fill-in QB or some depth at the position.


Running Backs


Week 10 Recap: The Browns pounded the Bengals on the ground Thursday night with Terrance West (26 att., 94 yds., TD) teaming with Ben Tate and Isaiah Crowell to churn out 169 yards and three touchdowns. A week after getting more carries than Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson touched the ball just eight times (compared to Ivory’s 14 carries) and was basically non-existent (35 total yards) in the Jets’ big home win over the Steelers. Philadelphia attacked Carolina through the air Monday night, so Chris Polk (5 att., 11 yds.) and the running game (Eagles had 37 yards rushing) weren't really needed.


C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball, Denver Broncos

Is Denver’s backfield in motion once again? Ronnie Hillman had seemingly established himself as the starter following Montee Ball’s injury, but now he’s hurt (foot sprain) and could end up missing some time. Hillman’s injury (or ineffectiveness depending on your point of view) opened the door for Anderson, who rushed for a team-high 90 yards on 13 carries (6.9 ypc) Sunday in Oakland. He also picked up 73 yards receiving on four catches, including a 51-yard touchdown. Anderson led the Broncos with 163 total yards against the Raiders, while Hillman and Juwan Thompson combined for just 21 yards rushing. What happens with the carries this coming Sunday in St. Louis is anyone’s guess at this point, especially with Ball nearing a return. Don’t forget that Ball was the starter in Week 1 and he also was everyone’s choice to have a breakout fantasy season. It hasn’t worked out that way so far, but Ball could get another chance given Hillman’s injury. The Broncos’ practices this week will definitely be worth monitoring, as John Fox’ tendency more recently has to been to ride the hot hand. Right now that belongs to Anderson.

Alfred Blue, Houston Texans

Arian Foster tweaked his groin in the Texans’ last game. That was in Week 9, as Houston was off last week. Because of the bye, Foster said he expects to be ready to go this Sunday, but it’s not like he has the strongest track record when it comes to injuries. If Foster can’t go, Blue will get the call and the rookie from LSU has already shown what’s he capable of. Back in Week 3, Blue filled in for Foster, who was dealing with a sore hamstring. In his first NFL start, Blue rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries against the Giants. For the season, the sixth-round pick is averaging 3.4 yards per carry, but he hasn’t fumbled the ball in 74 touches and he’s caught a touchdown pass. Foster is the Texans’ undisputed workhorse, but he’s dealt with injuries before and if this latest one causes him to miss any time or limits his touches, Blue is next in line.


Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills

Jackson was carted off the field in Week 7 after suffering a groin injury, and it was initially expected that he would miss at least a month. Jackson sat out Week 8 and then had a bye week to receive treatment and recover. Somewhat surprisingly, Jackson returned to practice last week and wound up not only being activated for Sunday’s game, but seeing action. He finished with just three rushing attempts (10 yards) and four catches (39 yards), but the important thing was the fact he played. As soon as he’s back to practicing in full, Jackson will resume the starting role in the Bills’ backfield. He was the team’s leading rusher before the injury and he’s also heavily involved in the passing game (37 rec., 300 yds., TD). Buffalo has a short turnaround for its Thursday night game in Miami, but it shouldn’t be too long before Jackson is leading the charge for the Bills once again. This is a potential opportunity to add a legitimate starting running back to your roster for the home stretch and fantasy playoffs.


Wide Receivers


Week 10 Recap: Kendall Wright was targeted a team-high seven times against Baltimore, but he finished with just four grabs for 53 yards. Kenny Britt was held to just three catches for 31 yards, as tight end Jared Cook (see below) made the big plays in the passing game for the Rams against the Cardinals. Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes in the first half against the Bears, but Davante Adams (2 rec., 10 yds.) wasn’t able to join in on the fun. Josh Gordon has one more game to serve on his suspension before he’s able to rejoin the Browns and possibly play in Week 12.


Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City doesn’t exactly toss the ball all over the field and Bowe has disappointed many a fantasy owner in the past, but perhaps the tide is turning some? Bowe has strung together four straight games of at least 8.5 fantasy points (Athlon scoring), averaging six catches for 74 yards during that stretch. He still has yet to record a touchdown, but he’s getting the targets (35 over his last four games), which at least means he should see his fair share of opportunities moving forward. The Chiefs host Seattle this week, but still have two games with Oakland remaining as well as a Week 13 date with Denver. Bowe is not going to fill up the box score on a weekly basis, but he could be a nice option to round out a receiver corps, especially in PPR leagues.


James Jones, Oakland Raiders

Jones made NFL history yesterday, just not necessarily the kind he would like. According to Pro Football Focus’ Mike Clay, Jones set a wide receiver record on Sunday when he recorded just 20 yards on eight catches. It’s the fewest yards ever for a player with eight receptions in a game. That said, what shouldn’t be overlooked is the fact that Jones got a total of 12 targets against Denver. For the season, Jones has been targeted 71 times (25th among WRs), catching 47 of them for 463 yards and three touchdowns. That’s borderline top-30 fantasy WR production, despite playing with a rookie quarterback and for an offense that lacks in playmakers. Even with the Raiders’ offensive struggles, Jones is a viable WR3/4/flex, especially in PPR leagues.


Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles

Since catching two touchdowns in his third career NFL game, Matthews had been relatively quiet, until Monday night that is. The Eagles’ second-round pick clicked right away with new starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, as Matthews caught seven balls for 138 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. Carolina’s cover guys were no match for Matthews operating out of the slot and Sanchez looked for him early and often. It appears that Matthews and Sanchez already have pretty good chemistry, so it’s not out of the question for success like this to continue. Matthews could serve as a functional WR3 or possibly WR2 from here out.

Preston Parker, New York Giants

By now Odell Beckham Jr. should certainly be on your radar, if he’s even available in your league, but Parker also is making a case for himself. While it’s pretty apparent that Beckham has passed Rueben Randle in the pecking order in the Giants’ passing game, Parker also put up better numbers than the so-called No. 1 wide receiver on Sunday. Parker took advantage of Seattle’s vaunted secondary’s issues defending slot receivers, finishing with a season-best seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. While it’s extremely risky to expect that sort of production from Parker on a weekly basis, his role as the No. 3 WR in an offense that’s been forced to pass a lot is pretty secure. That’s enough to at least add Parker to the watch list in deeper leagues.


Tight Ends


Week 10 Recap: Mychal Rivera made it three strong games in a row with his eight-catch, 64-yard effort against Denver. He also caught a touchdown, giving him three in his last two games.


Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams

Cook has long teased and tantalized fantasy owners with his talent and seemingly endless potential. And this season has been no different. Seventh among his position in targets (56), Cook is near the back end of the top 20 in both receptions (31) and fantasy points. He has just one touchdown so far, which came yesterday against Arizona. Cook hauled in just two passes on Sunday, but he still finished with 89 yards receiving and a score. Consistency is not Cook’s strong point, but he’s also one of the few weapons Austin Davis has to throw to. If Cook does ever put it all together, he could go from being a frustrating tease to a legitimate, every-week fantasy starter.

Austin Seferian-Jenkings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers’ second-round pick, Seferian-Jenkins has struggled with injuries and inconsistency in his first NFL season. However, he’s also shown flashes of his all-around talent and immense potential, including Sunday against Atlanta. Targeted a season-best nine times, Seferian-Jenkins hauled in five passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. It was his second touchdown in three games, as it appears that Seferian-Jenkins is settling in despite the fact Tampa Bay made a quarterback switch from Mike Glennon back to Josh McCown. The young tight end appears to have a bright future with the Bucs, and is worth TE2 consideration, at minimum, the rest of this season.


Defense/Special Teams


Week 10 Recap: Baltimore racked up five sacks, forced two turnovers and held the Titans to just seven points on Sunday, while Dallas collected four QB takedowns and three takeaways (15 PA) in its convincing win over Jacksonville in London. Unfortunately, both DSTs are on bye this week.


Cleveland Browns

The AFC North-leading Browns (you read that right) have been getting it done in large part because of their defense. Taking its cues from head coach Mike Petitne, Cleveland’s defense has made a pretty good living on pressuring the quarterback (20 sacks) and allowing its talented and deep secondary to make plays and stop opposing pass attacks without too much help. The end result is a defense that’s first in the NFL in completion rate (56.9) and passer rating (72.2) allowed, and is tied for second in interceptions (13). It also produces a fantasy DST that has 12 takeaways (9 INTs, 3 fumbles) and nine sacks over its last four games. Next up is a Houston team that has a new starting quarterback in Ryan Mallett and could potentially be without the services of Arian Foster (groin injury). Perhaps it’s time to find out just how much bite this Browns defense has?


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.

Fantasy Football 2014 Waiver Wire: Week 11
Post date: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 10:00
Path: /nfl/carolina-panthers-vs-philadelphia-eagles-preview-and-prediction-2014

A matchup of defending divisional champions will put a bow on Week 10 in the NFL when the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles face off on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” The Eagles (6-2) once again are positioned near the top of the NFC East, while the Panthers (3-5-1) are still within striking distance in a crowded, mediocre NFC South.


If Philadelphia wants to make it two straight division crowns under head coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles will have to do so with a backup quarterback and without their defensive anchor. Meanwhile Carolina head coach Ron Rivera is trying to figure out what’s happened to his defense, which was among the league’s best last season.


Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles


Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Philadelphia -7


Three Things to Watch


1. Sanchez’ Second Chance

Nick Foles is out for at least six weeks with a broken collarbone, meaning Mark Sanchez is getting his second chance. The fifth player taken in the 2009 draft, Sanchez was the Jets’ starting quarterback from 2009-12. Despite leading his team to consecutive AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons, Sanchez’ tenure with the Jets was rocky, to say the least. He posted a winning record (37-31, including playoffs) as the starter, but completed just 55 percent of his passes with 77 touchdowns compared to 72 interceptions. A combination of a shoulder injury (torn labrum) last August and the Jets drafting Geno Smith led to the end of Sanchez’ time in the Big Apple. He didn’t play a single game for the Jets last season and the team released him in March. A week later, he signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia to back up Nick Foles, and Sanchez is now the starter with Foles sidelined. Last week against Houston in relief of Foles, Sanchez tossed two touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 31-21 win, but he also had two interceptions that allowed the Texans to stay in the game. Chip Kelly has had nothing but positive things to say about Sanchez since signing him and in the aftermath of Foles’ injury, but the only thing that really matters is what happens on the field. This is by the far the best supporting cast Sanchez has had as a pro, and Kelly’s offensive system is known to be quarterback-friendly. Everything appears to be in place for Sanchez to succeed. The question now is will he take full advantage of this second chance or just validate what was said about him near the end of his time with the Jets?


2. Carolina’s (Lack of) Defense

The Panthers surprised pretty much everyone last season when they went 12-4 and won the NFC South. One of the big reasons for their success was a defense that ranked behind only the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in several categories. In 2013, Carolina’s defense was the second stingiest in terms of yards (301.3 ypg) and points (15.1 ppg) allowed and it was led by Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly. Unfortunately, what was a major strength last season has turned into a weakness. The Panthers gave up a total of 241 points last season, but have already allowed 236 in just nine games thus far. After starting the season 2-0, Carolina has gone 1-5-1, as the defense has given up 30.7 points per game during this ugly seven-game stretch. Run defense in particular has been a problem. Ron Rivera’s team was second in the league in stopping the run in 2013 (86.9 ypg), but enter tonight’s game ranked 26th (131.9 ypg). Each of the Panthers’ past four opponents has run for at least 105 yards. This is not a good trend considering the Eagles are eighth in the rushing offense (124.5 ypg) and are averaging 162 yards per game on the ground over their last four contests. Carolina relied heavily on its defense last season to not only keep the Panthers in games, but often times to win them. Success has been harder to come by this season, as the defense has regressed and the offense (19.7 ppg, 25th) hasn’t been able to pick up the slack. It’s been a rough go for Carolina’s defense lately, and things don’t figure to get any easier tonight against the league’s fourth-ranked offense.


3. Cam Gets Offensive?

Misery must love company, as both Carolina’s defense and offense have gone into a prolonged slump at the same time. As poorly as the defense has played over the last seven games (30.7 ppg allowed), it’s not like the offense has been lending a ton of support. The Panthers are averaging less than 20 points per game on the season and that’s only because they scored 68 points in back-to-back games in Weeks 5 and 6. They have managed 10 points or fewer three times, including in each of the past two games. A rash of injuries has impacted Carolina’s backfield all season, which has put even more pressure on Cam Newton and a practically brand-new group of pass-catchers. After showing a great deal of growth last season, Newton has hit a rough patch. His passing yards have gone down in each of the past four games, culminating with a career-worst performance last week at home against New Orleans when he completed just 10 of 28 passes (35.7 percent) for 151 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Newton has thrown a pick in each of his last five games and hasn’t tossed a touchdown pass since Week 7. Even with reliable tight end Greg Olsen and talented wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers’ first-round pick, as Newton’s primary targets, he is averaging just 224.3 yards passing per game with eight touchdown passes. With an inconsistent running game (94.7 ypg, 26th) and a defense that’s been struggling, Carolina needs Newton to be at the top of his game. Perhaps tonight’s matchup against the Eagles will be just what Newton and the Panthers’ offense need to get going in the right direction.


Final Analysis


Even though Philadelphia is without the services of Nick Foles, the Eagles play in an offensive system that's not dependent on the quarterback. Chip Kelly will come up with a game plan that should put Mark Sanchez in a position where he doesn't have to win the game by himself. I'm not so sure the same can be said for Cam Newton and Carolina. The Panthers have had trouble running the ball consistently alll season and this defense is not the same, stingy, physical unit it was in 2013. Philadelphia is 4-0 this season at Lincoln Financial Field and has won its last eight regular season home games. As long as Sanchez doesn't try to do too much himself and takes care of the football, the Eagles should soar at home tonight.

Prediction: Philadelphia 31, Carolina 20
Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Preview and Prediction
Post date: Monday, November 10, 2014 - 10:00
Path: /nfl/chicago-bears-vs-green-bay-packers-preview-and-prediction-2014

The NFL’s longest-running rivalry takes center stage tonight when the Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers on NBC. Both teams are coming out of their bye having lost their last game, but the Bears (3-5) are in a bigger funk than the Packers (5-3). Chicago has lost four of its past five games after getting bludgeoned by Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and rest of the Patriots 51-23 in Foxboro in Week 8. Green Bay also lost big, 44-23 in New Orleans, prior to going on bye, but had won its previous four games, including a 38-17 victory in Chicago back in Week 4.


Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers


Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC

Spread: Green Bay -7.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Aaron Rodgers Bearing Down

This represents the 190th meeting in the regular season between Chicago and Green Bay. The Bears hold a slight 93-90-6 lead, but the Packers have dominated the proceedings with Aaron Rodgers under center. Since becoming Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 2008, Rodgers is 11-3 against Chicago, including a road win in the 2011 NFC Championship Game. The only game Rodgers has lost to the Bears since that 21-14 win on Jan. 23, 2011 was last season’s 27-20 defeat on “Monday Night Football” to close out Week 9. Rodgers started that game, but he didn’t finish it, as Chicago’s Shea McClellin sacked him on the first series, breaking his collarbone. Otherwise, Rodgers has owned the Bears, posting a 25:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 13 regular season games, while completing 69 percent of his passes and compiling a 105.0 passer rating. He was practically flawless (22-of-28, 302-4-0) in the 38-17 Week 4 win in Chicago, and it’s not like the Bears’ defense has gotten better since that game. Rodgers injured his hamstring two weeks ago in the loss to New Orleans, but he got the bye to recover and wasn’t limited at all in practice this week. This doesn’t bode well for Chicago, whose last win against Green Bay came in a game in which Rodgers was on the field for a total of seven plays.


2. Can Cutler Make the Lambeau Leap?

Aaron Rodgers’ success against the Bears has come, fair or not, at the expense of Jay Cutler. A 38-17 loss at Solider Field in Week 4 dropped Cutler’s career record, including playoffs, against the Packers to 1-10. His lone victory over Green Bay came back in the 2010 season and not surprisingly; Cutler’s numbers against the Packers haven’t been pretty. In 10 games with the Bears, Cutler has thrown more interceptions (20) than touchdowns (12) against Green Bay and is averaging exactly 200 yards passing per contest. If that’s not bad enough, the picture is even uglier when you look at how he has fared in three games at Lambeau Field: 0-3, 49-of-102 (48.0 percent), 571-2-10. Ouch. So far this season, Cutler is completing 67.2 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and eight picks. He has played pretty well (11 TDs, 3 INTs) on the road, where the Bears are 3-2, but Lambeau has always been a house of horrors for him. Adding to the degree of difficulty is the fact that the Packers are 33-5-1 at home since Week 10 of the 2009 season. The good news is that one of those losses (Nov. 4, 2013) was to the Bears. The bad news is that Josh McCown was the starting quarterback, as Cutler was out with a groin injury. A victory tonight would not only represent a breakthrough of sorts for Cutler, it also could set the tone for the second half of the season, as Chicago desperately needs a win to keep any playoff hopes alive.

3. Bears Get Defensive?

Entering this season expectations were high for Chicago’s offense, given its success last season and the quantity and quality of playmakers that were returning. To this point, it’s certainly fair to say that Marc Trestman’s offense has underachieved, but it’s not like the defense has done its job either. The Bears are 21st in the NFL in total defense (372.4 ypg) and 29th in scoring (27.8 ppg). They gave up 51 points to New England in their last game and have held one team (Atlanta) to fewer than 321 yards of offense. Coordinator Mel Tucker’s unit is relatively young and inexperienced, and the growing pains have been obvious, especially given the injuries on that side of the ball. All-Pro cornerback Charles Tillman tore his triceps in Week 2 and is out for the season, as is defensive end Lamarr Houston, who tore his ACL celebrating a meaningless sack in the loss to the Patriots. Linebackers Lance Briggs (ribs) and Jonathan Bostic (back) also have missed significant time and other injuries in the secondary have resulted in a lot of lineup shuffling and several young players getting thrown into the fire earlier than expected. Briggs and Bostic are both expected to play tonight, which should help stabilize the middle of the defense and the back end should be close to full strength as well. The hope is that the combination of better health and the opportunity to work on some things during the bye will lead to better results for Tucker’s unit on the field. Some early returns would certainly be welcome tonight, especially considering the offense’s own struggles and Jay Cutler’s lack of success at Lambeau Field.


Final Analysis


Both Chicago and Green Bay lost their last games headed into the bye, but there’s no debate when it comes to which team has been playing better. The Packers started October 3-0, while the Bears haven’t won in nearly a month. Green Bay has won 14 of its last 18 games coming right after a bye and the extra week also gave Aaron Rodgers’ ailing hamstring time to heal. Rodgers has simply owned his NFC North archrival and Jay Cutler has not enjoyed his previous visits to Lambeau Field to say the least. Stranger things have happened this season, but I think there’s just too much history in the Packers’ favor to expect any sort of breakthrough from Cutler and the Bears tonight.

Prediction: Green Bay 31, Chicago 24
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-10-fantasy-football-injury-updates-tony-romo-aaron-rodgers-nick-foles-blake-bortles

Week 10 should mark the return of one NFC East quarterback and the debut of a new starting signal-caller in the division. Whether it’s London or Green Bay, Athlon Sports has the QB injuries you need to know about. 


Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

Probable – Hamstring
Rodgers was noticeably gimpy two weeks ago after injuring his hamstring in the loss to New Orleans. But the bye came at an ideal time for the Packers’ signal-caller, as he took some time off to recover. He was a full practice participant this week and is listed as Probable for tonight’s game. Rodgers said he was “fine” when asked about his hamstring earlier in the week and head coach Mike McCarthy also pronounced his QB “ready to go.” Rodgers has owned the Bears during his career, but it’s not like you’re ever sitting the 2011 MVP, right?

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (London)

Probable – Back
Romo was held out of last week’s game, and it looks like that decision may end up paying off. He survived the long plane ride to London and increased his practice activity as the week progressed, finishing things off with a full session on Friday. The fact that he is listed as Probable is a pretty strong signal Romo will play. While there are still plenty of questions regarding his effectiveness and if he’ll be out there the entire game, the coaching and training staff seem pretty confident in his readiness, so you should probably trust Romo too if he’s on your roster.

Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Dallas Cowboys (London)

Probable – Wrist
Bortles suffered a minor wrist injury last week, but he was able to finish the game. He was a full go in practice all week and is listed as Probable, so there’s no reason to not expect him to play. Starting him on your fantasy team, however, is an entirely different matter. While Bortles has shown some flashes of the talent and potential that made him the third player taken in May’s draft, he also leads the NFL in interceptions (13) despite the fact he’s played in just seven games. Even with six teams on bye, it’s still too early to seriously think about trusting Bortles as a QB2, let alone a QB1.


Already Ruled Out:


Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – Foles broke his collarbone last week and is expected to miss at least six weeks. Mark Sanchez stepped in for Foles against Houston, and threw a pair of touchdowns and interceptions, as the Eagles held on for the win. Now Sanchez gets a second chance at being a starter, beginning with a Monday night matchup against Carolina. There’s plenty to like about Sanchez’ situation, mainly as it relates to the playmakers around him and Chip Kelly’s offensive system, and he’s certainly worthy of QB2 consideration this week.

Week 10 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Nick Foles, Blake Bortles
Post date: Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-10-injury-updates-frank-gore-mark-ingram-doug-martin-charles-sims

Both San Francisco and New Orleans have running backs who appear on the injury report for Week 10. Find out if any 49er or Saint ball carrier is in danger of missing today’s matchup and how the Buccaneers’ backfield is shaping up for their game against Atlanta.


Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas, RBs, New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers

Questionable – Shoulder; Out – Arm; Out – Rib/Shoulder
If you’re a Saints running back and your name is not Travaris Cadet, then you appear on this week’s injury report. When it comes to reading the tea leaves, the easy part is that Robinson and Thomas are both Out again, as neither practiced at all this week. That brings us to Ingram (right), who is Questionable because of a shoulder injury he suffered last week. He was limited in practice because of his shoulder, but that could have been more of a coaches’ decision stemming from the fact he carried the ball 30 times for 100 yards in the Saints’ victory last Thursday night. The expectation is that Ingram will play and he should get plenty of carries once again, as he’s averaging 136 yards rushing over his last two games. Ingram insists his shoulder injury isn’t serious and I have no problem taking him at his word. Ingram should be started without hesitation, while Cadet is a possible fill-in flex option, especially in PPR leagues.

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints

Probable – Hip
Gore was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full go on Friday. He’s listed as Probable, so there doesn’t appear to be any reason to not expect him to play today. What is concerning, however, is the fact that Gore’s workload and production have both been on the decline. After rushing for a combined 226 yards in Weeks 4 and 5, Gore has accumulated a total of 107 yards over his past three games. He’s also gone from at least 16 carries to 23 in the past two contests combined. Why the 49ers have somewhat abandoned the run is anyone’s guess and it’s not like backup Carlos Hyde has seen a huge increase in his touches either. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that Gore is averaging less than 60 yards rushing per game and has scored a total of two touchdowns. If you want to employ him as a RB2, especially this week, I can’t really fault you, but Gore is probably safer as a flex option right now.

Doug Martin and Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Doubtful – Ankle; Questionable – Ankle
Once again, Martin did not practice at all this week, so even though he’s listed as Doubtful, there’s no reason to even consider starting him. Sims on the other hand still has yet to make his NFL debut and he remains limited in practice. He wasn’t activated last week, but he’s listed as Questionable and it’s sounding like third-round pick will get on the field today. That said, the Buccaneer back to focus on is Bobby Rainey, who should continue to handle the majority of the workload as Sims gets acclimated to the pro game. Rainey has been the Bucs’ most effective back to this point and he should be able to do some damage against a Falcons defense that’s giving up the most fantasy points to RBs. Those are two reasons why Rainey is a borderline RB1 (12-team leagues) in .

Fantasy Football Week 10 Injury Updates: Frank Gore, Mark Ingram, Doug Martin, Charles Sims
Post date: Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-10-fantasy-football-injury-updates-fred-jackson-lamar-miller-reggie-bush

Both Buffalo’s and Miami’s top running backs are Questionable for their Week 10 game, while Detroit’s backfield should be at full strength. Athlon Sports has the latest news on these injury situations to help get your fantasy team ready.

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions

Questionable – Shoulder
Miller injured his shoulder last week and it limited him during practice. He is expected to play, but don’t take his Questionable tag too lightly. Detroit’s defense has done a pretty good job against the run and Miller’s injury could lead to fewer touches if he does play. Keep a close eye on Miller’s status prior to kickoff (1 p.m. ET), but I would wait as long as possible before making a final decision. If Miller can’t go, backups Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams would share the work, but I wouldn’t turn to either as Miller’s replacement in your starting lineup.

Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Questionable – Groin
Jackson suffered a groin injury in Week 7 and was originally expected to be out at least a month. However, after returning to practice this week, it looked like Jackson was out to prove everyone wrong. Even though Jackson was back on the field, head coach Doug Marrone was pretty blunt when he said he didn’t think Jackson was ready to return quite yet. He is listed as Questionable for today’s game, but I would be surprised if Jackson wound up playing. With C.J. Spiller (broken collarbone) already on injured reserve, the Bills can ill afford to have Jackson come back too soon and re-aggravate his injury. Anthony Dixon will likely get the majority of the carries if Jackson is held out, while Bryce Brown also will get some touches. With six teams on bye, Dixon is probably in the RB2/flex conversation, but I wouldn’t take my chances with Brown unless you’re really hurting to fill out your lineup.

Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions vs. Miami Dolphins

Probable – Ankle
Bush didn’t play in London two weeks ago because of an ankle injury, but he took full advantage of the bye to treat it. He was a full participant in practice each day and is listed as Probable. Bush’s numbers haven’t been all that great this season and while the hope is that he will be a different player from here out, the reality is that he’s not the only mouth that needs to be fed in the Lions’ backfield. Joique Bell is the designated lead back and remains the best fantasy option of the bunch, while Bush could wind up sharing touches with Theo Riddick. Bush’s primary appeal is due to the fact that he’s actively involved in the Lions’ passing game, but Riddick has shown a knack for doing the same thing and the offense also . There are only so many targets and carries to split up, especially against a pretty good Miami defense, so Bush may not get enough opportunities to make much of an impact. Bush is still pretty safe as a flex option this week, but he’s a low-end RB2 so be sure to temper your expectations.

Week 10 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Fred Jackson, Lamar Miller, Reggie Bush
Post date: Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-10-injury-updates-marshawn-lynch-montee-ball-andre-ellington-rashad

Even though there are just three late afternoon kickoffs in Week 10, there are plenty of key running back injuries to keep an eye on. Here are the ones you need to know about.


Montee Ball and Juwan Thompson, RBs, Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

Questionable – Groin; Probable – Knee
After not practicing at all the past four weeks, Ball (right) was back on the field, albeit in a limited capacity. He’s officially listed as Questionable, but it looks like there’s a good chance Ball will be activated today. Ronnie Hillman should still see the bulk of the work, however, as prior to last week’s game in New England, he had averaged 4.9 yards per carry over the previous three games. If anything, Ball’s potential return could impact Thompson’s usage. Thompson, who is Probable after practicing fully all week, had been getting some carries near the goal line and scored two touchdowns two weeks ago. He and Ball could end up sharing backup duties, which means Hillman is probably the only Bronco back to employ this week.


Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants

Probable – Calf
Lynch was added to the injury report this week after missing the first two days of practice because of a calf issue. He was a full go on Friday, however, and when head coach Pete Carroll was asked, he said Lynch was “ready to roll.” Lynch is listed as Probable, which backs up Carroll’s confidence in his readiness, so there doesn’t appear to be any reason for you to not start him. Lynch has topped 88 yards rushing just once this season, but he does have eight total touchdowns, including two last week. Lynch is definitely a must-start RB1 this week at home against a Giants defense that is giving up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing RBs.


Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams

Probable – Foot
The refrain should be pretty familiar by now. The coaches limit Ellington’s work in practice mainly to cut down the wear and tear on their workhorse. He’s been a mainstay on the injury report this season, but as usual, he’s listed as Probable and will be out there carrying the load once again. Ellington is averaging 109 yards from scrimmage per game this season and has pretty much sewed up his status as a top-10 fantasy RB from here out.

Already Ruled Out:


Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants – Jennings returned to practice this week, but he was just a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. He was considered a long shot to play as of Friday, so it should come as no surprise that Jennings did not accompany the team to Seattle. This means that Andre Williams and Peyton Hillis once again will handle the backfield duties this afternoon against the Seahawks. Neither was that effective on the ground Monday night against the Colts, combining for 42 yards on 16 carries, but Williams got three times as many carries (12) as Hillis (four). That probably won’t change today, but it doesn’t mean that a great deal should be expected out of Williams either. Not only has the rookie struggled to gain much ground (3.0 ypc), he’s facing a Seahawks defense that’s usually pretty tough at home and one that has done a good job against the run. Hopefully you’re eyeing Williams as a flex option and nothing more.

Fantasy Football Week 10 Injury Updates: Marshawn Lynch, Montee Ball, Andre Ellington, Rashad Jennings
Post date: Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-10-fantasy-football-injury-updates-calvin-johnson-vincent-jackson-sammy-watkins-doug

Week 10 marks the return of Calvin Johnson to the Lions’ starting lineup, but the outlook isn’t as promising for some other key wide receivers. Athlon Sports has the latest information on whether some teams will be without their top target today or not.


Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Questionable – Knee
Jackson cant’ seem to get over the hump. First hampered by a rib injury, Jackson appears on this week’s injury report with a knee issue. He didn’t practice at all on Wednesday, but increased his participation over the next two days, so even though he’s Questionable, it appears that Jackson will play. The bigger development, however, is the fact the Buccaneers are going back to Josh McCown as their starting quarterback. Jackson and Mike Glennon were really starting to click, so it will be interesting to see if the QB change ends up hurting Jackson fantasy-wise. The Bucs are playing the Falcons, so the matchup is certainly in Jackson’s favor, which is why he maintains his WR2 status.


Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Miami Dolphins

Probable - Ankle
If anyone needed a bye, it was Johnson and it looks like the extra time did him plenty of good. Forget Questionable, game-time decisions and all of that, Johnson practiced in full every day this week and is listed as Probable. The man known as Megatron will be back out there today and it should only be a matter of time before he’s producing like the No. 1 fantasy wide receiver he was drafted as. Johnson’s return will impact Golden Tate, but it shouldn’t make him fantasy irrelevant either. Matthew Stafford will be happy to get his No. 1 target back that’s for sure.


Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Questionable – Groin
A quartet of Bills wide receivers appear on the injury report this week, but Watkins is the only one worth paying close attention to. The first-round pick has posted back-to-back strong games, but he left practice early on Wednesday after aggravating a groin injury. He underwent an MRI, but the key here is that Watkins didn’t return to practice on Thursday or Friday. Watkins is officially listed as Questionable, but there is definitely reason to be concerned here. He will most likely be a game-time decision, but I wouldn’t keep my hopes up. Even if Watkins plays, he will most likely be limited by the injury.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants

Probable – Groin
Baldwin missed practice time earlier this week because of a groin injury, but he was able to increase his participation each passing day. He finished his prep work with a full session on Friday, which was enough to earn him a Probable designation. Baldwin is the Seahawks’ No. 1 target, but the production just hasn’t been there (11 rec., 99 yds.) over the last two weeks. The targets (14 total) have been, however, which is one reason why Baldwin still checks in as a .


Marqise Lee and Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Dallas Cowboys (London)

Probable – Ankle; Probable – Hamstring
It should come as no surprise that multiple Jaguar wide receivers appear on this week’s injury report. Fortunately, it looks like Lee and Shorts are both in pretty good shape to play against the Cowboys, as they are listed as Probable. Shorts is the biggest question mark, as he didn’t practice at all on Thursday because of a hamstring issue. He was back on the field Friday and has said he fully intends to be out there. The Jaguars don’t lack for wide receivers, which makes it very hard to rely on any of them as a starting fantasy option. Couple that with a rookie QB (), who has several more interceptions (13) compared to touchdowns (8). Unless you are desperate to fill out your lineup, any and all Jaguar wideouts, including big-play option Allen Hurns (16.1 ypr, 5 TDs) and top target Allen Robinson (43 rec.), should be viewed primarily as deeper league options.

Week 10 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Doug Baldwin
Post date: Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-week-10-injury-updates-martellus-bennett-jimmy-graham-travis-kelce-charles

New Orleans’ All-Pro tight end is ready to roll in Week 10, but the same can’t be said of Chicago’s big target. Athlon Sports gets you up to date on the key tight ends that appeared on this week’s injury report.


Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers

Probable – Shoulder
Graham was a full practice participant every day this week and unlike last week, he’s listed as Probable. This “upgrade” alone should pretty much remove any doubt from the equation. Graham has caught a touchdown pass in each of his past two games, so he’s looking more like his old self with each passing week. Rob Gronkowski is on bye, which is why , and he should have another productive day at the office against a 49ers defense that’s pretty banged up in the middle.


Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Questionable – Ribs
Bennett just can’t seem to shake the injury bug. After dealing with a hamstring issue the past several weeks, Bennett injured his ribs during practice a few days ago. He didn’t practice at all on Friday, which is typically not a good sign, and is listed as Questionable. Head coach Marc Trestman didn’t sound overly optimistic when asked about his tight end’s availability, so it’s likely Bennett will wind up being a game-time decision. The Bears don’t play until tonight, which complicates matters some, especially considering Bennett’s role in the passing game and the fact he is a top-five fantasy TE. Bennett is a guy you definitely want in your lineup, but just keep in mind that if you wait until kickoff (8:30 p.m. ET) and he ends up not playing, your options will be limited to the likes of Bennett’s replacement, Dante Rosario, and Green Bay’s Andrew Quarless, because chances are neither Greg Olsen or Zach Ertz, who play Monday, are available. Are you willing to take a chance on Bennett not playing and be shut out at TE?


Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills

Probable – Ribs
Kelce was a full go at practice this week, so even though he’s on the injury report all you need to worry about is the Probable designation. Kelce has been a top-10 fantasy TE for most of the season and it’s certainly how he should be treated this week with the aforementioned Gronkowski, as well as Antonio Gates and Dwayne Allen all on bye. Anthony Fasano will get his share of playing time, but the Chiefs employ enough two-tight end sets and also will make a point to get Kelce, their leading receiver, involved so it shouldn’t impact your decision about whether to start him or not.


Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions

Probable – Knee
Clay missed some practice time, as he has pretty much every week this season, but he’s listed as Probable, so expect him to be out there today. Clay has been the epitome of an up-and-down player this season, as he’s gone from four catches in Week 7 to one the following week to five last week. He did catch a touchdown pass in two of the past three games, but if his cycle holds true, he’s due for a poor showing today. The point is, Clay has been hard to figure out and even more difficult to trust on a weekly basis this season, but once again the bye-week situation may leave you with no choice but to stick with him.

Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew, TEs, Detroit Lions vs. Miami Dolphins

Doubtful – Hamstring; Questionable – Ankle; Questionable – Foot
Unlike teammates and , the bye did not seem to benefit the Lions’ banged-up tight end trio that much. No one has been ruled out yet, but the best shot any of the three have of playing today is 50-50, if even that. Ebron is the least likely to suit up, based on his Doubtful tag. He and Pettigrew, who is Questionable, practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. Fauria on the other hand, got in a little bit of work every day, so he’s the least Questionable of this group, for what that’s worth. The bottom line is this – with Johnson and Bush both expected back, there’s no reason to pay any Lion tight end much attention this week, if any of them even make it on the field.  

Fantasy Football Week 10 Injury Updates: Martellus Bennett, Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, Charles Clay
Post date: Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 06:30