Articles By Mark Ross

All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-quarterback-rankings-week-9
Body:

Andy Dalton is not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 9 quarterback rankings, but he's all alone when it comes to production over the past three weeks. Dalton has 1,034 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his last three games combined, all Cincinnati wins, making him fantasy's top scorer during that span. He's a top-10 option this week, as the Bengals go to Miami to face a Dolphins defense that ranks in the middle of the pack against the pass.

With Peyton Manning getting a well-deserved break, this week's top quarterback is Drew Brees. The Saints' signal-caller actually outscored Dalton in Week 8, as both tossed five touchdown passes. The difference between the two was that Brees edged Dalton in yards passing (332 to 325) and didn't turn the ball over. This Sunday Brees will get his shot at the same New York Jets pass defense that Dalton victimized last week.

With both Mannings Matthew Stafford and Colin Kaepernick all on bye, quarterback depth could be more of a factor this week. Some good news on that front is the return of Nick Foles, who sustained a concussion two weeks ago and didn't play last Sunday. Foles threw for 296 yards and three scores in his only start thus far, so he could work his way into the 2-QB league/matchup play discussion if he can re-ignite an Eagles offense that has stalled in recent weeks.

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

2013 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks
Teams on bye:
Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Drew BreesNOat NYJJets got torched by Andy Dalton (325-5-1-) last week.
2Aaron RodgersGBvs. CHI (Mon.)Had 4 TDs, 1 INT in 2 wins over Bears last season.
3Cam NewtonCARvs. ATLHas 8 total touchdowns, 0 TOs in last 3 games.
4Tony RomoDALvs. MINHad just 206 yards last week, but 3 TD passes.
5Philip RiversSDat WASRedskins have allowed 3 QBs to pass for 350+ yards.
6Russell WilsonSEAvs. TBSeahawks' O-line must do better job protecting Wilson.
7Andrew LuckINDat HOUTexans No. 1 in NFL in passing defense.
8Matt RyanATLat CARNeeded 61 pass attempts to get 301 yards, TD last week.
9Robert Griffin IIIWASvs. SDBroncos knocked RG3 around pretty good last week.
10Andy DaltonCINat MIA (Thurs.)Has thrown 11 touchdowns, 2 INTs in last 3 games.
11Terrelle PryorOAKvs. PHIPryor posted second 100-yard rushing game last week.
12Tom BradyNEvs. PITBrady has 1 300-yard game, PIT is No. 2 vs. pass.
13Alex SmithKCat BUFBills have allowed league-high 20 TD passes.
14Ben RoethlisbergerPITat NEPatriots have at least one INT in every game but one.
15Nick FolesPHIat OAKWill make his first start since sustaining concussion.
16Joe FlaccoBALat CLEDid Flacco/Ravens "fix" passing game during bye?
17Jake LockerTENat STLRams sacked Russell Wilson 7 times on MNF.
18Ryan TannehillMIAvs. CIN (Thurs.)Has 6 TOs (4 INTs, 2 fumbles) in last 2 games.
19Josh McCownCHIat GB (Mon.)Put up 204-1-0 in relief of Cutler in Bears' last game.
20Geno SmithNYJvs. NORoad woes continue: 2 pick-sixes vs. CIN last week.
21Case KeenumHOUvs. INDKeenum gets 2nd start in place of Schaub.
22Jason CampbellCLEvs. BALHeld up nicely (293-2-0) vs. Chiefs in Browns debut.
23Josh FreemanMINat DALShould as long as he's healthy/cleared (concussion).
24Mike GlennonTBat SEASeahawks tied for league lead with 13 INTs.
25Thad LewisBUFvs. KCChiefs have given up 8 TD passes compared to 10 INTs.
26Kellen ClemensSTLvs. TENGutsy (158-0-2) effort in close loss to SEA on MNF.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Quarterback Rankings: Week 9
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-running-back-rankings-week-9
Body:

Ryan Mathews is not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 9 running back rankings, but he is in the top 10 for the first time in quite a while. Mathews has posted back-to-back 100-yard games for the first time since 2011 and could make it three in a row this Sunday against Washington's 30th-ranked rushing defense. Maybe, just maybe, Mathews is finally ready to live up to all the hype and promise that surrounded him when the Chargers took him with the 10th overall pick of the 2010 draft as the heir apparent to LaDainian Tomlinson. Those who have stuck with Mathews this long can only hope.

Meanwhile, Jamaal Charles remains No. 1 in the running back rankings, as he leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,018. Charles has been dealing with his own bumps and bruises, including a sore knee that limited him in practice this week, but he should be ready to face a Buffalo defense that is allowing nearly 118 yards rushing per game.

In fact, with six teams on bye, health situations like Charles' play an even more important role this week. That is why particular attention needs to be paid to players like Charles, as well as Arian Foster (dealing with a hamstring injury, watch closely) DeMarco Murray (may return this week), Zac Stacy (rolled his ankle late on Monday night), DeAngelo Williams (hurt his quadriceps last Thursday vs. Tampa Bay), C.J. Spiller (missed last week because of high ankle sprain) and even Ben Tate (dealing with cracked ribs). This week is not one you want to take a chance on starting a running back that may not end up playing.

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

2013 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Back
Teams on bye: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Jamaal CharlesKCat BUFLeads NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,018).
2Adrian PetersonMINat DALHas 62 yards rushing or fewer in each of last 3 G.
3Matt ForteCHIat GB (Mon.)No 100-yard rushing games yet, but 8th in NFL.
4Marshawn LynchSEAvs. TBSeason-low 8 carries and 23 yards vs. Rams.
5Eddie LacyGBvs. CHI (Mon.)Averaging 99 yards rushing over last four games.
6LeSean McCoyPHIat OAKAveraging 3.1 ypc over last 2 G, 5.1 in first 6.
7Alfred MorrisWASvs. SDAveraging 5.2 ypc, but only getting 15.4 att/game.
8Arian FosterHOUvs. INDDealing with a hamstring injury, monitor closely.
9DeMarco MurrayDALvs. MINVery appealing matchup for his hopeful return.
10Ryan MathewsSDat WASHas posted back-to-back 100-yard games.
11Ray RiceBALat CLESeason-best is 74 yards rushing, averaging 2.8 ypc.
12Le'Veon BellPITat NEJust 24 yards on 13 att. vs. OAK, but did score.
13Darren McFaddenOAKvs. PHIHad 73 yards, 2 TDs in first game after bye.
14Fred JacksonBUFvs. KCKnee issue is keeping his workload down.
15Stevan RidleyNEvs. PITHad 79 yards, TD despite not playing in 1st quarter.
16Chris JohnsonTENat STLHis longest run this season has been 23 yards.
17Zac StacySTLvs. TENHuge game (134 yds.) on MNF, but rolled ankle late.
18DeAngelo WilliamsCARvs. ATLHurt quadriceps last week, but should be OK.
19Giovani BernardCINat MIA (Thurs.)Dolphins allowing second-most rec. yds to RBs.
20Trent RichardsonINDat HOUCan T-Rich get going vs. Texans (28th vs. rush)?
21Lamar MillerMIAvs. CIN (Thurs.)Basically splitting carries with Thomas right now.
22Danny WoodheadSDat WASRedskins giving up most fantasy points to RBs.
23Darren SprolesNOat NYJFinished with 0 yards (4 rec.) vs. Saints.
24Pierre ThomasNOat NYJJets No. 1 against rush (77.9 ypg).
25Steven JacksonATLat CARGrounded (11 att., 6 yds.) in return from injury.
26BenJarvus Green-EllisCINat MIA (Thurs.)Miami giving up fourth-most fantasy pts. to RBs.
27C.J. SpillerBUFvs. KCHeld out last week b/c of high ankle sprain.
28Mike JamesTBat SEAYards could be tough to come by in Seattle.
29Bilal PowellNYJvs. NOTops in team with 10 carries (also 4 rec.) last week.
30Mike TolbertCARvs. ATLFalcons have allowed just 3 rushing TDs.
31Ben TateHOUvs. INDDealing with cracked ribs, but hopeful to play.
32Chris IvoryNYJvs. NOWent from 34 carries in Week 7 to 6 last week.
33James StarksGBvs. CHI (Mon.)Picked up 57 yards, TD in return from knee injury.
34Brandon BoldenNEvs. PITContinues to see 8-10 touches, has TD in 2 straight.
35Jacquizz RodgersATLat CARGot just 4 touches in SJax' return.
36Roy HeluWASvs. SDGot just 6 touches last week, after 10+ in last 3 G.
37Willis McGaheeCLEvs. BALRavens have yielded one rushing TD.
38Daniel ThomasMIAvs. CIN (Thurs.)Making most of opportunities recently.
39Donald BrownINDat HOUGot season-high 11 carries, 14 touches in last game.
40Joseph RandleDALvs. MINVikings giving up second-most fantasy pts. to RBs.
41Daryl RichardsonSTLvs. TENTeamed w/ Stacy for effective 1-2 punch on MNF.
42Tashard ChoiceBUFvs. KCWill be a factor as long as Spiller is sidelined.
43LeGarrette BlountNEvs. PIT11 carries vs. MIA was third game w/ 10 or more.
44Shonn GreeneTENat STLNow healthy, could eat into Johnson's workload.
45Lance DunbarDALvs. MIN 
46Marcel ReeceOAKvs. PHIGot 3 carries, but no targets last week vs. Steelers.
47Robert TurbinSEA  
48Deiji KarimHOUvs. INDAdded to roster this week b/c of injury concerns.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Running Back Rankings: Week 9
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-tight-end-rankings-week-9
Body:

Even though he is dealing with plantar fasciitis, Jimmy Graham maintains his hold on the top spot on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 9 tight end rankings. After all, that's what happens when you are "limited" and still haul in two touchdowns. While Graham and other young tight ends like Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas and more recently, Jordan Reed, have been putting up solid numbers, there are still some veterans out there making noise.

For example, Antonio Gates is 33 years old and in his 11th season with San Diego, but you couldn't tell by looking at his numbers. Gates is well on his way to his best statistical production in several years, as after just seven games he's already close to surpassing his catch and yardage totals from 2012. Right now, Gates is on pace for 96 receptions and 1,136 yards. The catches would represent a career-best while the yards would rank second behind the 1,157 he compiled during his 2009 All-Pro campaign. The only complaint Gates owners can make at this point is he has caught just two touchdown passes, but that could change Sunday in Washington. The Redskins are tied for 27th in passing defense and have already yielded six touchdown receptions to opposing tight ends.

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

2013 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Jimmy GrahamNOat NYJStill had 2 TDs despite being "limited" by foot issue.
2Jordan CameronCLEvs. BALCaught 5 passes for 95 yards in Week 2 vs. BAL.
3Rob GronkowskiNEvs. PITGronk held in check (2 rec., 27 yds.) by 'Fins.
4Antonio GatesSDat WASRedskins have allowed six touchdown catches to TEs.
5Jordan ReedWASvs. SDLed Redskins w/ 8 catches for 90 yards last week.
6Tony GonzalezATLat CARHasn't had much impact w/ Julio and Roddy out.
7Jason WittenDALvs. MINVikings have given up 6 TD catches to TEs.
8Martellus BennettCHIat GB (Mon.)Caught one pass for TD in last game.
9Greg OlsenCARvs. ATLHauled in first TD pass since Week 2 vs. Bucs.
10Charles ClayMIAvs. CIN (Thurs.)Held w/o TD last week for first time in 4 games.
11Kyle RudolphMINat DALCowboys allowing second-most fantasy pts. to TEs.
12Coby FleenerINDat HOUWill his role expand w/ Reggie Wayne out for season?
13Heath MillerPITat NEHas been under 20 yards in each of last 2 games.
14Garrett GrahamHOUvs. INDColts have surrendered just one TD catch to a TE.
15Jared CookSTLvs. TENWould love to have big game against former team.
16Jermaine GreshamCINat MIA (Thurs.)Caught first TD of season last week.
17Timothy WrightTBat SEACaught first career TD pass last week.
18Scott ChandlerBUFvs. KCChiefs have allowed fewest fantasy pts. to TEs.
19Jeff CumberlandNYJvs. NOSustained mild concussion last week.
20Dallas ClarkBALat CLERavens looking for more from passing game,
21Delanie WalkerTENat STLRams been pretty good against opposing TEs.
22Tyler EifertCINat MIA (Thurs.)Timeshare w/ Gresham limiting opportunities.
23Zach MillerSEAvs. TB 
24Anthony FasanoKCat BUF 
25Brent CelekPHIat OAKEagles have too many TEs to trust any one.
26Andrew QuarlessGBvs. CHI (Mon.)Saw just 2 targets in first game as starter last week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Tight End Rankings: Week 9
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-kicker-rankings-week-9
Body:

Matt Prater on bye means there's a new name atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 9 kicker rankings. Stephen Gostkowski ascends to the No. 1 position this week, as he leads the NFL with 20 made field goals, but he's not the only AFC East kicker having a productive season. The Jets' Nick Folk is a perfect 19-of-19 on field goal tries this season, one of only four kickers in the entire league with 10 or more attempts who have yet to miss.

There's a strong chance that Folk's services will be needed Sunday at home against New Orleans. Not only are the Saints are giving up less than 21 points per game on the road, the Jets' offense has struggled in recent weeks to get the ball into the end zone. Folk and his counterpart, the Saints' Garrett Hartley, are both solid top-10 options this week.

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

2013 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers
Teams on bye this week: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

RkPlayerTeamOPPONENT
1Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. PIT
2Mason CrosbyGBvs. CHI (Mon.)
3Dan BaileyDALvs. MIN
4Steven HauschkaSEAvs. TB
5Adam VinatieriINDat HOU
6Justin TuckerBALat CLE
7Garrett HartleyNOat NYJ
8Nick NovakSDat WAS
9Nick FolkNYJvs. NO
10Robbie GouldCHIat GB (Mon.)
11Ryan SuccopKCat BUF
12Graham GanoCARvs. ATL
13Blair WalshMINat DAL
14Mike NugentCINat MIA (Thurs.)
15Randy BullockHOUvs. IND
16Shaun SuishamPITat NE

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams


Week 9 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings: Week 9
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-defspecial-teams-rankings-week-9
Body:

Cincinnati is not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 9 defense/special teams rankings, but no DST was more dominant last week than the Bengals. Not only did the defense take two Geno Smith interceptions back for touchdowns, the unit had four sacks and held the Jets to just three long field goals in the 49-9 rout. This week Cincinnati heads to Miami to face a Dolphins offense that hasn't scored any more than 23 points in its last four games and is led by a quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) who has more turnovers (10) than touchdowns (7) in that same span.

Seattle and Kansas City are the two DSTs ahead of Cincinnati in this week's ranks. The Seahawks get the nod despite an uneven performance (9 PA, 2 INTs and 3 sacks, but also 339 yards allowed, including 200 rushing) on the road against St. Louis because they are back at home facing a Tampa Bay team that is winless and struggling mightily. Kansas City is on the road in Buffalo where the Chiefs will look to add to their league-leading sack total (36) against a Bills offense that is 30th in passing and a banged-up backfield.

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

2013 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

RkTeamOPPNotes
1Seattle Seahawksvs. TBOnly 9 PA and 2 INTs, but gave up 200 yards rushing to Rams on MNF.
2Kansas City Chiefsat BUFChiefs giving up 12.3 ppg overall, just 4 TDs in 3 road games.
3Cincinnati Bengalsat MIA (Thurs.)Bengals had two pick-sixes, 4 sacks last week vs. Jets.
4New Orleans Saintsat NYJJets averaging 20.3 points at home, Saints allowing 20.7 on road.
5Carolina Panthersvs. ATLPanthers have given up 15+ points once this season.
6Indianapolis Coltsat HOUKeenum making 2nd career start, Texans RBs banged up.
7New England Patriotsvs. PITPatriots allowing 14.3 ppg at home, Steelers 17.9 ppg overall.
8Green Bay Packersvs. CHI (Mon.)Packers won't have to worry about facing Cutler on MNF.
9Pittsburgh Steelersat NESteelers' fourth-ranked defense needs some help from the O.
10Dallas Cowboysvs. MINCowboys had no answers for Megatron, Lions late last week.
11Cleveland Brownsvs. BALBrowns sacked Alex Smith six times last week.
12Baltimore Ravensat CLEBrowns tied for fourth-most sacks allowed (28). BAL has 25.
13St. Louis Ramsvs. TENRams' D-line punished Russell Wilson (7 sacks) on MNF.
14Houston Texansvs. INDTexans' No. 1 defense ready to make last stand?
15Oakland Raidersvs. PHIGiving up just 17 ppg at home, 10th in NFL in ypg.
16Philadelphia Eaglesat OAKDefense playing better lately, 18.3 ppg over last four.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends

Kickers

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 9
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-wide-receiver-rankings-week-9
Body:

Calvin Johnson was the story of Week 8, but he and the Lions are on bye, so there's someone else sitting atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 9 wide receiver rankings. Ironically enough, it's Dez Bryant, who made plenty of noise before his head-to-head matchup with Megatron last week and nearly stole the headlines away from Johnson following his late-game, sideline "tirade." Turns out the uproar over Bryant's actions were much ado about nothing and the attention paid them overshadowed his two touchdown catches against the Lions. While Johnson hauled in 14 receptions, Bryant had just three on six targets, but expect both of these numbers to go up quite a bit this week. Minnesota is 29th in the league in passing defense and gave up seven catches for 123 yards and two scores to Jordy Nelson, Green Bay's No. 1 receiver, last week.

Speaking of Nelson, he has looked quite comfortable in his new role as Aaron Rodgers' favorite target following Randall Cobb's season-ending injury. In two games without Cobb, Nelson has 12 catches for 165 yards and three scores. Even though Chicago has a pair of All-Pro cornerbacks in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, Nelson is still a fairly safe bet this week, as evidenced by his No. 2 ranking. This also is somewhat attributed to the fact that besides the aforementioned Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Larry Fitzgerald, Justin Blackmon, Eric Decker, Hakeem Nicks, Cecil Shorts and Anquan Boldin are all on bye this week. So which unheralded wide receiver will be the one to step up for his fantasy team this week?

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

2013 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers
Teams on bye: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Dez BryantDALvs. MINDez did have more TDs (2) than Megatron last week.
2Jordy NelsonGBvs. CHI (Mon.)Has 12 rec., 165 yds., 3 TDs in 2 G w/o Cobb/Jones.
3A.J. GreenCINat MIA (Thurs.)Took a backseat to teammate Jones last week.
4Brandon MarshallCHIat GB (Mon.)Must do without Cutler for another game or two.
5Andre JohnsonHOUvs. INDPosted season-best 42-yard reception last week.
6Josh GordonCLEvs. BALClicked with Campbell (5-132-1) right away vs. KC.
7DeSean JacksonPHIat OAKLooking to get things going again with Foles back.
8Pierre GarconWASvs. SDContained (6.6 ypr) by Broncos last week.
9Antonio BrownPITat NEPatriots' pass D could get Talib (hip) back this week.
10Vincent JacksonTBat SEASeattle's Legion of Boom will zero in on VJax.
11Steve SmithCARvs. ATLSaw his TD streak end at 2 games last week.
12Harry DouglasATLat CARSecond straight big game (12-121) replacing Julio.
13Terrance WilliamsDALvs. MINSet Cowboys rookie record w/ TD in four straight G.
14Torrey SmithBALat CLEAveraging 20.1 ypr, but has 1 TD catch.
15Denarius MooreOAKvs. PHIEagles allowing second-most passing yards.
16T.Y. HiltonINDat HOUNo. 1 role now his with Reggie Wayne out for season.
17James JonesGBvs. CHI (Mon.)Will he be back (knee) after missing last 2 games?
18Keenan AllenSDat WASRedskins allowing third-most fantasy pts. to WRs.
19Jarrett BoykinGBvs. CHI (Mon.)Has gone for 13-192-1 in first 2 games as starter.
20Alshon JefferyCHIat GB (Mon.)Has 100+ yards in three of last four games.
21Golden TateSEAvs. TBUnquestioned No. 1 w/ Rice (ACL) out for season.
22Stevie JohnsonBUFvs. KCHauled in TD vs. Saints, but dealing w/ groin issue.
23Mike WallaceMIAvs. CIN (Thurs.)Wallace still trying to get comfortable w/ new offense.
24Dwayne BoweKCat BUFGroin an issue, but Bills have given up 20 TD passes.
25Marques ColstonNOat NYJHas just 6 catches for 44 yards in last 3 G combined.
26Marvin JonesCINat MIA (Thurs.)Caught 4 TD passes vs. Jets, has 6 in last 3 games.
27Emmanuel SandersPITat NEPosted season-high 88 yards w/ TD last week.
28Danny AmendolaNEvs. PITJust 3 catches for 15 yards in return from concussion.
29Darrius Heyward-BeyINDat HOUBig opportunity w/ Reggie Wayne out for season.
30Brian HartlineMIAvs. CIN (Thurs.)Has just one 100-yard game, no TDs since Week 3.
31Kendall WrightTENat STLHas seen eight or more targets in each of last 4 G.
32DeAndre HopkinsHOUvs. INDHauled in 29-yard TD from Keenum in last game.
33Greg JenningsMINat DALCowboys giving up most passing yards in NFL.
34Kenny StillsNOat NYJHauled in two long TDs (69, 42) vs. Bills last week.
35Lance MooreNOat NYJCaught a TD pass in first game (hand) since Week 3.
36Nate WashingtonTENat STL 
37Jeremy KerleyNYJvs. NOGeno Smith has been much better at home vs. road.
38Aaron DobsonNEvs. PITCaught TD vs. Miami, 22 targets over last 3 games.
39Vincent BrownSDat WASHas just 4 rec., 57 yds. since Week 5 (7-117) explosion.
40Eddie RoyalSDat WASCaught first TD pass since Week 2 in last game.
41Rod StreaterOAKvs. PHIEagles giving up second-most fantasy pts. to WRs.
42Drew DavisATLat CARMaking most of opportunities with Roddy sidelined.
43Marlon BrownBALat CLE 
44Julian EdelmanNEvs. PITSteelers second in NFL in passing defense.
45Dexter McClusterKCat BUFHas 67+ yards in each of last 2 G, got 1st TD vs. CLE.
46Austin PettisSTLvs. TENTitans yielding second-fewest fantasy pts. to WRs.
47Brandon LaFellCARvs. ATL 
48Stephen HillNYJvs. NO 
49Kenbrell ThompkinsNEvs. PITRookie disappearing from passing game.
50Leonard HankersonWASvs. SD 
51Chris GivensSTLvs. TEN 
52David NelsonNYJvs. NOHas been Jets' most productive WR last 2 games.
53Jacoby JonesBALat CLERavens need more consistency from Jones.
54Donnie AveryKCat BUFBills giving up most fantasy points to WRs.
55Riley CooperPHIat OAK 
56Robert WoodsBUFvs. KCHasn't been as involved with Lewis at QB.
57Jerome SimpsonMINat DAL 
58Cordarrelle PattersonMINat DALTied NFL record with 109-yard KOR for TD vs. GB.
59Roddy WhiteATLat CARMaking progress (hamstring, ankle) but status unclear.
60Tavon AustinSTLvs. TENRookie still searching for consistent role in offense.
61Miles AustinDALvs. MINDid not play last week b/c of hamstring.
62Doug BaldwinSEAvs. TB 
63Cole BeasleyDALvs. MIN 
64Percy HarvinSEAvs. TBBack at practice, but suffered slight setback w/ hip.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 9
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-waiver-wire-week-9
Body:

Similar to last week, fantasy owners figure to have their work cut out for them with six teams on bye in Week 9. No Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants and San Francisco means a lot of fantasy firepower is already on the bench. Add to that several other key players who aren’t expected to play and it looks like the waiver wire/free agent pool will be a popular destination yet again this week.

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

Teams on bye in Week 9: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York Giants, San Francisco

Quarterbacks
Week 8 Recap: Andy Dalton continued his hot streak, throwing for 325 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in the Bengals’ rout of the Jets. Dalton now has 11 touchdown passes and two interceptions over his last three games. Next up is a Thursday night visit to Miami.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Smith is not known for being a big-time fantasy producer, but he’s actually top 15 at his position for the season and has more yards passing than Andrew Luck and Cam Newton and more total touchdowns (10) than Tom Brady and Robert Griffin III. The main reason a guy like Smith would be appealing this week is because of the matchup with the Bills’ 26th-ranked defense and the fact that the likes of Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick and Eli Manning are all on bye, while Jay Cutler, Michael Vick and Sam Bradford are injured.

Other possible bye-week replacement QBs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Terrelle Pryor, OAK vs. Philadelphia; Ben Roethlisberger, PIT at New England; Joe Flacco, BAL at Cleveland; Ryan Tannehill, MIA vs. Cincinnati (Thurs.); and Jason Campbell, CLE vs. Baltimore

Running Backs
Week 8 Recap: Mike James produced 64 total yards in his first career NFL start in the Buccaneers’ loss to the Panthers on Thursday night. James should continue to get the majority of the backfield touches, although Doug Martin (shoulder) is expected to return at some point. Chris Ivory carried the ball just six times for 11 yards in the Jets’ blowout loss to the Bengals. Roy Helu Jr. got a total of six touches against Denver and finished with only 25 total yards. Jacquizz Rodgers carried the ball just twice and had two receptions as Steven Jackson returned and the Falcons’ running game managed a total of 27 yards rushing in the loss to the Cardinals.

Andre Brown, New York Giants
The Giants are on bye this week, but Brown is expected to return in Week 10. He has been on injured reserve since breaking his leg in the final preseason game. Brown was expected to play a big role in the Giants’ backfield entering this season and as long as he’s healthy, there’s no reason to expect that to change. Especially since the current cast of characters is made up of retreads Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis, neither of which were even with the Giants to start the season. Jacobs has missed the past two games because of a hamstring injury, while Hillis is averaging less than three yards per carry in two games with the G-Men. David Wilson (neck) is still out due to a neck injury, so there’s not much competition keeping Brown from seeing the same number of touches that allowed him to generate 5.3 yards per carry and eight touchdowns last season.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are another team on bye this week, but anytime a rookie running back piles up 154 yards rushing, he deserves mention. That is especially true for Ellington, since 1) he’s available in nearly half of Yahoo! leagues and 2) there’s no reason to expect his opportunities to decrease from here. While Ellington may not get 20+ carries a game, his versatility as a receiver out of the backfield, along with his explosiveness and big-play ability (see his 80-yard TD sprint against Atlanta), should provide enough opportunities for consistent flex production, at minimum.

Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans
Greene has played in just two games and has a total of five carries in them, but the Titans brought him in do more than just spell starter Chris Johnson. Greene has two 1,000-yard seasons with the Jets on his resume and was envisioned as the Titans’ short-yardage and goal-line back when he signed with the team. Coming off of the bye, Greene should be as healthy as he’s been prior to getting hurt in Week 1. It’s speculative, but it’s possible that Greene works his way back into fantasy consideration, especially should Johnson (3.2 ypc) continue to struggle. If anything, CJ owners should definitely consider adding Greene as his handcuff.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
This is another speculative play, but Stewart’s case is a little different in that he has previously been “the man” for Carolina. Stewart was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list before the start of the season, as he recovered from offseason ankle surgery. He finally returned to practice last week and said he plans on playing this week. One thing that could be in his factor is that DeAngelo Williams, the current starter, bruised his quadriceps in Thursday’s win over Tampa Bay. Williams should be fine for this week, especially with the extra rest that comes from playing on Thursday, and there’s no reason to expect Stewart to get a ton of carries should he get on the field Sunday against Atlanta. Still, Stewart needs to be on your radar, especially if you have Williams on your roster, as the Panthers’ backfield is about to get a little more crowded.

Other possible bye-week replacement RBs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Joseph Randle, DAL vs. Minnesota; Pierre Thomas, NO at New York Jets; BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN at Miami (Thurs.); Mike Tolbert, CAR vs. Atlanta; Daniel Thomas, MIA vs. Cincinnati (Thurs.); Donald Brown, IND at Houston; and James Starks, GB vs. Chicago (Mon.)

Wide Receivers
Week 8 Recap: If not for Calvin Johnson’s near-record-breaking performance against Dallas, Marvin Jones would have been the top fantasy scorer at his position this week. Jones outscored the Jets by himself as he caught eight passes for 122 yards and four touchdowns in the 49-9 cakewalk. In that same game, Jeremy Kerley recorded just three catches for 27 yards. Sidney Rice was targeted three times on Monday night against Seattle before leaving with a knee injury of some sort. Darrius Heyward-Bey was on bye but he will get his chance at replacing an injured Reggie Wayne starting Sunday in Houston.

Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs
McCluster is very hard to trust, but what can’t be ignored is that he has led the Chiefs in receiving in each of the past two games. Dwayne Bowe has been a disappointment and is now dealing with a groin injury, while Donnie Avery has cooled off considerably following his hot start. So it looks like, at least for the time being, that Alex Smith (see above) has turned his attention to McCluster. There’s no way to tell if he’ll see 10 targets against the Bills, but with so many productive wide receivers already on bye this week, McCluster may be worth a flyer.

David Nelson, New York Jets
After playing for the Bills the past three seasons, Nelson signed with the Browns before getting cut late in the preseason. He then joined the Jets in early October and has posted 15 receptions in his first four games. He has gone for 80 yards receiving in each of the last two and has seen a total of 19 targets during this time. Nelson and Geno Smith are already working well together and this could develop into an even more productive pairing as the season progresses.

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
Two weeks ago, Sanders had just one catch for seven yards in the win over Baltimore. Outside of that, he’s caught at least three passes for 39 yards receiving in every game. He’s topped 70 yards three times and has two touchdown catches over his last three outings. Sanders is the type of No. 2 wideout that could provide valuable depth for a fantasy team, especially in a week like this with six teams on bye.

Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints
The rookie from Oklahoma has seen more than five targets and caught more than three passes just once this season, but he has three touchdown receptions in his last two games and his averaging 25.2 yards per grab. Stills has caught six balls from Drew Brees over the last two contests for 193 yards and three scores. Even with Lance Moore making his way back from a hand injury, Stills has shown he can be a valuable deep threat for a potent Saints passing attack that really doesn’t have one right now.

Other possible bye-week replacement WRs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Brian Hartline, MIA vs. Cincinnati; Brandon LaFell, CAR vs. Atlanta; Donnie Avery, KC at Buffalo; Rod Streater, OAK vs. Philadelphia; Lance Moore, NO at New York Jets; and Timothy Wright*, TB at Seattle

Tight Ends
Week 8 Recap: Jordan Reed led all receivers in Sunday’s Washington-Denver matchup with eight catches for 90 yards. Andrew Quarless caught both of his targets in his first start in place of an injured Jermichael Finley for, but they went for just 13 yards.

Garrett Graham, Houston Texans
Owen Daniels will be out until at least Week 14 with a broken leg, leaving the starting tight end job in Houston all to Graham. He was productive when he was sharing snaps with Daniels, catching 17 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns, and those looks should only go up from here. He got eight targets from Case Keenum in his first start two weeks ago, so establishing a rapport with the new quarterback doesn’t seem to be an issue either. Graham is available in more than 75 percent of all Yahoo! leagues and a pretty strong case can be made starting him in 12-team leagues and deeper this week.

Other possible bye-week replacement TEs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Heath Miller, PIT at New England; Coby Fleener, IND at Houston; Jermaine Gresham, CIN at Miami (Thurs.); Timothy Wright*, TB at Seattle; Tyler Eifert, CIN at Miami (Thurs.); and Delanie Walker, TEN at St. Louis

Defense/Special Teams
Week 8 Recap: The New York Jets defense gave up 37 points, had one sack and one takeaway (INT) in a 49-9 shellacking at the hands of Cincinnati on Sunday.

Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have been suggested before, but since they are coming off of their bye, a reminder seemed in order. Indy’s DST has gotten at least one sack in every game and have only one game without a takeaway. In their last game against Denver, the Colts sacked Peyton Manning four times, one of them for a safety, and also collected three takeaways (2 INTs, 1 FR) in the win over the Broncos. The real reason the Colts are being mentioned again, however, is an upcoming schedule that begins with a Houston offense that has Case Keenum making his second career start, followed by a visit from St. Louis, who has backup quarterback Kellen Clemens under center. There are also two games with Tennessee and one more with Houston and Jacksonville on tap before the end of the season. If anything, the Colts would be a nice DST to have handy as a matchup option in certain weeks.

Other possible bye-week replacement DSTs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
New Orleans
at New York Jets; Dallas vs. Minnesota; Tennessee at St. Louis; Baltimore at Cleveland

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.

*Timothy Wright of Tampa Bay is both WR and TE eligible in Yahoo! leagues.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Waiver Wire: Week 9
Post date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 07:30
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /20-greatest-halloween-related-names-sports-2013
Body:

Whether it’s their given name or a nickname, these athletes and sports figures fit right in on Halloween.

Hal Mumme
College football coach (Iowa Wesleyan 1989-91, Valdosta State 1992-96, Kentucky 1997-2000, Southeastern Louisiana 2003-04, New Mexico State 2005-08, McMurry 2009-12, SMU 2013)

Mumme (pronounced mummy) has been a college football head coach for more than 20 years and has more than 130 wins on his resume. For all his success, however, he is best known for his four seasons at Kentucky, where he went 20-26 overall and only 10-22 in SEC play. Mumme’s tenure with the Wildcats was (ahem) wrapped up at the end of the 2000 season with an eight-game losing streak and an investigation into NCAA rules violations related to illegally paying recruits. After taking a break from coaching, Mumme returned to the profession in 2003 and currently is serving as an assistant coach/passing game coordinator at SMU.

Boo Weekley
PGA golfer (2002-present)

Weekley’s given name is Thomas Brent, but everyone knows him by his nickname, Boo. This nickname came from Yogi Bear’s sidekick, Boo Boo, and not from trying to scare people, which is fitting given Weekley’s colorful personality on and off the golf course. It was on full display during the 2008 Ryder Cup when he rode his driver like it was a horse down the fairway during Singles play. Weekley and the rest of the U.S. team certainly put a fright into the European team at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky., as the underdog Americans won back the Ryder Cup with a convincing five-point victory. Weekley picked up his third career PGA Tour victory in May when he won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial by one stroke over Matt Kuchar.

Boomer Esiason
NFL (Cincinnati Bengals 1984-92, ’97; New York Jets 1993-95; Arizona Cardinals 1996)

A quarterback for 14 years in the NFL, Norman Julius, better known as Boomer, finished his career with 37,920 passing yards and 247 touchdown passes. His best season came in 1998, when he was the league’s MVP and led the Bengals to a spot in Super Bowl XXIII. He and his teammates came up short in that game against San Francisco, but Esiason will always be loved in Cincinnati, where he spent 10 seasons. The same cannot necessarily be said in New York, at least as it relates to his playing career. Esiason heard many a boo from the home crowd during his 15-27 run as the Jets’ starting quarterback from 1993-95. Esiason has remained in the game as a television and radio analyst and he also co-hosts a morning radio show on WFAN Radio in New York.

Red Grange, “The Galloping Ghost”
NFL (Chicago Bears 1925, ’29-’34; New York Yankees 1926-27)

Harold Edward, better known as “Red,” first made a name for himself and earned his spectral nickname when he starred as a halfback at Illinois. While noted sportswriter Grantland Rice was the first to record Grange’s collegiate exploits in prose, it was his colleague, Warren Brown, who then wrote for the Chicago American, who dubbed Grange “The Galloping Ghost.” Grange went on to play10 seasons in the NFL, most of them with the Chicago Bears, who later retired his number. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Spook Jacobs
MLB (Philadelphia Athletics 1954, Kansas City Athletics 1955-56, Pittsburgh Pirates 1956)

His given name was Forrest Vandergrift, but for some unknown reason  he went by Spook during his brief baseball career. A second baseman, Jacobs hit .247 in 188 career games and never hit a home run.

Jerry Adair, “Casper the Friendly Ghost”
MLB (Baltimore Orioles 1958-66, Chicago White Sox 1966-67, Boston Red Sox 1967-68, Kansas City Royals 1969-70)

Adair’s major league career lasted 13 seasons, in large part due to his glove and ability to deliver in the clutch. He played most of his career for the Orioles and was a .254 hitter with 57 career home runs. He finished with a career .981 fielding percentage as he played all four infield positions (primarily second base and shortstop) at some point during his time in the majors.

Michael Myers
NFL (Dallas Cowboys 1998-2003, Cleveland Browns 2003-04, Denver Broncos 2005-06, Cincinnati Bengals 2007)

Mike Myers
MLB (Florida Marlins 1995, Detroit Tigers 1995-97, Milwaukee Brewers 1998-99, Colorado Rockies 2000-01, Arizona Diamondbacks 2002-03, Seattle Mariners 2004, Boston Red Sox 2004-05, New York Yankees 2006-07, Chicago White Sox 2007)

Michael Dewayne Myers terrorized quarterbacks as a defensive end in the NFL for six seasons collecting 15.5 sacks, while Michael Stanley Myers lasted 13 seasons in baseball as a left-handed relief pitcher. Myers didn’t exactly slash his was through major league batters, as he played for nine different teams in his career. His major league totals include a 25-24 record, 4.29 ERA, 256 walks and 429 strikeouts in 541 2/3 career innings pitched.

John Candelaria, “Candy Man”
MLB (Pittsburgh Pirates 1975-85, ’93; California Angels 1985-87; New York Mets 1987; New York Yankees 1988-89; Montreal Expos 1989; Minnesota Twins 1990; Toronto Blue Jays 1990; Los Angeles Dodgers 1991-92)

Candelaria was a left-handed pitcher who won 177 games during his 19-year major league career. The “Candy Man” finished with a respectable 3.33 career ERA over his 2,525 2/3 innings pitched. He was at his sweetest in 1977 when he went 20-5 with a National League-leading 2.34 ERA. He made his only All-Star Game that season and finished fifth in the NL Cy Young voting.

Vladimir Guerrero, “Vlad the Impaler”
MLB (1996-2003 Montreal Expos, Anaheim Angels 2004, Los Angeles Angels 2005-09, Texas Rangers 2010, Baltimore Orioles 2011)

For 16 years Guerrero struck fear into the hearts and minds of major league pitchers because of his tendency to swing at whatever they threw at him, regardless of where it was located. A career .318 hitter who was named AL MVP in 2004, Guerrero finished many of his at-bats holding his wooden stake after driving it right through the pitcher’s heart with yet another monster home run or game-winning hit.

George Wolfman & Cedric Wolfman
Minor league catcher 1934-35; Minor league pitcher 1954-56

Neither of these guys got a chance to howl on the major-league level, although I bet they were a lot of fun on nights with a full moon.

Moonlight Graham
MLB (New York Giants 1905)

Best known for his inclusion in the iconic movie, “Field of Dreams,” Archibald Wright, better known as “Moonlight” was in fact a real major leaguer. The outfielder’s career in the big leagues lasted all of one game, actually one inning, with the New York Giants 1905 when he was 27. He spent seven seasons in the minors, including his last in professional baseball in 1908. After his baseball dreams came to an end, he worked as a doctor in Chisholm, Minn., for 50 years before passing away in 1965 at the age of 85.

Warren Moon
NFL (Houston Oilers 1984-93, Minnesota Vikings 1994-96, Seattle Seahawks 1997-98, Kansas City Chiefs 1999-2000)

After going undrafted out of college, Moon started his professional football career playing for the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. Six seasons later, Moon migrated from north of the border to Houston where he started his NFL career with the Oilers. Moon played 10 seasons for the Oilers, setting numerous franchise records, before moving on to the Vikings, Seahawks and ending his career with the Chiefs in 2000. Moon’s No. 1 jersey was retired by the Oliers (now Tennessee Titans) and he finished his NFL career with 49,325 yards passing and 291 touchdown passes. In 2006, Moon became the first modern African-American quarterback inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s also a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (2001).

Jose Bautista, “Joey Bats”
MLB (Baltimore Orioles 2004, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2004, Kansas City Royals 2004, Pittsburgh Pirates 2004-08, Toronto Blue Jays 2008-present)

Bautista bounced around with four different teams in his first season in the majors before finding a home in Pittsburgh. However, it’s been the past three seasons in Toronto that Bautista has made a name for himself and earned his nickname for the damage he’s done with his Louisville Slugger. In 2010-11, Bautista truly drove opposing pitchers batty as he hit a combined 97 home runs, drove in 227 runs, scored 214 and walked 232 times. He was named to the American League All-Star team and finished in the top four of the AL MVP voting each of these seasons. Injuries have derailed him in each of the past two seasons, causing him to miss a combined 114 games. He still made the AL All-Star team in both 2012 and '13, as he managed to hit a total of 55 home runs and drive in 138 in 210 total games played.

Torii Hunter, “Spider-Man”
MLB (Minnesota Twins, 1997-2007, Los Angeles Angels 2008-12, Detroit Tigers 2013)

The recipient of nine straight Gold Gloves from 2001-10, Hunter has an established reputation for his defense, most notably the art of robbing the home run. First with the Twins, then the Angels, Hunter earned his nickname for his adept ability at climbing the outfield wall or timing his leap just perfectly to snag what seemed like a certain home run. Many a batter has experienced the agony of defeat as they watched the baseball that seemed ticketed to go over the fence get ensnared in the web of Hunter’s glove instead. Hunter signed with Detroit as a free agent prior to the start of the 2013 season, and turned out to be a valuable addition as the Tigers won 93 games and their third straight AL Central title. Hunter hit .304 with 90 runs scored for his new team and also was named to his fifth All-Star team.

Spider Webb
Formula 1 driver 1950, ’52-‘54

Webb’s racing career lasted all of four races, in which he never finished higher than 19th. Tony Stewart may have made the move famous, but it would have been something to see Webb climb the fence after reaching Victory Lane, no?

Webb Simpson
PGA golfer (2008-present)

The professional golfer’s given name is James Frederick Webb, but whatever you choose to call him, you have to include major champion in that title. Simpson won the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco with a final score of one-over par. Simpson also played in his first Ryder Cup last year, as one of four rookies on the U.S. team that fell victim to a historic comeback by the European team. Earlier this month, Simpson earned his fourth career PGA Tour victory by claiming the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open title by a commanding six strokes.

Brandon Webb
MLB (Arizona Diamondbacks 2003-09)

Shoulder injuries have short-circuited his pitching career, but Webb was at his best from 2005-08. He won 70 games during that four-year span, including 22 in 2008. He spun the best season of his career in 2006 as he went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and was awarded the NL Cy Young Award. He finished second in the voting the next two seasons, but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009.

Spud Webb
NBA (1985-91, ’95-‘96 Atlanta Hawks; Sacramento Kings 1991-95; Minnesota Timberwolves 1996; Orlando Magic 1998)

Anthony Jerome, better known as “Spud,” stands all of 5’7, but he never let his lack of size limit his impact on a basketball court. After playing at NC State for Jim Valvano, Webb was drafted in the fourth round of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He never played for the Pistons and ended up spending the first six seasons of his NBA careeer with the Atlanta Hawks. Webb will forever be remembered for winning the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend as he surprised everyone in defeating defending champion and Hawks teammate Dominique Wilkins for the title. Webb remains one of only two participants under six feet tall (Nate Robinson, who is 5’9 won it in 2006) to win the slam dunk competition. Webb’s NBA career lasted 12 seasons and he is documented as the third-shortest player in NBA history.

Teaser:
20 Greatest Halloween-Related Names in Sports
Post date: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 17:00
Path: /nfl/green-bay-packers-vs-minnesota-vikings-preview-and-prediction-2013
Body:

Division rivals headed in opposite directions are on tap for tonight when the Green Bay Packers take on the Minnesota Vikings at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Mike McCarthy’s Packers (4-2) entered Week 8 having won three in a row and with a half-game lead on the Lions and Bears in the NFC North. Leslie Frazier’s Vikings (1-5) are alone in the cellar and have been outscored 58-17 in their last two losses. Minnesota also is starting its third quarterback in as many games, as Christian Ponder goes back under center after Matt Cassel started in Weeks 4 and 6 and former Tampa Bay starter Josh Freeman got the nod this past Monday night against the Giants.

The Packers have been hit hard by key injuries on both sides of the ball, but continue to find a way to win. The Vikings have issues on both sides of the ball, but most of their problems start at quarterback. This also represents the last game in the Metrodome between these two long-time division rivals. The Vikings are set to play the 2014 and ’15 seasons at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium while the team's new home is under construction at the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis.

3 Things to Watch

Can Peterson Run “All Day” on the Packers?
Regardless of the sad state of Minnesota’s quarterback situation, everyone knows that the Vikings’ offense begins and ends with Adrian Peterson. The reigning NFL MVP enjoyed quite a bit of success against Green Bay last season, rushing for 508 yards in three games, including the Wild Card loss at Lambeau Field. Peterson gained 199 yards on 34 carries in the Vikings’ home win over the Packers in the 2012 regular-season finale, clinching Minnesota’s playoff berth and coming just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s rushing record in the process. This season, Peterson has 511 yards rushing and five touchdowns through six games. He’s actually ahead of last season’s pace (499 yards through six games), which only reinforces how ridiculously good he was in the second half of 2012. That said, it has been Green Bay’s rushing defense that has been ridiculously good this season. The Packers are third in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing just 79 yards per game, and only one running back has gained more than 50 yards (Alfred Morris, 107) on the ground against them. The Vikings obviously need Peterson to lead the way, but will this year’s Packers defense be as accommodating?

Ponder’s Last Stand?
Ponder suffered a rib injury in the Week 3 loss to Cleveland, which caused him to miss the next game. Matt Cassel took over and led the Vikings to a win over the Steelers in London before throwing two interceptions in a blowout loss at home to the Panthers in Week 6. A few weeks ago, Minnesota signed Tampa Bay cast-off Josh Freeman, who then made his Vikings debut on Monday night against the Giants. Freeman was horrendous, completing 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards and an interception, as the offense scored no points (lone touchdown was on a punt return) and totaled 206 yards in the 23-7 loss. As bad as Freeman played, he would have gotten another start had he not sustained a concussion. That’s all that needs to be said about the team’s confidence in Ponder, who needs to approach this game as his opportunity to show not just the Vikings, but the rest of the teams, that he has what it takes to be a serviceable quarterback in the NFL. Ponder’s numbers this season (59 percent completion rate, 691-2-5) certainly don’t inspire confidence, but he did come up big against the Packers last season when it mattered the most. With the Vikings facing a must-win situation to secure a playoff berth, Ponder threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-34 victory over Green Bay in the 2012 regular-season finale. That game also was played in the Metrodome, so no doubt Ponder would love to repeat that performance tonight. His NFL future may depend on it.

Green Bay’s New Aerial Attack
Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, wide receiver Randall Cobb, suffered a broken fibula two weeks ago against Baltimore and will be out until the middle of December, at minimum. In that same game, fellow wideout James Jones sprained his knee. Although he escaped serious injury, Jones didn’t play last week and it’s highly doubtful he will be on the field tonight. The Packers also are without tight end Jermichael Finley, who had to be taken off the field on a stretcher last week after taking a big hit. Finley spent several days in the hospital and has been diagnosed with a spinal contusion. He is out indefinitely, which means the Packers could be without three of their four top pass-catchers. Jordy Nelson has assumed the role of No. 1 wide receiver, while Jarrett Boykin filled in quite nicely last week in place of Cobb and Jones. Boykin will need to continue his outstanding production and the Packers also will need contributions from backup tight end Andrew Quarless and perhaps rookie running back Johnathan Franklin to prevent defenses from focusing all their attention on Nelson. The Vikings are a good matchup for a team looking to break in its new aerial attack, as they are 29th in the NFL in passing defense (288.8 ypg). So while some of the names of those catching his passes have changed, Rodgers is hoping the results won’t.

Green Bay Key Player: Eddie Lacy, RB
The Packers’ second-round choice in April’s draft, Lacy got off to a slow start. He rushed for just 41 yards in his first NFL game and then sustained a concussion on his first carry in Week 2. After missing a game, Lacy returned after the team’s bye and has shown why he was so highly touted coming out of Alabama. Lacy has 301 yards rushing in his last three games, all Green Bay wins. Lacy’s success on the ground is even more critical now that the Packers are without wide receiver Randall Cobb (broken leg) and tight end Jermichael Finley (neck injury) for an extended period of time, and could be missing wideout James Jones (sprained knee) tonight as well. Aaron Rodgers has one 300-yard passing game during the team’s current three-game winning streak, as the Packers have relied more on the ground game to eat up the clock and wear down defenses. Minnesota is allowing 102.3 yards rushing per game, which is right around Lacy’s average over the past month. As far as Green Bay is concerned, another “average” performance tonight from its rookie running back wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Minnesota Key Player: Greg Jennings, WR
Even without his obvious ties to tonight’s opponent, Jennings is one of the Vikings who really needs to step up against the Packers. After spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Packers, Jennings was Minnesota’s big free-agent acquisition during the offseason. And if signing a five-year, $45 million contract wasn’t enough; he had no problems taking several shots at his former team and quarterback on his way out of Green Bay. Jennings has wisely backed off or tried to explain those earlier comments this week, but he also knows he can’t take them back completely. The easiest way for him to move past this is to make more noise on the field, and tonight would be as good a game as any for him to finally break out as a Viking. Jennings is tied for second on the team with 24 catches for 327 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers have been more generous against the pass compared to the run, so Jennings and his teammates should get their opportunities to make some plays. While quarterback play has certainly been an issue for the Vikings this season, Jennings can’t use that as an excuse. After all, no one has a better understanding of the quarterback situation for these two teams than him.

Final Analysis

Green Bay has been hit hard by injuries, but yet has still found a way to win. The offense is adjusting to its personnel, as rookie running back Eddie Lacy has been able to take some off of the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and the passing game. The defense has kept things together despite linebacker Clay Matthews’ extended absence and is among the best in the league in stopping the run.

Minnesota is a team in transition, but turmoil is probably the more fitting descriptor. The Vikings have employed a revolving door at quarterback, which not only means the passing game has struggled to find a rhythm or any consistency, but it also allows defenses to focus solely on slowing down Adrian Peterson. Meanwhile the defense is starting to show its age and a few key injuries have exposed this unit’s weaknesses.

Peterson ran wild against the Packers last season, but that was a different defense and it’s Green Bay who has flexed its muscles on the ground lately. Even without three of his top four weapons, Rodgers shows why he’s one of the NFL’s best as he and Lacy combine to dominate the time of possession battle and simply wear out the Vikings defense in the process. Green Bay wins its fourth in a row without really breaking a sweat, closing out its record in the Metrodome at 15-16.

Green Bay 31, Minnesota 17

Teaser:
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 08:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-8-injury-updates-cj-spiller-frank-gore-brandon-jacobs-willis-mcgahee
Body:

Roster depth will really be tested in Week 8 with six teams on bye. Here are some running backs that were listed on their team’s injury report that you need to know about before setting your lineup.

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, RBs, Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints
A mini-soap opera of sorts developed this week as Spiller and the Bills’ coaching staff were not on the same page, at least initially, regarding the condition of his ankle. What can’t be disputed, however, is that Spiller missed practice three days in a row and is Doubtful to face the Saints. Doubtful is really just a step away from “Out,” so if you own Spiller, you need to have a plan B in place. Jackson (right) is dealing with a lingering knee injury, but he is Probable and figures to get the majority of the carries in Spiller’s absence. Tashard Choice also should see some touches, but probably not enough to merit fantasy consideration.

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (London)
Gore did not practice on Wednesday due to an ankle injury, but he was a full go on Friday. He is Probable to play and since I don’t think he would have made the long flight from the U.S. to England if he wasn’t going to suit up, London fans and his fantasy owners really have nothing to worry about. Besides, nothing can help you heal quicker than a matchup with the NFL’s worst rushing defense.

Brandon Jacobs and David Wilson, RBs, New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Wilson has already been ruled Out with a neck injury and Jacobs isn’t looking much better. After missing last week because of a hamstring injury, Jacobs is considered Doubtful for today’s game. It is highly unlikely that Jacobs will play meaning the Giants will turn to Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox to carry the load. Hillis got the most touches and did find the end zone on Monday night against Minnesota, but I don’t need to tell you how risky a play either of these Giants are do I?

Willis McGahee, RB, Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs
The Browns continue to give McGahee planned rest days during the week because of his knee, but he is Probable to play today. Even though McGahee is a safe bet for double-digit carries, the matchup with Kansas City is not appealing whatsoever. The Chiefs are giving up 11.6 points per game and have a pass rush that is just waiting to tee off on Brandon Weeden. Even in a week when six teams are on bye, McGahee is nothing more than a RB3/flex option.

Teaser:
Week 8 Injury Updates: C.J. Spiller, Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Willis McGahee
Post date: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-8-demarco-murray-adrian-peterson-steven-jackson-rashard-mendenhall
Body:

Dallas is hoping to have its workhorse back while Atlanta’s top ball-carrier finally looks ready to fly again. Here is the latest on some key running back injury situations entering today’s action.

DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar, RBs, Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
As expected, Murray missed last week’s game because of a sprained knee. Following the initial diagnosis the Cowboys were hopeful of getting their No. 1 back after just a week or two, and it looks like that could come to fruition. Murray practiced three days in a row on a limited basis and although he is listed as Questionable, the team is hopeful that he will be able to play. Most likely Murray will be a game-time decision, and this is one of those weeks you will want to try and wait as long as possible before making a final decision. With six teams on bye, if Murray does play, I think you need to strongly consider putting him out there and seeing what happens. If he doesn’t, then that’s good news for rookie Joseph Randle, who would get his second straight start. As a starter, Randle is a legitimate fill-in for this week, but even if Murray doesn’t play, Lance Dunbar will make his return to the field. Dunbar has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury and prior to the injury was ahead of Randle on the depth chart, so he will get some touches against the Lions. Similar to Randle, Dunbar’s fantasy potential is tied to whether Murray plays or not. If Murray doesn’t go, Dunbar could be a flex option in deeper leagues. Otherwise, he would probably see fewer touches than Randle in a crowded Cowboy backfield.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
Peterson is still dealing with some sort of hamstring issue, but he was able to practice fully on Thursday and Friday. He is Probable for tonight’s primetime matchup with the Packers and even with the Vikings’ offensive struggles; you simply don’t sit the reigning MVP. Peterson rushed for 508 yards in three games against the Packers last season, but Green Bay’s rush defense has fared considerably better this season. The Packers are third in the league against the run, so it could be another tough night at the office for Peterson.

Steven Jackson and Jason Snelling, RBs, Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals
The Falcons have already lost Julio Jones and Roddy White will miss a second straight game, but at least it looks like they will finally get Jackson back. After sitting out four games, Jackson is listed as Probable and is expected to play against the Cardinals. Jackson immediately will go back to being the Falcons’ No. 1 back, but he likely won’t see a full workload, which means Jacquizz Rodgers will still be a factor. Jackson needs to be back in your lineup, but if you have Rodgers, don’t bench him just yet, especially this week. These two won’t have to worry about a third wheel this week, as Jason Snelling has already been ruled Out because of an ankle injury. Unfortunately, Snelling’s window of opportunity has probably closed with Jackson’s return and how well Rodgers has been playing over the last several weeks.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons
Mendenhall didn’t practice at all on Thursday or Friday, which is why he is Doubtful for this afternoon’s game. Reports are he will see how his injured toe feels in the morning, but expectations are that rookie Andre Ellington will get his first career start. In many ways, Ellington has been more productive than Mendenhall despite getting fewer touches, so this will be a chance for the sixth-round pick to show what he’s capable of. Ellington goes from flex to RB2 because of Mendenhall’s expected absence and this also could mean more touches than usual for the Cardinals’ other rookie back, Stepfan Taylor

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 8: DeMarco Murray, Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Rashard Mendenhall
Post date: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-8-injury-updates-wes-welker-eric-decker-calvin-johnson-dez-bryant-james-jones-dwayne
Body:

Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant may not be at 100 percent, but both are ready for their head-to-head matchup today. Which other top wide receivers dealing with injuries can be counted on for Week 8?

Wes Welker and Eric Decker, WRs, Denver Broncos vs. Washington Redskins
Welker and Decker were limited in some capacity during practice this week, but for the most part it was just the coaching staff giving some of the veterans, including Peyton Manning, a little time off. Welker is dealing with an ankle injury, while Decker has a sore toe. Both were full participants on Friday and are Probable to go up against the Redskins. Washington is allowing the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers, so a case can be made that Welker, Decker and Demaryius Thomas are all WR1 options this week.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys
Johnson was limited in practice on both Thursday and Friday, but he is Probable to face the Cowboys. After posting two atypical games, Johnson was back to his old self last week against Cincinnati, posting nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys are 30th in the league in passing yards allowed and Megatron also has the extra incentive of showing Dez Bryant (see below), his Dallas counterpart, why he’s viewed the best wide receiver in the NFL. Regardless of who comes out on top in this, Johnson and Bryant should live up to their WR1 status.

Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, WRs, Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
Bryant appears on the injury report with a hamstring issue, but he’s Probable and there’s no way Bryant’s missing this “showdown” with the Lions’ Calvin Johnson. Bryant is a no-doubt WR1 every week and he should be able to make some plays against Detroit’s 29th-ranked passing defense. Austin, on the other hand, is Questionable due to his nagging hamstring injury. It continues to limit him in practice and although he’s played the past two weeks, he has yet to record a catch. Even with so many teams on bye, there’s really no reason to have Austin in your lineup, unless you simply have no other options. After Bryant, Terrance Williams is the Cowboy wideout to have on your roster, as he’s a borderline WR2 this week.

James Jones, WRs, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Jones missed last week’s game and didn’t practice at all this week because of his sprained knee. He is officially considered Doubtful, but I would be surprised if Jones plays. For one, Green Bay needs to get Jones back healthy as the team is already without Randall Cobb for several more weeks because of a broken leg. Secondly, Jarrett Boykin showed he’s capable of carrying the load in the meantime. Boykin led the Packers with eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown last week against Cleveland. Jordy Nelson is the current No. 1 wideout, but Boykin has already made his case for WR2 status this week, if not beyond.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns
Bowe is a new addition to the injury report, as he was limited in practice on Thursday with a groin injury. It got worse from there, however, as he missed all of Friday’s practice and is considered Questionable to play today. Bowe has been a disappointment thus far, with just 25 catches for 295 yards and two touchdowns. So add to that his gimpy groin and the prospect of being shadowed by Cleveland’s shutdown cornerback Joe Haden, and maybe it’s for the best to give Bowe a week off. If you do play him, at least you shouldn’t be shocked if he in turns in another mediocre effort.

Teaser:
Week 8 Injury Updates: Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, James Jones, Dwayne Bowe
Post date: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-8-larry-fitzgerald-justin-blackmon-cecil-shorts-danny-amendola-roddy
Body:

A couple of highly drafted wide receivers could finally pay some dividends this week while a pair of Jaguars is ready to go on the prowl in London. Here’s the latest on their playing status and some other wide receivers for Week 8.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons
Fitzgerald has been dealing with injuries to both of his hamstrings and while he has yet to miss a game, there have been times where it’s apparent he was not 100 percent on the field. Last week, Fitzgerald managed just two catches for 17 yards against Seattle. The good news is that Fitzgerald was a full go at practice all week and he is listed as Probable. While his production to this point has been disappointing, this could be the week Fitzgerald finally breaks out as the Falcons are 23rd in the NFL in passing defense and are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.

Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, WRs, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Francisco 49ers (London)
The good news is that Blackmon (right) and Shorts both made the trip to London. Unfortunately, Blackmon didn’t practice on Friday because of a hamstring injury and Shorts is still listed on the injury report with a sprained shoulder joint. Both are Probable and expected to face the 49ers. The matchup is not great by any means, but if you have either Jaguar receiver you pretty much have to take your chances and hope for the best. The Jaguars probably will end up throwing the ball quite a lot, as the 49ers are heavy favorites to win by a comfortable margin.

Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, WRs, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
First Rob Gronkowski came back last week and now, just maybe, Amendola can do the same. After missing last week’s game because of a concussion, Amendola returned to practice and has passed all of the necessary tests and NFL protocols to clear the way for him to play. He has been limited in practice and Amendola is officially listed as Questionable, but on Friday he proclaimed, “I’m healthy and I’m ready to play.” The final decision doesn’t rest with him, but as long as you are able to check on his status leading up to the 1 p.m. ET kickoff, you should be safe to put Amendola back in your lineup. There’s no telling how many snaps he will get against the Dolphins or targets, but he has borderline WR1 potential, so it’s worth the risk. Amendola’s fantasy prospects look even better depending upon Edelman’s status. Edelman took Amendola’s place as the Patriots’ No. 1 wide receiver while the latter was sidelined, first for a groin injury and then the concussion, but the former has been dealing with his own thigh injury. Edelman has yet to miss any time, but he is Questionable and with Gronk back and Amendola feeling good about his chances to play, it’s possible the Patriots could decide to rest Edelman. Either way, Edelman is a riskier play this week than Amendola in my opinion, although both should probably be employed if they do play.

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals
Julio Jones is on injured reserve and White will miss his second straight game, as he’s already been ruled Out due to a hamstring injury. The team is hoping that White will get healthy soon, although Harry Douglas filled in quite nicely last week. Douglas caught all seven of his targets against the Buccaneers for 149 yards and a touchdown. Douglas is a must-start this week and the only thing keeping me from putting him in the WR1 discussion is the potential matchup with Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Jeremy Kerley and Santonio Holmes, WRs, New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals
Holmes remains Out because of a hamstring injury and probably won’t return until after
the Jets’ bye in Week 10. Kerley was limited in practice on Thursday because of a hamstring injury, but was a full participant on Friday. He is Probable to play the Bengals and is coming off his best game yet, eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown in the overtime win against the Patriots. Geno Smith is hard to trust, especially on the road, but Kerley has been his most productive target recently and he is probably worth employing as a WR2/WR3 this week.

Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets
Jones didn’t practice on Thursday because of a shoulder injury, but he was back on the field on Friday. He is considered Probable to play this afternoon and has a touchdown catch in each of his last two games. The Jets are a solid defense, but most of their attention will be on limiting A.J. Green so Jones could be the beneficiary for a third straight week. If you are in need of WR help this week, you may want to take a look at Jones.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 8: Larry Fitzgerald, Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts, Danny Amendola, Roddy White
Post date: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-8-peyton-manning-tom-brady-michael-vick-ryan-tannehill
Body:

Two elite quarterbacks were surprise additions to the Week 8 injury report, while another fantasy favorite appears ready to return to the field. Here are the quarterback injuries you need to know to get your team ready for today’s action.

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos vs. Washington Redskins
Don’t get alarmed, even though Manning missed practice on Wednesday because of an ankle injury, he was back at it on Thursday and Friday and was reported to be showing no ill effects. He is Probable for today’s game and you better believe he wants his shot at the Redskins, who are giving up nearly 400 yards of offense and more than 30 points per game, not to mention Manning is still probably seething over last week’s loss. It should be another rewarding day for those fortunate enough to have Manning on their team.

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Anytime an elite quarterback like Peyton Manning, or in this case, Brady shows up on the injury report, it’s news. Brady was a limited practice participant on Thursday because of an apparent shoulder injury, which certainly made headlines. He was a full go on Friday and is Probable for today’s game, so it looks like it was much ado about nothing. If anything, it’s a sigh of relief for Brady owners, especially in a week where six teams are on bye. They and NFL fans and analysts alike are anxious to see what the Patriots’ quarterback can do with tight end Rob Gronkowski in the lineup for a second straight game as well as the possible return of wide receiver Danny Amendola.

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants
Last week, Vick said he needed another week for his hamstring to heal and it looks like he was telling the truth. Vick practiced fully on Thursday and Friday and is Probable to face the Giants. He will reclaim his starting job from Nick Foles, who has already been ruled Out because of a concussion he sustained last week. Besides starting for the Eagles, Vick needs to be starting for your fantasy team again, and you just have to hope he can stay healthy, especially in an appealing matchup like this one.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Tannehill was limited on Wednesday with a shoulder injury, but was a full go in practice on Friday and is Probable. While he’s certainly in the fantasy starting conversation, probably more for 2-QB leagues than standard, Tannehill has struggled recently. He’s thrown as many interceptions as touchdown passes (5 each) over his last three games and is on the road facing a New England defense that’s 11th in passing defense and should get cornerback Aqib Talib back this week. I don’t think there’s any doubt Tannehill will play today, but there’s plenty of doubt as it relates to what sort of numbers to expect from him.

Josh Freeman, QB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
Freeman has been ruled Out because of a concussion, but after his disastrous Viking debut on “Monday Night Football” (20-of-53, 190-0-1), you weren’t planning on starting him in the first place were you? Christian Ponder will get the nod instead, but unless you’re feeling lucky, you probably don’t want to take your chances with him either.

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Francisco 49ers (London)
After missing the past two games with a hamstring injury, Gabbert is Probable this week. It doesn’t really matter, however, as Chad Henne will get the start against the 49ers. Henne is an option for 2-QB leagues while the only way Gabbert will probably get on the field is because of injury or mop-up duty.

Already Ruled Out:

EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills – The Bills’ first-round pick has yet to even return to practice as he’s still recovering from a LCL sprain in his knee. Thad Lewis will continue to start in Manuel’s place and faces a tough test this week on the road against New Orleans. The Saints are ninth in the league in passing defense, love to get after the quarterback and are a very difficult team to play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. I would analyze all of my options before relying on Lewis this week.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 8: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Ryan Tannehill
Post date: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-8-injury-updates-jimmy-graham-rob-gronkowski-vernon-davis-brandon-pettigrew-jermichael
Body:

Six teams are on bye, but there are still plenty of talented tight ends to go around in Week 8. The biggest question is will Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski finally be on the field in the same week?

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. Buffalo Bills
Graham injured his foot two weeks ago in the loss to New England, a game in which he didn’t record a single catch. Unfortunately, he still isn’t back to 100 percent following the Saints’ bye week. He didn’t practice at all on Thursday and was only a limited participant on Friday. He is Questionable to play against the Bills and most likely will be a game-time decision. The Bills-Saints game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET, so as long as you are able to keep an eye on Graham’s status you should be OK.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Gronkowski did indeed make his long-awaited season debut last week and wasted little time in making an impact. Gronk led the Patriots with eight catches (on 17 targets) for 114 yards in the overtime loss to the Jets. He was a limited participant in practice, but that’s not really surprising considering his lengthy recovery. He is Probable and needs to be in your lineup, as the Dolphins are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
At this point, I think Davis’ appearance on the injury report is a mere formality. He hasn’t missed a game since Week 3 and has been one of the most productive tight ends over the last three games. He is Probable to face the Jaguars in London and there’s no probably to it, Davis must be in your starting lineup.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys
Pettigrew was somewhat of a surprise addition to the Lions’ injury report this week. He was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday due to a hamstring injury, but he is Probable for today’s game and is expected to be out there on the field. Pettigrew caught his first touchdown pass of the season last week and while he’s not one to record catches in bunches; he has posted at least three receptions over the last four games. As long as he’s not ruled out prior to kickoff at 1 p.m. ET, you need to keep Pettigrew in your lineup.

Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals
Cumberland was limited in practice both Thursday and Friday because of a hamstring injury, but he is Probable and expected to play today. Although you may not recognize the name, don’t overlook Cumberland as a starting TE option, especially this week. He has two touchdown catches over his last four games and is starting to develop chemistry with rookie quarterback Geno Smith.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers
Finley spent several days in the hospital after being taken off of the field on a stretcher last Sunday. He has been diagnosed with a spinal contusion and is out indefinitely. There’s a strong chance Finley may not return at all this season, but you certainly shouldn’t count on him for the foreseeable future. Andrew Quarless will take Finley’s spot as the Packers’ starting tight end and while he’s in an envious situation, he is an unknown commodity on the fantasy landscape.

Teaser:
Week 8 Injury Updates: Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis, Brandon Pettigrew, Jermichael Finley
Post date: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-positional-rankings-week-8
Body:

Week 8 was already shaping up to be a tough one for fantasy football general managers, as six teams are on bye. However, the player pool has been impacted even more following the latest rash of injuries. Either way, starting lineups are going to look quite different this week.

Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee are all on bye, which alone represents quite a bit of talent and manpower. In addition to all of those players, Reggie Wayne and Sam Bradford are now both done for the season, while Doug Martin and Jermichael Finley were among those who didn't finish last week's game and cannot be counted on for this week and probably longer. There also are several players on bye who are either expected to miss several games (Jay Cutler) or are dealing with some sort of injury (Arian Foster).

Don't worry, there are still 24 teams in action and plenty of players to go around that can be pressed into duty to fill out your lineup. This is just one of those weeks where mining your league's waiver wire/free agent pool very likely could be the difference between victory and defeat. And if anything, you can consider this week a practice run, since six teams are on bye in Week 9 too.

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

2013 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

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

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

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Positional Rankings: Week 8
Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-quarterback-rankings-week-8
Body:

Despite last week's loss in his Indianapolis homecoming, Peyton Manning remains atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 quarterback rankings. Even though Denver left with an L, Manning still finished as the No. 4 scorer at his position for the week, following 386 yards passing, three touchdowns and an interception against the Colts. The Broncos will look to get back into the win column against the Redskins, who are allowing 389 yards and more than 30 points per game.

In fact, the game in Denver could feature plenty of fireworks, as the Broncos are giving up nearly 320 yards through the air and 28 points per contest. Robert Griffin III is coming off of his best game yet, including a season-high 84 yards rushing in the 45-41 home win over the Bears, so fantasy owners' patience in RG3 may really pay off come Sunday.

Otherwise, with six teams on bye, some fantasy owners may have to dig deep into their bench or on the waiver wire to find their starting signal-caller(s). Sam Bradford is not one of those options, as he tore his ACL last week and is done for the season. And if you want to take your chances with Kellen Clemens on Monday night against Seattle, you go right ahead. There is some good news on the injury front, as Michael Vick is expected to return to face the Giants after missing the past two games because of a bad hamstring. And if any owners are smiling this week it's because they get Drew Brees and Terrelle Pryor back, although the latter is facing a pretty tough matchup in the Steelers and their fourth-ranked passing defense.

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

2013 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Peyton ManningDENvs. WASDidn't win return to Indy, but still posted 386-3-1.
2Drew BreesNOvs. BUFBills tied for most TD passes allowed (15) in NFL.
3Aaron RodgersGBat MINRodgers getting it done despite all the injuries.
4Matthew StaffordDETvs. DALCowboys allowing second-most fantasy pts. to QBs.
5Robert Griffin IIIWASat DENPosted season-high 84 yards rushing last week.
6Cam NewtonCARat TB (Thurs.)Has completed 81 percent of his passes in last 2 G.
7Tony RomoDALat DETLions gave up 372-3-0 to Dalton last week.
8Matt RyanATLat ARISeason-best 3 TD passes last week w/o Jones, White.
9Russell WilsonSEAat STL (Mon.)Has posted 6:2 TD-to-INT ratio on road this season.
10Colin KaepernickSFvs. JAC (London)Since Week 1, his high in passing yards is 252.
11Tom BradyNEvs. MIAHas 0 TDs in 2 of last 3 games, but did get Gronk back.
12Michael VickPHIvs. NYGExpected to start after missing last two games.
13Eli ManningNYGat PHIHad first INT-free game of '13 on MNF vs. Vikings.
14Ben RoethlisbergerPITat OAKBig Ben put up 384-4-0 in his last game in Oakland.
15Terrelle PryorOAKvs. PITWill need to make plays with arm and legs vs. PIT.
16Andy DaltonCINvs. NYJAveraging 350+ yards and 3 TDs over last 2 games.
17Alex SmithKCvs. CLEBrowns seventh in the league in passing defense.
18Carson PalmerARIvs. ATLCan Palmer do damage against Falcons' pass D?
19Ryan TannehillMIAat NEPatriots have allowed 236+ yards passing just once.
20Geno SmithNYJat CINOther than Week 5 vs. ATL, road stats have not been good.
21Mike GlennonTBvs. CAR (Thurs.)Panthers D toughest test yet for rookie starter.
22Chad HenneJACvs. SF (London)Has 300+ yards in each of last 2 G, but 0 TDs, 3 INTs.
23Josh FreemanMINvs. GBSuffered concussion last week, Ponder will go if he can't.
24Thad LewisBUFat NOPlayed through foot injury last week in win in Miami.
25Jason CampbellCLEat KCCampbell gets first start w/ Browns vs. KC pass rush.
26Kellen ClemensSTLvs. SEA (Mon.)First start in place of Bradford vs. Seahawks? Good luck.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 8 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Quarterback Rankings: Week 8
Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-running-back-rankings-week-8
Body:

Frank Gore is not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 running back rankings, but he is solidly in the top 10. Gore is fourth in the league in rushing with 547 yards and had two touchdowns last week against Tennessee. The 49ers are in London this week to face a Jacksonville team that is giving up more than 150 yards on the ground per game.

Jamaal Charles gets the nod for the top spot this week because not only is he the top fantasy scorer at his position, he has been remarkably consistent. Charles is averaging 128 total yards per game this season and has yet to post fewer than 100 in any one contest. He has four rushing touchdowns over his last three games, and while Cleveland is a top-10 rushing defense, Charles' versatility makes him hard to contain and pretty much a safe bet for 100+ total yards and between 15-20 fantasy points each week.

Marshawn Lynch also has been pretty reliable lately, averaging more than 20 fantasy points over his last four games. He gets the Monday night spotlight against a Rams team that was already struggling to score points and now is starting its backup quarterback (Kellen Clemens). Lynch could be in for another 20-point outing. Someone who could use a nice game is Adrian Peterson. The reigning MVP has just 90 yards rushing in his last two games combined, as the Vikings have started three different quarterbacks through six games. Peterson enjoyed a bunch of success last season against Green Bay, gaining 508 yards on the ground in three games, but the Packers are third in the league right now in rushing defense (79 ypg). Peterson will more than likely earn every yard he gets on Sunday.

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

2013 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Back
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Jamaal CharlesKCvs. CLECan pretty much put him down for 100+ total yards.
2Marshawn LynchSEAat STL (Mon.)Averaging 92 yards w/ 4 TDs over last 4 games.
3LeSean McCoyPHIvs. NYGHas gone over 100 yards rushing once in last 4 G.
4Knowshon MorenoDENvs. WASRedskins allowing second-most fantasy pts. to RBs.
5Adrian PetersonMINvs. GBRushed for 508 yards in 3 G vs. Packers last season.
6Frank GoreSFvs. JAC (London)Jaguars allowing 150+ yards rushing per game.
7Reggie BushDETvs. DALCowboys have given up just 3 rushing TDs.
8Eddie LacyGBat MINExpect 20+ carries w/ WR/TE injuries.
9Alfred MorrisWASat DENStill 'Skins' lead back, averaging 5.3 ypc.
10Stevan RidleyNEvs. MIAReasserting himself as Patriots' lead back.
11Le'Veon BellPITat OAKAveraged nearly 5 yards per carry vs. Ravens.
12Fred JacksonBUFat NOAggravated knee injury last week vs. Bengals.
13Darren SprolesNOvs. BUFBills allowing 124 rushing ypg, but only 2 TDs.
14Darren McFaddenOAKvs. PITHopefully bye week allowed hamstring to fully heal.
15Giovani BernardCINvs. NYJMore total touches (12) than BJGE (10) last week.
16DeAngelo WilliamsCARat TB (Thurs.)Bucs ranked third in rushing defense.
17Joseph RandleDALat DETRushed for 65 yards in first career start last week.
18Zac StacySTLvs. SEA (Mon.)Could be in line for even more carries post-Bradford.
19Maurice Jones-DrewJACvs. SF (London)49ers have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher.
20C.J. SpillerBUFat NOAnkle an issue? Season-low 7 total yards vs. CIN.
21Chris IvoryNYJat CINTook over for Powell, finished with 34 att., 104 yds.
22Lamar MillerMIAat NESaw only 9 carries compared to 12 for Thomas.
23Mike JamesTBvs. CAR (Thurs.)Set to make 1st career start in place of Martin (shoulder).
24Jacquizz RodgersATLat ARIOnly 16 rushing yards, but 2 TD rec. vs. Bucs.
25Pierre ThomasNOvs. BUF 
26BenJarvus Green-EllisCINvs. NYJOnly useful in fantasy if he scores a TD.
27Rashard MendenhallARIvs. ATLJust 22 yards rushing last week, but he did score.
28Andre EllingtonARIvs. ATLLooking to bounce back after 5 touches vs. SEA.
29Steven JacksonATLat ARIMay finally be back in action this week.
30Roy HeluWASat DENScored 3 rushing TDs on 11 carries last week.
31Willis McGaheeCLEat KCChiefs have given up just two rushing TDs.
32Brandon JacobsNYGat PHIDid not play last week because of hamstring.
33Bilal PowellNYJat CINGot only 3 carries vs. NE, while Ivory had 34.
34Joique BellDETvs. DALPlaying with bruised ribs, seeing fewer touches.
35Peyton HillisNYGat PHIPicked up 36 yards, TD on MNF in Jacobs' absence.
36Mike TolbertCARat TB (Thurs.)Has rushing TD in each of last two games.
37Brandon BoldenNEvs. MIAScored rushing TD among 8 carries vs. Jets.
38Daniel ThomasMIAat NENearly doubled rushing total last week w/ 60 yards.
39Ronnie HillmanDENvs. WASCostly fumble vs. Colts may mean fewer opps.
40Tashard ChoiceBUFat NOJackson and Spiller are both banged up.
41Lance DunbarDALat DETRandle not guaranteed starter's workload.
42Marcel ReeceOAKvs. PIT 
43Kendall HunterSFvs. JAC (London) 
44Jason SnellingATLat ARIRodgers getting majority of touches.
45Chris OgbonnayaCLEat KCNeeds consistent touches to have any real value.
46Bryce BrownPHIvs. NYG 
47Johnathan FranklinGBat MINRole could expand given all of the WR/TE injuries.
48Daryl RichardsonSTLvs. SEA (Mon.)Stacy clearly the workhorse for Rams now.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Running Back Rankings: Week 8
Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-wide-receiver-rankings-week-8
Body:

It didn't take long for Calvin Johnson to reclaim his spot atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 wide receiver rankings. Following two atypical games while Johnson was limited by a sore knee, Megatron returned with a vengeance last week against Cincinnati. The All-Pro hauled in nine passes for 155 yards and two scores, one of them a highlight-reel 50-yarder in the end zone despite being surrounded by three Bengal defenders. The knee is still impacting his practice time, but you pretty much have to take your chances with Johnson, especially in a week with six teams on bye.

The matchup between Detroit and Dallas on Sunday should be extremely entertaining, if for no other reason the Johnson vs. Dez Bryant pairing. Bryant has already stated his case, at least to the media, as to why he's just as good, if not better, than Johnson. Now he'll get a chance to show it on the field with No. 81 watching. Either way, both wideouts should pay big dividends for their fantasy owners this week.

Another game that should result in solid fantasy numbers for WRs is Washington vs. Denver. Both quarterbacks like to air it out and both defenses have been giving up a lot of yards and points, which is why Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Pierre Garcon and Eric Decker are all among the top 11 options. A couple of other wideouts who took full advantage of additional playing time last week because of injuries were Atlanta's Harry Douglas and Green Bay's Jarrett Boykins. Both are ranked in the top 25 this week and should provide decent enough production to remain legitimate WR2/WR3 options for the immediate future.

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

2013 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Calvin JohnsonDETvs. DALBack in form (9-155-2) last week vs. Bengals.
2Dez BryantDALat DETReady to go mano a mano w/ Megatron.
3A.J. GreenCINvs. NYJHas posted back-to-back 100-yard games w/ TD.
4Demaryius ThomasDENvs. WASTD pass vs. Colts was first since Week 4.
5Jordy NelsonGBat MINHas a TD catch in each of last two games.
6Wes WelkerDENvs. WASNo 100-yard games, but 8 TD catches.
7Vincent JacksonTBvs. CAR (Thurs.)Saw 22 targets vs. ATL, turned them into 10-138-2.
8Victor CruzNYGat PHIEagles allowing most fantasy points to WRs.
9DeSean JacksonPHIvs. NYGFinished with poor stats and sore ankle last week.
10Pierre GarconWASat DENHas 40 catches this season, just 2 TDs.
11Eric DeckerDENvs. WASMost productive (8-150-1) Bronco WR vs. Colts.
12Antonio BrownPITat OAKBoth of his TD catches came in same game.
13Larry FitzgeraldARIvs. ATLHeld to just 2 rec., 17 yds. last week by SEA/hammy.
14Marques ColstonNOvs. BUFBills have allowed 15 TD passes (tied for last in NFL).
15Steve SmithCARat TB (Thurs.)Has a TD in each of last 2 games, after just 1 in first 4.
16Josh GordonCLEat KCJust 2 catches for 21 yards last week vs. Packers.
17Anquan BoldinSFvs. JAC (London)Jaguars have allowed NFL-worst 15 TD passes.
18Justin BlackmonJACvs. SF (London)Upstaged by Mike Brown (5-120) last week.
19Hakeem NicksNYGat PHITeam-high 10 targets but only 2 grabs vs. Vikings.
20Harry DouglasATLat ARIHuge (7-149-1) in Ryan's first game w/o Jones, White.
21Terrance WilliamsDALat DETBeen more involved than Austin since Miles' return.
22Jarrett BoykinGBat MINStepped up big (8-103-1) for Rodgers last week.
23Cecil ShortsJACvs. SF (London)Team-high 13 targets despite sprained shoulder.
24Mike WallaceMIAat NELed team with 76 yards receiving, also had 12 rushing.
25Julian EdelmanNEvs. MIAOnly saw 7 targets in Gronk's first game back.
26Stevie JohnsonBUFat NOTeam-high 13 targets in return from back injury.
27Michael FloydARIvs. ATLGot team-high 10 targets last week vs. Seahawks.
28Denarius MooreOAKvs. PITUnderrated fantasy WR faces big test vs. Steelers.
29Rueben RandleNYGat PHIAll 4 TD receptions have come in last 3 games.
30Dwayne BoweKCvs. CLESeason-best 5 catches, 66 yards last week vs. HOU.
31Jeremy KerleyNYJat CINHas a TD catch in 2 of last 3 games.
32Greg JenningsMINvs. GBQuarterback play ongoing issue for Vikings.
33Brian HartlineMIAat NEHas just one TD, high of 69 yards since Week 1.
34Golden TateSEAat STL (Mon.)Sprained foot last week, but able to play through it.
35James JonesGBat MINCould be back in there vs. MIN after missing last week.
36Mike WilliamsTBvs. CAR (Thurs.)Returned (hamstring) vs. ATL after missing last week.
37Kenbrell ThompkinsNEvs. MIARookie needs to establish himself as deep threat.
38Sidney RiceSEAat STL (Mon.)Has just two games with 3 or more catches.
39Brandon LaFellCARat TB (Thurs.)Seems to run hot or cold each week. Is hot next?
40Kris DurhamDETvs. DALHas 16 catches and a TD over last three games.
41Emmanuel SandersPITat OAK 
42Robert WoodsBUFat NONot much happening over last two games.
43Marvin JonesCINvs. NYJHas caught a TD pass in each of last two games.
44Roddy WhiteATLat ARIWill hamstring keep him out a 2nd straight game?
45Riley CooperPHIvs. NYGOnly Eagle WR (6-88) do anything vs. Cowboys.
46Jerome SimpsonMINvs. GB 
47Rod StreaterOAKvs. PIT 
48Leonard HankersonWASat DEN 
49Stephen HillNYJat CINHauled in one of five targets vs. Patriots last week.
50Miles AustinDALat DETHas yet to catch a pass since coming back from injury.
51Brandon GibsonMIAat NEConnected w/ Tannehill for 2 TD catches last week.
52Aaron DobsonNEvs. MIAWill most likely split targets w/ Thompkins from now on.
53Austin PettisSTLvs. SEA (Mon.)Fantasy value tied solely to TDs.
54Donnie AveryKCvs. CLEHas five catches for 39 yards in last 2 games combined.
55Tavon AustinSTLvs. SEA (Mon.)Averaging less than 7 yards per catch.
56Kenny StillsNOvs. BUF 
57Chris GivensSTLvs. SEA (Mon.)Has just 18 catches, 0 TDs in 7 games.
58Andre RobertsARIvs. ATL 
59David NelsonNYJat CINBest game yet w/ Jets last week (4 rec., 80 yards).
60Dexter McClusterKCvs. CLE 
61Cordarrelle PattersonMINvs. GB 
62Doug BaldwinSEAat STL (Mon.) 
63Cole BeasleyDALat DET 
64Percy HarvinSEAat STL (Mon.)Back at practice, could he play on MNF?

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 8
Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-tight-end-rankings-week-8
Body:

He's not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 tight end rankings, but there's no mistaking the immediate impact Rob Gronkowski had in his long-delayed, much-anticipated season debut. Gronk led the Patriots with 17 targets, finishing the game with eight catches for 114 yards. As long as he doesn't experience any setbacks with his back during the week, he should have another solid game against Miami, a team that has struggled to defend against tight ends.

Jimmy Graham is still ahead of Gronk in the rankings, but for this week he appears to be the one who is a bigger question mark health-wise. Graham injured his foot in the Week 6 loss to the Patriots and apparently it isn't back to 100 percent even though the Saints were on bye last week. There's still time until Sunday's kickoff, but Graham's status needs to be monitored closely. If he does play against the Bills, don't expect him to finish the game with zero catches, which is what he did two weeks ago in New England.

Even with Gronk returning and as good as Graham, Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates and others have been this season, it looks like there's a new kid on the block. Washington's Jordan Reed has not only replaced Fred Davis as the Redskins' top tight end, he is quickly establishing himself as one of the position's top playmakers. Reed has shown good chemistry with Robert Griffin III over the past month and blew up against the Bears last week with a nine catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. Is this a sign of things to come? Reed is a top-10 choice in our eyes this week, as the Broncos are ninth in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.

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

2013 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. BUFInjured his foot in last game, monitor status closely.
2Rob GronkowskiNEvs. MIANo surprise Brady locked on Gronk (8-114, 17 targets).
3Vernon DavisSFvs. JAC (London)Led team in targets (8) once again.
4Tony GonzalezATLat ARICardinals allowing most fantasy points to TEs.
5Julius ThomasDENvs. WASLeads all TEs with 8 TD receptions.
6Jordan CameronCLEat KCLeads his position w/ 45 catches, also has 6 TDs.
7Jason WittenDALat DETLions have given up 1 TD to a TE this season.
8Greg OlsenCARat TB (Thurs.)Appears to be over foot issue.
9Heath MillerPITat OAKOnly two catches, but TD vs. Ravens.
10Jordan ReedWASat DENExploded (9-134-1) last week vs. Bears.
11Charles ClayMIAat NEHas caught a TD in each of last 3 games.
12Kyle RudolphMINvs. GBMay not offer much until Vikes figure out QB situation.
13Brandon PettigrewDETvs. DALOnly three catches, but first TD vs. Bengals.
14Jeff CumberlandNYJat CINGeno Smith keeping Cumberland involved.
15Jared CookSTLvs. SEA (Mon.)Will Kellen Clemens focus on Cook?
16Brent CelekPHIvs. NYG 
17Tyler EifertCINvs. NYJCaught first career NFL TD last week vs. Lions.
18Scott ChandlerBUFat NOSaints allowing second-fewest fantasy pts. to TEs.
19Jermaine GreshamCINvs. NYJStill looking for first TD catch of season.
20Brandon MyersNYGat PHIHas 7 total receptions in last 5 games combined.
21Joseph FauriaDETvs. DALLions cut Scheffler, could mean more work for Fauria.
22Rob HouslerARIvs. ATLSeason-high 7 rec., 53 yds. vs. Seahawks.
23Timothy WrightTBvs. CAR (Thurs.)Glennon locked on VJax vs. Falcons.
24Zach MillerSEAat STL (Mon.)Tied for team lead w/ 7 targets vs. ARI, also had TD.
25Anthony FasanoKCvs. CLECaught four passes in first game since Week 2.
26Andrew QuarlessGBat MINStarting job is his with Finley (spinal contusion) out.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Tight End Rankings: Week 8
Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-defspecial-teams-rankings-week-8
Body:

Carolina does not lead Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 defense/special teams rankings, but the Panthers have certainly been among the most productive DSTs this season. The Panthers are second in the NFL in both yards and points allowed and have forced 14 turnovers in six games. They are fifth in fantasy points and on Thursday will face Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Mike Glennon and a rushing attack that will be without Doug Martin (shoulder).

Kansas City is still No. 1 on our list, as the Chiefs lead the league with 35 sacks and are at home this week against a Cleveland offense that will start Jason Campbell at quarterback. The Seahawks also get the luxury of facing a backup quarterback on Monday night with the Rams turning to Kellen Clemens following Sam Bradford's season-ending injury (torn ACL), which he suffered against the aforementioned Panthers last week.

No Baltimore or Chicago DSTs this week mean some may be looking for a replacement. While the statistics say otherwise, a possible under-the-radar option could be Atlanta. The Falcons looked better on defense last week against the Buccaneers and Sunday face an Arizona offense that is not having a lot of success moving the ball or scoring points and has turned it over 17 times, including 13 interceptions by Carson Palmer.

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

2013 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee

RkTeamOPPNotes
1Kansas City Chiefsvs. CLEChiefs lead NFL with 35 sacks, Browns have given up 27.
2Seattle Seahawksat STL (Mon.)Kellen Clemens is 4-8 in 12 career starts. SEA No. 2 vs. pass.
3San Francisco 49ersvs. JAC (London)49ers have 10 total takeaways, allowed 12.8 ppg over last 4.
4Carolina Panthersat TB (Thurs.)Panthers are 2nd in ypg, ppg and face Martin-less Bucs O.
5Green Bay Packersat MINVikings mustered 7 pts., 206 yds. last week vs. lowly Giants.
6Cincinnati Bengalsvs. NYJBengals' D has been a different animal at home.
7New Orleans Saintsvs. BUFSaints allowing 10.3 ppg at home, rested coming off of bye.
8New England Patriotsvs. MIAPats' D allowed 295 yards to Jets last week w/o 4 starters.
9Pittsburgh Steelersat OAKNo. 4 pass defense vs. No. 32 pass offense.
10Cleveland Brownsat KCBrowns tied for 9th vs. rush, Jamaal Charles No. 3 in rushing.
11Arizona Cardinalsvs. ATLCardinals have 11 sacks and 7 takeaways in 3 home games.
12New York Jetsat CINJets are 4th in ypg, but 19th in ppg and only have 4 takeaways.
13Dallas Cowboysat DETHad 3 INTs vs. PHI last week, 4th straight G w/ at least 1 pick.
14Atlanta Falconsat ARICards are 29th in yards, 25th in points and have 17 TOs.
15St. Louis Ramsvs. SEA (Mon.)Rams' D has 8 sacks, 7 takeaways and 1 TD in 3 home games.
16Denver Broncosvs. WASNo. 1 vs. rush, but last vs. pass. Offense's TOs not helping.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends

Kickers

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 8
Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-kicker-rankings-week-8
Body:

Matt Prater has a stranglehold on the top spot on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 8 kicker rankings, but Steven Hauschka is not too far behind him in the points department. Prater has made a healthy living kicking for Denver's prolific offense, but Hauschka is making the most of his opportunities with the Seahawks. He has connected on 16 field goals this season (Stephen Gostkowski leads the NFL with 18), including an impressive 8-of-9 from 40 yards and beyond. Seattle is in St. Louis on Monday night and with a ball-hawking defense like the Seahawks going up against Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, Hauschka's leg could get a decent workout.

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

2013 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers
Teams on bye this week: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee

RkPlayerTeamOPPONENT
1Matt PraterDENvs. WAS
2Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. MIA
3Mason CrosbyGBat MIN
4Steven HauschkaSEAat STL (Mon.)
5Dan BaileyDALat DET
6Garrett HartleyNOvs. BUF
7Matt BryantATLat ARI
8Alex HeneryPHIvs. NYG
9Nick FolkNYJat CIN
10Ryan SuccopKCvs. CLE
11David AkersDETvs. DAL
12Blair WalshMINvs. GB
13Phil DawsonSFvs. JAC (London)
14Shaun SuishamPITat OAK
15Kai ForbathWASat DEN
16Dan CarpenterBUFat NO

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

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

Additional Week 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams


Week 8 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings: Week 8
Post date: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-waiver-wire-week-8
Body:

With six teams on bye in Week 8 and the latest rash of injuries to ravage NFL teams’ rosters, fantasy owners have their work on the waiver cut out for them. On Sunday, Reggie Wayne and Sam Bradford both suffered season-ending injuries, while Doug Martin, Jay Cutler, Nick Foles and Jermichael Finley were among those who weren’t able to finish their games. Roster depth was already going to be tested with Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee on bye, so now what? Have no fear, Athlon Sports is here to help you sort through possible replacement options.

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

Teams on bye in Week 8: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee

Quarterbacks
Week 7 Recap: Mike Glennon threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s loss in Atlanta on Sunday. He did lose a fumble, but he now has produced at least 22 fantasy points in each of his first two starts. This week’s matchup on Thursday with Carolina won’t be easy, but with so many teams on teams on bye and Jay Cutler, Nick Foles and Sam Bradford all getting hurt on Sunday, Glennon starts to become a little more appealing.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
After throwing for no more than 280 yards in any of first five games and the same number of touchdown passes as interceptions (5 each) in that span, Dalton has been on fire the last two weeks. Against Buffalo and Detroit, Dalton averaged more than 350 yards passing and had six touchdown passes compared to just one interception. This week’s home date with the Jets figures to be tougher than his previous two opponents, but I would rather take my chances with Dalton than some of the other fill-in/injury options that are probably available.

Other possible bye-week replacement QBs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT at Oakland; Alex Smith, KC vs. Cleveland; Carson Palmer, ARI vs. Atlanta; Ryan Tannehill, MIA at New England; and Geno Smith at Cincinnati

Running Backs
Week 7 Recap: Joseph Randle led the Cowboys with 65 yards rushing on 19 carries and added three catches for 28 yards in his first career NFL start. Chris Ogbonnaya got just four carries (15 yards) had no catches (2 targets) in the Browns’ loss to the Packers. Brandon Jacobs did not play on Monday night for the Giants, which all but destroys any momentum he had following his 106-yard, two-TD effort against the Bears in Week 6. Michael Cox and recently signed Peyton Hillis got the carries for the Giants against the Vikings.

Roy Helu Jr., Washington Redskins
Alfred Morris is clearly the Redskins’ workhorse, but Helu has been getting enough touches to make things interesting. Sunday against Chicago, Helu finished with 11 carries for 41 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores were from three yards, so has Helu became Washington’s goal-line back? Helu also is more versatile than Morris, as he’s caught at least one pass in every game. Helu is averaging seven touches per contest, but that has risen to 12 over the last three games. If he maintains that pace, he would certainly merit discussion as a flex option.

Chris Ivory, New York Jets
Ivory was a true workhorse for the Jets on Sunday, carrying the ball 34 times in the overtime win against the Patriots. Ivory finished with 104 yards on the ground, as leading rusher BIlal Powell only got three carries and was a non-factor after the first quarter. Powell did injure his shoulder last week against Pittsburgh, but there were no reports after the game that he had hurt it again. If anything, Ivory certainly needs to be on the radar this week, as he showed he’s capable of handling the load if that’s what is needed.

Mike James, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin reportedly tore the labrum in his shoulder in Sunday’s loss, an injury that could result in him missing the rest of the season. At minimum, Martin figures to miss a few games, which means the Buccaneers will turn to James, their sixth-round pick, to carry the load. The rookie picked up 45 yards rushing on 14 carries and three receptions for eight yards against Atlanta. The Bucs host Carolina on Thursday, meaning James’ first career start will be against one of the NFL’s top rushing defenses. But James also should see a starter’s load worth of touches, so while he may just be a flex candidate this week, the opportunity is clearly there for even better production in the weeks ahead.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons
Steven Jackson is still sidelined because of a hamstring injury, which has meant more work for Rodgers. While he may not gain a lot of yards on the ground, Rodgers is definitely a key part of the Falcons’ passing game, especially with wide receiver Julio Jones out for the season and Roddy White dealing with his own injuries. Against Tampa Bay, Rodgers had just 16 yards rushing on eight carries, but he led the team with eight receptions for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Even when Jackson does return, Rodgers will remain a big part of Atlanta’s offensive game plan.

Other possible bye-week replacement RBs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Andre Ellington, ARI vs. Atlanta; Zac Stacy, STL vs. Seattle; and Pierre Thomas, NO vs. Buffalo

Wide Receivers
Week 7 Recap: Harry Douglas made quite the first impression as the Falcons’ No. 1 wide receiver, catching seven passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Jarrett Boykin was equally impressive filling in for Randall Cobb and James Jones, leading the Packers with eight receptions for 103 yards and a score. Michael Floyd got a team-high 10 targets and led the way with 71 yards receiving (on six catches) in the Cardinals’ loss to Seattle. Kris Durham caught five passes for 41 yards, as Calvin Johnson reasserted himself (9-155-2) in a big way following two sub-par games.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Indianapolis
Heyward-Bey has been maddeningly inconsistent dating back to his days in Oakland, but he’s also looking at increased opportunities with the news that Reggie Wayne is done for the season after tearing his ACL in Sunday night’s big win over Denver. The Colts are on bye this week, but when a player the caliber of Wayne suffers a season-ending injury, owners can’t wait a week to find his replacement. As far as Indianapolis is concerned, that player is Heyward-Bey. He will probably take a back seat to T.Y. Hilton in terms of targets, but Heyward-Bey’s own average of less than five per game should go up quite a bit. Now it’s just a matter of him catching them (18 of 34 this season) and becoming a consistent, reliable receiver.

Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
There is no question who is the top target on the Bengals, but if Andy Dalton (see above) continues on the tear he’s been on lately than there’s room for someone other than A.J. Green to produce. Jones has caught a touchdown in each of his last two games and is averaging 56 yards over the past three contests. His targets also have gone up during this span, which will be the real key to his fantasy potential moving forward.

Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets
Kerley led the Jets with eight receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Patriots. He is establishing himself as Geno Smith’s favorite target with an average of nearly eight looks per game over the last three. While it’s hard to trust a rookie QB like Smith, who has had as many ups as downs in his first season, Kerley’s position atop the pecking order in the Jets’ passing game is something to keep an eye on moving forward.

Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks
Rice opened the season with two touchdowns against Jacksonville and then followed that up with a total of two catches in his next two games. He has averaged just four targets over his last three contests, but he did catch another TD pass from Russell Wilson in the Seahawks’ Thursday night win over Arizona. Golden Tate is probably the closest thing to a No. 1 wide receiver that Seattle has, but that doesn’t mean Rice should be completely ignored, especially with the rash of recent WR injuries. The Seahawks also have an appealing slate (at STL, TB, at ATL, MIN) leading up to their bye in Week 12, which could translate into more opportunities for Wilson to air it out.

Other possible bye-week replacement WRs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Brian Hartline, MIA at New England; Terrance Williams, DAL at Detroit; Rueben Randle, NYG at Philadelphia; Robert Woods, BUF at New Orleans; Emmanuel Sanders, PIT at Oakland; Brandon LaFell, CAR at Tampa Bay

Tight Ends
Week 7 Recap: Joseph Fauria was targeted four times on Sunday, but caught just one of them for 15 yards. Timothy Wright was a little more sure-handed (2 receptions on 3 targets), but also finished with just 15 yards receiving, as Mike Glennon looked mostly for his wide receivers in Tampa Bay’s loss to Atlanta.

Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers
Jermichael Finley left Sunday’s game on a stretcher after getting a big hit and was hospitalized overnight as a result. While it’s early in the week, it’s likely that Finley will miss at least one game, if not more. Quarless, who has a total of four receptions on the season, will take over at tight end in Finley’s absence. While his production leaves something to be desired, this is still an important position, as the Packers are already without wide receiver Randall Cobb and James Jones missed Sunday’s game because of a shin/leg injury. Six teams are on bye this week (and next week for that matter), and at least you know that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t mind throwing to his tight end.

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Reed was first mentioned in this space back in Week 3, but after Sunday’s effort, he earned the right for some more exposure. Reed was Robert Griffin III’s favorite target in the Redskins’ win over the Bears, catching nine passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. Reed has replaced Fred Davis as the primary tight end and he has averaged six receptions and 81 yards receiving over his past three. Reed is now a top-15 fantasy TE on the season. Do I need to say any more?

Other possible bye-week replacement TEs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
Heath Miller, PIT at Oakland; Jeff Cumberland, NYJ at Cincinnati; Jermaine Gresham, CIN vs. New York Jets; Tyler Eifert, CIN vs. New York Jets;

Defense/Special Teams
Week 7 Recap: St. Louis gave up 24 points to Carolina and sacked Cam Newton just twice in the 30-15 loss. The Rams did have a safety, which is the only highlight of their disappointing fantasy outing.

New York Jets
The Jets are fourth in the NFL in total defense and second only to Denver in rushing defense. Rex Ryan’s bunch beat the Patriots on Sunday, holding Tom Brady in check for the second game this season. The Jets are getting to the quarterback (24) and don’t lack for playmakers on defense. The only drawback to the Jets DST from a fantasy standpoint is the unit isn’t generating any turnovers. The unit has a total of four takeaways in seven games, which makes New York’s statistical performance even more impressive. Either way, I certainly think this is a DST that should be owned in more than just 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Other possible bye-week replacement DSTs less than 70 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues:
New Orleans vs. Buffalo; Green Bay at Minnesota; Atlanta at Arizona;

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

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Waiver Wire: Week 8
Post date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 07:30
Path: /nfl/denver-broncos-vs-indianapolis-colts-preview-and-prediction
Body:

Peyton Manning’s much-anticipated homecoming will be at the forefront of everyone’s mind when he leads his Denver Broncos against the Indianapolis Colts tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. This also is a matchup of first-place teams as the Broncos (6-0) look to stay undefeated and atop the AFC West, while the Colts (4-2) will try to maintain their lead in the AFC South.

Manning has 160 regular-season victories in his career, but this will be his first game against the team that drafted him and he spent 14 seasons with. Andrew Luck, who like Manning was a No. 1 overall pick in the draft, put together one of the most productive rookie seasons by a quarterback in 2012 and has already shown improvement through the first six games of his sophomore campaign.

3 Things to Watch

Colts’ Quarterback Lineage on Display
Even before Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay stirred the pot with some surprising and ill-timed comments earlier this week, everyone knew that this game was going to be all about the quarterbacks. Peyton Manning went from the No. 1 overall pick of the 1998 draft to a four-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion during the 13 seasons he played for the Colts. He is largely responsible for the 141 regular-season victories the Colts enjoyed during his tenure, along with the eight division titles and 11 total playoff appearances. Despite the circumstances surrounding the end of his relationship with the Colts, Manning’s place among the greatest to ever play for the franchise is secure. Indianapolis was very fortunate in that it was able to move on from Manning by finding its next franchise quarterback a little more than a month after releasing its previous one. Luck was taken with the first pick of the 2012 draft and immediately proved his worth by leading the Colts to a nine-game turnaround (2-14 in 2011 to 11-5 in ’12) and a playoff berth. Luck also broke the NFL record for passing yards (4,374) by a rookie and earned an invite to the Pro Bowl. Manning and Luck have repeatedly said they are friends and not rivals, but the comparisons between the two are inevitable and pretty much unavoidable. Manning went 7-15 in his first 22 career games with the Colts, Luck is 15-7. Luck is considerably more mobile than Manning, but No. 18 has considerably more experience under his belt and is off to the greatest statistical start of his Hall of Fame career this season. There’s no argument that both are critical to the success of their teams’ offenses, although they go about their business in different ways. Regardless of which quarterback finishes with better numbers tonight, we should just sit back and enjoy watching a Hall of Famer and one of the league’s brightest young stars ply their craft on national TV.

It’s Miller Time
With his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy finally over, Denver’s defense is closer to being whole with the return of Von Miller. The All-Pro linebacker finished second to Houston’s J.J. Watt in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year last season after registering 68 total tackles, 18.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, an interception and a touchdown. Miller is the Broncos’ most dangerous pass-rusher and he has the ability to make a game-changing play on every down. His mere presence on the field brings a different dynamic to this defense and also helps deepen a linebacking corps that is dealing with a neck injury to starter Wesley Woodyard. Because of the piles of points the offense is scoring, the defense hasn’t had to shut out anyone, which is why the unit’s statistics are somewhat skewed. While the Broncos are allowing the most passing yards of any team in the NFL, the defense is No. 1 against the rush. Miller’s return will help both aspects, but it’s his ability to put pressure on the quarterback that could have the most impact, starting tonight. Miller’s been waiting six long weeks for this game, so don’t be surprised if he makes his presence felt early and often against the Colts.

No Lack of Talent on Offense
While all the attention will be on the quarterbacks, neither Manning nor Luck is winning this game all by themselves. For one, Manning needs his teammates to catch his passes, while the Colts aren’t one to just let Luck drop back and sling it all over the field. Denver’s passing offense, with wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas sharing the wealth, is far and away tops in the league, averaging nearly 50 yards more per game than the No. 2 team (Atlanta), but the Broncos also are averaging 115 yards rushing per game. Knowshon Moreno has staked his claim as Denver’s No. 1 running back, and he has made the most of his opportunities. He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry and leads the NFL with seven rushing touchdowns. The Colts are eighth in the league in rushing at 130.7 yards per game, but have dangerous pass-catchers of their own in wideouts Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton and tight end Coby Fleener. Running back Trent Richardson has gotten off to a slow start with his new team, but he’s capable of breaking off a big play at any point. There’s no doubt that Manning and Luck will play huge parts in deciding the outcome of tonight’s game, but they won’t be alone. There are talented playmakers at each skill position on both offenses. It’s entirely possible that one of them, and not Manning or Luck, ends up being the biggest star in this game.

Denver Key Player: Champ Bailey, CB
As important as linebacker Von Miller’s return (see above) to the starting lineup is for the Broncos’ defense, Bailey’s season debut last week shouldn’t be overlooked. After missing the first five games because of a foot injury, Bailey picked up six tackles and three passes defended last week against Jacksonville. Denver’s defense is last in the NFL in passing yards allowed (337.7 ypg), but it’s sure to get better with the return of the seven-time All-Pro cornerback. Last season, Bailey had two interceptions as the Broncos finished third in the league in passing defense. They clearly have a long ways to go if they want to repeat that success this season, but getting Bailey back in the secondary is a good start.

Indianapolis Key Player: LaRon Landry, S
Landry is a linebacker who plays safety, as evidenced by the 26 total tackles he racked up in the first two games of the season. Those also are the only tackles he collected in his first season with the Colts, as Landry has missed the past four games because of an ankle injury. He practiced fully this week and will be back out there tonight, just in time to add his physical presence to the Colts’ secondary. Indianapolis defensive backs know they have their work cut out for him going up against Peyton Manning and his stable of pass-catchers. But rest assured that wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, and tight end Julius Thomas, as well as running back Knowshon Moreno will be well aware that Landry is on the field. Any Bronco that has the ball will have their head on a swivel, knowing that Landry is ready, willing and able to lower the boom.

Final Analysis

Despite his curious comments earlier in the week, Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay said that Peyton Manning would be honored by the Colts before the game begins. All Manning really cares about, however, is what happens after kickoff. Manning is 82-32 in his career in Indianapolis, but this will be his first game at Lucas Oil Stadium as a visitor. He may not come out and say it, but you have to think that he really wants to win this one.

Andrew Luck and the Colts have grabbed the lead in the AFC South thanks to a renewed commitment to running the football and a stingy defense. Both the offense and defense will be tested tonight, as the Colts just don’t have the firepower that the Broncos have on offense, while Denver’s defense has been the best in the NFL in stopping the run and it is getting another key piece back in All-Pro linebacker Von Miller.

Manning and the Broncos won’t blow the Colts out in this one, but No. 18 turns in another memorable performance in front of his former fan base and wins his first game against the only NFL team he has yet to defeat. What other outcome were you expecting from his homecoming?

Denver 34, Indianapolis 24

Teaser:
Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 09:00
Path: /nfl/baltimore-ravens-vs-pittsburgh-steelers-preview-and-prediction
Body:

One of the NFL’s top current rivalries will renew acquaintances when the Baltimore Ravens take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this afternoon at 4 p.m. ET on CBS. Both teams have gotten off to disappointing starts, as John Harbaugh’s defending Super Bowl champion Ravens are just 3-3 and Mike Tomlin’s Steelers finally picked up their first win of the season last week.

These two teams are certainly no strangers to each other, as they have been in the same division since the Ravens’ first season in 1996. Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 19-15 during the regular season and also has won all three playoff matchups. Baltimore has won three of the last four regular-season meetings as well as the last three played at Heinz Field.

4 Things to Watch

Familiar Foes
Even though several of the names have changed, especially for the Ravens, this is still one of the NFL’s best rivalries going. Since the creation of the AFC North in 2002, Baltimore and Pittsburgh have combined to win 10 of the 11 division titles during that span. Five different times the Ravens and Steelers were either first or second in the same season and these two teams have combined to win three of the past eight Super Bowls. These are two of the most successful franchises over the past decade, so it should be no surprise that their head-to-head meetings have been so competitive and, more often than not, close. Eight of the last 10 regular-season games have been decided by three points. So don’t let the records fool you, both of these teams have a lot of pride and would like nothing more than to add to the others’ loss column. Cleveland may be in first place in the division right now, but everyone is within shouting distance, even Pittsburgh at 1-4. A win for the Steelers would not only pull them closer, it would mean a victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, while the Ravens would like nothing more than to put their arch rival in an even bigger hole. It may only be October, but don’t be surprised if this one feels like a playoff game.

Getting Back to the Basics
These two teams are similar in several ways – they have Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, solid defenses who are usually among the best units in the league, and they pride themselves on being physical on both sides of the ball. Both teams usually are able to run the ball consistently too, but that has not been the case this season. Entering Week 7, Baltimore was 27th in the NFL in rushing offense and Pittsburgh was second to last. Both the Ravens and Steelers are averaging less than 73 yards rushing per game and are gaining no more than 3.1 yards per carry. Baltimore’s Ray Rice, who has averaged more than 1,260 yards rushing per season over his last four, is currently on pace for 591 yards and has yet to post a rush of more than 20 yards. The Steelers’ season high for rushing yards in a game by any player thus far is 57 by rookie Le’Veon Bell and the team has a total of two rushing touchdowns. The lack of success running the ball has put more pressure on the quarterbacks and is a big reason why these offenses aren’t scoring a bunch of points and the teams are a collective 4-7. The Ravens’ defense has done a better job than the Steelers’ of stopping the run, but both offenses have to figure out some way to get something going on the ground, even if it’s just to help set up the play-action game. It’s a cliché, but chances are whichever team wins the battle in the trenches on offense, will probably come out on top on the scoreboard too.

Joe Cool vs. Big Ben
Both Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger have won a Super Bowl, have risen to the occasion more than once and also come up short numerous times in their careers. While each quarterback’s running game, defense and special teams will play an important role in this game, there’s no question that the spotlight will largely fall on them. Each has already had to carry their offense early this season because of the struggles on the ground, and their numbers to this point are somewhat of a mixed bag. Although Flacco’s Ravens are 3-3, last year’s Super Bowl MVP hasn’t been at his best. Through six games Flacco is seventh in the NFL in yards passing (1,702), but he has more interceptions (8) than touchdowns (7), and he is just 26th in completion percentage (57.9) and passer rating (76.2). Meanwhile, Roethlisberger’s Steelers have just one win despite him being seventh in completion percentage (65.6) and 15th in passer rating (88.8). Some of Flacco’s issues can be attributed to the offseason trade of wide receiver Anquan Boldin and the season-long absence of tight end Dennis Pitta (dislocated his hip in training camp), leaving wideout Torrey Smith as his most established, not to mention familiar, target. Roethlisberger has gotten even less support than Flacco from the running game, and the Steelers’ offense as a whole has struggled on third down and in the red zone. The Steelers are scoring a touchdown when they are in red zone less than 40 percent of the time. The only team in the NFL that has a lower percentage right now is the 0-6 Jaguars. Both teams’ offensive issues are well documented and go well beyond the quarterback, but fair or not, in the NFL the buck stops with the guy under center.

Who Wins on Third Down?
Another way in which Baltimore and Pittsburgh are similar, especially this season, is how they have performed on both sides of the ball on third down. While each offense may be struggling to convert its opportunities, both defenses rank among the best when it comes to preventing opponents from picking up the first down. On offense, the Ravens and Steelers have both been successful less than 36 percent of the time on third down. On defense, the Ravens entered this week ranked fourth in the NFL (31.2 percent) in third down prevention, while the Steelers were tied for ninth (36.2). While this trend could likely continue this afternoon, the offense that is able to get the job done on third down should be well positioned to get the win. As has already been documented, the majority of these games have been close in recent years, meaning one prolonged drive that includes a third down pickup or two could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Baltimore Key Player: Terrell Suggs, LB
Ray Lewis has retired, Ed Reed is in Houston and several other defenders from last year’s Super Bowl team are no longer with the Ravens. In fact, six of the starters from February’s title game in New Orleans left after winning the Lombardi Trophy. With all of the changes on Baltimore’s defense, one of the few constants that remain is Suggs. The unit’s unquestioned leader, Suggs has made his presence known both on and off the field. He already has seven sacks on the season, which was good for fourth in the NFL entering Week 7 and accounted for nearly a third of the team’s total of 22. The Ravens have the second most sacks of any team, and no doubt getting to Ben Roethlisberger will be important in this game. Roethlisberger has a reputation for being able to move in the pocket and then make something out of nothing when it breaks down, but he’s also been sacked 19 times already. The Steelers have had trouble running the ball, which only makes Roethlisberger’s job more difficult. As one of the longest-tenured Ravens on the roster, Suggs is very familiar with this rivalry. That’s why you know his focus when he’s on the field will be making sure that Big Ben doesn’t get too comfortable in the pocket.

Pittsburgh Key Unit: Offensive Line
Similar to last season, the Steelers’ offensive line has been plagued by injuries. This season it started when Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee in the Steelers’ first possession in the season opener at Tennessee. Pouncey’s loss has had a domino effect along the entirety of the line, as a replacement at center had to be added and the depth chart has seen changes on almost a weekly basis. The end result has been a line that has yet to play a game at 100 percent and is struggling to open holes in the running game and giving Ben Roethlisberger enough time in the pocket. Baltimore’s defense is fourth in the league in sacks and has held up fairly well against both the run and pass. It’s up to Pittsburgh’s patch-work line of tackles Marcus Gilbert and Kelvin Beachum, guards David DeCastro and Ramon Foster, and center Fernando Velasco to come together and put forth its best collaborative effort of the season, or else the Steelers are in real danger of falling to 1-5.

Final Analysis

When it comes to Baltimore and Pittsburgh, you can pretty much throw the records out and count on both teams leaving it all out on the field. That said, there is quite a bit riding on this game, as the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens are trying to avoid falling below .500 through their first seven games for the first time since 2005. The Steelers are already off to their worst start in 45 years, yet a win tonight would keep them in striking distance in a crowded AFC North.

Both teams haven’t been able to run the ball consistently, which has put even more pressure on Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger. Consequently, each quarterback’s production has suffered somewhat, and while the defenses have been solid, they haven’t been as dominant as in years past.

The difference this afternoon will be a combination of capitalizing on opportunities and experience. Roethlisberger will get just enough time to make some big, critical plays in the passing game, as the Steelers’ pass-catchers win more of the one-on-one battles against the Ravens’ “new” secondary and linebacking corps. The experience factor also shows up in that many of these Ravens are “new” to this rivalry with the Steelers, so I think they will have a hard time adjusting to the increased intensity that comes with this game. Like most of the recent matchups, this one will be close, but in the end the “old” Steelers knock off their arch rival for their second win in a row.

Pittsburgh 17, Baltimore 13

Teaser:
Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 09:00

Pages