Articles By Mark Ross

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

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

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

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

Already Ruled Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Already Ruled Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaser:
Week 10 Injury Updates: Victor Cruz, Calvin Johnson, Cecil Shorts, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Roddy White
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
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Denver is coming off of its bye and should have all of its offensive weapons available for its Week 10 contest, while a key Cowboy wide receiver is dealing with a back issue. Which injured wideouts can you start with confidence today?

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

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

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

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

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

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 10: Wes Welker, Dez Bryant, Marques Colston, Eddie Royal, Robert Woods
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
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One NFC North team is slated to get its starting quarterback back in Week 10, while another begins life without theirs. Elsewhere, a rookie signal-caller who should see his first action in more than a month is just one of the many quarterback injury situations covered here.

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

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

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

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

Don’t Forget…

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

Teaser:
Week 10 Injury Updates: Jay Cutler, Terrelle Pryor, EJ Manuel, Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
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A pair of tight ends named Graham appears on the Week 10 injury report. Here’s the latest on their playing status and a few other injury situations to make you aware of.

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

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

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

In Case You Missed It….

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

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 10: Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Gresham, Garrett Graham, Jermichael Finley
Post date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 06:30
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The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears kick off the second half of their schedules with a key NFC North matchup at Soldier Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. This game will help break up the three-way tie for first in the division, as Matthew Stafford and the Lions (5-3) are in search of the season sweep over the Bears (5-3).

This also is an important game as each team will be looking to take advantage of Aaron Rodgers’ injury (broken collarbone, out a minimum of three weeks) by either keeping pace with the Packers (5-3) or taking the lead in their division outright. The Detroit-Chicago rivalry dates back to 1930 with the Bears leading the all-time series 96-66-5. While the Lions are looking for the season sweep in 2013, the Bears have won seven of the past nine meetings, which goes back to when Stafford made his NFL debut after being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

3 Things to Watch

Cutler’s Comeback
After sustaining a groin injury in the Week 7 loss to Washington, Jay Cutler was initially expected to miss between three to four weeks. Someone apparently forgot to tell him this, however, as Cutler returned to practice on Thursday and is expected to get the start at home against Detroit. Josh McCown filled in admirably for Cutler in the Bears’ unexpected win over Green Bay at Lambeau Field this past Monday night, throwing for 272 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. However, first-year head coach Marc Trestman said all along that as long as Cutler was medically cleared to play he would be the starter. If anything, this gives Cutler a chance to redeem himself for his worst performance of the season when he turned the ball over four times (3 INTs, fumble) in the 40-32 loss in Detroit back in Week 4. Turnovers were a huge part of this game, as the teams combined for a total of seven. Cutler’s four miscues resulted in 17 points for the Lions and helped put the Bears behind by 21 entering the fourth quarter. Cutler has an 8:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the four wins he has been a part of this season. In losses that ratio changes to 4:6. It’s rather simplistic, but the Bears need Cutler to be at the top of his game despite his injury-induced layoff and to protect the football on Sunday. If Cutler falters against the Lions a second time then Trestman may have an unintended quarterback controversy on his hands, at least from a media perspective.

Backfield Battle
Reggie Bush and Matt Forté are versatile running backs that can make plays after taking a handoff or as a receiver out of the backfield. They are both among the top 10 in the NFL in yards from scrimmage and total touches, meaning they are pivotal to their respective team’s offensive game plan. This was clearly the case back in Week 4 when each posted more than 100 total yards and a rushing touchdown. Bush was the star on the ground, rushing for a season-high 139 yards on 18 carries (7.7 ypc), including a 37-yard touchdown run. Forté finished with fewer yards (95), but his highlight play was a 53-yard TD run and he was productive when he ran it, averaging nearly seven yards per carry. Both also were targeted six times in the passing game. Each defense is allowing more than 100 yards rushing per game with the Bears ranking near the bottom of the league at 127.5 yards per contest. Forté is coming off a 125-yard effort on Monday night against a Green Bay defense that is a top-five unit against the run. The Lions and the Bears both need their dynamic backs to produce to help open up the playbook and take some of the pressure off of the quarterbacks and the passing game. Whichever back “wins” the yardage battle on Sunday could very well end up with the W by game’s end too.

Who Roars Loudest on D?
Statistically speaking, these two defenses are very similar. They are separated by 0.1 yards per game in total defense and less than four points per game in scoring defense. The Lions have fared better against the run (108.5 ypg) than the Bears (127.5) with the Monsters of the Midway having the advantage (253.6 to 272.5 ypg) versus the pass. Chicago actually outgained Detroit (417 to 387) on offense in their first meeting back in Week 4, but the Lions made the most of four Cutler turnovers and sacked him three times to help secure the victory. Pressuring the quarterback has actually been a problem for both defenses this season. Entering the Monday night game against Green Bay, Chicago had a total of nine sacks in seven games. That was before the Bears racked up five sacks against the Packers, including one in the first quarter by Shea McCllelin that broke Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone. No doubt Ndamukong Suh and company would love to get their hands on Cutler again, but the Lions also need to find a way to do a better job in pass defense. When he wasn’t getting sacked, Cutler carved up the Lions’ secondary with 22 completions to his wide receivers and tight end for 295 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side, the Bears have been hit by hard on injuries to its front seven and a patchwork defensive line and inexperienced linebacking corps needs to improve its run defense. The Bears beat the Packers on Monday night despite surrendering 190 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 28 carries. Between pressuring the pocket and learning from past mistakes, keep an eye out on Sunday to which defense makes the most noise on the field.

Detroit Key Player: Calvin Johnson, WR
It pretty much goes without saying that Johnson is “key” to Detroit’s offensive success. After all not only is he the NFL’s single-season receiving leader (1,964 yards), he came eight yards shy of breaking the single-game mark with 329 yards on 14 catches in Week 8. Megatron is indisputably the best wide receiver in the league and he is quickly securing his place as one of the greatest to ever play the position. That said, his career numbers against Chicago don’t exactly stand out. In 12 games, Johnson has recorded 57 catches for 845 yards and five touchdowns against the Bears. That’s less than an average of five receptions per game and only 70.4 yards per contest, including just two 100-yard efforts in those 12 games. Johnson was held to just four catches for 44 yards in the first meeting, which is one of the reasons why quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 23 of 35 passes for 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Chicago has a pair of All-Pro cornerbacks in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, but Johnson has shown on more than one occasion he can take his game to another level. One of those types of efforts against the Bears would no doubt go a long way towards securing the season sweep and at least a share of first place in the NFC North.

Chicago Key Player: Khaseem Greene, LB
With Nick Roach leaving via free agency, Brian Urlacher retiring and Lance Briggs entering his 11th season, the Bears knew they had to add some new blood to their linebacking corps. The changes started with the additions of D.J. Williams and James Anderson in free agency followed by the selections of Jon Bostic (second round) and Greene (fourth) in April’s draft. The plan was to bring the former Florida and Rutgers standouts along slowly, but that changed after Williams was lost for the season in Week 6 due to a torn pectoral muscle followed by Briggs sustaining a shoulder injury a week later. Bostic and Greene were thrust into the starting lineup and, as can be expected, the rookies have experienced their share of growing pains. Greene is especially important because he is filling in for Briggs at weak-side linebacker. Briggs led the Bears with 13 tackles in the first game against the Lions and Greene needs to be just as active and involved on Sunday while also showing he’s a quick study. Greene and Bostic were drafted in hopes they would develop into the next great Bear linebackers. Unfortunately, injuries have thrust them both into the fire earlier than expected, meaning the future is now for the duo.

Final Analysis

In one play on Monday night, the outlook of the NFC North changed entirely when Aaron Rodgers was driven into the Lambeau Field turf by Shea McCllelin. Not only did Chicago’s win over Green Bay create a three-way tie for first place in the division, it opened up at least a three-week window for the Bears and Lions to try and separate themselves from a Rodgers-less Packers team. So needless to say, this could be a season-defining game for these two teams.

Both teams are enjoying modest one-game winning streaks, but the Bears appear to have the momentum following their big Monday night victory at Lambeau Field, while the Lions are coming off of their bye. Chicago also will have Jay Cutler back under center for the first time since injuring his groin in Week 7. Cutler played poorly in the Week 4 meeting with the Lions, and after backup Josh McCown led the team to victory over the Packers, he no doubt wants to show everyone why he’s the No. 1 signal-caller in the Windy City.

The Lions are among the most explosive offenses in the NFL led by the trio of Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, but the defense remains a question mark and has been very up and down, especially in the secondary. The Lions’ Week 4 victory was due in large part to Cutler’s four turnovers and I don’t see a repeat on Sunday. First-year head coach Marc Trestman leans on running back Matt Forté early to help ease Cutler back into the flow, but the quarterback makes some key throws late to help the Bears earn a season split against the Lions and stake their claim as the top team in the NFC North.

Chicago 31, Detroit 27

Teaser:
Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears Preview and Prediction
Post date: Friday, November 8, 2013 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
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Unlike the past two weeks, only four teams are on bye in Week 10. While it will be tough for some fantasy owners to contend without the services of their Browns, Chiefs, Jets and Patriots this week (especially those who have Jamaal Charles, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski or the Chiefs DST on their roster), the toughest break came on Monday night.

Aaron Rodgers hit the Lambeau Field turf hard in the first quarter following a sack by Chicago's Shea McCllelin, causing him to leave the game and not return. We found out later that Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone on that play, which will result in him missing at least three weeks. Not only does this mean a top-10 overall fantasy player is sidelined for several games, but this injury also will impact the fantasy production of all of Green Bay's offensive skill players.

A replacement can be found for Rodgers, although some degree of drop-off almost has to be expected, but those who have Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, James Starks and Jarrett Boykin in their lineup can only hope for the best from backup Seneca Wallace or whomever ends up under center for the Packers during his absence. At least Sunday's home date with Philadelphia is against the league's worst 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 10 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 10 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 10
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-kicker-rankings-week-10
Body:

Denver is back from its bye, which means Matt Prater is back atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 10 kicker rankings. But while Prater benefits from kicking for the Broncos' prolific offense, New Orleans' Garrett Hartley gets plenty of his own opportunities to test his leg.

Hartley has a total of 21 field goal attempts so far this season, with more than half (11) of those coming from 40 yards and out. Hartley has made seven of these tries, including a 55-yarder against the Jets last week. The only kickers in the NFL with more attempts from 40 and out are Houston's Randy Bullock with 15 and the Jets' Nick Folk with 12.

Folk is a perfect 12-for-12 from this distance and on bye this week, while Bullock has struggled mightily. The second-year kicker has connected on just 13 of 21 field goal attempts overall (61.9 percent) and Bullock has made just seven of his 15 (46.7) attempts from 40 yards out with a season-long of 48 yards. This is why Hartley is a top-10 option this week, while Bullock has basically fallen off of the fantasy radar.

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 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers
Teams on bye this week: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

RkPlayerTeamOPPONENT
1Matt PraterDENat SD
2Steven HauschkaSEAat ATL
3Mason CrosbyGBvs. PHI
4Dan BaileyDALat NO
5Adam VinatieriINDvs. STL
6Justin TuckerBALvs. CIN
7Garrett HartleyNOvs. DAL
8Robbie GouldCHIvs. DET
9Nick NovakSDvs. DEN
10Shaun SuishamPITvs. BUF
11David AkersDETat CHI
12Phil DawsonSFvs. CAR
13Josh BrownNYGvs. OAK
14Dan CarpenterBUFat PIT
15Graham GanoCARat SF
16Blair WalshMINvs. WAS (Thurs.)

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 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

 

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-defspecial-teams-rankings-week-10
Body:

Seattle has not been at its best lately, but the Seahawks maintain their position as No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 10 defense/special teams rankings because of their matchup. On paper, the game in Atlanta is a rematch of last season's NFC Divisional playoff contest, but this Falcons team is a far cry from the 2012 edition. The defending NFC South champs have been devastated by injuries on both sides of the ball and find themselves at 2-6 entering the second half of their schedule.

The Falcons haven't been anywhere near as potent on offense this season, thanks in part to the league's worst rushing attack. That is the one area that Seattle's defense has struggled with recently, giving up more than 200 yards rushing in each of its last two games. That doesn't appear to be a problem for the Seahawks' D this week, as the unit will instead focus their ball-hawking efforts on a Falcons offense that has committed eight turnovers in the past two games.

While Seattle hand its hands full at home last week with Tampa Bay, Miami's defense flexed its muscles against Cincinnati last Thursday. The Dolphins gave up 465 yards of offense to the Bengals, but the defense sacked Andy Dalton five times and picked him off three times, including a Brent Grimes 94-yard interception return for a touchdown. Cameron Wake was the star of the game, however, as he had 3.5 of the team's five sacks, the last being a walk-off safety to give the Dolphins the win in overtime. This week, Wake and his defensive mates have their sights set on a Tampa Bay offense that is starting a backup at quarterback and running back and is next to last in the league in both total and scoring offense.

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 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

RkTeamOPPNotes
1Seattle Seahawksat ATLHave given up 200+ rushing yards in each of past 2 games.
2San Francisco 49ersvs. CARComing off of bye, could get Aldon Smith back this week.
3Arizona Cardinalsvs. HOUCardinals D: 18.5 ppg, 11 TOs forced in four home games.
4Cincinnati Bengalsat BALLoss of All-Pro DT Geno Atkins (ACL) hurts Bengals D.
5Tennessee Titansvs. JACJags last in total offense (286.5 ypg) and scoring (10.8 ppg).
6Carolina Panthersat SFPanthers are 3rd in total defense, 2nd in scoring and vs. rush.
7Indianapolis Coltsvs. STLZac Stacy will test Colts' 27th-ranked rushing defense.
8Miami Dolphinsat TB (Mon.)Cameron Wake (3.5 sacks, safety, FR) a force vs. CIN.
9Baltimore Ravensvs. CINRavens have given up just 1 rushing touchdown in 8 games.
10Pittsburgh Steelersvs. BUFSteelers gave up franchise-worst 55 pts. And 610 yds. to NE.
11Denver Broncosat SDDifferent D with Von Miller in lineup, 266 yards allowed vs. WAS.
12Green Bay Packersvs. PHIDefense needs to step vs. Eagles w/ no Rodgers at QB.
13Houston Texansat ARITexans No. 1 vs. pass, but just 3 INTs (vs. 13 TDs), 20 sacks.
14New Orleans Saintsvs. DALSaints D: 14.5 ppg, 11 total TOs forced in four home games.
15St. Louis Ramsat INDRams tied for 3rd in the NFL with 29 sacks.
16New York Giants G-Men playing better D: 203 ypg, 7 ppg, 6 TOs over last 2 G.

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 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends

Kickers

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-tight-end-rankings-week-10
Body:

Is there really any question who is atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 10 tight end rankings? If Jimmy Graham can continue to dominate the position while playing with a bad case of plantar fasciitis, we may as well just retire the No. 1 spot to him and be done with it. In "limited" action the past two weeks, all Graham has done is catch 12 passes for 153 yards and four touchdowns. He leads the NFL with 10 touchdown receptions, is fifth in receiving yards (746) and tied for 10th in receptions (49) and he's at less than 100 percent? Unreal.

With Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Cameron both on bye, which tight end will be the one to try and challenge Graham for top scoring honors in Week 10? Against Minnesota, Tony Romo connected with Jason Witten for his second 100-yard game this season, but this week Witten faces a New Orleans defense that is allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Other games on the schedule include San Diego-Denver and Carolina-San Francisco, matchups that feature top-10 fantasy tight end options across the board. However, this does not mean significant fantasy production is a given for any of them.

Denver's Julius Thomas sustained an ankle injury in his last game and it remains to be seen if the bye week provided enough time for him to heal completely. On the other side is San Diego's Antonio Gates, who is facing a very different Denver defense now that All-Pro linebacker Von Miller is back in the lineup. Out in San Francisco, Vernon Davis and the 49ers face a Panthers defense that is third in yards and second in points allowed, while Greg Olsen goes up against a defense that is coming off of a bye and could have All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith back in the lineup.

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 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. DALWent for 9-116-2 last week w/ limited snaps, bad foot.
2Vernon DavisSFvs. CARDavis will be needed vs. stingy Panthers D.
3Jason WittenDALat NOPosted second 100-yard game of season last week.
4Julius ThomasDENat SDHope is bye week allowed sprained ankle to heal.
5Antonio GatesSDvs. DENHas 65 rec. for 821 yds. and 6 TDs in 15 G vs. DEN.
6Tony GonzalezATLvs. SEATD catch vs. Panthers Gonzo's first since Week 4.
7Jordan ReedWASat MIN (Thurs.)Minnesota has given up 7 TD catches to TEs.
8Martellus BennettCHIvs. DETHad season-best 8 rec., 90 yds. vs. DET in Week 4.
9Greg OlsenCARat SF49ers have been tough on TEs.
10Coby FleenerINDvs. STLAveraged 21.4 ypc on 3 catches vs. Texans.
11Charles ClayMIAat TB (Mon.)Really needs to score to be valuable.
12Heath MillerPITvs. BUFJust 79 yards receiving in last 3 games combined.
13Timothy WrightTBvs. MIA (Mon.)Quickly becoming No. 2 target for Bucs.
14Garrett GrahamHOUat ARICardinals allowing most fantasy pts. to TEs.
15Jared CookSTLat INDColts have surrendered 1 TD catch to a TE.
16Scott ChandlerBUFat PITOther than Gronk, Steelers have fared well vs. TEs.
17Brandon PettigrewDETat CHIBears have given up 53 catches, but just 2 TDs to TEs.
18Brandon MyersNYGvs. OAKSince Week 1: 16-199-0, incl. 2 games w/ 0 rec.
19Delanie WalkerTENvs. JACJags giving up fourth-most fantasy pts. to TEs.
20John CarlsonMINvs. WAS (Thurs.)In line for more targets with Rudolph out (broken foot).
21Brent CelekPHIat GBJoined in on the TD fun vs. Raiders last week.
22Jermaine GreshamCINat BAL 
23Dallas ClarkBALvs. CIN 
24Tyler EifertCINat BALGresham continues to eat into opportunities.
25Andrew QuarlessGBvs. PHI 
26Joseph FauriaDETat CHI 

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 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Tight End Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-wide-receiver-rankings-week-10
Body:

Calvin Johnson is the undisputed top choice for Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 10 wide receiver rankings, but he's not the only wideout with the last name of Johnson putting up ridiculous numbers. Houston's Andre Johnson did his best Megatron impression last Sunday night by posting nine catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns against Indianapolis. Even better for owners of the Texans' All-Pro receiver is that he did this with unheralded Case Keenum as his quarterback. The duo will look to replicate their success this Sunday on the road against Arizona.

Johnson isn't the only premier wide receiver thriving with a backup quarterback either. Chicago's Brandon Marshall caught seven passes for 107 yards and a touchdown in the Bears' Monday night win in Green Bay with Josh McCown at quarterback in place of an injured Jay Cutler. Alshon Jeffery also hauled in a TD from McCown, making both relatively safe options this week against Detroit regardless of whether it's Cutler or McCown under center.

The same can't be said for Green Bay's Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin, at least not yet. The Packers will host the Eagles without Aaron Rodgers leading their offensive attack. Rodgers will miss at least three weeks after breaking his collarbone in the Monday night loss to the Bears, which means Seneca Wallace will get his opportunity, at least for the time being. Wallace was less than impressive (114 yards, INT) in relief of Rodgers, although he does get a favorable matchup with the NFL's worst defense coming to Lambeau Field. Can Wallace do enough in the passing game to keep Nelson, Jones and Boykin fantasy relevant? Their owners certainly hope so.

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 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers
Teams on bye: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Calvin JohnsonDETat CHIIn his last game he went for 14-329-1.
2Brandon MarshallCHIvs. DETWent for 107 yards and a TD on MNF vs. Packers.
3A.J. GreenCINat BALHas posted four straight 100-yard games.
4Demaryius ThomasDENat SDChargers allowing fifth-most fantasy points to WRs.
5Wes WelkerDENat SDLeads WRs with nine TD catches.
6Dez BryantDALat NOSaints are fifth in NFL in passing defense.
7Andre JohnsonHOUat ARIHooked up w/ Keenum for huge (9-229-3) night.
8Antonio BrownPITvs. BUFBills have yielded NFL-worst 15 TD catches to WRs.
9DeSean JacksonPHIat GBHappy to have Foles back, 5-150-1 vs. Raiders.
10Victor CruzNYGvs. OAKEagles' WRs ran free all day vs. Raiders last week.
11Jordy NelsonGBvs. PHIWhat does Rodgers' injury mean for his production?
12Eric DeckerDENat SDHe gives Broncos 3 top-15 fantasy WRs.
13Vincent JacksonTBvs. MIA (Mon.)Legion of Boom held VJax to 2 catches for 11 yards.
14Pierre GarconWASat MIN (Thurs.)Posted career-high 172 yards receiving vs. Chargers.
15T.Y. HiltonINDvs. STLHuge second-half (3 TDs) vs. Texans last week.
16Larry FitzgeraldARIvs. HOUShould be close to 100 percent healthy after bye.
17Keenan AllenSDvs. DENRookie has staked claim as Chargers' No. 1 WR.
18Alshon JefferyCHIvs. DETDeveloping into bona fide No. 2 WR.
19Torrey SmithBALvs. CINShould find more room to work this week vs. CIN.
20Cecil ShortsJACat TENBurden falls to him w/ Blackmon suspended indefinitely.
21Hakeem NicksNYGvs. OAKComing off of bye, faces porous Raiders pass D.
22Harry DouglasATLvs. SEAFaces tough test vs. Seahawks' physical secondary.
23Denarius MooreOAKat NYGStill a top-25 fantasy WR despite Pryor's struggles.
24Anquan BoldinSFvs. CARPanthers have allowed 2 TD catches by WRs.
25Steve SmithCARat SFHis season high has been 69 yards receiving.
26Terrance WilliamsDALat NOManaged just 2 catches on 7 targets vs. Vikings.
27Stevie JohnsonBUFat PITWhat will he do once Manuel returns?
28Mike WallaceMIAat TB (Mon.)Has 43 targets over last 4 weeks, but just 1 TD.
29Emmanuel SandersPITvs. BUFLed team in targets (11) and yards (98) last week.
30Golden TateSEAat ATL 
31Kendall WrightTENvs. JACClearly Locker's favorite target. Now where are TDs?
32Marques ColstonNOvs. DALMissed last week b/c of knee injury.
33James JonesGBvs. PHIReturned from injury vs. Bears, caught 1 pass.
34Greg JenningsMINvs. WAS (Thurs.) 
35Riley CooperPHIat GBAnother big game (5-139-3) w/ Foles at QB.
36Marvin JonesCINat BALNo TD last week for first time in 4 games.
37Brian HartlineMIAat TB (Mon.)Has just one game w/ 70+ receiving yards.
38Jarrett BoykinGBvs. PHIPackers' passing game totally different w/o Rodgers.
39Lance MooreNOvs. DALHas been actively involved since his return from injury.
40Kenny StillsNOvs. DALHeld in check (3 rec., 35 yds.) by Jets last week.
41Darrius Heyward-BeyINDvs. STLInjured hamstring against Texans, watch status.
42Michael FloydARIvs. HOUTexans are No. 1 in NFL in passing defense.
43Eddie RoyalSDvs. DENHas a TD catch in back-to-back games.
44Doug BaldwinSEAat ATLLed team with 6 rec. for 75 yds. and a TD last week.
45Rueben RandleNYGvs. OAKRaiders surrendered seven TD passes to Eagles.
46Jerricho CotcheryPITvs. BUFExploded for 3 TDs vs. Patriots last week.
47Roddy WhiteATLvs. SEAWhite's four-game absence may end this week.
48Brandon LaFellCARat SF 
49Marlon BrownBALvs. CINRookie hauled in 2 TD catches last week, 5 in '13.
50Kris DurhamDETat CHIInteresting to see his role when Burleson returns.
51DeAndre HopkinsHOUat ARIAveraging 47.8 ypg w/ just 1 TD in last six games.
52Nate WashingtonTENvs. JAC 
53Rod StreaterOAKat NYGLed team with 98 yards receiving vs. Eagles.
54Mike BrownJACat TENHuge opportunity w/ Blackmon suspended.
55Chris GivensSTLat IND 
56Leonard HankersonWASat MIN (Thurs.) 
57Austin PettisSTLat IND 
58Robert WoodsBUFat PITSustained mild ankle sprain last week.
59Vincent BrownSDvs. DEN 
60Jacoby JonesBALvs. CIN 
61Cordarrelle PattersonMINvs. WAS (Thurs.) 
62Drew DavisATLvs. SEA 
63Jerome SimpsonMINvs. WAS (Thurs.) 
64Percy HarvinSEAat ATLGetting closer, but probably won't play this 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 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-running-back-rankings-week-10
Body:

Zac Stacy isn't No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 10 running back rankings, but the rookie is a top-10 option following back-to-back impressive performances. After posting 134 yards rushing on "Monday Night Football" against Seattle in Week 8, Stacy followed that up with 127 yards on the ground this past Sunday against Tennessee. Next up for Stacy is a road trip to Indianapolis to play the Colts, who are allowing 125 yards rushing per game.

Another running back who went for more than 100 yards last week was Adrian Peterson. After gaining 150 yards rushing in his previous three games combined, the reigning MVP busted out against Dallas for 140 yards, including an impressive 11-yard touchdown in which he carried several would-be Cowboy tacklers into the end zone. So while Stacy has recorded back-to-back 100-yard games, the first of his career, Peterson has three this season and a total of 40 since making his NFL debut in 2007. He could add to that total on Thursday when the Vikings host the Redskins. Washington is giving up 117 yards rushing per game, one of the reasons why "All Day" is our No. 1 running back in Week 10.

The other storyline involving running backs this week is, once again, injuries. Arian Foster (back), Darren McFadden (hamstring) and Darren Sproles (concussion) all left their games early last week because of an injury. All three are very questionable to play in Week 10, which could mean more opportunities for Ben Tate, Rashad Jennings and Pierre Thomas, respectively. It also means if you own any of these backs you need to pay close attention to the injury reports before setting your lineup.

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 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Back
Teams on bye: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Adrian PetersonMINvs. WAS (Thurs.)Broke out (140, TD) vs. Cowboys last week.
2Matt ForteCHIvs. DETCame up big on MNF (179 total yds., TD) vs. GB.
3Marshawn LynchSEAat ATLBack to Beast Mode (125 yds.) vs. Bucs.
4Eddie LacyGBvs. PHIWill be leaned on even more w/ Rodgers out.
5Reggie BushDETat CHIBears gave up 199 yards rushing to GB on MNF.
6Knowshon MorenoDENat SDChargers allowing nearly five yards per carry.
7LeSean McCoyPHIat GBJust 44 yds. rushing, but caught 1st TD vs. Raiders.
8Alfred MorrisWASat MIN (Thurs.)Season-high 25 carries, 121 yards vs. Chargers.
9Chris JohnsonTENvs. JACCJ finally broke through (150, 2 TD) vs. Rams.
10Zac StacySTLat INDRookie has 261 yards rushing over last 2 games.
11C.J. SpillerBUFat PITBroke off 61-yard run last week vs. Chiefs.
12Frank GoreSFvs. CARPanthers are No. 2 in NFL vs. rush.
13Le'Veon BellPITvs. BUFPosted season-best 65 yards receiving vs. NE.
14DeMarco MurrayDALat NOReturned from knee injury, had just 31 yds. rushing.
15Fred JacksonBUFat PITSteelers allowing 131.3 yards rushing per game.
16Mike JamesTBvs. MIA (Mon.)Rookie gashed Seahawks for 158 yards rushing.
17Giovani BernardCINat BALAveraged 8.8 ypc w/ 2 TDs vs. Dolphins last week.
18Maurice Jones-DrewJACat TENTitans are 26th against the run.
19Danny WoodheadSDvs. DENLate rushing TD overturned by replay last week.
20Pierre ThomasNOvs. DALIn line for more work if Sproles (concussion) out.
21Lamar MillerMIAat TB (Mon.)Season-high 105 yards on 16 carries vs. Bengals.
22Andre EllingtonARIvs. HOURushed for 154 (incl. 80-yard TD) in last game.
23Ray RiceBALvs. CINOn pace for only 555 yards rushing.
24Ryan MathewsSDvs. DENRan for only 34 yards, after 212 in previous 2 games.
25Steven JacksonATLvs. SEACan SJax gash struggling 'Hawks rush D?
26Ben TateHOUat ARIRushed for 81 yards w/ four broken ribs vs. Colts.
27Trent RichardsonINDvs. STLJust 20 yards rushing on eight carries vs. Texans.
28Andre BrownNYGvs. OAKExpected to make season debut this week.
29Darren SprolesNOvs. DALSustained concussion vs. Jets, monitor status.
30Rashad JenningsOAKat NYGWent for 102 yards after McFadden got hurt.
31BenJarvus Green-EllisCINat BALLed team with 21 carries (72 yds.) vs. Dolphins.
32James StarksGBvs. PHISecond straight game w/ TD backing up Lacy.
33DeAngelo WilliamsCARat SFStewart's return meant less work for Williams.
34Mike TolbertCARat SFPicked up 4th rushing TD of season vs. Falcons.
35Donald BrownINDvs. STLLed Colts with 49 yards rushing on just six carries.
36Shonn GreeneTENvs. JACPicked up rushing TD despite CJ's big day.
37Rashard MendenhallARIvs. HOUHow many touches will he take from Ellington?
38Joique BellDETat CHI 
39Jonathan StewartCARat SFLed team with 43 yards rushing in first game of '13.
40Daniel ThomasMIAat TB (Mon.)Got 12 carries, but only 38 yards vs. Bengals.
41Jacquizz RodgersATLvs. SEASJax' struggles keeping 'Quizz a factor.
42Roy HeluWASat MIN (Thurs.)Inconsistent use makes him hard to trust.
43Dennis JohnsonHOUat ARIHis role dependent on health of Foster/Tate.
44Mark IngramNOvs. DALMay get another chance if Sproles (concussion) is out.
45Montee BallDENat SDWill rookie have bigger role coming off of bye?
46Peyton HillisNYGvs. OAKMay be odd man out with Jacobs and Brown back.
47Kendall HunterSFvs. CAR 
48Brandon JacobsNYGvs. OAKDid bye allow enough time for hamstring to heal?

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 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Running Back Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-quarterback-rankings-week-10
Body:

Peyton Manning is coming off of his bye, so order has been restored to Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 10 quarterback rankings. While Manning is the clear-cut No. 1 this week, it was a different signal-caller who made all the Week 9 headlines while No. 18 was taking a break.

Nick Foles joined Manning in the elite seven touchdown passes club last Sunday by torching an overmatched Raiders pass defense despite playing just one series in the fourth quarter. Foles has another somewhat appealing matchup this Sunday against Green Bay's 20th-ranked passing defense, but it is the Packers' QB situation that is the main storyline for this game. Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone on a sack in the Monday night game against Chicago, sidelining him for at least three weeks. For now, Seneca Wallace appears to be the one who will get the call for the Packers. Wallace's fantasy outlook is uncertain at best, but he didn't necessarily inspire a lot of confidence with his efforts (11-of-19, 114 yards, INT) against the Bears.

Speaking of Chicago, another quarterback injury situation to watch is whether Jay Cutler returns to lead the Bears offense this week against Detroit. Cutler sustained a groin injury in the Week 7 loss to Washington, but there's a chance he may just miss one game. If Cutler can't go, Josh McCown will get his second straight start and it may not be the worst thing for the Bears. McCown looked pretty good in the Monday night win over Green Bay at Lamebeau Field, passing for 272 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers along with a key, 20-yard rush. For now, McCown is the one ranked below and he's a possible bye-week fill-in or 2-QB option this week. If Cutler does get cleared to play, he would be ranked at No. 15, ahead of Terrelle Pryor. Cutler also could be a replacement option for those owners who have Rodgers on their roster.

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 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks
Teams on bye:
Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Peyton ManningDENat SDThrew 6 TDs, 2 INTs in 2 wins over Chargers last year.
2Drew BreesNOvs. DALCowboys giving up most fantasy points to QBs.
3Matthew StaffordDETat CHIPut up 242-1-1 w/ rushing TD in Week 4 win over Bears.
4Russell WilsonSEAat ATLQuietly sitting at No. 5 in fantasy points for QBs.
5Cam NewtonCARat SFConfident Cam faces rested 49ers D coming off of bye.
6Andrew LuckINDvs. STLProduced more second-half magic vs. Texans.
7Tony RomoDALat NOSaints have been tough on QBs in fantasy.
8Philip RiversSDvs. DENBroncos allowed season-low 266 yards in last game.
9Robert Griffin IIIWASat MIN (Thurs.)Only one QB has less than 242 yards passing vs. Vikes.
10Colin KaepernickSFvs. CARPanthers have surrendered fewest fantasy pts. to QBs.
11Jake LockerTENvs. JACJags are giving up second-most fantasy pts. to QBs.
12Nick FolesPHIat GBHow will he follow up record-tying 7 TDs vs. Raiders?
13Eli ManningNYGvs. OAKCan Eli take advantage of black hole in Raiders' D?
14Ben RoethlisbergerPITvs. BUFSixth in the NFL in passing yards, but only 12 TDs.
15Terrelle PryorOAKat NYG"Day-to-day" with knee sprain, monitor status.
16Andy DaltonCINat BALFour straight games w/ 300+ yards, but 3 INTs last week.
17Matt RyanATLvs. SEASeahawks ranked second in NFL vs. pass.
18Joe FlaccoBALvs. CINHas 5 TD passes, just 1 INT over his last three games.
19Josh McCownCHIvs. DETLed Bears (272-2-0) to rare Lambeau win on MNF.
20Case KeenumHOUat ARIHas posted 621-4-0 (one fumble) in first two starts.
21Ryan TannehillMIAat TB (Mon.)Thrown for 208 yards or fewer in each of past 3 games.
22Mike GlennonTBvs. MIA (Mon.)Hung in there (168-2-0) on road vs. Seahawks.
23Seneca WallaceGBvs. PHIWallace has some awfully big shoes to fill.
24Christian PonderMINvs. WAS (Thurs.)Kept Vikings in game (236-1-1, rush TD) vs. Cowboys.
25EJ ManuelBUFat PITCould see first action in more than a month (LCL sprain).
26Carson PalmerARIvs. HOUDid bye fix accuracy issues (10 TDs, 14 INTs)?
27Chad HenneJACat TENNo Justin Blackmon rest of this season for Henne/Jags.
28Kellen ClemensSTLat INDBarely completing half of passes, just 1 TD w/ 4 TOs.

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 10 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Quarterback Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/5-waiver-wire-pickups-replace-injured-aaron-rodgers
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For many a fantasy owner, time probably stood still on Monday night when Aaron Rodgers hit the Lambeau Field turf hard after being sacked by Chicago’s Shea McCllelin. No doubt many a game was lost or won, depending on which side you were on, because of that one play.

Unfortunately, the news hasn’t gotten better. Rodgers didn’t return to the game and the early prognosis is that he will miss at least three weeks because of a small break in his collarbone. Green Bay has already had its bye week, so any time Rodgers misses will mean games.

So what is a Rodgers owner to do? There’s always the trade route, but here are some names that could be available on your league’s waiver wire that could help you survive the next three weeks. Besides, you’re really not going to start Seneca Wallace or whomever else the Packers bring in (Matt Flynn? Vince Young?) are you?

Eli Manning, New York Giants
Very few things have gone right for Manning and the Giants this season, but now may be the ideal time to get back on the bandwagon, at least fantasy-wise. After throwing at least one interception in his first six games, all losses, Manning has not tossed a pick in the past two, both wins. The Giants come off of the bye, hopefully rested and healthy, and are expected to get running back Andre Brown back. Then there’s the schedule. The rest of the way, the Giants face one team (Seattle) whose pass defense is not ranked in the bottom half of the league. Of those remaining seven games, six are against teams that are 24th or lower in the NFL when it comes to defending the pass, starting with a Oakland defense that just gave up 406 yards and seven touchdown passes to Nick Foles. If there ever was a time to buy low on a guy whose thrown for more than 3,900 yards and at least 26 touchdowns in each of the past four seasons, this could be it.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben is sixth in the NFL in passing yards at 291 per game, so you know he is going to get to throw it. He is coming off of a 400-yard effort against the Patriots and if anything the Steelers’ struggling defense could actually help increase Roethlisberger’s value. He has thrown 45 or more passes in three of the past five games. The one constant in those games – his team has been trailing. The biggest downside to Roethlisberger’s numbers so far has been a lack of touchdowns. He has just 12 passing and none on the ground. If he could find a way to pick up the pace in that category, he could be in line for a strong second half. Pittsburgh’s next four games are against Buffalo, Detroit, at Cleveland and at Baltimore. The Browns are the only team ranked in the top 10 in the league in passing defense and all four are among the top 18 in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Cutler and Rodgers are similar in that both have been injured this season. Cutler sustained a groin injury in the Bears’ Week 7 loss to Washington. The initial prognosis is that he would be out anywhere between three to four weeks, but Cutler is planning on practicing this week in hopes of returning to the lineup this Sunday against Detroit. Cutler definitely comes with a degree of risk and uncertainty, but he has been fairly productive in new head coach Marc Trestman’s offense, throwing for 12 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. He may not sling it all over the field as in years past, but he has deadly weapons to throw to and the potential for big numbers clearly exists. The Bears’ upcoming schedule doesn’t look all that imposing either, as St. Louis is the only top-10 passing defense Cutler would face from now until Week 15 (Cleveland).

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles is not a new discovery by any stretch, but any time someone ties the NFL single-game record for touchdown passes, it’s worth taking notice. After missing a game due to a concussion, Foles was one gigantic headache for Oakland on Sunday, passing for 406 yards and seven touchdowns, which tied the single-game record. Foles had more touchdowns than incompletions (six) and did all of this damage in three quarters. While I’m not saying that Foles is the second coming of Peyton Manning, he does have two things going in his favor. First, with Michael Vick nursing a hamstring injury, it appears Foles’ hold on the starting job is secure for the time being. Secondly, the Eagles’ next two games are against Green Bay and Washington, two teams that rank among the top 11 in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.

Case Keenum, Houston Texans
The Texans didn’t win on Sunday night, but Keenum certainly did his part. Making his second career NFL start, the former University of Houston gunslinger took center stage on NBC by throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns and energizing the Texans offense and home crowd in the process. In two games, Keenum has yet to throw an interception, which is one of the main reasons why Matt Schaub lost the starting job, and has re-introduced the vertical passing game into the Texans’ offense. Keenum averaged 10.4 yards per completion against the Colts and leaned heavily on his All-Pro target, Andre Johnson (9-229-3). With the Texans sitting at 2-6 and Schaub’s future with the team up in the air, Keenum figures to get more chances to show the team if he’s the potential long-term solution at quarterback or not.

Teaser:
5 Waiver Wire Pickups to Replace Injured Aaron Rodgers
Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 12:33
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
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The bulk of the byes are over with as we enter Week 10, but they will remain a factor for a little longer. This week Cleveland, Kansas City, New England and the New York Jets are on bye, which means just as soon as the Patriots finally get their offense going, they take a week off. Have no fear though, as the NFL’s record-holder for touchdown passes in a game, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, and a few Texans are among those who may be available if you’re looking for some help this week.

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

Teams on bye in Week 10: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, New York Jets

Quarterbacks
Week 9 Recap: Alex Smith certainly didn’t fill up the box score (124 yards passing, 7 yards rushing), but his Chiefs are the NFL’s lone undefeated team at 9-0 and get a well-deserved break this week.

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles is not a new discovery by any stretch, but any time someone ties the NFL single-game record for touchdown passes, it’s worth taking notice. After missing a game due to a concussion, Foles was one gigantic headache for Oakland on Sunday, passing for 406 yards and seven touchdowns, which tied the single-game record. Foles had more touchdowns than incompletions (six) and did all of this damage in three quarters. While I’m not saying that Foles is the second coming of Peyton Manning, he does have two things going in his favor. First, with Michael Vick nursing a hamstring injury, it appears Foles’ hold on the starting job is secure for the time being. Secondly, the Eagles’ next two games are against Green Bay and Washington, two teams that rank among the top 11 in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.

Case Keenum, Houston Texans
The Texans didn’t win on Sunday night, but Keenum certainly did his part. Making his second career NFL start, the former University of Houston gunslinger took center stage on NBC by throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns and energizing the Texans offense and home crowd in the process. In two games, Keenum has yet to throw an interception, which is one of the main reasons why Matt Schaub lost the starting job, and has re-introduced the vertical passing game into the Texans’ offense. Keenum averaged 10.4 yards per completion against the Colts and leaned heavily on his All-Pro target, Andre Johnson (9-229-3). With the Texans sitting at 2-6 and Schaub’s future with the team up in the air, Keenum figures to get more chances to show the team if he’s the potential long-term solution at quarterback or not.

Eli Manning, New York Giants
Very few things have gone right for Manning and the Giants this season, but now may be the ideal time to get back on the bandwagon, at least fantasy-wise. After throwing at least one interception in his first six games, all losses, Manning has not tossed a pick in the past two, both wins. The Giants come off of the bye, hopefully rested and healthy, and are expected to get running back Andre Brown back. Then there’s the schedule. The rest of the way, the Giants face one team (Seattle) whose pass defense is not ranked in the bottom half of the league. Of those remaining seven games, six are against teams that are 24th or lower in the NFL when it comes to defending the pass, starting with a Oakland defense that just gave up 406 yards and seven touchdown passes to Nick Foles. If there ever was a time to buy low on a guy whose thrown for more than 3,900 yards and at least 26 touchdowns in each of the past four seasons, this could be it.

Running Backs
Week 9 Recap: Chris Johnson was the man for the Titans (150 yards rushing, 2 TDs), against the Rams, but Shonn Greene also got nine carries and was busy around the goal line (5-yard TD). Jonathan Stewart made his season debut and led the Panthers in rushing (43 yards) despite getting fewer carries than DeAngeio Williams (9 to 13). Stewart also caught three passes on three targets, making him a viable flex option from here out. The Giants’ Andre Brown is expected to play in his first game since breaking his leg in the preseason and should get plenty of opportunities against the Raiders. Arizona rookie Andre Ellington was on bye last week, but the memory of his 154-yard rushing effort in Week 8 against Atlanta certainly still lingers and should mean a similar number of touches this week even if Rashard Mendenhall returns (toe).

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
This may be a stretch since Ingram has a grand total of 50 yards rushing this season, but some of this can be attributed to injury. Ingram picked up 19 yards on four carries on Sunday against the Jets in his first action since Week 2. The Saints ran the ball a total of 13 times against the Jets, so game plan played a role in Ingram’s workload as well. Ingram could be in line for more touches this week against Dallas because Darren Sproles sustained a concussion in the first quarter on Sunday. If Sproles isn’t cleared in time to play this week, Ingram and Pierre Thomas figure to be the most active running backs for the Saints. Dallas is allowing 114 yards rushing per game, so this may be just the opportunity Ingram’s been waiting for to get himself back on the fantasy radar.

Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden is hurt, again, and Jennings took full advantage of the extra touches on Sunday. Even though the Raiders were blown out by the Eagles, Jennings finished the game with 102 yards rushing and a touchdown on 15 carries (6.8 ypc) and added 74 yards receiving on seven catches. McFadden re-aggravated an earlier hamstring injury, so there’s a good chance he could miss several games. Jennings would replace McFadden as the starter, which immediately makes him one of the most popular potential free agents this week.

Ben Tate, Houston Texans
Despite playing with four broken ribs, Tate rushed for 81 yards on 22 carries against Indianapolis on Sunday night. He got so many carries because Arian Foster, who was questionable entering this game with a hamstring injury, left after suffering a back injury in the Texans’ first offensive series and did not return. With Foster’s availability for this week clearly in question, Tate figures to get the bulk of the carries, as long as his ribs don’t get worse. Dennis Johnson is also someone to keep an eye on, as the undrafted rookie who was among the Texans’ final preseason cuts before re-signing with them last week, picked up 36 yards on eight carries. If Foster’s injuries result him in missing a game or two, Johnson could become Tate’s handcuff, just as Tate is to a healthy Foster.

Wide Receivers
Week 9 Recap: Emmanuel Sanders led the Steelers in both targets (11) and receiving yards (98) in the shootout loss in New England. Kenny Stills was held in check by the Jets, as he posted three receptions for a modest 35 yards. In that same game, David Nelson, who is dealing with a quad injury, hauled in one pass for 19 yards, as the Jets relied heavily on the run in their win over the Saints. The Chiefs’ passing offense was a non-factor in Sunday’s win in Buffalo, as Dexter McCluster caught two passes for a total of nine yards and went for negative four yards on one carry.

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Sidney Rice is out for the rest of the season, so someone needs to step up to help Golden Tate in the passing game. The Seahawks should get Percy Harvin back at some point, but he recently suffered a setback in his return from hip surgery, which only further muddies his timetable. That leaves Baldwin, who on Sunday led the team with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown in the Seahawks’ comeback win over Tampa Bay. Tate may be the de facto No. 1 wide receiver for Russell Wilson, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t enough passes to go around for Baldwin to provide some solid numbers of his own.

Mike Brown, Jacksonville Jaguars
Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, so someone else will need to line up opposite Cecil Shorts in the Jaguars’ offense. Brown has come on in recent weeks, as the second-year pro has posted 12 catches for 212 yards and a touchdown in the past three games. While Shorts will remain the Jags’ top target, the offense most likely will be throwing the ball quite a lot, as dictated by the likelihood they will be trailing many a game. The Jags are about to find out what (Mike) Brown can do for their team, will you do the same?

Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles
Cooper had quite a game on Sunday, catching five passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns against Oakland. While that accounts for a majority of his season’s worth of production (25 rec., 453 yds., 5 TDs), one important detail should not be overlooked. In two games with Nick Foles as the starter, Cooper has recorded nine catches on 12 targets for 259 yards and four touchdowns. Granted it’s an extremely small sample size, but that type of production plays in fantasy so it may be worth giving Cooper a longer look if you are in need of rounding out your receiving corps. Especially if Foles remains the starter and can play like he did against the Raiders (406 yds., 7 TDs).

Mario Manningham, San Francisco 49ers
Manningham was activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Monday and should be see his first action this season against Carolina on Sunday. Manningham has been recovering from a torn ACL and PCL and could be just the boost the 49ers’ passing attack needs, especially with Michael Crabtree (torn Achilles) believed to still be a few weeks away from returning. Colin Kaepernick really needs another wide receiver other than Anquan Boldin to emerge, as the next most-targeted wideout on the 49ers is Kyle Williams with 25 (11 receptions). Manningham posted 42 receptions in 12 games last season with the 49ers, so it shouldn’t take him and Kaepernick too long to get reacquainted. You may want to do the same if you are looking for a proven wide receiver.

Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints
After missing three games because of a hand injury, Moore has returned and had an immediate impact in the Saints’ passing game. Moore has nine catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the past two games and could be in line for more targets if Marques Colston’s knee injury lingers. Moore got off to a slow start this season with just four catches for 44 yards in the first three games, but he did have the hand injury and also has a track record of success with Drew Brees. He posted more than 1,000 yards receiving last season and has recorded six or more touchdown catches in four of the past five. Someone other than Jimmy Graham has to catch passes from Brees, right?

Tight Ends
Week 9 Recap: Garrett Graham caught four passes for 46 yards from Case Keenum in the Texans’ disheartening loss to the Colts on Sunday night.

Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
Entering this season, expectations were that this could finally be the year that Cook breaks out and makes good on all his athletic ability and potential. Unfortunately, that has not transpired so far and to make matters worse, quarterback Sam Bradford is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. While Cook has been a major disappointment, he has shown some signs of progress recently. He has at least six targets in each of the past three games and his touchdown catch on Sunday against the Titans was his first since Week 1. Kellen Clemens, Bradford’s replacement at quarterback, isn’t likely to try and beat many teams deep, which should mean more opportunities for Cook in the middle of the field and on intermediate routes. With no Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Cameron in Week 10, Cook is at least worth a look if you need a fill-in tight end.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 9 Recap: Indianapolis had its hands full on Sunday night with Houston. Case Keenum threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns while the Colts’ defense managed just one sack in a hard-fought 27-24 win on the road. The Colts are back at home against St. Louis and backup quarterback Kellen Clemens this Sunday.

Miami Dolphins
Cameron Wake’s return to the starting lineup has seemingly re-energized the Dolphins’ defense. Wake had 3.5 sacks, forced and recovered a fumble and most important of all, was responsible for the walk-off safety that beat Cincinnati in overtime on Thursday night. Besides the five total sacks, the ‘Fins also picked Andy Dalton off three times, one of which was returned 94 yards for a touchdown. The Dolphins gave up a bunch of yards (465 total), but the defense still managed to put together a 24-point effort (Athlon scoring). Next up is a road trip to Tampa Bay to face a 0-8 Buccaneers team that is employing a second-string quarterback (Mike Glennon) and running back (Mike James) and has committed seven turnovers in four home games.

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 10
Post date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 07:30
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The NFL’s longest running rivalry resumes tonight when the Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Packers (5-2) are in first place in the NFC North and have won five in a row overall, while the Bears (4-3) have dropped three of their last four games after opening the season 3-0. With the Bears dealing with so many injuries on both sides of the ball, it will be up to All-Pro cornerback Charles Tillman and a patchwork defense to try and slow down Aaron Rodgers and a well-balanced Packers offensive attack.

This represents the 187th meeting, including playoffs, between these historic, long-time divisional rivals. This is the NFL’s longest running rivalry and although Chicago holds a slim lead (92-88-6) in these head-to-head matchups, the Packers have won six in a row overall and the last five played at Lambeau Field. Green Bay also has won 11 straight against NFC North opponents, a big reason why the Packers have won the last two division titles.

3 Things to Watch

Will Chicago’s Offense Click Without Cutler?
Jay Cutler will miss tonight’s game because of the groin injury he sustained in the Bears’ last game, a Week 7 loss to the Redskins. With Cutler sidelined, Josh McCown will make his first start since the end of the 2011 season. An 11-year veteran with more than 30 career starts under his belt, McCown filled in quite nicely after Cutler got hurt, completing 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in the 45-41 loss to Washington. McCown is a veteran who has not only faced the Packers before, he also has played at Lambeau Field. McCown’s first start in 2011 was on the road against Green Bay on Christmas Day. He threw for 242 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions that day, a 35-21 loss. McCown won’t be asked to do it all by himself, as running back Matt Forté will be heavily involved in the game plan, and he also has wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett at his disposal. Still, the Bears need McCown to execute the offense and take care of the football, because Chicago’s defense is too banged up and not playing well enough right now to expect it to be able to shut out the Packers entirely. Following Cutler’s injury, the initial time frame for his return was about four weeks. Cutler is making progress and has stated that his goal is to return sooner than expected. How well McCown fares on the road in a big divisional game could go a long ways in determining how the Bears approach Cutler’s recovery timeline.

Bear-ing Down on Defense
Chicago’s defense was one of the NFL’s best last season, ranking fifth in yards allowed and third in points allowed. This year’s unit has struggled under new coordinator Mel Tucker, ranking 27th in yards allowed (391) and 29th in points (29.4) entering Week 9. While there have been several key personnel changes, the biggest problem this season has been staying healthy. The Bears have lost both starting defensive tackles and a linebacker to season-ending injuries with Lance Briggs, the unit’s veteran leader, expected to be out more than a month. There is still talent left, but key parts like All-Pro cornerback Charles Tillman are playing hurt and the Bears are relying on two rookie linebackers as starters. Chicago knows full well the task ahead of them, as Aaron Rodgers is 8-2 in his career against the Bears. One way or another, this Bears defense has to find a way to force Rodgers and company to earn their yards and points. Whether that be someone unheralded stepping up along the defensive line, the rookie linebackers flashing their talent and potential in select spots, or Tillman and fellow All-Pro corner Tim Jennings shutting down the Packers’ passing game, the 2013 version of the Monsters of the Midway need to make an appearance tonight if the Bears have any hope of winning.

Will the Packers Stick to the Script?
Green Bay has won four games in a row, although not in the fashion you may think. Aaron Rodgers is averaging less than 284 yards passing during this span with just seven touchdown passes. The Packers have been hit hard by injuries to its offensive skill players, as wide receiver Randall Cobb is out until the middle of December with a broken leg, tight end Jermichael Finley is out indefinitely with a spinal contusion and wideout James Jones has missed the last two games because of a sprained knee. Jones could possibly return tonight, but what the Packers have done during their winning streak is lean heavily on the running game. Green Bay is averaging more than 150 yards rushing per game during this streak and for the season is third in the NFL in rushing offense (141.4 ypg). The main engine has been rookie Eddie Lacy, who has 395 yards rushing over his last four games. He has gotten 22 or more carries in each of these contests and is averaging four yards per attempt. Lacy even got a helping hand from James Starks last week, who returned against Minnesota after missing the previous three games with a knee injury. Starks had seven carries for 57 yards and a touchdown, while Lacy went for 94 and a score in the 44-31 victory. The Packers have found something that works and there’s no reason to expect them to go away from that against a Bears defense that is giving up more than 117 yards rushing per game. Unlike past meetings, Rodgers doesn’t have to do it all against the Bears, which makes him and the Packers offense that much more dangerous.

Chicago Key Player: Matt Forté, RB
The Bears will miss having Jay Cutler under center tonight, but the real key to this offense is Forté. New head coach Marc Trestman keeps his No. 1 running back busy, as Forté is eight in the NFL in rushing yards (533) and entered Week 9 third at his position in receptions (35). Green Bay’s defense has done a very good job against the run thus far, ranking fourth in the league at 83.6 yards per game. However, Forté is much more than just a rusher and he needs to find a way to make plays tonight to not only help the offense move the ball down the field, but to make things easier on backup quarterback Josh McCown, who is making his first start since late in the 2011 season. Forté figures to be one busy Bear tonight, he also needs to be a productive one.

Green Bay Key Player: A.J. Hawk, LB
The Packers’ defense entered this game 11th in the NFL in yards allowed and 16th in points allowed. The unit has been very good against the run (4th, 83.6 ypg) and has been at its best during this current four-game winning streak. One of the reasons for their success has been the play of Hawk, who has stepped up his production in his eighth season in Green Bay. Hawk leads the team in tackles (59) by a wide margin and is tied for second with three sacks. He has posted double-digit stops in two of his last three games, which also is the amount of time his teammate, All-Pro Clay Matthews has missed with a broken thumb. Even though Hawk and company are facing Chicago backup quarterback Josh McCown tonight, they know that it won’t be easy, especially with the weapons the Bears have. It will be up to Hawk to take charge in stopping Matt Forté, both as a runner and a receiver, as well as protecting the middle of the field where McCown may look for one of his wide receivers or tight end Martellus Bennett. The Packers defense hasn’t missed a beat since Matthews went down and Hawk will try to maintain the status quo tonight.

Final Analysis

Even with Jay Cutler at quarterback, Chicago would have had its work cut out against a Green Bay team that is playing exceptionally well right now. Josh McCown will get some things done, but the Bears don’t have enough firepower to keep up with a balanced Packers offense that has rediscovered its running game.

In the end, the Packers hammer the Bears on the ground, which allows Aaron Rodgers to pick and choose his shots through the air. The Bears hang in there, but fall too far behind and can’t make enough stops on defense as the Packers extend their winning streak to five with a seventh straight victory over the Bears.

Green Bay 34, Chicago 23

Teaser:
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers Preview and Prediction
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The Indianapolis Colts will try and extend their lead in the AFC South tonight when they face off with the Houston Texans at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The Colts (5-2) currently lead the Titans by two games and the Texans (2-5), who have lost five in a row, by three.

Andrew Luck and the Colts have gotten back to the basics this season, putting more of an emphasis on running the ball and playing more physical on defense. J.J. Watt and the Texans’ defense have done their job for the most part, but the offense has made too many costly mistakes and has struggled to put points on the scoreboard.

3 Things to Watch

Who Becomes Luck’s “New” No. 1 Target?
The Colts headed into their Week 8 bye on a high, beating the previously undefeated Broncos 39-33 in Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis. The win didn’t come without a cost, however, as wide receiver Reggie Wayne tore his ACL, ending his season. Wayne has been Andrew Luck’s favorite target since the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft made his first start, as the two have combined for 144 receptions for 1,885 yards and seven touchdowns in 23 regular-season games. More importantly, Luck targeted Wayne on 252 of 851 pass attempts during that same span. To put it another way, three out of every 10 passes Luck has thrown in the NFL have gone to Wayne. Now those looks have to go to someone else, as Luck needs one of his other pass-catchers to emerge and become as reliable and productive as Wayne. The primary options are fellow wideouts T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey and tight end Coby Fleener. All three have caught at least 18 passes this season, but that was with Wayne on the field with them, drawing defenders’ attention away. What happens now will be key to how the second half of the Colts’ season plays out. And if there wasn’t enough pressure on Hilton, Heyward-Bey and Fleener already, tonight’s matchup with the No. 1 passing defense in the league is not exactly the ideal situation in which to “break in” a new passing attack.

Does Keenum Make His Case?
Matt Schaub’s problems in the pocket have been well documented. Earlier this season, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw an interception returned for a touchdown in four straight games. Then to make matters worse, after Schaub got hurt against the Rams in Week 6, backup T.J. Yates took over and made it five games in a row with a pick-six. Houston head coach Gary Kubiak then turned the reins over to undrafted, second-year pro Case Keenum. Although the Texans fell to the Chiefs, Keenum was solid in his first career start, throwing for 271 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, although he did lose one of his two fumbles. Still, Keenum apparently showed enough that he remained the starter after the bye. He will make his second NFL start tonight against an Indianapolis defense that has done a decent job against the pass. The Colts entered this week 13th in the league in passing defense and this is a unit that has already faced Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning. If Keenum is able to make some plays through the air, lead the Texans on some scoring drives and protect the ball, he could secure his status as the Texans’ starter for the rest of the way, even though Schaub is healthy enough to play.

Houston’s Hurting in the Backfield
For all of their offensive woes, the Texans have still been productive in the running game. Although the numbers aren’t where they were last season, the Texans are currently 10th in the NFL in rushing at 127.7 yards per game. After a slow start, Arian Foster has picked things up, averaging 113.7 yards rushing per game during a three-game stretch in which the Texans played all NFC West teams – Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis. Unfortunately, Foster lasted just four carries in his last game before exiting with a hamstring injury. He was still limited in practice this week, even after the bye, and will be a game-time decision to play tonight. Foster has especially enjoyed facing the Colts, as he’s averaging 173 total yards in six games against them with six touchdowns. And the Colts have had some issues stopping the run this season. They enter this game 29th in the league in rushing defense at 122.3 yards per game. Foster’s not the only Texan back hurting either. His backup, Ben Tate, is dealing with four broken ribs, but he will play. So with Foster a question mark and Tate at less than 100 percent, Deiji Karim, who has yet to play a single snap this season, could be called on. Whoever ends up getting the ball, they must find a way to take advantage of the perceived weak spot in Indianapolis’ defense. Otherwise, quarterback Case Keenum’s job, in just the second start of his NFL career, is going to be a lot harder.

Indianapolis Key Player: Trent Richardson, RB
Three yards per carry and two touchdowns isn’t exactly what the Colts were hoping for when they sent a first-round pick in next year’s draft to Cleveland for Richardson. Since joining the Colts in Week 3, Richardson has averaged less than 46 yards rushing per game and his longest run has been 16 yards. Backup Donald Brown (5.9 ypc) and Ahmad Bradshaw (4.5), who is now on injured reserve, have both been more productive with their carries, as has been quarterback Andrew Luck (6.5). Richardson also hasn’t made any impact as a receiver out of the backfield, catching just two passes on seven targets for 19 yards. This will be Richardson’s sixth game with the Colts and he just had a bye week to help him get more comfortable with the playbook. The Texans, like the Colts, have struggled against the run this season, allowing 122.1 yards rushing per game. With Reggie Wayne lost for the rest of the season, the running game will need to maintain its production while Luck and the pass-catchers figure the new pecking order out. There’s a reason the Colts traded for Richardson, and tonight would be as good as time as any for the third overall pick of the 2012 draft to show everyone why.

Houston Key Player: J.J. Watt, DE
The Texans may be 2-5, but their defense is No. 1 in the NFL. Despite all of the problems on offense, Watt and his running mates have done everything they can to keep this team afloat. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year may not be making as much noise as he did last season, but he does have 4.5 sacks, 34 total tackles, three passes defended and a forced fumble in seven games. Watt is capable of changing the direction of a game on any snap, and a big play on defense may be just what this Texans team needs to get it going. Andrew Luck is a mobile quarterback who can move around in the pocket and make plays with his legs if need be, but he’s also well aware of Watt’s vast skill set. Unless the offense suddenly figures things out, the Texans will need Watt to have some sort of impact tonight if they want to end their five-game losing skid.

Final Analysis

Headed into this season, most NFL analysts and pundits expected this game to feature the AFC South division leader. The only problem is that Houston was the team projected to be in first place, not Indianapolis. Even at 2-5, the Texans aren’t completely out of the wild-card discussion, but this is pretty much a must-win situation.

The Colts may be in first, but their offense has to figure out how to make things work without Reggie Wayne. Andrew Luck has been as good as advertised since being taken No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft, but this will be his first game without his top target.

Even without Wayne, the Colts have a huge advantage at quarterback, as Case Keenum will be making his second career start tonight. Both teams are coming off of a bye, but the Texans are still pretty banged up, especially in the backfield. This will make it harder for them to take advantage of a generous Colts rushing defense.

The Texans put up a spirited fight in front of the home crowd, but in the end Luck and the Colts simply make more plays. Indianapolis’ defense forces Keenum into a critical mistake late in the game to help send the defending divisional champions to a potentially crippling sixth straight loss.

Indianapolis 27, Houston 23

Teaser:
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans Preview and Prediction
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 09:00
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Once again, six teams are on bye in Week 9 and plenty of other running backs are dealing with injuries. Who is looking good for today and whose playing status is a little more uncertain?

Arian Foster and Ben Tate, RBs, Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
There is nothing worse, or frustrating for that matter, than watching your star running back come off a bye week and still not be completely healthy. That’s the case with Foster, who is still dealing with a lingering hamstring injury. He was able to practice some this week, but he’s considered Questionable and will be a game-time decision for tonight’s (8:30 p.m. ET) game. Tate (right), who is playing with four broken ribs, is Probable and will play against the Colts. Foster has enjoyed considerable success in his career against the Colts, averaging 173 total yards in six games with six touchdowns, but the late start time and game-time decision status put his owners in a tough position. I would keep an eye on any updates this morning, but unless you have a better option, I think you have to roll the dice and hope Foster plays. Meanwhile Tate is definitely in the flex discussion with a rather appealing upside, especially if Foster doesn’t play.

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, RBs, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Spiller sat out last week’s game to give his ankle more time to heal and it appears the decision has paid off. While not back to 100 percent, Spiller returned to practice on Thursday in a limited basis and was a full go on Friday. He is Probable and is expected to be back on the field. Jackson continues to deal with his lingering knee issue, but he practiced fully on both Thursday and Friday and also is Probable. Neither are terrific options against a tough Kansas City defense, especially considering the timeshare that will happen between Jackson and Spiller with Tashard Choice also getting a few carries. Jackson and Spiller still carry the most fantasy appeal, but both should be viewed as nothing better than RB2s this week, with Jackson having the slight edge over Spiller.

DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar, RBs, Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
Murray was a possibility to go last week, but the coaching staff decided to keep him sidelined. He practiced fully all week, is Probable and will be back in there against Minnesota. Murray is a solid starting option against a Vikings defense that is giving up 113.7 yards rushing per game. Murray’s return means fewer opportunities for rookie Joseph Randle. In fact, Randle and Dunbar, who is Probable even though he’s dealing with a hamstring injury, will share backup duties to Murray. Even though Murray likely won’t see a heavy workload in his first game back, it’s too risky to count on either Randle or Dunbar this week, even as a possible flex option. For one, there’s no telling which one will get the most touches or, more importantly, do the most with them. There’s also the possibility that Philip Tanner could vulture a goal-line or short-yardage touchdown. In other words, as far as Cowboy backs go this week, there’s Murray (RB2 with upside) and the rest don’t even matter.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Charles has been dealing with some bumps and bruises and he was held out of practice earlier in the week because of a sore knee. He practiced fully on Friday and is Probable for today’s game in Buffalo. Charles is leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage, averaging about 128 total yards per game, and is No. 1 in fantasy points at his position. Need I say anything more?

Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson, RBs, St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans
Stacy was quite impressive last week against Seattle, rushing for 134 yards on 26 carries, but he rolled his ankle late. He was a full participant in practice on Thursday, but was limited on Friday and is considered Questionable to play the Titans. His backup, Richardson, did not practice at all on Friday, and he too is Questionable. There have been no reports of Stacy suffering any sort of setback, so unless something changes between this morning and the 1 p.m. ET kickoff, he should be on the field. Richardson appears far more uncertain, and his fantasy potential was already limited because of Stacy’s emergence. While expectations need to be limited, you should be able to employ Stacy as a RB2/RB3/flex this week, and I would not mess with Richardson.

Teaser:
Week 9 Injury Updates: Arian Foster, C.J. Spiller, DeMarco Murray, Jamaal Charles, Zac Stacy
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 06:30
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Carolina’s backfield is set to get a little more crowded today, while owners are hoping normalcy returns in Week 9 as it relates to Seattle’s running game. Here is the latest information on those and some other running back injury situations.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Williams left last week’s win in Tampa Bay early after injuring his quadriceps. He was held out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was back on Friday. He is Probable for today’s game and is still considered the starter in the Panthers' backfield. Williams has been productive with his touches, but his fantasy impact has been limited by a lack of touchdowns. He scored his first of the season last week despite averaging more than 16 carries per game. Jonathan Stewart (right) also was activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Saturday and is expected to join a crowded backfield that already has Williams and Mike Tolbert, not to mention quarterback Cam Newton, who has 50 carries this season. While Williams should maintain his double-digit carries, his touches figure to decrease some moving forward because of the presence of Stewart and Tolbert. Add to that his lack of scoring chances and while Williams is probably the best of the trio of Panther backs, the reality is that he may be nothing more than a flex option with upside potential from here out.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lynch didn’t practice at all on Thursday because of a knee injury, but was a full go on Friday. He is Probable to play later this afternoon (4:05 p.m. ET kickoff) and at least on paper, looks the part of a RB1. The problem, however, is the eight carries Lynch got on Monday night against the Rams. Whether that was because of the knee, a coaching decision, a combination of the two or something else, who knows, but anytime a so-called workhorse back gets less than 10 total touches, it’s concerning. Still, at home and against a reeling Buccaneers team, you have to roll with Lynch and hope last week was the exception, not the rule.

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks
To the surprise of no one, Martin will miss his second game because of a shoulder injury. Mike James will continue to handle the load in Martin’s absence, but he has another tough matchup ahead. James had 64 total yards last week against Carolina and today faces a Seattle defense that’s back at home and wants to redeem itself after allowing 200 yards rushing to the Rams last week. If you have James as Martin’s handcuff, you probably have to start him, just be sure to temper your expectations.

Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Pierce is dealing with a thigh injury, but he practiced fully all week and is Probable for today’s game. Last week’s bye gave him extra time to rest and recover, and hopefully he and Ray Rice can get the Ravens’ running game going. Baltimore has struggled mightily on the ground and face a Cleveland defense that is allowing less than 104 yards rushing. Rice hasn’t done a lot this season, but he’s in no danger of losing his No. 1 status to Pierce. While Pierce could get back into the flex conversation, I would advise against employing him there this week, unless you have no other option.

Willis McGahee, RB, Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
Once again, the Browns are being intentional in giving McGahee planned rest days for his surgically repaired knee and once again he is Probable to play. That said, McGahee is averaging just 10 carries over his last three games and is gaining 3.5 yards per attempt during this stretch. Today he faces a Ravens defense that is rested coming off of the bye and has allowed just one rushing touchdown all season. Six teams are on bye and McGahee is still nothing more than a RB3/flex option.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 9: DeAngelo Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, Bernard Pierce, Willis McGahee
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
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Whether it’s an ankle, knee, calf or toe, wide receivers across the league are dealing with an injury entering the bulk of Week 9’s action. Which ones should you be most concerned about? Athlon Sports has the latest information.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders
Jackson “tweaked” his ankle during practice this week, but he is listed as Probable is expected to start against Oakland. Jackson hasn’t done much in the past two games, but he’s the Eagles’ No. 1 wide receiver and needs to be in your lineup. He has clicked with Nick Foles, who will return to the lineup today, quite nicely and at worst, Jackson should provide WR3 production with the potential for much, much more because he is targeted so much.

Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
Colston actually missed practice on Friday because of a knee injury, so even though he is listed as Questionable, I would exercise caution with him. He will be a game-time decision for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, but his numbers in recent games also portray the picture of a wide receiver whose role is diminishing. Whether it’s injury-related or not, Colston has six catches on 11 targets for just 44 yards in his last three games combined. He also has just one touchdown reception all season, as Drew Brees has relied more on rookie Kenny Stills, the recently returned Lance Moore, and of course, tight end Jimmy Graham. The Jets' defense has done a decent job this season against the pass, so if you have another option, it may be best to leave Colston on your bench this week.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins vs. San Diego Chargers
Garcon was limited somewhat in practice this week by a calf injury, but he is Probable and should play against San Diego. He is Robert Griffin III’s No. 1 target, but the big plays have been few and far between this season. Garcon has 47 receptions (on 78 targets), but only four of those have gone for 20 yards or more, and he has just two touchdown receptions. As long as he plays, Garcon needs to be in your lineup and you just hope he breaks out at some point in the near future.

Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins
Coming off of the bye, Royal is still dealing with a toe injury that held him out of practice all week. He is listed as Questionable, but that was the same situation two weeks ago when he ended up playing and catching a touchdown against Jacksonville. Royal has cooled off considerably from his incredibly hot start, but he’s shown that he can come through in any week. Royal’s outlook is strictly that of a WR3/flex, and the 1 p.m. ET kickoff should give you plenty of time to make a decision about whether to put him in your lineup or not.

Greg Jennings, WR, Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys
Jennings missed practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury, but was a limited participant on both Thursday and Friday. He is Probable to play the Cowboys, but he also is coming off a game in which he caught just one pass for nine yards. Christian Ponder will get the start for the Vikings, but that really has nothing to do with Jennings, who hasn’t done much of anything in his first season with his new team. He has 25 catches for 336 yards and two touchdowns in seven games, but only 11 grabs for 84 yards and no scores in his last three combined. The only Viking offensive skill players you want in your lineup this week are Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph.

Miles Austin, WRs, Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
Austin missed last week’s game because of a hamstring injury and that’s when he was listed as Questionable. This week looks even less likely, as he’s Doubtful. The reality is that Austin has not caught a pass since Week 3 and has just 15 receptions with no touchdowns on the season. Dez Bryant is clearly the top target for Tony Romo, followed by tight end Jason Witten. After those two, Austin has been replaced by rookie Terrance Williams, who has a touchdown catch in four straight games. There’s really no reason to even keep Austin on your roster at this point.

James Jones, WRs, Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears (Mon.)
Jones has missed the last two games with a sprained knee, but did finally return to practice this week, albeit in a limited capacity. He is listed as Questionable to play Monday night, which is an upgrade from last week’s Dobtful designation. With him playing in the final game of the week, Jones is probably too risky to count on this week, unless you have another Bear or Packer on your roster that you can plug in should Jones be ruled out prior to kickoff.

Teaser:
Week 9 Injury Updates: DeSean Jackson, Marques Colston, Pierre Garcon, Eddie Royal, James Jones
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury updates, NFL, Fantasy, News
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Six teams are on bye in Week 9 so injuries only add to the dilemma facing fantasy owners enterting today's action. Here are some key wide receiver injuries to pay attention to before setting your lineup.

Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Amendola is still listed on the injury report, but this week it’s because of his lingering groin issue not the concussion, and he’s Probable, not Questionable like he was last week. Edelman (right) also is Probable with a thigh injury. Both were able to practice in some capacity during the week and are expected to play. However, the Patriots’ passing game has struggled to produce and the Steelers’ defense is not only second in the NFL against the pass, it has been extremely stingy to opposing wide receivers. Pittsburgh has given up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. While Amendola is likely to see an increase in targets this week, he should probably be viewed as nothing more than a WR3 with upside. Meanwhile Edelman’s value took a hit first with the return of Rob Gronkowski, then Amendola and now it appears that rookie Aaron Dobson has passed him in the pecking order. Edelman’s best fantasy days may be past him.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Reggie Wayne tore his ACL in the Colts' Week 7 win over Denver, ending his season and presenting Heyward-Bey with a huge opportunity to step up not only for his team, but for his fantasy owners. Unfortunately, Heyward-Bey injured his hamstring in practice on Thursday and did not get on the field at all on Friday. He is listed as Questionable to face the Texans tonight, although head coach Chuck Pagano expects him to play. Wayne’s targets from Andrew Luck need to go to someone, so while the hamstring issue is not ideal, I think you need to throw DHB out there and see what happens.

Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Johnson is dealing with a hip/groin issue, but he was a practice participant to different degrees this week and is Probable. The Bills’ quarterback situation is definitely up in the air with Thad Lewis listed as Doubtful because of a rib injury, but regardless of who is under center, Johnson should remain an active part of the passing game. He has 13 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown in his last two games combined. Kansas City’s defense has been one of the best in the NFL, so Johnson’s ceiling this week is probably limited to WR2.

Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery, WRs, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Bowe has been limited this week by a groin issue, but he practiced fully on Friday and is Probable. Avery has been dealing with a shoulder issue, but he also is Probable and good to go against Buffalo. The question is, however, does it matter? Bowe caught one pass for seven yards last week and his season-high numbers are five catches for 66 yards (Week 2). He has just two touchdown receptions in eight games. Avery has one 100-yard game to his credit, but he has one touchdown grab and just 11 receptions on 17 targets in his last four games combined. The Chiefs have been winning with Jamaal Charles on the ground (and as a receiver out of the backfield) and with a strong defense. Right now, it’s really hard to trust any Chief receiver in fantasy, as Dexter McCluster has been the most productive wideout the past two games. Bowe has been a disappointment this season and Avery has not been anywhere near as involved as he was earlier. If you are relying on either Bowe or Avery this week, I hope you have limited expectations.

Roddy White, WRs, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
White hasn’t played since Week 5 due to a hamstring injury, but there’s a chance he could return today. He practiced on a limited basis on Friday and officially is listed as Questionable. He most likely will be a game-time decision, and while the 1 p.m. ET kickoff helps, this isn’t vintage White we are talking about. Hampered by a high ankle sprain from the start, he has 14 catches and no touchdowns in five games. With Julio Jones on injured reserve, Harry Douglas has become Matt Ryan’s No. 1 target and he’s the Falcon wideout you must start, not White.

Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson and Stephen Hill, WRs, New York Jets vs. New Orleans Saints
Talk about your banged up position groups. A total of six Jets wide receivers appear on this week’s injury report. The worst of the bunch is Santonio Holmes, who will miss another game because of a hamstring injury. The rest are Probable, starting with Kerley, who missed some practice time due to illness. He should be fine for today’s game with New Orleans. Nelson was limited all week by a quad injury, while Hill is dealing with a foot injury. All three should play against the Saints, but Kerley seems to be the safest of this trio. Nelson has actually been the most productive wideout over the past two games, but it looks like he won’t be 100 percent today. Kerley is probably in the WR3 category, with the potential for more because of the injury situation to his running mates, while Nelson is a flex candidate. Hill has been the odd man out the past month and it’s too risky to expect that to change this week.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 9: Danny Amendola, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Stevie Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Roddy White
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 06:30
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Six quarterbacks are on bye in Week 9 while several other appear on the injury report. Which ones are in danger of not taking the field? Athlon Sports has the latest injury information on the quarterback front.

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Brady is still listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury, but this is the Patriots we are talking about. The key is that he is Probable and is fully expected to face the Steelers. Even with Rob Gronkowski (Probable, back) and Danny Amendola (Probable, groin) back in the fold, Brady’s numbers have been very un-Brady-like this season. He has one 300-yard passing game and a total of nine touchdown passes in eight games. The Steelers are second in the NFL in passing defense. I’m not saying you should sit Brady, but I think we have reached the point where you at least have to give it some thought, especially if you have another option on your bench.

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins vs. San Diego Chargers
RG3 is listed on the injury report with a knee issue, but he practiced fully all week and is Probable for today’s game. After showing signs of improvement, RG3 posted a dud last week against Denver (132-1-2, 7 yards rushing, fumble), so his owners can only hope he can turn things around this week at home. He is averaging nearly 320 yards passing per game at FedEx Field.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders
Michael Vick re-injured his hamstring last week and has already been ruled Out for today’s game. Fortunately, Foles returned to practice last week and will be back under center against Oakland. Foles missed one game because of a concussion, but he was cleared early in the week and is locked in as the starter. Foles fared very well as the starter after Vick got hurt the first time, throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns against Tampa Bay in Week 6, and his return also is a good sign for the other Eagle offensive skill players. The Raiders’ defense hasn’t been horrible, especially at home, but I think you need to start Foles today if he’s your best option.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (Mon.)
Despite some early optimism, Cutler will miss the Monday night game because of a groin injury. Josh McCown will start in his place and even though this is his first start since late in the 2011 season, I like his prospects as a possible bye-week replacement or fill-in this week. McCown threw for 204 yards and a touchdown in relief of Cutler against the Redskins and the Packers aren’t exactly shutting down opposing passing games. If anything, McCown may have no choice but to throw the ball if the Bears end up trailing the Packers by a significant amount.

Thad Lewis, QB, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Lewis is dealing with a rib contusion and was able to practice only on Friday on a limited basis. He is considered Doubtful to suit up against Kansas City and at best is a game-time decision. If Lewis can’t go, Jeff Tuel or Matt Flynn would get the call, as EJ Manuel (sprained LCL) will not be returning this week. This already was a bad matchup to start with Kansas City and its ferocious pass rush on the other side. Now, it’s a “stay away” situation, as I wouldn’t want any part of the Bills’ quarterback position this week.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 9: Tom Brady, Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, Jay Cutler, Thad Lewis
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 06:30
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Yet again, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski both appear on the injury report. Is either in danger of not playing in Week 9?

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
Graham is dealing with plantar fasciitis, which is a painful issue that probably won’t be completely healed until after the season. The good news is that as long as it doesn’t get worse and he can manage the pain, Graham should be able to keep playing. That was the case last week, when even though he was a game-time decision, he suited up against the Bills. Graham is listed as Questionable this week, but he was able to practice, albeit in a limited capacity, and is fully expected to play. Graham is one of the few players who can have a big impact even with limited snaps, such as last week when he caught all three of his targets for 37 yards and two touchdowns. The 1 p.m. ET kickoff should provide you the luxury of just making sure Graham is in the Saints’ lineup, as he should definitely be in yours.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Gronkowski will probably stay on the injury report for the rest of this season, but as long as he’s listed as Probable, there’s really nothing to worry about. What his owners should be concerned with, however, is the two catches for just 27 yards he totaled last week against Miami. Pittsburgh is allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season, so it could be another slow day at the office for Gronk.

Don’t Forget…

Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets – Cumberland sustained a concussion last week against the Bengals and as of Saturday night, had yet to be cleared to return to the field. So even though he practiced on a limited basis on Friday and is Questionable on the injury report, I would not count on Cumberland playing today.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers – Finley is out indefinitely with a spinal contusion and unless you can afford the roster spot, he probably shouldn’t be owned in any league. His possible return to the football field is secondary to his health at this point. Andrew Quarless will replace Finley as the Packers’ starting tight end, but he is nothing more than a wait-and-see option for now.

Teaser:
Week 9 Injury Updates: Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jeff Cumberland, Jermichael Finley
Post date: Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Coaches on the hot seat, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/nfls-coach-hot-seat-rankings-midseason-edition
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Halfway through the season and a handful of NFL teams are either already out of the playoff race – at least realistically – or on their way there. That means that somewhere, deep in their offices, people are already pondering the 2014 season.

And the biggest thing they’ll be thinking about is: Who will be their coach?

It’s a good bet that several NFL coaches are already on a very hot seat, needing to do a lot of winning during the second half of the season in order to save their jobs. Here’s a look those whose seats are the hottest – some of whom are already burned:

The Hot Seats
(Team record entering Week 9)

1. Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay (0-7)
It’s hard to remember a regime that’s been a bigger disaster than Schiano’s regime currently is. There are many around the NFL who hate him for a variety of reasons – including his famous strategy of having his defense attack quarterbacks who take a knee at the end of games. But now he’s got players angry at him for the way he (and his general manager) mishandled the MRSA infection in the locker room, not to mention the ugly way he dealt with Josh Freeman, which included accusations of leaked information. And now they’re 0-7, too. If the Bucs aren’t already thinking ahead to the next coach, they should be.

2. Leslie Frazier, Minnesota (1-6)
The Vikings were 10-6 and made the playoffs last year, and now they’d need to go 9-0 just to equal that mark. That’s a huge drop-off for a team with the NFL’s best running back in Adrian Peterson. Yes, the Vikings have QB issues, but Frazier isn’t handling them well. His decision to go to Josh Freeman seemed premature, as was his decision to have Freeman throw 53 times in a loss to the Giants while Peterson gathered dust. With a new stadium on the way in two years, Vikings may want to clean house to make sure they can build a contender again by 2016 before they waste any more of AP’s years.

3. Gary Kubiak, Houston (2-5)
This isn’t all Kubiak’s fault and the Texans have been hammered by injuries, but how many years can he get away with the Texans being one of the league’s biggest disappointments? He is in his eighth year as the Texans’ coach. They’ve been to the playoffs twice and lost in the divisional round twice, even though there are probably five or six years there when they were expected to go farther. Houston’s desire for stability is admirable, but it may be time for a change.

4. Jason Garrett, Dallas (4-4)
Yeah, the Cowboys are in first place, but only because the rest of the NFC East stinks. They probably should be 6-2, but instead they’re just one game ahead of the awful Eagles and two games ahead of the disastrous 2-6 Giants. The Cowboys are the most talented team in the division and probably could make a run at being one of the best in the conference. If they don’t win the division in this down year, how could Jerry Jones not make a change?

5. Rex Ryan, New York Jets (4-4)
They may be in second place, but they have two very fortunate wins that hinged on controversial decisions by officials, and they’re coming off a beat-down in Cincinnati. All in all, given the roster turnover and the rookie quarterback, Ryan has done an impressive job. But his seat will be red hot without a playoff berth because he has yet to get a vote of confidence from ownership or new GM John Idzik, who most people believe is determined to bring in his own coach next year if he even has the smallest opportunity to do so.

The Warm Seats

6. Ron Rivera, Carolina (4-3)
They’re starting to show signs of life behind Cam Newton, and they better keep it up because when a No. 1 overall draft pick like Newton doesn’t cause a pretty significant turnaround for a franchise it’s usually the coach that takes the fall. It doesn’t help that the Panthers changed GMs, hiring ex-Giants executive Dave Gettleman, who stuck with Rivera for one year but likely wouldn’t do it for two if there wasn’t a playoff berth involved.

7. Mike Shanahan, Washington (2-5)
The Redskins’ problems can probably be tied directly to the health and performance of Robert Griffin III, but Shanahan was already under fire a bit for the way he handled RGIII’s knee injury last season. Besides, if they don’t make the playoffs this season that would make three of four misses under Shanahan’s watch, plus a loss in the wild-card round. And in a down year in the NFC East where there should’ve been an easy opportunity for the ‘Skins to make a run, the impetuous Dan Snyder has to consider blowing things up.

8. Mike Munchak, Tennessee (3-4)
The Munchak era started with such promise – a 9-7 record in 2011 – but last year was a setback and this year they’re only clinging to the fringe of a very winnable wild-card race. The death of Bud Adams likely means the Titans won’t make a change because organizations don’t like a lot of upheaval at the top at one time. But Munchak’s reign has been marked by mediocrity at best and no visible signs of taking a step towards the next level.

Cold Seats … but only for now

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh (2-5) – He works for an organization known for sticking with coaches longer than any other. And he’s had too much success for the Steelers to ponder giving up on him now.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (2-6) – Ownership and management remain strongly in his corner, but at 67 retirement always looms. Plus a second-half disaster in the New York fishbowl could always force unexpected changes.

Gus Bradley, Jacksonville (0-8) – His team stinks and he has no quarterback and it’s doubtful ownership will fire him after just one year. But if they get to 0-16 – which isn’t out of the question – all bets have to be off.

Jim Schwartz, Detroit (5-3) – He’s coming off an extremely disappointing 4-12 season, so anything short of a playoff berth in his fifth season could cost him his job. They do seem to appear to be on their way, though.

Dennis Allen, Oakland (3-4) – Expectations weren’t high in Oakland and they do seem to have found a quarterback in Terelle Pryor. But these are the Raiders, so nothing can be ruled out.

By Ralph Vacchiano, @RVacchianoNYDN
Teaser:
NFL's Coach on the Hot Seat Rankings: Midseason Edition
Post date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 11:30

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