Dallas Cowboys star RB Ezekiel Elliott and NFLPA filed a petition (to vacate the eventual arbitration ruling) against the NFL. Hopefully we will hear about the results of this over the next couple of days. Most drafts are completed by now but Zeke is still a top 15 back with the suspension, but could turn into a top 5 back if the suspension is lifted or shortened. Stay tuned.
– Colts QB Andrew Luck ‘may’ join the team on the practice field today per beat writer @HolderStephen. BIG NEWS. It remains to be seen when Luck, the medical staff, coaches & owner will feel good enough about Luck’s health to put him back on the field, because the last thing you want is to send Luck back out there & then have him miss the following 3-4 games due to re-injury/concern. The good news is that he was released from the PUP list, which means that the Colts must feel confident enough that Luck will be back before Week 7.
– Colts traded WR Phillip Dorsett to Patriots for QB Jacoby Brissett. Brissett will be Colts QB3 behind Luck & Tolzien. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brissett enters the game if Tolzien struggles (or gets hurt) with Luck still getting healthier. Brissett has shown some flashes of potential, including last week’s solid performance and his ability to be semi-decent with the Patriots first-team offense last year while Brady was suspended & Garoppolo was injured.
– Colts claimed Matt Jones off of waivers from Washington, as the former 3rd rd pick fell out of sorts with the Redskins due to ball security issues. Jones holds a respectable 4.6 YPC on 99 carries last season, and at 6’2” and 239 lbs, Jones is a physically gifted back with a high ceiling and potential to make some plays as an inside runner. While everyone wants to write off veteran Frank Gore, I’m not quite so ready…yet. I view Jones as the 4th back, competing with former USF RB Marlon Mack (go Bulls!) and Robert Turbin for 2nd and 3rd string duties behind Gore.
– As part of the NE-IND trade, speedy WR Dorsett lands in NE, as their WR5 behind Cooks, Hogan, Amendola, and Malcolm Mitchell. If Dorsett can learn the playbook & stay healthy, he could have some monster sneaky games this year in the juggernaut NE offense because of his speed. Although there has been some talk of him returning punts/kick-offs, I don’t think we will see this early in the season (despite Patriots losing Cyrus Jones to a torn ACL), simply because Dorsett hasn’t returned punts regularly for several years now. He’s not draftable at this point but should be on your watch list.
– As a result of the fallout from the Dorsett trade to NE, Saints claimed Austin Carr from the Patriots. I really enjoyed watching Carr this preseason for the Patriots, and was a bit sad to see him go, but at the same time I am happy that he ended up in a place where he may be able to slide right into the rotation and make plays due to Willie Snead’s 3-game suspension. Carr’s skillset reminds me of Edelman’s (and Cole Beasley’s and Snead’s for that matter), and he may be able to stick on the roster as their slot WR if Snead struggles when he returns (or falls out of favor with the Saints front office). Currently Carr is buried on the depth chart behind Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Willie Snead, and Brandon Coleman. Right now he’s not draftable, but he should be someone that you keep on your radar.
– Steelers WR Martavius Bryant is fully reinstated, as expected. He’s a high-ceiling WR2-3 for me, and enhances Big Ben’s value.
– Steelers waived RBs Fitzgerald Toussaint and Knile Davis, which makes rookie James Conner Le’Veon Bell’s primary handcuff.
– Titans WR Corey Davis is expected to be good to go in week 1 against the Raiders according to HC Mike Milarkey. Davis had been dealing with a hamstring injury, and is a high-ceiling bench stash at his current ADP.
– Bills waived RB Jonathan Williams, likely due to multiple injuries that plagued him this preseason. This makes Mike Tolert as LeSean McCoy’s backup. Shady is a top 5 RB.
– Ravens signed Alex Collins to their PS, & we might have not heard the last of him as he could eventually be 3rd/4th back behind Terrance West, Danny Woodhead, & Buck Allen
– Ravens QB Joe Flacco, RB Danny Woodhead and WR Breshad Perriman all took part in practice this week. Great news for Ravens (& fantasy) fans, as this are 3 very important pieces to their offense. While Flacco, who is returning from a back injury, is not draftable fantasy-wise, he plays an important role in the offense for Maclin, Wallace, Perriman, West, Woodhead and Ben Watson. Woodhead is one of my sleeper PPR RBs this year, and could be a nice flex play for many teams. Perriman has the physical traits that make scouts eyes light up, but unfortunately he has not been able to stay healthy. He is returning from a hamstring injury, and right now should not be drafted but keep an eye on him if he stay healthy and Flacco finds him for a home run or two.
– LA Chargers WR Mike Williams, who is dealing with a back injury, was activated from the PUP this weekend, with the hopes that he can see the field before the end of September. Right now Williams should be viewed as the 4th WR behind Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin, but Mike Williams has the physical gifts to make an impact if he can get healthy enough to get on the field.
– The 49ers placed RB Joe Williams on season-ending IR with an ankle injury and signed RB Jeremy McNichols to their PS. The fact that McNichols went unclaimed goes to show you what the rest of the league thinks of him. Currently I view him as the 49er’s 3rd RB behind Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida. He’s one injury away from being relevant, so while he’s not draftable at this point, he should be on your watch list.
– Browns traded their 2018 6th rd pick to the Steelers for WR Sammie Coates (+ a 20197th rd pick). This is a nice upside trade for the Browns, as they are not giving up much and could provide Coates with the change of scenery the physically gift WR needs to put it all together. Coates struggled in his time in Pittsburgh, as injuries held him back, namely broken fingers during the 2016 season and then requiring groin and knee surgeries after the season ended. With 2 years left on his rookie deal, if he can stay healthy, Coates may end up being DeShone Kizer’s deep threat. Keep him on your radar.
– Browns claimed WR Kasen Williams from the Seahawks. Williams won the hearts of many this preseason with his big plays & monster lines, but this goes to show you how much preseason numbers really count. The Browns decided to go with Williams over their 2016 5th rd pick Rashard Higgins. Look for Williams to potentially make a splash in Cleveland, joining former Steelers WR Sammie Coates, along with Kenny Britt, Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis and rookie TE David Njoku as options for rookie DeShone Kizer to target.
– The Chiefs re-signed CJ Spiller, merely a day after releasing him, as it sounds like the Chiefs were targeting an RB on waivers this weekend but were unable to land one. Right now Spiller should be viewed as the #3 behind rookie Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick West. I wouldn’t be surprised if either Jonathan Williams or Jeremy Langford ended up displacing Spiller on the Chiefs roster.
– Bears waived RB Jeremy Langford after he failed to make the most of his time last year, while Jordan Howard ran away with the starting job. I wrote about Langford earlier this offseason, as he struggled with lower leg issues, including a severe high ankle sprain. Langford missed about 2 weeks of practice in late July and early August as he continued to deal with high-ankle issues. Look for Langford to latch on somewhere, but it remains to be seen how effective he will be this year due to this recurrent ankle issues.
– Bears claimed WR Tre McBride off of waivers from the Titans. After going 245th in the 2015 draft, McBride a big-framed receiver with good ball skills out of William & Mary struggled to make anything happen. He spent the majority of his time on the practice squad, and now has the potential to make a Bears team that is very thin at WR due to Cameron Meredith’s season-ending ACL injury. McBride is likely the 4th or 5th options for the Bears behind Kevin White, Deonte Thompson, and Kendall Wright.
– The Bears claimed RB Taquan Mizzell off of waivers from the Ravens. An UDFA out of Virginia, Mizzell essentially replaced Langford, who was waived by the Bears, on the depth chart, as Ka’Deem Carey is injured with a wrist injury. Tarik Cohen will likely serve as the Bears #2 RB behind Howard, competing with Benny Cunningham for reps. Cohen deserves to be given a look in dynasty leagues as the rookie draws comparisons to Darren Sproles, at 5’6” and 179 lbs out of North Carolina A&T, due to his toughness, raw strength (for his size) and good footwork.
– Jets claimed TE Will Tye off of waivers from the Giants. Simply put, the Jets offensively are a mess, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tye was one of the better options this year along with Robby Anderson. Although he is technically competing with Austin Seferian-Jenkins (who has a 2-game suspension), Tye will likely get some looks offensively. As far as draft wise, Tye should not be remotely close to being on your radar.
– Bucs placed RB Doug Martin on the suspended list and he will miss the first 3 game of the year (he served 1 game last year). While he is out, look for the Bucs to use RB Jacquizz Rodgers as their starter. Martin could be a nice sleeper RB when he returns in week 4 for the Bucs as they have lots of potential on offense this year.
– The Seahawks traded conditional 2nd or 3rd rd pick + WR Jermaine Kearse to Jets for D-lineman Sheldon Richardson. This translates to Jets WR Robby Anderson becoming a less attractive option later in drafts. On the contrary, the Seahawks get even scarier on passing downs, with Richardson join Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Frank Clark.
– Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater, who suffered a devastating knee injury last year, will remain on the PUP list, which means that he will miss the first 6 games of the season. The good news is that he is making progress & has not be ruled out for the entire 2017 season.
– Titans placed WRs Tajae Sharpe & Harry Douglas on IR, effectively ending their seasons.
– Denver waived RB Stevan Ridley.
– Randy Bullock won the CIN Bengals kicking job over Jake Elliott.
– Zane Gonzalez won the Browns kicker job.
– Younghoe Koo has won the LA Chargers kicking job over Josh Lambo. What a first name. Koo could be a streaming option this year.
– Chandler Catanzaro won the Jets kicker job. Nothing to see here.
– Cairo Santos has claimed the Chiefs starting job (over Sam Ficken), but due to his groin injury, he is not a top 15 K for me.
– Kai’mi Fairbairn won the Houston kicker job over Nick Novak, he’s draftable.
– Connor Barth won the Chicago kicker job over Roberto Aguayo.
– Aldrick Rosas won the Giants kicker job over Mike Nugent.
– The Browns released QB Brock Osweiler (and will pay him his $16M salary), and he signed with the Broncos.
– The Arizona Cardinals released RB Chris Johnson, which makes Kerwynn Williams the #2 RB behind stud David Johnson.
– The 49ers released WR Jeremy Kerley.
– The Chicago Bears released WR Victor Cruz. This boosts Kendall Wright’s value in the slot.
NFL Draft Day is Here!!
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Waiver Wire: NFL Week 14
Fantasy football teams are starting to take shape. Hitting the waiver wire is a critical task in filling the holes or adding significant depth, especially as we enter bye-weeks and an increasing list of injuries. My goal is to find you the best player available for the lowest owned percentage. Therefore, you will see some of the more prominent names under others to consider.
Philip Rivers–IND (ESPN-16.5%) (Yahoo-40%)
Rivers has averaged at least 292 passing yards and two touchdowns in his last six games, and he just feels short of theaverage against Houston with 285 yards and two scores. In the next two weeks, the Colts will face Las Vegas, who allows over 20 Fantasy Points Per Game to quarterbacks, and Houston. Getting Rivers will bring you a top streaming signal-caller for two-straight weeks.
Others to Consider: Jalen Hurts (PHI), Mitchell Trubisky(CHI), Sam Darnold (NYJ), Tua Tagovailoa (MIA), Baker Mayfield (CLE).
Cam Akers-LAR (ESPN-35.8%) (Yahoo-53%)
Akers has seen an increase in snaps over the last few weeks, and he may have full ownership after his 21 carries for 72 yards while catching a pass for another 22 yards and a score. Both Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson will have a role, but Akers should be the bell-cow. The Rams tried him at the goal line on several attempts, but he couldn’t punch it in. Rams face the Patriots and Jets in the next few weeks, and both teams he should exploit for good fantasy performances.
Cordarrelle Patterson-CHI (ESPN-4.8%) (Yahoo-7%)
Patterson has become a running back, and he fits the role well. David Montgomery will be the bell-cow when healthy, but Patterson has gotten extensive looks. Against the Lions, Patterson carried the rock 10 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Patterson has spent his career as a receiver; therefore, catching the ball is no issue. The Bears have Houston this week, and they are horrible against the run.
Ty Johnson-NYJ (ESPN-0.3%) (Yahoo-2%)
The ancient one Frank Gore was the Jets bell-cow until he suffered a concussion. Enter Johnson, who rushed 22 times for 104 yards and a score. Johnson showed promise and someone who deserves more of a look. He will face the Seahawks and Rams next, but he is of good value this late in the season.
Others to Consider: Peyton Barber (WAS), Phillip Lindsay(DEN), Gus Edwards (BAL), Carlos Hyde (SEA), Jeff Wilson(SF), Ito Smith (ATL), Benny Snell (PIT), Adrian Peterson(DET).
T.Y. Hilton-IND (ESPN-47.0%) (Yahoo-45%)
Through 11-weeks, Hilton was sitting on the garbage pile. Then against the Titans, he caught his first touchdown on the season to go along with four receptions for 81 yards. It got even better against the Texans as Hilton brought in 8 balls on 11 targets for 110 yards and a score. He is looking more and more like the stud we drafted him to be. Now the Colts face the Raiders and Texans in back-to-back weeks.
Jalen Guyton-LAC (ESPN-0.3%) (Yahoo-0%)
Guyton was on speed-dial for Justin Herbert. He targeted his receiver seven times, and Guyton brought in two for 38 yards. Fantasy owners may wonder how Guyton can be valuable with Mike Williams, but looking at the numbers and there isn’t much difference. On the season, Guyton has 20-369-3 while Williams stat line 36-572-4 in 11 games. That is just one reception and 18-yards more on average. The Chargers have Atlanta and Las Vegas next, which are prime spots for exploitation.
Rashard Higgins-CLE (ESPN-3.4%) (Yahoo-8%)
Higgins is the one that looks to be the number two receiver, and he lit up the Titans last week for six receptions, 95 yards, and a touchdown. Higgins has deep speed and will make plays downfield. The schedule will be tough next week against Baltimore, but the Giants and Jets could be an easy route for teams in the playoffs and championship.
Others to Consider: Tim Patrick (DEN), Keke Coutee (HOU), Sterling Shepard (NYG), Nelson Agholor (LAS), DenzilMims (NYJ), Breshad Perriman (NYJ), Gabriel Davis (BUF), Allen Lazard (GB).
Logan Thomas-WFT (ESPN-24.9%) (Yahoo-40%)
The Washington Football Team likes to target Thomas, which was prevalent against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Afternoon Football. Thomas brought in nine balls for 98 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Even outside this performance, he is getting at least four targets each game. Thomas has another tough performance next week against San Francisco, but the Seahawks and Panthers are scheduled for Weeks 15 and 16.
Others to Consider: Jordan Reed (SF), Cole Kmet (CHI), Anthony Firsker (TEN), Dalton Schultz (DAL), Kyle Rudolph (MIN), Jacob Hollister (SEA), Jordan Akins(HOU).