|Kirk Cousins open to trade -- Sun Feb 2 9:00 am --|
QB has told Redskins management he wants to start
|With the Washington Redskins making it clear that Robert Griffin III is their starting quarterback, backup Kirk Cousins is open to being traded, league sources told ESPN. Cousins believes he is ready to start and already has had discussions with the Redskins' hierarchy, which declared Griffin as their starter last month. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: It's no surprise Cousins wants the opportunity to start but the Redskins should be happy with having Cousins in a backup role as insurance for RGIII. the Browns would be a logical landing spot for the QB given that former Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan has just landed in Cleveland.
|Browns to hire Kyle Shanahan as OC -- Sat Feb 1 8:00 pm --|
Former OC of Redskins headed to Cleveland
|The Cleveland Browns will hire Kyle Shanahan as their new offensive coordinator, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Shanahan had been the offensive coordinator for the last four seasons under his father, Mike Shanahan, with the Washington Redskins. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The Shanahan offensive philosophy features a strong "X" receiver and tight end. Andre Johnson / Owen Daniels in Houston and Pierre Garcon / Jordan Reed were beneficiaries of the Shanahan offense. This is good news for the fantasy prospects of Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. The big question in Cleveland will be what rookie QB competes with Brian Hoyer for the starting job in 2014.
|Jaguars eyeing QB in 2014 draft -- Fri Jan 31 1:30 pm --|
Owner not shy about draft intentions
|Jaguars owner Shad Khan told the Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran that the quarterback position could be addressed multiple times in May's draft, possibly with the third-overall pick. "Everybody knows we're going to draft a quarterback, maybe two," Khan said.
(Florida Times Union)|
FF Today's Take: The Jaguars have eight picks in the first five rounds of the draft so they are positioned to take multiple quarterbacks if they desire. Chad Henne is likely to be retained as a veteran backup with Blaine Gabbert being the odd man out and no better than the third QB.
|Welker not retiring if DEN wins SB48 -- Thu Jan 30 3:50 pm --|
WR "still having fun"
|Wes Welker has no plans of stopping any time soon. Even though he's 32 years old, Welker believes he still has some seasons left in his tank. While ending his career with a Super Bowl win would be ideal, he said he's enjoying the game too much to quit, regardless of what happens in Sunday's game.
“Of course it would be a good way to end it, but I am still having fun,” Welker told reporters covering the Super Bowl. “I am still enjoying the game. I feel good, and as long as I am out there having fun, I will continue to play.” (National Football Post)|
FF Today's Take: Ever since John Elway made it popular to ride off into the sunset about 15 years ago, there has been a strong push for 30-somethings that might be nearing the end to do the same. Put Welker in the same crowd as Peyton Manning, who said he would only retire this offseason if his annual physical revealed a degenerative condition in his neck following his multiple neck surgeries nearly two years ago.
| Bernard Pierce has shoulder surgery -- Thu Jan 30 9:30 am --|
4-5 month recovery time
|Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce underwent successful right shoulder surgery today at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia to repair his rotator cuff, his agent told The Baltimore Sun.
Pierce is expected to require four to five months of rehabilitation and is expected to make a full recovery.
FF Today's Take: Peirce was bothered by his shoulder injury through much of the season as the Ravens running game was non-existent, finishing 30th in the league. Pierce averaged 2.9 yards per carry. Given his timetable, he should be available for training camp in July.
|Mike Williams dedication in question -- Thu Jan 30 9:00 am --|
Tampa wideout fined over 200K during 2013
|One particular Buccaneer’s postings on Instagram really concerned the team during this past football season, and nearly cost him his roster spot. Fresh off signing a six-year, $40.25-million contract extension in the summer of 2013, wide receiver Mike Williams was placed on injured reserve in Week 9 with a torn hamstring. Since his injury, Williams has documented his partying and his new career as a rapper for all the public to see on his Instagram account.
FF Today's Take: Williams reportedly racked up 200K in fines for missing rehab assignments and team meetings in 2013. The Bucs tailored Williams' contract so he can be released this off-season if they believed his dedication to football wasn't adequate. Now that a new regime is in place, he may get the benefit of the doubt and chance to rededicate himself during off-season workouts.
|Spiller "rarely looked like himself" -- Thu Jan 30 12:00 am --|
Former scout shares opinion on Spiller
|ESPN NFL insider Matt Williamson regarding C.J. Spiller:
"I think he's capable of being one of the best multi-purpose weapons in the league. But I think he's closer to Percy Harvin than he is to Adrian Peterson...He rarely looked like himself (in 2013), and I don't think he's all of the sudden forgotten how to be fast, explosive, and I think he's entering the prime of his career and just never looked super healthy to me. In spurts he did, but [not] for a couple of games in a row." (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Spiller ran into a brutal stretch of run defenses to open the season and was never the same after a Week 4 high-ankle sprain. The fourth-year player is one season removed from a 1,200-yard season and 6.0 YPC, so it is not as if Spiller isn't a running back. Still, Fred Jackson is the more trusted third-down and goal-line option, so Spiller's fantasy upside will be capped for as long as both backs are healthy.
|Moreno may not be back with Broncos -- Wed Jan 29 1:20 pm --|
Free agent RB set to be a free agent
|Just said on @nflnetwork: Broncos don’t expect to be able to sign RB Knowshon Moreno back for 14. He’s a free agent. Should hit the market. (Ian Rapaport via Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: Moreno is in the process of finishing his best season as a pro and will be 27 this summer. The Denver RB has enjoyed playing in a historical offense and will likely cash in during the free agent period this off-season. If Moreno moves on, Montee Ball will quickly jump into low-end RB1 territory in 2014 redraft leagues.
|Peterson happy with new OC -- Wed Jan 29 9:30 am --|
Norv Turner to help with Vikings passing game
|Norv Turner has a reputation for being a pass-first offensive coordinator, but that doesn't bother the star running back he's now going to be coaching with the Minnesota Vikings.
"I'll tell you, our pass offense has really struggled in the past couple years," Adrian Peterson told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview Monday. "I think (Turner) is going to be the perfect guy to come in and get us on the right path." (USA Today)|
FF Today's Take: To say that the Vikings passing game has struggled in recent years is an understatement. Moving on from Christian Ponder would be a step in the right direction. The Browns finished 11th in passing yards per game (253) under Turner in 2013.
| Saints missed Joe Morgan's speed -- Wed Jan 29 9:00 am --|
Recovering from partial ACL tear
|New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan looked like he had a clear shot at the No. 3 spot when the team entered training camp last summer. However, he didn't get that chance. Morgan would be diagnosed with a partial ACL and meniscus tear in August that immediately landed him on injured reserve, the second time in his three-year career that he'd miss a season due to a knee injury. (New Orleans Times Picayune)|
FF Today's Take: Kenny Stills took over the deep threat role in the Saints passing game and finished with 20 yards per catch - the highest average in the league. Morgan, a restricted free agent, is five months into his rehab and should be a participant in training camp come July.
|Cowboys have a new playcaller -- Tue Jan 28 11:20 am --|
Former Detroit OC Scott Linehan expected to join staff
|The Dallas Cowboys will have their third offensive playcaller in as many years with Scott Linehan joining the coaching staff as passing game coordinator, a source told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen.
The former Lions offensive coordinator took part in Monday's team meetings, sources said, but the team has not made an official announcement. (Dallas Morning News)|
FF Today's Take: This will be Tony Romo's third offensive playcaller in three seasons. Current OC Bill Callahan is expected to retain his job meaning there may be too many chefs in the Cowboys' offensive kitchen in 2014. DeMarco Murray became more involved towards the end of the season but Linehan's pass-happy approach may derail Murray's fantasy momentum in 2014.
|Chris Johnson to undergo knee surgery -- Mon Jan 27 5:25 pm --|
Torn meniscus; expected to recover in a month
|Titans RB Chris Johnson is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Johnson called the procedure “minor” and the recovery time is expected to be roughly a month.
“It’s nothing major,” Johnson said. “People don’t know I been playing with it since Week 3 of the season.”
Johnson rushed for 1,077 yards and six touchdowns in 2013. (The Tennessean)|
FF Today's Take: Johnson's durability has been underrated for some time because his performance has become so inconsistent in recent years. With a scheduled base salary of $8 million in 2014, there's a strong chance he has played his last snap with the Titans after telling The Tennessean last month he has no plans to take a pay cut. That would leave Shonn Greene and a likely draft pick/free agent to serve as the team's main ballcarriers in 2014.
|Prater returns to practice Monday -- Mon Jan 27 5:20 pm --|
Dealt with flu for most of last week
|Matt Prater is coming around. Prater, who battled a virus last week and was kept away from the team, was at practice Monday.
Last week, the Broncos didn't practice Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Prater was too ill to practice with the team Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
"I got some kind of flu or something," Prater said. "It started to come on Tuesday night. When I woke up Wednesday morning, I felt like I got run over by a truck." (Denver Post)|
FF Today's Take: Prater should be cleared well in advance of the Super Bowl. Including the playoffs, Prater has made 30 of his 32 field-goal attempts (93.8 percent) this season and produced 93 touchbacks on 124 kickoffs (75 percent).
|Ravens hire Kubiak as new OC -- Mon Jan 27 5:00 pm --|
Team also brings along ex-Texan OC to be QB coach
|Baltimore Ravens HC John Harbaugh announced Gary Kubiak as his new offensive coordinator Monday. Kubiak is bringing Rick Dennison with him to be the quarterbacks coach. Dennison served as Kubiak’s OC for the past four years in Houston. The Ravens still have an offensive vacancy at running backs coach.
The hiring of Kubiak is a late shift from what media reports suggested. Over the weekend, reports indicated that Harbaugh was deciding between Ravens WR Coach Jim Hostler and former Houston Texans and Washington Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan.
FF Today's Take: The Ravens have utilized their fair share of zone-blocking runs over the last three seasons, so the transition should be smooth. It's hard not to like this hire since Kubiak guided a number of top-10 offenses in Houston before the bottom fell out for the Texans in 2013. He will replace Jim Caldwell, who became the new coach in Detroit. Dennison made his name as an OL coach and has never coached quarterbacks before, making his hire a bit more puzzling.
| Prater sent home with illness -- Sat Jan 25 3:00 pm --|
Broncos kicker expected to be fine for Super Bowl
|Denver Broncos head coach John Fox said he saw Matt Prater at the team's facility Saturday morning, but elected to send the ailing kicker home for a third consecutive day. Prater did not participate in the Broncos' practice Saturday because of a virus and did not practice with the team this week. Fox said Prater was sent home, in part, for him to recover and in part to prevent any other players from getting sick. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The Broncos are likely being overly cautious with this situation in an effort to keep the rest of the team healthy. Expect Prater to be back with the team next week and kick in the Super Bowl.
| Harvin cleared to play -- Fri Jan 24 2:00 pm --|
Seattle receiver has passed concussion tests
|For the third time this season, receiver Percy Harvin is ready to play after missing time because of injuries. Harvin cleared concussion protocol this week and has been cleared to play in the Super Bowl. (Seattle Times)|
FF Today's Take: Harvin has battled hip and concussion injuries this season resulting in only two games played for the star receiver. Harvin has all but admitted his hip is still not 100% buy he is healthy enough to play in the 2013 Super Bowl.
|Browns hire Pettine to be next HC -- Thu Jan 23 4:30 pm --|
Replaces Rob Chudzinski
|The Cleveland Browns on Thursday afternoon reached a deal and named fiery former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine their seventh full-time head coach in the new era. Casting a wide net, the Browns interviewed 10 candidates over the past 25 days. The Browns flew Pettine to Cleveland on Thursday afternoon for a third meeting and finalized the deal shortly thereafter.
FF Today's Take: Pettine replaces Rob Chudzinski, who was fired Dec. 29 after going 4-12 in his inaugural season, causing many Browns to question the team's direction and helping to make a less attractive job for any number of reasons. Regardless of how messy the search was, Cleveland found a quality candidate. Pettine, who runs a 3-4 defense, is a solid defensive mind and will have two first-round picks, plenty of cap space to sign free agents and six Pro Bowlers to work with right away.
| Peterson undergoes groin surgery -- Thu Jan 23 4:20 pm --|
Expected to make full recovery in six weeks
|Adrian Peterson had surgery (Thursday) with Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Meyers was able to successfully repair Adrian’s adductor muscle while also doing a compartmental release. Adrian is expected to make a full recovery in approximately six weeks. (Vikings.com)|
FF Today's Take: Peterson underwent reconstructive knee surgery in the 2012 offseason, a sports hernia operation in 2013 and now this surgery. It is hardly ideal, but Peterson's healing powers have become legendary, so it is unlikely this most recent surgery will be an issue come training camp. The 28-year-old will be working in Norv Turner's offense next season, meaning he could post some prolific numbers in 2014.
| Harvin returns to practice Wednesday -- Thu Jan 23 7:00 am --|
Expected to play in Super Bowl
|Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin was a full participant in practice Wednesday.
He is expected to play in the Super Bowl, which will be only his third game of the season. Harvin suffered a concussion in the divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 11, and didn't make it through the mandatory concussion protocol in time to play in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Barring a setback, Harvin is expected to play in the Super Bowl next Sunday. It's been a lost season for the Seattle wideout who signed a six-year, $67 million deal last off-season. He'll be a high fantasy rebound candidate in 2014.
| AP expected to have groin surgery -- Wed Jan 22 8:20 pm --|
Surgery should happen soon
|Update: I've also learned that Vikings RB Adrian Peterson needs & has opted for surgery on his groin in the very near future. (Josina Anderson via Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: There's no definitive date but with Peterson not playing in the Pro Bowl, surgery could come at anytime. An "off" season for Peterson still landed him 6th among fantasy running backs and AP was one of only five qualifying running backs to average 15+ fantasy points per game. Peterson will be a top five fantasy pick in 2014.
| Broken right ring finger for Gore -- Tue Jan 21 3:45 pm --|
Won't affect his status for 2014
|Frank Gore suffered a broken right ring finger. Harbaugh said he isn't sure when the injury occurred and that he didn't know it had happened until after the game. (San Jose Mercury News)|
FF Today's Take: Gore should be fine for the 2014 off-season as this injury is considered minor. Gore finished 13th among fantasy running backs with 1128 yards and 9 TDs.
|Lions hire Joe Lombardi as OC -- Tue Jan 21 1:00 pm --|
Former QB coach of the Saints
|A week after hiring a head coach in Jim Caldwell who worked closely with Peyton Manning for 10 seasons, the Lions tabbed Joe Lombardi, the quarterbacks coach for Drew Brees the last five years, to be their next offensive coordinator. Lombardi, the grandson of Hall of Fame former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, worked closely with Brees in his most prolific seasons with the New Orleans Saints. (Detroit Free Press)|
FF Today's Take: The Lions now have a new head head coach and OC for the 2014 season and are making a huge push to give Matthew Stafford all the help he needs to succeed. Stafford has been a top ten fantasy quarterback the last three seasons and ranked 4th at his position this year with 4647 yards and 31 total TDs.
|Vikings hire Norv Turner as OC -- Mon Jan 20 5:30 pm --|
Replaces Bill Musgrave
|The Vikings have struck a deal with Norv Turner to become the offensive coordinator under head coach Mike Zimmer.
The offense should be in expert hands under Turner, who has 38 years of coaching experience. Turner spent last season as the Browns offensive coordinator after six years serving as the Chargers head coach. Cleveland also dealt with issues at quarterback last season but still finished 11th in pass offense. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: It's hard to put in words how much of an upgrade Minnesota made by replacing Musgrave with Turner. For example, it took Musgrave most of the season to give rookie Cordarrelle Patterson enough snaps for him to make an impact somewhere else besides special teams. However, Turner's arrival means great things for Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph. Turner's hiring is a definite boon to the fantasy fortunes of every Viking.
|Texans hire Crennel as DC -- Mon Jan 20 5:20 pm --|
Returns after one-year absence
|The Texans have hired Romeo Crennel to serve as the team’s defensive coordinator, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
Crennel, 66, didn’t coach this season after he was fired as coach of the Chiefs in 2012. He went 4-15 in Kansas City after taking over for Todd Haley, and he was 24-40 in four seasons as head coach of the Browns. (SI.com)|
FF Today's Take: Crennel takes over a Texans defense that was tied for 24th in the league with 26.8 points allowed per game, but seventh in yards allowed. Crennel hasn't done well in his two opportunities as a head coach, but has fared pretty well as a DC when that was his only job. He represents one of the better options to replace Wade Phillips and will stick with his 3-4 defense. In related news, new HC Bill O'Brien will call the plays in 2014.
| Harvin expected to play in Super Bowl -- Mon Jan 20 4:55 pm --|
Should be cleared from concussion issues
|In his usual appearance on 710 ESPN this morning, Pete Carroll said Percy Harvin “should be fine” this week. (Tacoma News Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: Harvin's likely return makes it even more confusing why the Seahawks opened Monday as Super Bowl underdogs. Harvin should return kicks and provide an immediate boost to an offense that has been inconsistent when it can't rely on Marshawn Lynch moving the chains. The ex-Viking makes an intriguing play for playoff fantasy owners against a Broncos defense that lost slot CB Chris Harris two weeks ago and gave up 10 catches to Julian Edelman on Sunday.
| Bowman likely has ACL, MCL injuries -- Mon Jan 20 4:50 pm --|
MRI has yet to be conducted
|Per a league source, San Francisco fears both an ACL and MCL injury for linebacker Navorro Bowman. An MRI, which has not yet been conducted, will reveal the full extent of the damage.
With Bowman’s injury happening on January 19, time will be of the essence as the 49ers prepare for the 2014 season. (Pro Football Talk)|
FF Today's Take: While mild to moderate MCL injuries can heal without surgery, an MCL injury could delay Bowman’s timetable for surgery. Rob Gronkowski waited one month and one day to have ACL surgery because of an MCL injury that needed to heal. Either way, the loss of the potential Defensive Player of the Year is obviously a significant blow. Bowman's recovery will be one of the top offseason stories for fantasy owners to follow.
| Moreno suffers rib injury -- Mon Jan 20 4:40 pm --|
Expected to play in Super Bowl
|Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno left the game with a rib injury near his chest after he made a 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
The expectation is Moreno, who finished with a game-high 59 yards rushing and added another 22 yards receiving, will be able to play in the Super Bowl. (Denver Post)|
FF Today's Take: While this is something to keep an eye on for owners in playoff fantasy leagues, it seems highly likely Moreno will be fine in two weeks. Rookie Montee Ball is next in line and would obviously benefit from a fantasy perspective if Moreno was limited in any way.
| Harvin ruled out -- Fri Jan 17 3:00 pm --|
Seattle receiver won't play due to concussion
|Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin will not play in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers because of lingering effects from a concussion he suffered in the playoff game against New Orleans last weekend. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Harvin was unable to pass the NFL concussion protocol. It's been a lost season for Harvin who missed the first 10 games due to a hip injury. The Seahawks expect Harvin to practice next week. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are expected to start at receiver against the 49ers.
|Davone Bess arrested at airport -- Fri Jan 17 9:00 am --|
Charged with simple assault on an officer
|Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess has been arrested in Florida on charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer at an airport. Bess was charged with simple assault on an officer, resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct. He was released on $100 bail at 10:35 a.m. ET. It's uncertain if Bess has a lawyer. The Browns said they are "aware of the situation and currently working to gather more information." (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Bess isn't endearing himself to the Browns front office given his recent antics and it won't be a shock if he is out of a job this off-season. Bess missed the final two games of the season for personal reasons.
| Harvin yet to be cleared -- Thu Jan 16 2:00 pm --|
Seahawks receiver questionable with concussion
|Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is still going through concussion testing and has not been cleared for Sunday's NFC Championship Game. (AP)|
FF Today's Take: Harvin did not practice on Thursday and must be cleared by doctors in order to play on Sunday. Harvin's status won't likely be official until Saturday at the earliest.
| Dobson, Thompkins limted Thursday -- Thu Jan 16 1:00 pm --|
Patriots receivers battling injuries
|Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins were still limited today. Only notable submissions on the injury report (Ben Violin via Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: Thompkins suffered a concussion in last week's game and while he was limited in practice, his status for Sunday's game remains a question mark. Dobson (foot) returned to practice yesterday after a two-week absence. Both receivers won't be recommended fantasy plays in playoff or daily leagues.
| Bowe wearing a boot -- Tue Jan 14 12:45 pm --|
Foot injury won't require surgery
|Speaking on Sports Radio 810 in Kansas City this morning, Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe revealed he's wearing a boot on his right foot after injuring it in the third quarter of Kansas City's playoff loss to the Colts. Bowe said there is a small crack in the bone in his foot but it won't require surgery. (810 Sports Radio)|
FF Today's Take: This injury shouldn't hamper Bowe's involvement in the Chiefs off-season program or restrict him from participating in camp during the preseason. Bowe finished 44th among fantasy wideouts in 2013 with 57 catches, 672 yards and 5 touchdowns.
|Lions hire Jim Caldwell as HC -- Tue Jan 14 11:45 am --|
Ravens OC gets head coaching job
|The Detroit Lions have hired Jim Caldwell as their head coach, ending a two-week search during which they interviewed only four candidates. Caldwell was the first person to interview for the Detroit job, followed by former Houston coach Gary Kubiak, former Tennessee coach Mike Munchak and San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Whisenhunt appeared to be the front-runner for the job but took an offer from Tennessee instead. Caldwell was the head coach in Indianapolis from 2009 to 2011 and had top ten offenses in 2009 and 2010 with the help of Peyton Manning.
|Ka'Deem Carey going pro -- Mon Jan 13 4:10 pm --|
Latest to join 80+ juniors to declare for draft
|Arizona announced on Monday that Ka'Deem Carey would forego his final year of eligibility to enter May's NFL Draft. Carey has flourished in Tucson the last two seasons. After leading the FBS in rushing yards per game with 148.38 in 2012, Carey improved that number to 157.08 in 2013, though he finished second to Boston College's Andre Williams. (CBS Sports)|
FF Today's Take: Production was no problem for Carey, finishing his college career with 16 straight 100-yard rushing performances. He amassed 3,814 rushing yards and 42 rushing touchdowns the last two seasons and is an accomplished receiver. He'll battle it out with Auburn's Tre Mason, Washington's Bishop Sankey and Baylor's Lache Seastrunk to be the top back taken in the draft.
|CLE intrigued by Malzahn, Manziel -- Mon Jan 13 3:35 pm --|
Browns also considering Gase, Munchak, others for HC
|Browns' officials realizes it may be a longshot to land Gus Malzahn, who nearly won a national title at Auburn and is very happy there, but his offensive innovation and the style of offense he runs is very much in line with what the team would like to put in place (the Browns are also very high on quarterback Johnny Manziel, sources said, who would be a perfect fit in a Malzahn offense). The Browns immediately asked to talk to Bronocs OC Adam Gase following their firing of Rob Chudzinski at the end of the regular season, but were informed he would not do any interviews, if at all, until after Denver's season ends. (CBS Sports)|
FF Today's Take: The Browns hold two first-round picks, including No. 4 overall, but that appears to be one of the few attractive qualities they have to offer. If Cleveland's interest in Manziel is real, it's further proof the situation is every bit as toxic as some have suggested. The firing of Rob Chudzinski after one year likely has some candidates on edge and it is not a good look for the front office if they have their favorite quarterback in mind before they have their new coach in place.
|McFadden a fit for the Bengals? -- Mon Jan 13 9:00 am --|
Raiders RB set to be a free agent
|Over the course of Darren McFadden's star-crossed six-year career with the Oakland Raiders, the only coach to get consistent production out of the running back was Hue Jackson. But with the Raiders apparently tired of being unable to count on McFadden, McFadden due to become an unrestricted free agent on March 11 and Jackson just promoted as the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator, might McFadden find a new home in Ohio? (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: A move to Cincinnati with Hue Jackson as the offensive coordinator would make sense for the oft-injured McFadden but BenJarvus Green-Ellis remains under contract for 2014. We'll see how this shakes out once free agency begins in March.
| Smith active, Jonathan Stewart out -- Sun Jan 12 11:35 am --|
Williams and Tolbert to handle running back duties
|Jonathan Stewart said multiple times this week he was running comfortably in practice with little to no pain, but the running back will not play Sunday for the Panthers.
Stewart is inactive for Carolina's home playoff game against San Francisco. He has not played since spraining his MCL against New Orleans in Week 14. It should come as no surprise that wide receiver Steve Smith is active. (Charlotte Observer)|
FF Today's Take: Stewart was expected to play today so this comes as a bit of a surprise. DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert will continue handling running back duties for the Panthers. Smith (knee) is not a recommended fantasy play.
| Ryan Mathews sits Friday -- Fri Jan 10 3:45 pm --|
Missed practice all week
|Ryan Mathews (ankle) was absent from practice. He hasn't practiced this week. Last Sunday in the 27-10 playoff victory over the Bengals, Mathews didn't play after a carry early in the third quarter. The Chargers are expected to have a light practice Saturday. They will face the Broncos on Sunday afternoon (1:40 Pacific Time) in Denver. (San Diego News Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: This is a step in the wrong direction for Mathews and while he's expected to play, it will be hard to trust him in playoff or daily leagues this week.
| Pierre Thomas limited Thursday -- Thu Jan 9 7:00 pm --|
|New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas was back at practice Thursday after missing almost two full weeks, and Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, with a chest injury. Although Thomas practiced in a limited capacity, it was his first sighting at practice since Week 17. (Times Picayune)|
FF Today's Take: There's very little known about Thomas' chest injury and his status for Saturday's game remains uncertain. If he's unable to go, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson will handle the bulk of rushing duties against the Seahawks.
|Hue Jackson replaces Gruden as OC -- Thu Jan 9 6:25 pm --|
Coached RBs last season
|As Jay Gruden was introduced as the Washington Redskins head coach, the Bengals named Hue Jackson as their new offensive coordinator. Jackson has spent five seasons, including the last two, on the Cincinnati coaching staff. He was the running backs coach and special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis this past season. (Cincinnati Enquirer)|
FF Today's Take: Jackson has served as offensive coordinator for the Redskins, Falcons and Raiders. He was also man who oversaw Darren McFadden's best season in Oakland. Given his success with the Raiders, it is not hard to make the case that he might actually be an upgrade over Jay Gruden, the man Jackson is replacing. A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard could actually see their fantasy stock increase under Jackson, so fantasy owners should be happy about this hire.