| "Good chance" Lynch plays on Sunday|
Seattle RB gets on the bus
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 15 2016, 4:05 pm
|Pete Carroll on Marshawn Lynch: "Bags are packed." Will he play? "There's a really good chance." (Danny O\'Neil on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Lynch did board the team bus today so he's one step closer to the field. After what happened last week, Carroll can't guarantee Lynch will play so this the best confirmation we are going to get. In a week were David Johnson is the only safe RB play on the board, Lynch will be the next closest thing and should see anywhere from 15-20 touches.
| Antonio Brown ruled out|
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 15 2016, 10:33 am
|Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been ruled out for Sunday's playoff game at Denver.
Brown could not get over the concussion protocol hump.
FFToday's Take: The Steelers will be without their best receiver and likely their best running back (DeAngelo Williams) when they take on the Broncos this Sunday. Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton and Darrius Heyward-Bey will be the starting wideouts. Both Bryant and Wheaton will be viable fantasy options but tough to trust with Ben Roethlisberger questionable to play.
| No practice for injured Steelers' offensive stars|
Roethisberger, Brown and Williams appear questionable at best
By: Doug Orth | Jan 14 2016, 6:40 pm
|QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown were not full participants in practice for the second day in a row, but that could change tomorrow. The plan for Roethlisberger (shoulder separation) all along was to not participate fully in practice until Friday, the last full practice before Sunday’s divisional playoff game in Denver. Brown, though, has not been cleared to practice after sustaining a concussion in the wild-card playoff victory in Cincinnati. Meantime, RB DeAngelo Williams (foot) still has not practiced since being injured in the season finale against Cleveland and is not expected to play in Denver. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)|
FFToday's Take: In terms of likelihood to play this week, it appears the order at the moment is Roethlisberger, Brown and then Williams. The Steelers are hopeful Brown can be cleared from the concussion protocol program and play even if he doesn’t practice. Friday figures to be a big day in determining his status. Making matters worse for fantasy purposes, Pittsburgh plays in the last of the four playoff games this weekend. The Denver defense is shaping up to be a great play.
| Gronk receives injection in ailing right knee|
Patriots believe he'll be ready for Divisional Round
By: Doug Orth | Jan 14 2016, 6:30 pm
|New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski spent part of Thursday in a Boston hospital getting treatment on his injured right knee which included an injection, according to a source familiar with the procedure.
The Patriots believe Gronkowski will play in Saturday's divisional-round playoff game against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, but will ultimately need to see how Gronkowski feels on game day. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: DFS and fantasy playoff league owners have slight reason for concern since Gronkowski has missed two of the last three practices, getting in only an limited session in between Wednesday. He did play 55 of 60 snaps in Week 17, however, and should be expected to play. Although he has proven to be nearly matchup-proof, the combination of his knee and the Chiefs' stellar defense versus tight ends should be enough to steer most of the fantasy public away from using him this weekend.
|Bucs promote OC Dirk Koetter to Head Coach|
Helped oversee 4,000-yard season from rookie QB Jameis Winston
By: Doug Orth | Jan 14 2016, 6:25 pm
|The Bucs are hiring OC Dirk Koetter as their new head coach and it will be finalized soon, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Koetter's name emerged as a potential replacement to Lovie Smith soon after the coach was fired last week. He was interviewed on Tuesday for the job.
The offensive coordinator has been widely praised for his work with No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston and running a balanced offense attack with Doug Martin, the NFL's No. 2 rusher in 2015. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Koetter has been an offensive coordinator at three different stops since his last head-coaching gig at Arizona State in 2006. He oversaw Maurice Jones-Drew's best years in Jacksonville, guided the Atlanta Falcons' offense to two top-10 finishes in total offense in three years before coaxing a fifth-place finish from the Bucs in his first year as a play-caller in Tampa. His presence is good news for all of the Bucs' skill-position players, especially Winston and Mike Evans.
|Report: Eagles to name Doug Pederson Head Coach|
Former QB and Eagles assistant under Andy Reid
By: Doug Orth | Jan 14 2016, 6:15 pm
|The Eagles will hire former quarterback and assistant coach Doug Pederson as head coach in a nod by owner Jeffrey Lurie to the success and environment that the team had under Andy Reid. An NFL source confirmed the hiring Thursday.
Pederson has been Reid's offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs for the last three seasons. Before going to Kansas City, he was Reid's quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia after starting as a quality control coach. They must wait for the Chiefs to be eliminated from the postseason to bring him to Philadelphia. (Philly.com)|
FFToday's Take: Pederson isn't a splashy hire by any stretch, but his work in Kansas City - along with Reid - during the Chiefs' 11-game winning streak without Jamaal Charles probably helped him seal the deal as much as his background with the Eagles. Pederson has generally run conservative offenses in his relatively short time as an assistant, which means DeMarco Murray could resume his workhorse ways in 2016.
|49ers hire Chip Kelly as head coach|
Former Eagles coach remains in NFL
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 14 2016, 1:54 pm
|The San Francisco 49ers have hired Chip Kelly to be their next head coach, the team announced Thursday. Kelly joins the 49ers after three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, whom he led to the playoffs once before being fired with one game remaining in the 2015 season. He was 26-21 overall with Philadelphia. Kelly rose to fame for his offensive style during four seasons and a 46-7 record as coach at Oregon.
FFToday's Take: Many thought Kelly's time in the NFL had come to close but the former Eagles coach will move to west coast and take over a franchise in a messy situation. The 49ers are coming off a disastrous season that included countless retirements and season-long injuries. Kelly's hiring may signal life for QB Colin Kaepernick who could become a viable fantasy option in Kelly's up-tempo offense.
|Giants to hire Ben McAdoo as Head Coach|
New York stays in house to replace Tom Coughlin
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 13 2016, 8:33 pm
|The Giants are hiring Ben McAdoo to replace Tom Coughlin, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, per a source. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: The combination of Ben McAdoo overseeing the offense, Odell Beckham, Jr. making great catches and a porous defense helped Eli Manning set a career highs in pass attempts, completions and touchdown passes during the 2015 season. With McAdoo taking over head coaching duties the offense should remain relatively unchanged heading into the 2016 season.
| Seattle's Lynch practices in full Wednesday|
Status for Sunday still up in the air
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 13 2016, 8:30 pm
|RENTON, Wash. (AP) -- Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, but coach Pete Carroll cautioned that was no indication whether he would play in the NFC divisional playoff game at Carolina on Sunday. (AP Sports)|
FFToday's Take: Fantasy owners will need to check back for updates on Marshawn Lynch's game status throughout the week after he somewhat unexpectedly decided himself that he wasn't quite ready to return to action against the Vikings a week ago. Lynch is being evaluated daily and is slated to practice in full all week.
|Browns name Hue Jackson as Head Coach|
Johnny Manziel not in Cleveland's future plans?
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 13 2016, 6:57 pm
|The Cleveland Browns have named former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as their next head coach. Jackson's hiring appears to mean the end of quarterback Johnny Manziel in Cleveland. A source close to the situation told ESPN Giants reporter Dan Graziano that the topic of Manziel was discussed at length in meetings between Jackson and Browns ownership. In those discussions, Jackson indicated he would prefer the organization move on from Manziel if he were to become head coach, and he was told that would not be a problem. (ESPN.com)|
FFToday's Take: After spending the bulk of his pro coaching career in Cincinnati, Jackson will stay in Ohio to help revitalize the Cleveland Browns. It seems that Jackson will finally get a fair shot as a head coach after new management in Oakland decided to let him go following his first and only season as head coach in 2011. The offense is in dire need of a facelift after Johnny Manziel headlines have plagued the team from the moment he was drafted. Until the new coaching staff upgrades the quarterback position, however, Cleveland's offensive players will remain a tough sell for fantasy owners in 2016.
| Steelers prepping Landry Jones|
team still hoping Roethlisberger can play
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 13 2016, 6:20 pm
|PITTSBURGH (AP) — Landry Jones wouldn't mind a shot at redemption. Ben Roethlisberger with his mess of a right shoulder hopes it doesn't come to that.
Jones took the majority of the snaps with the starters for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday, prepping for Sunday's playoff visit to Denver just in case Roethlisberger can't find a way to make it work with the sprained shoulder on his throwing arm.
FFToday's Take: Ben Roethlisberger won't be 100 percent when the Steelers take the field against the Broncos. The question is whether he will be healthy enough to start and finish the game. Landry Jones should continue to receive the bulk of the work in practice but hasn't thrown a touchdown since week seven. The potential absence of star receiver Antonio Brown only adds to the cloudy fantasy forecast for Pittsburgh's quarterback tandem.
|Mike Shanahan is 'in the mix' for 49ers HC job|
Two-time Super Bowl winning coach rejoins long list of candidates
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 13 2016, 5:44 pm
|The San Francisco 49ers' head-coaching search has arguably already gone on longer than expected. Now, a new name has either entered or re-entered the picture, depending on which report you're reading: former Raiders, Broncos and Washington coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan has been out of the NFL for the last two years, having been fired by Washington prior to the 2014 season.
FFToday's Take: The 49ers coaching search has covered a lot of ground to this point and it appears Mike Shanahan may get a chance to torment fantasy owners once again. The interest in the former Washington Head Coach is logical considering the team's investment in quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Shanahan's success coaching past signal callers. The team is also said to be considering former Giants HC Tom Coughlin and a decision may be on the horizon.
|Chargers hire Ken Whisenhunt to run offense |
Coach returns to San Diego after being fired from Titans
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 13 2016, 4:00 pm
|Ken Whisenhunt is returning to the Chargers. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Whisenhunt will become the Chargers' new offensive coordinator, per a source informed of the team's plans. The move had been speculated since San Diego fired offensive coordinator Frank Reich earlier this month.
FFToday's Take: Ken Whisenhunt spent one season as the Chargers' offensive coordinator under coach Mike McCoy in 2013, before being hired to coach the Tennessee Titans in 2014. His professional coaching resume also includes stops in Arizona, Pittsburgh, New York (Jets), Cleveland and Baltimore. QB Phillip Rivers had one of his most productive fantasy seasons in Whisenhunt's offense during the 2003 season.
| No limitations for Jonathan Stewart|
Panthers' RB practices Wednesday
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 13 2016, 1:08 pm
|Ron Rivera: No limitations on Jonathan Stewart. Full go. Stewart told me he does not believe he will be limited in any way on Sunday. (Joe Person on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: The Panthers will have their starting running back in full capacity for the Divisional matchup against the Seahawks. Seattle has been tough against the run this season but Stewart posted a 20-78-2 line against them in Week 6. He's in the RB2 consideration in daily and playoff league formats.
| Davante Adams MCL sprain, unlikely to play|
Packers down starting receiver
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 12 2016, 11:16 am
|The Green Bay Packers are likely to be without receiver Davante Adams for Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals.
According to a source, further tests on Adams' right knee showed a possible MCL sprain.
FFToday's Take: The severity of the injury remains unclear but it sounds like Adams avoided a serious knee injury. Without Adams, Jared Abbrederis should see increased opportunities but will take a back seat to James Jones and Randall Cobb in the passing game.
| Antonio Brown "not looking good" vs. Broncos|
Earlier report had WR trending in the right direction
By: Doug Orth | Jan 11 2016, 10:20 pm
|Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown will likely miss Sunday’s divisional round game against the Denver Broncos due to a concussion, reports ESPN’s Bob Holtzman. Brown sustained the head injury on a hit by Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict in Pittsburgh's 18-16 win in Saturday's AFC wild-card matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Burfict was flagged, helping set up a game-winning field goal by Steelers PK Chris Boswell. (Sports Illustrated)|
FFToday's Take: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested Brown "should be able to play" earlier in the day, but this report along with ESPN's Bob Holtzman and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport suggests the receiver is facing long odds of playing in the Divisional Round. With Ben Roethlisberger likely at far less than 100 percent, Denver's defense/special teams is shaping up to be a good play in DFS and for owners in playoff fantasy leagues.
| Edelman, Brady cleared for Divisional Round|
Three other Patriots trending in right direction
By: Doug Orth | Jan 11 2016, 6:20 pm
|Receiver Julian Edelman (broken foot), quarterback Tom Brady (ankle sprain) and linebacker Dont'a Hightower (MCL sprain) were all accounted for at Monday's practice, and will play Saturday versus the Chiefs, reports Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Pass rusher Chandler Jones (toe) and left tackle Sebastian Vollmer (ankle sprain) were also present Monday and could play this weekend, per Howe. Danny Amendola appears to be out of the woods with his late-December knee injury. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: It appears Brady will have his top two receivers (Rob Gronkowski and Edelman) for the first time since Week 10, when New England were still undefeated. With S Eric Berry playing some of the best football of his career and doing his part to shut down opposing tight ends, Edelman's health - and the health of the Patriots' offensive line - figures to be that much more important this weekend as New England faces Kansas City.
| DeAngelo Williams visiting noted foot doctor|
Missed wild-card win over Bengals with foot injury
By: Doug Orth | Jan 11 2016, 6:10 pm
|DeAngelo Williams is consulting noted foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte on Monday, according to ESPN's Jim Trotter.
Perhaps the foot issues are persisting for Williams, who left the team facility last week feeling confident he could return for the divisional round. That still may be the case, but seeing a foot specialist six days before a game complicates matters. Stay tuned on this one. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Anderson is to the foot in the NFL as James Andrews is to the knee. Translation: Williams is shaping up as a longshot for the Divisional Round and perhaps the rest of the postseason. Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman were effective in replacing Williams versus Cincinnati and should be expected to share the load against Denver.
| Jonathan Stewart expected to play|
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 11 2016, 3:42 pm
|Panthers' RB Jonathan Stewart, who has missed past three games with a foot injury, is expected to play Sunday vs. Seattle, per source. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Stewart last played in Week 14 but should be able to practice and play this barring any setback. Even with Cam Newton vulturing touchdowns, Stewart will be one of the safer running backs in the divisional round.
| Positive signs for Big Ben, Antonio Brown|
Steelers' studs might be available for Divisional game
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 11 2016, 7:00 am
|Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown — have a chance to be ready Sunday for a divisional-round playoff game at Denver. Roethlisberger’s injured right shoulder is “sore,” but he said there apparently is no ligament damage and is “day to day” for the top-seeded Broncos. Also, All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown, who was put in concussion protocol after a hit to the helmet by Burfict following an incomplete pass, is said to be fine and should be able to play against the Broncos. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)|
FFToday's Take: Roethlisberger's shoulder injury appears to be the biggest concern heading into a divisional matchup with the Broncos. It's likely he'll be limited in practice this week or perhaps held out entirely. Antonio Brown suffered an apparent concussion, but such early week optimism suggests he might not have suffered a concussion at all.
| High ankle sprain for Maclin, no ACL tear|
Status for divisional round in question
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 10 2016, 2:18 pm
|MRI showed Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin did NOT tear his ACL, per source. He did suffer a high ankle sprain. Status for Saturday at NE uncertain. (Adam Schefter on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Maclin has torn his ACL twice so this is good news as it was feared he tore his ACL in the Chiefs Wildcard game against Houston. A high ankle sprain would make him very doubtful to play in the divisional round against the Patriots. If he's unable to play, Albert Wilson and rookie Chris Conley would be the Chiefs starting wide receivers.
| Lynch ruled out for wild-card game versus Vikings|
RB "felt like he couldn't play"
By: Doug Orth | Jan 9 2016, 12:40 am
|The Seattle Seahawks on Friday night ruled running back Marshawn Lynch out of Sunday's wild-card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. The comeback path of running back Marshawn Lynch took a strange turn Friday when he told the Seahawks after practice that he couldn’t play and did not accompany the team to Minnesota for Sunday’s wild-card playoff game against the Vikings.
The Seahawks released a statement Friday night that said Lynch had been declared out and added, “Following our final workout Friday he felt like he couldn’t play.” (Seattle Times)|
FFToday's Take: Lynch has played in just seven games this season and not since since the Nov. 15 home loss to Arizona. He had abdominal surgery Nov. 25 in Philadelphia and spent much of the next month or so in the Bay Area working out with MMA trainer Tareq Azim. Lynch's new status will likely make Christine Michael a near-staple in DFS and playoff leagues of all kind, even though he will cede some work to Bryce Brown and Fred Jackson.
| DeAngelo Williams expected to sit|
Could return for Divisional Round
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 8 2016, 9:00 am
|The Steelers consider RB DeAngelo Williams (foot) out vs. #Bengals, sources say. If they win, there's a chance he plays next week. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Fitzgerald Toussaint is expected to be the starting running back and while the Steelers like to use a workhorse at the position, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Jordan Todman got some run as well. If you're looking for a Steelers RB to use, Toussaint is the pick for you playoff fantasy leagues.
| DeAngelo Williams remains sidelined Thursday|
Odds remain slim D-Will will play versus Bengals
By: Doug Orth | Jan 7 2016, 8:45 pm
|The Steelers practiced again on Thursday and RB DeAngelo Williams remained on the sideline.
Williams was injured in Week 17 against the Browns and was in a walking boot by the time the game ended with what was initially described as an ankle injury, but what the team is calling a foot issue. Whatever the exact nature of the injury, the concern about Williams’ availability to face the Bengals on Saturday remains high as long as he’s unable to get on the field. (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: ESPN NFL Senior writer Jeremy Fowler tweeted Thursday that OC Todd Haley said Fitzgerald Toussaint is "the guy" this week unless Williams can go. Jordan Todman will receive some work as well, but neither Toussaint nor Todman is a high-upside fantasy option. For what it is worth, the Steelers believe Williams will be able to play if they can beat Cincinnati this weekend.
| Peterson expects to play in Wild Card Round|
Missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with back issue
By: Doug Orth | Jan 7 2016, 8:35 pm
|Vikings RB Adrian Peterson missed a second day of practice on Thursday because of a back injury, but he left no doubt about where expects to be when Sunday’s game against the Seahawks gets underway. Peterson said that the lack of practice has been about rest and not because his back is bothering him enough that there’s a chance he’ll have to remain on the sideline.
“I’m good,” Peterson said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I’m feeling good. I was able to rest the body today. I’ll be ready to roll on Sunday.” (Pro Football Talk)|
FFToday's Take: Peterson missed most of the second half in Week 17 versus Green Bay before returning late in the fourth quarter. While he should be expected to play, the wind chill in Minnesota is expected around minus-7 degrees and the overall temperature is expected to be no higher than zero. That means AP could struggle to get loose or stay loose. As a result, Jerick McKinnon makes an interesting contrarian play in DFS, albeit a low upside one against Seattle's stout defense.
| Hip still an issue for Matt Jones|
Redskins RB limited in practice Thursday
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 7 2016, 12:53 pm
|RB Matt Jones said hip still healing. If today was game day, he says he probably wouldn't be able to play. Feels it most when trying to cut. (Mike Jones on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Jones hasn't played since Week 15 and is sounds like he'll miss Saturday's game with the Packers. That would leave Alfred Morris, Chris Thompson and Pierre Thomas to handle rushing duties. Green Bay was middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to RBs making Morris an interesting contrarian option in daily formats. He should get the bulk of early-down work against the Pack.
|Broncos announce Peyton Manning will start|
Divisional Round QB goes to the veteran
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 7 2016, 10:15 am
|The decision has been made: Peyton Manning will start at quarterback for the Broncos in their divisional-round game on Jan. 17.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak told the team at its Thursday morning meeting that Manning would start. Kubiak met with Manning and Brock Osweiler prior to announcing the decision. (DenverBroncos.com)|
FFToday's Take: When Manning relieved Osweiler in Week 17, you had to figure Manning would be the starter in the playoffs. Manning has recovered enough from his torn plantar fascia to get back on the field but concerns over arm strength and his poor play (9 TDS, 17 INTs) remain a big question mark. The Broncos will face either Houston, Kansas City or Pittsburgh in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
| Marshawn Lynch "full-go" on Wednesday|
Expected to play Sunday
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 6 2016, 6:00 pm
|Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is “full go,” according to coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday.
Carroll said earlier this week that he expects Lynch to play on Sunday against the Vikings, and nothing in Lynch’s first few days back with the team have indicated otherwise.
FFToday's Take: Lynch had been holed up with his personal trainers, rehabbing from abdominal surgery but joined the team early this week and is expected to play on Sunday. His return will hurt the value of Christine Michael (17-102 in Week 17) and Bryce Brown. Workload for Lynch will be the concern and with a real possibility of a timeshare, it will tough to trust BeastMode in playoff fantasy leagues.
| Jeremy Maclin limited in practice|
OLB Justin Houston to return versus Texans
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 6 2016, 5:16 pm
|Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin returned to practice Wednesday after suffering a hip bruise in the Chiefs’ 23-17 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Maclin, who was limited, said after the game that “there’s no way” he’d miss the Chiefs’ playoff opener. Outside linebacker Justin Houston and right tackle Jah Reid — two starters who missed the Raiders game Sunday with knee injuries — both practiced for the second straight day. Reid was limited, while Houston was a full participant. (Kansas City Star)|
FFToday's Take: Jeremy Maclin's status is noteworthy because the team's offense is short on playmakers following injuries to the backfield this season. He has found the end zone six times in the past six games and has been instrumental to the team's current 10-game win streak. On the defensive side of the ball, OLB Justin Houston returns after missing the past five games with a knee injury. He has been a force on defense compiling 7.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble in ten regular season games.
|Megatron considering retirement?|
Wide receiver considering all options
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 6 2016, 4:03 pm
|ALLEN PARK -- Could it really happen to the Detroit Lions again? Could their biggest star just walk away? It appears possible. Star receiver Calvin Johnson issued the following statement on the heels of multiple reports that he was mulling retirement at the age of 30 -- drawing shades of Barry Sanders, who hung 'em up at age 31. "Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future," Johnson said.
FFToday's Take: Calvin Johnson figures to be one of the central storylines of the offseason as both he and the Lions are weighing their options heading into next year. Johnson comes with an $11 million cap hit next season the team must entertain the notion of either trading their superstar or cutting him altogether. Johnson still has four years remaining on his deal and injuries have become a real threat to his effectiveness. Expect this story to develop after the playoffs once the off-season officially begins.
| Tom Brady's ankle feeling better|
QB preparing for next opponent, taking advantage of week of rest
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 6 2016, 12:01 pm
|FOXBORO, Mass. — Brady was spotted limping after the Patriots’ 20-10 loss, but he’s moving much better just three days removed from the sprained ankle. “I’m feeling better than I was a couple days ago,” Brady said Wednesday during his weekly news conference at Gillette Stadium. “We’ll try to take advantage of that (the playoff bye) as best as you can to feel good, because we’re going to need everybody a week from Saturday to be at their very best. It’s just a lot of time, obviously preparing for a lot of different scenarios. You try to do your best mentally to get ready, and physically, you’ve just got to put as much effort as you can to make yourself feel better.”
FFToday's Take: There is no question that Tom Brady's ankle was hurt after last week. With lofty expectations to win another Championship, the extra week of rest comes at a critical point for the Patriots. A week of treatment might not be enough to get Brady's ankle back to 100% but it won't slow down his preparations in the coming week. Unless Brady is limited in practice next week, expect the Patriots signal caller to be a full go heading into their playoffs.
| Dez Bryant having surgery on foot, ankle|
Should be ready for off-season program
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 6 2016, 8:01 am
|Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is in New York today having surgery on both his foot and ankle, per @ronberk1. Neither will affect offseason programs. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: We knew this was coming. It was a lost season for Bryant in 2015 after injuring his foot in Week 1. He finished as the WR3 (2012), WR5 (2013) and WR3 (2014). He'll be a top ten WR target in 2016.
| DeAngelo a big question mark for Saturday|
No major damage but status for Saturday is unclear
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 4 2016, 11:30 pm
|Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams does not have a fracture or any major damage in his right ankle and has an outside chance, albeit a small one, of playing Saturday night in a wild-card playoff game in Cincinnati, a team source confirmed to the Post-Gazette. His biggest issue could be a matter of pain tolerance, the source said. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)|
FFToday's Take: No structural damage sounds good but the report gives the impression that Williams is on the doubtful side of questionable heading into Wildcard Weekend. Complicating matters is the fact the Steelers play on Saturday giving Williams one less day of rest. If he's unable to play, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman would likely share carries making both of undesirable plays in playoff leagues and daily formats.
| Lynch back working out with Seahawks|
Team will hold first full practice of the week Wednesday
By: Doug Orth | Jan 4 2016, 5:05 pm
|As had been expected, running back Marshawn Lynch is back working out at the Seahawks’ practice facility in Renton, coach Pete Carroll said during his regular Monday radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle.
Lynch has not played since Nov. 15 against Arizona due to an abdominal injury that required surgery on Nov. 25. But he is expected to be available when the Seahawks begin the playoffs Sunday at Minnesota. Carroll had said on Friday he anticipated that Lynch would return on Monday. The team’s first full practice of the week is Wednesday. (Seattle Times)|
FFToday's Take: In the last seven games without Lynch, the Seahawks’ offense averaged 32 points, second in the NFL. But Thomas Rawls went down with an ankle injury in Week 14, and the team has been going with Christine Michael and Bryce Brown at running back. While it is always possible "Beast Mode" could step right back into a full workload if he is cleared to play this weekend, the risk of playing him in playoff leagues is probably much higher than the reward.
| Bengals once again preparing to start McCarron|
No update yet on Andy Dalton's right thumb
By: Doug Orth | Jan 4 2016, 4:50 pm
|The Cincinnati Bengals are preparing as if quarterback AJ McCarron will start Saturday night's AFC wild-card game against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, coach Marvin Lewis said in a news conference Monday, confirming what a source earlier told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
McCarron has started Cincinnati's past three games in place of Andy Dalton, who is sidelined with a broken thumb on his throwing hand. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: It would be a tough ask for Dalton to get his cast removed early this week - if that even happens - and expect him to be razor-sharp after missing the last three games. McCarron's presence should be considered a slight downgrade for the Bengals' supporting cast. A.J. Green has performed well against the Steelers regardless of his quarterback this year, posting an 11-118-1 line with Dalton against them in Week 8 and a 6-132-1 line against them in Week 14.
| Charles Tillman suffers torn ACL|
Veteran CB latest loss in Panthers' secondary
By: Doug Orth | Jan 4 2016, 4:30 pm
|The Carolina Panthers' secondary has suffered its second major blow of the past month. Coach Ron Rivera announced Monday that veteran CB Charles Tillman tore his ACL in Sunday's regular-season finale versus the Buccaneers. The knee has been an issue for Tillman since Week 10, when reports surfaced that it was hyperextended. Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review then reported in mid-December that Tillman was dealing with a partially torn ACL.
The 13-year veteran understood the risk of a complete tear, but wanted to continue playing for a dominant Panthers squad that remained undefeated deep into the season. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: The secondary emerged as the main weakness of the Panthers, who took their bid for a perfect season into Week 16. Now, with Tillman out, slot corner Bene Benwikere on injured reserve with a broken leg and S Roman Harper something of a liability in pass coverage, Carolina could have trouble with any offense with the ability to get downfield.
| Report: Brady dealing with high ankle sprain|
Patriots in need of rest for first week of playoffs
By: Doug Orth | Jan 4 2016, 4:15 pm
|According to an ESPN report citing a league source, Tom Brady took an MRI that revealed an ankle sprain but no breaks or fractures. Brady is expected to be ready to play when the Patriots host a divisional round game at Gillette Stadium in two weeks.
The injury occurred in the Pats' 20-10 loss to the Dolphins Sunday when Miami DE Ndamukong Suh rolled up on the back of Brady's legs while tackling the Patriots quarterback. Trainers and medical staff attended to Brady, who claimed he was "sore" after the game was over. (Boston Herald)|
FFToday's Take: NFL Media's Albert Breer tweeted the injury is a high ankle sprain, so Brady is dealing with something more than the garden variety of ankle sprains. Brady is expected to be fine for the Divisional Round, although his ability to play at his usual level of effectiveness could be in some question. The bye week comes at a good time for the 38-year-old quarterback and the Patriots, who should get Julian Edelman back in time to help mask the deficiencies of the offensive line.
|Tom Coughlin resigns, coaching future uncertain|
Giants latest team looking for head coach
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 4 2016, 3:00 pm
|After 12 years and two Super Bowl titles, Tom Coughlin is no longer the coach of the New York Giants.
Coughlin resigned after meeting with Giants ownership Monday, one day after New York completed its third consecutive losing season. Coughlin coached the Giants for 12 seasons, leading them to two Super Bowl championships.
FFToday's Take: This move was expected although it was unclear if Coughlin was going to be fired or resign. Coughlin was with the Giants for 15 years, 12 as head coach, but the last three have been losing seasons and a change was needed. Some reports suggest that Coughlin may coach elsewhere if the right opportunity presents itself.
|Mike McCoy sticking with Chargers|
OC Frank Reich fired; other staff changes expected
By: Doug Orth | Jan 4 2016, 11:45 am
|The Chargers might move to a new city next season.
If so, it won't be with a new head coach.
The team has informed Mike McCoy he'll be retained for the 2016 season, a source said Monday morning.
(San Diego Union-Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: The Chargers dealt with a rash of injuries in 2015 on their way to 4-12 season. Under McCoy, the Chargers were unable to establish a running game, despite using a first round pick on Melvin Gordon. Philip Rivers led the league in pass attempts (662) and has finished as a top ten fantasy QB the last two seasons under McCoy, who could take on a more prominent role in play-calling following the firing of OC Frank Reich.
| Allen Hurns to have hernia surgery next week|
"It’s been very tough for me"
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 4 2016, 11:00 am
|While many teammates are making trips home or starting vacations to begin their offseason, Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns plans to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia next week in Philadelphia.
His expected recovery time is six-to-eight weeks. (Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: Hurns battled injury much of season but still finished as fantasy's No.14 wide receiver with 10 touchdowns. He should be recovered in time for off-season workouts and will be on the WR2 radar in 2016.