| Harvin returns to practice Wednesday|
Expected to play in Super Bowl
By: Doug Orth | Jan 23 2014, 7:00 am
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Surgery should happen soon
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 22 2014, 8:20 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Won't affect his status for 2014
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 21 2014, 3:45 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Former QB coach of the Saints
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 21 2014, 1:00 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Replaces Bill Musgrave
By: Doug Orth | Jan 20 2014, 5:30 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Returns after one-year absence
By: Doug Orth | Jan 20 2014, 5:20 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Should be cleared from concussion issues
By: Doug Orth | Jan 20 2014, 4:55 pm
|In his usual appearance on 710 ESPN this morning, Pete Carroll said Percy Harvin “should be fine” this week. (Tacoma News Tribune)|
FFToday'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|
MRI has yet to be conducted
By: Doug Orth | Jan 20 2014, 4:50 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Expected to play in Super Bowl
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 20 2014, 4:40 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Seattle receiver won't play due to concussion
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 17 2014, 3:00 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Charged with simple assault on an officer
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 17 2014, 9:00 am
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Seahawks receiver questionable with concussion
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 16 2014, 2:00 pm
|Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is still going through concussion testing and has not been cleared for Sunday's NFC Championship Game. (AP)|
FFToday'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|
Patriots receivers battling injuries
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 16 2014, 1:00 pm
|Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins were still limited today. Only notable submissions on the injury report (Ben Violin via Twitter)|
FFToday'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|
Foot injury won't require surgery
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 14 2014, 12:45 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Ravens OC gets head coaching job
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 14 2014, 11:45 am
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Latest to join 80+ juniors to declare for draft
By: Doug Orth | Jan 13 2014, 4:10 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Browns also considering Gase, Munchak, others for HC
By: Doug Orth | Jan 13 2014, 3:35 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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?|
Raiders RB set to be a free agent
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 13 2014, 9:00 am
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Williams and Tolbert to handle running back duties
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 12 2014, 11:35 am
|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)|
FFToday'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|
Missed practice all week
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 10 2014, 3:45 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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|
By: Doug Orth | Jan 9 2014, 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)|
FFToday'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|
Coached RBs last season
By: Doug Orth | Jan 9 2014, 6:25 pm
|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)|
FFToday'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.
| Harvin expects to play vs. Saints|
WR played in one regular-season game
By: Doug Orth | Jan 9 2014, 6:00 pm
|WR Percy Harvin said he "absolutely" expects to play on Saturday. (Liz Mathews on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Harvin's return would certainly provide an interesting dynamic to the Seahawks-Saints game this weekend, but it would be stunning if he served as much more than a decoy and played more than 15-20 offensive snaps.
| Steve Smith limited again Thursday|
Sprained left knee
By: Doug Orth | Jan 9 2014, 5:55 pm
|Panthers HC Ron Rivera echoed Steve Smith's latest update on his sprained left knee after Thursday's practice.
"Fifty-seven percent, that's what (Smith) told me," Rivera said, laughing.
Smith was still limited during Thursday's practice, although Rivera said Smith received more reps than Wednesday.
"He's not his normal self yet," Rivera said. "But he was out there." (Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: Although Cam Newton has seemingly turned to Greg Olsen as his top passing-game option in recent weeks, the Panthers cannot afford to be without Smith this weekend. The veteran receiver is the one receiver that still consistently strikes fear into the heart of opposing defenses, so his absence could make Carolina a more limited offensive team than it already is.
| David Wilson needs neck surgery|
Repair of a herniated disk in his neck
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 9 2014, 3:00 pm
|The New York Giants still don't know whether they can expect to have running back David Wilson back on the field in 2014, but at least they now have a plan to help move them in that direction. Giants GM Jerry Reese said in an interview with WFAN radio in New York on Thursday that Wilson would undergo surgery this offseason to repair the herniated disk in his neck. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Wilson missed 11 games in 2013 due to his neck injury and his s He's scheduled to have surgery next week but his status for 2014 remains up in the air due to the seriousness of the situation. Expect the Giants to attempt to sign unrestricted free agent Andre Brown this off-season.
|Redskins hire Jay Gruden as HC|
Bengals OC gets head coaching job
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 9 2014, 11:10 am
|The Washington Redskins' search for a new head coach, which once looked like it would take weeks, ended Thursday when the team agreed to hire Jay Gruden, a league source told ESPN. Gruden, the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator, interviewed with Washington on Wednesday, one day after meeting with the Tennessee Titans. He also had a visit scheduled with the Detroit Lions. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: The Redskins have called a press conference for 4PM ET to announce the move. Redskins tight ends coach Sean McVay is expected to be named offensive coordinator. On a side note, the Bengals plan to promote quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson to offensive coordinator.
| Ryan Mathews misses practice Wed.|
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 8 2014, 2:50 pm
|Running back Ryan Mathews, wide receiver Eddie Royal and safety Eric Weddle all rested on the first preparation day for Sunday's Divisional Round game in Denver. Mathews' absence from practice was nothing new. He's been on a routine the past two weeks that's seen him rest an ankle injury Wednesday and Thursday before practicing Friday. Each week, he was listed as probable.|
FFToday's Take: Mathews was limited in the second half of last week's win against the Bengals and will likely play this week against the Broncos at less than 100%. More updates coming later in the week...
| Smith limited in practice, 71% healthy|
Panther receiver returns to practice
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 8 2014, 2:30 pm
|Panthers receiver Steve Smith practiced Wednesday for the first time since spraining his knee two weeks ago, but it's still unclear how effective Smith will be Sunday against San Francisco.
Smith sarcastically put the status of his left knee at "71 percent," and the team's all-time receiving leader was listed as limited on the injury report.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Smith "was not that limited," although the team did limit the number of reps Smith took. (Charlotte Observer)|
FFToday's Take: Smith is nursing a sprained PCL in his knee but should be available for Sunday's game against San Francisco. He'll be a risky play in playoff and daily leagues and should largely be avoided.
|CJ2K unhappy with role in Tennessee|
Suggests a change of scenery would be an option
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 8 2014, 8:00 am
|Most of the buzz surrounding Chris Johnson has centered on whether the Titans want him back in 2014. The running back, who is under contract and scheduled to make $8 million next season, added a different twist Tuesday. If the Titans don’t plan on giving him a bigger role under their next head coach, Johnson said he’d rather be elsewhere. (The Tennessean)|
FFToday's Take: The Titans are currently without a head coach so it's unclear how Johnson would be used in a new offensive system. He is under contract through 2016 and schedule to make $8 million in 2015 and $7 million in 2016. It's clear that he is unhappy with and wants to be more of a workhorse running back like Jamaal Charles or LeSean McCoy. Johnson is 28 years old and has been very durable during his first six seasons in the league.
| Percy Harvin practices Tuesday|
Status remains uncertain
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 7 2014, 1:45 pm
|Carroll said WR Percy Harvin will practice today. Asked also if he will play Saturday, Carroll didn’t answer, though did so with a smile. Carroll said today was a big day for Harvin to be able to practice but said again that he will have to make it through the week before he is cleared to play. (Seattle Times)|
FFToday's Take: Harvin will have to avoid any setbacks in order to play. As of right now, he should be considered questionable and would likely play a limited number of snaps if active.
| Gronkowski to have surgery Thursday|
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 7 2014, 1:00 pm
|New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is scheduled to undergo surgery on his torn right ACL on Thursday, a league source confirmed to ESPNBoston.com. Gronkowski tore both his ACL and MCL in a game against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 8. Surgery on the ACL was delayed to allow time for the MCL to heal. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Gronkowski will be in a race to get cleared for Week 1 of the 2014 season and we aren't likely to get much info from the Patriots during the off-season on his status. He'll be a big injury risk during fantasy drafts next summer.
| Cromartie to get cut in offseason?|
Jets staring at $15 M cap charge
By: Doug Orth | Jan 6 2014, 5:55 pm
|Antonio Cromartie, rumored to be a possible salary-cap casualty, said Monday he wants to finish his career with the New York Jets. Despite a prohibitive, $15 million cap charge in 2014, he's still hopeful he will return.
On Sunday, ESPNNewYork.com reported that Cromartie told teammates he expects to be released in a cap-related move, but hopes to re-sign. The issue is his contract, which has one year remaining. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Cromartie restructured his contract last offseason, inflating his cap charge for 2014. Making matters worse for Cromartie is that he had a forgettable season, thanks in large part to an old hip injury that may require surgery. The odds are good that ESPNNewYork's report is correct and probably just as good that Cromartie will be back with the Jets at a lower rate next season.
|Sherman fired as Dolphins OC|
Team reportedly consdering Packers QB coach
By: Doug Orth | Jan 6 2014, 3:20 pm
|One knowledgeable source went so far as to say Ben McAdoo is the favorite to replace (fired OC Mike) Sherman. "Good coach, players like him." (Adam Beasley on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: This nugget is notable for two reasons: 1) Miami HC Joe Philbin is a former Packers assistant that worked with McAdoo and 2) it's a fair bet that any assistant who watched how much Eddie Lacy meant to Green Bay this season will make the running game a bit of a priority in his next stop. Sherman did a poor job of sticking with the run and failed to use Lamar Miller correctly, so almost any coordinator change figures to be a good one for his stock.
|Cobb wants to break more tackles|
Injury-marred season fueling third-year WR
By: Doug Orth | Jan 6 2014, 3:10 pm
|Randall Cobb isn't happy. Of all the Packers who were upset after the loss Sunday to San Francisco, perhaps the slot receiver looked the sickest.
"I've got to get better at breaking tackles," said Cobb. "If I want to be a great player — and not just a good player — I have to do more. I have to be more. I'm going to take that upon myself this off-season. I'm going to let this pain that I feel right now fuel me to come back stronger and better next season." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)|
FFToday's Take: Cobb's early-season injury was unfortunate, but it is a great sign that Cobb is already chomping at the bit to get better. It is doubtful he'll fall very far on draft day in 2014, but with the number of young receivers that broke through this season, it is possible. With his status as one of Aaron Rodgers' two favorite passing-game options, Cobb should still be considered a top 10 receiver for fantasy purposes next year.
|DeSean Jackson wants a raise|
Signed a 5-year deal in 2012
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 6 2014, 9:00 am
|Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson would like a raise -- even though he has three years remaining on the five-year contract he signed in 2012.
"I definitely feel it's something deserving," Jackson said Monday, two days after the Eagles' season ended with a 26-24 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. "We'll see how that plays out. "Hopefully, we can work things out smoothly and not have to worry about anything out of the ordinary." (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Jackson is set to make $10.5 million in 2014. He made $7 million this season. Apparently, he thinks he's due a raise after his 82 receptions, 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. Jackson's wishes here are out of whack and is being fairly compensated in comparison to other top receivers in the league.
| Mathews leaves early in Chargers win|
Insists he'll play this week against Denver
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 6 2014, 8:00 am
|Ryan Mathews did what he could Sunday.
An ankle injury that's slowed him the past two weeks could be played on for so long. He was out most of the second half. Late, the Chargers had to turn to Ronnie Brown. “My mindset is I'm playing,” said Mathews, who praised the work of the team's running backs. “We keep fighting. Coach (Mike) McCoy says it all the time. It's the next man up. We're all ready.” (San Diego Union Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: Mathews wasn't 100% yesterday and was absent from the field the majority of the second half. He'll likely be limited in practice this week and be a risky play in fantasy playoffs against the Broncos.
| Pierre Thomas ruled out|
Missed third straight practice Friday
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 3 2014, 4:00 pm
|New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (back) has been ruled out for Saturday's Wild Card Playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Friday. He missed his third straight practice Friday, the team's final workout before the playoff contest. (Times Picayune)|
FFToday's Take: Thomas injured his back/chest in Week 17 and his absence means increased work for Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram.
|Brandon Jacob retires|
Nine-year career comes to an end
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 3 2014, 10:00 am
|New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs announced his retirement Thursday night on Twitter. Jacobs played with the Giants for eight of his nine seasons, winning two Super Bowls. After a stint with the 49ers last season, he returned to the Giants after Week 1 this season and rushed for a total of 238 yards and four touchdowns in seven games. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Jacobs had his best season back in 2008 rushing for 1089 yards and 15 TDs, ranking as the fourth best fantasy RB at 15.6 fantasy points per game. Jacobs is the Giants' all-time leader in rushing touchdowns.
| Welker cleared for playoffs|
Suffered two concussions in less than a month
By: Doug Orth | Jan 2 2014, 6:05 pm
|There was a time as Wes Welker was recovering from his second concussion that he felt he was ready to play. The Broncos' medical team held the star slot receiver out a while longer, anyway, and in retrospect he's glad for it.
Welker first suffered a concussion on Nov. 17 in a home game against Kansas City. He incurred his second concussion against Tennessee on Dec. 8 when he was hit by Titans safety Bernard Pollard. The concussion knocked Welker out of the game and he was held out of the Broncos' final three games of the regular season. (Denver Post)|
FFToday's Take: Welker could be a popular pick in playoff fantasy leagues, but he obviously comes with a fair amount of risk. Most importantly, the Broncos' slot receiver will have over a month to recover from his latest concussion by the time Denver takes the field next week in the divisional round of the playoffs.
| Texas A&M WR Mike Evans to go pro|
Latest of three top receiver prospects to enter draft
By: Doug Orth | Jan 2 2014, 3:35 pm
|Texas A&M announces WR Mike Evans leaving early for NFL. (Brett McMurphy on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Evans may not be a household name yet, but that should change in the coming months. A third-year sophomore that goes 6-5 and 225-pounds, Evans probably opened the most eyes when he destroyed Auburn for 287 yards receiving and four touchdowns in October and his Marques Colston-like skill set should make him a valuable commodity. He joins Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and Penn State's Allen Robinson as underclassmen receivers who could make a first-year impact in fantasy leagues.