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Vikings release Ben Tate
Didn't play in Week 16
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 23 2014, 7:30 pm

Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have waived running back Ben Tate after an unproductive month with the team. The Vikings claimed Tate last month after he had been waived by the Browns. He was active for all five games with the Vikings, but only played in three of them. He rushed for 38 yards on 13 carries. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FFToday's Take: Tate didn't see the field in Week 16 as Joe Banyard backed up starter Matt Asiata. Tate's fantasy value for this season is likely over unless he lands with a playoff team. Both the Colts and Cardinals showed some lukewarm interest in him earlier this season but in all likelihood his 2014 season is over.
Injury Heavy workload wearing down Justin Forsett
Ravens RB dealing with gimpy ankle, insists he's fine
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 23 2014, 9:49 am

Baltimore Ravens
The career year for Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett is ending on a down -- and unfortunately predictable -- note. In the past two games, Forsett has totaled 68 yards rushing and has been held under three yards per carry, an indication that the heaviest workload of his seven-year career is taking a toll. There have been signs of the NFL's fifth-leading rusher wearing down, from a knee injury a couple of weeks ago to an ankle injury on Sunday which forced him to miss the final nine minutes of the game. "I'm fine. I'm ready to go," Forsett said after being held to a season-low 19 yards. "The defense did a great job, stopping us and stopping the run. Sometimes it's like that. We have to find a way to execute and win games. We just didn't do that today." Forsett has now carried the ball 218 times, which ranks 10th-most in the NFL this season. That's also 100 more carries than he's received in any of his previous six seasons. Teams are beginning to figure out that stopping the Ravens' run game throws everything out of whack for the Ravens' offense. The Ravens are 8-1 when they rush for over 120 yards, and they're 1-4 when they are held under 100 yards. The Ravens managed 33 yards on the ground against the Houston Texans, which was only ranked 14th against the run. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, so if Forsett had to miss Week 17, it would be up to undrafted rookie Fitzgerald Toussaint to shoulder the load along with Bernard Pierce. The Cleveland Browns run defense ranks near the bottom of the NFL. If Forsett is okay to go, he's a must-play.
Injury Philip Rivers (back) will play Sunday
Chargers QB has bulging disk close to herniation
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Dec 23 2014, 9:33 am

San Diego Chargers
Although he is dealing with a bulging disk in his back, the expectation remains that San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will play in his team's final regular-season game, on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. That's what Chargers coach Mike McCoy told reporters Monday. "Everyone has had some form of injury that they deal with at some point of time during the year," McCoy said. "Philip will play on Sunday." ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen reported that, according to team sources, Rivers is playing with a bulging disk in his lower back that doctors fear is on the brink of being herniated. Rivers did not practice on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week in order to rest the injury. After Saturday's win against the San Francisco 49ers, Rivers said he felt better in the game in terms of dealing with the injury than the previous week. He has been dealing with the back issue for the past three weeks, according to Mortensen's report. He also played through a rib injury earlier this season. Rivers finished 33-of-54 for 356 yards in Saturday's 38-35 overtime victory that helped keep the Chargers' playoff hopes alive. He was intercepted three times, but he threw four touchdown passes and converted on fourth-and-8 and fourth-and-10 on San Diego's final drive of the fourth quarter as the Chargers rallied after trailing by 21 points at halftime. A win for the Chargers on Sunday would clinch a second straight trip to the playoffs. Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o said Rivers' playing through injuries has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the team. "For him to be as sharp -- not only physically, but mentally -- and to be able to command our offense and take control of our team is truly remarkable," Te'o said. "He's one of the best to play this game. And I've said it many times, we're very fortunate to have him on our team." (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: The Chargers have a decent matchup against the struggling Chiefs, but Rivers is playing through some pain with this injury. He'll start in Week 17, but if you're looking for a mid-range DFS option, there are much better options.
Injury A.J. Green injures arm in win over Denver
Bengals WR expects to play versus Steelers
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Dec 23 2014, 9:25 am

Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green suffered an injury to his upper right arm in the first quarter of Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos, and while he tried to play through it he left the game for good late in the third quarter. He said he expects to play this coming Sunday in Pittsburgh. The injury occurred when Green jumped to try to catch a high throw from quarterback Andy Dalton on the first play of the Bengals' second drive of the game and was hit in the upper right arm by the helmet of Broncos safety T.J. Ward. The pass ricocheted off Green's hand and was intercepted by Aqib Talib, who returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. Green didn't play in the Bengals' next offensive series, which actually lasted only one play – Jeremy Hill's 85-yard touchdown run – and played off and on the rest of the half, but was seen constantly dangling the arm at his side and was in obvious pain. He went into the locker room for X-rays that turned out to be negative and tried to play in the second half, but he said the pain just got to be too much. (Cincinnati Inquirer)

FFToday's Take: Green looked to be in a lot of pain Monday night, but we fully expect him to suit up in a game where the Bengals could help themselves clinch a first-round bye.
Injury Colts likely to play starters in Week 17
"Need to build some steam"
By: Doug Orth | Dec 22 2014, 4:55 pm

Indianapolis Colts
Colts are going to, generally speaking, play to win against Tennessee despite having nothing to gain. They need to build some steam. (Stephen Holder on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: After laying an egg against the Cowboys in Week 16, the Colts would probably be well-served by trying to find their groove offensively against the overmatched Titans. T.Y. Hilton is expected to return and Andrew Luck is a good bet to excel, so both players should be top-five plays in daily fantasy or Week 17 championships, even if they only play three quarters.
Injury Johnny Manziel (hamstring) out for year
Connor Shaw could get start Week 17
By: Doug Orth | Dec 22 2014, 4:40 pm

Cleveland Browns
Browns HC Mike Pettine: "Brian Hoyer (shoulder) has not been ruled out. Connor Shaw will get a good amount of reps. Exploring other options." (Mary Kay Cabot on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Johnny Manziel's disappointing two-game run as the Browns' starter is over. The Browns already know what they have with Hoyer, so it would come as a surprise if they didn't turn to Shaw after he was arguably the most impressive quarterback in their camp during the preseason. Shaw can run a little bit and showed in his final year at South Carolina that he could make good decisions in Steve Spurrier's offense. Perhaps Shaw can give Cleveland's offense the jump-start it desperately needs.
Cowboys plan to play starters in Week 17
Per HC Jason Garrett
By: Doug Orth | Dec 22 2014, 4:30 pm

Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys HC Jason Garrett says starters will play vs. Washington on Sunday. (Jon Machota on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: As is normal protocol for a team that cannot do much to improve its playoff seeding, Garrett's assertion doesn't mean his starters will play the entire game. Daily leaguers or owners playing in Week 17 championships shouldn't expect Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant or Jason Witten to play more than a half.
Injury Cutler to start Wk 17, Clausen out with concussion
Bears shuffle the deck at QB again
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 22 2014, 2:50 pm

Chicgao Bears
Bears will start Jay Cutler at QB in season finale Sunday at Vikings. (Brad Biggs on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Jimmy Clausen suffered a concussion in Week 16 and won't be available so the Bears will turn back to Cutler in the final game of the season. Despite the inconsistent play, Cutler and his main targets will be back on the fantasy radar for Week 17.
Logan Thomas could start for ARI in Week 17
Cardinals starting QB up in the air
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 22 2014, 1:53 pm

Arizona Cardinals
Just talked to an informed azcardinals source, the best kind, who believes Logan Thomas will start vs. 49ers. (Kent Somers on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: As anticipated Ryan Lindley didn't fare well against the Seahawks in Week 16. Drew Stanton (knee) swelled up after practicing last week and won't be an option for Week 17. The Cardinals are in the playoffs and will likely be a wildcard team if they lose to the 49ers on Sunday.
Wk 17 PIT, CIN game flexed to Sunday night
AFC North title up for grabs
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 22 2014, 9:30 am

Cincinnati Bengals
The AFC North will be decided in primetime in Week 17. The NFL announced that the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers will face off in primetime next Sunday night. The league leaves the primetime spot on NBC open until most of Week 16 is over to maximize having the best game possible on air. (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: If the Broncos beat the Bengals tonight then the Week 17 game between the Steelers and Bengals will be a win and in scenario for Cincinnati. The Steelers clinched a playoff birth yesterday with a victory over the Chiefs.
Injury Julio Jones expected to play, Active
Hip, Oblique injury
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 21 2014, 11:13 am

Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones will play today for the Falcons, per source. William Moore and Harry Douglas also up. Jon Asamoah down (Carimi starts). (Albert Breer on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Jones went through workouts early this morning and while he's far from 100%, he's expected to play. Keep in mind, the risk for decoy, re-injury or being limited is great. Expectations should be limited.
Injury DeAndre Hopkins expected to play
Missed practice all week with ankle injury
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 21 2014, 10:50 am

Houston Texans
After his morning workout, Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins is good to go today, source said. He’s battling an ankle injury, sat out all week. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Hopkins missed practice all week. With Case Keenum under center Hopkins value takes a ding along with Andre Johnson's. On the plus side, the Ravens have given up the 2nd-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season.
Injury LeGarrette Blount out with shoulder injury
Gray and Vereen to handle rushing load
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 20 2014, 7:01 pm

New England Patriots
LeGarrette Blount (shoulder) also ruled out by the Patriots. (Mike Reiss on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: With Blount out, Jonas Gray will likely serve as the Patriots big back for Week 16. The Jets have been tough against the run this season making Gray nothing more than a FLEX play in Week 16.
Injury Frank Gore expected to play
Cleared concussion protocol
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 20 2014, 4:05 pm

San Francisco
49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) will play tonight vs. Chargers, source said. (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Gore was limited in practice this week but should suit up this evening against the Chargers. With Carlos Hyde out (back, ankle) Alfonso Smith will be the backup making Gore a low-end RB2.
Injury Julian Edelman out with concussion
Didn't make the trip to New York
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 20 2014, 4:00 pm

New England Patriots
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will not play tomorrow against the Jets due to a concussion, according to two sources. (Boston Herald)

FFToday's Take: With Edelman out of the lineup it's reasonable to assume Danny Amendola will see more snaps. RB Shane Vereen could also see increased usage in the passing game. Rob Gronkowski and Brandon LaFell get a bump in value.
Injury T.Y. Hilton misses practice Friday, Questionable
Hamstring injury
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 19 2014, 12:45 pm

Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts took to the practice field on Friday minus their top receiver. T.Y. Hilton missed his third straight practice with the hamstring injury he sustained in Sunday's win over the Houston Texans, per ESPN.com's Mike Wells. He was later listed as questionable for Sunday's critical matchup with the Cowboys. (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: Hilton described himself as "50-50". With the Colts unlikely to improve their playoff seed in the final two weeks, its likely that Hilton will be on the Inactive list Sunday resulting in increased reps for Donte Moncrief and Hakeem Nicks at the wideout spots.
Injury DeAngelo Williams unlikely to play
Could be used in an emergency situation
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 19 2014, 12:15 pm

Carolina Panthers
Running back DeAngelo Williams listed as questionable. Rivera said he's getting close, but probably not enough to play. (David Newton on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Head coach Ron Rivera went to say that Williams could be used in an emergency. This is good news for Jonathan Stewart owners as Stewart should see the bulk of carries for the Panthers against the Browns that just gave up a monster rushing day to the Bengals.
Injury Julio sits Friday, will test hip on Saturday
Status for Sunday still up in the air
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 19 2014, 12:10 pm

Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are hoping that rest and treatment will help heal wide receiver Julio Jones’ hip injury. The star receiver was not on the field during the open portion of practice and was not expected to practice on Friday. Jones has not practiced since he was hurt late in a Dec. 8 loss at the Packers and did not return. After trying to run Saturday, he didn’t play against the Steelers. Jones has a big test run on Saturday before the team leaves for New Orleans. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

FFToday's Take: Head coach Mike Smith stated in early in the week that Jones would likely be able to play but this is far from certain. He is shaping up to be a gametime decision. The Falcons face the Saints at 1:00 pm Eastern on Sunday.
Injury DeAndre Hopkins likely game-time decision
Ankle injury
By: Doug Orth | Dec 18 2014, 4:15 pm

Houston Texans
Bill O' Brien: DeAndre Hopkins definitely day to day. Final decision will be made Sunday morning. (Dale Robertson on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: The season can't end fast enough for the Texans, who haven't had the services of their No. 1 overall pick (Jadeveon Clowney) for most of the season, can't keep Arian Foster healthy for much of the time and are on their fourth quarterback. Andre Johnson (concussion) should be back after a one-game absence and see an increase in targets if Hopkins can't go, although it is hard to know whether that is a good thing as Houston will likely start Case Keenum under center.
Polk becoming Eagles' new goal-line back
Eagles own one of the worst red-zone offenses in NFL
By: Doug Orth | Dec 18 2014, 4:00 pm

Philadelphia Eagles
It appears Chris Polk has become the Eagles' goal-line specialist. He played three snaps against the Cowboys Sunday and two were short rushing touchdowns. On another snap inside the 5, Darren Sproles got the carry and scored. LeSean McCoy led the NFL in rushing last year and is on pace for 1,293 yards this year, fourth-most in the NFL. But the Eagles have struggled in the red zone all year, and the Eagles believe Polk’s size and power give him an advantage through traffic near the end zone. The switch from McCoy to Polk deep in the red zone has helped the Eagles address what was the worst red-zone offense in the NFL through 12 games. (CSN Philly)

FFToday's Take: In his six-year career, McCoy has 64 carries inside the 5-yard line with 24 touchdowns and 24 runs for no gain or a loss. Polk is a free agent at the end of the year, so it is quite possible that McCoy gets another chance next season. For now, McCoy needs to be considered a RB2 with RB1 upside in the right matchup.
Jim Harbaugh "considering" Michigan HC job
Another source suggests a move back to college "not likely"
By: Doug Orth | Dec 18 2014, 3:50 pm

San Francisco
Multiple NFL and Michigan sources had said for weeks that 49ers HC Jim Harbaugh was not expected to wind up at Michigan, but in recent days at least one person familiar with his thinking said he was at least "considering it." According to multiple reports, Michigan has made a six-year, $49 million offer to Harbaugh. The offer was earlier reported by CBS5 in Arizona. The annual average pay of $8.17 million would make Harbaugh the highest-paid college football coach, surpassing Alabama's Nick Saban by more than $1.21 million. Another person close to the process said that while it was possible Harbaugh could wind up at Michigan, "it was not likely." (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: It is unfortunate that someone as successful as Harbaugh has been a lame duck coach for pretty much the entire season, but the reality of the situation was that anything short of another deep playoff run probably wasn't going to be enough to save his job. There's no way to know for sure if Harbs can turn down $8-plus million, but every indication is that he wants to remain in the pros and he will be in demand if he does. A trade with Oakland still seems like the most likely option.
Injury DeMarco Murray (hand) still not ruled out
'Boys need to see carry the ball under duress before Sunday
By: Doug Orth | Dec 18 2014, 3:35 pm

Dallas Cowboys
Less than 48 hours after undergoing surgery to repair a broken left hand, Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray was on the practice field Wednesday, taking part in individual drills. Coach Jason Garrett said before the session that he did not expect Murray to do a lot during practice. During on-air team drills, Joseph Randle took the first-team snaps at running back. The Cowboys have not ruled Murray out for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, but Garrett said they would have to see him work in practice to make sure he can carry the ball under duress. (ESPN Dallas)

FFToday's Take: Murray was fitted with a hard plastic shell sewn into the top of the glove on his left hand and was wearing it during the portion of practice that was open to the media. Despite the cautious optimism, Murray is probably on the wrong side of questionable for this week and will likely lose more snaps than usual if he does suit up. If he does play, he's almost certain to lose some third-down snaps to Lance Dunbar. If he doesn't, Randle should get the most work and would probably be the slightly better fantasy option.
Injury Cam Newton on track to start
Panthers QB takes first team reps Thursday
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 18 2014, 2:30 pm

Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Thursday that quarterback Cam Newton is on target to start Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. "We did more with him today than we did with him yesterday," Rivera said of Thursday's practice. "We'll increase that tomorrow, then double-check him on Saturday morning." (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Unless there is a setback it appears Newton will start Sunday's game against the Browns. His back injury will make him a risky start for fantasy owners. Newton has also been bothered by ankle and foot issues this season.
Injury Dwyane Bowe misses 2nd practice with flu
Chiefs receiver missed Wednesday also
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 18 2014, 1:20 pm

Kansas City Chiefs
Dwayne Bowe still out with flu today. Tamba also won't practice (Adam Tiecher on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Bowe missed Wednesday's practice as well. Those owners wanting to take a flier on the Chiefs wide receiver will need to keep an eye on his status throughout the weekend. Bowe has a nice game flow matchup against the Steelers but hasn't found the endzone this season.
Injury Ryan Mathews not practicing Thursday
Ankle injury
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 18 2014, 12:39 pm

San Diego Chargers
Ryan Mathews (ankle) again not practicing. Remains to be seen if he's back this regular season. Wasn't close to playing last Sunday. (Michael Gehlken on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: It sounds like Mathews will miss Week 16 leaving Branden Oliver and Donald Brown to carry the workload. Neither will be fantasy options against a good San Francisco run defense.
Injury QB Philip Rivers doesn't practice Wednesday
Mathews remains out with ankle injury
By: Jake Gordon | Dec 17 2014, 7:16 pm

San Diego Chargers
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers didn't practice Wednesday, although he participated in a morning walkthrough and said he expects to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night when the Chargers try to keep alive their playoff hopes. "At this point in the week I have no doubt" about playing against the 49ers, Rivers said. The quarterback is listed as having chest and back injuries, although the team hasn't said what the specific injuries are. Also Wednesday, running back Ryan Mathews missed another day of practice. (AP)

FFToday's Take: Fantasy owners should not be too worried about Rivers' playing status this weekend. The Chargers are facing a team that may not come to play too hard in San Francisco, however they will be without WR Keenan Allen (neck, ankle) and Ryan Mathews (ankle) doesn't look promising either.
Bears bench Cutler
Jimmy Clausen to start
By: Jake Gordon | Dec 17 2014, 7:15 pm

Chicgao Bears
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Cutler has been benched for Jimmy Clausen, according to two sources informed of the situation. The move to Clausen calls into question whether Cutler will be the team's starting quarterback next season. (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: Chicago's offense carries a lot of risk for fantasy owners as the fantasy season winds down. Jimmy Clausen has only attempted nine passes this year and hasn't started since 2010 making Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett far from a sure thing for owners in the playoffs. Nonetheless, Matt Forte should still enough touches to remain a worthwhile fantasy starter for Week 16. Furthermore, rumors are mounting that the Bears will make significant changes to the team for next season which will have a direct impact on players such as Jay Cutler in keeper and dynasty formats.
Injury Panthers' Newton practices 8 days after crash
Status for Sunday remains unclear
By: Jake Gordon | Dec 17 2014, 4:32 pm

Carolina Panthers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton returned to practice Wednesday eight days after a horrific-looking automobile accident left him with two fractures in his lower back. Whether or not he starts Sunday against the Cleveland Browns remains unclear. (AP)

FFToday's Take: With the NFC South division title and a spot in the playoffs up for grabs, the Panthers will want Newton in the lineup if he is able to play. Ron Rivera indicated that the team will now wait to see how Newton feels after a day of practice. Expect Carolina to make a decision on who will start the game under center by Friday.
Injury Rashad Jennings sits Wednesday
Unlikely to play this week
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 17 2014, 1:15 pm

New York Giants
Giants running back Rashad Jennings' sprained ankle had been making progress. So much so that he wasn't on the team's injury report at any point last week. He didn't practice on Wednesday and appears unlikely to play this week. (NJ.com)

FFToday's Take: Look for Andre Williams to get the start this week. Williams is averaging 3.3 yards per carry and has a tough matchup against the Rams defense that has given the up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to running backs. He would be a volume-based, low-end RB2 in Week 16.
Injury T.Y. Hilton not practicing Wednesday
Hamstring
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 17 2014, 1:10 pm

Indianapolis Colts
Also no sign of colts T.Y. Hilton (hamstring). (Mike Chappell on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Hilton tweaked his hamstring in last week's game. His MRI on Monday showed nothing significant. Thursday will be a key day for the Colts leading receiver.
Injury DeMarco Murray practices Wednesday
Considered day to day
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 17 2014, 1:05 pm

Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray will be considered day to day after undergoing hand surgery on Monday. But on Wednesday, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett outlined some of the benchmarks they hope to see their star running back hit before determining his status for Sunday. "I think we need to see something," Garrett told reporters Wednesday. "There's a comfort level that we all have and certainly a comfort level that he has. Carrying the football is an important responsibility, so you have to be able to do it. I think we all want to see it and I know he wants to see it. So we'll take it day by day and see how he progresses." (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: It sounds like Murray is on track to play this week but we won't know for sure until Sunday. If Murray should happen to sit, the Cowboys are likely to go with a committee approach using Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar. Randle would be a candidate for early-down work.
Injury Keenan Allen out Week 16, broken collarbone
Also suffered ankle injury
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 16 2014, 1:15 pm

San Diego Chargers
Wide Receiver Keenan Allen suffered a broken collarbone along with an ankle injury in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos and is not expected to play Saturday when the Chargers head north to face the San Francisco 49ers. (Chargers.com)

FFToday's Take: A disappointing season for Allen is coming to an end. Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd will move into starting roles this week against the 49ers defense that's allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.
Latavius Murray to see more touches in Week 16?
Raiders RB backs head coach, looks forward to Bills
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Dec 16 2014, 12:20 pm

Oakland Raiders
For a running back who ripped off a 25-yard carry in the first quarter and barely touched the ball the rest of the game, Latavius Murray had nothing but good things to say about Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano. “I think Tony has done a great job, and I think everyone in the locker room loves his approach,” Murray said Monday. “I feel he’s definitely a players’ coach, and we all love playing for him.” Asked if Sparano has unanimous support in the locker room to come back next season, Murray said he has the support of “everyone I’m close with.” Sparano’s job prospects, however, weren’t helped by the Raiders’ 31-13 loss at Kansas City on Sunday. At 2-12, they would at least tie for the worst record in the NFL if they lose Sunday at home against Buffalo and the following week at Denver. The Bills just defused Green Bay’s powerful offense 21-13. “They haven’t given up more than 24 points, I believe, in a game the entire season,” Sparano said. That’s accurate except for a 37-22 loss to the Patriots. Sparano insisted he’s not concerned with his job prospects, only with game-planning for the Bills, with “things that I can control right now.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

FFToday's Take: One of the things Sparano can control is getting Murray more touches against a Bills defense that's having a tougher time stopping the run than the pass. We anticipate a heavier workload for Murray in Week 16, making him a solid flex option with monster upside.
Justin Forsett poised for bounceback game
Ravens RB says disappointing Week 15 due to Jags stacking box
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Dec 16 2014, 10:18 am

Baltimore Ravens
Ravens running back Justin Forsett encountered some tough sledding Sunday against his old team. During a 20-12 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium, Forsett had trouble finding room to run. He didn't gain much traction, rushing for only 48 yards on 16 carries. It marked Forsett's lowest rushing total since a Nov. 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he was held to a season-low 38 yards on nine carries. The Jaguars regularly deployed eight and nine defenders to crowd the line of scrimmage and prevent Forsett from breaking free downfield. Ranked third in the NFL with 1,128 rushing yards for the season, Forsett averaged just three yards per carry Sunday with a long run of six yards. “Their mindset coming in was to stop the run,” said Forsett, who was cut by the Jaguars last spring after one injury-plagued season in Jacksonville in which he rushed for 31 yards on six carries. “They were a physical bunch. They’ve got a great front seven and they did a good job. The box and safeties were down, but it was a good challenge for us. (Baltimore Sun)

FFToday's Take: With WR Torrey Smith banged up and Steve Smith, Sr. pretty quiet the past few weeks, this was a strategy that made sense for Jacksonville. He'll likely resume his normal workload and have better results facing the reeling Texans in Week 16.
Injury Cowboys: DeMarco Murray can play with hand injury
Surgery deemed a success and injury "easily tolerated"
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Dec 16 2014, 10:15 am

Dallas Cowboys
Werder tweeted the following on Tuesday morning about DeMarco Murray: #Cowboys believe @DeMarcoMurray can play Sunday. Injury easily tolerated. Surgery successful, full healing in 6 weeks but no additional risk. (Ed Werder on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: This confirms fellow Cowboys beat writer Brian Broaddus' comments earlier today that Murray should be able to give it a go against the Colts. While there's some concern about his ability to handle pass blocking duties and catch passes, Murray's legs still look fresh and he's been a huge reason the Cowboys are 10-4 and atop the NFC East. Still -- Joseph Randle will likely see increased touches and makes for a smart waiver wire pickup.
Injury Andre Johnson (concussion) expected to play Sunday
Texans WR feeling better this week
By: Antonio D'Arcangelis | Dec 16 2014, 8:42 am

Houston Texans
Andre Johnson will likely return to the starting lineup for the Texans against Baltimore. “I think he feels better today,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Monday. “Looks like we would have Andre Johnson back for Sunday.” On December 7, Johnson suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit in Jacksonville. After failing to clear the league’s concussion protocol, Johnson was inactive in Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Colts. The twelve-year veteran All-Pro receiver is currently four catches from becoming the tenth player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions. If he does so against the Ravens in Week 16, he’ll become the second fastest player to reach the milestone, accomplishing it in his 168th game. (HoustonTexans.com)

FFToday's Take: You'll have to monitor his status leading up to game time, but if he's no longer experiencing symptoms that's a good thing. The problem is that Texans will start either Case Keenum or Thaddeus Lewis at QB, which doesn't bode well for the passing game.
Injury HC: Don't know if Isaiah Crowell is 100 percent
Dealing with hip injury
By: Doug Orth | Dec 15 2014, 4:45 pm

Cleveland Browns
Browns HC Mike Pettine: I don't know if RB Isaiah Crowell (hip) is 100 percent. Probably a better question for him. (Nate Ulrich on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: The Browns weren't doing much of anything in Johnny Manziel's first career start. Crowell hasn't topped four yards per carry in three straight games, so the hip may indeed be a bigger issue than he is letting on. If Crowell misses time, it would mean more work for Terrance West, although the latter would only go from a week flex play to a slightly stronger flex play.
Injury Peyton Manning dealing with thigh injury
Broncos unconcerned about availability for Week 16
By: Doug Orth | Dec 15 2014, 4:35 pm

Denver Broncos
After Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning made an early exit to the locker room before halftime, the team ultimately announced that he was probable to return to Sunday’s win over the Chargers with a thigh injury. Per a league source, the Broncos have no lingering concern about said thigh injury. The team believes the thigh problem was related to Peyton’s illness, and that it won’t affect his preparation for next Monday’s game against the Bengals. His decision to head to the locker room early was aimed at getting the thigh worked on by the strength coach and trainer at halftime. (Pro Football Talk)

FFToday's Take: It appears Manning was dealing with an illness this weekend as well and the thigh injury was in some way associated with it, causing him to leave the field late in the first half in order to get worked on by the trainer. Manning returned for the second half of Week 15 without incident. A much bigger concern for his owners is the devotion the Broncos have shown to their C.J. Anderson-led ground game. For now, consider Manning a low-end QB1 for Denver's Week 16 matchup with the Bengals.
RG3 expected to start Week 16
Colt McCoy (neck) likely to be inactive
By: Doug Orth | Dec 15 2014, 4:20 pm

Washington Redskins
Washington HC Jay Gruden said the plan is to start Robert Griffin III Saturday against the Eagles. (Washington Redskins on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Not that it will matter to most owners playing in their league's championship games, but Griffin looked as good as he has all season in Week 15 versus the Giants. The third-year quarterback completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 236 yards and a touchdown while running for 46 more yards. Were it not for a highly questionable fumble call in the end zone, RG3 could have also added a rushing score. However, with Washington's offensive line protecting poorly, he could be in for a long day on Saturday against the Eagles.
Injury C.J. Spiller activated off IR/designated to return
Readiness for Week 16 will be determined in practice
By: Doug Orth | Dec 15 2014, 4:15 pm

Buffalo Bills
Bills HC Doug Marrone: C.J. Spiller (clavicle) is cleared to return and will be added to the active roster. His readiness for return will be gauged this week. (Buffalo Bills on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Even though the Bills are fighting for a playoff spot, it seems unlikely that Spiller will see much - if any - action in Week 16 after missing the previous seven games. Expect another heavy workload for Fred Jackson for at least one more week, with Bryce Brown, Anthony Dixon and maybe Spiller pitching in against Oakland.