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Ndamukong Suh suspended for one game
Stepped on Aaron Rodgers' injured leg in Week 17
By: Doug Orth | Dec 29 2014, 4:05 pm

Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions and Ndamukong Suh have been informed that the defensive tackle will be suspended for this weekend's wild-card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. Suh's punishment comes a day after he stepped on the leg of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Suh "unnecessarily stepped on [the] opponent's unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself," according to a statement released by the NFL. Suh is appealing the suspension and his appeal will be heard by Ted Cottrell. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: If the suspension sticks, it could very well be a sad end to one of the league's most dominant interior players and his time in Detroit. The Week 17 "misstep" is the latest in a long line of dirty plays by the impending free agent, who figures to break the bank in the offseason regardless. Without Suh, Detroit would likely be down its top two defensive tackles - Nick Fairley hurt his knee in Week 6 and hasn't returned - against the Cowboys, who run the ball as well as any team in the league.
Kyle Shanahan among candidates to be 49ers HC
Mutually parted ways with Jim Harbaugh on Sunday
By: Doug Orth | Dec 29 2014, 4:00 pm

San Francisco
Browns OC Kyle Shanahan is on the 49ers list of coaching candidates, a source told The Plain Dealer. The 49ers are in the market for a new coach after announcing Sunday they mutually agreed to part ways with coach Jim Harbaugh. Shanahan, who is the son of former NFL coach Mike Shanahan, has held the role of offensive coordinator with the Texans, Redskins and Browns. He has been coaching in the NFL since 2004. In his first season as the Browns offensive coordinator, Cleveland ranked 23rd in total offense (324.6 yards per game) and 27th in scoring offense (18.7 points per game). (CBS Sports)

FFToday's Take: Shanahan joins Broncos OC Adam Gase and Seahawks DC Dan Quinn among the coaches that have reportedly been asked to interview with the Niners. Shanahan is particularly intriguing hire since his preferred zone-running scheme is in direct contrast to the power-running scheme San Francisco utilized under HC Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman. However, Shanahan has had plenty of experience working with mobile quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick, which is what the Niners probably would most like to accomplish with this hire.
Kyle Orton retires
Veteran calls it quits at 31 years old
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 29 2014, 11:55 am

Buffalo Bills
The 10-year NFL veteran ended all the talk Monday morning when he surprisingly announced his retirement from football. "I just have been going at it for 10 years, and it's just a family decision, and I've decided to get home and be a dad and call it a day," the 31-year-old Orton said. (USA Today)

FFToday's Take: Kyle Orton became the Bills starting QB in Week 5 throwing for 3,018 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Bills now find themselves with EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel on the QB depth chart. Expect Buffalo to be shopping in the free agent QB market this off-season.
Injury Le'Veon Bell "can barely walk" Monday
Hyper-extended knee
By: Doug Orth | Dec 29 2014, 11:45 am

Pittburgh Steelers
Judging by what I saw - and it's only Monday - Le'Veon Bell has little chance of playing for Steelers against Ravens. He is young, though. (Dale Lolley on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Beat writer Dale Lolley made this comment after watching Bell at the practice facility on Monday. The team has yet to give an official diagnosis on Bell's knee injury but at this point it seems less than 50-50 that he will be ready for Saturday's game against the Ravens. Josh Harris would see an expanded role if Bell can't play.
Wallace sits the second half, didn't want to play
Dolphins wideout aggravates teammates
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 28 2014, 7:00 pm

Miami Dolphins
After Mike Wallace sat out the second half, multiple reports noted that Wallace had been benched by the coaching staff. NFL Media's Jeff Darlington, though, was told by several team sources that the pass-catcher wasn't just "benched," but pulled himself from the contest. After Dolphins tight end Charles Clay scored a touchdown with 43 seconds left in the half, Wallace came off the field and told coach Joe Philbin that he no longer wanted to play, per Darlington. (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: An odd way to end the season for Wallace and Miami. There's been no explanation as to why Wallace didn't want to play or what issue led him to removing himself from the game. His diva actions may lead management to rethink his status with the team. Wallace is in the middle of a five-year $60 million deal through 2017 and is owed $9.8 million next season.
Injury Gronkowski, Edelman inactive for Patriots
Tim Wright expected to start at TE
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 28 2014, 11:35 am

New England Patriots
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Julian Edelman are both inactive today. Expect starters to be out in the second half, anyway (Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: The Patriots are playing it safe with their star TE in a meaningless game. Expect Tim Wright to get the start and Danny Amendola should see more targets with Edelman out. Expect to see Jimmy Garoppolo replace Tom Brady at some point during the game.
Terrance West to start for Browns
A week after not receiving a carry
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 28 2014, 8:58 am

Cleveland Browns
Baltimore native Terrance West will start at running back today for the Browns against the Ravens. The rookie's role fluctuated in 2014. (Jason LaCanfora on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: West didn't even play last week so this move is peculiar at best. Despite the starting nod the Browns offense is off limits in daily league play this week. UDFA Connor Shaw is starting at QB, Josh Gordon is suspended and the Ravens need a victory to make the playoffs. Look elsewhere.
Josh Gordon suspended for violating team rules
Missed Saturday's walk-through
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2014, 2:15 pm

Cleveland Browns
Receiver Josh Gordon was suspended by the Browns for violation of team rules after he missed today's mandatory walk-through, Northeast Ohio Media Group has confirmed. The Browns activated receiver Phil Bates from the practice squad to take Gordon's spot. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

FFToday's Take: Gordon will miss Week 17 and could be out of Cleveland this off-season. Gordon missed 10 games this season for violating the substance abuse policy. Interesting to note that Gordon will now be a restricted free agent (not unrestricted) at the end of the 2015 because he was active in only five games, falling one game shy of an accredited season. The Browns attempted to trade Gordon prior to last season's trade deadline.
Injury Jonas Gray listed as Out
Ankle injury
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2014, 7:00 am

New England Patriots
A whopping 18 players were listed by the Patriots on Friday’s injury report, with running back Jonas Gray and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard being ruled out of Sunday’s game. Gray has been dealing with an ankle injury, and was the only player to miss Friday’s practice. (Boston Herald)

FFToday's Take: LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen are both listed as Questionable. With nothing to play for the entire Patriots offense is too risky to consider for DFS lineups. Brandon Bolden and James White could be the two main ball-carries for New England in Week 17.
Injury Rodgers, Freeman expected to split carries
Atlanta likely to be without Steven Jackson
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2014, 8:15 pm

Atlanta Falcons
Rookie running back Devonta Freeman believes he’s ready to take over the rushing load if Steven Jackson does not play against the Carolina Panthers. Jacquizz Rodgers will likely get the bulk of the carries because he’s still considered a better pass protector. Also, Jerome Smith was added to the roster from the practice squad. He will be active and may play. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

FFToday's Take: Steven Jackson (quad) is expected to miss Week 17. As a result, expect Rodgers and Freeman to be in a timeshare against the Panthers. Freeman's 4.0 rushing average and 7.9 receiving average suggest he has the better upside over Rodgers (3.5 - 5.9).
Injury DeAngelo Williams listed as Probable
Head coach won't divulge plan at running back
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2014, 8:10 pm

Carolina Panthers
Coach Ron Rivera said Friday that he did not want to divulge his running back rotation beyond Stewart starting because it could give the Falcons a competitive advantage. "I'm not going to sit here and divulge what my plan is with my players," Rivera said. "I don't want to get up here and tell you exactly what we're going to do with our players. Why do I want to give the opponent any insight into what we're going to do?" (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: What we do know is Jonathan Stewart will start. How much DeAngelo Williams plays, if at all, remains to be seen. Williams was listed as Questionable last week but was only available in an emergency situation according to Rivera. The Probable tag suggests he may see the field in a backup role. High-end RB2 usage from Stewart should be expected.
Injury Ronnie Hillman set to return, role unclear
Listed as Probable
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2014, 8:00 pm

Denver Broncos
Sunday also figures to mark the return of running back Ronnie Hillman. He practiced fully for the first time this week since suffering a foot injury on Nov. 9 at Oakland. He is probable, clearing the way for him to complement C.J. Anderson. (Denver Post)

FFToday's Take: Hillman is likely to backup to Anderson but how much of a role he will have is unclear. He could potentially take enough carries away to make Anderson more of an RB2 than RB1.
Injury Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen
Chase Daniel to start against Chargers
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2014, 12:55 pm

Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith will miss Sunday’s regular-season finale against San Diego because of a lacerated spleen. Backup Chase Daniel will start at quarterback on Sunday, just as he did in the regular-season finale a year ago when the Chiefs, with a playoff spot wrapped up, sat their starters at San Diego. (Kansas City Star)

FFToday's Take: Smith was injured in last week's game but didn't have any symptoms until after practice this week. Normally recovery time is six weeks an no surgery is expected. Daniel starter the final regular season game last season against the Chargers throwing 21-30 for 200 yards, 1 TD and 59 yards rushing. He makes for interesting cap relief in DFS formats this week.
WR Louis Murphy gets 3-year extension
Was scheduled to become free agent
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 26 2014, 9:52 am

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wide receiver Louis Murphy has agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced Friday morning. Murphy, 27, had been scheduled to become a free agent after the season. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Murphy was filling the No.3 wide receiver role for the Bucs and could be in for a bigger workload in 2015 if Vincent Jackson is moved during the off-season.
Injury A.J. Green limited on Thursday
Right arm bruise
By: Doug Orth | Dec 25 2014, 7:35 pm

Cincinnati Bengals
Also at Bengals Christmas practice, A.J. Green (arm) was limited. (Geoff Hobson on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Green was held catchless in the Bengals' Week 16 win over Denver in large part because he was hurt on the same play that Broncos CB Aqib Talib returned an interception for a touchdown on the team's second drive of the game. A limited practice on Thursday is better than a DNP, but considering how much pain he appeared to be in on Monday night, his owners need to exercise caution and wait for something more definitive before counting on him against Pittsburgh in Week 17.
Injury Joique Bell likely to play in season finale
Dealing with Achilles' strain
By: Doug Orth | Dec 25 2014, 7:30 pm

Detroit Lions
HC Jim Caldwell didn't offer any updates on the injury status of Joique Bell (Achilles). Asked if he'll play Sunday Caldwell said "we'll see". (Tim Twentyman on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: This story gets a mention because the team's official website called Bell a full participant in practice on Thursday, suggesting Bell is on track to play against the Packers for the NFC North title. Assuming he is a full-go again on Friday, Bell should be expected for his usual 15-20 touches.
Cards opt for Lindley to start at QB in Week 17
HC Arians backtracks from giving rookie first start
By: Doug Orth | Dec 25 2014, 7:15 pm

Arizona Cardinals
Bruce Arians uses the "quick hook" with Logan Thomas. Will go back to Ryan Lindley as starter for Sunday's game, per source. (Kent Somers on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: ESPN reported Wednesday that Thomas struggled in his first practice as the starter, which probably prompted the move. Even if that was the case, it is hard to see the upside in starting Lindley, who is a career 49.3-percent passer and has attempted a NFL-record 225 passes without throwing for a touchdown. For now, however, Arians appears to be leaning toward starting Lindley against San Francisco on Sunday.
Injury Cardinals may have QB Stanton back for playoffs
'85 percent' chance
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 24 2014, 8:44 am

Arizona Cardinals
Drew Stanton has an 85 percent chance of starting at quarterback for the Cardinals in the playoffs. That's the number that head coach Bruce Arians gave to SiriusXM NFL radio in an interview on Tuesday night, adding that he would not play Stanton this weekend against the 49ers unless there was an emergency. "He's going to practice some this week, and we'll see how he goes," Arians said, via ESPN.com. "Do not plan on playing him this week unless it was absolutely necessary." (NFL.com)

FFToday's Take: Arizona is expected to go with Logan Thomas at quarterback for Week 17 while Drew Stanton will only see action in an emergency situation. This deflates the fantasy values of every Cardinal for any owner vying for Championship this weekend. For owners in fantasy playoff games, the Cardinals offense would get a boost if Drew Stanton does indeed return.
Injury Hoyer focused on starting season finale
Status to be determined Sunday
By: Jake Gordon | Dec 23 2014, 9:00 pm

Cleveland Browns
BEREA, Ohio -- Quarterback Brian Hoyer doesn't want to end his season -- and possibly his Browns career -- on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. "I'm focusing on trying to get as healthy as I can,'' he said. Hoyer sat out Tuesday's light practice with the shoulder injury suffered during Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Panthers. If he's not better by Sunday, practice squad rookie Connor Shaw will be elevated and start the game. (Cleveland.com)

FFToday's Take: None of the Browns' offensive weapons are great fantasy plays for Week 17 against Baltimore, however TE Jordan Cameron and WR Josh Gordon would have better outlooks If QB Brian Hoyer (shoulder) was under center for Cleveland. Before plugging a Cleveland Brown into you starting lineup check in on the quarterback situation Sunday.
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.