Harvin ruled out for NFC title game

Still on the shelf: Percy Harvin is still dealing with concussion symptoms — among other ailments — and has been ruled out for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. Harvin didn’t practice even once this past week because he didn’t pass concussion protocol. The only chance we’d possibly have of seeing Harvin again would be in the Super Bowl if Seattle makes it that far. For this week, fill your roster with others from the Playoff Challenge Roster. Bess case: Davone Bess was arrested for assaulting a police officer Friday morning at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Airport. Bess hAs been making the news for all the wrong reasons lately, and there’s a fairly good chance he won’t be with the Browns in […]

Good news or bad news for Doug Martin?

Run, baby: New Bucs OC Jeff Tedford likes to spread the wealth in the backfield, as he made no secret of his plans to use multiple running backs in Tampa Bay’s gameplans in an effort to keep personnel fresh. The Bucs don’t really have a franchise quarterback, so Tedford is probably wanting to implement a running game to compensate for that. It’s too early to tell if Doug Martin’s fantasy value will take a hit, although Mike James likely played well enough at times in 2013 to earn himself some carries this coming year. Moving on: More reports continue to emerge that suggest RB Chris Johnson won’t be with the Titans next season. He’s looking for a mega deal that […]

Megatron undergoing some major repairs

Tune up: So, yo know how Megatron had offseason knee surgery? Turns out that wasn’t all he had worked on. Calvin Johnson is also recovering from a finger operation, which may explain some of the inexplicable drops he had late in the season which he’d usually grab in his sleep. Both the finger and knee operations were done to correct issues which go back well before this season. He has missed just six games in his seven-year career, so he may have been running a couple quarts low for some time now. Heaven help opposing secondaries if he comes out even stronger and more fit than usual. Back in action? Kenbrell Thompkins has been officially diagnosed with a concussion, which […]

Whisenhunt will improve Titans’ fantasy production

Ken Whisenhunt becomes the 17th head coach in Tennessee Titans franchise history on Thursday, and of the remaining candidates with head coaching experience, he was considered the best of the bunch. The Vikings and Browns remain the only teams without a head coach. Whisenhunt served as the offensive coordinator this past season with the Chargers. Before that, he won a franchise-record 49 games during his time with the Arizona Cardinals and also took the team to its first ever Super Bowl appearance. The Titans have spent plenty of money and also a high draft pick in 2013 to try to upgrade their offensive line, so if Russ Grimm comes on board as a coordinator, you have to like Chris Johnson’s […]

Reason to believe in E.J. Manuel for 2014?

Sling it! Bills coach Doug Marrone recently said the Bills plan to expand Buffalo’s passing attack in 2014. Only eight teams attempted fewer passes than the Bills last year, but no team had more rushing attempts. The results were pretty poor — the team only reached the 30-point mark in two of their 16 regular season games in 2013 and were held at 24 or under the rest of the time. “We would like to be able to take more shots, throw it more on first down and become more productive from the standpoint of scoring,” said Marrone. Hmm. Does E.J. Manuel’s fantasy value get an uptick?   Not his year: Coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks won’t know Percy […]

Gio’s value just got a tremendous boost

Rush hour: New Bengals OC Hue Jackson said, “In order to win, we have to run the ball.” That certainly means good news for Giovani Bernard’s fantasy value in 2014. The Bengals ran the ball plenty in 2013, although a good percentage of those can be attributed to their having a large lead over an opponent and wanting to wind down the clock. The problem is their yards per carry (3.6) was very low, and when Jackson knows he’s going to need to improve on that number if he wants to be able to ride his running game throughout the season as opposed to just in mop-up time. I’m starting to wonder if Gio might be knocking on the door […]

Time to do some scouting on Harvin for 2014

Save for later: Percy Harvin, who has been struggling with a hip injury since … forever, it seems … remained “full” in Thursday’s practice, and claims he expects to be active for the Divisional Round. Seahawks coach Pete Carrol also said Harvin wouldn’t be on a snap count. The good news is if Harvin really is healthy, you can tune into this game and do a little fantasy scouting for his potential next season, which lies anywhere between WR1 and WR3. Help wanted: Steve Smith is still battling knee issues and downgraded his health from 71 percent to 57 percent after Thursday’s practice (well, then). Smith has been listed as “limited” for pretty much the entire week. His health could […]

Can Johnny Football be productive right away?

Going Pro: ┬áSo, Johnny Manziel will be playing on Sundays this coming autumn. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but there will be a lot of mystery surrounding his fantasy status. Not many rookie QBs step into the league and start throwing for big yardage and touchdowns from day one. RGIII and Andrew Luck were two of the most hyped quarterbacks to come out in some time. The former was either feast or famine while the latter was steadily mediocre. A lot of Johnny Football’s fantasy value will obviously have to do with where he lands, and to further complicate things, he may even go to a team that doesn’t currently have a head coach in place. Still, there has […]

Will Smith be able to go against the 49ers?

Bird home: A recent report in The Arizona Republic confirms Carson Palmer is expected to remain Arizona’s starting QB in 2014. Even though Drew Stanton is listed as the backup, I still wouldn’t rule out Arizona drafting a strong young QB of the future to groom — even in Round 1 — should one fall in their laps. Anyhow, the downslope of Palmer’s career has been underway for some time now. The Cardinals offense was certainly better off having Palmer under center than had they decided to stick with their 2012 QB crop, but Palmer was either dazzling or depressing to watch … sometimes even both in the same game. His fantasy value is kind of like one of those […]

Looking ahead at some WR contracts in 2014

Let’s talk: DeSean Jackson had a career-year in Chip Kelly’s offense, reversing a four-season decline by setting career highs in catches (82) and yards (1,332) to go along with nine touchdown catches. Now, he’d like to improve his compensation for doing so. Despite having two years left on his current deal with the Eagles, Jackson is seeking to negotiate something more lucrative. Will the Eagles consider it? Tip your cap: Speaking of wide receivers and contracts, there are some rumblings that Bills wideout Stevie Johnson could become a cap casualty and hit the free agent market himself. The Bills are less than enthusiastic about swallowing an $8.5 million cap hit for a player who seems to just flat out disappear […]

Key RBs ailing ahead of Wild Card playoff round

– Eddie Lacy is dealing with ankle issues and is listed as probable for the Wild Card round game against the Niners. For those of you playing the Playoff Challenvge, Lacy is an intriguing selection, as Green Bay will likely need to run the ball well in freezing weather in order to advance and give you a shot at scoring more points with him. It may be so cold in Green Bay that you’ll need to wear a winter coat just watching the game on TV. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. – Pierre Thomas is dealing with a chest injury and has been ruled out for Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Eagles. The Eagles play on Saturday night […]

Checking out the QBs, both old and new

-So a few Vikings have come out and expressed their displeasure with Josh Freeman’s game, preparation and pretty much his existence in general. Even though the Vikes spent a first-rounder on Christian Ponder just three years ago and the offense looked potent at times in 2013 under Matt Cassel, it’s hard to believe their next head coach will do anything besides use Minnesota’s No. 8 overall draft pick and choose the guy he wants. If Marcus Mariota has a change of heart and Brett Hundley declares for the draft, that will help Minnesota’s cause. If not, then the only options worthy of a top-10 selection may be Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles, all of which will likely be […]

Bears give Cutler seven-year extension

Faced with the choice of either potentially losing Jay Cutler or placing the franchise tag on him, the Bears decided to saddle up for the long-term haul. The two sides have agreed to a seven-year deal that will keep Cutler in Chicago through 2020. Cutler’s best season with the Bears came in his first year in Chicago (2009) when he threw for 3,666 yards and 27 touchdowns. Not coincidentally, that was the only year in which Cutler played a full 16 games. Injuries have hampered his production in recent seasons, and what’s somewhat surprising about this extension is Chicago has a more than capable backup QB. Josh McCown had five starts in the 2013 season, and e threw two or […]

For those of you still playing in Week 17 …

Till the end: If you’re in one of those die-hard leagues where teams start players through Week 17, give Browns RB Edwin Baker a try. He was in the game on almost every offensive snap during Sunday’s loss to the Jets, and he finished with 17 carries for 64 yards and a TD. Cleveland finishes the season with a road trip to Pittsburgh, whose defense has been leaking yards and points in recent weeks. With so many starters disappointing in Week 16, maybe Baker can give you an unexpected boost to close out the year.   Loyalty program: Bears head coach Marc Trestman confirmed Jay Cutler will remain the starter in Week 17. Count me in the crowd that says […]

Is a potential RB1 suddenly available on waivers?

Who? Those of you wondering why the Browns named Chris Ogbannaya the starter against Chicago, but hardly gave him the ball aren’t alone. Edwin Baker was signed off the practice squad and had six carries for 38 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. If you’re a risk-taker by heart, he should be available in a high number of leagues heading into Week 16. If this was Week 5, I’d say pick him up, then if it doesn’t work out, we’d crack a joke about it and move on. But many of you are playing in your fantasy Super Bowls. Do you really want to take that kind of risk? Same old, same old: Stop us if you’ve heard this […]

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