Wednesday, November 25, 2015


The running back injuries have been nonstop and they are the main theme for this week in fantasy football.  Let's get to all the latest.

-Marshawn Lynch can now be classified as a colossal draft bust as the mid-first round pick will undergo season-ending hernia surgery.  Lynch now joins Jamaal Charles, Le'Veon Bell, and a slew of other backs who have missed time with injury and who were first round pick.  Also looking at you Eddie Lacy and Matt Forte.  Anyways we had Lynch first and foremost among our biggest name bust candidates that we discussed over the summer and in our annual draft guide due to the high mileage on his body and look what happened.  Already the contract extension the Seahawks have Lynch prior to this season looks like a major mistake and Thomas Rawls is already showing he can be the better back as he comes off a 200-plus yard outing.  Cut Lynch loose in all formats and my goodness the first round of this past summer's draft looks like a complete joke. 

-Upstart Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West sat out Wednesday's practice with an injured hamstring as Spencer Ware continues to be a flavor of the week candidate.  Andy Reid is sounding more and more pessimistic about West's chances of playing which will give Ware the chance to build on his terrific second-half last week when he ran for over 100 yards and picked up two scores. 

-Matt Forte will return to starting in the Thanksgiving night game versus the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.  While Forte is expected to start, rookie Jeremy Langford has been so good over the last three weeks that he should get his share of carries and most likely goal-line work.  This could be a very frustrating development for both Forte's and Langford's owners.

-Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is still not out of the concussion protocol which is calling into question his Week 12 availability.  Rookie Tevin Coleman is the obvious handcuff and the fact Freeman is just in phase 1 of the protocol means he is likely to sit this one out. 

-Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore missed practice on Wednesday as he rests up a sore knee and quad.  Reports out of Indy indicate that Gore should be able to go Sunday but that his workload will be limited due to his age and late part of the season.  Meanwhile Ahmad Bradshaw is looking like the main third down back now and he stole two touchdowns last week which hurt Gore.  Overall Gore has not had the fantasy football impact we thought he would have in his new location. 



With Thanksgiving on tap tomorrow, MLB teams seemed to make it a point to get some deals done before everyone sits down for dinner.  Let's get to all the latest.

-The Oakland A's re-acquired infielder Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros Wednesday for minor league arm Brendan McCurry.  Lowrie was an Athletic in 2014 before an injury-marred 2015 campaign with the Astros that included a thumb issue that sent his numbers tumbling.  Still young at the age of 31, Lowrie is the classic buy low player that the A's year after year target cheap.  Lowrie is still young enough to continue with his usual 10-15 home runs and .260 average but keep in mind he also is always hurt.  For the time being, Lowrie is just an AL-only option for the infield.

-The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up righty pitcher Allen Webster from the Arizona Diamondbacks in another minor move Wednesday.  Webster was destroyed whenever he got on the mound last season but he also had some decent prospect buzz when he first got drafted.  The Pirates could look at Webster in the spring as a possible SP 5 but he has zero fantasy baseball value until he shows he can even be viable.

-Speaking of the Pirates, they continue to offer up 1B Pedro Alvarez and 2B Neil Walker in potential deals around baseball.  The thinking is that the Pirates will move one of the two, with Alvarez the better bet.  Walker and Alvarez are solid but limited players who are toward the bottom of 12-team mixed league consideration. 

-The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to look at bullpen arms, with Ryan Madson being the latest they made contact with.

-The Houston Astros have jumped to the lead on the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes as they reportedly are hell-bent on improving their ninth inning arm over Luke Gregerson.  While Gregerson did a nice job in 2015, the Astros want a more dominant arm at closer as they also have made contact with teams about David Robertson, Ken Giles, and Andrew Miller.

-The Chicago White Sox gave a one-year deal to veteran catcher Alex Avila.  Avila figures to give some competition to fellow veteran backstop Tyler Flowers.  Neither guy is worth owning in fantasy baseball, unless you are in a deep AL-only format. 



Here are the fantasy football Week 12 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Todd Gurley
2.  Doug Martin
3.  Adrian Peterson
4.  Thomas Rawls
5.  Jonathan Stewart
6.  Devonta Freeman
7.  DeMarco Murray
8.  Darren McFadden
9.  Chris Ivory
10. LeSean McCoy
11. T.J. Yeldon
12. Mark Ingram
13. Lamar Miller
14. Javorius Allen
15. Eddie Lacy
16. Latavius Murray
17. Matt Forte
18. DeAngelo Williams
19. Alfred Blue
20. Chris Johnson
21. LeGarrette  Blount
22. Ronnie Hillman
23. Giovani Bernard
24. Frank Gore
25. Jeremy Hill
26. Antonio Andrews
27. Chardandrick West
28. Danny Ware
29. Jeremy Langford
30. Karlos Williams
31. Shaun Draughn
32. Danny Woodhead
33. Duke Johnson
34. Melvin Gordon
35. Ahmad Bradshaw
36. Darren Sproles
37. C.J. Spiller
38. C.J. Anderson
39. James Starks
40. Theo Riddick



Here are the fantasy football Week 12 QB rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Cam Newton
3.  Carson Palmer
4.  Drew Brees
5.  Eli Manning
6.  Tom Brady
7.  Ben Roethlisberger
8.  Matthew Stafford
9.  Philip Rivers
10. Andy Dalton
11. Blake Bortles
12. Brian Hoyer
13. Derek Carr
14. Tony Romo
15. Russell Wilson
16. Jay Cutler
17. Marcus Mariota
18. Matt Ryan
19. Brock Osweiler
20. Jameis Winston
21. Josh McCown
22. Tyrod Taylor
23. Ryan Fitzpatrick
24. Teddy Bridgewater
25. Ryan Tannehill
26. Kirk Cousins
27. Matt Hasselbeck
28. Alex Smith
29. Sam Bradford
30. Mark Sanchez
31. Case Keenum
32. Blaine Gabbert
33. Matt Schaub


Tuesday, November 24, 2015


The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots put the finishing touches on fantasy football Week 11 so let's get to all the newsworthy items coming out of the game.

Tom Brady:  20/39 for 277 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Hmmm.  To say that Tom Brady was the first half fantasy football MVP was the understatement of the century as the Pats QB has gone nuclear against every opponent on a weekly basis.  However injuries are mounting at a ridiculous level in the Patriots offense and Brady could now be effected there with his numbers based on this game.  This was easily Brady's worst start of the season and he now has lost Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis, and now Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson to injuries.  There is only so many weapons for Brady to lose before his numbers get hurt and that could already be happening.  Something to be concerned about with the fantasy football playoffs arriving soon.

Tyrod Taylor:  20/36 for 233 yards.  All the positive vibes Taylor had in September have completely vanished as he is looking more like the NFL backup he has been all along since October.  He has zero impact now in fantasy football.

LeSean McCoy:  20 carries for 82 yards and 1 TD to go with 6 catches for 41 yards.  This was vintage McCoy in blending both the running and receiving game to high effect.  The reception numbers were down on a per game basis this season prior to this one but at least McCoy seems fresh for the stretch run.

James White:  2 carries for 14 yards and a TD to go with 2 catches for 32 yards and another score.  Talk about a TD stealer.  White got his hands on the football four times but yet scored twice and at the very least he looks like the guy who will fill some of Dion Lewis' past responsibilities.  I would not go crazy making a pickup here as LeGarrette Blount (16 carries for 56 quiet yards) will handle the running duties while Branden Bolden will also be a factor on both sides of the offensive attack.

Rob Gronkowski:  2 catches for 37 yards.  This is pretty much as close to a non-factor as Gronkowski can get as opposing defenses can now double-team him all game long with the rest of the receiving corps hurting so much.  This is also a decent-sized concern for Gronkowski's owners going into the fantasy football playoffs but he is much too talented to be kept under wraps like this again.

Danny Amendola:  9 catches for 117 yards before exiting with a knee injury.  Amendola was typically targeted at a very high rate in replacing Julian Edelman in the slot but in going along with his career trends, he got injured as the snaps piled up.  Amendola simply can't withstand the rigors of full every snap usage and now he is headed for an MRI on his knee which doesn't sound good at all.  We might have seen the last of Amendola for awhile. 

Chris Hogan:  6 catches for 95 yards.  The sure-handed Hogan was the primary target of Tyrod Taylor but he has not shown enough consistency to yet be a factor this late in the fantasy football season. 

Sammy Watkins:  3 catches for 39 yards.  The ongoing inconsistency of Watkins continues as he just can't put together back-to-back games as he constantly fights through injuries.  He is just barely a WR 3 in fantasy football considering the letdown numbers he more often than not puts forth to his owners. 


Monday, November 23, 2015


Week 11 in fantasy football continued to sabotage rosters as more injuries came down the pike.  Let's take a look at all the latest injury news and notes>

-The biggest injury of the day could have come from either one of two Baltimore Ravens offensive players.  First running back Justin Forsett broke a forearm which puts him out for the entire 2016 season.  Later in the game, QB Joe Flacco tore his ACL and maybe his MCL as he too is finished fro the year.  The higher overall value lies with Forsett who was counted on as high as a low end RB 1 in PPR formats and a solid 2 in all other leagues.  Overall Forsett failed to match his tremendous 2014 production from a per game standpoint, while Flacco remained just a QB 2 in both two passer leagues and a backup in single formats.  Forsett now joins Le'Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, and maybe now Marshawn Lynch as part of the massive amount of injuries striking the top heap of running backs.  The replacement is the mediocre Buck Allen who has only some minor value in PPR formats. 

-Speaking of Lynch, there are reports he needs season-ending hernia surgery which would put the bow on a truly horrific campaign in 2015 for the veteran.  It is looking more and more like all of the massive amount of carries Lynch has had in his career is starting to catch up with him as he was not even running that great when he was on the field.  Meanwhile backup Thomas Rawls is coming off a 200-plus rushing day in Week 11 and if available is the top waiver add.  Surely the Seahawks already are beginning to question the contract extension they handed him this past offseason.

-Yet another running back pulled up lame Sunday as Charcandrick West strained a hamstring.  That opened the door to Danny Ware picking up 100-plus yards and two scores in garbage time in the blowout win over the San Diego Chargers.  The Chiefs are calling West day-to-day as they deem the injury minor in nature but hamstring are always very tricky so this bears watching.  At the very least all West owners need to add Ware. 

-Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is expected to return for the Thursday night Thanksgiving game versus the Green Bay Packers are missing three games with an MCL sprain in his knee.  Rookie Jeremy Langford scored another touchdown in Week 11 but it also was his worst rushing game since becoming the starter.  It is possible the Bears will split the work 50/50 between the two going forward, with Langford likely getting goal-line work.  This is not good news for Forte who surely will be looking for a new team in free agency.

-Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford has now passed the concussion protocol and should be able to go Week 12 after sitting out this past Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a shoulder and concussion.  Mark Sanchez was terrible in throwing three interceptions in Week 11 which means the Eagles will waste no time getting Bradford back in there. 

-Brock Osweiler will start again in Week 12 as Peyton Manning is still hobbled by the torn ligament in his foot,  Manning is now getting a second opinion on the foot and it is entirely possible Osweiler starts the rest of the way. 

-Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is hurt yet again, this time a sprained MCL in his knee.  The less severe type of knee injury compared to the ACL, Reed could play in Week 12 if he can get a practice in by Saturday. 

-It looks like DeMarco Murray will get the lion's share of carries again in Week 12 as Ryan Matthews is still not through the concussion protocol and is not practicing. 



Only two seasons into a mammoth ten-year deal with the Seattle Mariners, second baseman Robinson Cano already wants out of town.  There were rampant reports early Monday that Cano is upset with the front office for leaking word that the managerial staff was not happy with his work habits and how he was being portrayed as a locker room issue.

Analysis:  Ridiculous.  Cano is acting like an incredibly baby through all this as he wanted his money over comfort and now is popping off about it just two years into the contract.  There is no way he will get moved considering how much money is left on the deal and his fantasy baseball stock is slipping off two straight underwhelming seasons in Seattle. 



Jameis Winston:  Dirk Kotter going to Tampa Bay has already worked wonders on rookie QB Jameis Winston.  The pass-happy Kotter has Winston clicking on all cylinders as he posted his best game as a pro Sunday by completing 19-of-29 passes for 246 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Winston is now 14 passing touchdowns and 4 interceptions on the season as he looks like a guy who will be a major factor going forward as a prime fantasy football QB option. 

Tony Romo:  It was a successful return to the field for Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo who fought through an early downpour to complete 18-of-28 passes for 227 yards with 2 TD and 2 INT.  Romo was understandably a bit rusty early on but he continued with his constant 2-3 TD per game pace.  He should be started as a QB 1 in all formats the rest of the season. 

Cam Newton:  The absurdly fantastic season for Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton continued on Sunday as he completed 21-of-34 passes for 246 yards with 5 touchdowns.  While Newton's completion percentage is below-average, his overall game has been by far his most impressive ever in terms of fantasy football.  Right now Newton is a top five QB in our fake game and is also a prime candidate for real life MVP.  He has won this incessant critic over. 

Matt Ryan:  The Atlanta Falcons continue to struggle and a lot of the blame goes to QB Matt Ryan who actually had his first decent game in over a month Sunday in another losing effort.  Ryan completed 25-of-46 passes for 280 yards but he also threw three interceptions.  The three touchdowns were very good but the turnovers were a killer.  Dirk Kotter and his pass-happy ways going to Tampa Bay have been a death blow to Ryan fantasy football value.  One of our all-time favorites due to his annually underrated value, Ryan is now just a QB 2 in two passer formats. 

Doug Martin:  We were all ready to write off Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin this season as he was coming off tow very disappointing campaigns in 2013 and 2014 after a smashing 2012 debut.  Well Martin has been completely rejuvenated in the new Buccaneers offense, to the point where he is in the running for the top rusher in the game.  That effort was more than helped along Sunday as he rushed for a crazy 235 yards on 27 carries in the team's win over the Philadelphia Eagles.  While Martin did not catch a pass, he has gone nuts carrying the football this season in his terrific comeback year with the team.  He now has put himself into the RB 1 class. 

Kirk Cousins:  He started off well enough but Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins was pretty brutal from the second quarter on as his team was blown out by the Carolina Panthers. Cousins returned to his inconsistent ways as he completed 22-of-30 passes for 207 yards with 1 TD to go with 1 INT and a lost fumble.  The guy seems incapable of not turning the football over and for that alone he is just a QB 2 in two passers leagues. 

Joe Flacco:  While he has never been a prime fantasy football passer, Baltimore Ravens veteran QB Joe Flacco has been a rock of stability for his team since being drafted.  That ended on Sunday as Flacco suffered a torn ACL and maybe a torn MCL in his knee that will finish his season.  The Ravens had a nice comeback win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday but their season was finished even before this injury.  Flacco may not even be back at the start of 2016 either. 

DeAndre Hopkins:  Despite going up against Darrelle Revis, Houston Texans ace wideout DeAndre Hopkins had a big day by catching 5 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.  I would say that Hopkins more than won his battle versus Revis as the Texans picked up a big win over the New York Jets.  No matter how you slice it, 2015 has been the full breakout campaign of Hopkins. 

Darren McFadden:  Despite being limited over the last week with a sore groin, Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden was effective Sunday in rushing for 129 yards on 29 carries, also contributing 3 catches for another 20 yards.  It was surprising that the Cowboys gave McFadden so much work considering he was less than 100 percent but once again we reiterate that the veteran has been fully rejuvenated behind the mammoth Dallas blockers this season. 

Julio Jones:  While it was another losing effort by his team, Atlanta Falcons number 1 wideout Julio Jones was tremendous Sunday as he caught 9 passes for 160 yards.  Jones had fallen off his monster September pace over the last month and a half but he seems to have put the earlier aches and pains behind him based on this outing.  His standing as a top five overall star receiver is intact. 

Case Keenum:  The St. Louis Rams benched Nick Foles for backup Case Keenum Sunday but they lost on all fronts.  First the Rams lost the game at the gun and then found out that Keenum suffered a concussion.  Keenum showed he was not up to the task of starting as he completed just 12-of-26 passes for only 136 yards and 1 TD.  He has zero accuracy and was skittish in the pocket.  Needless to say, the Rams' ongoing search for a QB will continue onward into the offseason. 

James Jones:  After he shockingly did not catch one pass last week, Green Bay Packers wideout James Jones was back to being Aaron Rodgers' favorite red zone target on Sunday as he caught 6 balls for 109 yards and a touchdown.  With Davante Adams back in action to go with Randall Cobb, there is much more competition now for Rodgers' passes but Jones continues to carve out WR 3 production in the always potent Green Bay offense.

Eddie Lacy:  Yes Eddie Lacy does exist.  After laughably poor production pretty much the entire season, perhaps Lacy is finally showing some signs he is coming out of his 2015 malaise after he rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries, while also catching one pass for another 6 yards.  Lacy seemed to get better as the game went on and maybe the Packers need to just continue feeding him given what we saw here.  Obviously for Lacy's owners, it is too little too late for most of them but at least there is some return being shown right now.

Thomas Rawls:  If the Seattle Seahawks could do it all over again, they would not have re-signed the aging and now hurt Marshawn Lynch and instead went fully with eye-opening rookie Thomas Rawls.  Rawls has been phenomenal in place of an injured Lynch this season and he saved his best for Week 11 by rushing for an insane 209 yards on 30 carries and one touchdown, while also chipping in 3 catches for another 46 yards and another score.  What Rawls is doing right now is beyond impressive and one has to think that he could continue getting work even when Lynch gets back.  Hold onto Rawls if you are invested. 

Russell Wilson:  The pendulum swing upwards for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson on Sunday as he completed 24-of-29 passes for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns in the team's win over the San Francisco 49ers.  Wilson has been up and down all season which has pushed him to the verge of not being an every week starter in fantasy football but this game should restore some of that luster. 

Chardandrick West:  The uprising that has been Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West hit a speed bump on Sunday as he left his team's win over the San Diego Chargers with an injured hamstring and was ineffective prior to getting hurt.  Overall West rushed for just 16 yards on 11 carries, while doing a bit better in the receiving game with 2 catches for 48 yards.  He was replaced by Spencer Ware who scored two late touchdowns and would be a big pickup this week if West were to sit out Week 12.  Stay tuned on that front and be prepared to react accordingly when it comes to the wire. 

Kyle Rudolph:  The tight end is always a young QB's best friend as Kyle Rudolph reinforced on Sunday when he caught 6 passes for 106 yards and a TD in the team's loss to the Green Bay Packers.  Rudolph has not found any sort of consistency over the last few years due to injuries and poor QB play which mean he is still just a replacement due to injury or for the bye week.