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Sunday, December 10, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: POSSIBLE TORN ACL FOR CARSON WENTZ

Updating an earlier item, the Philadelphia Eagles fear that QB Carson Wentz tore his ACL late in Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Rams.  While not confirmed, some reports are trickling out already that this in fact is the case with Wentz who took a hellacious hit in the area during the third quarter and quickly was ruled out of the game.  Count on multiple tests and second opinions to take place before a torn ACL is officially confirmed but those who were counting on Wentz next week in the fantasy football semis are now in big trouble. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CARSON WENTZ GOES DOWN WITH KNEE INJURY

Record-setting Philadelphia Eagles sophomore QB Carson Wentz was forced out of the team's game versus the Los Angeles Rams Sunday with what the team has called a knee injury.  Wentz was absolutely lit up late in the third quarter when he took a lower-body hit and initially he kept on playing.  He soon headed to the locker room however with a limp and was quickly ruled out.  An update is expected shortly but this is potentially terrible news for Wentz' fantasy football owners will the playoff weeks arriving. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 14 BREAKING NEWS: STERLING SHEPARD (HAMSTRING) COULD STILL GET THE GREEN LIGHT

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the Week 14 availability of New York Giants wideout Sterling Shepard to play against the Dallas Cowboys.  NFL.com earlier reported Shepard would miss the game but ESPN is suggesting he will test his injured hamstring in warm-ups.  If Shepard's hamstring responds positively, then he will be out there and go right back to being a top WR 2.  Stay tuned.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL LIVE FROM THE WINTER MEETINGS

By Michael Wong

Orlando, Fla.--The Winter Meetings are set to begin here at Disney's Swan and Dolphin Hotel and executives and agents are already flooding the premises.  With the seismic moves of Japanese import Shohei Ohtani signing with the Los Angeles Angels and the Miami Marlins dealing outfield slugger Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees, the rest of the free agent/trade dominos should begin to fall.  Here are some items on the agenda:

-The Marlins are going to take center stage once again here as they have put out word they will listen to offers for outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, plus second baseman Starlin Castro who they plan to flip after the deal with Stanton becomes official.

-The Pittsburgh Pirates are actively listening on infielder Josh Harrison and the New York Mets are one team very interested.

-The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are ready to spent after losing out on Ohtani and Stanton and they will likely key in on Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Carlos Santana, and J.D. Martinez.  Also the Boston Red Sox are surely going to respond to the Yankees getting Stanton by focusing closely on Hosmer and Martinez.

-The Chicago Cubs have resigned themselves to losing closer Wade Davis and they are also prepared to leave the Winter Meetings with their new closer which could come from a group including Greg Holland, Brandon Morrow, and Addison Reed.  Reed is also being courted by the Mets who want to reunite and build a big bullpen with Jeurys Familia and A.J. Ramos.

-The Detroit Tigers are determined themselves to move second baseman Ian Kinsler but not much happening on that front just yet.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 14 BREAKING NEWS: STERLING SHEPARD (HAMSTRING) OUT SUNDAY

New York Giants wideout Sterling Shepard will be OUT Sunday with the hamstring injury that flared up in practice this past week.  Shepard will now have missed three of the last four games, first with migraines and now with the hamstring.  This is just a beyond frustrating situation for Shepard's fantasy football owners who are missing out on prime opportunities for him to be the top receiver on the team and especially now with Eli Manning back.  Unreal.


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2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 14 INJURY WATCH: AMEER ABDULLAH TO BE BENCHED BY LIONS

Detroit Lions starting running back Ameer Abdullah has apparently run out of chances with the team this season as he will be a healthy scratch for Sunday's game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  With Tion Green having sparked the season-long dormant Lions running game in place of an injured Abdullah last week, head coach Jim Caldwell feels he gives the team the best chance to succeed there moving forward.  The decision makes sense as Abdullah has arguably been one of the worst starting running backs in football this season who struggled to gain yardage after contact and put the ball on the ground.  Green is worth adding in all fantasy football leagues where available. 

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2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 14 INJURY WATCH: ZACH ERTZ (CONCUSSION) LIKELY A NO-GO SUNDAY

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is unlikely to be cleared from the concussion protocol in time to take part in Sunday's game and he will thus be replaced by Trey Burton in the starting offense.  Ertz suffered the concussion in last week's game and although he did practice a bit Thursday and Friday, he still did not make enough progress to as of yet be cleared to play.  His loss is a tremendous one as the fantasy football playoffs get set to get fully underway this Sunday as Ertz has been arguably the best receiving tight end in the game this season.  Check out Burton or maybe the Houston Texans' Stephen Anderson as possible replacements.


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2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 14 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 14 QB rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Tom Brady
2.  Carson Wentz
3.  Alex Smith
4.  Philip Rivers
5.  Ben Roethlisberger
6.  Russell Wilson
7.  Matthew Stafford
8.  Jared Goff
9.  Cam Newton
10. Jameis Winston
11. Derek Carr
12. Kirk Cousins
13. Case Keenum
14. Josh McCown
15. Jimmy Garoppolo
16. Marcus Mariota
17. Dak Prescott
18. Eli Manning
19. Andy Dalton
20. Blaine Gabbert
21. Blake Bortles
22. Jay Cutler
23. DeShon Kizer
24. Tom Savage
25. Brett Hundley
26. Trevor Siemian
27. Jacoby Brissett
28. Joe Flacco
29. Mitch Trubisky
30. Nathan Peterman


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Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 17 INJURY WATCH: ZACH ERTZ STATUS STILL UP IN AIR

Some odds and end injury issues before Sunday's games:

-Still waiting for word about the concussion status of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.  As of Friday, Ertz was still in concussion protocol and not cleared for Sunday's game.  However he took part in partial practice Thursday and Friday and looks like he should get the all-clear Saturday.  If so, Ertz is a must start in all formats.

-The Cincinnati Bengals defense on paper look like a great matchup versus the brutal Chicago Bears offense but they are a ravaged unit as they will be without a slew of players which include Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones, and Vontaze Burfict.  They are not the automatic start one would lead you to believe.

-New York Giants slot wideout Sterling Shepard is questionable with a hamstring injury but all signs point to him being able to go.  Shepard could absolutely torch the Dallas Cowboys defense who will be without defensive back Orlando Scandrick and have struggled covering the slot.

-It looks like Nathan Peterman will get the call to start at QB for the Buffalo Bills in place of the injured Tyrod Taylor.  That could be bad news for running back LeSean McCoy who will face a stacked Indianapolis Colts defensive line and also have to deal with what could be heavy snow/wind.  That also means wideout Kelvin Benjamin needs to be benched everywhere.

-Doug Martin will start at running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he comes back from missing last week's game with a concussion.  This thwarts the plans of those who scooped up Peyton Barber thinking he would be able to build on his big Week 13.  This is why Dirk Kotter needs to go among other issues,

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2017 FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE BREAKING NEWS: JACOBY ELLSBURY, CHASE HEADLEY STAYING WITH YANKEES

It will be Starlin Castro and Starlin Castro only in terms of veteran pieces that are going to the Miami Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton trade.  The Yanks approached Ellsbury about waiving his no-trade clause in the deal but the Marlins balked at taking back the remaining three years and salary on his deal.  Instead, it will be Castro and his two years, plus prospects that are not top-of-the-line. 

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2017 FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE BREAKING NEWS: YANKS/MARLINS HAVE DEAL FOR GIANCARLO STANTON PENDING PHYSICAL

Unless he somehow fails the requisite physical, the New York Yankees have acquired outfield slugger Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins Saturday.  The Yankees will send second baseman Starlin Castro to the Marlins in the deal, along with some other pieces that could include Jacoby Ellsbury and/or Chase Headley.  Stanton will join Aaron Judge to give the Yankees arguably the two best power hitters in baseball; not to mention home run catching maven Gary Sanchez.  Stanton only has to pass the physical for the deal to go through as he reportedly will waive his no-trade clause.  Stay tuned.

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2017 FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE BREAKING NEWS: GIANCARLO STANTON TO THE NEW YORK YANKEES EXPECTED TO BE ANNOUNCED SATURDAY

Just a day after the Los Angeles Angels shocked the baseball world by signing Japanse superstar Shohei Ohtani, the New York Yankees will cause a seismic event on the East Coast Saturday when they announce their completed trade with the Miami Marlins for All-Star slugging monster Giancarlo Stanton.  With Stanton having refused to waiver his no-trade clause to go to the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, the Yankees were presented a prime opportunity to cash in on Stanton.  GM Brian Cashman pounced and a deal came together more quickly than anticipated to the point that an announcement was almost made Friday night.  With former Yankees superstar shortstop Derek Jeter being involved in the talks to add to the circus-like event, Stanton reportedly has told the Marlins it is New York or he will play the 2018 season with the Marlins.  Since Miami is desperate for payroll relief, it is understandable why the deal is imminent. 

Now in terms of the particulars, the Yankees (as per a source) will send third baseman Chase Headley and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to the Marlins in the deal along with possible minor league assets.  Ellsbury needs to waive his own no-trade clause but that is expected since he has no path to consistent playing time with the 2018 Yankees and that was before the Stanton talks.  Since we are located here in New York, we will stay on top of the story (we have one of our guys camped outside Yankee Stadium as we speak) and will post updates as they come in here and on Twitter (@RotoBoss). 


Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING HOT STOVE NEWS: ANGELS LAND JAPANESE PITCHER/SLUGGER SHOHEI OHTANI

After a whirlwind series of negotiations with seven different MLB organizations, priced Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Ohtani will sign with the Los Angeles Angels.  The Angels will pay $20 million for the right to negotiate with Ohtani but his signing there has to be seen as a surprise considering stronger and more visible teams were in the running such as the Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers.  Ohtani will now join perennial MVP Mike Trout to give the Angels a tremendous hitting outfield and he also will be a possible rotation member as well.  Of course the big question is how much of Ohtani's skills from Japan will translate to the States and also how high of a price tag he will carry in 2018 drafts.  The hype is as immense for Ohtani as there has been for any other foreign import in recent memory and so the ADP could get out of hand quickly for the guy this spring.  We always advise being careful of paying too much for unproven players in fantasy baseball and Ohtani certainly qualifies there no matter what he did in his own country.  Either way, this will be interesting to watch given the plethora of abilities he brings to the States. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 14 ISSUES: WEATHER/QB ISSUES COULD DOOM LeSEAN McCOY SUNDAY

When it comes to weekly performances by high-priced fantasy football stars, few are more consistent than Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy.  Tremendous both as a runner and a receiver, the veteran has shown no signs of age in yet another terrific 2017 campaign.  While that is all fine and dandy, McCoy's fantasy football owners need to be quite concerned about a few issues going into Sunday's game that could derail his numbers.  The first is that we still have no word on whether or not rookie Nathan Peterman or starter Tyrod Taylor will be under center.  Taylor is battling a knee injury and only returned to practice on Thursday on a limited basis with a noticeable limp.  If Taylor does sit, Peterman goes in which we all know how well that went the last time he started a game (5 picks) and the Indianapolis Colts will then stack the box to try and stop McCoy.  In addition, the weather forecast is terrible for Buffalo on Sunday as 5-9 inches of snow with heavy winds are in the forecast.  That will make running difficult for anyone and will likely ground the offenses to a halt.  So these are not such small items to look over here as McCoy could be a true boom-or-bust candidate for Week 14 in fantasy football.  Monitor both Taylor's status and the weather forecast and adjust your lineup accordingly. 


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY WRAPUP: FALCONS/SAINTS

Wow so much to talk about here, primarily of course the loss of New Orleans Saints uber-rookie running back Alvin Kamara leaving the game after the first series with a concussion.  While not officially fatal until the rest of the games are played, Kamara's absence that early in the game could spell death for many fantasy football rosters this week.  Let's get to that and all the rest of the action from Thursday's tilt.

-I think Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan just tossed another pick.  Anyone who started Ryan last night (which includes yours truly), suffered through the absolute torture that was his putrid performance.  Throwing in double coverage constantly and showing no accuracy, Ryan completed only 15-of-27 passes for 221 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT's.  Ryan actually produced more fantasy football points this week than he did in his no-TD outing a week ago versus the Minnesota Vikings but he has now put forth three straight duds in this horrifying season.  Clearly the Steve Sarkisian offense is not working as virtually every player is back from the record-setting unit that excelled under Kyle Shanahan a year ago.  This is why Jimmy Garoppolo is such a hot commodity right now as well. 

Getting back to Ryan, if anyone survives this week with him, there is no way you use the guy in any capacity moving forward this season.  What a gutless performance and it came at home in a dome for crying out loud.  Sarkisian will likely be out of a job at the end of the season and for good reason. 

Meanwhile Saints QB Drew Brees (who has earned scorn himself this season with some un-Brees performances), was good enough in completing 26-of-35 passes for 271 yards with 2 TD and one killer INT.  In the past Brees would be near 400 passing yards with 3 scores in a home against a mediocre Falcons defense but this is a new offense in New Orleans that is taking the ball out of his hands a bit.  Despite all this, Brees is still slinging it enough to be worth using the next two weeks.

-Sometimes there are such cataclysmic events in fantasy football that everyone stops what they are doing and pays attention when a big news item flashes.  That happened early in the first quarter last night when Saints running back Alvin Kamara left to be evaluated for a concussion.  Well, Kamara never returned to the game and in PPR formats he barely went over 5.0 points.  The real shame is that Kamara caught three balls for 25 yards and ran once for 2 more on the FIRST DRIVE which portended a ridiculously big performance in the offing.  Unfortunately, fate intervened and so Kamara's owners are in trouble.  Injuries like these in the playoffs often prove too be too much to overcome but play it out.  Kamara does have ten days to get cleared for next week however and so that at least is some good news.

In Kamara's absence, Mark Ingram failed to distinguish himself for the second time in three games as he rushed for just 49 yards on 12 carries but did add four catches for another 43.  The catches saved the day in PPR but in standard Ingram went bust.  It is likely the injured toe that had Ingram listed as questionable played a role but he has struggled a bit running the ball of late.

As far as the Falcon runners, Devonta Freeman is all the way back from his concussion as he showed in rushing for 91 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown.  Freeman was shockingly shut out on the receiving side of things but his bellcow workload was a pleasant surpriser.  Tevin Coleman got just 9 carries for an ineffective 32 yards and he too did not catch a pass.  Freeman owners should be very encouraged by his outing and full usage going forward is warranted.

-Julio Jones is becoming grossly overrated when it comes to fantasy football.  Already allergic to scorcing touchdowns and constantly dealing with injuries, Jones failed to make many impact plays despite decent surface numbers of 5 catches for 91 yards.  Clearly a solid night but we expect more pizazz out of Jones.  It is always something with Jones whose production never seems to meet the hype.  In fact Mohamud Sanu (6 catches for 83 yards and a score) has overshadowed him quite a bit this season.

In fact Jones needs to try and be as consistent as Saints wideout Michael Thomas who hauled in 10 balls for 117 yards and a score.  Other than maybe Adam Thielen, Thomas has been as close to a sure thing in terms of in-game production on a weekly basis.