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Report: Patriots nearly acquired Pierre Thomas from Saints

11.05.10 at 8:47 am ET
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Brian Allee-Walsh of NewOrleans.com reports that the Patriots were engaged in trade talks for Saints running back Pierre Thomas on the eve of the Oct. 19 trade deadline. New Orleans reportedly was asking for a cornerback in return. Thomas’ versatile skill set would have fit well in New England’s system, but, according to a source, talks soured when the Patriots wanted the Saints to add a draft pick.

Thomas, who has consistently been one of the most effective backs on a per-touch basis he past few years, hasn’t played since Week 3 after suffering an ankle injury. Sean Payton had reportedly been growing frustrated with Thomas’ inability to recover from the ankle sprain.

Read More: pierre thomas, sean payton,

Fantasy Football Week 9 starts

11.05.10 at 7:56 am ET
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Not a bad first effort last week. As is expected when you’re swinging for the fences, you either knock some out of the park or strike out miserably.

LeGarrette Blount, for example, rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns in emerging as Tampa Bay’s featured back. Matthew Stafford wasn’t too shabby either, displaying the predicted signs of rust early, but eventually lobbing four touchdown passes (three in the second half). I’ll milk my trot around the bases, thanks.

And yes, Blair White (zero catches on zero targets, nice) and Marshawn Lynch (a robust 7 yards on nine carries) were both typos that must have been missed in editing. I’ll be sure to proofread this week’s advice much more carefully.

All the rest were at least serviceable, probably not single-handily winning you any games, but definitely not losing you any either. So, two crushing home runs, two miserable whiffs, and a bunch of singles and even doubles? I’ll take it.

On to the Week 9 advice. As a reminder, these are players who are generally started in about half or less leagues, but who I think warrant consideration in every lineup. So, yes, I do think Adrian Peterson will run wild against the same Cardinals defense Blount KO’ed (Oh, he’s still got it! I’ll be here all week). And Philip Rivers is bound to keep padding his league-leading passing statistics against Houston’s league-worst secondary.

But here are some overlooked guys who could really make a splash if you’ve got a hole in your lineup.

QUARTERBACKS

Eli Manning at Seattle

Started in only a third of Yahoo! leagues this week, Manning should terrorize a Seattle secondary that has been hobbled with injuries to starting cornerbacks Kelly Jennings and Walter Thurmond. Though that pair projects to return this Sunday, they still won’€™t be at full strength and it could hardly matter. The team holds the 29th-ranked pass defense in the league and should have a hard time containing a loaded passing attack led by Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham. If the prestigious Jason Campbell can post 310 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks, there’€™s no reason Manning can’€™t. In a matchup that parallels his nickname, roll with ‘€œEasy’€ for some big fantasy points.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brandon Tate, Eli Manning, Fantasy Football, Rumor Mill

Jerod Mayo on D&C: Randy Moss ‘very hospitable to the staff here’

11.05.10 at 7:22 am ET
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning as part of WEEI’s Patriots Friday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

With the Patriots set to meet the lowly Browns on Sunday, Mayo was asked if Bill Belichick‘s rivalry with Eric Mangini has been used as motivation.

“We haven’t really talked about Eric Mangini at all, to be honest with you,” Mayo said. “It’s just about how they beat the Saints, how they’re a good team, how they have a great running attack. We need to go out and win this game.”

Added Mayo: “The theme of the week is: Six games won’t get you anywhere. That’s our attitude, and we’re fighting to keep winning.”

The Cleveland attack is led by running back Peyton Hillis. “He’s big guy, strong runner, and it will be a great challenge for me,” Mayo said. Mayo added that Hillis weighs 250 pounds, while the linebacker checks in at 248. “I’m trying to get up to 250 now, make it an even contest,” Mayo said.

With Randy Moss coming under heavy criticism for his poor treatment of Vikings caterers prior to his release by Minnesota, Mayo was asked if he ever saw similar behavior from the receiver in Foxboro. “I never did,” Mayo said. “That kind of surprised me when I heard about it. He was always a great guy and very hospitable to the staff here.”

Mayo also talked about Moss’ postgame comments Sunday praising New England. “Randy as well and organization formed a great relationship,” Mayo said. “Any time you leave on terms like that, it’s very tough. Getting those compliments from a guy like Randy means a lot to the team.”

Asked how he would feel if a Patriots player praised his former team in the same way, Mayo replied: “I would feel kind of bad, to be honest with you. But at the same time, he’s a grown man. He makes those decisions. As long as he’s playing on the field, then we can’t say anything about it.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Eric Mangini, Jerod Mayo, Peyton Hillis

Browns Injury Report: Wallace, Delhomme don’t practice

11.04.10 at 4:13 pm ET
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Browns Injury Report
Did Not Participate

DL Kenyon Coleman (knee)
QB Jake Delhomme (ankle)
OL John St. Clair (ankle)
QB Seneca Wallace (ankle)

Limited Participation
DL Shaun Rogers (ankle)
LB Matt Roth (hamstring)
TE Alex Smith (ankle)

Read More: Browns, injury report,

Patriots Injury Report: Hernandez participates in practice fully

11.04.10 at 4:08 pm ET
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Patriots Injury Report
Did Not Participate

S Jarrad Page (calf)
RB Fred Taylor (toe)

Limited Participation
WR Deion Branch (hamstring)
S Patrick Chung (knee)
WR Matt Slater (ankle)

Full Participation
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)

Read More: injury report, Patriots,

Aaron Hernandez back at practice for Patriots

11.04.10 at 1:32 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” After missing a day of practice on Wednesday, tight end Aaron Hernandez was back for the start of Thursday’s practice session for Patriots. The session, which was held in the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse in full pads, was only missing two players: running back Fred Taylor, who has been slowed by a toe issue, and safety Jarrad Page, who suffered a calf injury a few weeks back against the Ravens.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Fred Taylor, Jarrad Page,

Welcoming back Logan Mankins and why it matters

11.04.10 at 12:15 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The man most affected by the return of Logan Mankins says he’s very happy to see him back. And Mankins feels just as glad to see Dan Connolly.

“I know one thing. I had a lot more faith in Dan Connolly than you guys did before the season started,” Mankins said. “Dan is a great friend of mine. He’s done a great job, and it was fun watching him play, and get the opportunity to play to prove everyone that he can do it.”

Connolly’s response?

“Sure, that feels great,” Connolly said. “The hard work that I put in, the preparation paid off.”

When Mankins didn’t report to camp this summer, Connolly stepped in and assumed the role of starting left guard. The Patriots moved on and even Tom Brady was impressed with the job the offensive line did in the absence of the former Pro Bowl guard.

“I’ve never had more confidence in my offensive line than I have this year,” Brady said earlier in the season. Brady has been sacked 12 times in seven games, with four of those coming in one game (vs. San Diego). Four of the seven games, the offensive line allowed fewer than two sacks in a game.

Ask the men who play the game and they will all tell you an offensive lineman is nothing if you can’t trust him under pressure and in the clutch. From Brady to every offensive lineman, it was clear this week the Patriots all trust Mankins coming back to the team.

Just listen to the reaction of Mankins’ once and future linemates to his left and right – tackle Matt Light and center Dan Koppen.

“It’€™s great to have him back, great to have him back,” Light said. “I mean, you know, a guys that’€™s put in a lot of work around here, and always good to have a guy like that back.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dan Connolly, Dan Koppen, Logan Mankins, Matt Light
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