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Fantasy Football: Week 8 waiver wire

10.22.13 at 11:26 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 8 waiver wire. Thankfully, Week 7 is over. There was a lot of action and injuries this past weekend. And, with all the byes we’€™ll be seeing over the next two weeks, there will be a lot of competition on the waiver wire and in free agent bidding. We’€™ve got you covered. As usual, if you play in large formats and are looking for a deeper selection of talent, you can check out my expanded waive wire over at I’€™ll be back on Friday with the Week 8 starts and sits plus my weekly podcast with Jim Hackett.


Terrelle Pryor, Raiders 

He’€™s healthy now and coming off his bye week. If you are hurting at QB, Pryor can help you as a strong matchup play on most weeks. The Raiders have underrated weapons in the passing game, and Pryor gets points with his feet as well as his arm. It’€™s no fluke, and he is still available in 69 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Jake Locker, Titans

He’€™s playing better than he’€™s played as a pro, and if he can get his hip back to full health, he may be a fantasy asset down the stretch. His schedule lightens up nicely, though he does have his bye this week. Locker is still out there in 93 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Josh McCown, Bears

It appears that Bears starter Jay Cutler will miss a month or more with a groin injury. McCown becomes a guy to roster in large formats with 12 teams or more. He may not be special, but he’€™s got a good team around him and a quarterback guru as a head coach. McCown is available in almost all leagues.

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Report: Veteran DE Andre Carter will sign with Patriots on Tuesday

10.22.13 at 11:20 am ET
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Veteran defensive end Andre Carter will re-sign with the Patriots on Tuesday, according to ESPN. Carter, who spent the 2011 season with New England, is a 34-year-old who has also played for the Niners, Redskins and Raiders over the course of his career.

Carter had 10 sacks in 14 games in his one season with the Patriots. However, a quad injury late in the season cut his year short, and had to watch from the sidelines as the team reached the Super Bowl. There was mutual interest between him and the Patriots about a possible reunion in 2012, but the two sides couldn’€™t make it work and he landed in Oakland. A 6-foot-4, 260-pounder, he has 78.5 career sacks over the course of his career.

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Adam Schefter on D&C: ‘I don’t believe’ Jets coach Rex Ryan alerted refs to Patriots’ push move

10.22.13 at 11:08 am ET
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to discuss the Patriots’ Week 7 loss to the Jets, as well as other news from around the NFL.

Sunday’s game ended in controversy, as the Patriots were called for breaking the NFL’s new “pushing rule” while Jets kicker Nick Folk attempted a 56-yard field goal to win the game in overtime.

The call against New England gave Folk the chance to attempt an easier 42-yard field goal, which he subsequently made, giving New York the 30-27 win.

Following the game, rumors spread that Jets coach Rex Ryan had tipped off the officials that the Patriots have used this push technique.

However, Schefter said that he doesn’t believe that was the case.

“Nope, I don’t believe that. I mean, I’m not going to tell you that that’s not the case, I don’t believe that,” Schefter said. There aren’t many people who know the rules better than Bill Belichick, and I think that he went through these drills in camp this summer, and taught these guys, at that point, certain things that you could do. I think there seemed to be some sort of discrepancy about what was in the rulebook and what was being called on the field.

“If you heard Belichick yesterday during the press conference, he excused the player, he put it on him that that’s what we taught during training camp, and that’s what I sense happened. That’s my read into it. … Let me say this, if Rob Ryan had indeed alerted Rex Ryan to that fact as you guys believe or sense, my guess is that Rex wouldn’t have saved it, he would have used it earlier.”

Tom Brady has gone through one of the roughest seasons of his career, as he has posted a 55.4 completion percentage with just eight touchdowns in seven games.

“I don’t know if [people] think [Brady’s] losing it. I mean, we’re talking about one of the greatest players who’s ever played the game, period,” Schefter said. “Now, he’s not as bad as people are saying, and he’s not as good as people are saying. But I will say this: What I have heard about him this season is that he has not been overly sharp, he has not made great decisions, he has not been Brady-like in delivering the ball. … He has been off.

“He has not been the same. It has not been the same and I don’t know why. … To me, there still are few quarterbacks in the league that I’d rather have, and I don’t think he’s losing it. I just think it’s one of those years where, again, you see the talent that surrounds people and how it affects them.”

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Pressure Points: Which New England defenders have done best job getting after QB this season?

10.22.13 at 9:56 am ET
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Every week over the course of the 2013 season, we’€™ll provide a look at the Patriots pass rush numbers. While sacks can be overrated, when evaluated as part of a bigger picture that includes quarterback hits and quarterback pressures (the latter courtesy of Pro Football Focus), it should provide a good picture as to which defenders are consistently able to get after the quarterback. Through seven games, the Patriots have 18 sacks (tied for 16th), 40 quarterback hits and 58 quarterback hurries. Based on the official NFL game books and PFF, here’€™s a quick look at some pass-rush numbers for the Patriots to this point in the 2013 season:

Quarterback sacks
DL Chandler Jones: 6.5 (45.5 yards)
DL Chris Jones: 3.5 (25 yards)
DL Tommy Kelly: 2.5 (14.5 yards)
DE Michael Buchanan: 2 (15 yards)
LB Jerod Mayo: 1.5 (5 yards)
DL Joe Vellano: 1 (13 yards)
DE Rob Ninkovich: 1 (5 yards)

Quarterback hits (per NFL game books)
DE Chandler Jones: 13
DL Tommy Kelly: 6
DE Rob Ninkovich: 6
DE Michael Buchanan: 5
DL Chris Jones: 4
DL Joe Vellano: 2
LB Jerod Mayo: 2
LB Dont’€™a Hightower: 2
DL Vince Wilfork: 1
DE Jake Bequette: 1

Quarterback hurries (per PFF)
DE Rob Ninkovich: 20
DE Chandler Jones: 18
DL Joe Vellano: 7
DL Tommy Kelly: 6
LB Dont’€™a Hightower: 5
DL Vince Wilfork: 3
DL Chris Jones: 3
LB Jamie Collins: 3
DE Michael Buchanan: 3
LB Jerod Mayo: 2
DE Jake Bequette: 1
LB Brandon Spikes: 1
CB Devin McCourty: 1

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Following the flags: Tracking Patriots penalties for 2013 season

10.22.13 at 9:00 am ET
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Through seven weeks, the Patriots have been flagged for 33 penalties (tied for 25th in the league) for a total of 342 yards (20th in the league. Here’€™s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against the Patriots, not including penalties that were declined or offset:

Most penalized players, listed by total flags and with total yardage lost:
Team: three penalties (illegal shift, offensive holding, personal foul), 30 yards
OL Marcus Cannon: three penalties (three false starts), 11 yards
DT Chris White: two penalties (offensive holding, unsportsmanlike conduct), 25 yards
CB Kyle Arrington: two penalties (defensive pass interference, defensive holding), 25 yards
OL Logan Mankins: two penalties (two offensive holding), 20 yards
DL Chandler Jones: two penalties (roughing the passer, neutral zone infraction), 20 yards
S Duron Harmon: two penalties (offensive holding and illegal block above the waist’€“special teams), 18 yards
WR Julian Edelman: two penaltes (illegal shift, offensive holding), 15 yards
OL Dan Connolly: two penalties (two false starts), 10 yards
CB Aqib Talib: one penalty (defensive pass interference), 38 yards
S Steve Gregory: one penalty (defensive pass interference), 30 yards
CB Alfonzo Dennard: one penalty (unnecessary roughness), 15 yards
LB Dont’€™a Hightower: one penalty (facemask), 15 yards
LB Jerod Mayo: one penalty (unnecessary roughness), 15 yards
WR Aaron Dobson: one penalty (offensive pass interference) 10 yards
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
CB Marquice Cole: one penalty (12 men on the field), 5 yards
OL Nate Solder: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
QB Tom Brady: one penalty (delay of game), 5 yards
S Kanorris Davis: one penalty (illegal formation), 5 yards
OL Ryan Wendell: one penalty (offensive holding), 10 yards
LB Jamie Collins: one penalty (illegal block above the waist–special teams), 10 yards

Most penalized by position
Cornerback: 83 yards
Offensive line: 56 yards
Defensive line: 45 yards
Linebacker: 40 yards
Safety: 33 yards
Team: 30 yards
Wide receiver: 25 yards
Tight end: 5 yards
Quarterback: 5 yards

Most frequently called penalties
False start: Seven
Offensive holding: Seven
Defensive pass interference: Three
Unnecessary roughness: Two
Illegal shift: Two
Illegal block above the waist: Two
Roughing the passer: One
Neutral zone infraction: One
Twelve men on the field: One
Illegal formation: One
Facemask: One
Defensive holding: One
Delay of game: One
Offensive Pass Interference: One
Unsportsmanlike conduct: One
Personal foul: One

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Target Practice: Tracking opportunities in Patriots passing game

10.22.13 at 7:30 am ET
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Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat ‘€” a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback ‘€” it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer might have in his pass catcher. Here’€™s a look at the target breakdown for the New England passing game after the first seven games of the 2013 season:

WR Julian Edelman: 46 catches on 68 targets
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 23 catches on 54 targets
WR Aaron Dobson: 22 catches on 51 targets
WR Danny Amendola: 16 catches on 27 targets
RB Brandon Bolden: 15 catches on 21 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 catches on 17 targets
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 8 catches on 11 targets
RB Shane Vereen: 7 catches on 10 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: 6 catches on 6 targets
WR Austin Collie: 3 catches on 7 targets
FB James Develin: 2 catches on 2 targets
WR Josh Boyce: 1 catch on 6 targets
TE Matthew Mulligan: 1 catch on 1 target
TE Zach Sudfeld: 0 catches on 3 targets
RB LeGarrette Blount: 0 catches on 2 targets
RB Leon Washington: 0 catches on 1 target
TE/OL Nate Solder: 0 catches on 1 target

By position
Wide receiver: 111 catches on 213 targets
Running back/fullback: 30 catches on 42 targets
Tight end: 17 catches on 32 targets
Other: 0 catches on 1 target

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Patriots release defensive tackle Andre Neblett

10.21.13 at 7:45 pm ET
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The Patriots released defensive tackle Andre Neblett on Monday afternoon.

The 25-year-old Neblett was originally signed by the Patriots on Wednesday, Oct. 9, and released on Oct. 12 to make room on the 53-man roster for Marcus Forston. Neblett was then re-signed on Oct. 16 and appeared in Sunday’€™s game vs. the N.Y. Jets. He did not record any statistics.

He is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers after joining the team as a rookie free agent out of Temple in in 2010. The 6-foot, 310-pounder signed with Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent on May 6, 2013, but was released by the Buccaneers on Aug. 31. Neblett has played in 31 NFL games with seven starts during his three-plus seasons in the NFL and has registered 28 total tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. Last season, he played in 11 games with two starts and recorded 11 tackles and a ½ sack.

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