|10.21.16 at 10:39 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 7 starts and sits. I have plenty of recommendations this week for both seasonal leagues and for DraftKings. As always, if you are looking for recommendations on players not listed in this space, consult my free lineup rankings over at Rotobahn. They will be fully updated by Saturday night after final injury reports come out, and they are comprehensive.
Week 7 is not a particularly tough week for fantasy GMs, with only the Cowboys and Panthers on the bye, but get emotionally prepared for Week 8, because we lose six teams and things will be pretty ugly on the waiver wire. If you can think ahead and make a few moves this week, you may be better off.
I hope you all join Jim Hackett and me for this week’s edition of the Fantasy Football Hour. We’ll be live at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning and you can listen on WEEI.com if you are a late riser. It’s usually posted on the home page by mid-morning.
Tom Brady, Patriots at Steelers, $7,900
He’s a great source of high-end production, but you have to pay for it. The thing is, this might be a week when you can find some deals and open up some salary space for a guy like Brady. Just like last week, the issue is, who do you stack with him? What makes the Patriots so hard to defend is the stunning array of weapons Brady has to work with. Big games can come from almost anywhere. Rob Gronkowski is the obvious choice, but he’s back to being priced at an elite level. If the lineup you construct can’t fit Gronk’s salary ($7,200), Martellus Bennett ($4,500) is a cheaper, more contrarian move that can pay off in tournaments. James White ($4,600) is another inexpensive option. He gives you some upside plus he saves you some money.
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Chargers, $7,200
Ryan is smoking hot and could really feast in this home matchup. His cost is actually reasonable given the matchup. He’s locked into seasonal lineups, but I’d give the Ryan/Julio Jones stack plenty of consideration this week.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers at 49ers, $5,900
He’s available at a very low price and he’s the kind of quarterback who can get hot and post big numbers. His cost is depressed because the Bucs have lost so many weapons through the first six weeks of 2016. The latest injury was Vincent Jackson, who will be out for at least eight weeks. While this may dim Winston’s star a bit over the rest of the season, I see no reason why he can’t light it up here. Stacking him is easy. Evans is a good choice, and you can throw in Cameron Brate ($2,900) or Adam Humphries ($3,000) for some low-cost differentiation.
|10.20.16 at 9:58 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated and MMQB’s Peter King joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Thursday to talk about the Robert Klemko situation, among other NFL matters. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Klemko, a MMQB reporter, was at the Bills-49ers game in Buffalo last Sunday and tweeted out a video of a woman tackling a dummy with an afro and a No. 7 jersey to apparently represent Colin Kaepernick. The tweet read: Bills fans scream “tackle the Muslim”, then a young lady obliges.
The video doesn’t capture anyone yelling that, but Klemko claims it happened before he started recording.
The person in the video came forward to refute Klemko’s claims that she tackled the dummy as a result of the yelling. The woman, Alexis Dent, wrote an article in Medium saying no one had said anything close to “tackle the Muslim” and requested a retraction. Klemko refused and now it is a “he said/she said” situation.
Dent also claims to have Snapchat videos from before Klemko’s video, which are said to prove nothing was said. (Click here to listen to Dent on Kirk & Callahan earlier this week.)
King defended his reporter, although he did say he shouldn’t have posted the tweet.
“Robert Klemko should probably have never posted that tweet,” King said. “Clearly, should never have posted the tweet where he said that in the parking lot at the Bills game he heard two people say — he didn’t say this in the tweet — but he claims to have heard two people say, ‘Tackle the Muslim.’ When that happened and he turned on his phone and the video on his phone, obviously he didn’t capture that. Now, that has led to most people believing the woman who said that it was never said. I choose to believe Klemko.
“I’ve worked with him for four years. I have worked with him on some very sensitive stories. What he is guilty here is of bad judgement. Bad judgement in putting out his tweet and implying that the woman in his tweet ‘obliques.’ I still have no question whatsoever that the words were said — ‘Tackle the Muslim.’ There is no reason whatsoever he would make this up, that he would fabricate something in this case. He’s a journalist. People are going to believe what they want to believe in this case. I choose wholeheartedly to believe that it was said and he heard it accurately.”
Added King: “He went down to the tailgate parties outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium to see whatever there was to see. If there was nothing anti-Kaepernick to see or anti-Kaepernick kneeling for the anthem or whatever, then he would have seen nothing. Robert Klemko didn’t invent this story, period. I will believe that until the day I die.”
|10.20.16 at 4:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo is back to full strength.
The Patriots removed Garoppolo from the injury report on Wednesday, close to five weeks since suffering a shoulder injury against the Dolphins in Week 2.
Other than Garoppolo, it was the same injury report as Wednesday with nine players being limited including Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle) and Jamie Collins (hip).
Here is the complete injury report.
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.20.16 at 3:31 pm ET|
Halloween is a little more than a week away, but Tom Brady getting in the spirit by promoting unReal Candy — a Boston based healthy candy company, which he has in the past.
The Patriots quarterback posted a video to Facebook Thursday afternoon with the caption: Every Halloween, I go to my “special place” when I break into the kids’ UnReal Candy…
|10.20.16 at 3:15 pm ET|
The Steelers and Patriots have a bit of a history with not so typical things happening in games.
Back in Week 1 of last season, the Steelers had headset issues at Gillette Stadium where during the first half the Steelers heard the Patriots radio broadcast instead of their own coaches.
After the game head coach Mike Tomlin said that is “always the case” at Gillette Stadium when it comes to things like that occurring.
Now, over a year later, another Steelers coach is calling out the Patriots.
Appearing on the “Coordinators Corner” podcast on the Steelers’ team website, defensive coordinator Keith Butler was asked about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and if they study harder than other teams, or if they’re doing something special?
“I don’t think they’re doing anything special,” Butler said via MassLive.com. “I think they do things outside the box sometimes, you know, that might be on the edge of being legal or not legal. They’ve done a couple of things in the past — putting an offensive tackle out as ineligible but he’s not really. Sometimes the emphasis by the NFL in terms of what they call and what they don’t call, [the Patriots] use that a little bit. They’ve been accused of doing a lot of things. But the thing we’ve got to do is ignore that and play.”
The Patriots have won six out of the last eight meetings, including the playoffs against the Steelers.
|10.20.16 at 3:03 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s no secret Rob Gronkowski wasn’t at 100 percent even when he opened his season in Week 3 following missing the first two games.
The All-Pro tight end injured his hamstring during a joint practice with the Bears in August and was still working his way back to full strength as most recently as a few weeks ago.
In his first two games he had just one total catch, but once Tom Brady returned in Week 5, Gronkowski showed he was back to himself.
In the past two games, Gronkowski has 12 catches for 271 yards — the most production in any back-to-back games over the course of his career.
So on the field he appears back to full strength and then this week, he was removed from the injury report, which was another indication of being back to 100 percent.
“I really don’t even pay attention really to the injury report,” Gronkowski said. “That’s for the team to put out there, but every single week I just try to go out and do the most I can every week. I’ve been doing everything now, so that’s why I’m off it.”
Added Gronkowski: “You just build it up over the weeks, over the days. It’s been now a week or two or so since I’ve just been going full, so I can’t really recall the day. I’ve just been building it up over the weeks. It went good. It was a very smooth process.”
Gronkowski and Brady have developed great chemistry over the years, evident by Gronkowski’s touchdown catch last Sunday where Brady threw it only where Gronkowski could get it and the defense had no chance.
“I would say it’s a matter of everything – conversations, off the field in the meeting room, skill, just placement of the ball, being able to go down and grab it,” Brady said. “It doesn’t happen overnight, either. I definitely know to be aware that Tom [Brady] could put the ball at any position at any time on the field, so to be ready and adjust your body in any way to get to the ball. He saw it open. I truly believed that it wasn’t going to come to me. I felt like the coverage and everything [was] there – but the way he can just sneak a ball in and have the receiver be the only guy being able to make the play is just an unreal characteristic that he has as a quarterback.”
|10.20.16 at 2:35 pm ET|
FOXBORO — A lot of the talk surrounding the Patriots this week hasn’t been about the upcoming game against the Steelers, rather the fallout from last Sunday’s game against the Bengals.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was reportedly fined $75,000 for appearing to stomp on Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount’s leg late in the game.
Many felt given his track record he should have been suspended, but the league decided on a fine.
Patriots players didn’t want to discuss the matter on Thursday.
“That’s last week,” wide receiver Julian Edelman said. “It’s the rules. I’m worried about Pittsburgh right now, so I’m not getting caught in that one.”
Tight end Rob Gronkowski was in the same boat.
“Yeah, it’s all up to the league,” he said. “I’ve got really no say in anything, so I’m just really focused on what I’ve got to do, and that’s to prepare for the Steelers this week. That’s all really what I’m on to, is the Steelers.”
Gronkowski was involved in some of the chippiness late in the game and was asked if he was fined for what he did, which included getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
“I haven’t heard of anything,” he said. “Have you? Sometimes you guys know more info than I do, no lie.”
The Patriots will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers Sunday afternoon.
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