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Fantasy Football: Week 6 waiver wire 10.07.14 at 9:52 am ET
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What a difference a week can make, huh? Well, maybe not for Calvin Johnson owners like myself, but for Patriots fans, a week has cured a host of ills. Now it’s time to cure some fantasy football ills. This is a week to really focus on free agency, because things are coming into focus now. The good options are drying up, but you still can get impact talent if you act now, especially in smaller formats.

The ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that. If you play in really big leagues, as I tend to do, you should head on over to Rotobahn this afternoon and check out my expanded waiver wire. The expanded edition gives you about twice as many options. To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and The Fantasy Football Hour with my good buddy Jim Hackett, follow me on Twitter.

QUARTERBACKS

Eli Manning, Giants — 66 percent

He’s clearly the guy to go after if you are lucky and he’s still available. With the addition of Odell Beckham, Jr., Manning now has a very nice array of targets. The Giants can create mismatch havoc against most secondaries, and the pass protection has improved as well. And, as I’ve said each of the last few weeks, the schedule is mostly friendly. Manning could post QB1 numbers going forward.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals — 30 percent

He’s been dumped in a lot of leagues, but he may be back this week, and we’ve seen how much the Cardinals need their veteran signal caller. Palmer is past his bye and has really good matchups the rest of the way with a few exceptions. I’m looking to add Palmer in all leagues where I need some QB help.

Alex Smith, Chiefs — 45 percent

There are a lot of good matchups left on the schedule, but be wary of Smith’s bye week. It’s this week. If your QB2 needs are further ahead, Smith makes sense. He’s got a solid weekly floor even if he doesn’t post a lot of huge numbers.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins — 35 percent

His schedule is nothing scary for the next few weeks and he performed well going into Miami’s Week 5 bye. Tannehill’s an option to consider in all formats as a QB2.

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Read More: Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins
Fantasy Football: Week 5 waiver wire 09.30.14 at 10:57 am ET
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Welcome to the morning after, folks. In the words of John Winger, “and then depression set in.” It was a long weekend for Boston fans. First, they had give begrudging respect to Derek Jeter for three days, which is stomach-turning enough. Then there was Monday night’s debacle in Kansas City. Hopefully Gronk’s late touchdown did something for some of you. Hopefully a few of you listened to me and stashed Jerick McKinnon, who saved my bacon in a few leagues. No matter what your weekend was like, Rotobahn’s here to help pick up the pieces. Let’s get to work.

The ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that. If you play in really big leagues, as I tend to do, you should head on over to Rotobahn Monday afternoon and check out my expanded waiver wire. The expanded edition gives you about twice as many options. To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and The Fantasy Football Hour with my good buddy Jim Hackett, follow me on Twitter.

There is some good news. The Week 5 byes are not as painful as last week’s losses. Only Oakland and Miami have the week off. Not too many fantasy studs on those two powerhouses. Oakland doesn’t even have a coach right now after mercifully canning Dennis Allen on Monday night. The rumor mill is spitting out Tony Sparano‘s name as a possible replacement. Yikes.

QUARTERBACKS

Eli Manning, Giants — 48 percent

As I said last week, buy Eli now because the Giants have some solid matchups the rest of the way and they should get rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. soon — perhaps this weekend in a sweet home matchup with the porous Falcons defense.

Alex Smith, Chiefs — 42 percent

The Chiefs were searching and grinding for a few weeks — trying to get the new offensive line in sync. It would appear that they’ve turned the corner and are back to taking good care of the ground game and of Alex Smith. Smith can help you in most leagues as a matchup play. He’s got a very interesting matchup at San Francisco this week.

Joe Flacco, Ravens — 39 percent

He’s a guy you can throw in there anytime you need him. The Ravens are throwing the ball well now that Gary Kubiak‘s system is beginning to take hold. Flacco can be your backup in any format.

Blake Bortles, Jaguars — 18 percent

He’s a foot-points guy. I love those foot points. Bortles also plays for a team that will be throwing in the fourth quarter almost every single week. The game doesn’t seem too big for the rookie and he can help you as a matchup play or QB2. He’s playable this week in a home matchup against the Steelers, who can’t stop much these days and who do not have Ike Taylor at corner for the foreseeable future.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals — 33 percent

Arizona’s starting quarterback is a viable fantasy play, whether it be Palmer or Drew Stanton. Palmer is the guy worth owning in smaller formats and he could return as soon as this week. HC Bruce Arians has Arizona moving in the right direction. Palmer should be a solid matchup play the rest of the way, though he might not be able to help you this week. His return may be one more week away. We’ll know more once practice reports start coming out.

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Read More: Alex Smith, Blake Bortles, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning
Bill Belichick is getting his team ready to face an ‘explosive’ 1-2 punch in Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis 09.24.14 at 9:07 pm ET
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Jamaal Charles is a question mark heading into Monday's game against the Patriots. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jamaal Charles is a question mark heading into Monday’s game against the Patriots. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The Chiefs were without star running back Jamaal Charles last week and they still managed to throttle the Miami Dolphins, 34-15, in South Florida.

Bill Belichick was paying close attention to the back who picked up the slack.

With Charles sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Knile Davis ran 32 times for 132 yards and a touchdown.

“I think they’€™re different skill sets, but they do the same things with them so the same plays look different depending on who is carrying the ball,” Belichick said of Charles and Davis. “Davis is strong — they’€™re both very fast — Davis is strong, 230 pounds, whatever he is and he breaks tackles, he’€™s got good lower body strength, hard guy to bring down. You see that on some of his kickoff returns from last year, too, where he just runs through arm tackles and all that.

“Charles has good playing strength, too, but he’€™s more elusive, great quickness, acceleration. They’€™re different, but they’€™re both very good. They both can hit the homerun ball. They’€™ve both got great long speed, they have that in common, but their styles are a little bit different but they’€™re both very dangerous — strong guys, strong runners.”

If Charles doesn’t go, Belichick will also have to be ready for former Jets tailback Joe McKnight, who chipped in with six catches and 64 yards. There’s also veteran receiver Dwayne Bowe and explosive tight end Travis Kelce.

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Read More: Alex Smith, Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Jamaal Charles
Chandler Jones: Patriots defense ‘takes pride’ in forcing turnovers at 6:11 pm ET
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Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

FOXBORO — Having the best turnover differential in the NFL is something the Patriots have a lot of satisfaction in.

The Patriots defense has forced eight total turnovers in the first three games –€“ six interceptions and two fumbles — and along with two giveaways by the offense, New England is tied for the league-lead in turnover differential at plus six with the Bengals.

“For the defense to get a turnover that can be huge for the offense and it’€™s something that we take pride in. Get the ball to the offense,” defensive end Chandler Jones said.

The defense’€™s eight forced turnovers are tied with the Bears for the most in the NFL.

“That is a credit to the defense working together and also credits the coaches and their game plans and play calling,” Jones said. “Coach [Matt] Patricia and Coach [Bill] Belichick do a good job of calling blitzes and when to drop into coverage — things of that nature to confuse the offense a little bit or even the quarterback.”

While Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has thrown three interceptions so far this season, he’€™s known as being a game-manager and not turning the ball over much –€“ not throwing more than seven interceptions in each of the last three seasons.

Smith is in his 10th season in the league, spending his first seven with San Fransisco, so the Patriots know they will have their work cut out for them Monday Night on the road.

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Read More: Alex Smith, Bill Belichick, chandler jones, Patriots
5 things you have to know about Chiefs 09.22.14 at 1:02 pm ET
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Alex Smith helped lift the Chiefs to their first win of the season Sunday in Miami. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Alex Smith helped lift the Chiefs to their first win of the season Sunday in Miami. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Here are five things you have to know about the Chiefs (1-2), who will host the Patriots (2-1) in the Monday Night Football debut for both teams next week in Kansas City.

Quarterback Alex Smith can run the football.

Through three games, Smith is second among all quarterbacks when it comes to rushing yards — he trails only San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, 131 rushing yards to 95. He’s had at least 100 rushing yards every year the last four years, including 431 last season on 76 carries, second on the team to Jamaal Charles. Some of that can lead to problems — while the two aren’t directly related, it is interesting to see that Smith has been sacked 11 times this year, second most in the NFL. (Some of that can be tied to the Kansas City offensive line, which apparently is having some issues with pass protection.) But on Sunday against Miami, Smith did a nice job spreading the ball around, as he completed at least one pass to seven different receivers, and added two carries for 17 yards. A fairly conservative passer — his completion rate hasn’t dipped below 60 percent for the season over the last three years — he’s carved out a nice niche for himself with the Chiefs.

When healthy, running back Jamaal Charles is one of the best multidimensional threats in the league.

Charles is a phenomenal offensive threat. Last season he had 1,287 rushing yards on 259 carries, and added 70 catches for 693 yards on top of that. (He finished the year with a whopping 19 combined touchdowns.) The 27-year-old Texas product suffered a high-ankle sprain in a Sept. 14 loss to Denver, and even though he practiced last week, ended up sitting out last Sunday’s win over the Dolphins. Knile Davis started in his place and had a very productive afternoon, finishing with 132 yards on 32 carries. (The Chiefs also got some good work from backup running back Joe McKnight, who moved up the depth chart when Charles went down. Used mostly as a third-down option against the Dolphins, he caught six passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns.) While Davis and McKnight did well filling the offensive void against Miami, there are few versatile options in the Kansas City offense like Charles, and his health status should be closely monitored this week.

The Chiefs defense doesn’t force a lot of turnovers.

Remarkably, through three games, the Chiefs are the only team in the league that has yet to force a takeaway. The Chiefs come into the game minus-5 in takeaway ratio, the worst total in the league. (They have three picks and two lost fumbles through three games.) Overall, Kansas City is 12th in the league in pass defense, allowing an average of 223.7 yards per game. On the ground, the Chiefs have given up an average of 130.3 rushing yards per game, 24th in the league. They’ve allowed 21.7 points per game, tied for 12th in the NFL.

They are really tough at home.

Arrowhead is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, known as one of the loudest open-air venues in the league. The Chiefs enjoy the support of a really good fan base when they’re home. Expect the Kansas City fans to bring the noise Monday night against New England.

They’re not desperate for a win, but they’re not too far removed.

The Chiefs went into Sunday’s game at 0-2, and without Charles. For a team that made the postseason last year and fully expects to return to the playoffs again in 2014, that qualifies as a bad start. (Since 1990, 196 teams started the year 0-2, and only 23 of those teams made the playoffs, a rate of 12 percent.) And with the recent renaissance enjoyed by quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers, it complicates things even more for Kansas City. While the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos all made the playoffs last season, Kansas City can ill afford to lose any more ground to either Denver or San Diego, as all three teams figure to jockey for position in the AFC West throughout the year. Considering the fact that over their next seven games the Chiefs face New England, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, we’ll know a lot about this team and its playoff chances over the next month or so.

Read More: Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Joe McKnight, Knile Davis
Fantasy Football: Week 2 starts, sits 09.12.14 at 2:15 pm ET
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Welcome to the Week 2 starts and sits. I hope you all did well last week, but if bad luck befell you, we’re here to help you up off the ground. There are some good sleepers this week and I’ve tried to bring a few to the surface. However, if you need more information on players not listed, you can always hit Rotobahn and check out my full Lineup Rankings, which will be updated over the weekend as always.

Jim Hackett and I will be back again on Sunday morning on 93.7 FM with another Fantasy Football Hour. We’ll be getting into some Week 1 fallout and looking forward to Week 2 by getting into some matchups and some potential value plays in both seasonal and weekly fantasy football. Join us! Our show comes on at 6:30 a.m. for all you early risers, but you can always listen to us later on as the show will be posted right here at WEEI.com. To keep up with all of our fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter. I tweet links to all our chats, articles and rankings.

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Falcons

Dalton has a home matchup vs. a porous defense. This is when you use him if you have a need. He’s a better option than some guys who are typically QB1 caliber, like Robert Griffin and Jay Cutler.

Jake Locker, Titans vs. Cowboys

On paper, this is definitely the week to play Locker. He’s got the Dallas defense and he’s at home. After he stood up to KC on the road, you have to like his chances here. His weapons are all healthy and ready to go.

Brian Hoyer, Browns vs. Saints

You probably don’t need him, but he looked good last week in the second half and this is a better matchup at home. Hoyer’s a solid player and his knee looks healthy enough at this point. He can help you if you’re in a jam.

Sit

Alex Smith, Chiefs at Broncos

I just don’t trust his line, and though Dwayne Bowe returns, he’ll be shadowed by Aqib Talib all day. I’m staying away from Smith until the Chiefs get their offense sorted out.

Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Seahawks

He’s got injured receivers and he’s facing an imposing defense. He’s playable if you need him, because he’s a fine player. However, if you have another option like Andy Dalton or Jake Locker, this is the week to consider using them.

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Read More: Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Brian Hoyer, Frank Gore
Colts complete wild comeback to knock off Chiefs 01.04.14 at 8:13 pm ET
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Andrew Luck engineered one of the great comebacks in NFL history Saturday night, erasing a 28-point third-quarter deficit on the way to a 45-44 win over the Chiefs in a crazy AFC wild-card contest.

Luck and the Colts trailed 38-10 at the start of the third quarter, but Luck threw three second-half touchdowns, the last one coming with just over four minutes left in regulation, to lift Indy to the improbable win. Donald Brown added a pair of rushing scores in the second half for Indy, which will advance to the AFC divisional playoff series next weekend.

Luck ended up 29-for-45 for 443 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, while T.Y. Hilton had 13 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Kansas City’s Alex Smith finished 30-for-46 for 378 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Dwayne Bowe led the way for the Chiefs’ offense with eight catches for 150 yards and a touchdown.

Early on, it was all Smith and the Chiefs, as Kansas City busted out to a 24-7 first-half lead, thanks to three first-half touchdown passes from Smith — one to Bowe, one to Donnie Avery and one to Anthony Sherman. Knile Davis tacked on a late second-quarter rushing touchdown to make it 31-10 heading into halftime. The early led was made all the more impressive by the fact that the Chiefs lost All-World running back Jamaal Charles in the first quarter because of a head injury.

Smith connected with Davis on a 10-yard touchdown pass to open the third to make it 38-10, but that set the stage for the comeback. The Colts were able to put up two quick scores at the start of the third to draw to within 38-24, but while the Chiefs were unable to register anything more than a pair of Ryan Succop field goals over the last quarter-plus, Luck and the Indy offense was in command.

Down the stretch, Luck connected with Brown, Coby Fleener and Hilton for second-half scoring strikes, with the pass play to Hilton coming with 4:21 remaining in regulation and going for 64 yards down the middle of the field — it gave the Colts a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. A late drive from the Chiefs came up short, as Kansas City turned the ball over on downs with just under two minutes to go.

Read More: Alex Smith, Andrew Luck, Dwayne Bowe, T.Y. Hilton
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