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Chiefs QB Alex Smith: QBs ‘particular’ about their footballs 05.13.15 at 9:26 am ET
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Alex Smith was the latest starting QB asked about Deflategate and Tom Brady. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Alex Smith (right) weighed in on Deflategate and Tom Brady. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said Tuesday that while he has yet to check out the specifics of the Wells Report and Deflategate, he knows that signal-callers can be “particular” when it comes to the state of the football and how it’s broken in.

“As far as breaking a ball in, I’ve never heard a quarterback ever altering the inflation of a football,” he said. “But certainly some quarterbacks prefer brand new balls and some guys prefer them to be worn in a little more. It’s kind of team to team, quarterback to quarterback.”

“I like them right out of the box,” Kansas City backup QB Chase Daniel said. “That’s just how I throw them. That’s how I have my entire life. I just haven’t paid much attention to it.”

Smith and Daniels are just the latest current quarterbacks to weigh in on the situations. Peyton and Eli Manning have acknowledged fellow QB Tom Brady as a friend, but mostly steered clear of any sort of definitive statement. Meanwhile, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick gave a clear defense of Brady via Twitter late last week, saying, “Let it go and let Tom be great.”

Read More: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Deflategate, Eli Manning
Eli Manning on Tom Brady’s suspension: ‘I think it is about integrity and you have to follow the rules’ 05.12.15 at 7:19 am ET
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Eli Manning commented on Tom Brady's suspension on Monday night. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Eli Manning commented on Tom Brady‘s suspension on Monday night. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Almost all quarterbacks in the NFL have been silent following Tom Brady‘s suspension for his role in Deflategate, but one quarterback who has spoken out is Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning said he doesn’t like to see him get suspended, but said Brady broke the rules and deserved to be punished.

“I don’€™t like to see anybody get suspended, I don’€™t like to see anybody get in trouble, so in no way am I glad to see this happen,” Manning said, via the New York Daily News. “I think it is about integrity and you have to follow the rules. So if someone’€™s breaking rules I understand they’€™re going to get punished.”

The Giants quarterback said he’s read parts of the Wells Report, and the parts he read weren’t good.

“Obviously it didn’€™t look good,” Manning said. “I figured something like this may happen.”

He added Brady’s punishment and the Patriots’ is quite severe: “Anytime you lose a starting quarterback for four games and draft picks it’€™s a pretty big statement. Obviously the NFL is serious about not messing with the integrity of the game, no matter how big or little the issue is.”

Much has been made of what this means for Brady’s legacy, but Manning says Brady is still “one of the best in the business.”

“I don’€™t know. I haven’€™t thought much about it,” Manning said. “But no, I think Tom is still one of the best in the business, coming off a great year and a championship. He’€™s won a lot. So I don’€™t think he’€™s worried about legacy right now.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Eli Manning, Tom Brady,
Fantasy Football: Week 17 starts, sits 12.26.14 at 10:56 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 17 starts and sits! It’s a tough week to predict when you look at the teams with nothing to play for, so when given the choice, you want to focus on players who are in need-to-win situations. Using Patriots players this week is inherently risky, and the same goes for the Broncos, Colts and Cowboys.

I’ve isolated some players in good situations for your consideration. Don’t forget to tune in Sunday morning for another episode of the Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett. If you have last-minute lineup concerns, you should check out my Sunday chat. It takes place right here at WEEI.com and it runs from 11 a.m. to noon.

If you want to keep track of all our fantasy football content, both here and at Rotobahn, follow me on Twitter. I send out links to all fresh articles and chats as well, including our full Week 17 lineup rankings. I’ll be back next week with playoff pool cheat sheets and strategies.

QUARTERBACK

Start

Cam Newton, Panthers at Falcons

He got his feet wet last week, but I expect the Panthers to unleash Newton in this game because there is a playoff berth at stake.

Eli Manning, Giants vs. Eagles

He has a receiver who tilts the field in Odell Beckham, and it’s made a big difference lately. Manning should finish 2015 strong, and I like his chances of being a QB1 next season if the Giants address the offensive line better than they did in 2014.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Bengals

He has a lot to play for here with the division title in the balance, so expect four quarters of action and QB1 results when all is said and done.

Sit

Andrew Luck, Colts at Titans

They went to backup Matt Hasselbeck early last week, and I am not betting on a longer outing for Luck this week — not with so much at stake. The Colts are locked into the fourth seed no matter what happens this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Eli Manning
Fantasy Football: Week 17 waiver wire 12.23.14 at 9:09 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 17 waiver wire. If you are reading this then I need to tell you two things. First, convince your league to use Week 16 as its bowl week, it makes for a much more sane finals experience. The second thing is congratulations, it’€™s good to play for all the marbles. That said, there will be some challenges as many players will be sitting or worse — playing limited and unpredictable snaps. I’€™ll be assessing the posture of all 32 teams as we move through the week and I will try to lay out some good options when I post this week’€™s starts and sits on Friday.

You might think that I am about to get some rest with the fantasy season winding down. I’€™ll get a little, but if you were a Rotobahn reader in 2014, you know that our content just keeps going. We’€™ll be releasing our rookie scouting reports just like last year and it all starts in early January. Last year, I told all our readers about the best class of receivers our scouting staff had ever seen. The early sense on 2015 is that it’€™s a seriously deep running back class. We’€™ll be bringing it all to you either here or at Rotobahn and it’€™ll all be free. We’€™ll also be making another trip to the NFL Combine, so check back for that. Last year, we met the likes of Martavis Bryant, Jordan Mathews, Tre Mason, not to mention Tyler Gaffney, a guy all Patriots fans will be getting to know in 2015.

I will be posting my usual expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn this afternoon. It’€™s free, so head on over if you play in a deep format or are looking for some defensive teams to stream in Week 16. Next week, I’€™ll be back with a look at playoff pools. Like last season, we’€™ll have an article on rankings and strategy and there will be a lot of Patriots in the early rounds, thanks to their potential to go deep into the postseason tournament, if not all the way.

As always, 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.

To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and The Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett, follow me on Twitter.

QUARTERBACK

Eli Manning, Giants –€” 60 percent

I recommended him last week and all he did was light up the Rams in St. Louis, so I will stick with Manning and Odell Beckham this week at home versus the deflated Eagles. Manning is the plum of the waiver wire if he’€™s available.

Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings — 11 percent

Bridgewater was one of our favorite players going into the 2014 NFL Draft. Why he slipped was beyond our ability to comprehend. The rookie has really settled down the last month or so and he’€™s been been fantasy-viable four out of the last five games. That viability should continue this week at home against a staggering Bears defense.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Eli Manning, Jonathan Stewart, Teddy Bridgewater,
Fantasy Football: Week 16 starts, sits 12.19.14 at 9:15 am ET
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It’s bowl week for most fantasy footballers, and we’re back with a fresh batch of starts and sits for your perusal. I’ve posted three starts for the four major positions and a player to avoid for each as well. As always, for information on players not listed in this article, I encourage you to check out my full lineup rankings at Rotobahn.

Don’t forget to tune in Sunday morning for another episode of the Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett. If you have last-minute lineup concerns, you should check out my Sunday chat. It takes place right here at WEEI.com and it runs from 11 a.m. to noon.

If you want to keep track of all our fantasy football content, both here and at Rotobahn, follow me on Twitter. I send out links to all fresh articles and chats as well.

QUARTERBACK

Start

Mark Sanchez, Eagles at Washington

The top nine quarterbacks are pretty well locked in by my math. After that, I see Sanchez as a good option because he has a nice matchup and because of the weapons around him.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks at Cardinals

He’s a big-game player, and he’ll make enough plays to give you QB1 output. The Cardinals are not fully loaded on either side of the ball right now, so stick with Wilson unless you have a higher-ranked option.

Eli Manning, Giants at Rams

The emergence of Odell Beckham has changed Manning’s fortunes for the better. He’s a viable quarterback this week in all leagues if you are in need. The Rams are tough, but I expect low-end QB1 output, so start him if you have the need.

Sit

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers vs. Chargers

There’s just too much going wrong in San Francisco to try him this week. The Harbaugh situation has gone from bad to worse, and it’s showing up on the field. You can do better on the average waiver wire. Check the Week 16 rankings for options.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning, Mark Sanchez, Russell Wilson
Fantasy Football: Week 16 waiver wire 12.16.14 at 10:15 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 16 waiver wire! I think congratulations are in order for most of you. If you are still playing this time of year, you are either in a bowl game, or at worst a semifinal game. That’€™s obviously outstanding news, but it also represents a logistical change as far as free agency is concerned. For one, you are now competing against a single team for pickups, so you are very likely to get a top option and you also have no need for long-term depth as only this week matters. Lastly, and most importantly, you probably have a team filled with studs — that’€™s why you are still alive. Having a great squad can lead to over confidence, so don’t fall into that trap. You need to be proactive this week whether you need players or not. Remember, any player you do not add is there for your opponent. So, if you are all set with your starting lineup, you should scout your opponent and isolate their biggest need and go after the free agent who best fills that need. Be proactive and leave no stone unturned.

I will be posting my usual expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn this afternoon. It’€™s free, so head on over if you play in a deep format or are looking for some defensive teams to stream in Week 16.

As always, 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.

To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and The Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett, follow me on Twitter.

QUARTERBACK

Mark Sanchez, Eagles — 55 percent

He’€™s a good bet to bounce back against Washington, who are very beatable through the air. Sanchez is not a desirable play, but he’€™s probably the best thing you can pluck off of the average waiver wire for Week 16.

Eli Manning, Giants — 61 percent

He’€™s the best guy out there on a lot of waiver wires, but he has a tough matchup at St. Louis this week. The good news is the Giants seem to have rallied around head coach Tom Coughlin and their exciting rookie receiver Odell Beckham. Manning will get you serviceable stats, but the Rams should take the big game off the table.

Kyle Orton, Bills –€” 13 percent

They have a good road matchup and they are riding high after their stunning win over the Packers in Buffalo last week. This is a road matchup, but it’€™s at Oakland and that should provide Orton with ample point-scoring opportunity. He’€™s a good pickup if you are in a jam.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Eli Manning, kyle orton, Mark Sanchez,
Fantasy Football: Week 15 starts, sits 12.12.14 at 10:38 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 15 starts and sits! It’s high-stakes fantasy football in all leagues this week. A loss means a spot in the consolation round next weekend while a win earns you a trip to the bowl game … unless you play in a league that uses Week 17 (bad idea) for its big game. I’ve done my best to find some good talent that is not too obvious or obscure. I mean, if you have an elite quarterback, you don’t need me to tell you to start him. If you are looking for advice on players not listed in this space, you can check out my full lineup rankings over at Rotobahn. They are comprehensive and they are free of cost or obligation.

Don’t forget to tune in Sunday morning for another episode of the Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett. If you have last-minute lineup concerns, you should check out my Sunday chat. It takes place right here at WEEI.com and it runs from 11 a.m. to noon.

If you want to keep track of all our fantasy football content, both here and at Rotobahn, follow me on Twitter. I send out links to all fresh articles and chats as well.

QUARTERBACK

Start

Jay Cutler, Bears vs. Saints

He’s got QB1 upside in all formats, but he’s always a potential adventure, and I am sure some of the Cutler owners out there are concerned about the loss of Brandon Marshall. It’s certainly not a positive, but the Bears have enough depth at the skill positions to weather the storm. I expect new starter Marquess Wilson to perform well, and Cutler still has Alshon Jefferey, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte to work with. The Bears’ starter can help you. He’s my 11th-ranked QB this week.

Mark Sanchez, Eagles vs. Cowboys

I am sure that last week scared some people off of Sanchez as a fantasy option. Even by my own math, there are about 12 options that I would rather use, but if Sanchez is your highest-ranked option, you need not worry too much. He’s more than capable of posting QB1-caliber numbers this week at home against Dallas. Collectively, the Eagles receivers are more talented than the Cowboys defensive backs.

Eli Manning, Giants vs. Washington

He’s not a lock for a great performance, but he’s a viable play this week, and Odell Beckham gives him a weapon potent enough to score from any spot on the gridiron. Manning can help you this week if you need a quarterback in any league. You throw to beat Washington, and I suspect that is what the Giants will do … throw a lot and win.

Johnny Manziel, Browns vs. Bengals

If you are looking for a lock starter, then Manziel can’t help you. Guys making their first NFL start will always be a bit unpredictable, but there is a place for Manziel in a lot of lineups. I know I will have him active in a few leagues this weekend on teams where I have been streaming my quarterback all season long. To me, Manziel and his foot-point potential offer a higher floor and ceiling than most of the other streaming options such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco or Kyle Orton. He should be good for decent numbers and has plenty of upside because he can score for you as a runner or a passer. It’s Johnny Football time, and he’s playable if you need him.

Sit

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Patriots

New England is a tough matchup for Tannehill on paper. It goes something like this: The Patriots are outstanding at funneling the underneath routes to the middle of the field, which should limit the Dolphins in terms of moving the chains. The deep game is limited by Tannehill himself, as his deep-ball accuracy has been exceedingly poor. I’m not touching the Dolphins passing game this weekend if I can avoid it.

Andy Dalton, Bengals at Browns

He’s a one-trick pony right now going up against a deep defense that can handle Dalton’s single trick (A.J. Green) while slowing down the running game. Dalton will need to play well above average to post good numbers here, and I am not betting on that in such a crucial situation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Johnny Manziel
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