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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 starts, sits 10.03.14 at 8:59 am ET
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I’€™ll get to the starts and sits in a second, but I have to say that if the NFL wants to keep having Thursday night football, could they have both teams agree to play?

It’s now two weeks in a row that one team showed up and mopped the field with what looked like a JV unit. It seems like we keep getting low-quality football on Thursdays and it’€™s almost certainly related to the short week of preparation. And, in an era where player safety is supposedly of paramount concern, what’€™s the rationale for the short week? Not to mention that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are about as compelling as another Derek Jeter retrospective. I never thought I would miss Mike Mayock.

So who do we want in our Week 5 lineups this weekend? Let’€™s endeavor to find out. As usual, I have avoided the exceedingly obvious choices. The most obvious selection below probably is Reggie Bush, who is included because his Week 5 situation is atypical. If the player or players that you want feedback on are not listed here, consult my full lineup rankings at Rotobahn. If you still have unanswered questions on Sunday, then head over to our chat, which starts at 11 a.m. every Sunday during fantasy football season. And, don’€™t forget to check out The Fantasy Football Hour. It airs each Sunday morning starting at 6:30 a.m., and you can listen to a tape of the show right here on WEEI.com if you are not an early riser.

To keep track of all our fantasy football content both here and at Rotobahn, follow us on Twitter.

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Eli Manning, Giants vs. Falcons

He gets Odell Beckham, Jr. back this week, and they have righted the ship lately even without the highly regarded rookie. It’€™s a sweet home matchup with the Falcons, who can score the ball and who aid others in doing the same. Fire up all your Giants skill players.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Jaguars

He’€™s playing well, and this matchup is a slam dunk. Big Ben is a solid QB1 option with a cast of healthy targets led by scorching-hot receiver Antonio Brown.

Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Vikings

He should be playing from behind for much of the game, and we like the way he stays cool under pressure. This is crucial in Jacksonville, where quarterbacks face constant pressure. The good thing about Bortles is that he’€™s a rugged dude who gets you points with both his arm and his feet. If you need an option in a deep league, he can help you.

Sit

Andy Dalton, Bengals at Patriots

He’€™s playable in big formats, but I am not loving him on the road against a Patriots defense that projects to be fired up and ready to go. The Bengals are likely to be without Marvin Jones again after the tall receiver rolled his ankle in practice this week. Jones was supposed to return and bolster the Cincinnati receiving corps, but he’€™ll be limited if he can play. I see this game as a ground battle, so be careful with Dalton in smaller formats. You probably have better options.

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Read More: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger, Blake Bortles
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
Fantasy Football: Week 3 waiver wire 09.23.14 at 10:19 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 3 waiver wire! Hopefully you are here looking for the talent you need to get to 4-0, but we’ve got your back whether you are fighting for playoff positioning or for your fantasy life. I’ve got teams in both situations right now, thanks to all the injuries and legal tribulations so far in 2014.

The byes hit this week, and we’ve got you covered. There are a lot of hot teams taking a rest this week.

Get ahead of the curve and make your moves early. This is not a week to wait. There are a few very appealing options out there like Jordan Matthews and Donald Brown. Get in on it.

As I said last week, the ownership percentages are listed for each player. The 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 later and check out my expanded 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

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers — 76 percent

He’s the most available of the obvious guys. Grab him if he’s there in your league. The Steelers have the offense in about-to-click mode. Things are looking good if they can get and stay healthy.

Kirk Cousins, Washington — 48 percent

He might not be a long-term solution, but then again, maybe he is. Robert Griffin III will be out at least another six weeks and probably a few more. Whether he is handed his job back is potentially debatable depending on how Cousins plays and if the team is winning. We all saw Cousins’ potential last week. He can be your starter in large leagues and he makes a fine QB2 in smaller ones.

Eli Manning, Giants – 37 percent

He stepped up last week and he could get Odell Beckham, Jr. back soon. I am buying Eli shares right now because they are ungodly cheap and because the Giants‘ schedule gets plenty light in the coming weeks.

Blake Bortles, Jaguars — 5 percent

He plays behind a bad offensive line, so don’t get too excited. He also has too many injuries to his receivers and to TE Marcedes Lewis as well. Bortles’ fantasy intrigue largely is due to his mobility. He can get you foot-points if the coaching staff gives him the green light as it should. If you are not familiar with Bortles, check out my scouting report on the former UCF star.

Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings — 4 percent

I’d say he’s a potential breakout, but he lost two incredibly crucial cogs while he was waiting for his chance to start. Adrian Peterson would have been a huge benefit for a young quarterback, and, to make matters worse, he lost his starting tight end last week for more than a month with an ankle injury. Bridgewater is a guy to add if you need some QB help, but he’s got fringe QB1 upside at best right now with such a limited supporting cast. On the positive front, the Vikings’ schedule lightens up going forward.

Mike Glennon, Buccaneers — 1 percent

He could be the guy for the rest of the year, and that could be worth getting excited about if Vincent Jackson‘s wrist injury proves to be something he can play through. The Bucs have been playing without their offensive coordinator so far this season, but they get him and Doug Martin back this week. That’s very positive news.

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Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Blake Bortles, Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins
Tom Coughlin: Giants starters will ‘play a little bit’ against Patriots Thursday 08.25.14 at 5:51 pm ET
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Giants coach Tom Coughlin is going to play his starters “a little bit” in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Patriots.

“[The starters are] going to play. They’re going to play a little bit,” Coughlin told reporters Monday. “It’s a long way to the Monday night game.”

There are a few reasons for the Giants’ regulars to get some work in against the Patriots, including the fact that New York is working in a few new faces along the offensive line, as well as a new offensive system that’s being put in place by first-year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.

In addition, Coughlin also wants to get his starters some work in the 18 days between their preseason game last Thursday against the Jets and their Monday night opener against the Lions in Detroit.

“Sounds right,” said quarterback Eli Manning when told the starters were going to play in the preseason finale. “We expect to go out there and move the ball and see if we can do something. … See if we can get into a good rhythm early in the game instead of having to wait until later.”

For what it’s worth, the Patriots are not expected to play their starters on Thursday night.

Read More: Ben McAdoo, Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin,
Giants LB Mark Herzlich on MFB: ‘Kind of ridiculous’ to say Tom Brady no longer an elite QB 07.07.14 at 1:31 pm ET
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Giants linebacker and former Boston College star Mark Herzlich joined Middays with MFB on Monday morning at his charity golf tournament at the Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth to discuss his battle with cancer, his road to the NFL and the criticism that Eli Manning deals with on an almost daily basis. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Herzlich, who missed the entire 2009 college football season after being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’€™s sarcoma, is in his fifth year of hosting the Liberty Mutual Invitational celebrity golf tournament. Proceeds from the event go to Uplifting Athletes, a non-profit that funds sarcoma research.

“€œIt was all kind of a whirlwind,”€ Herzlich said. “€œThe first year I was back, I said, ‘€˜OK, we want to do something to give back,’€™ so Jayme Parker at NESN was very helpful throughout the process and so Jayme said, ‘€˜Let’€™s do a golf tournament.’€™ … Liberty Mutual jumped in and said, ‘€˜OK, we’€™ll be your sponsor,’€™ and since then it’€™s just been rolling and this is our fifth one.”

After his playing days at Chestnut Hill, Herzlich signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent on July 26, 2011. Herzlich has recorded 84 combined tackles during his three seasons in New York. While the former ACC Defensive Player of the Year has carved out a solid career for himself in the NFL, he admitted that returning to the gridiron after missing a whole year battling cancer was a long and trying process.

“The first year I was back, it was night and day,” Herzlich said. “My brain was saying, ‘€˜You can do this,’€™ and my body was saying, ‘€˜You can’€™t do this.’€™ I was going in drops and breaking and missing tackles and luckily I had Luke Kuechly behind me to make all the rest of the tackles that I was missing. … Now I feel like I’€™m as good or better than I was then.

Tom Brady‘s supposed decline has been a hot topic across New England this season. While Herzlich said he still believes Brady is an elite-level signal caller, he also noted that Giants fans would not come to Eli Manning‘€™s defense the same way Patriots fans have for Brady.

“€œI think that there are Eli lovers and Eli haters. There’€™s no one who’€™s like, ‘€˜Yeah, Eli is pretty good, or whatever.’€™ … He does know when he has a bad game, and the problem is that every single person in New York and across the country knows he has a bad game, too, because they let him know. It’€™s tough, and he’€™s very strong-minded to get over that stuff, but I couldn’€™t imagine.

“Some of the stuff that’€™s on Twitter — he doesn’€™t have Twitter, and I’€™m glad he’€™s not on Twitter. As far as Brady not being an elite quarterback, that’€™s kind of ridiculous to me.”

Read More: Eli Manning, Luke Kuechly, Mark Herzlich, Tom Brady
Numbers game: Tom Brady can move up several all-time statistical lists in 2014 06.23.14 at 1:43 pm ET
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When it comes to covering the NFL, one of the greatest single resource tools is the statistical database at Pro Football Reference. And sparked by the discussion regarding whether or not Adrian Peterson has a legitimate shot at catching Emmitt Smith for the all-time rushing record, we decided to take a look at where Tom Brady stands — at least statistically — when it comes to measuring his individual numbers against some of the best in the game.

Career passing touchdowns — 359, fifth overall.
Like most of the rest of the categories, he’s a step or two behind Drew Brees. In this case, Brees has 363 career passing touchdowns, fourth on the list. However, Brady and Brees should be able to pass Dan Marino within the next two years, as the former Miami quarterback is third  all time with 420. Meanwhile, Brett Favre (508) and Peyton Manning (491) are at the top of the list.

Career passing yards — 49,149, seventh overall.
He’ll likely pass Warren Moon (49,325 career passing yards) relatively early in the season to move into sixth place. Brees is fifth overall at 51,081, and he will almost certainly add to that total in 2014. He and Brady should pass John Elway this year, as the former Broncos QB is fourth overall at 51,475 career yards. After that, it gets a little dicey — the top three are far removed from the rest of the field, at least at this point. Favre is first overall with 71,838 yards, Manning is No. 2 at 64,964, while Marino is third at 61,361. Again, once Manning, Brees and Brady are all done, they will all be in the Top 5 all time, provided they stay on their current pace.

Career passes completed — 4,178, fifth overall.
Brady is part of a top five of Favre (6,300, first), Manning (5,532, second), Marino (4,967, third) and Brees (4,481). Assuming that Brees is going to keep slinging it for at least the next three years, it appears unlikely Brady could pass him, but the Patriots quarterback could pass Marino between now and the end of his career, which would likely have him fourth when he decides to call it a career.

Career passing attempts — 6,586, good for ninth overall.
Brady figures to pass Vinny Testaverde for the eighth spot some time in the first month of the season, as he’s only 115 attempts behind Testaverde. In fact, he could rise a couple of notches on this list, as Drew Bledsoe (6,717, seventh) and Moon (6,823, fifth) are within reach this season. Of course, he probably won’t leapfrog Brees, who is sixth overall at 6,799. For comparisons sake, Favre (10,169) and Manning (8,452) are 1-2.

Career interceptions — 134, 70th overall
When you’re talking about the Brady/Brees/Manning group, one area where he’s better than his contemporaries (although you could say it’s because he’s attempted fewer passes) is interceptions. Among current active quarterbacks, Manning has 219 career picks (19th place on the all-time list), while Brees is second at 177 (38th in NFL history). Eli Manning is third with 171 (43rd on the all-time list), Jon Kitna is fourth with 165. Brady is seventh with 134 career interceptions, 70th overall. Again, by way of comparison, Favre is tops with 336 career interceptions, 59 more than George Blanda, who is second overall at 277.

Career completion percentage (minimum 1,500 pass attempts) — 63.4 percent, 11th overall
One statistical area that’s hard to define is career completion percentage. PFR has a minimum of 1,500 pass attempts needed to qualify, so you see quarterbacks on this list that might not necessarily be considered elite-level signal callers. However, it’s still a good indication of a quarterback’s decision making skills and his comfort level in the offense. At this point, Brady has a 63.4 percent career completion rate, which is 11th on the all-time list. Chad Pennington is the all-time leader with a 66 percent completion rate. Compared to the other lists — including Brady — nine of the top 12 quarterbacks on the list are still active, with Brees (65.9 percent, second), Aaron Rodgers (65.8 percent, third) and Manning (65.5 percent, fourth) rounding out the active quarterbacks who are currently in the top five.

Read More: aaron rodgers, Brett Favre, Chad Pennington, Dan Marino
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