|Fantasy Football: Week 10 starts, sits||11.13.15 at 9:35 am ET|
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for the Week 10 starts and sits. As always, I have done my best to avoid the painfully obvious stuff. If you are looking for additional clarity or rankings on players not included in this space, go to Rotobahn and consult my full Week 10 lineup rankings. I will be updating all of them on Saturday. It’s a good idea to use the rankings to cross reference the recommendations in this article — just to make sure you are using the highest-ranked player at all times.
As always, I will be here Sunday at 11 a.m. for our weekly chat. Bring your lineup questions and I’ll do my best to help. And don’t forget to tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour this Sunday at 8 a.m. when Jim Hackett and I will discuss the trending Week 10 topics and crucial game day information.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Vikings
You don’t need me to tell you this if you own Carr, but the second-year quarterback is on fire lately. The thing is, by the numbers, one in five of you still can get Carr for free on the waiver wire. He’s unowned in 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The Vikings play pretty good defense, but Carr has gotten it done in tougher situations and should be trusted as a QB1 for Week 10.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars at Ravens
Bortles hasn’t been quite as hot as Carr, but he’s been pretty good and has a sweet matchup with the Ravens on Sunday. He also has a great closing schedule if you are looking for a relatively cheap solution at quarterback.
Sam Bradford, Eagles vs. Dolphins
The Dolphins are a sweet home matchup right now with a depleted defense and pass rush. Bradford looked a little better last week and should post solid numbers in this game. He’s got healthy talent all around him now and could get Nelson Agholor back as well. I like Miami’s chances of scoring points, and that should allow Bradford to throw for four quarters. This projects to be a high-scoring game.
|Fantasy Football: Week 10 waiver wire||11.10.15 at 8:54 am ET|
It’s crunch time in seasonal fantasy leagues. Week 10 will go a long way to deciding the fate of many of our teams. And, let’s face it, this is a season when almost everybody is scrambling to compensate for lost talent, whether it be Arian Foster, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles or maybe a quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger. Times are tough all over.
As always, I will be watching game film throughout the day and I will be adding talent to the expanded waiver wire at Rotobahn. If you play in a more robust format and need more obscure player recommendations, head over this afternoon. I’ll also be adding a few matchup defenses for Week 10.
The ownership rates listed for each player were obtained at Yahoo!
Derek Carr, Raiders, 67 percent
Carr is producing like a fantasy starter, and with the talent around him he should continue to do so. He’s just worked though the toughest part of his schedule and he did so while posting big numbers. Carr needs to be owned in all leagues.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars, 52 percent
He’s a top-10 quarterback by the numbers and his schedule lightens up nicely going forward. There are no scary matchups left on his docket and he has the weapons to keep posting startable numbers. Bortles should be owned in all leagues.
Jameis Winston, Bucs, 28 percent
Here’s yet another young passer with a favorable closing schedule. Winston only needs to get his targets back on the field. If Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins come back this week, the No. 1 overall selection becomes a very playable commodity in all leagues. The amazing thing is that he’s been very good the last three weeks without them.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills, 50 percent
He’s been a godsend for Rex Ryan and the Bills and he’s got plenty of fantasy appeal but the key is the health of his weapons. Taylor was great last week, but he had both of his running backs healthy and he had Sammy Watkins eating up coverage and making plays downfield. Taylor will be playable on Thursday, against the Jets, if he has Watkins and LeSean McCoy. He’s a good play the rest of the way as long as those skill guys, particularly Watkins, are on the field.
Joe Flacco, Ravens, 53 percent
He’s playable when the matchup is right, and this is one of those weeks as the Jaguars are in town. Flacco’s solid play is impressive when you consider that he’s done it without much healthy talent around him. Of course, that’s not changing. He’s not Winston — waiting for the healthy guys. His players come back next year for the most part. The one exception is rookie Breshad Perriman. He could be back for the final month.
|Fantasy Football: Week 7 waiver wire||10.20.15 at 1:43 pm ET|
It’s time to take a look at pickups for Week 7. There are some very good options out there and I have done my best to break them down for you. It’s a significant bye week, with four teams on their bye. There will be plenty of competition for talent, so be aggressive with waiver claims and bids.
As usual, I will be posting an expanded waiver wire this afternoon over at Rotobahn. If you play in a league with 12 or more teams, you will find more players who are actually available to add. This article is geared a little bit more to typically sized leagues.
The ownership rates listed for each player were obtained at Yahoo!.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars, 43 percent
As I have said the last few weeks, Bortles is getting the job done for fantasy owners. He has a somewhat tough matchup this week with the Bills and then he goes into his bye week. Coming out of the bye week, Bortles has a tough matchup with the Jets, but things ease up nicely from Week 10 right through the end of the fantasy season. He’s a solid investment in deep leagues.
Joe Flacco, Ravens, 60 percent
Flacco has had two absolutely brutal weeks. They occurred on Week 1 and Week 4, but apart from those two games, his fantasy numbers have been very good. With a relatively strong schedule going forward, Flacco is worth owning or at least considering as a streaming option on most weeks.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers, 52 percent
Don’t look now, but Kaepernick is a top 11 fantasy quarterback. Sure, he’s got a serious lack of consistency, but he also has a lot of weekly point potential. He’s a DraftKings play almost every week in tournaments due to his low cost. In fact, he’s still at the price floor for quarterbacks on DraftKings this week at home against a struggling Seahawks team.
|Tom Brady on Ravens being upset: ‘Maybe those guys [should] study the rule book and figure it out’||01.10.15 at 10:34 pm ET|
FOXBORO — No one in the 68,000-plus at Gillette Stadium saw it coming.
With the Patriots trailing 28-14 with 10:22 left in the third quarter, New England started on their own 20-yard line and drove 80 yards in nine plays, finishing with a Tom Brady 5-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, which cut the deficit to 28-21.
But, it was a few plays on that drive that were still being talked about after the game.
The Patriots played with four offensive linemen on a few plays, thus making another player ineligible — with Shane Vereen and Michael Hoomanawanui serving in that role. Since they weren’t eligible, they could not go past the line of scrimmage, as they were considered offensive linemen on those plays. The two players simply lined up as receivers and just took two steps back, not participating at all.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn’t like what the were Patriots doing, and the Ravens bench was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the drive, as they were yelling at officials and even across the field towards Josh McDaniels on the Patriots sideline.
“It’s a substitution type of a trick type of a thing,” Harbaugh said after the game. “So they don’t give you the opportunity, they don’t give you the chance to make the proper substitutions and things like that. It’s not something that anybody’s ever done before. The league will look at that type of thing and I’m sure that they’ll make some adjustments and things like that.”
Harbaugh said he’s never seen anything like it before.
“No. Nobody’s ever seen that before,” he said.
He was then asked if it is cheap or dirty.
“I’m not going to comment on that,” Harbaugh said.
In his postgame press conference, Brady was told of what Harbaugh said of the plays, and the quarterback had some words for the Ravens coach.
“I don’t know. Who knows. Maybe those guys [should] study the rule book and figure it out,” Brady said. “We obviously knew what we were doing and we made some pretty important plays. It was a real good weapon for us. Maybe we’ll have something in store next week.”
|Chandler Jones thinks Joe Flacco has been ‘pretty perfect’ of late||01.08.15 at 4:35 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Chandler Jones doesn’t need to be reminded of the recent past of the quarterback Joe Flacco.
Last week, Flacco won his fifth straight playoff game, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 playoff run that ended with a Super Bowl win over the 49ers and included an AFC championship win over the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Jones was asked what he sees on film that makes Flacco “Joe Cool” under the pressure of the playoffs.
“Joe Flacco is a great quarterback,” Jones said. “A lot of people underestimate his speed; he can run the ball and he can throw the ball as well. It’s my job as a pass rusher to try to contain him.”
Jones has played against Flacco three times, twice in the regular season and once in the 2012 AFC championship of Jan. 2013. He has four assisted tackles, no solos and no sacks in those three games.
“I feel like every player, when it’s the postseason and now when it’s this late in the season, I feel like a lot of players have more sense of urgency,” Jones added. “Mistakes can’t be limited, but they have to be eliminated. At this point in the season you want to be perfect, and Joe Flacco has been pretty perfect late in the season.”
Flacco has been plain perfect in the playoffs since opening the 2012 playoffs with a win over the Colts in the last home game for Ray Lewis. That was followed by the double-overtime win in Denver over Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Next up, Flacco came into Foxboro and beat Tom Brady, 28-13, at Gillette. Then, Flacco overcame Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers in the Super Bowl, earning a $120 million contract.
The Ravens didn’t make the playoffs in 2013 but returned this season and went to Pittsburgh last week and beat the Steelers. That’s five playoff wins, one Super Bowl and just one win at home.
Why has Flacco been so successful? Well, one reason is Flacco’s ability to feel comfortable in the pocket, led by the likes of All-Pro right guard Marshal Yanda.
“They do a good job of protecting Joe,” Jones said. “They have a lot of guys in protection and they’ll send a few guys out on routes and they are pretty effective on it. They’ve got both Smiths, Torrey and Steve, and they do a good job of being efficient with that whole concept of the play-action pass.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Rodney Harrison on MFB: ‘I don’t think Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback’||01.06.15 at 12:33 pm ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Tuesday to preview this Saturday’s Patriots-Ravens divisional round game. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has excelled in the postseason, as in his last seven postseason games he has thrown 17 touchdowns and just one interception. Even with those numbers, Harrison doesn’t think Flacco is an elite quarterback.
“I think it is a special circumstance for Joe Flacco,” said Harrison. “This is a team, in my estimation, they got into the playoffs — they got lucky. They don’t view it that way. They feel like they won 10 games and felt like they earned the opportunity to be in the playoffs and feel like they can beat anyone, especially going up to Pittsburgh and beating them.
“Joe Flacco is a very confident guy, this whole argument of is this guy elite, is he not elite? I don’t think Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback. It’s nothing that I would be afraid of, but Joe Flacco, he’s perfect for that system. He plays extremely well in that system. He’s very smart. He throws the best deep ball that I’ve seen the National Football League and he is very confident guy.”
Even though Harrison doesn’t think Flacco is elite, he still thinks the Ravens have a shot of upsetting the Patriots Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
“You top [Flacco] with their ability to run and their front-seven, and this team has the potential of knocking off the Patriots, no question about it,” said Harrison. “They have that veteran coaching staff. This is a very confident bunch coming into Foxboro. They’ve had success in the past. They feel like yes, we don’t have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, but we still have some of those core guys that went in there and beat them and we feel very confident.”
Harrison noted how much of an advantage the Patriots have with Rob Gronkowski, as Baltimore doesn’t have anyone that can cover the powerful New England tight end, who will be playing in his first postseason game since Jan. 13, 2012.
“They can’t cover him, they can’t,” said Harrison. “They flat out can’t over him. I don’t care if they put Lardarius Webb on him, he’s too small — cornerback, their best cover guy. They just don’t have the guys. They might try Will Hill. I think he had a couple of big hits last week, but there is no one on that team that can cover Rob Gronkowski, so I expect him to get a lot of work.”
|Bill Belichick on D&H: Josh McDaniels’ interviews last weekend were a ‘pretty clean situation’||01.05.15 at 7:15 pm ET|
Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley on Monday to look ahead to this Saturday’s divisional round game against the Ravens and also to look back on the bye week and some of the things that took place, including offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewing for a few head coaching positions. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
It was reported McDaniels interviewed with the Falcons and 49ers in New England for their head coaching jobs, as the Patriots were on their bye and the interviews were conducted within the league structured window during the bye week. McDaniels said Monday he is now focused on the Ravens, and Belichick said there weren’t any issues.
“We dealt with it as recently as last year, so it is what it is,” Belichick said. “We have a job to do. I think Josh did a great job last year in terms of staying focused and doing his part in preparing for the postseason games and I think he’s done that again this year. There is no issues there.”
“Each one is a little bit different, but based on our schedule and the way the rules are, and what the format is, I think it was a pretty clean situation this time,” he added. “It was all over by Saturday, and Sunday we were onto the Ravens, so full speed ahead.”
Following the Patriots’ practice on New Year’s Eve, the team went to Patriot Place and saw the movie, “American Sniper” directed by Clint Eastwood. It was not the first time Belichick has gathered the team to see a movie, and Belichick thought it was a good experience for the team, as well as a good teaching tool.
“That wasn’t a spontaneous thing at all because that movie hasn’t been released — it’s not out,” Belichick said. “To be honest with you, it wasn’t that easy to have the opportunity to see, so we certainly are appreciative to Clint Eastwood for making this possible and a couple of other people along the way. There’s some things that are options and other things you have to set up a bit. There seemed to be a lot of talk and interest in that around the locker room, around the building, so we were able to do it. I think the guys enjoyed it — I did. It’s a great movie. It has some good messages in it and really focuses on skill and will.”
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