Originally posted: October 31, 2017
Bears Beat: Dion Sims will be team’s No. 1 TE
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 7:31pm
Veteran Dion Sims will be the team’s No. 1 tight end and likely will contribute more in the passing game, too, as well as Daniel Brown. But the Bears invested a high pick in Adam Shaheen, which shines a spotlight on the former Division II player.
The Bears talked up Shaheen’s pass-catching skills when they drafted him with the 45th overall pick back in April, and hoped his 6-foot-6, 270 pound frame could make him a strategically-deployed weapon as a rookie. That hasn’t come to fruition yet, and he wasn’t able to use that size to get open in the red zone on Sunday—instead, he couldn’t separate from Saints safety Vonn Bell, and was unable to get open for Mitchell Trubisky on the play. Shaheen seems to have the upside here, but at this point is more of a stash than starter. The bye week may give Shaheen some extra time to get ready for Week 10 but he’s looking like a risky play right now, at least for lineups in typical leagues.
Vikings ‘prepared’ to activate QB Teddy Bridgewater
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 7:26pm
The Vikings are off this week, but that should be the last one for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater‘s absence from the team’s active roster.
Bridgewater’s return from the physically unable to prepare list opened a three-week window to practice with the team before a decision must be made about activating Bridgewater or shutting him down for the season. That window closes next week and Bridgewater’s work in practice has not suggested he needs to be shut down.
Coach Mike Zimmer said on Tuesday that the team is “prepared” to activate Bridgewater next week, but didn’t press too far when asked about when Bridgewater would be a consideration as the starter.
“No, I haven’t decided that yet,” Zimmer said. “We’ll continue to take it one day at a time. Just see where he is at, where the team is at, how Case [Keenum] is doing. The whole deal. Sam [Bradford], how is he doing.”
Related players: Case Keenum, Sam Bradford
Keenum has played pretty well so far this season and the Vikings are on top of the division heading into a bye week. The story made it seem that Bradford won’t be playing any time soon, which certainly opens the door for Bridgewater. Reports this week said the team still considers Bridgewater their franchise QB, but it remains to be seen who gets the start in Week 10.
Browns deal for Bengals QB A.J. McCarron misses deadline
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 7:15pm
After the 4 p.m. deadline passed, ESPN reported Tuesday that the Bengals had a deal with Cleveland for A.J. McCarron in exchange for two undisclosed picks in next year’s draft.
After a day of off-and-on talks, the clubs apparently reached a deal in time for the Bengals to send their paperwork to the NFL office five minutes before the deadline. According to the report, the Browns missed the deadline and the NFL wouldn’t let the trade stand when Cleveland lobbied to let it go through.
Related players: DeShone Kizer
Reports say the Browns were moments too late. It’s not a great sign for how the team views Kizer as the QB going forward that they were willing to deal with a division rival, something that hasn’t been done in 50 years, according to the story.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott’s last chance seems to be 2nd Circuit
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 7:01pm
Ezekiel Elliott and the NFL Players Association are playing out the options left to them, promising or not, in an attempt to get the Cowboys running back on the field.
The union officially gave notice Tuesday that it is appealing to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla, of the Southern District of New York, on Monday night denied Elliott a preliminary injunction that would have continued to block the NFL from enforcing its six-game suspension of Elliott.
Elliott’s team will ask the federal appeals court to review the decision on an expedited basis. It had also asked Failla for a limited injunction that would allow Elliott to play while the 2nd Circuit weighs the request. The judge denied the request almost immediately, noting it would essentially serve as a reversal of her decision the night before.
The story went on to say the 2nd Circuit it is for Elliott. There’s a reason Elliott and the union first tried to have the case heard in Texas instead of courts that are included in the 2nd Circuit in New York. The NFL’s home turf is where the league eventually won “Deflategate” involving New England quarterback Tom Brady on appeal. A decision is expected by 7 p.m. Wednesday, but owners should be prepared to be without Elliott.
Cards HC Bruce Arians doubts RB David Johnson plays this season
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 6:54pm
Arians says at this point he doubts David Johnson plays again this season.
This goes right along with a report we had earlier today where it said GM Steve Keim seemed a lot less optimistic about Johnson getting back on the field this season. It’s a blow to those who traded for, or stashed, Johnson with the hopes of using him in the fantasy playoffs. Seems like it may be time to move on from Johnson in redraft leagues.
Schefter: Bills trade for WR Kelvin Benjamin
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 4:18pm
Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin traded to Buffalo, source tells ESPN.
Related players: Tyrod Taylor, Cam Newton, Devin Funchess, Russell Shepard, Curtis Samuel
This is a clear upgrade for Tyrod Taylor even if Benjamin’s stock takes a big hit as he tries to learn a new offense and get used to a new quarterback midseason. We generally shy away from receivers who change teams as free agents, unless they get a clear promotion or an upgrade at quarterback, and that goes double for receivers that are traded to a new team in the middle of the season. The silver lining is that Buffalo has a favorable passing schedule down the stretch and there is a dearth of receiving options, so Benjamin may get peppered with targets once he gets up to speed. In Carolina, it’s a downgrade for Cam Newton while the other receivers (Devin Funchess, Russell Shepard and Curtis Samuel) should see an uptick in snaps and targets.
Source: Steelers tell WR Martavis Bryant he’s part of Week 10 game plan
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 1:09pm
Sources say Steelers indicated to Martavis Bryant he’s part of the Week 10 game plan.
Related players: JuJu Smith-Schuster
This reinforces their public stance not to trade him, the story also said. Perhaps they get blown away by an offer but a move doesn’t seem likely, according to Jeremy Fowler. It would be hard for the team to demote Smith-Schuster after last week’s performance, so even if Bryant stays with the Steelers, he’s likely not going to have a major fantasy impact.
Keim gives updates on Cards QB Carson Palmer, RB David Johnson
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 12:59pm
Cards GM Steve Keim said running back David Johnson (wrist) was doing well but the rehab is time-consuming. “We will continue to monitor that to see if he can come back this season,” Keim said.
As for Carson Palmer, Keim said there were a lot of “moving parts” for his potential return as well. He also acknowledged Palmer’s return will be influenced at least some on how the Cards are playing.
The key to this is author Darren Urban added, “Just judging by Keim’s tone, there was less optimism for returns of those star players than I had figured previously.” As we kind of expected, the return of both players could very well be determined by whether or not the Cards are in the playoff hunt. If they’re not in the hunt, it really doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for either to get back into game action this season.
Jags find RB Leonard Fournette better receiver than advertised
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 12:00pm
One of the few knocks on running back Leonard Fournette during the pre-draft process was that he wasn’t a good receiver out of the backfield.
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone realized pretty quickly that criticism was unfounded.
It turns out that Fournette is a pretty good pass-catcher. LSU just didn’t throw him the ball much during his three seasons because they were giving it to him in the backfield instead.
The story went on to say Fournette is sixth in the NFL in rushing with 596 yards and averages 21.7 carries per game. He has 15 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown, and his 9.1 yards per catch rank 11th among running backs — ahead of notable pass-catching backs such as Christian McCaffrey (7.7), James White (8.5), LeSean McCoy (6.4), LeVeon Bell (6.3) and Matt Forte (8.1).
Bills TE Charles Clay (knee) likely won’t play Thursday night
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 10:59am
McDermott says TE Charles Clay (knee) is “going to have a hard time making it” into the lineup Thursday night.
Related players: Nick O’Leary, Logan Thomas
Clay could be in the mix to play in Week 10 but certainly isn’t a sure thing. Owners needing a TE with Clay on the wire may want to consider making a move for him now as a stash, however.
Report: Jets WR Jeremy Kerley will be suspended
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 10:29am
Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley will be suspended by the NFL, according to multiple reports, though it remains unclear how long he will be suspended, and what policy he violated.
Kerley, 28, began his career with the Jets, from 2011-15. He was with the 49ers last season, after spending the early part of the offseason with the Lions.
Jones: RB Alfred Morris will get more carries
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 10:20am
Jerry Jones on 1053 The Fan said RB Alfred Morris will get more carries, but Darren McFadden and Rod Smith will also get more work.
Related players: Ezekiel Elliott
The more you look at this tweet, the more it doesn’t say a whole lot in the end. With Elliott now suspended, it looks like Morris will be the lead back, though, with McFadden and Smith mixing in as well. There is really no indication how the workload will be split. With McFadden inactive most weeks this season, Morris certainly seems like the back to own at this point.
Dolphins Beat: Expect Kenyan Drake to take over as starter
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 10:15am
With RB Jay Ajayi gone, expect Kenyan Drake to take over as Miami’s starting tailback, and for Damien Williams to continue in his role as the Dolphins’ third-down back.
Related players: Senorise Perry
This still looks to be a committee situation, however. The story said a big concern is if Drake can master Miami’s playbook and learn assignments, something HC Adam Gase has already criticized the back for. Williams is a more reliable blocker and scored six TDs last season, but only has a 3.3 yards-per-carry average in his career, coming mostly in short-yardage situations. Williams certainly seems better for PPR leagues. Meanwhile, Perry is more of a special teams player.
Report: Dolphins trading RB Jay Ajayi to Eagles
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 9:23am
Dolphins are trading Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a fourth-round draft pick.
Related players: Damien Williams, Kenyan Drake, LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood
This is a huge trade with massive fantasy implications. The Dolphins have been very poor on offense (second-fewest rushing yards per game and no rushing touchdowns on the year), but expect some type of backfield split between Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake. As it stands, Williams has 20 touches on the year compared to Drake’s 13. Williams holds the edge in snaps, 82 to 45. As for the Eagles, the days of Ajayi getting 22 touches per week may be over with Blount and Smallwood involved. Ajayi’s volume will likely take a hit, but his efficiency should increase as he’ll now play in one of the best offenses in the league. Keep an eye out for our updated rest-of-season rankings, which will be released later today.
Bucs will have plan for QB Jameis Winston (shoulder) by Wednesday
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 9:13am
Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said after Sunday’s 17-3 loss to the Panthers that he considered pulling quarterback Jameis Winston from the game after Winston took a hit on his already injured right shoulder in the second half of the game.
Koetter left Winston in, but it seemed clear that Winston wasn’t totally right in the game against the Panthers a week after shining in the second half against the Bills. Koetter noted it was windy, but also said last Friday that Winston aggravated his shoulder injury against Buffalo and some have suggested it would be better for Winston to sit until he’s healthy.
Koetter said on Monday that the team would come up with a plan for Winston’s week, including whether he practices on Wednesday and Thursday, between now and Wednesday.
Pats WR Chris Hogan (shoulder) out a few weeks
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 8:52am
Patriots WR Chris Hogan does not need surgery for his shoulder injury, source said.
Hogan will look to heal with rest and rehab and will be out a few weeks, according to the tweet. Rapoport’s tweet added the team will re-evaluate after the Pats’ bye this week.
Broncos not committing to starting QB Trevor Siemian Week 9
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 8:47am
Broncos HC Vance Joseph said he’ll go back and watch the film before deciding on QB situation.
Related players: Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch
Jhabvala’s tweet said last week Joseph was adamant on sticking with Siemian. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported if the team moves away from Siemian, Lynch will be the starter in Week 9 against the Eagles.
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