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AP source: NFL fines Saints $500,000, Patriots $350,000

Sun Nov 29 10:46am ET
AP Pro Football Writer

The NFL has fined the New Orleans Saints $500,000 and stripped them of a 2021 seventh-round draft pick for violating league COVID-19 protocols, a person with direct knowledge of the discipline told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The New England Patriots were fined $350,000 for similar violations, the person said, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the teams have announced the fines or loss of draft pick.

New Orleans was fined as a repeat offender; Sean Payton previously was docked $150,000 and the team $250,000 because the head coach failed to properly wear a face covering against the Raiders in Week 2. The more recent issue with the Saints came after a win against Tampa Bay when the team's celebrations included players not wearing masks while in close proximity to each other. The celebrations were captured on video by some players and posted to social media.

The Saints are expected to appeal the discipline that ESPN first reported Sunday morning.

New England, which had a mini-outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this season that included positive tests for quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, was fined for not following protocols at that time.

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Five Hot Plays: Week 12

The Paur Report
Player Notes
Jerry Jeudy Nov 29 10:40am ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle, Achilles) is expected to suit up in Week 12 against the Saints. Jeudy was limited on Friday, though it's looking like he'll play after toughing out the ankle injury last week. It's certainly a concern, though the bigger worry is the quality of targets that Jeudy will see from practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who was thrust into the role as starting signal-caller due to Jeff Driskel's positive COVID-19 test. Jeudy's questionable situation makes him a risky WR4/5 this week.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Nov 29 10:33am ET

Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is expected to receive increased offensive snaps at quarterback during Week 12's game against the Seattle Seahawks, according to multiple sources. However, unlike Hurts' previous instances of game action this year, starting QB Carson Wentz is not expected to be on the field at the same time. The belief is that Hurts could see two or three plays at a time, rather than an entire series.

Fantasy Spin: Barring an injury to Wentz, Hurts is not expected to see enough playing time in 2020 to be fantasy-relevant and won't possess much value outside of dynasty formats. Wentz is going through the most disappointing season of his NFL career and is only worth starting in two-quarterback fantasy leagues right now.

From TheHuddle

Philip Rivers Nov 29 9:50am ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (toe) is expected to suit up for Sunday's pivotal divisional matchup with the Titans. Rivers was listed as questionable after Friday's practice, though head coach Frank Reich indicated it was a good session for the veteran quarterback. With Rivers close to full strength, the Colts may have to rely on his arm a bit more with Jonathan Taylor on the Reserve/COVID list. The veteran gunslinger checks in as more of a solid QB2 this week and could serve as an able replacement for those who have Lamar Jackson or Ben Roethlisberger rostered, with the uncertainty surrounding that game.

From RotoBaller

Giovani Bernard Nov 29 9:43am ET

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (concussion) is expected to play in Week 12's game versus the New York Giants, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Bernard had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging one limited practice session and one full session during the week. He should see the bulk of the action in the backfield for Cincinnati and can be an RB2 or flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Giovani Bernard Nov 29 9:40am ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (head) is expected to take the field on Sunday against the Giants. A full practice session on Friday had Bernard looking good for the Week 12 contest, though it's always nice to get further confirmation closer to kickoff. Look for the veteran back to be among the list of Bengals' actives ahead of the matchup with New York. The Giants have surrendered their fair share of fantasy points to opposing running backs, though much of the production has come through the air. This makes Bernard more of an appealing start in PPR formats, where he should be in the low-end RB2 range.

From RotoBaller

Austin Ekeler Nov 29 9:33am ET

Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 12's game against the Buffalo Bills, although he is unlikely to serve as the bell cow, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Despite the anticipated reduced workload this afternoon, Ekeler is still worthy of consideration as a starting option in all fantasy leagues, particularly PPR formats. However, Ekeler could see his projected role expand if the Chargers decide to rest RB Kalen Ballage (ankle, calf) versus the Bills.

From TheHuddle

Robert Woods Nov 29 9:30am ET

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) is expected to make his return to the field in Week 12 against the Rams. Sherman hasn't played since Week 2 due to the calf injury, but the San Francisco secondary has held strong for the most part, ranking fifth against the pass this year. The former All-Pro will be a welcome addition, however, as Rams' receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are both fresh off of 10-catch, 100-yard efforts on Monday night football last week. Woods and Kupp remain in the WR2 range for this contest.

From RotoBaller

Mark Andrews Nov 29 9:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (COVID-19) has tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the Reserve list. Andrews is the 11th Ravens player to go on the Reserve/COVID list over the past week, with pass-rusher Matt Judon also testing positive for the virus. The Ravens' star tight end is a Type 1 diabetic, so here's to hoping for a full recovery by the former Oklahoma Sooner. Despite these positive tests, the NFL still intends for this game to be played, though the odds will certainly be against the Ravens down so many starters against the unbeaten Steelers. Stay tuned for updates on the status of the game.

From RotoBaller

Kalen Ballage Nov 29 9:13am ET

Los Angeles Chargers RB Kalen Ballage (ankle, calf) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Fantasy Spin: Ballage had been listed as questionable on the injury report after being a limited practice participant throughout the week. If he is active, he could be a flex option for deeper fantasy leagues, especially considering that RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is not likely to serve as the bell cow in his first game since returning from a major hamstring injury.

From TheHuddle

Jalen Hurts Nov 29 9:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is expected to see more playing time on Monday night against the Seahawks. Carson Wentz is still the Eagles' starter- though they intend to use Hurts for plays at a time in an attempt to spark an offense that ranks 26th in yards and 24th in points scored. It's anyone's guess as to how the snaps will play out, but it could be a similar situation to the one in New Orleans, where Taysom Hill normally rotates in. Hurts likely won't have much fantasy value in this role, though he makes for an interesting stash if he impresses against Seattle.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Nov 29 9:03am ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) is not expected to play in Week 12's game versus the Las Vegas Raiders, according to a source.

Fantasy Spin: Jones had been listed as questionable on the injury report but did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 27, after logging two limited sessions earlier in the week. Assuming he is held out of action, WRs Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage and TE Hayden Hurst could see additional targets during this afternoon's game.

From TheHuddle

Hayden Hurst Nov 29 8:53am ET

Atlanta Falcons TE Hayden Hurst (ankle) is expected to play in Week 12's game versus the Las Vegas Raiders.

Fantasy Spin: Hurst had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging just one limited practice session during the week. However, he is worth deploying as a low-end TE1 option in fantasy leagues this afternoon based on his production over the last month.

From TheHuddle

Clelin Ferrell Nov 29 8:50am ET

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell (COVID-19) has a chance to return to the field on Sunday after missing his team's Week 11 game. The team will see how he feels in the hours before kickoff. Ferrell had started every game this year before testing positive for the virus, compiling 19 tackles and seven quarterback hits. The pass-rusher is off the IDP radar at the moment, as he has yet to record a sack on the season. The Raiders' defense as a unit should be avoided if possible, as they have a tough matchup with the Falcons offense.

From RotoBaller

Richard Sherman Nov 29 8:43am ET

San Francisco 49ers CB Richard Sherman (calf) is expected to play in Week 12's game against the Los Angeles Rams after being activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Nov. 28. He had been sidelined since Week 2 because of a calf injury.

From TheHuddle

Philip Rivers Nov 29 8:43am ET

Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers (toe) is expected to play in Week 12's game versus the Tennessee Titans and it doesn't appear as though his injured toe will be an issue, according to head coach Frank Reich.

Fantasy Spin: Rivers had been listed as questionable on the injury report but looked good in his return to the practice field Friday, Nov. 27. He's worthy of consideration as a low-end QB1 option in most fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Kalen Ballage Nov 29 8:40am ET

Los Angeles Chargers running back Kalen Ballage (ankle, calf) is not expected to play against the Bills In Week 12. Ballage was listed as questionable and is a game-time decision, though it appears he is on the wrong side of that designation. This coincides with the news that Austin Ekeler (hamstring) was activated and is expected to make his return to the field. While the Chargers won't run Ekeler into the ground, it's likely that the star back will see at least 15 touches against a Buffalo defense that struggles to contain the ground game. This would put Ekeler squarely in the RB2 conversation, with a bit of risk. Troymaine Pope could have some flex value if Ballage doesn't go, though he wouldn't be an option you can start with any sort of confidence.

From RotoBaller

Ben Roethlisberger Nov 29 8:23am ET

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada (illness) has tested positive for COVID-19. However, QB Ben Roethlisberger was not deemed a close contact who needs to self-isolate, according to multiple sources.

From TheHuddle

Hayden Hurst Nov 29 8:20am ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is not expected to play against the Raiders in Week 12. Meanwhile, tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) is on track to suit up for the contest. Jones will test his ailing hamstring out in the pre-game, though it's certainly not looking good after a 'DNP' in Friday's practice. Hurst was able to get a limited session in on Friday and would likely see an increased target share if available. It's worth noting the struggles of the Falcons' offense this year when Jones isn't out there. Still, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus should all see extra looks in the passing game, in addition to Hurst.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Nov 28 10:50pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd should be the only pass-catcher in Cincy to not be too negatively impacted by the team's move to Brandon Allen at quarterback. Last year, Boyd managed to finish with 90 catches for 1,046 yards while playing with Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley at quarterback, so Boyd doesn't need Andy Dalton to produce. He's a solid WR2/3 play with a high floor this week against this Giants Defense.

From RotoBaller

Kendall Hinton Nov 28 10:50pm ET

That's a weird headline, huh? The entire Denver Broncos quarterback unit is on the COVID-19 list and will miss Sunday's game against the Saints. There was speculation running back Royce Freeman would be the emergency quarterback, but it looks like it will be practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who played some quarterback at Wake Forest. He wasn't particularly good there, but considering he was wide receiver eligibility on most fantasy providers but will play quarterback, there's value in using him as a FLEX play in 14-team leagues. The Broncos entire pass-catching unit sees a sharp downgrade, though.

From RotoBaller