Wed Dec 19 10:38 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
What two running backs should I play: James White, Marlon Mack, James Conner, LeSean McCoy or Nick Chubb? Which two receivers: Jarvis Landry, Brandin Cooks, Tyrell Williams or T.Y. Hilton? And now the big question, Mitchell Trubisky or Tom Brady?
George: I like Chubb and Mack at running back. I know Conner is expected to return this week but I worry about his workload in his first game back. I go with Mack over him, especially with Mack running so well last week and a decent matchup against the Giants.
I like Hilton and Landry as your receivers. Your second receiver is a tough call with some similar options. Cook worries me with Jared Goff going in the tank in recent weeks. And I'm still not sold on Jeffery despite his big game last week. He has been erratic all year. Landry hasn't been consistent either but shown some signs of life in recent weeks and he has a dream matchup this week against the Bengals (29th against the pass).
And that is a really tough call at quarterback. I think I go with Trubisky, though. Brady gets a Bills team that is first against the pass and held him without a touchdown in Week 8. I think Trubisky has a much better matchup and a higher ceiling this week.
I am tied for the lead in my league. We play to the end, no playoff. I need to win, what do you think? Philip Rivers or Kirk Cousins? Dalvin Cook or Marlon Mack? Adam Theilen, Juju Smith-Schuster or Mike Evans (pick 2)?
Craig: That is a really tough call at quarterback. I think I go with Rivers, though. I know his matchup is much tougher but he has been so consistent this year and I think he has a higher ceiling than Cousins right now. Cousins has been really mediocre in recent weeks, having four touchdowns his last three games. This is a tossup, though.
Cook and Mack are similar plays this week as well. Very close call. I probably lean Mack because I like that offense better right now. He is coming off a big game and has a favorable matchup against the Giants, who are 28th against the rush.
I like Evans and Smith-Schuster at receiver. Tough to sit Thielen, but he hasn't been quite as prolific as earlier this season. I like Evans a little more than him, having 85-plus yards four of five games.
Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan or Dak Prescott?
I like Ryan a lot this week. I have him ranked second overall at quarterback for Week 16. Ryan has two straight three-touchdown games. He has seven games this season with three or more scores. Ryan should continue his hot ways this week against the Panthers, a team he scored four touchdowns against in Week 2. Carolina allows the eighth most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Let me pick your brain. I am in the bowl. Quarterback: Mitchell Trubisky, Aaron Rodgers or Lamar Jackson? Receiver: Odell Beckham, Juju Smith-Schuster, Tyler Lockett, Sammy Watkins? Do I pick up Mike Williams? (play 2)
Rob: That is a tough call at quarterback. I probably lean Rodgers in a favorable matchup against the Jets, a team that is 19th against the pass and allow 25.6 points per game. I think Rodgers has the highest ceiling of your options, so I give him a slight edge despite his down production this year.
I don't see Williams as an upgrade over Lockett, so I would sit tight with your receiver options. I go with Beckham (if he plays) and Smith-Schuster. If Beckham misses, Lockett is a solid No. 2 out of those options.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
The Detroit Lions released wide receiver Bruce Ellington, safety Glover Quinn and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby on Friday. Ellington signed with the Lions after they traded Golden Tate to the Eagles and became their slot receiver until he landed on Injured Reserve on Dec. 22. He had 23 catches for 132 yards in four games for Detroit. Ellington's best year came in 2017 with the Texans when he had 29 catches for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Wherever he signs, he'll battle for a roster spot in training camp.
The Buffalo Bills released tight end Charles Clay on Friday. Clay provided only 21 catches (36 targets) for 184 yards (career-low 8.8 yards per catch) and no touchdowns in 13 games for Buffalo in 2018. He was rarely in the game plan for the Bills the last two seasons and won't be a very popular target on the free-agent market. His best season came in 2013 with the Dolphins when he had 69 receptions (103 targets) for 759 yards and six scores over a full season. The days of Clay being on fantasy rosters is over.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles would "probably" be interested in playing for the New York Giants if they decide to move on from Eli Manning, according to one person with knowledge of Foles' thinking. Foles landing with the Giants would be less likely if the Eagles place the franchise tag on him, which is unlikely. The Jaguars are another team to watch out for, and there is mutual interest between them and Foles. After winning Super Bowl MVP two years ago and playing well as a starter again in 2018 when Carson Wentz was injured, Foles should earn a starting gig on the open market with several teams looking for a signal caller. While Foles has QB1 upside in the right matchups, his 2019 fantasy value will ultimately depend on where he winds up.
All indications are that the Pittsburgh Steelers plan to use the transition tag on running back Le'Veon Bell by the deadline on March 5. It's expected to have a value of $9.5 million to $14.5 million for one season and gives the Steelers a chance to match any offer he'd receive on the open market. Pittsburgh doesn't plan on matching any offer to retain Bell, but only to trade him. However, even if the Steelers find a taker in a trade, they'd need Bell to sign the transition tag first, which is highly unlikely. This situation continues to get uglier, but Bell won't be playing in Pittsburgh in 2019 no matter what. Despite having 1,229 rushing attempts in five seasons, Bell is in the prime of his career and has reached the 1,000-yard mark three times. He's one of the more versatile backs in the NFL and should remain an RB1 in his next home.
Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will return to shadowing the top opposing wide receivers in 2019, according to defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.
Free-agent RB Mike Gillislee (Saints) worked out for the Detroit Lions Thursday, Feb. 14.
Miami Dolphins WR Danny Amendola could fill the slot receiver role for the Detroit Lions in 2019 because of his connection to head coach Matt Patricia, in the opinion of Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com.
Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles') said he is no longer wearing a walking boot but still has a 'slight limp' when walking around.
Fantasy Spin: After suffering an Achilles' injury late in the year, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Sanders miss time in 2019. He showed last year that he can be a WR2 as the top option in Denver's passing attack, but fantasy owners will need to be patient as he returns to form.
Arizona Cardinals WR Chad Williams caught 37 percent of the passes thrown his way in 2018 and had two catches or less in all but two games.
Minnesota Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell averaged 5.7 yards per target last year, the fourth-worst mark among receivers with at least 50 targets, and Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com expects Treadwell's fifth-year option to be declined.
Fantasy Spin: The former first-round pick has been a bust, and he didn't show any signs of righting the ship despite a bigger role in 2018. Even in dynasty formats, it may be time to give up on Treadwell.
Philadelphia Eagles impending free-agent WR Golden Tate and Washington Redskins impending free-agent WR Jamison Crowder are options to fill the need the Green Bay Packers have at slot receiver, according to Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Packers need a dependable option to support Davante Adams, and both Tate and Crowder would quickly become potential WR3 options if Aaron Rodgers is throwing them the ball.
Atlanta Falcons SS Keanu Neal (knee) posted a video of himself going through agility drills without a brace on his injured left knee.
Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (leg) was seen without any braces or supports for his injured leg.
Los Angeles Chargers impending free-agent LB Denzel Perryman will be re-signed this offseason if the Chargers have their way, according to a source.
Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) desired at least $20 million to play in the Alliance of American Football, according to a source.
Free-agent QB Nick Foles (Eagles) is expected to 'keep tabs on' the New York Giants this offseason, according to NJ.com's Zack Rosenblatt. A source with knowledge of Foles' thinking said the former Super Bowl MVP would 'probably' be interested in starting for the Giants if they were to release QB Eli Manning.
Fantasy Spin: There are many pieces that must fall in order for Foles to the Giants to work out. It's a sensible destination, though, with Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley leading one of the most talented offenses in the NFL. Foles could be the piece that makes them take a forward step. Were this signing to come to fruition, Foles would demand QB1 consideration given the pieces that would be around him.
Free-agent QB Nick Foles (Eagles) is not expected to return to the Philadelphia Eagles as the backup to Carson Wentz.
Fantasy Spin: Foles deserves a starting job. He won't want to play as a backup and make less money when there are teams willing to pay him to be their starter. He can be a part of the QB1 conversation if he lands in the right spot. Of course, when Wentz is healthy he too has QB1 appeal.
Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) and former NFL QB Tim Tebow were asked if they wanted to join the Alliance of American Football, according to league co-founder Bill Polian. Polian said he doesn't know what transpired with Kaepernick, but added that he spoke personally with Tebow, who declined.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown and Steelers impending free-agent RB Le'Veon Bell are not expected to be intensely pursued by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. The Colts will have the most salary cap space in the league this offseason and will do their due diligence, but Brown's off-field drama and Bell's asking price may be too much for the Colts.
Fantasy Spin: The Colts did just fine last year without the services of Brown or Bell. Brown seems like more of an immediate need, but general manager Chris Ballard wants a cohesive and cooperative locker room. While the fantasy marriage of Brown and/or Bell with the Colts might be ideal, don't get your hopes up.
Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee is considered a strong candidate to be cut this offseason, in the opinion of NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal. Lee's extensive injury history, $10 million cap hit and the presence of fellow LBs Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith don't bode well for a possible return.