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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Studs and Duds: Divisional Round

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By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Michel posts huge numbers


Well, the games this past weekend weren't the best once again. Two were blowouts and the two other were competitive but not all that compelling. This has been a theme in the playoffs after two weeks. And the fantasy output in these games has not been of the charts. There were some bigger performances this weekend, though. A few players really carried fantasy teams to victories.

Chiefs 31, Colts 13

Fantasy Stud: Damien Williams. Williams continued his great play as the lead back for the Chiefs. He ran 25 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 25 yards, giving him 154 total yards and s score. Williams has 100-yard games two of his last three and touchdowns five straight. Williams could be playing himself into a prominent role with the team going forward. He has been great in a starting role for the Chiefs.

Fantasy Dud: Andrew Luck. Luck seemed primed for a big game against a defense that struggled much of the year. Well, it didn't play out that way with Luck struggling much of the game until finding the end zone late with the game out of hand. Luck was 19-of-36 for 203 yards and a touchdowns without an interception. Luck still had a great rebound season and seems back to his old self, which is really encouraging going forward.

Game Notes: Tyreek Hill had his usual big showing. He had eight receptions for 72 yards and ran once for a 36-yard score. He had 108 total yards and a score in the game.

Travis Kelce hit the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season. He caught seven passes for 108 yards on 10 targets.

Rams 30, Cowboys 22

Fantasy Stud: C.J. Anderson. Despite Todd Gurley back and healthy, Anderson led the way for the Rams rushing attack. He had 23 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Anderson had three straight 100-yard games and is clearly a big part of this offense even with Gurley back. Anderson is going to get his chances as long as the Rams keep dominating running the ball.

Fantasy Dud: Jared Goff. With the Rams having so much success running the ball, Goff didn't have to do much in this one. He was a bust for fantasy teams, going 15-of-28 for 186 yards without a touchdown or an interception. Goff has cooled some down the stretch, though, having one or no scores four of his last six games. He also has fewer than 200-passing yards three of those games.

Game Notes: Todd Gurley returned from his knee injury and looked near full strength. He ran 16 times for 115 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7.2 yards per carry.

Michael Gallup had six receptions for 119 yards. This was the first time in his career he hit the 100-yard mark. Gallup scored touchdowns two of the last four games.

Patriots 41, Chargers 28

Fantasy Stud: Sony Michel. Michel dominated carries for the Patriots and ran all over the Chargers with his big workload. He ran 24 times for 129 yards and three touchdowns. This was his first three-touchdown game of his career. It was the fifth time he hit the 100-yard mark, though. Michel gets few catches but continues to have big rushing yardage and touchdown potential in this offense.

Fantasy Dud: Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots had a ton of success offensively, but Gronk wasn't part of the fun. He had just a catch in the game, finishing with a catch for 25 yards. This game shouldn't come as a huge shock, though, because his production has been and up and down this year. Gronk has just four games all season with more than 60 yards. He has not been the Rob Gronkowski of past seasons.

Game Notes: James White did not have a carry in the game, but led the team in receptions. He got a workout in the passing game, catching 15 passes for 97 yards. This was his third double-digit reception game of the season.

Hunter Henry made his season debut, returning from a torn ACL, but was held without a catch. He was targeted just once in the game. Antonio Gates got much of the work at tight end, catching five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown in what might have been his last game.

Saints 20, Eagles 14

Fantasy Stud: Michael Thomas. Thomas had another one of his monster games, catching 12 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown. He was the focal point of the passing game and produced huge numbers once again. This was the seventh time this season he had double-digit receptions. Thomas is proving he is one of the elite receivers in all of football.

Fantasy Dud: Nick Foles. Foles was pretty quiet in what seemed a favorable matchup for him. He was 18-of-31 for 201 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Foles had multiple touchdowns three straight games before this dud. He has put himself in prime position to land another starter's job going forward, though, because of his strong play down the stretch. Expect Foles to be starting for some team in 2019.

Game Notes: Ted Ginn had three receptions for 44 yards on seven targets. In two games since returning from injury, Ginn has eight receptions for 118 yards on 15 targets.

Alshon Jeffery led the Eagles in receiving, catching five passes for 63 yards, but had a costly drop late in the game with the Eagles driving for a possible game-winning score. The ball went right through his hands and to a Saint for an interception. Jeffery finished the season with at least five receptions five of his last six games.

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 jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Devonta Freeman Jul 13 9:23am ET

Free-agent RB Devonta Freeman (Falcons) was informed that his agent, Kristin Campbell, has terminated their relationship Sunday, July 12.

Fantasy Spin: Freeman still looks to be holding out for more money than his market value is dictating at the moment. He might have to wait for an injury to sign, but he'll be a potential RB3 in fantasy when he does.

From TheHuddle

Dak Prescott Jul 12 10:23pm ET

Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and the team are reportedly 'not close' to agreeing to a contract extension as of Sunday, July 12, according to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News via a source. The two sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement or Prescott will be forced to play the 2020 season under the $31.4 million franchise tag he signed recently.

From TheHuddle

Richard Sherman Jul 12 10:13pm ET

San Francisco 49ers CB Richard Sherman has allowed a completion rate of 47 percent to receivers in his coverage since 2010 - the best mark in the NFL over that span per Pro Football Focus.

From TheHuddle

Ezekiel Elliott Jul 12 7:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was recently ranked as the 11th best at his position by an anonymous NFL offensive coach. The coach would go on to state that the 24-year-old "doesn't look as strong anymore. Feels like he's about 60 to 70 percent of what he was." Elliott was quick to dismiss these comments, but some fantasy managers may pay attention to these remarks, especially if they are drafting after the selections of Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. The fifth-year back did have one of the most productive years as a professional in 2019, finishing with 1,357 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns off of 301 attempts. He also added 54 catches for 420 yards and two additional scores. While those numbers don't indicate a downward trend, the former Buckeye will be without the guidance of former head coach Jason Garrett in 2020, who is now the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants.

From RotoBaller

Jamar Taylor Jul 12 4:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers CB Jamar Taylor has a chance to make the final roster because he has experience at outside cornerback as well as slot cornerback and plays on special teams, in the opinion of NinersWire's Kyle Madson.

From TheHuddle

Jadeveon Clowney Jul 12 1:43pm ET

Free-agent DEs Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks), Everson Griffen (Vikings) and DE Markus Golden (Giants) likely will not receive interest from the New York Jets because the team wants to move their unspent salary cap space to next season, in the opinion of the New York Post's Brian Costello.

From TheHuddle

Christian McCaffrey Jul 12 1:40pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has plenty of hype entering the 2020 campaign and should continue to be the No. 1 fantasy selection in the majority of fantasy drafts heading into September. However, according to a poll conducted by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, more than 50 percent of league executives view Saquon Barkley as the top back in the league. As claimed by one anonymous AFC executive, McCaffrey is "not as sturdy as Saquon. Not the same speed-and-power combo." While this declaration may not hinder fantasy managers from taking McCaffrey first overall in drafts, it could give many something to think about.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Jul 12 12:33pm ET

New England Patriots RB Sony Michel (foot) is no longer wearing a walking boot on his surgically repaired foot.

Fantasy Spin: Michel will be ready for training camp and should receive most of the carries this season but will have to share snaps with several other backs. He should be considered at least a No. 3 running back in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Terrelle Pryor Jul 12 12:23pm ET

Free-agent WR Terrelle Pryor (Jaguars) said he is looking to play in 2020 and has talked with five teams this offseason. He said he would like to play for the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers.

From TheHuddle

A.J. Green Jul 12 11:33am ET

It remains unknown if Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green will sign his franchise tag or agree to a long-term deal before the NFL deadline for contract extensions Wednesday, July 15, at 4 p.m. ET, according to multiple sources.

From TheHuddle

Dak Prescott Jul 12 11:03am ET

The Dallas Cowboys remain optimistic that QB Dak Prescott will accept their best contract extension offer before the NFL deadline Wednesday, July 15, at 4 p.m. ET. However, multiple league sources believe that no long-term deal will be completed by the deadline because he has already signed his franchise tag tender.

From TheHuddle

Chris Conley Jul 12 10:23am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. will compete with veteran WR Chris Conley during training camp to be the team's No. 2 receiver behind WR DJ Chark.

Fantasy Spin: Shenault is fully recovered from core muscle surgery and is expected to play an integral role in the Jacksonville offense this season. He has a great deal of upside and is worthy of consideration as a WR5 option in this year's fantasy drafts.

From TheHuddle

Jadeveon Clowney Jul 11 7:23pm ET

Free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks) could show interest in the Philadelphia Eagles because he wants to join a winning team, according to 710 ESPN's John Clayton.

From TheHuddle

Rodney Gunter Jul 11 6:13pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Rodney Gunter and DE Dawuane Smoot could receive some snaps at defensive tackle this upcoming season.

From TheHuddle

Antonio Brown Jul 11 3:43pm ET

Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) reached a settlement with the New England Patriots regarding the compensation grievance Brown filed against the team.

From TheHuddle

Hunter Henry Jul 11 3:20pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry isn't expecting a long-term contract extension before the deadline of Wednesday, July 15, so he expects to play the 2020 season under the $10.6 million franchise tag. The 25-year-old doesn't seem to be too worried about it, though, and he's focused on the 2020 season. He views this year as a prove-it deal because he hasn't played a full season in his four-year career due to injuries. Henry spent May and June working out with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert and recently had throwing sessions with Tyrod Taylor. Henry had career highs with 55 catches and 652 receiving yards in 2019. Among tight ends, Henry has the best passer rating when targeted at 132.3 since 2016. He's surely a top-10 fantasy tight end, but injuries and a downgrade at QB limit his overall ceiling.

From RotoBaller

DeSean Jackson Jul 11 2:30pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Friday that they fined wide receiver DeSean Jackson "for conduct detrimental to the team," which included controversial posts on Instagram and sharing an image of a quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler earlier this week. Jackson has since offered multiple apologies, but he "must also commit to supporting his words with actions" in order to remain with the team. The 33-year-old missed all but three games in 2019 because of an injury and is now desperately trying to repair his image before the season. If healthy, D-Jax should be the team's primary deep threat, but as usual, he'll be a boom-or-bust WR3 for fantasy owners.

From RotoBaller

Le'Veon Bell Jul 11 2:30pm ET

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell had a "great talk" with disgruntled All-Pro safety Jamal Adams on Thursday and came away with the impression that Adams wants to stay in New York if he gets a new contract. Bell doesn't oppose Adams' hard-line stance in negotiations. Adams formally requested a trade last month and has two years remaining on his rookie contract. He's making $3.6 million in 2020 and $9.9 million in 2021 under the fifth-year team option. Adams is believed to be looking to become the highest-paid safety in the league, and the Jets continue to say they want to make him a "Jet for life," but they aren't putting a timetable on it. Bell doesn't want Adams to be traded and doesn't think he will. Adams hasn't had a ton of interceptions, but his ability to play the run and rush the passer makes him unique and the top overall IDP defensive back.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Higbee Jul 11 2:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee had a 33-percent target rate when the Rams were trailing in 2019. That matched San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle for the highest percentage in the league, according to Pro Football Focus data.

Fantasy Spin: Higbee closed out 2019 with a stellar five-game run and has placed himself squarely in TE1 territory for 2020. He's a tight end to target if you miss out on the top five.

From TheHuddle

Davante Adams Jul 11 1:43pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams is the only wide receiver with 4,000 receiving yards and 40 touchdown receptions since 2016.

Fantasy Spin: Injuries limited Adams to a career-low 12 games in 2019, ending a run of three straight top-12 fantasy wideout finishes. With any kind of better health fortune, expect a WR1 bounce-back season for Adams.

From TheHuddle