Thu Jan 17 8:35 am
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 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.