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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 7

Burrow shows Cincy some love, NFL teams drool over receivers

Tue Feb 25 3:53pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Brandin Cooks, Courtland Sutton, Drew Lock, Noah Fant

Denver Broncos president of football operations and general manager John Elway speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Who wouldn't want to follow in the footsteps of John Elway and Eli Manning?

Joe Burrow, that's who.

The Heisman Trophy winner, national champion and consensus No. 1 pick in next month's draft said Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine that he'd have no qualms playing in Cincinnati, which owns the top choice.

"Yeah, I'm not going to not play," the LSU star quarterback replied when asked if he would report to the Bengals should they select him No. 1 overall on April 23 in Las Vegas. "I'm a ballplayer. Whoever picks me, I'm going to go show up."

Burrow, who grew up in Athens, Ohio, and initially attended Ohio State, said he'd love to play professionally in his home state.

"Yeah, absolutely. It's 2 hours, 15 minutes from my house," Burrow said. "I could go home for dinner if I wanted to."

Burrow said on Dan Patrick's radio show last month that it was important for him to keep winning in the NFL and that while he wanted to be the first overall pick, "you also want to go to a great organization that is committed to winning. Committed to winning Super Bowls."

The Bengals haven't won a Super Bowl since entering the league in 1968.

Those comments sparked speculation that Burrow was skeptical about the Bengals.

“The only thing I’ve said is that I just didn’t want to be presumptuous about the pick,” Burrow said Tuesday. "That’s why I’ve been non-committal because I don’t know what’s going to happen. They might not pick me. They might fall in love with someone else. You guys kind of took that narrative and ran with it. There has never been anything like that from my end."

So, no reservations about playing for the Bengals.

"I'll play for whoever drafts me," Burrow said. "I'm just not going to be presumptuous about what they want to do. It's the draft. You guys have been covering it for a long time. You never know what's going to happen."

So, he's all in on Cincinnati should the Bengals call his name on draft night?

"Yeah, of course I want to be the first pick," he said. “That's every kid's dream. I've worked really, really hard for the opportunity and I'm blessed to be in this position. So I'm just really excited to be in this position.”

Elway was the top overall selection in the 1983 draft, the vanguard of the greatest quarterback class in NFL history, but he didn't want to play in Baltimore and the Colts traded him to Denver, where he won two Super Bowls as a player and another as an executive.

Something similar transpired in 2004 when Manning was selected first overall by the San Diego Chargers but was quickly traded to the New York Giants, where he twice beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.

Elway spent four years searching for Peyton Manning's replacement in Denver before landing Drew Lock, so this marks the first offseason since 2015 that he isn't spending a lot of time on the QB prospects such as Burrow.

Instead, he's looking at the deep class of wide receivers that punctuate this year's rookie class.

Elway already has a Pro Bowl receiver in Courtland Sutton and a rising star tight end in Noah Fant. But nowadays teams have to load up at wide receiver and this year brings a wealth of talented pass catchers to choose from.

"Oh, I think this is one of the best groups since Odell's group," Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault said in comparing this year's crop to the one in 2014 that featured first-rounders Odell Beckham Jr., Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin.

In addition to Shenault, this year's group features Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb, LSU's Justin Jefferson, Arizona State's Brandon Aiyuk and Clemson's Tee Higgins.

"I think we're talented across the board," Shenault said. "I think we check a lot of boxes. I think this class is going to do great things. It's definitely going to be a legendary class."

Player Notes
Andy Dalton Oct 20 7:50pm ET

The Washington Football Team will be facing a Cowboys offensive line Sunday that has been decimated by injuries. With Tyron Smith (neck) already out, Dallas announced Tuesday that left tackle Brandon Knight (knee) already underwent surgery for a significant injury that he sustained Monday, necessitating a need for another new LT. In addition, Zack Martin (concussion), a traditional anchor of the line, is questionable to suit up in his own right. After some disappointing fantasy performances, the Washington defense is in a prime spot to break out against Andy Dalton, who scuffled mightily in his first start of the season. They will be a risk in medium-sized or smaller season-long formats, but should have some DFS appeal, especially for those targeting the early-only slate.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Oct 20 7:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was given a vote of confidence from head coach Mike McCarthy on Tuesday, confirming that the star running back would be the starter for Sundays contest against Washington. Elliott lost two fumbles Monday versus the Cardinals, ceding way to Tony Pollard at times, but with Andy Dalton once again to likely receive the start, Elliott will need to be relied upon for Dallas to have success offensively. Unfortunately for Elliott, the teams offensive line is heavily banged up due to injuries. Factoring that in on top of his fumble woes (five in 2020, four of which have been lost), DFS fantasy managers may want to look elsewhere Sunday, especially considering his price tag. Season-long managers can continue to role Elliott out and bank on his perpetual upside paying off.

From RotoBaller

Russell Wilson Oct 20 7:40pm ET

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has made each of the five defenses that he has faced 2020 look rather pedestrian on his way to becoming the favorite to claim the NFLs MVP trophy this season. On paper, his matchup Sunday versus Arizona should be another such instance, which is backed up by his gaudy DFS price tag. But gleaning his numbers against the Cardinals over the past two seasons tells a different story; over their last four matchups, he has exceeded the 200-yard passing threshold just once and has not rushed for a touchdown in any of those outings. The Cardinals Defense ranks in the top half of the league in passing yards allowed per game this season (226.5), another notch in the belt of why DFS fantasy managers may want to consider other QB options during Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Keenan Allen Oct 20 7:30pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (back) was last seen dealing with back spasms when he took the field versus the Saints last Monday. Despite that, head coach Anthony Lynn has reiterated that Allen will not be hampered come Sunday versus Jacksonville, a matchup that is set to work in Allens favor due to the 270.7 passing yards per game that the Jaguars Defense is allowing. With the emergence of Justin Herbert as both a downfield threat and consistent pocket passer, Allens season-long fantasy outlook is only on the rise after having averaged 12 targets through his first four games. His recent injury should give DFS fantasy managers pause, but so long as he is given the green light to suit up, season-long managers should consider starting him in most formats where he is rostered.

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Oct 20 7:20pm ET

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson should continue to see an unimpeded path to RB1 duties this Sunday against the Cardinals with both Carlos Hyde (shoulder) and Rashaad Penny (knee) unlikely to suit up. Carson was limited to just eight carries in his most recent outing, but that was primarily due to the nature of the game flow; fantasy managers can expect to see him rack up his usual workload and then some against Arizona. Having amassed three rushing and three receiving scores so far this season, Carson has retained a considerable role in the Seattle offense, with Travis Homer a distant second to cutting into his workload. Carson is a must-start in season-long formats and should have some considerable DFS appeal.

From RotoBaller

Josh Jacobs Oct 20 7:10pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is likely fresh after having his week off, but that wont change the fact that hell be squaring off with the NFLs premier run-stuffing unit Sunday in the form of the Buccaneers Defense. Tampa Bay has yielded an average of just 64.3 rushing yards per contest to begin the year, while Jacobs has amassed an average of 75.4 all by himself. Having carried the ball an average of 21.2 times per game, season-long fantasy managers needn't shy away from Jacobs, but those eyeing him on the DFS market may want to tread lightly. Despite his five rushing scores, Jacobs has yet to compile a 100-yard game on the ground this season after having racked up five such performances as a rookie in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Oct 20 7:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara costs a pretty penny in DFS for those fantasy managers who are attempting to slot him into lineups, and with good reason. Kamara is facing off against a Panthers Defense that ranks dead last in the NFL in DraftKings points per game allowed, making him arguably the top running back to target on the slate. Even with Michael Thomas (ankle) scheduled to return to the offense, Kamara should continue to see a sizable role as New Orleans makes the run game a primary focus. Looking ahead, hell face stouter competition in the form of Chicago and Tampa Bay over the following two weeks, yet he still remains one of the premier season-long fantasy assets due to his consistent pass-catching role.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Oct 20 6:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is set to make his NFL return Sunday against Washington after he was removed from the commissioners exempt list Tuesday. Dallas immediately added the pass-rusher to its active roster, hoping to reclaim some of the six-sack production that he delivered for the team back in 2018. Gregory had been suspended indefinitely by the NFL in February 19 due to repeated violations of the leagues substance abuse policy, but is now cleared to return to action. Even with the pass-rushing stylings of Gregory in the mix, the Cowboys Defense cannot be counted upon as a fantasy asset after having allowed at least 34 points in each of their last six games. In the best-case scenario, the unit can be used as a contrarian DFS play in hopes of honing in on their sack upside.

From RotoBaller

Carolina Panthers Oct 20 6:30pm ET

Carolina Panthers safety Juston Burris (ribs) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, but is expected to return at some point during the 2020 year. Burris has become an integral part of the Carolina secondary in his first season with the team, playing 100 percent of defensive snaps in four of his first five games. Without Burris in the mix, Jeremy Chinn should see a step up in usage, while Kenny Robinson was signed off of the practice squad and Sean Chandler was brought in from the Giants. With matchups versus the Saints, Falcons, and Chiefs, over the next three weeks, the Panthers Defense provided little fantasy intrigue regardless. The next chance that Burris could rejoin the mix comes Week 10 versus Tampa Bay.

From RotoBaller

Tae Crowder Oct 20 6:10pm ET

New York Giants linebacker Tae Crowder (hamstring) has been ruled out for at least the next three contests after he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday due to a hamstring injury. Crowder delivered the game-winning touchdown during Sundays win over Washington on a 42-yard fumble recovery, and he has compiled 18 tackles over his first five career games. His absence will give the Giants Defense a hole in its depth at the linebacker position, but irrespective of Crowders presence, the unit does not likely merit much fantasy consideration at this stage. The next chance that Crowder has to suit up will be Week 10 against Philadelphia.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Mariota Oct 20 5:10pm ET

The Las Vegas Raiders designated quarterback Marcus Mariota (pectoral) to return from Injured Reserve and also signed former Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving to the practice squad on Tuesday. Mariota was brought in during the offseason to push Derek Carr for the starting gig, but the former Tennessee Titan got hurt before the start of the regular season. The 26-year-old former Oregon Duck should return to being a high-priced backup to Carr when he's healthy enough to return, pushing Nathan Peterman down to No. 3 on the depth chart. Carr has been solid for the Raiders, completing a career-high 73.1 percent of his passes for 1,442 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception through five games in 2020, so it'll likely take an injury for Mariota to see the field before the season ends.

From RotoBaller

Timmy Jernigan Oct 20 4:33pm ET

Denver Broncos DT Timmy Jernigan was released Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Kentrell Brice Oct 20 4:23pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RB D.J. Foster (quad) and TE Justin Johnson (ankle) were activated from the practice squad Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 20. OL Rick Leonard was also re-signed to the practice squad. To make room, Arizona released S T.J. Ward, S Kentrell Brice and CB Jalen Davis from the practice squad.

From TheHuddle

MyCole Pruitt Oct 20 4:23pm ET

Tennessee Titans TE MyCole Pruitt was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle

Christian McCaffrey Oct 20 4:13pm ET

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle) isn't expected to play in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints, but he 'has a shot' to play in Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons, according to NFL Network's Mike Garofolo.

Fantasy Spin: Garofolo is speculating the Panthers don't want to bring back McCaffrey from a month-long absence to have him play twice in five days and it makes sense. Of course, it would also make sense for Carolina to not put McCaffrey back on the field on a short week (Week 8) and give him even more time to recover from his high-ankle sprain. Fantasy owners should view Week 7 as the last time they'll get to use Mike Davis - presumably for the remainder of the season - barring an in-game aggravation of the injury down the road. McCaffrey will obviously return to the RB1 ranks as soon as he returns to the field.

From TheHuddle

DeSean Jackson Oct 20 4:13pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles OT Jack Driscoll (ankle), TE Zach Ertz (ankle), DT Malik Jackson (quad), RB Miles Sanders (knee) and S K'Von Wallace (shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 20. S Marcus Epps (rib), WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (foot), OT Lane Johnson (ankle), CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) and LB Duke Riley (rib) were limited. The Eagles held a walkthrough Tuesday, so the report is an estimation.

From TheHuddle

MyCole Pruitt Oct 20 4:10pm ET

The Tennessee Titans activated tight end MyCole Pruitt and defensive back Breon Borders from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Pruitt will rejoin the 53-man roster and is eligible to play in Week 7 against the Steelers. In his three games with Tennessee in 2020, Pruitt has caught all three of his targets for 17 yards and a touchdown. The team's tight end depth could be tested this Sunday with Jonnu Smith (ankle) questionable due to a mild ankle injury, but even if Smith doesn't play, Pruitt will be a desperation tight end streamer with Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim also fighting for playing time against the undefeated Steelers.

From RotoBaller

Dion Lewis Oct 20 3:53pm ET

New York Giants WR C.J. Board (concussion), DB Adrian Colbert (shoulder) and LB Tae Crowder (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 20. DB Darnay Holmes (neck) and WR Darius Slayton (foot) were limited. RB Dion Lewis (hand) practiced in full. The Giants held a walkthrough Tuesday, so the report is an estimation.

From TheHuddle

Christian McCaffrey Oct 20 3:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (ankle) isn't expected to play in Week 7 against the Saints, which will be the fifth game he's missed since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2, according to sources. The Panthers are being cautious with their star running back, but McCaffrey is getting closer to a return and he could be back next Thursday against the Falcons. Carolina still needs to activate McCaffrey from Injured Reserve, and from there fantasy managers can monitor his practice status. Continue to be patient with the All-Pro running back, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the majority of fantasy leagues. Mike Davis continues to see a heavy workload in the absence of McCaffrey, and he'll remain in RB1 territory this Sunday against the Saints.

From RotoBaller

Juston Burris Oct 20 3:23pm ET

Carolina Panthers S Juston Burris (ribs) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 20.

From TheHuddle