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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Studs and Duds: Divisional Round

Mon Jan 13 9:27am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

The Texans couldn't stop Kelce


The games weren’t nearly as exciting this week. All the games were decided by double-digit points except for one. We didn’t get the overtime games like the previous weeks or the exciting finishes. We did get some good fantasy performances, though, with two teams topping 30 points and two others scoring 28 points. The fantasy numbers were a little up this week compared to the playoff openers. This lead to some high-scoring fantasy teams. Hopefully, you were on the receiving end of some of these good performances. 

49ers 27, Vikings 10

Fantasy Stud: Tevin Coleman. The 49ers rode the hot hand at running back and Coleman was the clear hot back in this one. He had 22 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns. This was an unexpected showing from Coleman, considering he had 40 or fewer rushing yards nine straight games. This was just the second time all season he has topped 100-rushing yards. Coleman is never a sure thing forward going in this offense, but this showing was encouraging.

Fantasy Dud: Dalvin Cook. The 49ers did a great job of holding Cook in check, which is something that has been rarely done this season. Cook ran nine times for just 18 yards. He also caught six passes for eight yards. This was his worst game of the season. Cook still had a breakout year and is clearly and elite fantasy back as long as he can stay healthy. 

Game Notes: Raheem Mostert did start but had 10 fewer carries than Coleman. He ran 12 times for 58 yards. The good news is Mostert averaged the same yards per carry as Coleman, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

Adam Thielen was able to play with his ankle injury and caught five passes for 50 yards. He probably wasn’t 100 percent for the game, but played pretty well considering his status. 

Titans 28, Ravens 12

Fantasy Stud: Derrick Henry. Henry continued his late-season assault on NFL defenses. He ran 30 times for 195 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass, giving him his only score in the game. Henry has three straight games with 180-plus rushing yards. He is carrying the Titans offense right now and seems to be getting stronger every week. 

Fantasy DudMark Ingram. Ingram was healthy enough to play and led the team in carries, but ran six times for just 22 yards. He had only one reception for nine yards, giving him 31 total yards. Ingram was battling a calf injury but didn’t seem to slowed by the injury. The game flow impacted Ingram’s numbers with the Ravens throwing a lot more than usual. 

Game Notes: His team lost but Lamar Jackson piled up the stats in this one. He was 31-of-59 for 365 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. He also hit the 100-yard mark rushing, running 20 times for 143 yards. This was his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season. 

Marquise Brown hit the 100-yard mark receiving. He caught seven passes for 126 yards. This was his first 100-yard game of the season since the opener. HIs 11 targets were the second most of the season for Brown.

Chiefs 31, Texans 31

Fantasy Stud: Travis Kelce. Kelce came into the game with a sore knee and also injured his hamstring during the game. That didn’t slow him one bit. Kelce was nearly unstoppable the entire game, catching 10 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns. It was one of the greatest performances ever for a tight end in the playoffs. Kelce put on a show, displaying his huge fantasy value. He has double-digit receptions two of four games. 

Fantasy Dud: Tyreek Hill. There were a ton of fantasy points in this high scoring game, but Hill was held in check by the Chiefs. He had three receptions for 41 yards. Houston double-teamed him much of the game, giving Kelce more freedom to get open. Hill is always capable of the huge game, so don’t get too down on him over this game. He’ll rebound.

Game Notes: Patrick Mahomes had a huge showing, picking apart the defense after a slow start. He was 23-of-35 for 321 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. He also led the team in rushing, running seven times for 53 yards. 

Will Fuller returned from his groin injury and showed well, catching five passes for 89 yards. He did not look very slowed by the injury and produced his third highest yardage game of the season. 

Packers 28, Seahawks 23

Fantasy Stud: Davante Adams. Adams had another big game, catching eight passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Adams has 100-yard games three of four and at least 93 yards all three of those games. He has been red hot since returning from injury in Week 9. He has at least seven receptions seven of nine games. As long as Aaron Rodgers is his quarterback, expect big things from Adams.

Fantasy Dud: Jamaal Williams. Williams was active after missing the last game of the season as precaution, but got next to no work in this game. He had just two touches. Williams ran once for three yards and caught a pass for nine yards. Williams has minimal value for fantasy teams right now with the Packers riding Aaron Jones as their lead back down the stretch. 

Game Notes: Marshawn Lynch found the end zone two more times, giving him touchdowns in all the games he played with the Seahawks this year. He ran 12 times for just 26 yards, though. 

Tyler Lockett hit the 100-yard receiving mark. He had nine receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. This was his fifth 100-yard game of the season. He had a breakout year as the No. 1 receiver for the Seahawks.

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
Justin Reid Apr 3 5:40pm ET

Houston Texans safety Justin Reid said he has spoken to head coach Bill O'Brien about his brother, free-agent Eric Reid. O'Brien was positive about Eric Reid, but it's unclear if the Texans will actually sign him. The 28-year-old was the 18th overall pick of the 49ers in the 2013 draft and made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. He spent the last two years in Carolina, recording a career-high 130 tackles (97 solo), seven tackles for loss, five QB hits, six passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 16 games. Reid has 11 career interceptions in his seven seasons in the NFL. Houston needs as much help as they can get in the secondary.

From RotoBaller

Christian Kirk Apr 3 12:30pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, the former second-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2018, knows that the addition of stud wideout DeAndre Hopkins will mean that opposing defenses will focus less on him. Kirk missed the final three games of 2019 due to injury and finished with 68 catches for 709 yards and three touchdowns. He should see a lot more single coverage, but the fact remains that he'll see fewer consistent targets with both Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald demanding looks from quarterback Kyler Murray. The 23-year-old could have some big games if teams focus all their attention on Nuk, but Kirk's fantasy stock is down entering the 2020 season.

From RotoBaller

Nick Foles Apr 3 12:30pm ET

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said that quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles will be in an open competition in training camp this summer. The Bears were expected to bring in someone to compete with Trubisky under center, so they decided to acquire Foles from the Jaguars. Foles has experience working with all of Chicago's offensive coaches, so it seems like it could be his job to lose after Trubisky regressed in 2019. The Bears also remain non-committal on whether they'll pick up Trubisky's 2021 option. Neither QB will be much more than a midrange QB2 if they win the job, but Foles, a former Super Bowl MVP, would be a little more intriguing for wide receiver Allen Robinson.

From RotoBaller

Sammy Watkins Apr 3 12:20pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs and wide receiver Sammy Watkins agreed to a restructured contract that will keep him with the team for at least another season. It will lower his salary cap number and he can earn a maximum of $16 million in 2020, according to a source. The one-year deal has a base salary of $9 million, and the move creates $5 million in cap space for the Chiefs. Watkins had 52 catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games in the regular season, but he came on once again in the postseason on the way to a Super Bowl championship. The 26-year-old has just one 1,000-yard receiving season in his six years in the league after being the fourth overall pick of the Bills in 2014. Watkins can have some big games in KC's offense, but they'll be few and far between.

From RotoBaller

Johnathan Abram Apr 3 12:20pm ET

The Las Vegas Raiders signed safety Damarious Randall to a one-year deal worth up to $3.25 million, according to a source. It comes just after a deal for cornerback Eli Apple fell apart. Randall, a first-round pick by the Packers in 2015, had the first 2.5 sacks of his career for the Browns in 11 games last year, also recording 61 tackles (45 solo) and three QB hits. The 2019 season was the only one in his five years that he didn't record an interception, as Randall has 14 career picks in 65 games (56 starts). He'll help shore up the secondary alongside Johnathan Abram in Las Vegas.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Apr 2 10:10pm ET

According to a source, there's "not a chance in hell" that the New England Patriots trade wide receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman does carry a salary cap hit of $9.6 million in 2020, but he's too important to the team's passing game, especially given their lack of depth and with quarterback Tom Brady no longer in town. The veteran receiver was targeted 153 times in 2019 and caught 100 passes for the second time in his career. With Brady gone -- he'll likely have Jarrett Stidham under center this season -- Edelman's fantasy appeal certainly won't be as strong, and he'll also be 34 next month. But he'll still be useful in PPR leagues and could even come at a nice value. However, he won't be as much of a PPR lock as he's been in the past as Brady's favorite aerial weapon.

From RotoBaller

Eli Apple Apr 2 10:10pm ET

The Las Vegas Raiders and cornerback Eli Apple were unable to finalize a contract, according to sources. Apple will remain a free agent and will go back on the open market. The former 10th overall pick by the Giants in the 2016 draft hasn't lived up to his draft pedigree in his four years in the league with New York and New Orleans, but another team will likely be willing to take a chance on him at a low cost. The 24-year-old has just three interceptions in his career and totaled 58 tackles (53 solo), four passes defensed and one forced fumble in 15 games for the Saints in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Jadeveon Clowney Apr 2 10:00pm ET

The New York Jets are interested in free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney now that his asking price has dropped a bit on the open market. Clowney has found a cold market for his services, likely because of the lack of physicals due to the coronavirus and his extensive injury history, but at this point he's in no rush to pick a team. He's willing to wait until he gets the deal that he's seeking as the best pass-rusher available in free agency this late in the game. The Seahawks are interested in bringing him back at the right price, and the Titans have also shown interest. Clowney has never had a double-digit sack season in his career and is an injury risk, but there's no denying that he still has an impact in defending both the run and the pass when he's healthy. This one could drag on.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Apr 2 5:30pm ET

Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil said on NFL Live that he wants to become the league's highest-paid offensive lineman. "Im not going to talk numbers, as Im going to keep that between me and the club. I am looking to be the highest-paid lineman, of course. I worked my butt off to be in that position and hopefully we can make that happen," Tunsil said. The 25-year-old first-round pick of the Dolphins in 2016 was acquired from Miami along with receiver Kenny Stills last year for two first-round picks and a second-rounder. He's an elite left tackle that should easily wind up making around $20 million per season on a long-term deal with the Texans. His presence on the blind side for years to come will be excellent news for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

From RotoBaller

Eric Ebron Apr 2 5:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron (ankle) said he's still not fully recovered from an ankle injury that held him to just 11 games in 2019. Ebron had to have his ankle examined and "cleaned out" by an independent doctor near his home in Houston because of league restrictions keeping players from visiting other organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. The 26-year-old has yet to be examined by the Steelers medical personnel. "If the season started today, I dont think Id be able to 100% perform. But we dont play today," Ebron said. He was a disappointment last year as a TE1 after setting career highs in catches (66), yards (750) and touchdowns (13) in 2018. The 10th overall pick by the Lions in 2014 must get healthy first, but he'll also be competing for targets with Vance McDonald, which will hurt his overall fantasy ceiling in his new home.

From RotoBaller

Bruce Arians Apr 2 2:40pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed quarterback Blaine Gabbert to an undisclosed one-year deal on Thursday, according to a source. Gabbert will serve as the backup to Tom Brady in 2020. The 30-year-old former 10th overall pick of the Jaguars in 2011 will help Brady learn head coach Bruce Arians' system. He didn't see the field at all in 2019, but Gabbert has played in 56 games (48 starts) in his eight years in the NFL with stops in Jacksonville, San Francisco, Arizona and Tennessee. You can obviously ignore Gabbert in all fantasy leagues, and he'd merely be a low-end QB2 option in Tampa if Brady were to get hurt and miss any time.

From RotoBaller

Kevin Stefanski Apr 2 2:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said that offensive tackle Jack Conklin will stay at right tackle in Cleveland. The Browns added Conklin in free agency as they look to improve a dreadful offensive line from a season ago. The eighth overall pick by the Titans in the 2016 draft was a first-team All-Pro in his rookie season and has been one of the better right tackles in the league in his four seasons. The 25-year-old has started all 57 games he's played in and has played in a full 16-game season in three of his four years in the league. Conklin will help bring stability to the right side of the Browns line, but they'll need help elsewhere.

From RotoBaller

Derrick Henry Apr 2 12:50pm ET

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry signed his $10.2 million franchise tender on Thursday, but the two sides are still committed to working on a long-term contract extension before the deadline on July 15. Henry led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards on 303 carries last season, and he was tied for the league lead with Aaron Jones with 16 rushing scores. His 25 receptions left a lot to be desired in PPR leagues, but there's no denying that Henry is the bell-cow running back in one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league. It makes the 26-year-old one of the most desirable RB1 picks for fantasy owners early in drafts.

From RotoBaller

Markus Golden Apr 2 12:50pm ET

Free-agent linebacker Markus Golden is the only player on the open market that had double-digit sacks in 2019. Golden recorded 10 sacks in 16 games last year and was sixth in the league with 27 quarterback hits while being tied for 14th with 13 tackles for a loss. He was believed to be asking for $10 million per season, according to a source, but he won't be getting that now. It's unlikely that New York will re-sign Golden after already adding Kyle Fackrell for one year and $4.6 million. The Giants are likely to add a low-priced veteran later on as they look to boost their pass rush. Golden earned $3.75 million last year and made another $1 million for reaching 10 sacks. The 29-year-old had a good season in 2019, but fantasy owners in IDP leagues shouldn't be expecting a repeat necessarily.

From RotoBaller

Taysom Hill Apr 2 10:15am ET

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said that the uniqueness of quarterback Taysom Hill's role requires the team to have a third quarterback active on game days, and that won't change in 2020 with Teddy Bridgewater now in Carolina. The Saints are likely to look for the best quarterback (rookie or a veteran) that is available to be the No. 3 behind Drew Brees and Hill. New Orleans thinks highly of Hill as the heir apparent to Brees, but he's attempted just 13 passes the last two seasons, including just six attempts despite Brees missing extended time in 2019 with a finger injury. The 29-year-old gadget player won't have any lasting fantasy significance in redraft leagues unless Brees gets injured again or retires.

Tua Tagovailoa Apr 2 10:13am ET

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (hip) said on Wednesday that his surgically repaired hip is fully healed and that he could play in a game at full strength right now. I feel 100 percent, Tagovailoa said in an exclusive interview with NFL Network. I feel like if there was a game today, I'd be able to go out and perform the same way I was able to perform in previous years. I feel as mobile as possible. I feel 100 percent. His agent, Chris Cabott, said that Tagovailoa's doctors have cleared him without restrictions. Tagovailoa is expected to be one of the top picks in this year's draft and the second QB selected after LSU's Joe Burrow, who is expected to go first overall. Tua hasn't said which teams he's met with virtually. The left-handed thrower has some injury risks, but he's extremely accurate and athletic and could be starting games in 2020 for whichever team selects him.

Markus Golden Apr 2 9:33am ET

Free-agent LB Markus Golden is unlikely to return to the New York Giants because he's asking for too much money, according to a source. Golden is believed to be asking for north of $10 million per year.

Fantasy Spin: If Golden is classified as a defensive lineman, he rates as a midrange DL1 option in IDP leagues. He had 72 total tackles and 9.5 sacks last year. He's a flex option at linebacker wherever he lands.

From TheHuddle

Aldon Smith Apr 2 8:13am ET

Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys LB Aldon Smith will have a $2 million base salary and can earn $2 million more in sack incentives.

From TheHuddle

Carson Wentz Apr 1 11:23pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz was hurried 67 times in 2019 - tied with Derek Carr for the second-highest total in the league.

From TheHuddle

Derek Carr Apr 1 11:23pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr was hurried 67 times in 2019 - tied with Carson Wentz for the second-highest total in the league.

From TheHuddle