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Panthers QB Cam Newton 'getting the bulk of first-team reps' on Thursday

Thursday, December 18, 2014, 12:48pm

Steve Reed, Twitter - [Full Article]

Panthers beat writer Steve Reed: Cam Newton getting the bulk of first-team reps today at practice during the session that was open to the media... Looking more and more like Cam Newton will start against the Browns based off what I saw at practice today.

Fantasy Impact:

It appears that Newton is on track to face the Browns, who are #3 in QB aFPA.

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Giants Beat: WR Odell Beckham is the 'total package'

Thursday, December 18, 2014, 11:44am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Giants beat writer Dan Graziano on WR Odell Beckham: ...what we're watching with Beckham on a weekly basis (a daily one, in fact, when you take into account his practice antics) is a player gifted with such raw athleticism that he stands out on a field whose other occupants are also world-class athletes. He's impressive in all facets. He runs great routes. He has great hands. He plays bigger than his 5-foot-11 size would indicate, because he has the ability to outjump defenders and locate the ball in the air before they do. He has the blazing speed you've seen. Really, from a raw talent standpoint, he's the total package. What he's doing is even more incredible due to the facts that he missed all of training camp and the first four games of the season with a hamstring injury, and that he and Victor Cruz played only two games together. Eli Manning is targeting Beckham pretty much all the time, and it's working. Expect to see a lot of him.

Fantasy Impact:

Since his season started in Week 5, Beckham is the #2 fantasy receiver, averaging 7.1 catches for 97 yards and 0.9 TD. He will be drafted in the 1st or 2nd round in 2015 fantasy drafts.

La Canfora: Case Keenum expected to start for Texans in Week 16

Thursday, December 18, 2014, 10:53am

Jason La Canfora, Twitter - [Full Article]

Texans HC Bill O'Brien is delaying an official announcement as long as possible but every expectation Case Keenum starts vs. Ravens on Sunday.

Fantasy Impact:

Andre Johnson averaged 6.9 catches for 100 yards and 0.6 TD (on nearly 12 targets) in the eight games in which Keenum played last season. DeAndre Hopkins' numbers were relatively unchanged with Keenum under center.

Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (knee) was '85, 90 percent' in Week 15

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 7:31pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

After averaging 27.48 yards per catch from Weeks 5-9, Redskins WR DeSean Jackson has cooled off. Since that time, he's averaged 12.36 yards on 14 catches -- though he was missed on two deep balls vs. Tampa Bay in Week 11.

His knee injury hasn't helped.

"Just trying to get back to 100 percent," Jackson said. "Last week I was 85, 90 percent so hopefully this week I'll feel better."

What he doesn't feel like doing is talking about the Eagles.

"I just don't really care too much for it," he said. "The first game was the first time playing them. Now a whole season went on. They're playing and I'm playing here. I don't put too much energy into that and outside of that I don't care too much about it."

Fantasy Impact:

His owners are hoping for a repeat of the 5-117-1 line he posted on 11 targets back in Week 3, but Jackson has had one good game since the team's bye in Week 10. His comments make it sound as if he's not too focused on the revenge factor, but we find that a little hard to believe. The Redskins have a chance to knock the Eagles out of the playoff hunt, so they should be plenty motivated even in the middle of a dysfunctional season.

Texans won't reveal starting quarterback until Sunday

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 7:21pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien isn't revealing who will start at quarterback Sunday against the Ravens.

The Texans can go with Case Keenum, who was signed this week off of the St. Louis Rams practice squad and went 0-8 as a starter for the Texans last season, or they can start mobile former Buffalo Bills quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.

"We're not going to publicly name who's starting," O'Brien said during a conference call with Baltimore reporters Wednesday. "We'll let everybody see that when the game starts."

Fantasy Impact:

The Texans don't hold much of an advantage in this situation, but they do have the element of surprise. We would guess that Thaddeus Lewis gets the nod since he has been with the team longer, but Case Keenum had some success with Andre Johnson in 2013 and knows the offense well.

Bills expected to activate RB C.J. Spiller this week

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 7:17pm

Buffalo Bills - [Full Article]

He was practicing with his teammates on Wednesday, much as he had for each of the past two weeks. The only difference now is he’s been medically cleared for contact. C.J. Spiller has not yet been added to the 53-man roster from his I-R Designated to return status, but it’s anticipated that will take place later in the week.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone liked the way Spiller performed in practice Wednesday.

“I’m not going to sit up here and see he didn’t look good. He looked good, but he’s still working his way back into the football part of it,” Marrone said.

Fantasy Impact:

The Bills are still alive in the playoff hunt, but they'll need some help to make the postseason. If Spiller does play, he probably won't have a big role in his first game back, though he could take over most of the touches that Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown have been getting in the last few weeks. They have combined for 12.0 touches in the last four weeks, so we would expect that would be Spiller's ceiling with Fred Jackson continue to carry the load as the team's primary back.

Saints add kicker Dustin Hopkins to practice squad

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 7:10pm

nola.com - [Full Article]

The New Orleans Saints have added a second kicker and stowed him on the practice squad, an unusual move that raises questions about the future of starter Shayne Graham.

The Saints signed Dustin Hopkins and placed him on their 10-man practice squad on Wednesday. That could mean the Saints are considering Hopkins as an active-roster option in the final two games of 2014 or are giving him an extended tryout with an eye toward 2015.

Fantasy Impact:

This doesn't have significant fantasy impact, but Graham owners should be aware that his job may be in jeopardy. It wouldn't be shocking if the Saints decided to use Hopkins as their kicker as soon as Week 16.

Ravens TE Owen Daniels motivated to face his old team

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 7:08pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Baltimore Ravens tight end Owen Daniels remembers receiving the sheet of paper from the Houston Texans informing him of his release. Recounting the situation Wednesday, Daniels said there was a check mark by "wasn't good enough" on why the Texans were releasing him.

"I have [the sheet] with me in the house," Daniels said. "I don't have it up in my locker. I can see it. I have a decent memory."

"Obviously, when you work somewhere for so long and they say you're not good enough to play there anymore and you get a chance to play them that following season, you definitely want to prove to them that they made a mistake," Daniels said. "But I've been trying to do that all season with my play, and not just in this one game."

Fantasy Impact:

This is the #OldTeamTheorem that Senior Editor John Paulsen always discusses on Twitter. It doesn't always pan out, but when looking for streaming/desperation options, it never hurts to start a player who is motivated to stick it to his old team.

Report: Bears bench Jay Cutler for Jimmy Clausen

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 6:57pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Enough is finally enough for the Chicago Bears.

After weeks of offensive futility, the team has benched starting quarterback Jay Cutler in favor of backup Jimmy Clausen prior to Sunday's contest against the Detroit Lions, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, according to two sources informed of the situation.

Fantasy Impact:

Cutler owners who are still alive are going to have to find another option this week, and Clausen isn't an attractive start. He has a career 5.2 YPA and it's a difficult matchup against the Lions. It's a downgrade for the entire offense, including Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. On the flip side, the Lions defense is still a very strong play in Week 16.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot, questionable) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Bortles has a foot injury, but is expected to start on Thursday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady (ankle) practiced fully Wednesday. No worries here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm

Eagles QB Nick Foles (collarbone) was ruled out for Week 16. Mark Sanchez hasn’t played well the last two weeks, but he has a great matchup with Washington, who is #30 in QB aFPA.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm

Titans QB Zach Mettenberger (right shoulder, doubtful) did not practice Wednesday. Charlie Whitehurst is expected to get the start on Thursday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm

Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Newton might be able to play against Cleveland this week if his back responds well to practice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related) did not practice Wednesday. No worries here — Big ben is probably just getting a day of rest.