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McDaniels: Patriots WR Josh Gordon picking up offense

Monday, September 24, 2018, 3:53pm

MassLive - [Full Article]

Considering the laundry list of past Patriot wide receivers whose New England careers were undone in part by the team's complex playbook, it's fair to wonder whether Josh Gordon will ultimately suffer the same fate.

But according to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the system won't be Gordon's undoing. Less than a week into his New England tenure, Gordon's proven behind closed doors he can handle the offense.

"I'm not worried at all about Josh's ability to pick up our system. He's already demonstrated an ability to do that." McDaniels said Monday via conference call. "I think he'll be fine, and the guys we have are doing the same thing."

Fantasy Impact:

The story said the fact that Gordon traveled with the team could very well show just how much he has caught on. The story speculated Gordon could be in action Week 4, if the hamstring continues to heal.

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has torn ACL

Monday, September 24, 2018, 3:47pm

Star Tribune - [Full Article]

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will need season-ending surgery on his injured left knee.

The 49ers said Monday that an MRI confirmed the team's fears that Garoppolo tore his ACL while making a cut late in a loss at Kansas City. The injury deals a serious blow to the 49ers (1-2), who had planned their rebuild around Garoppolo.

Now San Francisco must go through the season with C.J. Beathard at quarterback.

Fantasy Impact:

He could also have MCL damage other reports say. The Niners struggled with Beathard last season before the midseason addition of Garoppolo changed their fortunes. One bit of good news could be Carson Wentz's return from his ACL injury, which came in about 10 months. A similar time frame could potentially have Jimmy G back late next summer. But for 2018, the rest of the offense takes a hit in the fantasy world.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead leaves Sunday night with neck injury

Monday, September 24, 2018, 3:40pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Veteran running back Rex Burkhead left the game in the third quarter with a neck injury and never returned.

Related players: Sony Michel, James White

Fantasy Impact:

Burkhead had just seven snaps according to the story. Michel got a bulk of the work but wasn't totally impressive against the Lions. The Pats will continue to play short at WR and RB in Week 4 especially if Burkhead is unable to recover from this injury. Michel is certainly worth picking up if he's out there on your wire.

Patriots Beat: Team could use more from RB Sony Michel

Monday, September 24, 2018, 3:36pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The New England Patriots have limited options in the passing game, so it would be nice for them to be able to turn to the rushing attack to help alleviate some of the shortcomings.

That’s why Sunday night against the Detroit Lions had a chance to be rookie running back Sony Michel’s coming-out-party, but instead, it mostly served up a reminder that the first-round draft choice has some ground to make up to getting back to being an explosive playmaker after missing all of the preseason and the regular-season opener.

Fantasy Impact:

Michel played 23 of 48 offensive snaps, and had an overall underwhelming night as he was stopped on two different third-and-1 plays in the first half, and dropped a pass in the second half. The Patriots still stuck with him as their primary option in the second half, over the more experienced James White, who ended up seeing his playing time spike (25 snaps) at the end of the game when the Patriots were clearly in pass-first mode. Veteran running back Rex Burkhead (seven snaps) left the game in the third quarter with a neck injury and never returned.

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (hamstring) says he's day-to-day

Monday, September 24, 2018, 3:33pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The Vikings had six carries for 14 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Bills. They could use Dalvin Cook, who was inactive with a hamstring injury.

The second-year running back called himself “day to day” for this week, Courtney Cronin of ESPN reports.

Fantasy Impact:

The problem is the Vikings have a short week, with a Thursday night game against the Rams. Cook said he feels good, giving him a “good chance” to play. But Cook said over the weekend that he “definitely” would return this week. He also had expressed optimism about playing in Week 3 before missing practice last week.

Report: Jets show interest in Steeler RB Le'Veon Bell

Monday, September 24, 2018, 3:30pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Talk that the Steelers could trade unsigned franchise running back LeVeon Bell continues, and at least one interested team has been identified.

The Jets have reached out to the Steelers about trading for Bell, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports.

What would it take to get a deal done? Presumably the Steelers wouldn’t trade Bell for anything less than the compensatory pick they would get if he leaves in free agency next year. That pick would likely be a 2020 third-round pick, so the Jets would at least have to offer something better than that.

Fantasy Impact:

Keep in mind even if the trade was pulled off, Bell would have to come in and learn the playbook and could potentially leave in the offseason. The Jets would likely want some kind of insurance Bell would want to remain with the team. As we reported earlier today in a story about the future of the Jets WRs, the team is expected to have about $90 million in cap space next year.

Vrabel: Still throws Titans QB Marcus Mariota can't make

Monday, September 24, 2018, 2:39pm

Jim Wyatt on Twitter - [Full Article]

Vrabel: Still throws Marcus Mariota can't make, and Titans will work around it.

Related players: Blaine Gabbert

Fantasy Impact:

Vrabel added he hopes the whole package can come back this week for the Titans and they can open up their playbook. It seems, based on this, we can at least conclude Mariota should be out there for Week 4 with Gabbert suffering from a concussion. The Titans will play the Eagles, however, in what will be a tough matchup.

Browns officially name Baker Mayfield starting QB

Monday, September 24, 2018, 1:12pm

Tom Pelissero on Twitter - [Full Article]

Browns coach Hue Jackson: "I informed the group this morning that we're going to start Baker Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor will be the backup if healthy."

Fantasy Impact:

Taylor wasn't at practice, according to reports today, because of a concussion, but the Browns were likely moving to Mayfield regardless as he led them to a come-from-behind win over the Jets last Thursday night.

Eagles expect to have RBs Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles for Week 4

Monday, September 24, 2018, 12:51pm

Jeff McLane on Twitter - [Full Article]

Doug Pederson: Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are still day to day, but he expects both back this Sunday, barring any setbacks.

Related players: Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood

Fantasy Impact:

Ajayi should slide back into the RB1 role upon his return. Last week Clement and Smallwood pretty much split lead-back carries against the Colts. The return of Ajayi and Sproles means Smallwood's fantasy value takes the biggest hit as he'll fall to the RB4.

Steelers Beat: Team, RB Le'Veon Bell appear to be moving on

Monday, September 24, 2018, 12:32pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The thought of LeVeon Bell entering the Pittsburgh Steelers' locker room at any time this season -- or perhaps ever again -- is almost laughable right now.

The report from ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Steelers are now listening to trade offers is the latest development in a story trending toward a quick and painless divorce, if it hasn't happened already.

Both sides appear to be moving on, at least mentally. That the Steelers are open for business would only reinforce that belief.

Related players: James Conner

Fantasy Impact:

The Steelers don't want to go through this again next year, and Bell knows that. The team has options if Bell continues to sit. Article 10, Section 15 of the collective bargaining agreement states that if a franchise player doesn't play in a league year, the team "shall have the right" to designate him as a franchise player once again, though once that tag is in place, the draft compensation in a trade would drop from two first-round picks to a first- and a third-round pick. That's a right the Steelers "shall" not take. Bell is making this so difficult that only pettiness from the franchise would keep him around next year.

The story added a trade doesn't make sense because the team getting him inherits the franchise tag. Besides, Bell's goal seems to be to get to free agency.

The story also added, as one NFL general manager said, teams won't want to A) meet Bell's demands for $15-plus million per year with a big guarantee, B) give up big draft capital for a running back, and C) deal with the franchise tag dynamics to do so. Maybe a team would accept A or B, but all three is asking a lot.

Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery 'getting closer'

Monday, September 24, 2018, 12:19pm - [Full Article]

Are the Eagles finally getting back their No. 1 receiver?


Alshon Jeffery has yet to be cleared for contact, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said on Monday at NovaCare Complex, and so his status for Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans remains in question.

Pederson said Monday that Jeffery is "getting close" to coming back into the lineup.

Fantasy Impact:

As expected, Jeffery didn't play against the Colts in Week 3, though he was upgraded from being declared "out" the last two weeks to "questionable" on the final injury report two days before the game. Reports before the game indicated he might return in Week 4.

Browns QB Tyrod Taylor (concussion) not on practice field Monday

Monday, September 24, 2018, 12:17pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, quarterback Tyrod Taylor is not on the practice field with the rest of the team today, after suffering a concussion in last Thursday’s game against the Jets.

Related players: Baker Mayfield

Fantasy Impact:

As the story said, the Browns are expected to name Mayfield the starter today after leading the team from behind to beat the Jets last Thursday night.

Giants TE Evan Engram (knee) week-to-week

Monday, September 24, 2018, 11:29am

Adam Schefter on Twitter - [Full Article]

Giants' TE Evan Engram sprained his MCL and will be considered week to week, per source.

Related players: Rhett Ellison

Fantasy Impact:

While things could have been worse, one would have to assume Engram could possibly miss this week. We also reported yesterday Ellison is more of a blocking TE so may not be a quick option to fill in behind Engram on your fantasy team for those in a bind.

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert becomes part of offense

Monday, September 24, 2018, 9:45am - [Full Article]

Sunday, Dallas Goedert played 55 snaps, most inline as a tight end, some out of the slot and even three split out wide. He was targeted early and often, and finished by catching all seven of his targets for 73 yards and that one touchdown. The Eagles often used three tight ends, even at the same time, with Goedert, Joshua Perkins and star Zach Ertz.

Fantasy Impact:

Goedert only played 17 snaps in each of the first two weeks. In Week 2, he wasn't even targeted. This despite a nice preseason and camp where he was a top target in that time. With all the injuries on offense for the Birds, the team needs Goedert to emerge. The story feels Goedert should continue to play a vital role even with the return of WR Alshon Jeffery.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski said he'd retire before accepting trade

Monday, September 24, 2018, 9:39am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski confirmed on Sunday night that he threatened to retire in April when he got word that the Lions were trying to acquire him in a trade.

Asked after the Patriots lost to the Lions about the report that he put the kibosh on a trade between the two teams, Gronkowski confirmed that he did.

“Yeah, it happened,” Gronkowski said.

Fantasy Impact:

Gronk said he only wants to play for QB Tom Brady. Although he’s only 29 years old, Gronkowski has indicated that he won’t play in the NFL much longer. And he apparently won’t play at all without Brady. So he has effectively blocked the Patriots from trading him by saying that if he does get traded, he won’t show up to the team that acquires him.