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Bears WR Anthony Miller to get shoulder surgery

Monday, January 14, 2019, 2:22pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller will undergo shoulder surgery this offseason, general manager Ryan Pace said Monday during the team’s end-of-year press conference.

Fantasy Impact:

Miller injured his shoulder in Week 17’s season finale against the Vikings but recovered in time to play in the Bears’ wild card playoff game against the Eagles. It was the second time Miller suffered a shoulder injury in 2018, the other in Week 3, and was a continuation of shoulder ailments he struggled through in college.

Elway: Broncos QB Case Keenum a 'short-term fix'

Monday, January 14, 2019, 2:17pm

CBS Sports - [Full Article]

John Elway offered more specificity about Case Keenum's future.

"[W]e've got to -- Case is probably a short-term fix -- find the long-term guy for us," Elway told Peter King of "Football Morning in America." "When we do find that guy, we've got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there. This is our fourth offense in probably three or four years. Quarterbacks need to be developed. You don't find one ready-made. We got to have a solid system in place for when we do go after whatever guy it may be, a young guy or a trade or whatnot."

Fantasy Impact:

Former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was named the new coach last week and said during his introductory press conference that Keenum is his quarterback "right now," the story said. Denver was 5-11 in 2017 while going 6-10 this past season with Keenum.

Rice: Steelers WR Antonio Brown wants to play for 49ers 'really bad'

Monday, January 14, 2019, 2:11pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Hall of Famer Jerry Rice said Monday during a radio interview that disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown wants to play for the San Francisco 49ers "really bad."

Fantasy Impact:

The Steelers would absorb $21.12 million in 2019 dead money on the salary cap by trading Brown, who has notched six consecutive 100-catch seasons -- but taking his $22.165 million cap charge off the books would offset that cost. Brown enters the third year of a five-year, $72.7 million extension signed before the 2017 season.

Eagles WR Golden Tate said he would like to come back

Monday, January 14, 2019, 2:06pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

Set to be a free agent, Golden Tate gathered with reporters before his exit interview at the Nova Care Complex, and he sounded like a guy who wouldn’t mind returning to the Eagles.

Tate went on to elaborate more, telling reporters that if he can’t come back to Philly, he’d prefer to sign with a winner over chasing the most money.

Fantasy Impact:

Tate sounds like he would take less money to go to a contender, or perhaps stay in Philly. He said he feels his time is limited and he wants to win now. Keep in mind, the Eagles admitted they had a hard time fitting Tate into the offense when the team acquired him from the Lions.

Eagles Beat: Feels like QB Nick Foles will move on

Monday, January 14, 2019, 12:03pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

There is a very real chance this was Nick Foles' last night in an Eagles uniform. He has earned the right to be a starter in this league through guiding Philly to a title last year and a late-season surge this year. That opportunity will likely come elsewhere. Barring a big change in plans, Carson Wentz is the QB the franchise plans to hitch its wagon to. Foles can become a free agent this offseason if the Eagles don't place the franchise tag on him.

Related players: Nate Sudfeld

Fantasy Impact:

Foles' postgame comments sure sounded like he'll be moving on, whether he's traded or becomes a free agent will remain to be seen. Had the Eagles moved on to the Super Bowl, there may have been some hard decisions to make for the franchise. However, it looks like 2019 will see Wentz as the starter with Sudfeld as the backup.

Cowboys plan to keep coaching staff for 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019, 10:13am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

After the Cowboys’ disappointing playoff exit against the Rams, questions were raised about whether offensive coordinator Scott Linehan could be on the way out. Head coach Jason Garrett answered those questions today.

Garrett said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that he plans to retain Linehan and everyone else on his coaching staff for the 2019 season.

Fantasy Impact:

Linehan just completed his fifth year on Garrett’s staff. He has taken plenty of criticism for failing to change with the times and continuing to run an offense that looks a lot like the offense he’s been running throughout his coaching career. As long as he continues to have Garrett’s confidence, however, he continues to have a job, the story added.

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald taking time to decide future

Monday, January 14, 2019, 10:10am - [Full Article]

The Arizona Cardinals are journeying down a new path with coach Kliff Kingsbury. One lingering question is whether Larry Fitzgerald will return for another walkabout in the desert.

Fitzgerald told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Sunday that he plans to take his time before deciding about his future.

"There's a checklist I always go through and sometimes I'm able to get to my conclusion faster than others," Fitzgerald said, via the Arizona Republic. "I have to do my due diligence in terms of just taking some time to let your body heal because when you're sore and your fingers are broken, it's easy to say, 'Man, I just don't want to do this anymore. My body's hurting.' You have to give yourself some time to decompress and take a step back."

Fantasy Impact:

Fitzgerald is set to be a free agent in 2019, but the 35-year-old reiterated he plans to play for no organization other than Arizona if he keeps his career going. Like most of the Cardinals offense, Fitzgerald had a down year by his standards, earning 69 catches and a career-low 734 yards with six touchdowns while helping buoy rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. The future Hall of Fame receiver said he plans to sit down with owner Michael Bidwill and the rest of the team brass before deciding whether to take on a 16th NFL season.

Seahawks Beat: Extending QB Russell Wilson will be big priority

Monday, January 14, 2019, 10:08am

Seattle Times - [Full Article]

Russell Wilson has just one year left on his contract before free agency. The Seahawks’ efforts to lock him up before the season begins eventually will take center stage, once they figure out what to do with Frank Clark, K.J. Wright and a few others.

To my way of thinking, if the Seahawks come to training camp in July with Wilson safely in fold, contentedly extended for three or four or five years, it will have been a productive offseason.

Fantasy Impact:

The story went on to say, on the flip side the last thing the team needs is a disgruntled QB with an unsettled contract situation entering a promising 2019 campaign. But, Wilson would likely play out his final year without issue being the pro he is, however the Seahawks surely don't want to let Wilson become a free agent. The story compared the situation to former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, who got a mega-contract he couldn't refuse and left the Seattle Mariners.

Colts K Adam Vinatieri leaning toward returning - if wanted

Monday, January 14, 2019, 9:57am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

After their loss to the Chiefs in the divisional round, Adam Vinatieri said he needed some time to think, but was leaning toward coming back.

“If they’re wanting, I can’t imagine (I’d) not keep playing, you know?” Vinatieri said, via Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star. “I haven’t made the decision yet. I’ll spend a week or two and just kind of see where we’re at.”

Fantasy Impact:

Vinatieri is a free agent, and the oldest player in the league. He’s also the highest-scoring player in the history of the game, having passed Morten Andersen this year. As the story said, it’s not as if he’s not still getting it done, as he hit 23-of-27 field goals this year, an 85.2 percent mark that’s over his career average (84.3). He also made four field goals from 50 yards or longer, though he’s been dealing with some injuries over the second half of the season. He missed two kicks in the snow Saturday, which gave him pause, and that’s why he wants some time to think.

Broncos Beat: 2018 rookie class gives reason for optimism

Monday, January 14, 2019, 9:47am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Best rookie: The Broncos had plenty of candidates here, including Bradley Chubb (first round) and wide receiver Courtland Sutton (second round) -- they were 1-2 among Denver's rookies as each played more than 800 snaps this season -- but undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay is the pick. Lindsay, who missed the finale after wrist surgery, finished ninth in the league in rushing (1,037 yards) and was second in the league in yards per carry (5.4). He was the most consistent player in the Broncos' offense.

Related players: DaeSean Hamilton

Fantasy Impact:

The story gave the nod to Hamilton as the most improved rookie. He didn't have a catch the first six games out of seven but then became a reliable target to finish up the season. Sutton, a second round pick, also showed flashes, especially through the first half of the season, but from a fantasy standpoint, he perhaps disappointed a little toward the end of the year when Demaryius Thomas was traded and Emmanuel Sanders was hurt and Sutton was expected to be a top target. Both Hamilton and Sutton will be in the mix as potential top targets in 2019.

Chargers TE Antonio Gates wants to return

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 9:25pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Don't close the book on Antonio Gates' NFL career just yet.

The 38-year-old tight end, who played this season on a one-year contract, said he wants to return for a 17th season with the Los Angeles Chargers.

"I just don't see myself walking away with this taste," Gates said after his team's 41-28 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday. "And plus this team. I think when you add Hunter [Henry] back, and hopefully we get Jason Verrett back -- shoot, the sky's the limit. And I want to be a part of it.

Fantasy Impact:

As the story said, the Chargers told Gates he wouldn't be needed in 2018 thanks to what was expected to be the emergence of Henry, but Henry tore his ACL and Gates was needed again. With Henry now poised for a big 2019, even if Gates is back it probably doesn't mean he'll have a lot of fantasy value.

Eagles G Brandon Brooks tears Achilles

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 9:18pm

CBS Sports - [Full Article]

Brandon Brooks is believed to have suffered a torn Achilles, Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Fantasy Impact:

Brooks was headed to the Pro Bowl this year and it was a big loss for the Eagles against the Saints. As the story said, he'll be a question mark to start the 2019 season this fall.

Brown to name Steve Wilks as defensive coordinator

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 9:14pm

Ian Rapoport on Twitter - [Full Article]

The Browns are expected to hire former Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks as their new defensive coordinator, sources say.

Fantasy Impact:

They are close on a deal and it should be done Monday. It's a big hire for new coach Freddie Kitchens, Rapoport said. Wilks struggled with the Cards as the HC, but his defense in Carolina was solid before taking the Arizona job last year.

Browns hire Todd Monken as offensive coordinator

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 8:16pm

Adam Schefter - [Full Article]

Browns are hiring former Buccaneers’ OC Todd Monken as their OC, per league source.

Fantasy Impact:

Monken called the plays for the Bucs for all but one game (Week 10's 16-3 loss to the Washington Redskins), and the Bucs averaged 315 passing yards, 95 rushing yards and 26.2 points per game while he was calling plays. However, new head coach Freddie Kitchens will probably retain play-calling duties in Cleveland after a successful run as the team's play-caller in the second half of the season. Monken should be a good sounding board for Kitchens and QB Baker Mayfield.

Bears hire Chuck Pagano to run the defense

Friday, January 11, 2019, 9:36pm

Chicago Tribune - [Full Article]

The Bears needed just two days to find their replacement after defensive coordinator Vic Fangio left to coach the Broncos.

Coach Matt Nagy announced Friday night he hired former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano to step into the team’s top defensive role. Pagano has 16 years of NFL coaching experience, most recently as the Colts coach from 2012-17.

Pagano, 58, was the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2011, when they went 12-4 and ranked third in total defense, third in points allowed, second against the run, fourth against the pass and third in sacks. Before that he served as defensive backs coach for the Ravens, Raiders and Browns.

Fantasy Impact:

As the story mentions, Pagano guided the Ravens to the No. 3 overall finish in 2011 before jetting to Indianapolis to take over the Colts. There, his defenses finished higher than No. 20 just once (in 2014) in six seasons. Otherwise, the defense was a perennial problem. Given all the talent on that side of the ball, the Bears should be fine defensively.