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Footballguys #244 - 12/21 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #244 -- Friday Night, December 21st, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Welcome to Saturday. We've got some News and Notes for ou so let's get to it.

J


1. PIT - WR JuJu Smith-Schuster questionable

Source: Steelers.com - Teresa Varley

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (groin) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is listed as questionable for Week 16.

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Smith-Schuster did not speak to the media in an ominous turn to this situation. James Washington would become a WR3/Flex consideration if Smith-Schuster is out, but Ben Roethlisberger's outlook would take a hit.

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2. PIT - RB James Conner to sit Week 16

Source: Steelers.com

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints.

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Jaylen Samuels is facing a good rushing defense this week, but his receiving prowess keeps him in the strong RB2 tier at New Orleans.

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3. LAR - RB C.J. Anderson next man up for LA Rams?

Source: TheRams.com - Clarence Dennis

Los Angeles Rams RB C.J. Anderson could play a role as early as this week, according to head coach Sean McVay, and 'all indications' point to Anderson being the first back off the bench if Todd Gurley is unable to play in Week 16 against the Arizona Cardinals.

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This has been confirmed by multiple beat writers. Anderson, not John Kelly, is the back to carry and plug in if Gurley is ruled out Sunday.

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4. SEA - RB Chris Carson on track to play

Source: Seahawks.com - John Boyle

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is not on the injury report for Week 16.

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Carson is a strong RB2 play this week with Rashaad Penny not 100% and the Chiefs defense struggling to stop the run at times.

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5. LAC - RB Austin Ekeler a no-go for Week 16

Source: Chargers.com

Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (neck) has been ruled out for Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens.

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Justin Jackson will back up Melvin Gordon, but he's only a deep desperation play this week.

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6. ATL - WR Julio Jones will be game-time call

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com - Will McFadden

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip, ribs) will be a game-time decision in Week 16, head coach Dan Quinn said Friday, Dec. 21.

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If Jones can't go, Matt Ryan will take a hit, but Calvin Ridley moves into WR2/WR3 range - he scored in the first matchup - and Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper also look like better plays.

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7. NYG - WR Odell Beckham Jr. to miss another game

Source: Giants.com

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (quadriceps) on Friday, Dec. 21, was ruled out for Week 16.

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Sterling Shepard could be a decent play at Indianapolis this week with Russell Shepard also out, and Evan Engram is a top tight end play with Beckham on the bench.

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8. SEA - Seattle's Week 16 injury report

Source: Seahawks.com - John Boyle

Seattle Seahawks S Tedric Thompson (ankle, chest) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and has been ruled out for Week 16. OG D.J. Fluker (hamstring), S Bradley McDougald (knee), DT Jarran Reed (groin, oblique), LB Tyler Ott (illness) and OT Germain Ifedi (groin) did not participated in practice and are listed as questionable. DT Shamar Stephen (foot) and LB K.J. Wright (knee) were limited during practice but are not on the injury report. S Maurice Alexander (concussion), CB Shaquill Griffin (hip), DE Dion Jordan (knee), OT Duane Brown (non-injury) and DE Frank Clark (elbow) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

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The Seahawks secondary is banged up at a bad time with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs passing attack coming to town.

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9. SEA - Full practice for WR Doug Baldwin

Source: Seahawks.com - John Boyle

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (hip) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is not on the injury report for Week 16.

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Baldwin seemed to have mounting injuries a few weeks ago, but has gotten healthier and comes into a great matchup with Kansas City with his best game of the season last week vs. San Francisco big in the rear view mirror.

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10. GB - QB Aaron Rodgers set for Week 16

Source: Packers.com

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (knee, groin) practiced in full for a third straight day and he is off the injury report.

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Rodgers still not an obvious QB1 after the recent slump of the Packers offense and Rodgers erratic performances as a passer.

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11. GB - WR Randall Cobb doubtful for Week 16

Source: Packers.com

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (concussion) did not practice Friday, Dec. 21 and he is listed as doubtful for Week 16 against the New York Jets.

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Rookies Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown should get more snaps with Cobb out, but only Davante Adams is startable from this pass offense.

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12. HOU - RB Lamar Miller questionable for Week 16

Source: HoustonTexans.com

Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller (ankle) was limited in practice for a third straight day Friday, Dec. 21 and he is listed as questionable for Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Miller isn't trustworthy coming off of a game that he left early and getting in no full practices this week. It is still possible that he is inactive and Alfred Blue gets the start, but Blue has a low ceiling as a runner.

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13. HOU - WR DeAndre Hopkins does limited work

Source: HoustonTexans.com

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) was listed as a limited participant in practice Friday, Dec. 21 and he is considered questionable for Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Hopkins is likely to play and certainly not a player that should ever be on the bench when active. As he said last week, one leg or not, he still has two hands.

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14. OAK - WR Jordy Nelson practices in full

Source: Raiders.com

Oakland Raiders WR Jordy Nelson (foot) was able to practice in full Friday, Dec. 21.

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Nelson could be a solid WR3/Flex in PPR leagues this week. He and Derek Carr are riffing well and Carr was very accurate against a much better Broncos pass defense in Week 2 on the road.

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15. SF - RB Matt Breida a limited participant

Source: 49ers.com

San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida (ankle) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is not on the injury report for Week 16.

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Breida has a tough matchup against the Bears, but should be worth a flex start with his iron man constitution and fit in the Kyle Shanahan running game.

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16. DET - Limited work for WR Kenny Golladay

Source: DetroitLions.com

Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay (chest) was able to practice on a limited basis Friday, Dec. 21 and he is listed as questionable for Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings.

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Golladay bounced back in a big way last week, but will have a tough matchup against Xavier Rhodes this week. His demonstrated upside still merits a WR3/Flex start at worst as long as he is active.

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17. JAX - RB Leonard Fournette not on injury report

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (foot) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is not on the injury report for Week 16.

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Fournette is still a risky RB2 this week despite the great matchup. The Jaguars offense has been sputtering and the team showed an inclination to play rookie David Williams in the second half last week.

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18. KC - Week 16 injury report for Kansas City

Source: Chiefs.com - B.J. Kissel

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (foot) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 16 versus the Seattle Seahawks. RB Spencer Ware (hamstring) practiced in a limited fashion all week but is listed as doubtful. CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) was upgraded to a limited practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is listed as questionable. OT Mitchell Schwartz (knee), S Eric Berry (heel), OG Cameron Erving (knee), WR Tyreek Hill (heel) and DT Derrick Nnadi (tailbone) fully participated in practice Friday and no longer appear on the injury report.

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With Ware doubtful, Damien Williams is a safe RB2 with RB1 upside in fantasy championships.

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19. MIA - RB Kalen Ballage on track to play

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage (hip) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is not on the injury report for Week 16.

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Ballage is a boom/bust RB2 this week in a tough matchup against the Jaguars. He showed last week that he's explosive enough to take any touch to the house.

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20. ARI - CB Patrick Peterson 50-50 for Week 16

Source: AZCardinals.com

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson (illness) wasn't seen during the open portion of practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is listed as questionable for Week 16 against the Los Angeles Rams.

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If Peterson can't go on Sunday, it would be a huge upgrade for Brandin Cooks, but we might not know for sure until after the early games have kicked off.

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21. IND - TE Eric Ebron not on injury report

Source: Colts.com

Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron (quadriceps) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is not on the injury report for Week 16.

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Ebron was a dud in a low volume and poor execution game last week, but is still a strong TE1 this week in a good matchup against the Giants.

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22. CHI - Kyle Long returns to practice

Source: Chicago Tribune - Rich Campbell

Chicago Bears OG Kyle Long (foot, ankle) was designated as one of the team's two players to return from the Reserve/Injured list and practiced for the first time Friday, Dec. 21, since injuring his right foot and ankle Oct. 28.

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This could be a big boost for the running game and offense in general for the playoffs, but Long isn't going to return in time to help fantasy teams.

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23. CLE - TE David Njoku on track to play

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (knee, thigh) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and is not on the injury report for Week 16.

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Njoku has a good matchup against Cincinnati and deserves low TE1 consideration for the finals.

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24. CHI - Chicago's Week 16 injury report

Source: ChicagoBears.com

Chicago Bears SS Eddie Jackson (ankle) and LB Aaron Lynch (elbow) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 21, and are listed as doubtful for Week 16. DT Bilal Nichols (knee) was limited during practice and is listed as questionable. DT Akiem Hicks (illness) fully participated in practice and is not on the injury report.

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Give Nick Mullens and the 49ers passing game a small bump and the Bears D/ST a small ding with the news that Jackson is out, but not enough to materially change Week 16 decisions.

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25. MIN - ILB Eric Kendricks ruled out

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press - Chris Tomasson

Minnesota Vikings LB Eric Kendricks (hamstring) on Friday, Dec. 21, was ruled out for Week 16.

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If the Lions offense had a running back worth starting, this would be good news for that theoretical back.

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26. BUF - RB LeSean McCoy ready for Week 16

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is 'ready to go' in Week 16, head coach Sean McDermott said Friday, Dec. 21.

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McCoy was productive as a receiver in the first matchup and he also has been good against the Patriots during his time as a Bill. He'll be worth flex consideration this week.

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27. CAR - TE Greg Olsen not at end of line

Source: The Athletic - Joe Person

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot), currently on the season-ending Reserve/Injured list with a foot injury, spoke with head coach Ron Rivera on Friday, Dec. 21, and gave every indication that he plans to keep playing

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Don't drop him in dynasty leagues and get Olsen if he was dropped after his season ended. Ian Thomas 2019 stock has a shadow over it now.

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28. IND - WR T.Y. Hilton back at practice Friday

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) returned to practice Friday, Dec. 21.

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Hilton is questionable, but it would be a surprise if he didn't play. He's a "if he's active you play him" level performer.

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29. CIN - WR Tyler Boyd out for Week 16

Source: ESPN.com - Katherine Terrell

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (knee) on Friday, Dec. 21, was declared out for Week 16.

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CJ Uzomah is a better tight end streamer for the finals, but Jeff Driskel is almost unusable with Boyd out.

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30. TB - WR DeSean Jackson set to return

Source: PewterReport.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson (hand) will be active for Week 16 versus the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Dirk Koetter.

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The Bucs pass offense is in a slump and now the targets will be further split. Only Mike Evans is startable in this passing game at Dallas.

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31. MIA - RB Frank Gore will avoid surgery

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Miami Dolphins RB Frank Gore (foot) will not need surgery on his injured foot, according to a source, and is expected to be 100 percent in a few weeks.

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Gore's undeniable desire with the ball in his hands is a welcome sight on Sundays. He could still play in 2019 if his tape this year is an accurate indication of his enduring level of play.

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32. WAS - QB Colt McCoy hopes to play in Week 17

Source: The Washington Post - Les Carpenter

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (fibula) has been doing some running and hopes to be ready for the team's Week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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If Washington can pull off the upset at Tennessee this week and the Cowboys get knocked off by the Bucs, McCoy could be playing with a chance of a playoff berth.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J