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Footballguys #249 - 12/26 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #249 -- Wednesday Night, December 26th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Thursday to you. We've got some News and Notes so let's get to it.

J


1. PIT - RB James Conner practices in full

Source: Steelers.com

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) was able to practice in full Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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It looks like Conner is back this week. The Steelers need to win (and have the Ravens lose) in order to make the postseason. With Conner running the rock, Jaylen Samuels should be considered more of a deep flex option with his pass-catching role. Conner is a RB2 against the Bengals in Week 17.

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2. NO - QB Teddy Bridgewater to get action in Week 17

Source: The Times-Picayune - Josh Katzenstein

New Orleans Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater will 'no doubt get some playing time' in the club's Week 17 game Sunday, Dec. 30, according to QB Drew Brees. He doesn't know how much time he'll get in under center, however.

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The Saints will be resting their starters for some time in Week 17. That means Bridgewater could see a half of action or more. We might get clues as to how much rest the starters will get sometime later in the week.

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3. KC - RB Spencer Ware able to practice in full

Source: KCChiefs.com

Kansas City Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (hamstring) was back as a full participant in practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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It looks like Ware should be able to play against the Raiders on Sunday. Against that weak defense, Ware has RB1 upside for Fantasy GMs playing in the championship in Week 17.

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4. CIN - WR Tyler Boyd misses practice

Source: Bengals.com

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Boyd is not expected to play in the season finale against the Steelers. A second-round pick in 2016, Boyd is under contract through the 2019 season. John Ross and Cody Core will be the lead receivers in his absence.

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5. LAR - RB Todd Gurley remains idle

Source: RamsWire - Cameron DaSilva

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) was held out of practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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There's no telling whether or not Gurley is going to play in the season finale against the 49ers. We could see C.J. Anderson as their starting running back once again if the team decides to give Gurley a bit more rest. Anderson is an RB2 with upside for Fantasy GMs in Week 17.

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6. ATL - No RB Tevin Coleman on Wednesday

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com

Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman (groin) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Coleman may be limited the rest of the week. We saw the emergence of Brian Hill last week with Coleman banged up. Hill may be the lead back for the Falcons in Week 17 if Coleman can't go.

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7. GB - TE Jimmy Graham sits out Wednesday

Source: Packers.com

Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (knee, thumb) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Graham has name value at the TE position but he doesn't have consistent fantasy value. If he plays on Sunday against the Lions, you likely have better options at the position.

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8. GB - WR Randall Cobb does not practice

Source: Packers.com

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Cobb has struggled with various injuries this year, only appearing in eight games so far. Fantasy GMs have better options even if Cobb does play against the Lions on Sunday.

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9. CLE - TE David Njoku has limited session

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (knee) practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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The Browns travel to play the Ravens on Sunday. Njoku should be projected as a low-end TE1 for Fantasy GMs in Week 17.

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10. JAX - RB Leonard Fournette limited in his work

Source: Jaguars.com

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (ankle, foot) was listed as a limited participant Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Fournette's fantasy value in the finale against Houston is dependent on his touches. With Blake Bortles starting at quarterback again, Jacksonville should force-feed Fournette the rock. We're not going crazy about starting him this week and consider Fournette a RB2 or flex option in Week 17.

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11. DET - QB Matthew Stafford full go

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (back) put in a full practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Stafford seems to be wearing down as the season rolls on. He's going to play in Week 17 against the Packers but he's only a low-end QB2 for Fantasy GMs at best.

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12. DET - WR Kenny Golladay sits out of practice

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay (chest) was held out of practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Golladay was limited by this chest injury during last week's practices. He played against the Vikings in Week 16 and finished with six receptions for 58 yards on 15 targets. Golladay should be able to play against the Packers on Sunday and has WR1 potential with his target load.

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13. TEN - QB Marcus Mariota also has foot issue

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (neck, foot) is dealing with a foot ailment in addition to his neck stinger.

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Just what he needed; another injury. Mariota has struggled to stay healthy for most of this year and now he's trying to deal with two injuries with the playoffs on the line in a game against the Colts in Week 17. They say Mariota does not have to practice this week in order to play on Sunday.

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14. NYG - WR Sterling Shepard sidelined

Source: Giants.com

New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (hip) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Make sure Shepard gets in a full practice later in the week before you plug him into your lineup. He's got WR2 potential as the Giants no.1 wide receiver (provided Odell Beckham Jr. doesn't play against the Cowboys).

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15. PHI - QB Carson Wentz not practicing

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (back) was held out of practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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They are not shutting Wentz down for the season as the Eagles playoff hopes are still alive. They'll clinch a wild-card spot if they win in Week 17 against Washington and the Vikings lose. Nick Foles will start for the Eagles in this week's game.

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16. IND - WR T.Y. Hilton not at practice

Source: CBS 4 Indianapolis - Mike Chappell

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) missed practice Wednesday, Dec. 26. Hilton said there's no chance he misses Week 17, however.

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Fantasy GMs have seen this over the last few weeks with Hilton. He's going to miss practice or perhaps be limited all week then he's going to go out there and produce. The playoffs are on the line in this Sunday's game against the Titans. The last time Hilton played the Titans (in Week 11), he posted 9 catches for 155 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. While he may not have that monster performance again, Hilton should be able to post WR1 numbers in Week 17.

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17. GB - WR Davante Adams misses practice

Source: ESPN.com - Rob Demovsky

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (knee) was not able to practice Wednesday, Dec. 26, due to a right knee ailment.

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Keep an eye on this situation if you're still playing in Week 17 and are planning on starting Adams. He does expect to be able to play in Week 17 and we'll know more about his status later in the week.

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18. TEN - No practice for QB Marcus Mariota

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (shoulder) was held out of practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Mariota looks a little doubtful for the huge game against the Colts on Sunday. He's going to do his best to get out there, and the Titans need a win to secure a spot in the postseason.

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19. TB - WR DeSean Jackson absent from practice

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Eduardo Encina

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson (hand) is not practicing Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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We wouldn't be terribly excited to get Jackson into our lineups in Week 17 even if he does play. The Buccaneers are playing at home this week against the Falcons and Jackson is mostly a 'what the heck' flex for Fantasy GMs.

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20. SF - Steven Dunbar promoted

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

San Francisco 49ers WR Steven Dunbar was signed to the active roster from the practice squad Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Dunbar has been on the 49ers practice squad all season long after getting picked up as an undrafted free agent out of Houston earlier this year. He's got good size, measuring in at 6'3" 205 pounds and Dunbar has the skill set of a possession receiver. He's not the fastest wideout but he does know how to get open and he uses his size to his advantage. He's an intriguing deep dynasty prospect we've been monitoring since he came out of college.

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21. SF - WR Marquise Goodwin sidelined

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin (calf, Achilles') is not practicing Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Goodwin has already been banged up in 2018, making it through just 11 games for the 49ers so far this season. With Dante Pettis injured, the 49ers may have Kendrick Bourne as their lead player at the position on Sunday.

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22. GB - Evan Baylis joins Packers

Source: Packers.com

Free-agent TE Evan Baylis (Panthers) was signed to the Green Bay Packers' practice squad Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Baylis was an undrafted free agent out of Oregon in 2017. He's bounced around to a few different teams so far as a pro. Baylis has good size at 6'5" 250 pounds but has too many inconsistencies to his game. Fantasy GMs in super crazy deep dynasty formats will pay attention but that's about it.

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23. IND - TE Eric Ebron doesn't practice

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Updating a previous report, Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron (concussion) is not practicing Wednesday, Dec. 26, as he is still in the concussion protocol.

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Earlier reports stated Ebron was actually limited in practice on Wednesday. Ebron is working to get cleared from the concussion protocol after getting banged up in Week 16. The Colts have a huge game against the Titans on Sunday with a playoff berth on the line. It would be great for the Colts to have him out there. We'll know more about his status later in the week.

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24. NFL - Justin Herbert staying put

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Oregon QB Justin Herbert announced Wednesday, Dec. 26, that he will forego the 2019 NFL Draft and return for his senior season.

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There had been plenty of buzz this was the way Herbert was leaning and now it's official. Herbert is tall and raw as a passer, drawing comparisons to Ryan Tannehill by some in the scouting community. We'll see if an extra year of college play can clean up his game. The 2019 NFL draft doesn't have a great quarterback class but guys like Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), Drew Lock (Missouri) and Will Grier (West Virginia) are now top options for teams in need at the position.

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25. JAX - QB Blake Bortles to start finale

Source: Jaguars.com - John Oehser

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles will start the season finale against the Houston Texans in Week 17.

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The Jaguars travel to play against the Texans in Week 17. Bortles replaces Cody Kessler as the team's starter after Kessler replaced him a few weeks ago. It's not a great option for Fantasy GMs playing in Week 17, even in 2-QB streaming formats.

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26. DEN - More on RB Phillip Lindsay

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay (wrist) has torn ligaments around the scaphoid bone in his wrist, and it's a four-to-six-month injury. He could do non-contact drills in organized team activities.

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Lindsay is not going to play in the season finale against the Chargers obviously, and this injury should prevent him from playing in the Pro Bowl. He was perhaps the lone bright spot for the Broncos offense in 2018, and we love his upside for the future. The Broncos should turn to fellow rookie Royce Freeman to be their starter against the Chargers on Sunday.

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27. IND - TE Erik Swoope returns to Colts

Source: Colts.com

Free-agent TE Erik Swoope (Colts) was re-signed to the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad Wednesday, Dec. 26. QB Phillip Walker was released from the practice squad.

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Swoope has spent most of his time as a developmental player with the Colts. Undrafted out of the University of Miami in 2014, Swoope never played college football but instead was a basketball player in college. He's been an intriguing sleeper for dynasty GMs for quite some time but has never played up to his potential. Swoope has 23 catches for 384 yards and four touchdowns during his pro career.

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28. NYG - WR Odell Beckham idle Wednesday

Source: ESPN.com - Jordan Raanan

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (quadriceps) is not expected to practice Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Beckham's status is unclear for Week 17 against the Cowboys...and we're unclear why they just don't shut him down for a meaningless game. No need to risk further injury with their superstar wideout.

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29. WAS - Two signed to Washington practice squad

Source: The Washington Post - Kareem Copeland

Free-agent WR Carlos Henderson (Broncos) and WR ArDarius Stewart (Raiders) were signed to the Washington Redskins practice squad Wednesday, Dec. 26.

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Henderson was a third-round pick of the Broncos in the 2017 NFL draft. He is strong after the catch and has the speed to be dangerous with the rock in his hands. However, off field issues and a lack of discipline caused the Broncos to quickly move on from him. Stewart was also a third-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft. He lasted one year for the Jets before getting bounced, then he got a shot with the Raiders. Stewart, like Henderson, is all about run-after-the-catch ability. We'll monitor both former draft picks but only in super deep dynasty formats.

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30. CAR - Kyle Allen to start

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Carolina Panthers QB Kyle Allen is poised to start in Week 17 against the New Orleans Saints.

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Allen was once the no.1 quarterback coming out of high school, originally playing for Texas A&M. He then transferred to the University of Houston but never really developed the ability he showed from his prep days. Allen surprisingly declared for the 2018 NFL draft as some felt he could transfer again and play right away since he had already graduated and was benched for the Cougars. He went undrafted and the Panthers promoted him from their practice squad about a week ago. Now, Allen gets to start against the Saints in Week 17.

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31. CAR - QB Taylor Heinicke to IR

Source: The Charlotte Observer - Jourdan Rodrigue

Carolina Panthers QB Taylor Heinicke (shoulder) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Dec. 26. Free-agent QB Garrett Gilbert (Panthers) was re-signed to an undisclosed deal.

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Well that didn't last long. Heinicke was in as the Panthers starter last week for a banged up Cam Newton. He injured his shoulder but came back into the game, posting 274 yards passing, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Panthers now face the Saints in Week 17 with Kyle Allen as their starter.

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32. TEN - QB Marcus Mariota casts doubtful cloud

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (neck) said the stinger he suffered made his entire right side numb and tingly, and the team added a quarterback to the roster.

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Mariota's nerve issue has been bothering him for most of the season. He should be limited in practice all week long. The Titans take on the Colts in Week 17 with the playoffs on the line. A win against Indianapolis in Week 17 and they're in, either as the AFC South champion (if the Texans lose) or as the sixth seed.

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33. HOU - QB Deshaun Watson nearing dubious sack mark

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Michael David Smith

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson is four sacks away from becoming the first quarterback since Jon Kitna with the Detroit Lions in 2006 to take 60 in a season.

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Watson is doing this coming off a torn ACL that cut his rookie season of 2017 short. The Texans need to work to protect him better as Watson has a slight build and won't be able to take this much punishment long term.

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34. SEA - Malik Turner back on Seattle's practice squad

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Free-agent WR Malik Turner (Seahawks) was added to the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad after clearing waivers Tuesday, Dec. 25.

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Turner was undrafted out of Illinois in 2018. He's appeared in four games so far with the Seahawks, catching two passes for 20 yards. Turner has a good size/speed combination, measuring in at 6'1" 205 pounds. He gets into his routes quickly and displays good concentration to make difficult catches. We'll continue monitoring him but only in super deep dynasty leagues.

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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