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Footballguys.comDaily Email Update • Vol. 22, #260 • Jan. 2nd, 2021


News And Notes From Around The League

Howdy Folks,

It's Week 17 and it's wild.

Also, make sure to get your entry in our Footballguys Playoff Challenge below. Just $35 per team. We sold out early last year so secure your spot and then set your roster once the playoffs are determined.

Now let's get to the News and Notes.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys Season Long Players Championship - Year In Review
Our friend Darren Armani of FantasyMojo.com put together a nice recap of this year's Footballguys Players Championship.


1. WAS - QB Alex Smith expected to start

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Washington Football Team QB Alex Smith (calf) is expected to start Sunday, Jan. 3 in the Week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Smith returns as the starter in a must-win game on Sunday night. He may have RB Antonio Gibson (toe) and WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) out there with him. The Eagles secondary has been giving it up in recent weeks, so Smith may have a good game in Week 17.

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2. NO - RB Ty Montgomery back in backfield

Source: FOX Sports - Jay Glazer

New Orleans Saints WR/RB Ty Montgomery will be moved to running back with the team shorthanded at the position for Week 17 due to COVID-19 and the resulting contact tracing.

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The Saints are dealing with Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray on the COVID list. That means Montgomery is likely the lead back with QB Taysom Hill being more involved as a runner too.

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3. DET - QB Matthew Stafford likely to start

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (ankle, rib, thumb) is expected to start Sunday, Jan. 3, in the Week 17 game against the Minnesota Vikings, barring a setback, according to a source.

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Stafford is as tough as nails. He's battled through various injuries this year and will stay out there as long as he can. As we've seen in previous weeks, Stafford may begin the game but that doesn't mean he will finish it. This could be his final game with the Lions.

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4. ARI - WR Christian Kirk placed on COVID list

Source: AZCardinals.com

Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Jan. 2.

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The Cardinals are down another weapon on Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald is considered a game-time decision and so is RB Chase Edmonds. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is also less than 100 percent with a leg injury.

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5. DEN - KJ Hamler headed to IR

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos WR KJ Hamler (concussion) on Saturday, Jan. 2, will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

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That ends Hamler's season, and his rookie season was mostly about flashes and not about consistency. Hamler has upside because of his elite speed, but he also showed improvement as a route runner. The 2020 second-round pick finishes the 2020 season with 30 catches for 381 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games. We'll see Hamler continue to improve as a pro and appreciate his value in dynasty formats going forward.

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6. WAS - Antonio Gibson on track to play

Source: The Washington Post - Nicki Jhabvala

Washington Football Team RB Antonio Gibson (toe) is likely to play Sunday, Jan. 3, in Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a source.

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Washington has monitored Gibson closely over the week of practice as he continues to deal with this toe injury. He is listed as questionable on the team's Week 17 injury report. He played 21 snaps last week and might get a larger role in the season finale.

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7. ARI - QB Kyler Murray running more

Source: ESPN.com

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (leg) has a total of 29 rushing attempts in the last three games, logging at least eight carries in all three contests.

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Murray is running more but he still doesn't look like himself. He's been battling this leg injury for some time and is trying to make the most of it. We'll see how much the Rams defense can get after him in Week 17.

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8. BUF - TE Tyler Kroft on COVID list

Source: BuffaloBills.com

Buffalo Bills TE Tyler Kroft was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Jan. 2.

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Kroft works mostly as a blocking tight end for the Bills. For the season, Kroft has 12 catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

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9. NE - RB Damien Harris placed on IR

Source: Patriots.com

New England Patriots RB Damien Harris (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Jan. 2.

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Harris was a thumper for the Patriots this season. The second-year pro finishes the 2020 season with 691 yards and two touchdowns on 137 carries. He was barely used as a receiver this year (five receptions total) but that might change with RB James White set to hit free agency.

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10. WAS - WR Terry McLaurin's status 50-50

Source: The Washington Post - Nicki Jhabvala

Washington Football Team WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) is a 'toss-up' regarding his availability for the team's Week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to a report Saturday.

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The team is hopeful they can be with their star receiver in the season finale. McLaurin is dealing with a high-ankle sprain and is listed as questionable on the team's Week 17 injury report. It's a must-win game for Washington and if McLaurin does play then he's likely going to have a limited role due to the nature of this injury.

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11. NO - Tony Jones Jr. getting call-up

Source: The Athletic - Jeff Duncan

New Orleans Saints RB Tony Jones Jr. is expected to be promoted to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday, Jan. 2, as a COVID-19 replacement.

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Jones is a big-bodied rookie from Notre Dame. He was undrafted but Jones does have natural skill and instinct as a runner. In crazy deep dynasty formats we've been monitoring his progress.

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12. SEA - RB Carlos Hyde to miss Week 17

Source: Seahawks.com

Seattle Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde (illness) has been ruled out of the Week 17 game.

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Chris Carson is the lead back for Seattle but Hyde gives them some veteran punch off the bench. Although in recent weeks, Hyde hasn't been asked to do much playing just 30 snaps over the last two games. Without Hyde on the field as a reserve, the team will turn to Rashaad Penny.

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13. IND - Michael Pittman clears protocol

Source: The Herald Bulletin - George Bremer

Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 2, cleared the league's concussion protocol and will be available to play Sunday in Week 17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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The big-bodied rookie has flashed a bit during his debut season. He'll be out there against the Jaguars as the team's no.3 receiver behind T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal.

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14. NFL - Zach Wilson to enter 2021 NFL Draft

Source: NFL.com - Chase Goodbread

Brigham Young QB Zach Wilson plans to forego his senior season and will be entering the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Wilson is a first-round quarterback who has a chance to be selected in the top 10. He's a mobile quarterback who is not afraid to pull the ball down and run when he's in trouble and the play breaks down. Wilson is a threat to run, but he will first and foremost threaten a defense with his arm. He's got proper mechanics but can make off-platform throws if needed. Wilson's supreme confidence in his arm will get him in trouble from time to time as he'll try to get cute with some throws he won't be able to make in the pros. He has the looks of a quarterback a team will want to build around and could start from day one in the NFL.

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15. NO - Four players placed on COVID list

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray, RB Dwayne Washington, FB Michael Burton and S D.J. Swearinger were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Jan. 2.

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Murray was considered a close contact to Alvin Kamara, who is also on the COVID list. Both have a chance to return in the Wild Card Round. The Saints turn to Ty Montgomery and likely more Taysom Hill as a runner in Week 17.

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16. PIT - TE Eric Ebron lands on COVID list

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Eric Ebron on Saturday, Jan. 2, was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss the regular-season finale Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

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Ebron was deemed a high-risk, close contact and that's why he's on the list. The Steelers are hopefully not dealing with a COVID outbreak as they head into the postseason. In Week 17, many starters are resting in a meaningless game against the Browns.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of the Footballguys Family. Don't forget that Playoff Challenge Team.

Peace,

J