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Oakland’s Woes Continue?


Agent’s Take: Examining where the Oakland Raiders go from here

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis preached patience when he hired Reggie McKenzie as general manager in January 2012 to oversee one of the NFL’s most difficult rebuilding projects in recent history. Back-to-back 4-12 records in McKenzie’s first two seasons while watching the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs go from 2-14 records to the playoffs seemed to have tested Davis’ patience.

GM Reggie McKenzie has gotten the Raiders out of salary-cap hell, but his lack of success in the draft and free agency has put his job in peril. Agent’s Take: Examining where the Oakland Raiders go from here


Peyton Hillis, Danny Ware to reportedly work out for Giants

Marcas Grant

Marcas Grant | Tags: Three and out, Cecil Shorts, Danny Ware, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Percy Harvin, Peyton Hillis, Seattle Seahawks

Giants auditioning RBs: It’s been a rough year all around for the New York Giants offense. But that frustration has been acutely felt in the backfield. Andre Brown hasn’t played since breaking his leg in the preseason and David Wilson was a disappointment before he went down with a neck injury. The team re-signed Brandon Jacobs, but is now looking for additional help. It could come in the form of either Danny Ware or Peyton Hillis. Both backs have been on the free agent market for some time. The RB who lands on Big Blue’s roster will have some fantasy value. But it’s not likely to make much of an impact for owners — especially if Jacobs continues to dominate carries the way he did in Week 6.

Shorts could play Week 7: Fantasy owners knew that a balky groin threatened to keep Cecil Shorts out of action against the Broncos in Week 6. No one foresaw the shoulder injury that would end his day after just three snaps. However, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley says the wideout could play in Week 7 versus the Chargers. Even if Shorts is healthy, he clearly has been surpassed in the offense by Justin Blackmon. Nonetheless, San Diego has struggled to slow opposing receivers, so the young playmaker still has fantasy potential.

Harvin nearing return: Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin (hip) is back with the team and could be getting closer to returning. The speedy receiver is eligible to come off the PUP list and had hoped to play in Thursday night’s contest against Arizona — something head coach Pete Carroll pooh-poohed. A more realistic return date for Harvin is somewhere around Week 10 or 11, which is still ahead of the original date that ended closer to Thanksgiving. If you haven’t picked him up and stashed him yet, you should get on it. Harvin could the be perfect playoff accessory for the fantasy team on the go.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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Week 6 fantasy feedback

Marcas Grant

Marcas Grant | Tags: Fantasy Feedback,

» Signs again point to Rob Gronkowski not playing for the Patriots this week. We’re approaching the halfway point of the fantasy football season and many owners have seen nothing but weekly teases from a guy who was expected to be a big point-producer. You’ll never feel good about dealing him. But it’s getting harder to be patient. Hold on for another week.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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Social (Fantasy) Network: Can I get a mulligan?

We all wish we could have do-overs in life. If that weren’t true, first dates wouldn’t normally include the question, “If you could do anything over again, what would it be?”

In some cases that answer probably is “avoid a second date.” But I digress.

Few people know regret like the fantasy football owner who is staring at a losing record. So like that awkward first date, the Social (Fantasy) Network wants to know … if you could do it again, name one player you’d be sure to draft.

Of course, there was one name that we figured we’d see plenty of.

@NFLfantasy Gotta be Peyton. He’ll be the QB on the most championships teams this year. #SocialFantasy

Tone E. Dangerously (@AnTMonology) October 09, 2013

@NFLfantasy Peyton Manning seems like a fun guy to own this year. I wish I had him on one of my four teams! #SocialFantasy

Maestro (@Maestro25) October 10, 2013

@NFLfantasy Definitely Peyton Manning. Unfortunately I got his brother. #SocialFantasy

Ryan Smith (@Rsmith0391) October 10, 2013

Cooper? Ohhhh…you mean Eli Manning? At this point, you might be better off if you had drafted Cooper. But seriously, who isn’t kicking themselves over missing out on Peyton Manning? Besides the people who didn’t miss out on Peyton Manning, that is. However, it was a pleasant surprise to see a wide range of names come through our Twitter timeline this week.

@MarcasG Jimmy Graham I took AJ Green one spot before him #SocialFantasy

Joseph Lampkin (@joelamar20) October 09, 2013

Missing out on a player whose season numbers are pacing alongside Jerry Rice? Yeah, that’s a big fat fail.

@NFLfantasy I would definitely have to scoop up Matt Forte.. Having a heck of a year #SocialFantasy

Dillon Day (@Double_Ds29) October 10, 2013

The Mad Scientist’s offensive experiments are working out pretty well in Chicago. Speaking of guys who’ve been rejuvenated under new coaches…

@NFLfantasy drafted Rivers late. Read so much negative about him, dropped him early for Pryor based on upside. Doh! #SocialFantasy

Justin Shupe (@MJShupe78) October 10, 2013

It’s like Air Coryell has returned to America’s Finest City. Dust off the baby blues and cue up the disco music!

@NFLfantasy passed on McCoy for spiller for 7th pick. I’m in last and that guy is in second place. #smh #socialfantasy #FantasyProblems

Eddie Hernandez (@HolidayLalo) October 09, 2013

@NFLfantasy Jamaal Charles instead of weak stomach spiller ! #SocialFantasy

Jonathan Jackson (@jbjeuphonium1) October 10, 2013

At this point, just about anyone ahead of Spiller would have been a good choice. He might not be running until he pukes. But fantasy owners are.

As a huge 49ers fan it pains me to say that I wish I woulda drafted a backup to Kap maybe Romo late #SocialFantasy

RANCEHIMSELF (@rancehimself) October 10, 2013

Fantasy owners were able to shrug off his late INT against Denver a little easier than Cowboys fans were.

@MarcasG Pretty sure it would have been Jordan Cameron. But come on! We’re talking about a Browns player here. #SocialFantasy

Chris Navalta (@ChrisNavalta) October 09, 2013

Who knew any Browns players would be so coveted?

@NFLfantasy I took David Wilson in the second round. If I had to do it again I’d rather take Brandon Weeden #SocialFantasy

Alexander (@ADelorme34) October 10, 2013

Okay, now you’re just trolling.

So our final word this week goes to Kevin, who was thinking outside the box with his do-over request.

#socialfantasy it would be shaq O’neal I met him in best buy in Kennesaw ga. yesterday, he said he could play tight end for for falcons

Kevin B. Randolph (@Kev4USA) October 09, 2013

First, the Falcons are OK at the tight end spot. Second, we’re not sure Shaq has had the foot speed to play tight end since his days at LSU. But, oh, the nicknames he could come up with playing in Atlanta –The Big Bird … well, that’s all I’ve got.

Anyway, who else are you having regrets over missing out on? Let us know in the comment section. As always, be on the lookout for next week’s #SocialFantasy question. Happy Week 6, everybody!

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Rob Gronkowski still not cleared

Marcas Grant

Marcas Grant | Tags: Three and out, New England Patriots, Percy Harvin, Philadelphia Eagles, Rob Gronkowski, Seattle Seahawks, Zach Ertz

Gronk remains uncertain: Remember earlier in the week when the scuttlebutt was that Rob Gronkowski was all set to make his 2013 debut? You might have to scuttle that. Reports say the Patriots tight end has yet to be cleared by Dr. James Andrews and it’s looking less likely that he’ll play this week. It’s a frustration for New England, one that’s certainly shared by fantasy owners. If you’ve been waiting on Gronk to return, you’ll likely have to keep waiting. Make sure you have a contingency plan already in place. Since the Patriots play a late game Sunday, there won’t be many opportunities to replace him in your lineup if he indeed sits out.

Don’t expect Harvin back yet: There was chatter that Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin could find his way back on the field sometime soon after he began running again. Harvin himself has been optimistic that he could return to play in Week 7 against the Cardinals, but coach Pete Carroll is putting the brakes on that. Nonetheless, it appears Harvin’s return is imminent. If he’s still available in your league — and you have the roster depth — he’s a great pick-up-and-stash option.

Ertz could get bigger role: When the Eagles drafted Zach Ertz, there was speculation that he could push Brent Celek out of a job. That hasn’t happened yet, but both the young TE and his head coach believe his role in the offense will continue to expand. Through five weeks, Ertz is fifth on the roster in targets with 11. But with Philadelphia seeking another consistent pass-catcher to take pressure off DeSean Jackson, Ertz has the chance to be a nice keeper option in dynasty leagues.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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Julio Jones feared out for the season

Marcas Grant

Marcas Grant | Tags: Three and out, Atlanta Falcons, Garrett Graham, Houston Texans, Julio Jones, New England Patriots, Owen Daniels, Rob Gronkowski, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez

Jones suffers foot injury: It’s been a terrible 24 hours for sports fans in Atlanta. The Braves suffer a heartbreaking playoff loss, the Falcons are nipped at the final gun by the Jets … and now this. Julio Jones is reportedly done for the season after suffering a foot injury in the Monday night defeat. Jones was Atlanta’s leading pass-catcher with 41 receptions for 580 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Now, an added burden falls on Tony Gonzalez — especially if Roddy White continues to play at less than 100 percent. However, at this point, the fantasy value of anyone involved in Atlanta’s passing game is plummeting.

Gronk expected back: And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for … the return of Rob Gronkowski! According to various reports, the Patriots play-making tight end is preparing to make his 2013 debut Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. It couldn’t come at a better time for New England, which has been struggling to find some consistency among its pass-catchers. Despite a 4-1 record, the team’s traditionally precise passing game has yet to hit on all cylinders. Gronk’s availability (paired with Danny Amendola‘s return last week) should do wonders not only for the Pats’ offense, but for Tom Brady‘s fantasy value.

Daniels out 3-6 weeks: Things are going from bad to worse for the Houston Texans, who will be without Owen Daniels for the next 3-6 weeks. The tight end suffered a fibula fracture in last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Garrett Graham was slowly seeing more targets in the offense, but his responsibilities should increase significantly for the foreseeable future. However, Graham could find himself in a tough matchup this week against the Rams, who are allowing just 6.62 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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Week 5 fantasy feedback

» For all of the attention focused on Peyton Manning, let’s not overlook Knowshon Moreno who rushed for 93 yards and a TD while adding another 57 receiving yards. He’s taking control of the No. 1 spot in the Broncos backfield.

» He might frustrate Dallas Cowboys fans, but a game like today shows why Tony Romo remains a quality fantasy option.

» Chris Johnson scored a long touchdown, but there was little that he did today to excite fantasy owners. He might be a bench option next week with the Titans travelling to Seattle.

» Nick Foles played well today, but don’t get too excited. That was against the Giants. If he starts next week, it will be against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

» Today’s final Trent Richardson Watch stat line: 18 carries, 56 yards, 3.1 yards per carry. He is what he is.

» The Colts defense is improved this year, but you can still run on them. Case in point: both Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch posted 102 rushing yards in today’s game.

» Lamar Miller. Sigh.

» Order has been restored in the Ravens backfield. Ray Rice finishes the game with 74 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Let’s hope this continues.

» It’s hard to ever sit a Packers wide receiver. The numbers James Jones posted today are the reason why. It won’t happen all the time for Jones, but it happens enough that you can’t discount him.

» Zac Stacy shows up seemingly out of nowhere and runs for 78 yards. That’s a friendly reminder to start all of your players against the Jaguars.

» MJD got a little better in the second half, finishing with 86 total yards (70 rushing) on 19 touches. But at this point, it’s hard to make him anything more than a flex play. Fantasy owners were hoping for more against the Rams.

» The good news for A.J. Green is that he cracked the 60-yard barrier for the first time since Week 1. The bad news is that he had just 61 yards and no touchdowns. His run of facing top-notch cornerbacks should end next week when he faces the Bills. Fantasy owners are certainly praying for Green’s return to fantasy relevance.

» At this point, if you’re going up against Peyton Manning on any given week, just know that you’ll likely be playing from behind. You’ll  get no help in Week 6 with the Broncos taking on the Jaguars.

» The Bengals defense is on must-start status after shutting down Tom Brady and the Patriots. Also, what happened to LeGarrette Blount after his fumble? Sometimes #Belitricks can backfire on the man himself.

» Alshon Jeffery is threatening to be the Chicago Bears receiver to target. For the past few weeks he’s been much more productive than Brandon Marshall. Next week, the Bears face the Giants. Could be a bounceback week for Marshall.

» No Megatron, no offense for Detroit. The Lions have struggled to move the ball consistently without their big playmaking receiver. This is what I feared when the team announced Johnson wouldn’t play today.

» This week’s Trent Richardson Watch: At halftime, he has six carries for two yards. Yes, he’s playing Seattle, but these poor performances are becoming the norm for him. Right now, Willis McGahee is a superior option. Maybe the Browns were on to something.

» Everyone with Darren Sproles is pulling their hair out with Pierre Thomas having caught a pair of touchdown passes today. This isn’t what you signed up for.

» Hopefully things change in the second half, but Maurice Jones-Drew isn’t exactly taking advantage of a bad Rams run defense with just 28 yards on 10 carries.

» Bad news … David Wilson is questionable for the rest of the game with a neck injury. This guy can’t catch a break.

» Welcome back, Justin Blackmon! Three catches for 90 yards and a touchdown in the first half might have been more than fantasy owners could have asked for.

» It looks like the Ravens learned their lesson from last week. Ray Rice finished last week’s game with just five carries. He has five in the first 10 minutes of this week’s game.

» David Wilson is in the end zone. I repeat: David Wilson is in the end zone. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. All week long, we said if you couldn’t get value out of Wilson against the Eagles, it might never happen. So far, he’s proving everyone correct.

» The Week 5 inactives are in and the name everyone is talking about is Calvin Johnson. Megatron won’t go today for the Lions, which could have an adverse effect on Matthew Stafford and possibly Reggie Bush. But he’s not the only notable WR missing this week – Marlon Brown won’t play for the Ravens, which could put added pressure on Torrey Smith.

» As if you weren’t confused enough about what was going on in the Rams backfield, now comes word that Zac Stacy is slated to get the start today against the Jaguars. Personally, I’m staying away from anyone in that running back rotation.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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Monday Nightmare: Where Geno outscores Matty Ice

Adam Rank

Adam Rank | Tags: Monday Nightmare, Geno Smith, Jon Gruden, Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Monday Night Football, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez

How many of you headed into Monday night even thought of benching Matt Ryan for Geno Smith? I’m sure it never crossed Brandon’s mind. Though maybe it should have as the Jets’ signal caller outdueled the guy who was supposed to lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

Needed 19.52 pts from Matt Ryan, got 18.76 after a Ryan fumble for my 1st loss. Oh, and did I mention I lost to my wife? #mondaynightmare

— Brandon Trinkle (@btrinkle30) October 8, 2013

We call this the triple whammy. You lost. To your spouse. And it was because the Jets won. It doesn’t get much more nightmarish than this.

But this isn’t the only letdown of the evening. Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez were OK. Neither cracked the 10-point barrier in standard leagues. Roddy White continues to struggle. And what about the Falcons defense? They looked like a winner at home going up against a rookie quarterback. Not so much.

The Falcons defense managed just three points, and no doubt cost many fantasy owners. Including this one who started the Falcons D in at least one league.

So let’s hear your tales of woe. There are many of you suffering out there. Consider this your fantasy therapy couch. Share, you’ll feel better when you do.

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Browns QB Brian Hoyer has torn ACL

Marcas Grant

Marcas Grant | Tags: Three and out, Brandon Bolden, Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel, LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots, Stevan Ridley

Weeden back in for Browns: The Cleveland Browns scored their third straight win Thursday night, but they will be forced to finish the season without quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer left the game with a knee injury in the first half and head coach Rob Chudzinski announced that it is a torn ACL that will require surgery. In his place, Brandon Weeden took over and finished with a pedestrian 197 passing yards and a touchdown. The change at QB could have an impact on the rest of the Browns offense, including Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. It won’t help that next week’s game is against a revitalized Detroit Lions defense.

Manuel sprains knee: Bills quarterback EJ Manuel was also a casualty of a tough Thursday night contest. The rookie left the game with a knee sprain in the third quarter, forcing Jeff Tuel to finish the game. Manuel is expected to have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. But if you’re a fantasy owner with Stevie Johnson (who was also injured) or Robert Woods, their values will likely nosedive if Tuel is running the show for any length of time.

Ridley misses practice again: It’s looking less and less likely that Stevan Ridley will play this week after missing his third straight practice Friday. The struggling running back has yet to score a touchdown this season and is losing touches to LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden in the Patriots offense. If Ridley somehow does play this week, he’ll face a Cincinnati Bengals defense that is in the top half of the league when it comes to slowing fantasy running backs. It’s time for fantasy owners to find other options.

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Social (Fantasy) Network: Postseason plans

You hear it every season…after the first few weeks commentators and analysts rattle off the percentages of teams that make the NFL playoffs after starting with a certain record. While you might not remember them by heart, it’s pretty simple — teams that win more games have a better chance. You don’t need to be a math whiz to figure that out.

The same holds true for fantasy football. You win, you’re in. So we’re not screwing around this week in the Social (Fantasy) Network … is your team on a path to the playoffs?

Of course, we can’t talk about playoffs without someone invoking Jim Mora.

Playoffs? Playoffs? Are you kidding me? RT @NFLfantasy #SocialFantasy: Is your fantasy football team on a playoff path? Include the hashtag.

Lizzuendo (@Lizzs_Lockeroom) October 04, 2013

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, turns out some of you are quite braggadocious about your starts to the season.

@NFLfantasy 3-1 about to go 4-1, matt ryan, Adrian Peterson and julius and demarius thomas? I can do no wrong. #socialfantasy

Eric Ball (@EricBa11) October 04, 2013

But you lost a game, so…

@NFLfantasy first place, 3-1 despite having amendola Steven Jackson hurt and ridley not doing anything #SocialFantasy #ThankYouPaytonManning

Billy Bulman (@Billy_Bul_Man) October 03, 2013

#Belitricks have no effect on you!

@NFLfantasy I’m 3-1. Lost by two tenths of a point. But I’ve got a boys club to deal w/that’s not happy about a girl on top. #SocialFantasy

Cole Wheat (@C0LEtastic) October 03, 2013

Fellas, you have two choices … get better or get over it. In the meantime, a lot more of you are looking at this season through some pretty optimistic-colored glasses. Optimistic? I think that’s something like beige.

@NFLfantasy 0-4. Master plan – get all the losses done with and then on to FF Champion!! #bigdreams #SocialFantasy

Morgan Mak (@MorgnMak) October 03, 2013

@NFLfantasy Has anyone won a title after starting 0-4 ?? I hope to be the first. #SocialFantasy

pharoah12 (@gkimraiderfan) October 03, 2013

@NFLfantasy 1-3 on one league 0-4 in the other….still got a chance tho #SocialFantasy

Beef Wellington (@BPakaSweets) October 03, 2013

@NFLfantasy Star Players is 1-3, but has the second most points in the league. #SocialFantasy #DontCallItAComeback

David Garnica (@_davidsg) October 04, 2013

@NFLfantasy 2-2 about to go on a 10 game win streak for the first seed in the playoffs #SocialFantasy

Justin Hallstein (@JHallstein) October 03, 2013

Antrel Rolle, is that you?

Then, there are some of you who have realized your fate early on.

@NFLfantasy w #SocialFantasy lemme see: E. Manning, R.Rice, T.Richardson, S.Ridley, D.Bowe, V.Jackson… That’d be a NO!

Nicolas Worth (@nicolasworth) October 04, 2013

Sometimes it’s just about the thrill of competition, right? Right?

This week, we give the final word to Yo Soy Fiesta…

1-3 in my South African Fantasy League But I am the Top Scorer thou caught some bad breaks but I feel I am about to go off #SocialFantasy

╰★╮Yo Soy Fiesta╰☆╮ (@Caporazzi) October 03, 2013

I’ve got nothing clever to say. I just love seeing tweets from NFL fans in other countries. To those of you playing fantasy football in South Africa … and everywhere outside the US of A, I salute you!

In the meantime, keep an eye out for next week’s #SocialFantasy question. Happy Week 5 everybody!

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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