Toure needs support, says Pellegrini - Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini admits that under-performing midfielder Yaya Toure needs support from the club. St Helens 41-0 Castleford Tigers - James Roby scores two first-half tries as St Helens beat Castleford to reach the Super League play-off semi-finals. Petition filed seeking to block Peterson from son (Yahoo Sports) - Authorities in Minnesota filed a petition Friday seeking a protective order for the 4-year-old son of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. In the petition, Hennepin County Human Services asked a judge to block Peterson from using corporal punishment or physical discipline on the boy. It also would block unauthorized or unsupervised contact, and require Peterson to complete a parenting assessment. Peterson faces a child abuse charge in Texas for using a wooden switch to spank the boy in May. He has said he meant only to discipline the boy and not hurt him. Partick Thistle 1-2 St Mirren - Kenny McLean's last-gasp penalty against Partick Thistle gives St Mirren their first win and points of the season. Goodell: 'Same mistakes can never be repeated' (Yahoo Sports) - NEW YORK (AP) -- Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl. Clubs agree World Cup compensation - Premiership clubs have settled their dispute over the 2015 World Cup by agreeing a £13million compensation deal with the RFU. Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion (Yahoo Sports) - Procter & Gamble is canceling an on-field breast cancer awareness promotion it had been planning with the National Football League, the latest sponsor to respond to the NFL's growing problems. The consumer products maker is the latest major sponsor, following PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch, to show concern over the NFL's handling of domestic abuse allegations against several players. Women make up 35 percent of the average audience of 17.4 million during a regular season NFL game, and the NFL has made it a point to reach out to women in recent years. Part of its NFL Pink ''Crucial Catch'' campaign, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, features players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins. Browns' Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games (Yahoo Sports) - Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated into the NFL and had his one-year suspension reduced to 10 games after the league announced changes to its drug policy. The league and Players' Association reached an agreement on Friday on revisions to the substance-abuse program. Season over for key Cardinals defender Abraham (Yahoo Sports) - Arizona has placed 15-year veteran John Abraham on injured reserve, ending his season with the Cardinals. The 36-year-old outside linebacker sustained a concussion in the season opener against San Diego. The loss of Abraham is a significant blow to a Cardinals defense that lost tackle Darnell Dockett for the season with a knee injury. Abraham is the NFL's active career sacks leader with 133 1/2, ranking him ninth on the league's all-time list. Panthers' Rivera expects Williams, Tolbert to play (Yahoo Sports) - Coach Ron Rivera expects to have his starting backfield ready to play Sunday night when the Panthers host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Running back DeAngelo Williams and Pro Bowl fullback Mike Tolbert practiced full on Friday and are expected to start. Williams is listed as questionable on the injury report; Tolbert is probable.

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Jerick McKinnon, rated rookie [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 1:36 pm]
Back in May, when the Minnesota Vikings used a third-round pick to select Jerick McKinnon, the team surely viewed the Georgia Southern rookie as a developmental prospect. McKinnon had opened his collegiate career at defensive back, then later became a triple-option QB and tailback. The Vikings viewed him as a change-of-pace runner and potential third-down back, though he only caught three balls in his senior season and he had little meaningful experience in pass protection. [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid] But suddenly, given the uncertainty surrounding Adrian Peterson's NFL future, McKinnon is a player of interest for the fantasy community — and not simply as a dynasty league lottery ticket. The kid played 23 snaps in Week 2 for the Vikings, per Pro Football Focus, while Matt Asiata saw 47. McKinnon's explosiveness and athleticism are many levels beyond Asiata's, so it's really not difficult to imagine him seizing a greater share of the backfield work. McKinnon's college stats were of course ridiculous, as were his highlights. You'd expect as much from an early-round pro facing less-than-elite competition. He averaged 7.1 YPC as a junior, rushing for 1,817 yards and passing for 597. Last year, he gained 6.9 yards per carry, rushing for 12 TDs and passing for four, and he scored the game-deciding touchdown in Georgia Southern's win at Florida. The numbers that really wowed the scouting community, however, were those produced by McKinnon at the pre-draft combine. There, he ranked among the top performers at his future position in ... well, in everything. McKinnon crushed the bench press (32 reps), the vertical jump (40.5 inches) the 40-yard dash (4.41), the broad jump (11 feet) and the agility drills. Basically, we're talking about a player with alien/superhero-level athleticism, and there's little question his role will continue to expand for however long Peterson is removed from the team. Combine great

Fantasy Football Live: We apologize for Tampa Sunday at 9 AM ET, 6 AM PT [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 2:58 am]
Sans Keanu Reeves, the replacements have officially arrived. After the injury imp and unspeakable off-the-field incidents rocked the fantasy world a week ago, standouts Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram and Ryan Mathews will give way to promoted backups Knile Davis (We hope), Matt Asiata, Khiry Robinson and Donald Brown. Decisions, decisions. On this week’s decisive program, Brad Evans, Brandon Funston, Andy Behrens and Shaun King will attempt to guide owners through the sordid RB mess.  We’ll also provide the very latest on the availability of Jordan Cameron, Eric Decker, A.J. Green and Vernon Davis, project exactly how many catches Wes Welker grabs in his first game back and, of course, answer your pressing questions. Here’s how you can join the circus: Phone: 877.FFL. GURU. Twitter: @YahooFantasy As always, the Big Noise and Boss Man will prime the pump for Sunday’s action on FFL radio starting at 9 AM ET/6 AM PT. On this week’s show, the boys will tackle the latest news and notes from around the league, sing the sleeper praises of Greg Jennings, explain why now is the time to pitch a low-ball offer for Eddie Lacy, play a game of over/unders and service your every fantasy need. Reach us here: Phone: 800.777.2907 Twitter: @YSRFFL LISTEN LIVE TO FANTASY FOOTBALL LIVE HERE SUNDAY AT 9 AM ET

Thursday Fantasy Fliers: Josh McCown and Harry Douglas [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 4:42 pm]
Under normal circumstances, you don't necessarily want to stack a fantasy lineup with players tied to the Thursday game. But this week — finally — we have a matchup with significant shootout potential. The defenses involved in the opening game of Week 3 have offered little resistance to this point. [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid] Somehow, despite having faced a pair of sketchy backup QBs to begin the season (Derek Anderson and Austin Davis), Tampa Bay's defense is still looking for its first interception. Atlanta is the only team in the league that has not yet recorded a sack, and the team's defense is allowing a league-worst 472.0 total yards per game. So tonight, points and yards should be plentiful. We've got a pair of widely available fantasy assets for your consideration... (Note: Bobby Rainey doesn't quite qualify as a flier for our purposes here, because he's already owned in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues. But he's clearly a solid fantasy play, coming off a 144-yard performance. Doug Martin is still dinged, no lock to face the Falcons on Thursday.) QB Josh McCown, TB (29 percent owned, 4 percent started) – OK, so Josh has not been particularly good in the opening weeks, at least not in the traditional sense. His fantasy totals have been fine — two rushing scores, two passing TDs, 395 combined yards — but he's made a few decisions that seem halfway insane. In Week 1, he was responsible for perhaps the most hilariously awful play you'll see all season. But McCown has a pair of talented, super-sized receivers at his disposal (Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans), and, again, he's facing a defense that hasn't stopped a thing. The Falcons have allowed 635 passing yards through two games. McCown is a good bet to deliver at least two scores on Thursday, topping 250 yards for the first time this season. I'm starting him over Colin Kaepernick in a two-QB league this week, and I'm playing him over Kirk C

Open Book: For FanDuel players, Knile Davis is a screamin' deal [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 3:30 pm]
Straight cash homie! In his never-ending quest to pay off his kids' college education early, Brad Evans unveils his FanDuel picks for the upcoming week and explains his reasoning behind them. Make that money, #TeamHuevos.  [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter, top 11,490 teams get paid, $120,000 grand prize. Starts THIS Sunday at 1 PM ET.] CONTEST RULES AND SCORING FAKE BUDGET: $60,000 Drew Brees, NO, QB (FanDuel Price: $9,100) – Frustrated by an unexpected 0-2 start and back in the creature comforts of the Superdome for the first time this season, the future HOFer and his accomplices are about to unleash hell on visiting Minnesota. QBs are performing 36.2 percent below the league average against the Vikes, but that number is a bit skewed based on a soft Week 1 matchup (St. Louis) and lopsided run-heavy outcome last week versus New England. Corner Captain Munnerlyn, who's surrendered a 154.2 QB rating, will be under constant attack. Brees, money at home (354.3 ypg, 27:3 TD:INT split in eight games in '13), goes nuts en route to 300-plus yards and four TDs. Knile Davis, KC, RB ($7,000) – With Jamaal Charles (ankle) an injury casualty this week, Davis is a high-volume rusher at a bargain basement price. Filling in for the incumbent last Sunday in Denver, he totaled 105 yards and two touchdowns on 28 touches. In an Andy Reid offense that features running backs, another burdensome load is on the docket for the Priest Holmes-like back. Miami has defended the run stiffly yielding just 3.77 yards per carry to opposing RBs. Still, on workload alone, Davis will nickel and dime his way to at least 100 total yards and a touchdown.  Joique Bell, Car, RB ($6,800) – For the frugal, Bell is another low-dollar rusher capable of turning a massive profit. Through two games, he's out-touched and outproduced tag-team partner Reggie Bush. Against the Giants and Panthers, he amassed 16 touches per game, 76.5 total yards per game and one touchdown, g

Week 3 Lames: Brady, Ball are bust-worthy fantasy plays [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 1:35 pm]
Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names who he believes are destined to implode leave egg on his face. To qualify, each player must be started in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 3 Lames in the comments section below. Tom Brady, NE, QB (71-percent started)Matchup: vs. OakThe Zoolander of the NFL hasn't won over owners with his 'Blue Steel' look, UGG boots and mediocre fantasy performances. Blame the lack of suitable downfield targets. Week 1, playing from behind in Miami, he was a miserable 1-for-10 on pass plays beyond 20 yards. Despite uncorking 56 times, he managed just 249 yards and a touchdown. In the followup versus the Vikes, he played game manager as Stevan Ridley and the opportunistic Pats defense did the heavy lifting. His resulting 149 yards and a TD drove many to the bottle. Essentially Brady has morphed into a dump-off QB, evidenced in his wretched 5.5 yards per attempt, a mind-blowing stat with a healthy Gronk. Though Tom Tepid's matchup Week 3 is quite favorable, tread lightly. The Raiders made Geno Smith look like Joe Namath Week 1 and were equally deplorable last week against Houston, pathetic efforts that have Dennis Allen squarely on the hot seat.  No Raiders DB currently ranks inside the top-50 in coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Still, similar to how last week's game in Minnesota unfolded, this contest could get out of hand quickly, again forcing Brady into a handoff-heavy role. Seek volume elsewhere (e.g. Josh McCown). This week, the future Hall of Famer leaves gun in holster.  Fearless Forecast: 19-27, 194 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 turnovers, 17.7 fantasy points [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid] Montee Ball, Den, RB (81-percent started)

Shuffle Up: Who is Nick Foles? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 6:47 am]
Welcome, or welcome back, to another season of NFL Shuffle Ups. We'll start with a modest little preamble, as these things often do.   The assignment of a Shuffle Up is to get a read on rest-of-season value. You can use these lists to judge your roster, consider trades and pickups, or simply to enjoy a good-old-fashioned debate.  [Join FanDuel's $1.25 million, 1-week fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 11,490 teams get paid] A few rules of thumb: -- These are NOT weekly ranks. If you want the Week 3 ranking story, click over here.  -- The ranks are, of course, fantasy-driven. There will always be a disconnect between real-life and fake-game value. -- The ranks consider what's happened to this point, but they're not mere listings of what's already happened. If you want the list of scoring leaders to this point in the season, there are several places you can find them. -- I'll use dollar figures to tier and rank the players within a position, but the numbers are merely a prop to show the (rough) differences in value. There's no formula here, no base budget I'm working on. I'm just looking for a way to show you that I might view Brees and Manning as even, say, but I think they have a level up on Luck and Ryan.  -- Also note that I work on each position independently, and I'm not looking to have the prices make sense in an overall rank. Should you trade Russell Wilson for Jeremy Maclin? There are a slew of factors that go into a decision like that, and it would be silly to try to provide an answer key. Let's stick with apples to apples, oranges to oranges.  -- The quarterbacks and wide receivers will get their Shuffle Up run during the odd-numbered weeks. I'll work on the running backs and tight ends in the even weeks. Kickers and defenses? Come on, you should be streaming them. (And of course, we rank them every week, one game at a time, elsewhere on the site.) One reason I only rank two positions a week is because I want to do this exercise from scratch each time.

Dissenting Opinions: Keen on Keenan? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 8:11 pm]
Group-think can be an especially scary thing when it comes to fantasy football rankings. After all, the unpredictable nature of the NFL game is part of what makes fantasy football so popular, and why some people like to say that the NFL acronym stands for "No F****** Logic." But when one of our Yahoo fantasy football analysts veers particularly far away from the rankings consensus, our curious nature begs for an explanantion. So, with that in mind, I've identified two players from our Week 3 rankings that our Yahoo analysts love/hate significantly more than the rest of us, and have asked them to explain their reasoning. I'll kick things off with a couple of my outliers: [ Join FanDuel's 1-week fantasy league: $10 to enter; top 4,985 teams get paid Monday ] Love him: Jonathan Stewart, Car, RB - Funston RB rank No. 20 (Y! rank No. 38) Even with DeAngelo Williams looking like he'll return from a thigh injury this week, I still like J-Stew to push top 20 fantasy RB levels. Without Williams, I would have slapped a guarantee on it. But looking at the dreadful Pittsburgh run defense, you see that it has already allowed three top 24 fantasy running backs thru two games - in Week 1, Isaiah Crowell finished No. 9 and Terrance West finished No. 24, while in Week 2, Bernard Pierce landed at No. 22. And that doesn't even include Justin Forsett's 8/56 rushing performance (7.0 YPC) while backing up Pierce. With Williams not likely to be at 100 percent, I expect Stewart to garner the majority of carries this week. Last week, he finished as a top 20 fantasy RB with 69 yards from scrimmage and a TD. Do I think he can match those totals once again, even on a few less touches? Yes I do.Hate him: Keenan Allen, SDG, WR - Funston WR rank No. 38 (Y! No. 17) Allen was on my preseason overrated list, and so far things are going as expected. With Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd healthy, and with Danny Woodhead still residing in the backfield on passing downs, QB Philip Rivers has gone sociali

NFL Over/Under: Will Peyton Manning exact revenge in Seattle? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 6:50 pm]
Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 3. No passer has surpassed 20 standard fantasy points in Seattle in 14 straight games. With that in mind, Peyton Manning fantasy points at the Left Coast Link 19.9.  Scott – UNDER. I don't want to hear any of the "but he's Peyton Manning" arguments. Our game is about numbers, not names, and Seattle's defense is ridiculous at home. Yes, Phil Rivers solved this unit last week (helped by the ridiculous Antonio Gates). But remember what Aaron Rodgers did in Seattle on opening night, and what teams usually do in this hornet's nest. Welcome to the Boomtown.  Andy – UNDER, slightly. I think Manning will deliver individual numbers that look something like his Super Bowl performance (but without the lopsided final score), finishing in the 250-280 yard range, with either one or two scores and two turnovers. Against the Seahawks defense, in their building, that's a heckuva day. Brandon – UNDER. That's not an easy O/Unumber to top. Nick Foles scored 19.9 fantasy points in Week 1 with a line of 322 passing yards, two TD passes and one interception. At Seattle, with the Seahawks licking their wounds after a loss in San Diego, I don't expect Manning to be able to do better than that Foles line. Sticking with Denver, freshly reinstated slot machine Wes Welker receptions in his return 5.5 Andy – UNDER. I'll pencil him in for five, but I'm not going to bet on a heavy-usage game in his 2014 debut. We all know how difficult the environment and coverage are going to be. Brandon – UNDER. Welker was under this line in six of his 13 regular-season games last season, so it's almost a coin flip bet. But this is his first game of the year, and I doubt he'll emerge in mid-season form out of the gates. Dalton – UNDER. Welker averaged 5.6 catches per game last season, is coming of

Week 3 Flames: Joique, Romo highlight this week's under-started stars [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 1:23 pm]
Each week the Noise highlights 12-13 somewhat obscure, un-obvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 3 Flames in the comments section below. Tony Romo, Dal, QB (39-percent started)Matchup: at StLRomo has done very little to rectify his blemished reputation. He followed up a Week 1 train-wreck against San Fran with an equally nauseating effort in Tennessee (176-1-0). He and Dez Bryant were virtually unstoppable at times, but the Cowboys offense was carried by thoroughbred, DeMarco Murray, to the finish line. As a result, the QB bottomed out at No. 29 among Week 2 signal callers, one spot behind the 'all mighty' Matt Cassel. Through two games, Romo has only attempted six passes beyond 20 yards, completing one, choosing instead to attack defenses in the short-to-intermediate field. He's also been terrible on play action posting a QB rating of just 38.0 in those situations. That lack of production downfield has justifiably prompted many to question how healthy his back really is. But this is the week Romo regains his QB1 mojo. Yes, the Rams have yet to allow a 175-yard passer, but they faced Cassel and Josh McCown in consecutive weeks. Overall, they've surrendered 7.5 yards per attempt to passers and starting DBs E.J. Gaines and Janoris Jenkins have yielded a catch rate of 65.0 percent to their assignments. Don't be fooled by the superficial numbers. Since 2007, Romo has finished inside the QB top-10 in per game average every year. Though doubt is creeping in, this is the matchup that reassures owners he can still play at a starter-worthy level.  Fearless Forecast: 24-34, 261 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 0 rushing yards, 21.1 fantasy points

Adrian Peterson placed on restricted list [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 7:32 am]
Adrian Peterson is officially back in limbo.  While most of the country was asleep, the news came out early Wednesday: Peterson has been placed on the exempt list, which means he'll stay away from the Vikings while Peterson's child abuse charges are addressed.  Here's the crux of the story, from the Associated Press: The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning, about a day and a half after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son. The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. Several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson. ''While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian,'' owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a statement. ''We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community.'' The stunning reversal comes after a harrowing day on Tuesday that included the Radisson hotel chains suspending its sponsorship with the Vikings. Castrol Motor Oil, Special Olympics Minnesota and Mylan Inc. all severed ties with Peterson, and Twin Cities Nike stores pulled Peterson's jerseys from its shelves. In addition, Anheuser-Busch issued a strongly worded statement that said it was disappointed in the way the NFL was handling all of the negative attention surrounding former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's assault of his then-fiancee, and Peterson's arrest for child abuse. It's impossible to say when Peterson might be back with the Vikings, if ever.  There is no gentle or perfect way to tran

Big Board: Murray a shooting star [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 12:14 am]
The Big Board takes into consideration past returns, current performance and expected future gains in determining who should be included among the top 50 fantasy football players. Essentially, the Big Board is a cheat sheet designed for an owner who is planning to participate in a draft today. Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football default scoring settings are used as the baseline for the Big Board, which is updated on a regular basis during the season. [ Join FanDuel's 1-week fantasy league: $10 to enter; top 4,985 teams get paid Monday ] Big Board 50: Football PlayerPos.STOCKStock 1. LeSean McCoy (PHI) RB -- There's more than enough work to share with Sproles in Philly backfield - avg. of 25.5 touches, 108.5 YFS thru two games 2. DeMarco Murray (DAL) RB +16 His O-line is a force, and he's been on an elite run since second half of '13 - if his health finally allows him to play a full season, watch out 3. Calvin Johnson (DET) WR +2 On paper, has easiest WR schedule over the next six weeks - MegaTron owners, enjoy the ride into his bye week. 4. Arian Foster (HOU) RB +5 New head coach O'Brien channeling old HC Kubiak, giving Foster 27+ carries in each of 1st two games - only Murray has more rush yards thru Week 2 5. Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB +1 SEA only had the ball for 17 minutes vs. SDG in Week 2 and Beast-Mode still managed 63 YFS and a TD - as consistent as they come at RB 6. Matt Forte (CHI) RB -3 Week 2 tough on premiere dual-threat RB (36 YFS, 0 TD) and brutal Week 3 tilt vs. NYJ - schedule softens considerably after that, though - be patient 7. Jimmy Graham (NOR) TE +5 Top Jimmy still the king of TEs: Averaging 100 yards and has scored 2 TDs in 1st two games 8. Julio Jones (ATL) WR +2 Past 16 games (inc. playoffs): 107 catches, 1520 rec. yards, 12 TDs 9. Giovani Bernard (CIN) RB +11 Rookie RB Hill taking some touches, but plenty to go around (CIN 3rd-most RB touches thru 2 weeks) - 3rd in YFS (279) w/ more rec. yards (141) than rush yards (138) 10

Closing Time: The Mile High Salute [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 5:00 pm]
It's our last week in Coors Field. We hope you're having some fun with it. LA cornerman Juan Uribe is near the end of his career at age 35, but he's nonetheless a fun bat to stream when the thin air comes calling. Uribe rapped out three hits in Monday's blowout victory, and he's on a 20-for-49 binge since returning from the DL two weeks ago. He's still unowned in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues, and fairly affordable for the daily crowd. (If Uribe gets a day off, consider Justin Turner on a one-day rental.)Arizona gets a four-game Coors holiday later in the week, which pushes us to outfielder A.J. Pollock. He's rolling along at a .324/.395/.529 clip (one homer, four bags) since coming back to the Snakes at the beginning of the month, locked in as Arizona's No. 3 hitter. The former No. 1 draft pick is a name to remember for next year's sleeper board, and he's someone I want to play anywhere I can down the stretch (no matter the elevation). Pollock is free in 78 percent of The Y. Colorado has some injury-returnees to consider, too. Michael Cuddyer is back in the saddle. Wilin Rosario is catching again (three hits, homer on Monday). Just make sure they're not floating around your wire; Cuddyer is unowned in about a third of Yahoo, while Rosario is at the 50-50 mark. If you need to dig a little deeper, DJ LeMahieu might be worth a depth call. He qualifies at two infield spots (second, third) and provides a plus average and the occasional bag. He's hitting .326 at home (.388 OBP), with 37 runs in 72 games. You can take the spin in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues. -- If you're streaming on the mound, here are some targets (under the 50 percent tag) for Wednesday. Clay Buchholz has turned into a game of Yahtzee, where any number combination is possible. That said, he's allowed just seven earned runs in his last four turns, with 22 strikeouts against seven walks. A date in Pittsburgh doesn't sound too intimidating. I'm surprised James Paxton isn't owned in more pools; he's reeled o

Mostly NFL Notes: Talking Darren Sproles and a look around around the league in Week 2 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 7:06 am]
The Eagles became the first team in NFL history to win their first two contests of the season while trailing by 14+ points in the second half of each game. Monday night also marked the first time in Andrew Luck’s career he’s lost back-to-back games…Luck tossed three touchdowns but got just 5.1 YPA, as Indy relied heavily upon its rushing attack, which produced 169 yards on 38 attempts. Luck, who already has a whopping 10 fourth quarter comebacks during his brief career, wasn’t able to pull off another one Monday night, but it should be noted his interception in the fourth quarter (which looks bad considering the Colts were up seven and in field goal range), involved a blatant hold on the defense that wasn’t called that forced T.Y. Hilton to fall down. An ensuing play also resulted in a 15-yard horse collar penalty during a tackle on LeSean McCoy in which no such infraction occurred…At 31 years old and the seemingly smart Saints willing to give him up for a song (a fifth-round pick), I was skeptical how much juice Darren Sproles had left (although to be fair, Pro Football Focus graded him as the best receiving back in the NFL last season). My skepticism was clearly unfounded, as Sproles might have been the best player on the field Monday night, when he compiled a career-high 152 receiving yards and seven catches. This run was pretty legit, and this play might have been equally as impressive.  Jeremy Maclin has a poor catch percentage so far this season (38.1), but you have to love the 21 targets regardless. His game could’ve been much bigger Monday night had Nick Foles not missed him on a couple of shots when he was open downfield…Foles is going to put up big numbers in this system, but he’s wildly inaccurate at times…Trent Richardson looked generally good and had one of his best performances since joining Indy, but he also fumbled twice (losing one), and Ahmad Bradshaw once again outperformed him. Bradshaw got 5.4 YPC and secured all five of hi

Monday Rewind: Sammy Watkins, plug and play [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 12:34 am]
I'm not from the area, but I'm something of a Buffalo sympathizer. I picked the Bills to win a couple of Super Bowls back in the day, and I still think the Jim Kelly Era is misunderstood historically. I like the people there, respect the values. I like the wings. I know all the words to Buffalo Stance.  And let's also establish that I didn't rank Sammy Watkins very optimistically this summer. A rookie wideout tied to a spotty quarterback and a head coach no one seems sure on, that sounded like a recipe for trouble. He's on zero of my teams, and I was never close to picking him.  Now we're two weeks into the season, and I'd like a mulligan on Watkins. The NFL is like that.  Watkins was playing through obvious pain during Sunday's victory over Miami - he's dealing with a rib injury - but that didn't stop him from dominating the contest. Watkins collected eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, and two of the missed connections could have easily been touchdowns. There hasn't been much of a learning curve for the rookie.  I rewatched the Miami-Buffalo tape to get a sense of where the Bills offense is right now. I wanted to see if the less-than-ideal setup would hold Watkins (and C.J. Spiller) back going forward. I wanted to take the temperature of the scheme, the quarterback, the play caller.  I came away more impressed than I thought I would be. While EJ Manuel remains a work in progress, he made good decisions most of the time. He badly missed Watkins on what should have been an easy slant touchdown inside the red area, but for the most part his throws were accurate (and when he missed, he usually missed to the ideal spot).  Getting open wasn't a problem for Watkins, which speaks to the game plan and the kid's polished skills. Often you'll see a hot-shot rookie enter the NFL with tons of athleticism but mediocre technical skill - sometimes these guys can win consistently in college through sheer physical ability, and it hinders their developme

Yup, more bad news: Mark Ingram expected to miss a month with hand injury [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 15, 2014, 6:03 pm]
Oh, you thought the flood of terrible injury news would abate on Monday? Well, no. That ain't happenin'. Saints running back Mark Ingram reportedly suffered a hand injury in Week 2 — during yet another productive game for the fourth-year back — and he's expected to miss the next month. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: It's still not too late to join a league today! ] Brutal news not only for 0-2 New Orleans, but also for those of us who'd been planning to use Ingram as a potential multi-week fantasy replacement for Jamaal Charles or Knowshon Moreno or Ryan Mathews. Ingram was a high-buzz player throughout the preseason, and he'd done nothing in the opening weeks to dim anyone's enthusiasm. So far, he's carried 24 times for 143 yards (6.0 YPC) and three TDs, plus he's hauled in four passes. (No, that's not exactly a huge number of receptions, but it actually puts him more than halfway to last year's total.) Ingram was an early fantasy success story, with an appealing matchup on deck in Week 3 (vs. Min). And now he's a guy who forces a difficult stash-or-drop decision for many of you. The Saints backs who should receive a value bump in the short term are, of course, Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas. Robinson figures to see plenty of work in short-yardage and goal-to-go situations; Thomas will almost certainly see fewer touches than whatever you're projecting, because that's the story of his career. PT is already long-gone in most Yahoo leagues, making the 17 percent-owned Robinson your priority add. Complicating matters further is the fact that Travaris Cadet has played 27 snaps so far this season, with 15 in Week 2. No one should be shocked if he sees an uptick in usage, allowing the New Orleans' backfield to remain a three-headed mess.  

Green Bay rookie Davante Adams suddenly more than an afterthought [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 15, 2014, 5:25 pm]
In Green Bay's season opening loss at Seattle, rookie receiver Davante Adams played only nine snaps, saw no targets, and thus didn't get his name in the box score. Jarrett Boykin served as the Packers' No. 3 receiver against the Seahawks, seeing the field for 49 snaps (also drawing zero throws, because Richard Sherman). [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: It's still not too late to join a league today! ] But Boykin had an early drop in Week 2, while things weren't going well against the Jets, and the door opened for Adams ... I wouldn't doubt if that Jarrett Boykin drop in the red zone is the moment that leads to Davante Adams becoming #Packers permanent No. 3 WR.— Paul Imig (@Paulimig) September 14, 2014 Sure enough, by the end of the day Adams had played 37 snaps to Boykin's 35, and the rookie had drawn six targets, catching five for 50 yards. He also had a near-TD, for what it's worth. Adams appears to have vaulted over Boykin in the Pack's receiving hierarchy, at least for the moment. Drops are nothing new for Boykin, and Adams is a second-round pick with high expectations attached. If you aren't familiar with Adams' collegiate work, check the stats — they're plenty impressive. He hauled in a ridiculous 131 passes last season for Fresno State, gaining 1,719 yards and finding the end-zone 24 times. Adams accounted for nearly half of Derek Carr's touchdown passes. Those two routinely did stuff like this and this. Adams has decent size (6-foot-1), good hands and stellar leaping ability (39.5-inch vertical). And, again, he's been a massively productive high-volume receiver. We shouldn't need to convince you that Green Bay's offense is capable of supporting three useful fantasy receivers, because that's been the case throughout the Aaron Rodgers era. While the rest of your league is battling over handcuff RBs this week, consider making an add with full-season viability. 

Sunday Scene, Week 2: Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates party like it's 2009; everyone else is hurt [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 15, 2014, 3:41 am]
If you started Philip Rivers in fantasy this week, it was almost certainly an act of pure desperation. Or gross negligence — perhaps you forgot to make lineup changes. Rivers and the Chargers were facing the league's unrivaled top defense. As a general rule, fantasy owners avoid the Seattle D like a radioactive spill. Entering Sunday's action, the Seahawks had not allowed a 200-yard passer in any regular season game since October, 2013 — that's 200 yards, not 300. Seattle is the bear we do not poke. [ Join FanDuel's 1-week fantasy league: $10 to enter; top 4,985 teams get paid Monday ] And yet Rivers, as of this writing, is the second highest-scoring fantasy quarterback of Week 2. He had an obscene afternoon against the Seahawks, completing 28 of 37 pass attempts for 284 yards and three touchdowns. He directed an offense that won time-of-possession by a silly margin — 42:15 to 17:45 — despite the fact that San Diego had almost no success running the football (2.7 YPC, no rush TDs). As promised, the Chargers weren't petrified to challenge Richard Sherman — Keenan Allen roasted him at least once. Antonio Gates hauled in all three of Rivers' TD passes, with a ridiculous one-hander included. If you're still waiting for the Ladarius Green surge ... well, keep waiting. Gates has conceded nothing. After last year's revival under Mike McCoy, Rivers had re-entered pretty much everyone's circle of trust. Let's hope you kept him in the circle this week. We should mention that not everything went perfectly well for San Diego on Sunday, as Ryan Mathews checked out with an early knee injury of as-yet-unknown severity. He was carted to the locker room, which of course is never a good sign. The early word is an MCL sprain. In Mathews' absence, Donald Brown received 10 touches, gaining 31 total yards. He'll presumably see plenty of work next week at Buffalo. • Jamaal Charles suffered an early ankle injury at Denver on Sunday, which brought an abrupt end to Andy Reid's pr

RG3, DeSean Jackson, AJ Green and Knowshon Moreno all ruled out with early injuries [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 14, 2014, 6:37 pm]
Forty-five minutes into the early games on Sunday, four high-impact skill players had already been lost to injury. This day is unfolding in nightmare fashion. Robert Griffin III was the first star to go down, suffering a non-contact left leg injury on a jump-pass following a scramble. Griffin was in immediate, obvious, and substantial pain. He was eventually carted to the locker room, his leg in an air cast, after being treated by the team's training staff. RG3 was quickly ruled out for the afternoon. We have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Griffin had a stunned expression while leaving the field. Not good. Kirk Cousins took over at QB for Washington. A few moments later, Cousins lost one of the NFL's elite deep threats, as DeSean Jackson landed hard on his left shoulder following an incompletion. He, too, was soon ruled out for the day. Brutal. There's really no replacing a receive with D-Jax's speed and big-play ability. That dimension simply leaves the Washington offense. Elsewhere, Miami's Knowshon Moreno checked out early with an awful-looking elbow injury. He's done for the day, and, based on his initial reaction, you have to worry about the weeks ahead. Lamar Miller takes over as the featured runner for the Dolphins. Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green has also been ruled out of action this week, due to a foot/toe injury. If this is eventually diagnosed as turf toe ... well, yikes. That's a fantasy/reality disaster. Green is a top-five talent at his position, the sort of player who cannot be replaced by anyone of comparable ability. The Bengals are leaning on running back Gio Bernard against Atlanta. Green's injury is clearly a significant blow to Andy Dalton's fantasy potential. Let's hope the rest of this day brings better storylines, gamers. So far, it's been ugly — one of the messier Sundays we've seen in years.

Throwing Darts: Will KC offense wake up in Denver? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 14, 2014, 3:40 pm]
I was going to have the Patriots and Giants in this space, but given the line movement there (not captured in Yahoo Pickem), I'll instead put in different picks. Picking New England or New York would feel like cheating now.  Time for five selections, using the Yahoo Pickem lines. And again, I will not consider the Pats or Giants. Share your five best in the comments.  The Chiefs (+12.5) and Chargers (+6) are two of today's throws, in part because I wonder if Denver and Seattle will be looking ahead to their Week 3 showdown. I like San Diego as a playoff team anyway, and surely the Chiefs will do a better job of deploying their playmakers this week (that goes for Charles, and Kelce too). The Rams (+5.5) get a play on a simple NFL concept: you're rarely as bad as you might have looked in a previous week. And it's not like the Bucs covered themselves in glory in their opener.  The Jaguars (+6) should have covered Week 1, and I'll pick them to get the job done against Washington. Jacksonville's defense isn't that bad - it got under Nick Foles's feet for the entire first half. A late defensive touchdown from the Eagles spoiled the cover. Do you know anyone who trusts RG3 right now? I do not.  I don't want to buy into the Lions just because they spanked a bad Giants team. Carolina's defense is still nasty and the line is under 3. Detroit's also on a short week. Get the check mark out for the Panthers (-2.5). Last Week: 2-3 (thanks Jags, thanks Steelers)  

Injury Wrap: Down to the wire for Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 12, 2014, 11:33 pm]
It's been a long, complicated week. Here's the latest on the injury and status front, beginning with the wide receivers.  • Brandon Marshall (ankle) was held out of Friday's team practice, though he did some light jogging on the side. He'll be a game-time decision for Sunday night's feature at San Francisco. Things are also cloudy for Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), though he did some work Friday. Santonio Holmes might need to play a notable role for the Bears in this game. It could also be a busy evening for TE Martellus Bennett and RB Matt Forte.  [ Join FanDuel's 1-week fantasy league: $10 to enter; top 4,985 teams get paid Monday ] If you can't find a Sunday night caddy for Marshall or Jeffery (a late-game option to use in a pinch), don't forget to look at the Philly-Indianapolis game, where both teams have several pass-catching options.  • Cecil Shorts (hamstring) didn't work Friday, and although he's listed as doubtful, you can rule him out of the game at Washington. Marqise Lee (hamstring) should be able to play, and Allen Hurns is also worth considering.  • A.J. Green (foot) had a full Friday and is probable for the home opener against Atlanta. Good to go.  • Dwayne Bowe (quad) is available for the Chiefs again, if a little dinged up. He's listed as probable. He'll get a full test from Denver's excellent secondary.  • The Dolphins list Mike Wallace (hamstring) as probable, so give him a go at Buffalo. The new regime seems to have a better understanding of getting Wallace open, and he just missed a second touchdown against the Patriots.  • Wes Welker is expected to be freed of his suspension when the new NFL drug policy is officially ratified, but it still appears unlikely Welker will play Sunday against Kansas City.  • Terrance Williams (back) should be able to go at Tennessee. He's probable.  • Reggie Wayne had a veteran's rest on Thursday, but he should be fine for Monday's pinball match against Philadelphia. He remains PPR roy





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