Fantasy Football News and Notes 12-5-13

News and Notes from Thursday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Show

Fantasy News and Notes 12-05-13:
 
Quarterbacks
 
Even though he practiced today in limited fashion, Jay Cutler has been ruled OUT for week 14. Josh McCown will start in his place for Chicago. Cutler is tentatively expected to return in week 15, but that is tentative.
 
Aaron Rodgers has been able to take part in very limited parts of practice but he is not expected to be able to play week 14 because of his collarbone injury. Matt Flynn is expected to start week 14 for the Packers.  
 
Carson Palmer has been limited in practices because of an elbow injury. Apparently his elbow got bent at an awkward angle in week 13. While tentatively Palmer is expected to be okay for week 14, his status has to be deemed questionable at the present. If it turns out to be worse than currently believed, Drew Stanton would start for the Cardinals.  
 
Christian Ponder still hasn't been cleared to practice and he is not expected to play this week. It sounds like Minnesota is leaning towards starting Matt Cassel this week instead of Josh Freeman.
 
Jason Campbell was cleared to return to practice today and got in a limited session. This is a good sign for his chances to be cleared for game action in time to start week 14. However, it's still not a sure thing he will play. Campbell missed week 13 with a concussion. Teammate Brandon Weeden has not been cleared to practice since suffering a concussion himself in week 13 so if Campbell doesn't play, Cleveland will be forced to start either Caleb Hanie (signed Tuesday) or Alex Tanney (signed off Dallas's practice squad two weeks ago).
 
 
Running Backs
 
Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell has been practicing this week and barring any setbacks should be good to start week 14. Bell suffered a concussion on Thanksgiving night, but the extra time off appears to have been plenty of time for him to get over it.
 
Adrian Peterson sat out practice today because of his groin injury. Peterson missed yesterday's practice too and while it's a bit concerning, he is expected to be fine for week 14. AP didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday of last week before returning for a limited Friday practice and then started without issue week 13.
 
Reggie Bush sat out practice for a second consecutive day today. Bush has a calf injury and speculation is that he may end up being listed as Questionable on Friday's injury report and may even be considered a game time decision. Even if Bush is active, this bodes well for the value of backup Joique Bell. Bell likely will have an even bigger than normal role, and if Bush were to actually sit out this week's game, Bell would be the primary RB. If anyone has been sleeping in your league and Bell is available, he needs to be owned.
 
Oakland should have Rashad Jennings for week 14. Jennings suffered a concussion on Thanksgiving Day and while he's been limited in practices, he is tentatively expected to be cleared for game action by Saturday. Teammate Darren McFadden isn't so lucky though. McFadden has an ankle injury and hasn't been able t practice and is considered very questionable for week 14.
 
The Panthers expect to have DeAngelo Williams back this week. DW missed week 13 with a quad injury. Williams has been able to practice in limited fashion this week and should be active. Although Jonathan Stewart hasn’t practiced yet because of his ankle injury, Stewart is expected to be okay for week 14 as well. Expect the unpredictable 3 headed RBBC between Williams, Stewart, and Mike Tolbert to be in full swing week 14.
 
Andre Ellington was able to practice in limited today and tentatively is expected to play week 14 after missing last week with a knee injury. However, he's not as good a consideration for fantasy purposes as he normally would be.
 
The Giants are likely to be without Brandon Jacobs this week. Jacobs can't avoid aggravating his chronic knee injury when he plays. I fully expect Peyton Hillis to be Andre Brown's top backup and change of pace RB this week.
 
 
Wide Receivers
 
Vincent Jackson was limited in practice after not practicing yesterday because of a hamstring injury. It's not believed to serious enough to put his week 14 status in jeopardy, but we'll have to see how he's listed on tomorrow's injury report.
 
Aaron Dobson was unable to practice again today and he is not expected to play week 14 because of his sprained foot. Kenbrell Thompkins has been practicing in limited fashion because of a hip injury and he's not a sure bet to play week 14. New England re-signed Austin Collie today and he could serve as the Patriots #4 WR with rookie Josh Boyce as the #3 if neither Dobson nor Thompkins plays.
 
Denver's Demaryius Thomas has been limited this week because of a shoulder injury suffered week 13 but he's fully expected to be fine for week 14.
 
The Jets say that they expect to have both Jeremy Kerley and Santonio Holmes active for week 14. Kerley has been practicing and appears ready to return from a week 9 dislocated elbow injury while Holmes has had issues with his hamstring and foot. Kerley is a risky fantasy consideration, but he's easily the best WR on the team and the only one worth even thinking about starting any given week.
 
I don't expect San Diego's Eddie Royal to play this week. Royal was playing through a toe injury for a few weeks, but he sustained a chest injury in week 12 and missed week 13 and hasn't practiced at all this week. Even if active, I wouldn't trust him.
 
 
Tight Ends
 
Julius Thomas took part in a full practice today and he is on track to return to the Broncos starting lineup week 14 barring any setbacks. Thomas has missed the last two games with a knee injury.
 
Jordan Reed was able to take part in a limited practice today but his status for week 14 is still uncertain. He needs to pass a few more tests before he'll be cleared to return from his concussion. Consider him questionable for this week.
 
Tennessee's Delanie Walker hasn't practiced yet this week because of his concussion. He is sounding very unlikely to play week 14. With Craig Stevens also questionable with a concussion the Titans went out and signed Visanthe Shiancoe yesterday. Shiancoe likely will be active this week but as the backup to Taylor Thompson if neither Walker nor Stevens gets cleared in time.
 
Baltimore hasn't yet ruled out Dennis Pitta for week 14. Pitta is eligible to return from the IR/Designated for Return list at any time. Pitta had surgery to repair a fractured hip back in preseason. But he's not expected to be back for at least another week. 

 

NFL Game Picks and Survivor Pool Lock: Week 14

Russ Bliss Predicts the Winners of each NFL Game this week

The difference between going 15-1 and 11-5? Two overtime games and 7 points in the other two. Oh well, that's the way it goes, and has gone this season. It's sad to think that 11-5 in week 13 was one of my best weeks of the season. I now stand at 119-72-1 and with 64 games left to play, I would need to get 61 correct to reach the annual goal of 180. Much like the Houston Texans playoff hopes, I'm not mathematically eliminated from reaching it, but the odds are clearly against me. We'll see where I eventually end up by the end of the season. Maybe I can at least get to 170?
 
Here are my week 14 NFL game predictions:
 
Houston 20, Jacksonville 17
Green Bay 27, Atlanta 21
Tampa Bay 21, Buffalo 17
New England 35, Cleveland 14
Detroit 31, Philadelphia 24
Cincinnati 27, Indianapolis 17
Kansas City 30, Washington 21
Pittsburgh 23, Miami 13
Baltimore 27, Minnesota 16
Oakland 16, NY Jets 10
Denver 37, Tennessee 20
San Diego 23, NY Giants 17
San Francisco 28, Seattle 17
Arizona 23, St. Louis 20
New Orleans 27, Carolina 20
Dallas 27, Chicago 23
 
There you have them: my week 14 NFL game picks.
 
Speaking of those overtime games, my Survivor Pool lock was a loser in one of them. Buffalo blew it against Atlanta and the Survivor Pool record took yet another hit. 8-5 is embarrassing but I'll still give out a pick the last 4 weeks so you can laugh at me. Keeping in true tradition I will only take a team once, even if it turned out to be a loser. Here are the picks and results each week to date:
 
Week 1 (W; 21-17) Indianapolis over Oakland
Week 2 (L; 30-33) Philadelphia over San Diego
Week 3 (W; 45-17) Seattle over Jacksonville
Week 4 (W; 52-20) Denver over Philadelphia
Week 5 (W; 34-20) St. Louis over Jacksonville
Week 6 (W; 24-7) Kansas City over Oakland
Week 7 (L; 27-30) New England over NY Jets
Week 8 (W; 42-10) San Francisco over Jacksonville
Week 9 (W; 27-23) Dallas over Minnesota
Week 10 (L; 27-29) Tennessee over Jacksonville
Week 11 (L; 23-28) Houston over Oakland
Week 12 (W; 17-13) New Orleans over Atlanta
Week 13 (L; 31-34) Buffalo over Atlanta
 
There are two double digit winners to choose from this week, and both are at home. Both are also from the AFC North. I'm happy taking either one, but tie goes to the home team playing outside against a dome team with a weak offense and a backup QB. Doesn't take a genius to figure this one out. Matt Cassel outside is going to be brutal.
 
My Survivor Pool Lock for Week 14 is: the Baltimore Ravens over the Minnesota Vikings.
 
Good luck to all in your picks!