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2014 EYE IN THE SKY NFL SCOUTING REPORTS

Once again in 2014 (come September), we are bringing you in-season NFL Team Reports from our "Eye in the Sky" correspondents. These reports represent a local point of view which isn't readily available on the web. We remind everyone, the views expressed within these reports contain speculation as well as fact. It's just another extra bonus from FFMastermind.com to keep all fantasy football fanatics well informed.


BUFFALO BILLS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


MIAMI DOLPHINS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


NEW YORK JETS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


BALTIMORE RAVENS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


CINCINNATI BENGALS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


CLEVELAND BROWNS
11/26/2014

Browns pull a horseshoe out of their butt to eek out a win over Atlanta with no time left. Only news of note on player front is TE Jordan Cameron is expected back as he practiced late last week on Friday and again today, day before Thanksgiving.

"That's not how I play, it really pisses me off."--Browns QB Brian Hoyer on his poor showing in Atlanta

QUARTERBACK PLAY Browns QB Brian Hoyer connected on 23 of 40 for 322 yards 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Hoyer became the only Browns quarterback to eclipse the 300 yard barrier in back-to-back games since the Reagan administration when Brian Sipe did that back in the early 1980s. Hoyer was tough on himself and for good reason. The game this week is in his hands and we feel he'll have a bounce back game but we can't green light him, at best a yellow caution light for QB Brian Hoyer this week.

RUNNING BACKS Browns RB Isaiah Crowell got the start but only saw 12 carries but he made the most of them gaining 88 yards along with 2 touchdowns. RB Terrance West got more carries with 14 and chipped in 63 tough yards 0 touchdowns. The duo work well together wearing down defenses. Facing a tough Buffalo front and not knowing who is going to get the bulk of the carries we're a bit hesitant to green light anyone so yellow caution light for RB Isaiah Crowell against the Bills.

RECEIVER PLAY As noted TE Jordan Cameron is back but we don't know what to expect in terms of snap count or what he'll be able to do. WR Josh Gordon came back in style with 8 receptions good for 120 yards, the most yards by any Browns receiver this year. The amazing thing is that Flash looked rusty and left lots of yards and receptions out on the field and that can improve as he and Hoyer develop chemistry after not working together till this last week. WR Andrew Hawkins made the most of having Gordon back as he hauled in 5 receptions for 93 yards. Even WR Miles Austin got in the act with 6 receptions for 64 yards. The odd man out was free agent WR Taylor Gabriel who only had 1 receptions for 13 yards. This week against Buffalo the yards will inevitably drop overall but big green light start for WR Josh Gordon and a yellow caution light for WR Andrew Hawkins and although we're tempted to dial up TE Jordan Cameron the best we can do is give an extreme cautionary yellow in his first action back.

IDP REPORT With LB Karlos Dansby OUT LB Craig Robertson stepped up with 7 solos and 2 assists but outside of another solid game by CB Joe Haden 5 solos and 1 interception the only other Browns defender to have good IDP stats was LB Paul Kruger who had 3 solos and 2 big sacks. This week SS Donte Whitner faces his old team and he is going to hear it from the Buffalo crowd as he got into some sort of silly Twitter war that could come back to haunt him or it could motivate him. Donte is a firey guy so we're going to say he has a big game against the Bills who are bound to seek out Whitner.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Aspettate fino alla prossima volta... Till next time, Ciao!

Bob Fergus


PITTSBURGH STEELERS
11/26/2014

The 7-4 Steelers return from their bye to face the 4-7 Saints at Heinz Field. The Saints despite losing 3 straight at home remain tied for the lead of their division with the 4-7 Falcons whom the Steelers play in week 16. The Steelers control their own even with every team in their division having 7 wins. The Steelers still play the Bengals twice in the final four weeks.

QB: The Steelers will likely need to score some points to beat the Saints. That should be possible against the 27th ranked total defense and 23rd ranked passing defense of the Saints. Not that QB Ben Roethlisberger has been anything close to consistent. He has followed two of the biggest fantasy days in recent memory with a pair of pedestrian performances. The first in New Jersey completely inexplicable, the second in Tennessee because of a dominating running attack after halftime. Roethlisberger has been much better at home. He has home run ceiling with a very low floor. At this point in the season you probably know whether he should be in your lineup or not.

RB: The release of RB LaGarrette Blount makes RB LeVeon Bell the clear every down back. Barring injury he should be one of the best running back options from a fantasy perspective down the stretch. His backups are rookie free agent RB Josh Harris signed off the practice squad before the bye and rookie change of pace third round RB Dri Archer. Bell should easily get 25 touches or more per game. Facing the Saints 23rd ranked run defense at home doesn’t hurt his prospects.

WR: The dominance of WR Antonio Brown is well documented. Matchups are meaningless for him, but playing the Saints doesn’t hurt. WR Martavis Bryant took a small step back in Tennessee. Did anyone really think he was going to score every active week of his career? He is definitely in the conversation in deep leagues that use three wide outs.

TE: Before the bye TE Heath Miller had one of his better performances of the season. Unfortunately he has been used more as a blocker recently. The emergence of Bryant in the red zone has further limited Miller. Find another fantasy option.

K: Nothing changes with PK Shaun Suisham. He is tied for 10th in scoring among kickers. Opportunities determine his week-to-week scoring. If he is the best on your roster then put him in your fantasy lineup.

DEF/ST: The bye helped the defense get healthier. S Troy Polamalu and CB Ike Taylor practiced with the first team defense starting on Monday. LB Ryan Shazier, LB Jarvis Jones and S Shamarko Thomas also practiced. Polamalu is the surest to return with Taylor a close second. CB William Gay would likely stay in the starting lineup if Taylor plays as expected with CB Brice McCain becoming the third corner. Shazier was more guarded about his prospects to be back. Jones has yet to be activated off injured reserve designated to return. In any case the Saints have the 2nd ranked total offense and 3rd ranked passing offense. The Steelers defense has been notoriously inconsistent so finding a better fantasy option is the safest course of action.

Rick Moses


HOUSTON TEXANS
11/26/2014

Did someone say play-offs? Not me! Just when it looked like QB Ryan Mallett was going to demonstrate his long range plan he tore a pectoral muscle in last week’s pre-game warm-ups. The coaches let him play even though he stunk up the place. It’s a good thing the roof was open. It’s back to QB Ryan Fitzgerald for the rest of the season. There goes the old ballgame. When QB Thad Lewis shows up you know something is wrong!
RB Arian Foster looks good to play this week against the Titans. He needs to. RB Alfred Blue didn’t make it happen last week. It looked like the coaches called an inept game plan; they did not put him in a position to succeed. Expect the fans to start booing if Foster can’t play and if we see a repeat of last week. The fans deserve better from the Owner and the coaches.

Everyone including the TEs and backs tried to catch passes last week. Led by WR Andre Johnson and WR DeAndre Hopkins the receiving corps could not reach and / or hang on to those misguided howitzers. Hopkins seems to have the best chemistry with Fitz. I look for Johnson to start looking old and worn out again.

I watched DE Jadeveon Clowney a lot last week. To me he looks like he trying to figure out how play at this level; in other words he’s playing like a rookie. He’s also favoring that knee. DE J.J. Watt and a make-shift LB corps could not figure out how to stop the Bengals run game. CB Kareem Jackson was missed last week. The young CBs are improving each week but they’re not ready for Prime time. I had a good view of the CB Johnathan Joseph pick six. That play was there all day; a very predictable pass on third and short. I was expecting to see more over the top Safety coverage and another pick six.

FANTASY OUTLOOK
PK Randy Bullock is kicking well; I’d start him if he were on my team. Definitely play Foster and always start the Texans D.

David Trojanowsky


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
11/28/2014

Hey there Colts' fans, and Happy Thanksgiving! Here are my thoughts as the reeling Redskins visit the Luke to take on the AFC South leading Colts on Sunday:

Injuries/roster: The big news was the early-week signing of veteran LB Shaun Phillips, who had just been released by the Titans. The pass rushing specialist should fill a gap in the team's performance by providing a consistent threat, although snaps will be harder to distribute with the better run support offered by youngsters LB Bjoern Werner and LB Erik Alden. He should play this weekend in obvious passing situations. To make room on theroster, the team released rookie CB Loucheiz Purifoy who showed tremendous athleticism on special teams as a gunner and a backup return specialist, but whose many minor off-field transgressions put him on thin ice with the team. With the injuries at corner, he might have actually seen some time this week within the defensive packages -- but not now! TE Dwayne Allen and LB Andy Studebaker have again not practiced this week, although Coach Pagano implied that Allen is getting better and has not yet been ruled out on Sunday. The top four corners are all dinged, although all returned to a full practice this week except top man CB Vontae Davis who was limited on Thursday; Pagano expects him to play on Sunday. Veteran defensive leader DE Cory Redding missed practice this week with a bad knee, and his status is in question for this weekend. Young OL Xavier Nixon struggled in place of starter OT Gosder Cherilus, and then got hurt on Wednesday at practice so it is a good thing that Cherilus looks to return at right tackle this week. The MASH unit is getting a lot of work as crunch time rolls around…¦

QB: QB Andrew Luck should rebound from his worst performance of the season by taking aim at a Redskins pass defense that is among the league's worst. They have allowed 65% completions and the 2nd-best opposing quarterback rating at an average of 104 per game! They are among the leaders in TD passes allowed and have the 2nd-fewest interceptions (the only thing that has hurt Luck thus far) with only 4. I can't see a reason why the Skins would be able to do anything to slow this team down any. Look for a return by Luck to a 300+ yard passing line and multiple TDs tossed.

RB: Reading between the lines, it sure looks like RB Boom Herron will get the start again this week and take on the role previously held by RB Ahmad Bradshaw. Herron's fumble inside the 10 yard line last week might mean that RB Trent Richardson has a bigger role as a goal line specialist than he would have with Bradshaw in the lineup, so in scoring heavy leagues T-Rich's value may be a bit higher. Washington has allowed a fair amount of rushing yards, but a relatively low total of rushing scores and have caused a NFL-best 10 fumbles on the ground. This looks to favor Herron's role in eating up yards, and perhaps reduce Richardson's appeal this week. I will say that they will split the yards and touches about 60-40 in favor of Herron (some clock-killing points in the 4th quarter are anticipated), with Richardson having a 50/50 shot at a ground score. Neither are huge bets this week, but neither should kill you as a #3 or a flex.

WR: I look for WR TY Hilton to explode again this week with a great chance for a high output, as they tend to get beat deep once a game or more. However, looking at the guys that have given them the most trouble, it has been the bigger receivers, especially in the red zone. While Hilton should be great again, I do think that a red zone score will be available for a guy like WR Hakeem Nicks or WR Donte Moncrief. Since the rookie is outsnapping the veteran right now, I have a hunch that Moncrief will get his chance to dance this week. As much as I love WR Reggie Wayne, it is hard to get real excited about him as much more than a #3 or #4. Nonetheless, in PPRs he should do better as a lot of underneath stuff will be available and the proud veteran does not want to fade away without a statistical fight.

TE: The Skins' red zone passing vulnerability is also demonstrated by the fact that they have been beaten for 7 tight end TDs already in 2014, leaving open the door for TE Coby Fleener who looks to garner a lot of the tight end targets and snaps this Sunday with Allen still questionable. If Allen plays, he will be in limited roles and will use his red zone prowess to likely score; otherwise, I can see Fleener or even backup TE Jack Doyle getting into the end zone. The Colts need to improve their red zone efficiency, and this defense is a good one to exploit with this position.

K: Until PK Adam Vinatieri misses a kick, or is injured, he is an automatic start for a high-octane offense with recent red zone issues. A solid bet for multiple FGs and multiple PATs as well. Start him.

D: Many people picked up the defense looking for a streaming option against a shaky offense like the Redskins. Playing at home against a turnover- and sack-prone team that is not scoring well…looks like a recipe for success. I will note that the ascension of Colt McCoy to the starting role does attenuate my expectations a bit since he has shown to be less prone to sacks or turnovers than has been RG3. I still think this is a unit worth starting, especially with the 6 return TDs allowed already this season. They are a mid-range #1 starting unit this week, most likely.

Overall: Playing at home against a disorganized team with some locker room turmoil looks like a lock, but this is the sort of trap game that has bitten many championship pretenders in the past. A new QB often gives a spark to both sides of the ball, and this team has nothing to play for except pride. The homecoming of Pierre Garcon will also be dangerous for an emotional receiver than can ignite his team. That being said, the Colts on paper should win this game handily – and a championship team must squash this soort of opponent. While the game should go in Indy's favor, the ebb and flow of the game will perhaps indicate the chances this squad has of making any real playoff noise. The 9.5 point spread is telling: the Redskins have been at least this big an underdog twice this season, and they covered both times with each game being on the road (including a 20-17 win in Dallas, with Colt McCoy at quarterback). I think this is a dangerous team that the Colts must take seriously, and should be able to find a way to beat in any case. I believe that the Redskins will make a crucial mistake or penalty (they lead the league in penalties and are among the worst in turnovers and differential) and the Colts will escape with a surprisingly close 30-24 win at home to move closer to sewing up the AFC South.

That is all for this week from the Crossroads of America. Enjoy your weekend, and may the ball bounce your way as the playoff positions get decided Until next week friends, remember to remain…. COLTSTRONNG!!!

Chris Rito


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


TENNESSEE TITANS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


DENVER BRONCOS
11/26/2014

Miami 36 Denver 38
QB Peyton Manning (28/35-257-4-0) threw four touchdown passes (three to Demaryius Thomas) but RB C.J. Anderson (27-167-1; 4-28-0) and WR Emmanuel Sanders (9-125-0; 1-3-0) were the stars of the day,with 323 yards from scrimmage. Broncos' offensive linemen, delivered a good performance as Manning was sacked just once (his fault), and Denver had a season-high 201 rushing yards on 35 carries. Miami opened with a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Denver responded with a heavy dose of RB C.J. Anderson, but settled for a PK Brandon McManus (1/2 field goal; 4/4 PAT) 38 yard field goal. The teams exchanged punts, with Denver miscues (a penalty and a poor punt) giving Miami the ball at Denver's 47. Miami again scored easily on Ryan Tannehill's one yard sweep and a 14-3 lead. Four passes to Sanders, three C.J. Anderson runs, and a personal foul call on Miami got the Broncos goal-to-go, but an offensive pass interference call on WR Demaryius Thomas (10-87-3) nullified a touchdown pass to TE Jacob Tamme. Thomas scored two throws later and drew the Broncos to within 14-10. But the Dolphins came right back with an 80-yard touchdown march, (fumbling three times/losing none) on a 10-yard pass and a 21-10 lead. Manning came right back with a terrific 80 yard scoring drive (Thomas) before halftime. Trailing 21-17 but receiving the second-half kickoff.

The first drive of the third quarter saw Anderson and RB Juwan Thompson (5-33-0) carry the Broncos down to the Miami seven but Manning didn't throw to a wide open WR Wes Welker (4-18-1) instead taking an eight-yard sack. McManus' 33-yard field goal attempt hit the right up right and OG Manny Ramirez and WR Demaryius Thomas’s reactions to the miss raises questions about the team chemistry. A 12-yard sack by Terrance Knighton blew up Miami's next drive, but WR Isaiah Burse fumbled the punt return while unwisely fighting for extra yards. That set Miami up at the 12, and four plays later, the Dolphins stretched thier to 28-17 on a five-yard scoring pass. For the second time of the day, CB Omar Bolden provided the Broncos with solid field position with an excellent return to the 40.

Denver threw a heavy dose of Anderson and Thomas at the Dolphins, resulting in an easy five-yard touchdown pass to Thomas. During the drive, Denver converted a fourth and two from the 41 and a successful two point conversion to cut Miami's lead to three: 28-25. The Broncos next possession begain at their own 30. Anderson, Sanders, and Thomas accounted for the entirety of their 70-yard touchdown drive. Anderson walked in from 10 yards out on a devastating block by LG Orlando Franklin and their first lead of the day, 32-28. Three plays later, a first-down pass glanced off the shoulder pad of a leaping DT Terrance Knighton and the hand of the receiver and into the hands of S T.J. Ward, who returned it 37 yards to the Miami eight. Two throws to WR Wes Welker and the Broncos led 39-28.

Aided by three defensive penalties, the Dolphins drove 84 yards in nine plays, scoring on a one-yard pass and adding a two-point conversion. But Anderson recovered the onside kick, and then helped run out the clock with a 26-yard run on second down. The Broncos almost hit double digits in penalties yet again while also missing a lot of tackles. Ultra conservative Head Coach John Fox is over relient on kicking (FG/Punt) but he went against convention twice (4th & 2; "too early" 2pt convesion). letting Peyton Manning and the offense do their thing-almost always a better choice. Brandon McManus' field goal woes continued, but the Broncos kickoff a lot because of their high scoring offense and McManus is one of the league's best in that department. There is a lot of value to making your opponent start from no better than their own 20.

However, Denver has waived McManus and signed PK Connor Barth who has the ninth best career field goal percentage (84.167%) but is atrocious on kickoffs with zero touchbacks in 77 attempts with an average of 61.5 yards. Denver is a team that kicks off a whole lot (64/75% touchback), but does not attempt many field goals (13). LB Brandon Marshall suffered a concusion and cornerbacks Aqib Talib (hamstring) and Kayvon Webster (shoulder) are day to day. CB Omar Bolden’s return game, Wes Welker's receptions and TE Virgil Green's blocking were key to the offense's resurgent game.

DENVER @ KANSAS CITY

KC has developed a dynamic offense that is tough to prepare for: West Coast route concepts, zone and power run schemes, packaged plays, the jet sweep and pre-snap movement. Alex Smith is the perfect quarterback to run Reid's system with the quarterback's run/pass option. Rookie RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas' is a wild card because of his versatility in the offense. TE Travis Kelce is the centerpiece of the passing game and a matchup target. Jamal Charles is the focus of the running game. The Broncos should go with a heavy dose of the tackle breaking backfield duel threat, CJ Anderson on the ground and Demaryious Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders through the air. TE Julius Thomas is day to day, but could go if he practices Friday. Connor Barth will handle the kicking duties, setting up a real challenge from the coverage team and probably the defense. Denver is favored by two points on the road at the always tough Arrowhead stadium. Denver 27 -KC 24

FANTASY OUTLOOK
QB Peyton Manning, WR Demaryious Thomas and WR Emmanuel Sanders are must starts. RB CJ Anderson is a high#2 or low #1 fantasy running back with RB Juwan Thompson as his handcuff who will get some carries. TE Julius Thomas is a must start if he plays and TE Jacob Tamme getting some looks if Thomas doesn't play. PK Connor Barth is a low end #1 kicker.
D/ST is a backup only.

"Win the Super Bowl or Bust"

Charles Rives


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


OAKLAND RAIDERS
11/25/2014

Despite all the rules, play calling, game planning and personalities the modern football coach may have to contend with; football in its essence is still a simple sport. To succeed on a consistent basis, a team needs to win the battle at the point of attack, namely the offensive line, and run the football. Even if your run game is just successful enough to keep the defense honest, you had better have one.

The bulk of the season showed us a disappointing running game, and even though most of us in Raider Nation love us some QB Derek Carr, the rookie signal caller had little time to work and no consistency around him to ease the workload.

Many, including myself have been calling some more of RB Latavius Murray. Having measurables like a 4.38 40 time, while standing in at 6’3” and weighing 225lbs are huge attributes that cannot be taught. While not laterally elusive, Murray can simply break through a lot of tackles and then he’s gone. In very limited action prior to suffering a concussion Murray had just 4 carries on Thursday night, and with those gashed the Chiefs for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Luckily, for Latavius, the team and Raider Nation, he will have a few extra days to get past those concussion symptoms before traveling to St. Louis to face the Rams. In case any of you didn’t think he earned a few more touches, Interim head coach Tony Sparano indicated that he indeed had.

“Did he earn more snaps? Yeah, that was kind of obvious. We put him in there early and we got him going early. When you run the ball the way he ran the ball today, he earns more snaps, no doubt about it. I think we just have to see how he comes out of this thing here and what happens here with him in the next couple of days. Luckily, we have a few days here right now.”, said Sparano.

Aside from Murray, RB Darren McFadden led the team in carries with 12 but got not much from them. FB Marcel Reece came in for the latter minutes of the game, and played a large part in getting the win.

“He’s a big back. Anytime I’ve ever used him that way or seen him used that way, he can push the pile a little bit. I felt like we were moving him pretty good a little bit there. He did a heck of a job. He really did. I don’t think the guy took a handoff this week in practice and he’s just always ready – a real Oakland Raider.”, said Sparano.

A good part of this game was played in some pretty wet conditions, and playing with a lead, Carr didn’t have to do a lot. The young Carr completed 18 of his 35 attempts for 174 yards and a score. This week, against a Rams secondary that has found its groove lately, Carr would once again be a low-end option even as a second quarterback.

Carr has done a good job spreading the ball around, which can be good or bad depending on your perspective. Those of us in fantasy don’t necessarily like it. For a good part of this season, its seemed like WR James Jones is the most trustable wide receiver. Jones garnered 5 catches for 47 yards with a score, while WR Andre Holmes was the leader with 5 catches for 55 yards. Murray wasn’t in the game long enough for us to see if was to be involved in the passing game. McFadden and Reece were both somewhat active with 3 catches between them.

The defense was pumped up from the get go. Maybe it was the success of the run game, or the fact that the Raiders Hall of Famers were in attendance. S Charles Woodson and LB Sio Moore got to QB Alex Smith for sacks; while CB Larry Asante had a forced fumble.

This week, against the Rams the team will look to attempt to recreate the formula that worked against the Chiefs. QB Shaun Hill is a professional journeyman quarterback, but can be pressured. The Rams will try to follow the same formula that the Raider will try; running the ball with RB Tre Mason, and make plays on defense. Their defense was a preseason darling in fantasy drafts, and after a slow start is coming on the last few weeks.

Lets Go Silver and Black!

H.D. Coelho


SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


DALLAS COWBOYS
11/25/2014

The Dallas Cowboys don’t do boring. All things must be done in dramatic fashion. In this they did not disappoint us as they battled to beat the Giants in their house and keep pace with those Philadelphia Eagles.

The Giants came out swinging, and the Cowboys had no answer for rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. I suppose the kid looks pretty good, although he is quite the hotdog. We all saw the catch he made at the goal line; from every angle and with much dialogue. DC Rod Marinelli and the defense made some adjustments, and were able to keep him somewhat contained in the second half, but he did pile up 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants weren’t that successful running the ball, as the Cowboys were able to hold RB Rashad Jennings and RB Andre Williams to well under 100 yards although Jennings was utilized heavily as a receiver out of the backfield; snagging 8 catches for 68 yards.

The Cowboys early on went off script and put the ball more in the hands of QB Tony Romo. That is not the current formula for success. HC Jason Garrett does like to show the football world just how smart he is occasionally. Eventually RB Demarco Murray was able to get on track and get his. Murray chalked up another 100 yard plus day, with a pair of catches too.

Romo had a very solid game, going for 275 yards with 4 scores. It goes without saying that the Cowboys would not be the same team without Romo at the helm, but I’m saying it anyway.

So while Romo, Murray and Dez get a lot of credit, and deservedly so, for the new version of the Cowboy triplets, but the unsung heroes to most are the defense and the offensive line. Those lovable lugs on the offensive line were on full display in the closing minutes of the game gave Romo an immense amount of time to analyze the field and make his plays. Unofficially I did a 7 second count on one play. That is huge. Going back to the draft, the pick of RG Zack Martin over QB Johnny Manziel looks like sheer genius. Martin has started every game this season at right guard. And he’s been so impressive that Pro Football Focus has graded him the highest among all Cowboys players through 10 games.

“I think it would be asking too much to think any rookie is going to come in and play as well as Zack’s playing, from the get-go,” Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “I think we thought he could come in here and be a starter for us Day One. But to play at the level he’s playing really from the day he walked into camp, and minicamps and OTAs, it’s just been a pleasant surprise that he’s even better than we expected.

Martin hasn’t done it alone of course but was simply the last piece of the puzzle, a very good puzzle. LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, RT Doug Free, and LG Ron Leary make up what is arguably the best offensive line in football.

The defense has played well better than anyone thought they were capable of. DC Rod Marinelli is not one to rest on his laurels though, and knows there is still a tough final stretch ahead. That is a good thing, as in the past all true fans of Americas Team have seen them choke when they think they have things all sewn up.

"I don't know if we figured anything out. t's about us, just tackling and doing the things we're supposed to do. There's nothing else to figure out.", said Rod Marinelli after the game.

It seems like week in week out, the defense finds ways to get it together. Several players have stood out at times, and made real differences compared to the much-maligned 2013 version.

"In the beginning, we didn't have it. We got in at halftime and made some adjustments, talked to each other, lifted each other up. We came back out like men and we went out swinging.” Said DE Jeremy Mincey

This week, the Cowboys will once again host the Thanksgiving game in Arlington playing the division rival Eagles for the lead in the NFC East. HC Chip Kelly will have to lean on QB Mark Sanchez, who for all his recent numbers will always be the “butt fumble guy” to me. He does have many weapons in his arsenal though, including rookie WR Jordan Matthews who is coming on strong the last few weeks and adds another wrinkle down the seam. No one on the Cowboys will be overlooking RB Lesean McCoy and WR Jeremy Maclin either.

Lets hope the Cowboys don’t have an identity crisis playing on the national stage again. Yes, old fashioned football with a heavy run game and a stout defense can be construed by some to be “boring” Do you know what never gets boring? Winning.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, Lets go Cowboys!

H.D. Coelho


NEW YORK GIANTS
11/26/2014

The Giants lose a heartbreaking game to the Cowboys Sunday night in MetLife Stadium 31-28. I had tickets to this game but unfortunately could not attend as I was under the weather. If I had attended, I likely would have become sick anyway. Supposedly, 65% of the stadium was filled with Cowboy fans. That is downright embarrassing and a telling sign of this disastrous season. The offense held up its end of the bargain but once again the defense lived up to its bottom feeder ranking. The G-Men are now 3-8 and 1-3 in the division.

Here are the fantasy results:
QB Eli Manning had a very good game and did get some time to throw from the revamped offensive line. He hit on a variety of throws and looked very composed in doing so. He completed 29 of 40 passes for 338 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 interception and a passer rating of 112.3. He was sacked twice.
RB Rashad Jennings had 19 carries for 52 yards. He also had 8 receptions for 68 yards. The run blocking was improved after the offensive line was reshuffled. He clearly is the class of Big Blue’s rushing attack and can handle any role. RB Andre Williams had 10 carries for 35 yards and vultured a short TD plunge.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. has proven he is for REAL. His amazing TD catch was seen throughout the country, clearly exhibiting his amazing athleticism and hands. He had 10 grabs for 146 yards and 2 TD’s. WR Rueben Randle had a quiet game with 3 catches for 36 yards. He just doesn’t seem to be on the same page with Eli. Slot WR Preston Parker had 1 reception for 16 yards.
TE Larry Donnell had 2 catches for 24 yards. He only was targeted four times, which is clearly not enough.

1 fumble recovery and 2 sacks is poor home fantasy production, especially in a big game. DC Perry Fewell is on the hot seat and did not utilize an aggressive scheme most of the game. This was evident late in Q4 when Dallas marched 80 yards downfield for the game winning TD. This unit needs a total overhaul next year.
PK Josh Brown had 4 PAT’s.

That’s all for now.

Tony DeArmas


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
11/26/2014

Here is a recap of Week # 12:

The Eagles took care of business Sunday at the Linc, dispatching the hapless Titans, 43-24, as they won their 10th straight regular-season home game, recorded their first franchise win against the Titans and - more importantly - rebounded from their worst loss in the Chip Kelly era. Bouncing back from a 33-point defeat in Green Bay seven days earlier, the Eagles showed no residual fallout from the Lambeau Landslide, as they head into their biggest showdown of the season with rediscovered mojo. The Eagles (8-3) in four days will play the first of two games against Dallas in an 18-day span when they clash with the rival Cowboys on Thanksgiving in Arlington, Texas. Both teams entered Sunday's action sharing the NFC East lead.

OFFENSE:
QB Mark Sanchez passed for 307 yards and tied an Eagles record by passing for more than 300 yards in three straight games, but he also made some dangerous throws and threw two picks that were really just on bad throws, not bad decisions. He completed 30 of 43 passes, now has six interceptions and two lost fumbles - eight turnovers - in a little more than 15 quarters since relieving an injured QB Nick Foles. RB LeSean McCoy gashed Tennessee's 31st-ranked rushing defense, piling up 130 yards on 21 carries and averaging 6.2 yards per carry. He broke off a 53-yard run, his longest of the season, and rushed for a two-yard touchdown. RB Darren Sproles had 16 touches for the Eagles against the Titans on Sunday, and although he didn't explode for one of his patented long runs, every time he had the ball in his hands, there was always that threat. He had several key plays. He ran behind LT Jason Peters for a 4-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Rookie WR Jordan Matthews & WR Jeremy Maclin each caught 6 passes each with Matthews getting 77 yards & Maclin getting 59 yards. TE’s Brent Celek & Zack Ertz combined for 9 receptions & 78 yards. TE James Casey only catch was a 14 yard pass reception for a TD.

DEFENSE:

The Philadelphia defense allowed 24 points and 351 yards of offense to a lackluster Tennessee team but some of those came in garbage time. The Eagles generally did a good job of getting pressure on Zach Mettenberger. The team finished with five sacks and had a few others were wiped out due to penalties. OLB’s Connor Barwin & Trent Cole each had 2 sacks with DE Fletcher Cox getting the other 1. ILB Mychal Kendricks led the team with 7 tackles. CB Brandon Boykin had an interception & CB Bradley Fletcher & S Nate Allen each had a Fumble recovery.

SPECIAL TEAMS:
WR Josh Huff had a game-opening 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. PK Cody Parkey made five of six field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder. The Eagles gave up an early 44-yard kickoff return to RB Leon Washington, but otherwise did a good job in punt and kick coverage. P Donnie Jones averaged 45 yards on 3 punts & had one land inside the 20 yard line.

UP NEXT:

“Bring on the Cowboys!”

The EAGLES (8-3) on Thursday play on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys (8-3) at AT&T Stadium @ 4:30pm on National Television on FOX. The showdown is to decide first place in the NFC East. But WHY do we have to listen to Joe Buck & Troy Aikman?

PREVIEW FOR WEEK # 13:

The Eagles offense starts & begins with RB LeSean McCoy. He needs to continue his latest pace with a fill in by RB Darren Sproles & RB Chris Polk. They need to run the ball to take the pressure off of QB Mark Sanchez. The WR’s need to run precise patterns & everyone must protect the ball. Look for Sanchez to connect with Matthews & Maclin on some long throws. The Eagles defense needs to put pressure on QB Tony Romo, cove WR Dez Bryant & shut down RB Demarco Murray.

That’s all for now from the BirdSeed.

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!

R.J. Gula


WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


CHICAGO BEARS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


DETROIT LIONS
11/25/2014

Lions report, week 12 review
Patriots 34, Lions 9
Week 13 preview
Bears at Lions

QB: If you read these reports regularly you know that I am a fan of QB Matthew Stafford and I will typically defend him regardless of what other people think. Well guess what, after Stafford went 18 of 46 on Sunday I am still going to defend him. At some point his receivers need to help him out and catch the football. There were three separate possessions where a receiver dropped a potential TD pass in the end zone. Stafford’s stat line would look a lot different if even two of these three balls were caught. He had 264 yards and an interception where he got drilled as he threw it. The completion percentage is obviously horrible but there were other plays where there seemed to be miscommunication, or even receivers crashing into each other. It is crazy that this offense can’t get it together. The thing I worry about a little bit moving forward is that the offensive line issues are not going away. In fact they are getting worse with Riley Reiff getting injured on the first play from scrimmage and not returning. This is obviously a problem because of the quick turnaround into the Thanksgiving Day game against the Bears. Normally I would say a game against the Bears is what this offense needs to snap out of its funk, but Stafford is starting to get happy feet in the pocket and I think there are a lot of quarterbacks that would struggle behind a line performing as poorly as this one is. Unless there is evidence to the contrary on the coaches tape I just don’t truly believe that Stafford is consistently missing open receivers. The receivers don’t get good separation often enough. Stafford’s fantasy stock is dropping, but last year the Lions rallied from a couple of losses to destroy Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day and I think that could happen again this year. I’ll say Stafford manages to go for 250 yards and 2 TD passes on Thursday and is still a decent starter in large leagues.

RB: As the weekend went on the word was that RB Reggie Bush (ankle) wouldn’t play, and that was the case. RB Joique Bell got to carry most of the load with RB Theo Riddick not getting much of a chance. Bell only managed 48 yards on 19 carries, an average of just 2.5 yards per carry with a long run of 6 yards, and with a catch for -2 yards that makes a total of 20 touches for 46 yards. This is clearly a very uninspiring running game. Riddick probably should have had more touches. He got the ball a few times in junk time to pad his stats and ended with 2 carries for 12 yards and 3 catches for 40 yards. Bush might be able to return on Thursday but that is shaky on a short week. This makes Bell a solid start as Detroit does stick with the run even when it is not effective. Riddick has more catches than carries on the year so he is a shaky play except for deep PPR leagues.

WR/TE: It seemed like Darrelle Revis was everywhere. Detroit wasn’t afraid to attack him but it is safe to say they did not have success doing so. Revis was on WR Golden Tate early and as I expected the Lions got Tate the ball on some short throws with Tate generating yards after the catch. Tate had 4 catches for 97 yards plus another 13 yards on an end around. WR Calvin Johnson made a nice diving catch among his 4 grabs for 58 yards. Tate had 11 targets and Calvin had 10, so the distribution of targets was better than the previous week. So while Odell Beckham has become an overnight celebrity, the player Detroit drafted two spots earlier in this most recent draft can’t seem to catch anything. TE Eric Ebron is looking like a bust and there is no getting around it. He can’t catch, can’t block, and also makes mental errors like not even looking for the ball on one Stafford throw. He had 2 catches for 23 yards. WR Jeremy Ross, WR Corey Fuller, and TE Joseph Fauria all had possible TD catches that they couldn’t hold on to. You need your complementary pieces to contribute against teams like New England and these guys didn’t get it done. Look for heavy doses of Johnson and Tate on Thursday against the Bears. As for this Thursday’s game we have the always entertaining estimated practice report for a Monday practice that did not happen. Calvin was listed as not practicing with an ankle injury which is normal for the first practice day of the week. Start Calvin and Tate in all leagues as I think they both could be around 100 yards this week.

K/DST: Jim Caldwell apparently felt like the Lions could go into New England and beat them with 12 field goals or something. His fourth down decisions were baffling to say the least, but if you had PK Matt Prater you didn’t mind that as he made three field goals on the day. He also missed one wide from 53 yards. On defense the Lions were methodically picked apart by Tom Brady and his quick passing attack. He was surgical and got rid of the ball quickly to neutralize the Detroit pass rush. New England didn’t really try to run the ball against the Lions and their #1 run defense until late in the game when LeGarrette Blount took advantage of a worn down unit and had some nice gains. The Lions defense will get back on track against the Bears as they should be able to harass Jay Cutler into multiple turnovers and sacks.

This week the Lions host the Bears on Thursday afternoon so be sure to set your lineup before you eat your turkey.

James Hintz


GREEN BAY PACKERS
11/26/2014

Week 12 Review: So they didn’t get the 50+ point win – but the Packers did win. The Vikings employed two deep safeties. This allowed for over the top help for the cornerbacks and they used 6 or 7 guys – depending on alignment – in the box to stop the run. As a result, the Packers got the tight ends and running backs to help in the shorter open areas. As a result, QB Aaron Rodgers didn’t have the stats he usually had. Rodgers completed 19 of 29 passes (a 65.5% completion rate) for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns – all for a 109.7 passer rating. WR Randall Cobb had 4 receptions for 58 yards. WR Jordy Nelson had 8 receptions for 68 yards. WR Davante Adams had 1 reception for 10 yards. TE Andrew Quarless had 2 more receptions for 50 yards. TE Richard Rodgers had 1 reception for 1 yard and 1 touchdown. RB Eddie Lacy had a very nice day with 125 yards on 25 carries (5.0 yards per carry) and one touchdown. Then add another 13 yards on 2 receptions for 1 touchdown. That is a total of 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Neither RB James Starks nor RB John Kuhn had any significant stats. K Mason Crosby made a 48 yard attempt and added 3 extra points for a 6 point total. Not the best in terms of points, but he made every opportunity. The defense was playing without LB Nick Perry who had been playing well. The Packers gave up 308 total yards – 112 of those rushing and 196 passing. The defense also had 1 interception, had 2 sacks, had 3 tackles for loss, had 6 hits on the quarterback, and 6 passes defended.

Week 13 Preview: The Packers play the New England Patriots in Green Bay. Statistically, New England is just a little better in every category. While the Packers average 43.8 points per game at home, and they will need every point to defeat the Patriots. So the Packers have home filed advantage going for it. Offensively the Patriots are top ten in every category except in rushing offense where they rank 14th. They are number one in scoring offense. Defensively they are about in the middle of the NFL teams. This will be a close game. I would look for New England to use two safeties back to help limit the Packer wide receivers. So look for Lacy and the tight ends Quarless and Rodgers to get some opportunities. But probably not enough for a fantasy start. For significant Packer fantasy players things remain relatively steady for all of them. QB Aaron Rodgers is projected to have 4301 yards, 44 touchdowns, a completion rate of 66.7%, 4 interceptions, and a 117.6 passer rating. WR Randall Cobb is projected to have 84 catches for 1217 yards and 15 touchdowns. WR Jordy Nelson is projected to have 99 catches for 1551 yards and 13 touchdowns. WR Davante Adams is projected to have 41 catches for 441 yards and 4 touchdowns. TE Andrew Quarless is projected to have 31 catches for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns. RB Eddie Lacy is projected to have 224 carries for 976 yards rushing – 4.4 yards per carry – with 9 touchdowns. To that you can add 42 receptions for 487 yards and 4 touchdowns – for a total of 1463 yards and 13 touchdowns. Lacy is approaching a projected 1000 yards rushing on the season – he is growing as a player adding staying on the field for third downs and catching passes – these things ultimately provide more opportunities for him. He is an ascending player. K Mason Crosby is projected to have 128 points. He makes the most of his opportunities.

I would start QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Randall Cobb, WR Jordy Nelson, and RB Eddie Lacy. You will have to decide about starting K Mason Crosby and the Packer defense. There is the possibility that the Packer offense stalls enough in Patriot territory to give Crosby some opportunities. Hopefully you won’t go into a turkey induced coma and miss the weekend. If you do, you might wake up in time for my review of the Patriots game and preview of the game against Atlanta.

Mike Hankes


MINNESOTA VIKINGS
11/26/2014

Well I have to admit that last week’s Vikings game vs the Packers was a lot closer than I thought it was going to be. The Vikings Defense actually limited the Packers passing game about as good as one could ask for. Unfortunately they could not stop RB Eddie Lacey who has had 2 100 yard games so far this year, both against the Vikings.

The Vikings RT Phil Loadholt tore his pectoral muscle in last week’s game and was placed on season ending IR. They signed former Vikings J’Marcus Webb to take his spot.
QB Teddy Bridgewater looked very inaccurate for most of the game, BUT once again when he needed to march the team down and get points, he got points. If he could only play the entire game like he plays those last drives in games he might actually be something in this league. Hopefully with more experience he can gain that.

Newly acquired RB Ben Tate did not play a snap last week. RB Matt Asiata was out last week with a concussion but is expected back this week. Starting RB Jerrick McKinnon looked ok but nothing special. The one bright spot was actually second year undrafted RB Joe Banyard. Seemed like every time he touched the ball he was getting a first down. The Vikes might want to give him some extra snaps this coming week. What could it hurt?
WR Cordarralle Patterson and Jarius Wright are both non factors on this team. WR Greg Jennings caught a td vs his former team but cannot be counted on a weekly basis. The other bright spot on this offense has been the play of former Packer/Brown WR Charles Johnson. He has been getting open a lot the last 3 games but TB just cannot connect with him. He was targeted 11 times last week which is nice to see. The issue is he only caught three of them. However he did get a td and 50+ yards.

The Vikings play the Panthers this week and QB Cam Newton is always good for a few sacks and interceptions.
PK Blair Walsh is still making 50+ yard field goals with ease so he is always a quality start.

So this week the Vikings travel to Carolina and I think the Vikings have a really good shot at winning this game if and only if TB can finally start a game like he has been finishing them.

Clyde Keehr


ATLANTA FALCONS
11/26/2014

Well, even in this less than stellar year for the NFC South, the Falcons had a chance to grab the division lead and control their own destiny….. but once again, poor, poor clock/game management by HC Mike Smith cost his team with some incredibly stupid timeouts and play calls at the end of the game……as the Falcons lose to the Browns 26-24 and drop to 4-7 with the 9-2 Arizona Cardinals coming to town this week.

1. QB Matt Ryan – Ryan went 27-43 for 273 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 turnovers (if you’re penalized for those kind of things). This offense, including Ryan is just not the same this year….obviously the offensive line is a HUGE part of that….but still, something needs to change this offseason…..As for this week against the Cardinals, I really think Ryan has become a volume play….as the big plays are just not there anymore….and the Cards defense will get after him this week….definitely temper expectations…..I expect a low scoring affair this week….225 yards and a score.
2. Falcons Running Backs – RB Steven Jackson is definitely on the way out…he had 13 carries for 34 yards….and he did fall into a 1 yard touchdown, plus 2 catches for 17 yards. I would leave him on the bench this week as I would expect similar stats minus the score against the Cardinals. There was also a Jacquizz Rodgers siting this week….Rodgers had 3 carries for 16 yards and 3 catches for 11 yards including a score. Obviously, the touches are not there and this stubborn coaching staff is going to continue to give Jackson the majority of the touches.
3. WR Julio Jones – Jones had 5 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. This week, he will most likely be matched up against former SEC star CB Patrick Peterson. Jones is not the same player this season as he has been in the past, there explosion is not there….I think stats similar to last week 5-60 or 6-70, something along those lines are realistic.
4. WR Roddy White – White continues his strong season (of course I traded him away too soon) with 9 catches for 96 yards. With Peterson matched up with Jones, I would expect White to have a slightly better day this week against the Cards, assuming Ryan has time to throw. Look for 8 catches for 90 yards with a score.
5. PK Matt Bryant – Bryant had 3 extra points and hit his only field goal from 53 yards. This week against the cards, I expect the opposite, 3 field goals and one extra point.
6. Defense – Everyone in the world knew this was WR Josh Gordon’s first game after a 10 game suspension….everyone knew they would try to force him the ball….well to my eye, the guy was pretty much open all day getting 8 catches for 120 yards….incredible…..on the day, the Falcons defense allowed 26 points, 475 yards of total offense, they did manage 3 interceptions and a sack…..I would not be putting my playoff hopes in this defense this week if you have been streaming all season….better options elsewhere….you may get a turnover here or there and a sack or two….but the Cardinals are a very well coached football team….and don’t hurt themselves too often.

Cardinals 23 Falcons 16

Bryon Bonafede


CAROLINA PANTHERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


ARIZONA CARDINALS

The report for this week has not yet been released.


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
11/26/2014

San Francisco picked up another win on Sunday albeit a narrow win. The 49ers continue to have issues moving the ball on offence with any form of regularity. QB Colin Kaepernick was once again inconstant with his throws and fails to move beyond his second read. With the running game struggling, and Kaepernick stuck in second gear it’s difficult to see where the 49ers offensive identity is at these days. Defensively OLB Aldon Smith made his presence know early on Sunday getting a quick sack on QB Robert Griffin III that really set the tone for a still strong 49ers defense. Turnovers and a very gutty running effort from RB Alfred Morris were the only real threats to the niner’s defense. ILB Chris Borland is seemingly in on every play, he looks more and more like ILB Patrick Willis’s replacement with each tackle. The 49ers as a whole found a way to win this game which is important late in November, especially at home.

San Francisco’s offence vs. Seattle’s defense; Seattle has generally dominated the 49ers offensive front in recent years. In last years championship game the 49ers played better up front which was the factor in the 49ers almost winning the game. Kaps and company must without question keep the turnovers to one or none in this game to have a chance at victory. The Seattle secondary is as good as advertised and will always make opponents pay for their mistakes. RB Frank Gore hasn’t been running well as of late and it’s possible he’s wearing down. The 49ers should RB Carlos Hyde in conjunction with Gore even more to keep both fresh. This is a good game to start running the ball more with Kaps, thus setting up the pass as a more secondary option. The passing game doesn’t figure to be a major factor for the 49ers this week anyway. Kaepernick for all his glory and success must learn to read the defenses he faces better, his progressions through receivers usually stops at two and then hell make a questionable pass or take a sack. It would behoove the 49ers to roll Kaepernick out more often thus playing to his scrambling strength and also allowing for more time to search for the open guys. TE Vernon Davis has been terrible this year, speculation that he’s mailing it in seem well founded. Davis’s blocks aren’t as crisp and he’s dropping balls that have been catches throughout his career. It’s connecting the dots but Davis never did get that raise he was demanding in preseason.

San Francisco’s defense vs. Seattle offence; Seattle has been ok this year on offence. When RB Marshawn Lynch is running well the offence runs well. Lynch may not be 100% for Thursday’s game giving the 49ers a possible advantage on defense. QB Russell Wilson is a good decision maker who rarely turns the ball over and uses his scrambling ability to almost perfection. Wilson rarely takes a hit and pump fakes the defense into submission. The 49ers must be disciplined in their containment of Wilson; especially on third downs where Wilson’s running dose its most damage. OLB Aldon Smith is now settling back into his role and should be a major factor for the 49ers. CB Tramaine Brock got a well deserved extension late last year but has spent this season battling injuries his latest, a hamstring injury, will likely cost Brock another game.

New and Notes;
-Rookie FS Jimmie Ward was placed on IR ending his season. It’s a foot injury a similar injury that just cost ILB Patrick Willis his season.
-Glen Dorsey is close to a return and is back on the active roster.
-CB Marcus Cromarite was added to the practice squad, the brother of Dominique Rodgers Cromarite. Marcus was an un-drafted free agent out of college and is now on his third team at the pro level.

The 49ers are on the outside looking in for the playoffs this year, with a 7-4 record and currently in third place in their division the 49ers will need to win eleven games to have a solid shot at making it to the post season. The 49ers have five games including two against Seahawks and a final game against the Cardinals. This Thursday game is a must win for the 49ers considering the two teams meet again in Seattle in just over two weeks. The 49ers have continually risen to the occasion under HC Jim Harbaugh this weekend is a big one.

Blu Collins


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
11/25/2014

There is no love lost between the Seahawks and 49ers, so when this primetime game opens up on Thanksgiving cover your kid’s ears and get ready for that action. The Seahawks have been missing something all year, but really seemed to find it last week against the Cardinals. That was not just about protecting their house and keeping themselves in the hunt for the playoffs, that game was played with the same mentality that we saw all year last year. Whatever guy is up, make the play because this is the game of the year. With a short week to prepare for a game that could well decide which team will be sitting on their couch watching the playoffs, can that emotion stay the same in Santa Clara?

QB-
Replacement C Patrick Lewis did an okay job, but C Max Unger was definitely missed. Arizona’s pass rush is no joke and QB Russell Wilson has to still be feeling pain from those 7 sacks and 11 hits. That was on only 22 passing attempts! Wilson looked incredibly good when he was not in the dirt with a 121.6 quarterback rating, 211 yards passing and a TD. He also was the leading rusher in the game with 73 yards. These rushes were the kind he is known for where he just finds an outside seam and slides safely after picking up a first down and more. Wilson’s 21 fantasy points last week should be around the same for him this week against the Santa Claranettes. Start him if you got him.

RB-
I suspected that benching RB Marshawn Lynch might not be a horrible thing against the Cardinals and it turned out that I was right. Lynch had only 39 yards rushing and 43 yards receiving. The rushing yards were very tough to get and most backs would not have gotten that many. The Cardinals were ready to stop him. RB Robert Turbin got a couple of carries for next to nothing and RB Christine Michael might has well have not suited up. Perhaps that means Michael may get more action on Thursday? Or it means nothing. I worry about Lynch’s back on a short week like this. Seattle needs Lynch as a blocker, runner and receiver. They really have no one who fills that spot on the roster. Lynch may have very similar stats against the 49ers making it tough for fantasy owners. If you have an alternative, then consider starting them. If Lynch is out for whatever reason, do not start RB Robert Turbin. He is not ready to be relied on in a game like this. And the coaching staff still seems to want to keep RB Christine Michael on the sidelines, unless they were really resting him for the short week? Too much conjecture for me.

WR-
Where, oh, where have the wide receivers gone. WR Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse combined for 4 targets. They did catch 3 of them for 25 total yards making the top two starting receivers in Seattle horrible starts. Actually, you could add in all the other receivers and still only have two more catches. Luckily one was WR Ricardo Lockette’s 48 yard beauty. That will continue to be the issue here, someone is going to catch the ball but their is no way to predict who and there are very few passes to go around. I would sit them all against San Fran.

TE-
Welcome to Seattle TE Tony Moeaki. He became Seattle’s leading receiver in this game with 4 catches. But TE Cooper Helfet managed two and one was for a TD. Everything you need to know about Helfet is shown in this TD and the one he had a few weeks back. They are simply fantastic examples of a will to win. The remaining season is short, but keeping this guy on your watch list makes sense. Seattle is a place that rewards a fighting attitude no matter who you are in the money. Helfet may get much more playing time.

K-
Keep starting PK Steven Hauschka! San Fran matches up pretty much the same with Seattle as Arizona did. This should be a pick’em kind of game with smash mouth defenses, meaning good opportunities for a clutch kicker. The Arizona game gave him 4 field goals on 5 attempts and one lone extra point. Not a bad result for any fantasy kicker. If you own him, keep him in the game.

D-
Unlike Kansas City, Arizona could not run well against Seattle. The return of LB Bobby Wagner and his play calling in the center has a lot to do with that. Now this defense has to keep their adrenaline pumping and do the same to RB Frank Gore. Wagner and SS Kam Chancellor both had 8 tackles but their play was much more dominant than that. Actually the whole defense gave off the same feeling as last year. Like they were just having fun and doing their jobs being the best there is. After CB Richard Sherman called out WR Michael Crabtree as he ended San Fran’s season last year, there is no doubt that this game will be played at only the highest possible level. The 49ers look to me like a classic hot rod that was just sold to someone who can’t keep it maintained. It can still run with the best, but it is going to falter soon. I think this Thanksgiving could bring a shut out to Santa Clara and Seattle’s D must be started. IDP, I will stick with Wagner, but it is very tempting to bring in one of the Legion of Boom especially Sherm.

Prediction:
Seattle really needs to win the next 4 and maybe 5. They know it and San Fran knows it. San Fran has the easier schedule, but certainly cannot let Seattle take it to them in Santa Clara. One team will break and I expect it to be the one with all the disruptions.

Seattle: 23
49ers: 0

What’s Next? Go ‘Hawks!

Rick Watts


ST. LOUIS RAMS

The report for this week has not yet been released.




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