Doug Marrone of the Jaguars, Dan Quinn of the Falcons

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Doug Marrone of the Jaguars, Dan Quinn of the Falcons

Messagede zhangzk » 17 Jan 2020, 05:54

Now that the bye weeks are over , no need to keep players that you have no intention of starting. But you should consider picking up the true handcuffs for your star players. One such player is running back James Conner of the Steelers. During the bye weeks, you needed the roster space to claim players who would likely be active for your team at some point. But Conner’s value to fantasy players with Le’Veon Bell on their roster is higher now as insurance in the event Bell suffers an injury. You hope that you never have to start such a player, but at least all would not be lost if Bell suffers an injury that would cause him to miss time. Another decision you will need to make is whether to claim star players who won’t return to the field until your fantasy playoffs; players like Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson, and Ezekiel Elliott. There is no guarantee that any of them will play again this season, but any one of them could lead you to a championship if they do return. It’s certainly a gamble to drop a useful player for a roll of the dice, which is why you need to be honest with yourself before making such a move. What are the odds that the player returns to the field?Regarding Johnson and Rodgers, their respective NFL teams could be out of the playoff hunt, which would make it unlikely that they return unless they are truly 100 percent healthy. You also need to ask yourself how comfortable you would be starting either player in their first game back from injury. There is no room for error during your fantasy playoffs. If they are rusty, you may not get a second chance for them to help your team. One last thing to consider would be to make sure you’re not releasing a player who will be beneficial to one of your opponents. AARON RODGERS, QB, Green Bay Packers (48 percent) If you want to carry a backup quarterback, then consider taking a shot with Rodgers. It’s a long shot that he plays again this season, and the earliest he could return is Week 15 versus the Carolina Panthers. Since your backup quarterback isn’t likely to start for your team anyway, Rodgers could be a risk worth taking. CHRIS CARSON, RB, Seattle Seahawks (10 percent) Carson looked like he could be the answer to what ails the Seattle running game before he broke a leg. His rehabilitation is going better than expected, and he could return to the team in December. Running backs always have value, and while there is some question about how effective he will be when he returns, Carson may still be worth a waiver claim for your championship run. COREY COLEMAN, WR, Cleveland Browns (34 percent) Coleman was activated from injured reserve this past week and had a respectable game (six receptions for 80 yards on 11 targets) against Jacksonville, which may be the best defensive team in the NFL. Coleman’s issues have always been staying healthy and the play of Cleveland’s quarterbacks. The quarterback play may still be a problem, but Coleman should be a flex consideration as Cleveland will typically be playing from behind, which forces them to throw the ball early and often. As for Josh Gordon (45 percent), make no mistake, he is a huge unknown. Yes, Gordon had a monster season in 2013, with 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns, however, that was four years ago. It’s just silly to think he’s going to be that kind of player right away and lead you to fantasy gold. JOSH DOCTSON, WR, Washington Redskins (43 percent) Washington has lost a running back for the rest of the season in each of the past two games. First, it was announced that Rob Kelley would be placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury and then, Chris Thompson suffered a broken leg this past Sunday. Sure, Samaje Perine may do some damage, but Washington will move the chains and score points via the passing game. Doctson seems to be gaining the trust of quarterback Kirk Cousins with each passing week. With Terrelle Pryor seemingly no longer in Washington’s plans, Doctson may be their top outside wide receiver. O.J. HOWARD, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (36 percent) The Bucs may have won Sunday, but their season is on life support; so, it would be prudent to get Howard more involved in the passing game. Tight end is not the easiest position to learn. In addition to memorizing all of the pass routes, you have to block effectively as well. Howard could be a mainstay in the Bucs starting lineup from this point forward. — This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, Visceral blowback to the NFL’s updated rule that players can’t lead with their helmets to make contact is straight out of tough-guy football 101. Hard-hitting defensive backs say the league is destroying the physical element of the game or lament that it’s changing the sport entirely.“Do they want us to play flag football?” Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard said. “It’s crazy.”Beyond the criticism from old-school players bristling at another rule change or point of emphasis is legitimate confusion as to how the enhanced regulations will actually be enforced. No longer can a player initiate contact with his head anywhere on an opponent’s body, penalized 15 yards or possibly by ejection in egregious cases, and players and coaches — offensive guys, too — are bracing for how it will be applied.“You just hope it’s not called as frequently, because if they are going to call it on every single offensive and defensive lineman Montez Sweat Jersey , the game is going to be played at a snail’s pace,” 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said. “It seems like they are neglecting the impact it is going to have on the game, and I don’t think they fully understand the scope and how huge it will be.”Contact to a player’s head and neck has been a penalty for some time now, but this rule was ramped up to take it a step further. A ball carrier or an offensive lineman can’t lower his head into a defender, and a defensive player can’t make any part of his helmet the primary point of contact when attempting to tackle.It’s similar to the NCAA rule that has been in place since 2013, though at the college level, “targeting” carries an automatic ejection, reviewable by replay. The league estimated that just two plays last season would’ve led to an ejection under the new rule that’s forcing players to adjust their approaches.“It’s really hard to change the way you’ve been playing after 20 years,” Cowboys safety Jeff Heath said. “You’re not always thinking about where you’re hitting somebody. You’re just trying to get them down. As soon as you start thinking, and second-guessing yourself, I think that’s when trouble happens. Hopefully it does the job in keeping players safe but doesn’t result in a lot of ejections.”As the NFL alters this rule and another to kickoffs in the name of safety, some players are willing to accept the reasons for changes. Denver’s three-time All-Pro linebacker Von Miller said, “They’ve put in rules to take care of all the players, as well, so I’m good with all the rule changes.”Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he used to fight the evolution of football “like an old dog,” but has come to accept changes in the name of doing the right thing for players. He expects there to be a wide application of the enhanced helmet rule and doesn’t consider it such a bad thing.“I think it’s across the board because it can happen multiple times on any play, where guys use the top of their helmet,” Carroll said. “We’re just getting out of it. It’s really about going back to really good shoulder-leverage play.”That’s how Josh Norman feels about it. The Washington Redskins cornerback knows he has accidentally made helmet contact with opponents, but as a player not known for those plays considers this a reminder about sound fundamentals.“Head up, bowed neck, tackle with your facemask,” Norman said. “It’s not with the crown of your head. Obviously injuries come. People get paralyzed like that. Nobody should play like that.”To get the message across, coaches Anthony Lynn of the Chargers, Mike Vrabel of the Titans and Todd Bowles of the Jets each narrated a clip-by-clip video illustrating how the enhanced rule affects a different position group: running backs , offensive linemen , defensive linemen , linebackers and defensive backs . Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin and linebackers Willie Lanier , also a Hall of Famer, and Willie McGinest taped minute-long videos explaining to players the importance of stance posture and technique to avoid unnecessary head contact.In the first test of the heightened emphasis on head contact, Baltimore linebackers Patrick Onwuasor and Kamalei Correa were each flagged for 15-yard penalties in the Hall of Fame game that opened the preseason. Watching that gave Denver coach Vance Joseph a glimpse of what effect the helmet rule will have, pointing out it’s not just on players to adjust.“Coaching that part, in my opinion, is going to be the tough part — not the defenders,” Joseph said. “That’s been taught and that’s been coached for a long time, with the offensive guys using their stiff arm and putting the ball in the proper hand, using their shoulders versus their head. It’s going to take teaching.”It’s going to take some trial and error in games for players and officials to realize how it will actually be called. Veteran Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander figures it could happen somewhere on the field on any play, so he and his teammates will try to toe the line between watching out for it and not thinking so much that it proves costly.“You can’t really change your mindset,” Buffalo safety Micah Hyde said. “That’s when you start playing passive, and you start giving up stuff. I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to explain, it’s kind of when your ankle’s hurt, you tape it, you’re thinking about it, and then you might hurt something else. It’s the same along those lines, you can’t really think about it: Just go out there and play football.”
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