Steelers TE Vance McDonald has retired. It's a surprising decision from the 30-year-old, although he has dealt with a bunch of injuries throughout his 8 NFL seasons. After a career-best 50-610-4 line in 2018, McDonald totaled just 53 catches over the past 2 years, including 15 in 2020.
Chiefs RB Le'Veon Bell missed Thursday's practice with swelling in a knee. His status for Sunday's AFC Championship is now murky. Of course, Bell played just 16% of the offensive snaps last week even with RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire sidelined. It looks like CEH is on track to return on Sunday, so Bell probably isn't in for much work anyway.
QB Philip Rivers announced his retirement on Wednesday. The 39-year-old played 17 seasons -- 16 with the Chargers, his last with the Colts -- and sits 5th in both career passing yards and TDs. Rivers turned in 10 top-12 fantasy seasons. His retirement leaves Jacob Eason as the only QB on the roster signed for 2021. We'll see if the Colts bring back QB Jacoby Brissett, but they'll certainly be adding to the position via free agency and/or the draft.
Saints QB Drew Brees is "likely" to retire after this season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 42-year-old reportedly has a TV contract waiting from NBC. The Saints, meanwhile, would like to bring back QB Jameis Winston. "They love what they've seen in practice," Rapoport says. "They've seen the arm talent. They've seen all the skills that made him a #1 pick. They love the work ethic. They just haven't seen him show that he's learned mentally to cut down the INTs because he hasn't played." New Orleans also has QB Taysom Hill under contract for 2021.
The Bills have signed RB Devonta Freeman to their practice squad, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. It's possible that he's elevated and active for Saturday night's game against the Ravens after Buffalo lost RB Zack Moss, but Freeman wouldn't be a fantasy option.
NFL.com reports that Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) will be inactive for tonight's game against the Buccaneers. That means Taylor Heinicke will start in his place. Heinicke fared well against Carolina in Week 16 in relief of Dwayne Haskins, completing 12 of 19 throws for 137 yards and a TD. But he has logged just 1 career NFL start. The matchup is terrific for Tampa Bay's defense, even without MLB Devin White. A healthy Heinicke, though, might be better for Washington's pass-catchers than the injured Smith we saw at Philly last week.
Washington "will have more answers in the morning, but there is a real chance QB Taylor Heinicke ends up starting" Saturday night's game against the Buccaneers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Smith is still dealing with a "sore" calf that "hasn't loosened up." Rapoport adds that Heinicke took most of the 1st-team snaps in practice this week. The takeaway here is that you should avoid Washington's offense where possible. Players such as TE Logan Thomas and RB J.D. McKissic present reception upside for DFS use, regardless of who plays QB.
Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) put in 2 limited practices this week and is listed as questionable for Saturday night's game vs. the Bucs. HC Ron Rivera hasn't committed to Smith being ready for this one and has mentioned the possibility of rotating Smith and QB Taylor Heinicke. It's a situation to avoid in fantasy lineups.
Titans K Stephen Gostkowski has been activated from the COVID list. He'll be back for Sunday's Wild Card game vs. the Ravens after missing the regular-season finale.
Washington HC Ron Rivera said Tuesday that he's considering rotating QBs Alex Smith and Taylor Heinicke in Saturday night's Wild Card game vs. the Bucs. Smith is battling through a calf injury and was clearly inhibited in Sunday night's win over the Eagles. This is obviously a situation to avoid in fantasy lineups. And any snaps for Heinicke would be a downgrade for Washington's pass-catchers.
Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) is active for tonight’s game against the Eagles. He’s an upgrade over backup QB Tayler Heinicke but an unexciting fantasy option.
Texans RB Duke Johnson (neck) is inactive for today’s game against the Titans. David Johnson should continue to dominate backfield touches.
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (groin) is inactive for today’s game vs. the Rams. With WR Christian Kirk on the COVID list, Arizona is down to WRs DeAndre Hopkins, KeeSean Johnson and Andy Isabella.
Bills QB Matt Barkley is expected to get "meaningful snaps" in today's game against the Dolphins, according to NFL Network's Michael Giardi. It's sure looking like Buffalo will rest a bunch of starters in this one. QB Josh Allen notably needs 40 passing yards to break the team's single-season record, so we might see him stay in just long enough to get there. We're expecting WR Stefon Diggs to be pulled early, too.
Vikings K Dan Bailey (back) is active for today’s game against the Lions. He carries elevated risk with the back injury.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Cardinals are "not optimistic" that WR Larry Fitzgerald will play today against the Rams. With Christian Kirk already on the COVID list, that would likely elevate Andy Isabella to the #3 WR spot behind DeAndre Hopkins and KeeSean Johnson. Isabella has been a healthy scratch the past 3 weeks. Arizona already gets a tough matchup vs. the Rams defense. Losing 2 of his normal top 3 WRs certainly doesn't help QB Kyler Murray.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Chiefs RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to dress for today's game against the Chargers but that "if he plays, it'll be very little." Bell is questionable with a knee issue and put in only a limited Friday practice this week. Darwin Thompson is expected to get "the bulk of the carries" in the regular-season finale.
Texans RB Duke Johnson (neck) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Titans. His return would siphon a few touches from RB David Johnson. We’ll get Duke’s status around 3 pm ET on Sunday.
Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game vs. the Eagles. He got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday but reportedly took the 1st-team reps. We’re expecting Smith to start this must-win game, but he’s not much of a fantasy option.
Giants WR Golden Tate (calf) is out for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. His absence gives WRs Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton slight boosts in projected targets.
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