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Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

The Rams are hiring Mike LaFleur as their new OC, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. LaFleur replaces Liam Coen, who left Los Angeles after just 1 season to return to his previous post as Kentucky's OC. LaFleur struggled as Jets OC the past 2 years, with both of those teams finishing bottom 8 in both total yards and points. Like Rams HC Sean McVay, LaFleur comes from the Shanahan coaching tree, so there should be plenty of synergy here. McVay will still be running the show, though, so don't expect a big change to the Rams' play calling.

Bengals TE Hayden Hurst was added to Thursday's injury report and limited in practice with a calf. He missed 3 games late in the regular season with a calf injury -- although it's unclear if this is related. Check back Friday afternoon for another update on Hurst's status for this weekend's AFC Championship game vs. the Chiefs. His absence would be significant.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman (pelvis) remained limited in Thursday's practice. We'll see what he does on Friday and how he's listed on the final injury report for this weekend's AFC Championship game vs. the Bengals. Hardman has been out since Week 9.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) put in another full practice on Thursday. It means that ankle responded well to Wednesday's full workout. Mahomes will start Sunday's AFC Championship game vs. the Bengals -- and it's looking like the ankle won't be a major limiting factor.

49ers WR Deebo Samuel (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. He's still not 100% recovered from the high-ankle sprain he suffered in mid-December but is fully expected to play in Sunday's NFC Championship game vs. the Eagles. Samuel has racked up 178 receiving yards and 43 rushing yards over the past 2 weeks.

49ers RBs Christian McCaffrey (calf) and Elijah Mitchell (groin) missed their 2nd straight practices on Thursday. We're still tentatively expecting both guys to play in Sunday's NFC Championship game vs. the Eagles, but check back Friday afternoon to see how they're listed on the final injury report.

The Panthers are hiring Frank Reich as their next HC, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Reich was fired by the Colts in November after getting off to a 3-5-1 start. But he went 37-28 across his first 4 seasons in Indianapolis, despite losing QB Andrew Luck just prior to the start of the 2019 campaign. Three of those 4 Colts teams finished top 9 in points; 2 of them ranked top 10 in total yards. Prior to arriving in Indianapolis, Reich spent 4 seasons as an OC -- 2 with the Chargers and 2 with the Eagles. Reich's offense was middling in his 1st season in both stops but improved to finish top 9 in yards in year 2. We'll see how Reich fills out his new staff, but this is a rock-solid hire for Carolina. The Panthers, of course, still need to find an answer at QB after cycling through Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker this past season. Mayfield is now with the Rams, while neither Darnold nor Walker is currently signed for 2023.

The Jets are hiring Nathaniel Hackett as their new OC, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Hackett was a disaster as Denver's HC this past season but had a successful stint as Green Bay's OC the previous 3 years. The Packers finished middle of the pack in total yards and points in Hackett's 1st season but climbed into the top 10 in both categories in 2020 and 2021. Those teams, of course, were quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers, who's a big fan of Hackett. This move was presumably made by the Jets at least in part to help their chances of luring Rodgers to New York.

49ers Deebo Samuel (ankle) practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday in advance of Sunday's NFC Championship game vs. the Eagles. HC Kyle Shanahan shared that “It’s been there for a little bit," referring to Samuel's ankle ailment, "I think he’ll be alright, but it concerned us enough to not let him go today" at practice. We'll see if the veteran is able to ramp up activity on Thursday. Check back once we learn some more information.

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey (calf) was listed as a non-participant on Wednesday's injury report. Teammate RB Elijah Mitchell (groin) also didn't practice. It's less than ideal to see both of the Niners' top RBs listed as DNP ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship game vs. the Eagles. Fortunately, we still have a a few more days to wait and see if their participation ramps up. Be certain to check back for updates tomorrow.

Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle) practiced fully on Wednesday ahead of the AFC Championship game vs. the Bengals. The veteran figures to split backfield duties with rookie RB Isiah Pacheco should he ultimately be healthy enough to suit up this weekend. We'll follow McKinnon's status on the practice report this week in case something takes a downward turn.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman (pelvis) logged limited participation at Wednesday's practice in advance of Sunday's AFC Championship game vs. the Bengals. The speedy wideout didn't practice at all last week and missed the Divisional Round game vs. the Jaguars due to this injury. Limited practice early this week is a step in the right direction for Hardman. We'll keep an eye on his status as the week unfolds.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) practiced fully on Wednesday ahead of the AFC Championship game vs. the Bengals. It's good to see the superstar wasn't limited by the high ankle sprain he sustained this past Saturday vs. the Jaguars. HC Andy Reid said on Monday that he anticipated Mahomes will play in the AFC Championship, so this news is only further confirmation that the team feels good about where their QB is health-wise. We'll be sure to follow this as the week unfolds in case anything changes.

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair his broken left fibula, ESPN's Todd Archer reports. "Should be full strength well before training camp," Archer adds. We'll keep an eye on Pollard's rehab, but this injury shouldn't impact his 2023 fantasy outlook. Pollard is set to hit free agency in March.

Jaguars RB Travis Etienne told reporters Monday that he was "happy" to finish his 2nd season healthy. But, according to Jaguars Wire, he added, "I just want to put on a little muscle mass, a little more weight, because those guys are really big." Etienne later listed pass protection as an area in which he wants to improve. Weakness in that area might have helped limited Etienne's playing time over the final 4 games, when he played fewer than 30 snaps 3 times (compared with 49+ in 8 straight non-injury games before that). Adding bulk isn't always a great thing for a speedy back, because too much extra muscle can slow him down. Even if that doesn't happen, this change doesn't seem likely to address Etienne's main fantasy issue: a lack of receptions. We'll certainly be watching all factors as the former 1st-round pick approaches his 3rd season. Etienne looks decent as an option in Round 3 or 4 of early best-ball drafts.

Patriots insider Mark Daniels hears that QB Mac Jones is "very excited" about the hiring of new OC Bill O'Brien. Jones seemed uncomfortable in and frustrated by New England's offense this past season. He and O'Brien briefly overlapped back in 2021, when O'Brien was hired by Alabama and Jones was in the pre-draft process. It’ll be “nice to start a new working relationship with someone that you already have had the opportunity to work with," a source close to Jones told Daniels. Jones is a 2023 bounce-back candidate after his numbers dipped across the board this past year -- although we're still not excited about his fantasy upside.

The Patriots hired Bill O'Brien as OC. He returns to the same position he held in 2011, when New England ranked 2nd in total yards and 3rd in points with QB Tom Brady. O'Brien was also on the Patriots' offensive staff from 2007 to 2010, so he has plenty of familiarity with the organization. Since leaving New England after that 2011 campaign, O'Brien spent 2 years as Penn State's HC, 7 years as the Texans' HC and, most recently, the past 2 years as Alabama's OC. If nothing else, the Patriots will have a legitimate offensive mind running the offense in 2023 -- something they didn't have this past season.

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey confirmed that he played through a calf issue in Sunday's Divisional Round win over the Cowboys. He was shown multiple times trying to keep the calf loose on the sidelines and didn't play much on San Francisco's final couple of possessions. “I was fighting but made it through — made it through great," McCaffrey said after the win. We'll keep a close eye on CMC's practice participation this week but tentatively expect him to play in Sunday's NFC Championship game vs. the Eagles.

Bills QB Josh Allen said Monday that he's not expected to have surgery on the UCL injury he suffered in his right elbow on November 6. He also told reporters that he didn't feel like he had his usual throwing mechanics until 2 weeks ago. Allen's numbers certainly suggest that the elbow was an issue. In his first 8 games, including the 1 in which he hurt the elbow late, he posted a 64.1% completion rate, 8.1 yards per attempt and 19 TDs vs. 8 INTs. Over his final 10 games, including the playoffs, he registered a 61.7% completion rate, 7.1 yards per attempt and 19 TDs vs. 9 INTs. We'll keep an eye on Allen's status throughout the offseason, but he should tentatively expected to be 100% for the 2023 campaign.

Chiefs HC Andy Reid said Monday that QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) will play in Sunday's AFC Championship game vs. the Bengals. Mahomes "worked hard on the treatment and is doing OK," Reid said, adding that this high-ankle sprain isn't as bad as the one Mahomes suffered in 2019. That injury occurred in the season opener and didn't cost Mahomes any further time. There wasn't much doubt that Mahomes would play against Cincinnati this weekend, considering he returned to the win over Jacksonville. The question is to what extent the ankle injury will impact his performance. We'll keep a close eye on the situation throughout the week. The Chiefs are currently just 1-point favorites over the Bengals, suggesting some concern about Mahomes' status.

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