The Cardinals have hired Kliff Kingsbury as their new HC. He was named USC's OC last month but is bolting for a head gig in the pros. Kingsbury was a prolific passer at Texas Tech, racking up 11,937 yards and 91 TDs over his final 3 seasons. After flaming out in the NFL, he spent 5 seasons as an assistant coach at Houston and then Texas A&M. Kingsbury was named HC at his alma mater in 2013 and led the Red Raiders to top-28 finishes in total offense in all 6 seasons there. His squad never ranked worse than 8th in passing yards. Of course, it remains to be seen how Kingsbury's offense will translate to the NFL. It's an exciting but risky hire by Arizona.
The Bucs have hired Bruce Arians as their new HC. Byron Leftwich will serve as the OC, but it'll be Arians running the show. He was out of coaching this past year but spent the previous 5 seasons as the Cardinals' HC and also has 9 years of experience as an NFL OC. After struggling early in his career, Arians has landed 7 of his last 9 offenses inside the top 14 in total yards. He tends to lean toward the pass, with just 1 of those last 9 offenses ranking higher in rush attempts than pass attempts. All 9 of those units finished top 15 in pass yards, with 5 cracking the top 10. We'd expect a pass-leaning attack in Tampa Bay -- good news for QB Jameis Winston and WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport describes the injury Chargers RB Melvin Gordon suffered in Sunday's win over the Ravens as "a little knee sprain." Rapoport adds that it's similar to the right knee injury he suffered in Week 12. That cost him 3 games -- but Gordon returned to Sunday's contest in Baltimore and is expected to play against the Patriots this weekend. "Just may not exactly look like his old self," Rapoport cautions. Gordon averaged just 2.4 yards per carry vs. the Ravens and was out-snapped 39 to 32 by Austin Ekeler. Don't be surprised if Ekeler plays an expanded role again this weekend.
The Chargers have activated TE Hunter Henry (knee) from the PUP list. He should play against the Patriots this weekend, barring a setback in practice this week. Henry is 7-and-a-half months removed from tearing his ACL and has been practicing for 3 weeks now. He'll be on some type of snap count on Sunday but has some DFS tournament appeal vs. New England's 26th-ranked TE defense.
The Packers have hired Matt LaFleur as their new HC. The 39-year-old was a hot name as an OC candidate around this time last year after working under Sean McVay in Los Angeles in 2017. LaFleur's 1 season in Tennessee was underwhelming on paper, with the Titans finishing 25th in total yards and 27th in points. But he was dealt a bad hand at QB between an injured Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert. That likely also played a part in Tennessee being the 2nd run-heaviest offense in the league and 10th slowest in situation-neutral pace. Hopefully LaFleur brings a more aggressive, up-tempo attack to Green Bay. Consider the hire a risk/reward proposition for Aaron Rodgers and Co.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen hears that there's a "high probability" the Steelers trade WR Antonio Brown this offseason. The mercurial receiver may have punched his ticket out of town when he reportedly got into a tiff with QB Ben Roethlisberger on the Wednesday before the season finale and then skipped the next 2 days of practice. Brown showed up ready to play against the Bengals on Sunday, but the Steelers made him inactive. It's possible that cooler heads prevail and Brown returns to Pittsburgh for the 2019 campaign, but this will obviously be 1 of the biggest storylines of the offseason. He's due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17, so any trade would likely come before then. Brown's departure would make JuJu Smith-Schuster the Steelers' clear #1 WR and give James Washington a shot to capture the #2 job.
Bears S Eddie Jackson is active for today’s game against the Eagles. He arrived questionable after missing the previous 2 games with an ankle sprain
Bears TE Trey Burton (groin) is inactive for today's game against the Eagles. He was added to the injury report on Saturday, but we have no further details on his status beyond this week. Burton's absence leaves Adam Shaheen as Chicago's lead pass-catching TE. Note that Philly finished 4th in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed to TEs this season.
Chargers RB Melvin Gordon injured his left knee in the 1st quarter of Sunday's game against the Ravens and limped back to the locker room. This is the opposite knee from the one he injured back in Week 12. We'll update Gordon's status as we learn more. His absences leaves the Chargers with RBs Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson.
Update: Gordon has returned to the game.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (groin) is active for today's game against the Ravens. He was limited in practice all week and listed as questionable, so he comes with added risk in fantasy lineups -- beyond the difficult matchup.
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins told NFL Network's James Palmer that he suffered a Grade 3 sprain of the AC joint in his right shoulder in the 1st half of Saturday's playoff loss to the Colts. Hopkins played in the 2nd half but didn't look quite right. He finished with 5 catches for 37 yards on 10 targets. It was a disappointing end to a brilliant campaign. Hopkins led all WR in PPR points this season, finishing 2nd in catches, 2nd in yards and 4th in TDs. And he played all 16 games for the 5th time in 6 tries. Hopkins will be in the mix to be the 1st WR off the board in 2019 fantasy drafts.
The Bears have added TE Trey Burton to the injury report and deemed him questionable for Sunday’s game against the Eagles with a groin injury. We’ll check his status Sunday afternoon.
The Chargers did not activate TE Hunter Henry (knee) for Sunday's game against the Ravens. Henry has been practicing for a few weeks now and ostensibly has a shot to play next weekend if the Chargers advance. Antonio Gates will continue to serve as L.A.'s lead pass-catching TE vs. Baltimore. The future Hall-of-Famer has seen 12 targets over his last 3 games, including 5 in the Week 16 meeting with the Ravens.
Colts S Clayton Geathers and DE Jabaal Sheard are active for today’s game against the Texans. Both entered the day questionable
Colts WRs T.Y. Hilton (ankle) and Dontrelle Inman (shoulder, finger) are active for today's game against the Texans. Hilton has been playing effectively through this ankle injury for the past month and remains a high-upside fantasy play vs. a Houston defense he routinely torches. Inman and Chester Rogers will serve as the Colts' #2 and #3 WRs today.
Texans WR Keke Coutee (hamstring) is officially active for today's game against the Colts. The rookie missed the final 5 games of the regular season but could step right back into a significant role for a Houston offense in need of pass-catching threats behind DeAndre Hopkins. Consider Coutee a risk/reward fantasy play in the Wild Card Round.
Texans WR Keke Coutee is expected to play through his "questionable" tag against the Colts today, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That would be Coutee's 1st action since his latest hamstring aggravation in Week 12. Coutee put in full practices all this week, though, and rejoins a Houston offense that lost Demaryius Thomas to a torn Achilles' tendon while he was out. There's some sneaky DFS upside to Coutee, especially if this game turns into a shootout. He caught 11 balls for 109 yards in his season debut at Indy back in Week 4 but missed the 2nd meeting.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that "the belief is" Colts WR T.Y. Hilton will play today against the Texans. That's certainly been our assumption, despite the questionable tag. Hilton played through such designations each of the past 2 weeks. He continued to miss practice all week, though, and carries some risk. He did manage regular playing time each of the final 2 games, however, topping an 80% snap share in each.
Colts WR Dontrelle Inman is expected to play today against the Texans, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Inman's officially questionable with shoulder and finger injuries but in limited practices all week. Inman caught 9 balls over the past 2 games and scored in each. He finished 5 of his past 8 games with 4+ receptions.
Rams RB Todd Gurley said his injured knee is "feeling better" on Thursday. "Just still doing stuff for my knee," he added. "I've been able to do a lot more this week. It's been reacting pretty good." Gurley also said that he'd like to get a couple of practices in next week prior to the Rams' playoff opener. We'll get the team's 1st practice report on Tuesday.
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