Fantasy Football News Roundup: Wild Card Games, Draft Rumors and More
Compiled by Justin Sablich (@JustinSablich)
Catch-up on some of the key fantasy football happenings heading into this weekend’s wild card games, as well as some early off-season rumblings concerning players’ futures and the N.F.L. Draft.
Wild Card Weekend
LeSean McCoy Expected To Play
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (ankle), who is listed as questionable to play in the Wild-Card game against the Jaguars, is expected to play. McCoy sprained his ankle in Week 17 and is hoping he’ll be effective on Sunday against Jacksonville. “We’ll see. We’ll see,” McCoy told reporters. “I don’t want to make any promises. My teammates have been asking me the same questions. I don’t want to lie them.” He leads the team in catches (59), rushing yards (1,138) and total touchdowns (eight). With McCoy at less than percent and possibly hobbled, Buffalo is likely to struggle to move the ball against the NFL’s top overall defense. Everyone on Buffalo’s offense, including McCoy, is a risky fantasy option.
Sammy Watkins is Risky Against Falcons
Derrick Henry Once Again In Line For Heavy Load
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry received mixed reviews in his debut as a starting running back, including labelling his own play as “soft” despite finishing with 117 total yards and a touchdown. Henry will have a chance to improve upon his first career start this week on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Henry will likely have a huge role in the game plan this Saturday as the Titans will be inclined to lean on the ground game in a tough road environment. Although his price has increased slightly, Henry still has the big-play potential and volume necessary to make him a solid DFS play this week.
Michael Thomas 100 Percent Heading Into Wild-Card Game
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (hamstring) seems to be fully recovered from the hamstring injury that limited him in practice over the last couple of weeks of the regular season. Thomas has practiced in full so far and should be ready for another big game against Carolina. Thomas was rock solid against the Panthers, catching 12 balls for 157 yards and two touchdowns in their two earlier games this season. He enters his first playoff game with a relatively easy matchup against cornerback James Bradberry, who has been beat regularly. Thomas is among the highest WR plays available on Wild-Card weekend.
Kirk Cousins Will Take His Time Deciding His Future
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins will take his time and consider all possibilities before deciding on whether to sign an extension to stay in Washington or to move on to another team. “We’ll take our time. I don’t know how it’s going to end. Just want to say thank you (to the fans) … Thank you to the media for covering the team the way you do.” Cousins also said that he would accept a third consecutive franchise tag if the Redskins decided on that option, but it does seem like he’d prefer to ink a long-term deal this offseason.
Raiders Giving Jon Gruden a 10-Year Deal
The Oakland Raiders will give new head coach Jon Gruden a 10-year deal, which is the longest in the history of the NFL, according to sources. The deal is likely to be worth around $100 million. Wow. We now understand why Gruden is coming out of the ESPN broadcasting booth to coach for the first time since 2008. The deal is expected to become official early next week after Gruden broadcasts his last game for ESPN during the Chiefs-Titans Wild-Card matchup Saturday. Gruden has been assembling his own coaching staff on the side for some time with this move in mind. He’ll be tasked with improving an offense that took a major step backwards in 2017 after making the playoffs in 2016. The fate of quarterback Derek Carr will be a hot topic of discussion in the offseason now that Gruden is in town.
Corey Coleman’s Future With Browns Uncertain
According to long-time Cleveland Browns beat reporter Tony Grossi, wide receiver Corey Coleman‘s future with the team is uncertain. Coleman has had two rocky seasons since being drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft. He has missed large chunks of both of his two seasons with a broken hand on two separate occasions and is being sued for his alleged role in a January 2017 assault case. Coleman’s Week 17 drop also ended what could have been a game-winning drive that would have prevented the team from going 0-16. A move from Cleveland could be exactly what Coleman needs to jump-start his career. The Browns very well could pursue an offseason trade centered around Coleman.
Lamar Jackson Declares For NFL Draft
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has declared for the NFL draft. Jackson (6’3/211) had a monster sophomore season in 2016, throwing for 30 touchdowns and running for another 21 on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy, beating out Deshaun Watson, Jabrill Peppers, Baker Mayfield, and Dede Westbrook. Opinions vary on Jackson throughout the draft world, with some even suggesting he should switch positions. Jackson is going to be a fascinating player to track this winter.
Jets Open To Trading Up For Quarterback