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Redskins hire Jay Gruden as HC
Bengals OC gets head coaching job
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 9 2014, 11:10 am

Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins' search for a new head coach, which once looked like it would take weeks, ended Thursday when the team agreed to hire Jay Gruden, a league source told ESPN. Gruden, the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator, interviewed with Washington on Wednesday, one day after meeting with the Tennessee Titans. He also had a visit scheduled with the Detroit Lions. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: The Redskins have called a press conference for 4PM ET to announce the move. Redskins tight ends coach Sean McVay is expected to be named offensive coordinator. On a side note, the Bengals plan to promote quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson to offensive coordinator.
Injury Ryan Mathews misses practice Wed.
Ankle injury
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 8 2014, 2:50 pm

Running back Ryan Mathews, wide receiver Eddie Royal and safety Eric Weddle all rested on the first preparation day for Sunday's Divisional Round game in Denver. Mathews' absence from practice was nothing new. He's been on a routine the past two weeks that's seen him rest an ankle injury Wednesday and Thursday before practicing Friday. Each week, he was listed as probable.

FFToday's Take: Mathews was limited in the second half of last week's win against the Bengals and will likely play this week against the Broncos at less than 100%. More updates coming later in the week...
Injury Smith limited in practice, 71% healthy
Panther receiver returns to practice
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 8 2014, 2:30 pm

Carolina Panthers
Panthers receiver Steve Smith practiced Wednesday for the first time since spraining his knee two weeks ago, but it's still unclear how effective Smith will be Sunday against San Francisco. Smith sarcastically put the status of his left knee at "71 percent," and the team's all-time receiving leader was listed as limited on the injury report. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Smith "was not that limited," although the team did limit the number of reps Smith took. (Charlotte Observer)

FFToday's Take: Smith is nursing a sprained PCL in his knee but should be available for Sunday's game against San Francisco. He'll be a risky play in playoff and daily leagues and should largely be avoided.
CJ2K unhappy with role in Tennessee
Suggests a change of scenery would be an option
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 8 2014, 8:00 am

Tennessee Titans
Most of the buzz surrounding Chris Johnson has centered on whether the Titans want him back in 2014. The running back, who is under contract and scheduled to make $8 million next season, added a different twist Tuesday. If the Titans don’t plan on giving him a bigger role under their next head coach, Johnson said he’d rather be elsewhere. (The Tennessean)

FFToday's Take: The Titans are currently without a head coach so it's unclear how Johnson would be used in a new offensive system. He is under contract through 2016 and schedule to make $8 million in 2015 and $7 million in 2016. It's clear that he is unhappy with and wants to be more of a workhorse running back like Jamaal Charles or LeSean McCoy. Johnson is 28 years old and has been very durable during his first six seasons in the league.
Injury Percy Harvin practices Tuesday
Status remains uncertain
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 7 2014, 1:45 pm

Seattle Seahawks
Carroll said WR Percy Harvin will practice today. Asked also if he will play Saturday, Carroll didn’t answer, though did so with a smile. Carroll said today was a big day for Harvin to be able to practice but said again that he will have to make it through the week before he is cleared to play. (Seattle Times)

FFToday's Take: Harvin will have to avoid any setbacks in order to play. As of right now, he should be considered questionable and would likely play a limited number of snaps if active.
Injury Gronkowski to have surgery Thursday
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 7 2014, 1:00 pm

New England Patriots
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is scheduled to undergo surgery on his torn right ACL on Thursday, a league source confirmed to Gronkowski tore both his ACL and MCL in a game against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 8. Surgery on the ACL was delayed to allow time for the MCL to heal. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Gronkowski will be in a race to get cleared for Week 1 of the 2014 season and we aren't likely to get much info from the Patriots during the off-season on his status. He'll be a big injury risk during fantasy drafts next summer.
Injury Cromartie to get cut in offseason?
Jets staring at $15 M cap charge
By: Doug Orth | Jan 6 2014, 5:55 pm

New York Jets
Antonio Cromartie, rumored to be a possible salary-cap casualty, said Monday he wants to finish his career with the New York Jets. Despite a prohibitive, $15 million cap charge in 2014, he's still hopeful he will return. On Sunday, reported that Cromartie told teammates he expects to be released in a cap-related move, but hopes to re-sign. The issue is his contract, which has one year remaining. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Cromartie restructured his contract last offseason, inflating his cap charge for 2014. Making matters worse for Cromartie is that he had a forgettable season, thanks in large part to an old hip injury that may require surgery. The odds are good that ESPNNewYork's report is correct and probably just as good that Cromartie will be back with the Jets at a lower rate next season.
Sherman fired as Dolphins OC
Team reportedly consdering Packers QB coach
By: Doug Orth | Jan 6 2014, 3:20 pm

Green Bay Packers
One knowledgeable source went so far as to say Ben McAdoo is the favorite to replace (fired OC Mike) Sherman. "Good coach, players like him." (Adam Beasley on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: This nugget is notable for two reasons: 1) Miami HC Joe Philbin is a former Packers assistant that worked with McAdoo and 2) it's a fair bet that any assistant who watched how much Eddie Lacy meant to Green Bay this season will make the running game a bit of a priority in his next stop. Sherman did a poor job of sticking with the run and failed to use Lamar Miller correctly, so almost any coordinator change figures to be a good one for his stock.
Cobb wants to break more tackles
Injury-marred season fueling third-year WR
By: Doug Orth | Jan 6 2014, 3:10 pm

Green Bay Packers
Randall Cobb isn't happy. Of all the Packers who were upset after the loss Sunday to San Francisco, perhaps the slot receiver looked the sickest. "I've got to get better at breaking tackles," said Cobb. "If I want to be a great player — and not just a good player — I have to do more. I have to be more. I'm going to take that upon myself this off-season. I'm going to let this pain that I feel right now fuel me to come back stronger and better next season." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

FFToday's Take: Cobb's early-season injury was unfortunate, but it is a great sign that Cobb is already chomping at the bit to get better. It is doubtful he'll fall very far on draft day in 2014, but with the number of young receivers that broke through this season, it is possible. With his status as one of Aaron Rodgers' two favorite passing-game options, Cobb should still be considered a top 10 receiver for fantasy purposes next year.
DeSean Jackson wants a raise
Signed a 5-year deal in 2012
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 6 2014, 9:00 am

Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson would like a raise -- even though he has three years remaining on the five-year contract he signed in 2012. "I definitely feel it's something deserving," Jackson said Monday, two days after the Eagles' season ended with a 26-24 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. "We'll see how that plays out. "Hopefully, we can work things out smoothly and not have to worry about anything out of the ordinary." (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Jackson is set to make $10.5 million in 2014. He made $7 million this season. Apparently, he thinks he's due a raise after his 82 receptions, 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. Jackson's wishes here are out of whack and is being fairly compensated in comparison to other top receivers in the league.
Injury Mathews leaves early in Chargers win
Insists he'll play this week against Denver
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 6 2014, 8:00 am

Ryan Mathews did what he could Sunday. An ankle injury that's slowed him the past two weeks could be played on for so long. He was out most of the second half. Late, the Chargers had to turn to Ronnie Brown. “My mindset is I'm playing,” said Mathews, who praised the work of the team's running backs. “We keep fighting. Coach (Mike) McCoy says it all the time. It's the next man up. We're all ready.” (San Diego Union Tribune)

FFToday's Take: Mathews wasn't 100% yesterday and was absent from the field the majority of the second half. He'll likely be limited in practice this week and be a risky play in fantasy playoffs against the Broncos.
Injury Pierre Thomas ruled out
Missed third straight practice Friday
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 3 2014, 4:00 pm

New Orleans
New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (back) has been ruled out for Saturday's Wild Card Playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Friday. He missed his third straight practice Friday, the team's final workout before the playoff contest. (Times Picayune)

FFToday's Take: Thomas injured his back/chest in Week 17 and his absence means increased work for Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram.
Brandon Jacob retires
Nine-year career comes to an end
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 3 2014, 10:00 am

New York Giants
New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs announced his retirement Thursday night on Twitter. Jacobs played with the Giants for eight of his nine seasons, winning two Super Bowls. After a stint with the 49ers last season, he returned to the Giants after Week 1 this season and rushed for a total of 238 yards and four touchdowns in seven games. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Jacobs had his best season back in 2008 rushing for 1089 yards and 15 TDs, ranking as the fourth best fantasy RB at 15.6 fantasy points per game. Jacobs is the Giants' all-time leader in rushing touchdowns.
Injury Welker cleared for playoffs
Suffered two concussions in less than a month
By: Doug Orth | Jan 2 2014, 6:05 pm

Chicgao Bears
There was a time as Wes Welker was recovering from his second concussion that he felt he was ready to play. The Broncos' medical team held the star slot receiver out a while longer, anyway, and in retrospect he's glad for it. Welker first suffered a concussion on Nov. 17 in a home game against Kansas City. He incurred his second concussion against Tennessee on Dec. 8 when he was hit by Titans safety Bernard Pollard. The concussion knocked Welker out of the game and he was held out of the Broncos' final three games of the regular season. (Denver Post)

FFToday's Take: Welker could be a popular pick in playoff fantasy leagues, but he obviously comes with a fair amount of risk. Most importantly, the Broncos' slot receiver will have over a month to recover from his latest concussion by the time Denver takes the field next week in the divisional round of the playoffs.
NFL Draft Texas A&M WR Mike Evans to go pro
Latest of three top receiver prospects to enter draft
By: Doug Orth | Jan 2 2014, 3:35 pm

Texas A&M announces WR Mike Evans leaving early for NFL. (Brett McMurphy on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Evans may not be a household name yet, but that should change in the coming months. A third-year sophomore that goes 6-5 and 225-pounds, Evans probably opened the most eyes when he destroyed Auburn for 287 yards receiving and four touchdowns in October and his Marques Colston-like skill set should make him a valuable commodity. He joins Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and Penn State's Allen Robinson as underclassmen receivers who could make a first-year impact in fantasy leagues.
NFL Draft Clowney signs with agent
Joins Bridgewater among elite underclassmen to join draft
By: Doug Orth | Jan 2 2014, 3:15 pm

South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney has signed with Hattiesburg, Miss.-based BC Sports. (Neil Stratton on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: We've known about Clowney's desire to turn pro for over a year, but signing with an agent makes it official. While Bridgewater hasn't knowingly signed with an agent yet, he has already declared and is expected to be the top overall pick. Assuming a team falls in love with Clowney's upside (in the neighborhood of Julius Peppers) to trade with St. Louis, there's a distinct possibility Bridgewater and Clowney could go 1-2 in May's draft.
Bears give Cutler new contract
7-year deal
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 2 2014, 10:45 am

Chicgao Bears
Set to become an unrestricted free agent, Jay Cutler signed a seven-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Thursday, general manager Phil Emery announced. "He's a demonstrated winner with the Chicago Bears. He can be a key player in terms of being the reason you win," Emery said. Cutler, who has played his last five seasons with the Bears after starting his career in Denver, recently said he wanted to stay in Chicago. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: One of the biggest off-season questions has been answered before the playoffs even begin. At age 37, it's unlikely Cutler will see the later years of this deal but the Bears will move forward with Cutler as their QB for the foreseeable future. Cutler posted 19.9 FPts per game in Marc Trestman's offense, his highest mark since 2008 (22.4).
Injury Ryan Mathews sits Wednesday
Expected to play
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 1 2014, 3:00 pm

Running back Ryan Mathews was one of two players listed as not practicing on the San Diego Chargers' injury report Wednesday. Mathews wore a protective boot on his injured left ankle coming off of the field at the end of practice. But he says that everything is fine concerning the injury. Along with Mathews, receiver Eddie Royal (toe) did not practice. But both are expected to play Sunday in Cincinnati. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Mathews will likely be limited in practice later this week but should play against the Bengals on Sunday. He'll be a low-end RB2 in a tough matchup on the road against the Bengals.
Injury Bowe cleared to play
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 1 2014, 10:00 am

Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who suffered a concussion in the game two weeks ago against the Colts, was cleared to play. (Kansas City Star)

FFToday's Take: Bowe sat out Week 17 along with most other Chiefs starters but will be back on the field Saturday against the Colts. He'll be a low-end WR3 in fantasy playoff leagues.
Injury Percy Harvin avoids IR
Will return to practice this week
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 31 2013, 8:00 am

Seattle Seahawks
After hinting for the past week that the team might put Percy Harvin on the injured reserve list, making him ineligible for the rest of the season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Harvin will return to practice this week with the hope of playing in the team’s playoff game Jan. 11. (Seattle Times)

FFToday's Take: Harvin will practice Thursday in hopes of playing in the divisional round of the playoffs. Harivn is recovering from a torn labrum in his hip. Harvin should be considered questionable for the playoffs and will be a risky pick in playoff fantasy leagues.
NFL Draft Texans likely to hire Bill O'Brien as HC
Penn State boss a former assistant under Bill Belichick
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 4:10 pm

Houston Texans
Teams who fired coaches might be checking on Bill O'Brien and find out he's closing in on a new job in Houston. (John McClain on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Obviously, nothing is final until a deal is official. However, O'Brien was a successful offensive coordinator for two years in New England before guiding the Nittany Lions to consecutive winning seasons in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, earning him a lot of respect in all football circles. O'Brien would also have the luxury of the top pick in the draft and is a noted quarterback coach, so the marriage may be a good one in Houston.
NFL Draft Rams "open for business" at No. 2
RG3 trade continues to pay dividends for St. Louis
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 4:00 pm

St. Louis Rams
Rams GM Les Snead made it clear that, with the second pick, the Rams are open for business. He’d like to get an extra first-rounder out of the deal if possible, and with a major bargaining chip like South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney or Teddy Bridgewater (if the Louisville quarterback comes out, as expected) in play, he may be able to reach his goal. (

FFToday's Take: The Rams would likely select Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews if they stayed at No. 2, but should be able to grab a top offensive lineman later and pick up another high draft pick from a team like Jacksonville, Cleveland or Oakland that could be interested in Clowney, Fresno State QB Derek Carr or Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (assuming Clowney and Manziel declare for the draft and Houston takes Bridgewater at No. 1 if he comes out).
Browns can HC Chudzinski
Reportedly interested in OC McDaniels, DC Quinn
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 3:40 pm

Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns fired coach Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night. Less than a year after touting Chudzinski as one of the brightest young coaches in the NFL and a guy CEO Joe Banner said he had his eye on for a long time, the Browns let him go after one season as coach. A seven-game losing streak to end the season and a 4-12 overall mark apparently were too much to overcome. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: The Browns' brass used the excuse of "we took a concerning step backward in the second half of the year" to fire Chudzinski, but they didn't have to coach up the likes of Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell each week. Cleveland is reportedly interested in Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt, Broncos OC Adam Gase and Seahawks DC Dan Quinn.
Lovie Smith interested in Bucs HC job
Ex-Bears coach is a former Tampa Bay assistant
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 3:15 pm

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith will be considered for several coaching openings but those close to him say he's very interested in Bucs job. (Rick Stroud on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: We won't do an update on every coach that is "interested" in an open job, but this one is noteworthy on several levels. First, Smith has long been a devotee of the Tampa 2 defense, which would make the Bucs' handling of Darrelle Revis something to watch going forward. Smith was also Tampa Bay's linebackers coach from 1996-2000. Last but not least, while Smith is not the ultimate "player's coach", he's not the tyrant that former HC Greg Schiano was made out to be.
Injury David Wilson should play in 2014
Will likely need offseason neck surgery
By: Doug Orth | Dec 30 2013, 3:00 pm

New York Giants
David Wilson may need neck surgery, but GM Jerry Reese said "Doctors think they can fix that and he'll be able to play" in 2014. (Ralph Vacchiano on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Wilson is a hold in dynasty leagues - even if he is a risky one - but a complete wildcard in redraft formats. It appears the Giants are serious about improving their offense (and the offensive line in particular) in the offseason, so Wilson should have a chance to fulfill his potential while sharing carries - presumably with Andre Brown.
Lions let go HC Jim Schwartz
Lions lost six of their last seven games
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 12:05 pm

Detroit Lions
The Jim Schwartz era in Detroit is over. The Lions fired Schwartz today, making the long-expected move one day after their underachievement of a season ended with a 14-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. One of the NFL’s biggest disappointments, the Lions lost six of their last seven games to finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years. (Detroit Free Press)

FFToday's Take: Schwartz went 29-51 during his five seasons as Lions head coach. After a 6-3 start, the Lions were in position to make the playoff but dropped six of their last seven games.
Bucs let go head coach and GM
Mark Dominik, Greg Schiano let go
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 11:30 am

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik, the team announced Monday. The move came in the wake of Schiano's second straight losing season, a 4-12 campaign that left the Bucs with an 11-21 record in Schiano's two seasons. (Tampa Tribune)

FFToday's Take: GM Mark Dominik spent five years with the Bucs while Schiano lasted only two seasons. The Bucs went 11-21 over the last two years. The Bucs are back to the drawing board and have been rumored to be interested in Lovie Smith.
Vikings fire Leslie Frazier
Frazier had one year left on contract
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 8:10 am

Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings announced this morning that Leslie Frazier will not return as head coach. "We did not achieve consistent success," general manager Rick Spielman said. After a season of promise dissolved in blown fourth-quarter leads and curious quarterback decisions, the Vikings fired coach Leslie Frazier on Monday. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FFToday's Take: Frazier had a year left on his contract but went 22-33-1 in his tenure with Vikings who struggled to find a consistent starting quarterback and had monumental troubles on defense.
Shanahan fired by Redskins
Redskins end 2013 with an eight-game losing streak
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 30 2013, 8:00 am

Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins fired coach Mike Shanahan Monday morning after one of the ugliest seasons in recent memory -- and with too many losses in his four-year tenure, a league source confirmed to ESPN. The Washington Post had earlier reported Shanahan's firing. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: We knew this was likely to happen and the Redskins made it official on black Monday. Shanahan compiled a 24-40 record in Washington and ended his tenure with an eight-game losing streak.
Schaub to start for Texans
Case Keenum inactive
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 29 2013, 11:30 am

Houston Texans
Matt Schaub will start at QB for Texans. (Jim Wyatt via Twitter)

FFToday's Take: There had been some speculation that Case Keenum would play after getting in a limited session on Friday but he is inactive. Schaub will be a QB2 against the Titans.
Injury TE Jordan Cameron is active
Will start for the Browns
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 29 2013, 11:30 am

Cleveland Browns
Browns TE Jordan Cameron is active and expected to start against Pittsburgh. (Cleveland Browns via Twitter)

FFToday's Take: Cameron has missed last week's game with a concussion and was just cleared to practice on Friday. He'll be a TE1 against the Steelers and shouldn't infringe on Josh Gordon's targets.
Injury Gresham, Eifert expected to be Out
Bengals will be without their starting tight ends
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 29 2013, 10:50 am

Cincinnati Bengals
ESPN is reporting that the Bengals are expected to be without their starting tight ends (Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert) due to injury. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Gresham has a hamstring injury and Eifert is dealing with a shoulder injury. Alex Smith will start at tight end but isn't a fantasy consideration.
Injury Adrian Peterson doubtful
Not expected to play
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 28 2013, 7:00 am

Minnesota Vikings
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has listed the reigning league MVP as doubtful for Sunday’s season finale against the Lions in what will be the final game in the 31-year history of the Metrodome. Asked if there’s any way Adrian Peterson could talk him into letting him play at the last minute on Sunday morning, Frazier said, “No, unless something dramatically changes.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

FFToday's Take: Peterson (groin, foot)) was limited in practice on Thursday and is unlikely to play. Toby Gerhart (hamstring) will also sit this game out leaving Matt Asiata and Joe Banyard to handle rushing duties. Neither is worthy of your fantasy lineup.
Injury Calvin Johnson misses practice Friday
Unlikely to play Week 17
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 12:15 pm

Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson ended a season in which he fully practiced only one-quarter of the time by ... not practicing. The star Detroit Lions receiver has battled right knee pain throughout the season and did not participate in any drills this week. He is unlikely to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. (MLive)

FFToday's Take: With the Lions eliminated from the playoffs it won't be a surprise if Megaton is inactive for Week 17. If that's the case, Nate Burleson and Kris Durham will be the starting wide receivers with TE Joseph Fauria starting at tight end.
Injury Romo has back surgery
Herniated Disk
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 11:45 am

Dallas Cowboys
The pain was too great and the treatments, including an epidural for a herniated disk in his back, didn't help Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo as he underwent back surgery Friday morning and was placed on injured reserve, officially ending his season. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: As expected, Kyle Orton will get the call in the must-win finale and will be a low-end QB1 against a suspect Eagles defense.
Injury EJ Manuel ruled out
Sprained LCL in left knee
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 11:30 am

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will start Sunday's season finale against the New England Patriots, coach Doug Marrone announced Friday. EJ Manuel, who has a sprained LCL in his left knee, is doubtful for the game after being limited in practice this week. (ESPN)

FFToday's Take: Maneul would've started had his knee allowed but Thad will get the call against the Patriots. The Bills will also be without wide receiver Steve Johnson who will attend his mother's funeral on Friday.
Injury Bowe likely out with concussion
Suffered concussion on Thursday
By: Mike Krueger | Dec 27 2013, 7:00 am

Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was diagnosed Thursday with a concussion. Bowe was on the field at the start of practice that is open to reporters. He later reported concussion-like symptoms and was listed on the injury report as a non-participant in practice. (Kansas City Star)

FFToday's Take: Bowe likely wasn't going to play much in the Chiefs meaningless Week 17 game anyway but he will now be in a race to get cleared before Kansas City's playoff game. Expect Junior Hemingway to see a lot of action on Sunday in Bowe's absence.
Injury Rice vows to bounce back in 2014
RB riddled by injuries, ineffectiveness this season
By: Doug Orth | Dec 26 2013, 5:15 pm

Baltimore Ravens
In the midst of his most difficult season, Ravens running back Ray Rice vowed that he'll rededicate himself during the offseason to try to regain his old form as one of the top all-purpose backs in the league. "Even for some of the people to say you lost a step, it’s different when you have an injury that controls things that you’re normally good at doing. I’ll make sure I’ll come back in the best shape, bigger, faster, prove myself again that I’ll still be a premier running back in the NFL." (Baltimore Sun)

FFToday's Take: Rice battled a strained left hip flexor earlier this season and currently has a quadriceps injury. The 25-year-old ranks is averaging 3.1 yards per carry, but the offensive line is also to blame for a large part of his ineffectiveness. Assuming the offseason is all that Rice needs to get healthy and the Ravens need to address the front five, Rice is likely to reward his owners in a big way next year.
Injury Rodgers cleared; will start in Week 17
Returns after seven-game absence
By: Doug Orth | Dec 26 2013, 2:50 pm

Green Bay Packers
Packers HC Mike McCarthy: QB Aaron Rodgers has been cleared and will start against Chicago. (Tom Silverstein on Twitter)

FFToday's Take: While Rodgers' return comes about a week to a month too late for his fantasy owners, it comes at just the right time for the Packers as they face the Chicago Bears for the NFC North title. Rodgers is an elite quarterback and raises the fantasy floor for every Green Bay receiver, including Jordy Nelson and James Jones. Randall Cobb also got in a padded practice Thursday, suggesting he may see some snaps as well.
Decker expected to be top FA priority
One of 16 Broncos scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency
By: Doug Orth | Dec 26 2013, 2:35 pm

Denver Broncos
Eric Decker figures to be the highest priority but also the most expensive to re-sign. The Broncos are built around Peyton Manning, and the quarterback's top two receivers in the past two seasons have been Decker and Demaryius Thomas, a free agent after the 2014 season. Given the contracts of similar No. 2 receivers in the league, Decker can command a deal of least five years and $40 million, with at least $8 million in the first year. (Denver Post)

FFToday's Take: Decker doesn't get near the credit he deserves in fantasy circles due to the fact he plays with Manning and Thomas, but he's going to get paid like a top receiver unless he settles for a "hometown discount" to remain in such a potent offense. Knowshon Moreno is one of the 16 and could easily end up being a cap casualty if the team decides to move forward with Montee Ball, C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman.