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Jene Bramel

Member Since 11 Apr 2003
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Sunday AM Notes Week 4

28 September 2014 - 04:37 AM

http://subscribers.f..._sundayAM_idp_4

 

EARLY GAMES
Buffalo at Houston
 
Doug Marrone would not commit to Preston Brown this week, saying the decision about playing time would depend on the health of Keith Rivers and on-field matchups. Rivers is listed probable, which hints he'll steal snaps from Brown. I'd still risk Brown as a LB3 as I expect he'll see the bulk of the snaps and Rivers is always another injury waiting to happen. Da'Norris Searcy left last week's game with an ankle injury but will play today.
 
Brian Cushing is not on this week's injury report and played nearly every down last week. He's climbing up the inseason lineup tiers but remains risky until we see him play in all subpackages. D.J. Swearinger added a hip injury to his nagging elbow injury on Friday but is expected to play.
 
Carolina at Baltimore
 
Thomas Davis will test his hip injury during pregame warmups. He's a game time decision, but Ron Rivera tentatively expects him to play. If not, Chase Blackburn will start and likely play every down. Either way, Roman Harper gets a slight bump in expectation today.
 
The Ravens are mostly healthy on defense. Chris Canty is questionable with his chronically balky knee and Terrell Suggs is on the injury report with a thigh injury. Suggs will play and is on the IDP hot seat due to lack of production and a rotation limiting him to 70-80% of snaps. It's a decent matchup today, but Suggs may be too risky to trust.
 
Detroit at New York Jets
 
Tahir Whitehead will start at middle linebacker and play every down today. It's a good opportunity and a good matchup for his first start. If he transitions quickly to the new role, he has LB2 upside. James Ihedigbo will return and start for Detroit. It's not certain whether he'll play every down immediately, but he'll be a matchup DB3 when his role is confirmed.
 
Dee Milliner is still out. Muhammad Wilkerson left last week's game with a knee injury that looked to be a major concern. He fully practiced on Friday and is ready to play. Antonio Allen continues to be a top play as team relentlessly test him in coverage.

 

 

 


Sunday AM Notes Week 3

21 September 2014 - 05:53 AM

http://subscribers.f..._sundayAM_idp_3

 

Preview:

 

Baltimore at Cleveland

The Ravens seem more optimistic about Lardarius Webb this week and have him listed probable. But you'll still need to check the inactives list to be sure he's cleared to play.

 

Barkevious Mingo is questionable and was limited again all week. Mike Pettine was hopeful in his Friday press conference, but wanted to see how Mingo responded to practice. He's a GTD and will likely rotate more than he had been if he's active today. Chris Kirksey and Craig Robertson have been rotating by series and there's been no indication this week that will change today.

 

Dallas at St. Louis

 

Justin Durant is still out and Rolando McClain is a longshot to play after missing practice with a groin injury all week. Anthony Hitchens moves to the middle and will join Bruce Carter in subpackages. Kyle Wilbur will start at SLB. Hitchens is a boom-bust LB3. Carter and Barry Church are the beneficiaries here.

 

The Rams are healthy. Only corner Trumaine Johnson is out today. There are no expected changes to the depth chart.

 

Green Bay at Detroit

 

Brad Jones remains out for the Packers. Jamari Lattimore did not play in the dime last week and likely won't today. With the Lions running an offense that could use lots of multi-wide receiver sets, Lattimore is a risky play today. Micah Hyde was back to full practice late in the week and is probable. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should still see 40 snaps today.

 

James Ihedigbo will miss another week with his neck injury. Isa Abdul-Quddus will start in his place. Ezekiel Ansah is back on the injury report with a knee problem. He didn't practice until Friday and is a game-time decision. Devin Taylor would see more work this week with George Johnson also questionable with a groin injury. Nick Fairley practiced through a biceps injury and is tentatively expected to play.

 


Sunday AM Notes Week 2

14 September 2014 - 05:34 AM

LINK >> http://subscribers.f..._sundayAM_idp_2

 

Quick preview...

 

EARLY GAMES

 

Arizona at New York Giants
 
John Abraham left the team with concussion-like symptoms this week and will not play. Sam Acho and Matt Shaughnessy will be near full time outside linebackers, with Alex Okafor out with a thigh injury. Frostee Rucker is also out. Tyrann Mathieu fully practiced all week and is expected to play. It's unlikely Mathieu will be used on every down initially. He may take snaps away from Rashad Johnson on base downs, but it's possible he'll see time in subpackages only for now.
 
Jon Beason came out of last week's game with some soreness in his foot and missed Thursday's practice. He's probable and will play but likely isn't ready to return to an every down role yet.
 
Atlanta at Cincinnati
 
The Falcons are healthy. Prince Shembo saw a handful of snaps for Joplo Bartu and likely will again against Cincinnati. That's a slight downgrade for Bartu, but he's still a reasonable LB3 today. 
 
Vontaze Burfict fully practiced on Friday ahead of his visit to the independent neurologist. It's very unlikely the Bengals would have allowed Burfict to practice if they were worried about his gaining clearance for contact. It's not yet confirmed but barring a late change in symptoms, he will start today. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap both missed practice time but fully practiced on Friday and are listed probable.
 
Dallas at Tennessee
 
Anthony Hitchens replaces the injured Justin Durant at weak side linebacker and will reportedly also replace Bruce Carter in some nickel situations. Rod Marinelli said Rolando McClain was ready to play in subpackages early this week, so look for him to play nearly every down today.
 
Zaviar Gooden will replace Zach Brown at inside linebacker. Gooden did not play every down last week. The Titans chose to use George Wilson in subpackages instead. Until it's clear that he'll have a larger role, Gooden isn't a trustworthy fantasy option. It's possible that happens this week, with Wilson fighting a minor foot issue, but there's been no specific report yet. Light at depth, there have been hints that the Titans are working Quentin Groves at inside linebacker. 

 

 

Sunday AM Notes Week 1

07 September 2014 - 05:54 AM

Full preview of the Sunday AM notes feature this week....

 

EARLY GAMES
Buffalo at Chicago
 
Preston Brown will start for Nigel Bradham today. He'll likely see some subpackage snaps, but Keith Rivers will figure into the mix, too. I'd hold off on using Brown this week. Da'Norris Searcy won the starting safety job over Duke Williams. He's a risk-reward DB2. Stephon Gilmore is listed questionable but practiced fully Thursday and Friday and should play.
 
Jon Bostic will replace D.J. Williams on nickel downs. Avoid both. Lance Briggs is your only trustworthy fantasy option for now. Chris Conte (recovered from a preseason concussion) and Ryan Mundy are officially your safety starters. Neither are locks to stay in those roles all season, but Brock Vereen missed his opportunity to carve out a role. It may take an injury or horrid play from one of the veterans now, as it's hard for backups to get enough reps to shine once the season begins.
 
Cincinnati at Baltimore
 
Vontaze Burfict has been fighting a hamstring strain but will play. One final reminder that Emmanuel Lamur is your other every-down linebacker and will have a few LB3+ weeks. This matchup could be one of them if you're in a deep league and looking for a flyer early. Geno Atkins will likely see less than 40 snaps today. He has enough upside to start, but his floor is low until he shows he trusts the knee and is back in football condition. Darqueze Dennard is likely to play though his hip injury, but is only a subpackage player for now.
 
C.J. Mosley will play every down. His upside has been lost in the buzz surrounding Ryan Shazier. There are reports that Lardarius Webb may miss today's game despite fully practicing all week. More on that when inactives are released this morning.
 
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
 
Craig Robertson will play ahead of Chris Kirksey for now. That means two things. First, avoid him in your lineups today. Second, hope your leaguemates bail on Kirksey early next week so you can stash him. Joe Haden and Buster Skrine were back at practice this week and will start at corner. Justin Gilbert will come in when the Browns go nickel. Barkevious Mingo held down a starting role all preseason. He's poised for a double digit sack season under Mike Pettine. I'm still seeing Donte Whitner on the waiver wire in lots of leagues. Pick him up or you'll be competing on the free agent list for him next week.
 
Ryan Shazier has won the starting job easily. He may not be ready for prime time yet, but he's athletic enough that no one in the Pittsburgh front seven will be stiff competition for tackles outside the tackle box. He's an immediate LB2. 
 
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
 
Andre Branch has been primarily a subpackage player this preseason. That makes Philadelphia a strong matchup for him with regard to projected snap count. The Eagles offensive line and game plan usually limits the upside of opposing pass rushers though, so don't rush to start Branch unless you're in a big play league and will be forced to deal with variance with any option. Telvin Smith is the Jaguars' second nickel linebacker.
 
Earl Wolff won the starting safety job next to Malcolm Jenkins. Connor Barwin and Trent Cole are both upside plays at home today versus Chad Henne, especially in sack-heavy leagues.
 
Minnesota at St. Louis
 
The focus this preseason was mostly on the competition (or lack thereof) at middle linebacker. But it's Anthony Barr who emerged as the every-down linebacker next to Chad Greenway. I'll be watching to see how much he's used as a traditional linebacker in subpackages. Preseason reps suggested the Vikings aren't ready to add many pass rushing snaps to his plate just yet.
 
Lamarcus Joyner will see some base safety snaps, but he's primarily the slot subpackage player now. This matchup isn't favorable for that role. Aaron Donald gets his first chance to run alongside Robert Quinn today. If you're able to watch more than one game today, make sure you check out a series and watch that duo work.
 
New England at Miami
 
Chris Jones has been declared out but I still think we'll see Dominique Easley limited to a rotation and see more subpackage snaps than base duty. The rest of the New England defense is healthy and I'm looking forward to seeing Jerod Mayo and Jamie Collins work together. Watch to see how often the Patriots use a 3-4 today and how it affects Rob Ninkovich. I expect to see a lot of rotation in the secondary. Unless you're in a deeper league, avoid the Patriots' defensive backs today and reevaluate this week.
 
Philip Wheeler is out with a thumb injury. That's a late week downgrade that might linger into next week. Jason Trusnik and Jelani Jenkins will likely rotate in his place. The injury likely cements Koa Misi as an every-down linebacker today, which is good news with the Patriots' matchup. Jimmy Wilson starts for the suspended Reshad Jones today.
 
New Orleans at Atlanta
 
I think the Kenny Vaccaro show hits primetime today. I'd be leery of David Hawthorne, who will likely lose some, if not all, subpackage snaps to Ramon Humber today. Although he didn't in the preseason, I think Junior Galette will get at least 80-90% of the snaps today. There's no one else on the depth chart with his pass rush upside at outside linebacker.
 
Joplo Bartu will play every down next to Paul Worrilow. It's not a great matchup for pass rush upside, but Kroy Biermann and Jonathan Massaquoi should have your attention today for potential future value.
 
Oakland at New York Jets
 
Nick Roach has been limited in practice this week in the concussion protocol. It's not yet known whether he's been cleared by an independent neurologist. Without a participation downgrade through Friday, I think it's likely he'll be cleared. We'll know when inactives are released shortly. If he doesn't go, expect Miles Burris to start at middle linebacker. Sio Moore will start at outside linebacker and likely play every down unless Khalil Mack has earned the trust of the Raiders' coaches this week.
 
The Jets are likely going to pressure Derek Carr relentlessly today. It's a great situation for Calvin Pryor, who is a strong DB start in sack-heavy systems. The pressure plan has much to do with the rookie starting, but also because the Jets have no cornerbacks of value. Dee Milliner is out. They'll be using Antonio Allen, who was knocked for his cover skills while playing safety, and Darrin Walls. If you're desperate or like living on the edge, Allen's profile suggests he could have a busy day as a player who may allow lots of short passes and isn't shy about playing the run.
 
Tennessee at Kansas City
 
It's Wesley Woodyard and Zach Brown inside for Tennessee. Both players should be effective, with Woodyard a consistent LB2+ and Brown a higher variance LB1-LB4 play depending on the week. 
 
The Chiefs remain predictable. The fantasy value will come from Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry in tackle-heavy leagues and Justin Houston and Tamba Hali in sack-heavy leagues. It's a good matchup for both groups today. I think Dontari Poe is underrated. If he's available in your DT-required league, he needs to be on your roster unless you're stacked with other talent.
 
Washington at Houston
 
Late word this morning suggests that Brian Orakpo will play today. He's been limited most of the week, but fully practiced on Friday with an ankle injury. The battle for tackle supremacy in the post London Fletcher world begins today with Keenan Robinson a slight dog to Perry Riley. Robinson may quietly put up 4-6+ sacks with his skill set should Jim Haslett turn up the pressure between the tackles.
 
Brian Cushing and Jadeveon Clowney are both healthy. Clowney was missing snaps after suffering a late camp concussion and will probably play the majority of downs today. 
 
LATE GAMES
San Francisco at Dallas
 
Michael Wilhoite will start next to Patrick Willis. There's a slim chance we'll see Chris Borland in some packages, but Wilhoite should be a relatively high floor LB3 start if you need one. Look for Tank Carradine to start taking more and more snaps from Ray McDonald. That may start today.
 
There were some hints that Rolando McClain wouldn't be ready for today's game as he continues to battle conditioning issues and knee pain. But he's off the injury report and ready to start at middle linebacker today. I don't think he'll see any subpackage snaps, but that won't be a major issue against the Niners today. 
 
Carolina at Tampa Bay
 
No news of note in Carolina. Roman Harper is healthy and ready to play every down. Melvin White may become a strong option in CB-required leagues, but wait for a trend to develop before rostering / starting him.
 
We'll find out if Mason Foster is ready to make the leap to LB1 status today. He's slimmed down, quicker and reportedly picked up Lovie Smith's scheme well. He'll have to compete with Lavonte David and Mark Barron. We'll also get our first look at Michael Johnson in a Wide 9 look regularly and see just how good Gerald McCoy can be in Smith's pass rush scheme
 
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Indianapolis at Denver
 
Erik Walden was added to the injury report midweek with an abdominal injury and is questionable. He was the best bet -- a relative term, of course -- to play every down at outside linebacker. There's not much pass rush to be found here, which is a recipe for disaster against the Broncos in Denver. That bodes well for both Jerrell Freeman and D'Qwell Jackson, who won't have to worry about their assist-heavy stat keeper this week either.
 
Brandon Marshall will play every down while Danny Trevathan recovers. He's a solid LB3 start today. T.J. Ward will see the majority of his snaps in the box today with the game script likely to favor many subpackage snaps where he plays outside linebacker. Demarcus Ware and Von Miller are healthy are ready to roll.
 
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
New York Giants at Detroit
 
Jon Beason is expected to start this week. Whether he's in condition to play every subpackage snap is a legitimate worry. And with the Lions moving to an New Orleans like offense, it's a little risky to start Beason in fantasy lineups this week. Jason Pierre-Paul looks ready to play 50+ productive snaps. Antrel Rolle will not see as many slot snaps as usual with Walter Thurmond on the roster. Rolle's numbers will be higher variance than in the past two years.
 
James Ihedibgo is doubtful for tomorrow night with multiple injuries. Don Carey is also out, so Isa Abdul-Quddus will get the call at safety. That gives a slight bump to the expectation of both outside linebackers, making Tahir Whitehead a possible LB4 play in very deep leagues. Nick Fairley should see 40 snaps. He's out of the preseason doghouse for now.
 
San Diego at Arizona
 
Manti Te'o's foot injury isn't as severe as last season's midfoot sprain. He practiced fully on Saturday and is expected to start. He took nickel snaps for most of the preseason, but is risky this week. Wait until Week 2 to start him in deeper leagues after evaluating his usage this week. Jason Verrett is ready for Week 1, but he'll start out playing subpackages only for now.
 
There's a chance Tyrann Mathieu will plan Monday night, but it's looking unlikely although he fully practiced this week. If the Cardinals do decide to put Mathieu on the active roster, he'll be a nickel - dime player only. Deone Bucannon is also a subpackage only player for now, as is Kevin Minter. Tony Jefferson and Rashad Johnson start at safety.
 
Best of luck in your fantasy games this weekend. Reading the Defense returns on Tuesday. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.

PSA: Ignore the Yahoo! injury designations this week

04 September 2014 - 12:32 PM

I don't know if the current injury designations are left over from last season or one of the preseason games, but I've had a deluge of questions about Bobby Wagner and Morgan Burnett being listed OUT on Yahoo! today. 

 

Cross check all of your Yahoo! players against the official injury report before acting on any of the injury designations.

 

I do not have a Yahoo! team, but I've so far had questions about Wagner, Burnett and Von Miller. I'm certain there will be others by Sunday if the issue isn't corrected.