Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

FOXBORO — As of now, it doesn’t appear like Jimmy Garoppolo will be ready to start Thursday night.

Garoppolo wasn’t present for the start of the Patriots walkthrough on Tuesday on the backfields of Gillette Stadium as the team prepares for its matchup with the Texans on Thursday night.

Also not present was linebacker Jonathan Freeny, who wasn’t on the projected injury report released Monday night.

After missing practice last week, linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee) returned with a brace. Cornerback Eric Rowe also returned after missing practice last week as well.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski was present, but he’s been present at every practice this year and hasn’t yet played in a game.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Barring some sort of surprise, Jacoby Brissett will start at quarterback for the Patriots on Thursday. This will mark the first time a black quarterback has tricked the Pats into letting him start, according to smart man with no sort of vendetta against the Patriots Bart Hubbuch.

While the NFL unquestionably took longer to incorporate black players at the game’s most important position than it should have, crying racism at a team that has had one (white) quarterback account for nearly half of its franchise’s wins is dumb. Then again, so is saying girls shouldn’t drink beer.

Since Bill Belichick came to the Patriots, the team has drafted five quarterbacks in the fourth round or higher. Two of them (Brissett and Rohan Davey) have been black.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

FOXBORO — What’s the latest with Jimmy Garoppolo? Is Jacoby Brissett ready for Thursday night? And what about Rob Gronkowski? All this and more as WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable have your Patriots preview from Gillette Stadium.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Bryan Stork is set to visit with the Jets, according to several reports.

Bryan Stork is set to visit with the Jets, according to several reports.

The former Patriots center was released this summer by New England after a trade to the Redskins was voided because of a failed physical. The 25-year-old Stork, who was a fourth-round pick of New England in 2014, was a key piece of an offensive line that helped New England win Super Bowl XLIX. However, the Florida State product sustained serious health issues, including multiple concussions.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Going into Tuesday’s Bill Belichick press conference, the biggest question on everyone’s mind was about the status of Jimmy Garoppolo for Thursday’s game and the health of his right shoulder.

Bill Belichick didn't have much to say about Jimmy Garoppolo's right shoulder. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick didn’t have much to say about Jimmy Garoppolo’s right shoulder. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Going into Tuesday’s Bill Belichick press conference, the biggest question on everyone’s mind was about the status of Jimmy Garoppolo for Thursday’s game and the health of his right shoulder.

As could have been predicted, Belichick didn’t have much to say on the subject.

“It’s based on what is in best interest of the football team,” Belichick said. “The players personal situation, his health always comes first. That always comes first. That isn’t a football decision. That is a medical decision. All decisions are what is best for the football team. That is what we’ve always done around here and that is what we will always do as long as I am here. That would never change. We’ll always do what is best for the football team. That is what it’s always driven by.”

Belichick was then asked about having to evaluate both things — the health of a player and the need to bring another quarterback in?

“I’m the football coach, I’m not a doctor,” he said. “The medical staff is the medical staff. I coach the team. The medical people handle the injuries. They don’t call plays. I don’t do surgery. We have a great deal there.”

Added Belichick on the medical staff: “They do what is best for the football team. Let me put it a different way, I’m the coach. I do what is best for the football team. I don’t know why we can’t understand that.”

Finally, Belichick was asked if Tuesday was the most important day for Garoppolo and playing Thursday night.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Today is Tuesday, the game is Thursday night.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — If Jimmy Garoppolo does indeed take the field as the Patriots quarterback Thursday night, the first step will be taking the field Tuesday in practice.

File Sep 20, 11 24 44 AM

Bill Belichick speaks Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — If Jimmy Garoppolo does indeed take the field as the Patriots quarterback Thursday night, the first step will be taking the field Tuesday in practice.

Asked directly if Garoppolo would be able to practice Tuesday as the team holds the first of two walkthroughs in a compressed week, Bill Belichick said Garoppolo is in the building working with the team.

“Everybody’s here, yeah,” Belichick said.

“We haven’t practiced today. We’ll go out and see how it is today and we’ll file the injury report after practice, based on how it goes today. I don’t know.”

One of the more intriguing moments came when Belichick was asked if the team knew of a diagnosis yet for Garoppolo. Belichick paused for 11 seconds before answering.

“He’s been looked at. He’s been treated like every other player,” Belichick said.

How hard would it be to get Jacoby Brissett ready?

“The Texans are a great football team,” Belichick answered. “They do a lot of things well. So, as a staff, we’re challenged in all three phases of the game to prepare for them. They’re excellent on offense, defense and special teams and good against the run, good against the pass. They can run it, they can throw it, they can kick it, they can cover kicks, they can return it. So, they do a lot of things well. A lot of challenges this week.”

After all this, could starting Jimmy Garoppolo actually be a game-time decision?

“Could be, sure,” Belichick said. “It would depend on the situation. It would depend on a lot of things. It’s possible. Sure.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

rotobahn-logoGreat Odin’s Raven! What a week! There were injuries everywhere you looked on Sunday, leaving fantasy GMs scratching their heads and searching for answers. Based on the numbers, Jamaal Charles and his fantasy owners were better off with him sitting out — avoiding the carnage that was Week 2. The same might be said for Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady’s owners. This is an unconventional week of preparation for fantasy GMs. There are going to be a lot of nervous people out there, and the bidding will be aggressive in leagues that use FAAB auctioning for free agents. In waiver leagues there will be tons of claims. I’m starting off with the running backs first this week because that’s where all the stress is.

Here are the backs who are either out for Week 3 or in some form of peril.

Ameer Abdullah (foot) — Seeing a specialist, out Week 3
Adrian Peterson (knee) — Highly questionable for Week 3, could be out multiple weeks
Doug Martin (hamstring) — Questionable for Week 3
Arian Foster (hamstring) — Questionable for Week 3
Thomas Rawls (leg bruise) — Could play Week 3
Rashad Jennings (wrist/thumb) — Questionable for Week 3
Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) — Out for Week 3
Danny Woodhead (ACL) — Out for the year

Some of this injury information is still fluid. I will update these situations and get into the relative value of the replacement options during this week’s waiver wire podcast over at Rotobahn, and in the expanded waiver wire at Rotobahn. Both will be posted before your commute home and they will get you up to speed fast.

RUNNING BACKS

Tevin Coleman, Falcons, 57 percent

Atlanta is sticking to a split backfield, and that makes Coleman a must-own player in all formats. If there’s an injury to Devonta Freeman, Coleman becomes a potential stud, and it’s crazy that so many Freeman teams are choosing to leave this guy on the waiver wire! Scoop him up and have a great upside talent on your bench or even in your lineup.

Jerick McKinnon, Vikings, 25 percent

He must be picked up at every available opportunity. McKinnon is an elite athlete with big-play potential. They did not overuse him last week because he’s been nursing a foot injury, but he should be ready for more this week and then even more after that. This is a potentially special running back and no way am I adding Matt Asiata if if have the option to add McKinnon.

Charles Sims, Buccaneers, 52 percent

He is a must-add player for Doug Martin owners and for anybody else who has bench space in any format, but particularly in PPR leagues. Sims has stand-alone flex appeal when Martin is healthy, but he could be an RB2 against the Rams if Martin is forced to sit with his sore hamstring. In better matchup, he has RB1 potential if starting.

Jordan Howard, Bears, 8 percent

He is the only running back in Chicago who is capable of being a true lead back. I suspect that he will own the early down and goal-line work at some point this season, and perhaps at some point soon. Howard is, quite simply, better than Jeremy Langford. Add him in all 12-team leagues.

Matt Asiata, Vikings, 2 percent

He’s the Plan B option to McKinnon, but the value will be short term, because the coaching staff will quickly realize that McKinnon is too good to sit very much without Adrian Peterson around. Still, in bigger PPR formats, Asiata could be an effective one- or two-week bridge.

Fozzy Whittaker, Panthers, 6 percent

In PPR formats Whitaker is the guy to add if you are looking for a Jonathan Stewart replacement. He should be playing almost all passing downs, and I suspect he’ll get some early-down work as well. He also gets looks in the red zone even when Stewart is healthy, so he has an established role, whereas Cameron Artis-Payne has been left inactive in Weeks 1 and 2.

Dwayne Washington, Lions, 1 percent

He’s a raw player with huge explosive elements to his game. If Ameer Abdullah is seriously hurt, and he may be, then Washington needs to be picked up in 12-team leagues. In bigger formats, even Zach Zenner could have some appeal, because unlike Washington, Zenner can be trusted as a blocker and is not a fumbler.

Kenneth Farrow, Chargers, o percent

The loss of Danny Woodhead will mean a full-time starring role for Melvin Gordon, but in the event of a Gordon injury, the next man up is Kenneth Farrow, who now is worth a roster spot in big formats as he will be getting weekly touches and snaps.

Cameron Artis-Payne, Panthers, 1 percent

In deeper leagues, with standard (non-PPR) scoring, Artis-Payne makes as much or more sense than Whitaker. While Whitaker has a stable role, Artis-Payne is the more conventional early-down runner, and I expect him to do most of the pounding on first and second downs. He also would play the closer role if the Panthers get a big lead.

Jay Ajayi, Dolphins, 27 percent

He’s the odds-on favorite to start in place of the injured Arian Foster (hamstring) this week, but he wasn’t given a bell-cow role after Foster went down in Week 2. He could do more this week with starter’s reps in practice. The matchup with the Browns certainly is enticing. Others Dolphins to watch and add in deeper leagues are Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. All three backs have enough talent to produce.

Christine Michael, Seahawks, 59 percent

He needs to be owned if you are a Thomas Rawls owner, and he should be owned in all 12-team leagues whether or not you own Rawls. Michael has looked strong all spring and throughout the summer. He’s carried that into the regular season and it’s not impossible to think he could steal the job at some point, though I still favor a healthy Rawls.

Shane Vereen, Giants, 19 percent

Vereen looked very good last week despite some average stats. He was involved in the red zone and running various routes out of the backfield and the slot. With Rashad Jennings banged up and potentially out for Week 3, Vereen is a great add, particularly in PPR formats.

Kenneth Dixon, Ravens, 9 percent

He’s a sneaky stash option. Dixon probably will sit one more week, though you never know. His real appeal is a few weeks away, but I see the Ravens backfield as being poachable at this point, and Dixon is the back with the most talent of the group. He should be owned in all 12-team leagues.

QUARTERBACKS

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins, 29 percent

His schedule eases up going forward, and that coincides with getting DeVante Parker healthy. Tannehill is a good add in all leagues and is a strong play this week at home vs. the Browns.

Joe Flacco, Ravens, 29 percent

As I said last week, he plays a very favorable schedule. He also looks like he’s all the way back from his 2015 ACL injury. So add Flacco for this week’s game against the Jaguars or add him for the rest of the year in deeper formats. He works either way.

Carson Wentz, Eagles, 15 percent

He has a good schedule for the pass and he looks like a big-time player so far. Wentz has the gig and he has solid weapons around him at all the skill positions. He’s also a great athlete for a man his size and he will get some foot points on most weeks, and that raises his floor. I like adding him as a matchup option in deeper leagues.

Sam Bradford, Vikings, 8 percent

The Vikings are going to throw a bit more now that Adrian Peterson is on the shelf, and maybe for a while. Bradford looked good in his first outing and has plenty of good matchups the rest of the way — including some sweet playoff matchups. It’s never too early to plan ahead.

Tony Romo, Cowboys, 13 percent

In deep leagues go grab him now, but in typical leagues just know that he’s typically available and could be a high-quality add in a few weeks. Romo should be the starter by Week 8 — plenty of time to help you win a league this season.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Mike Wallace, Ravens, 59 percent

He’s developed a quick rapport with Joe Flacco, and he has a favorable schedule that includes a nice matchup at Jacksonville this week. Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman likes to throw, so the volume should be there most weeks.

Corey Coleman, Browns, 69 percent

He’s looking all the way back now after battling a hamstring injury for much of August. Coleman busted out for two scores in Week 2 and is on a team that will be playing from behind much of the time. It’s not a recipe for fantasy success, but the game scripts will be in his favor on most weeks, and the team is trying to develop with youth.

DeVante Parker, Dolphins, 67 percent

He has WR2 potential — even in smaller leagues, so he needs to be owned just for the upside. Check his availability in your league and go get him if you can.

Davante Adams, Packers, 12 percent

I always want to be in the Aaron Rodgers business, and Adams is playing almost all of the snaps when the Packers go three wide, and they do that most of the time, if you haven’t noticed.

Torrey Smith, 49ers, 39 percent

He’s really the only big talent they have on the outside, so he is going to have his good days. Smith should be owned in all leagues.

Phillip Dorsett, Colts, 42 percent

He has shown playmaking ability in the first two weeks, and his chemistry with Andrew Luck should continue to improve. Dorsett should be owned in all leagues right now.

Michael Thomas, Saints, 48 percent

He has looked very good, though the fantasy stats have not been there just yet. His routes are crisp and he’s showing an ability to make tough catches. He should begin to find fantasy success soon. They use three or more receivers in New Orleans, and the top three clearly are Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Thomas. The rest of the receivers and tight ends are of the complementary variety. Add Thomas if you can, because Drew Brees doesn’t waste talent very often.

Quincy Enunwa, Jets, 10 percent

As I said last week in this space, he has plenty of opportunity because he’s the slot receiver but also the team’s psuedo “move tight end.” He works the middle of the field and sometimes will bounce outside if the Jets move Eric Decker or Brandon Marshall inside on a particular play. He’s looked interchangeable with the two starts so far, and it’s clear the coaching staff trusts him as does the quarterback. Enunwa is looking like a weekly flex option in 12-team leagues.

Tyrell Williams, Chargers, 49 percent

He looked good again in Week 2, and his role should continue to grow now that he is locked in to one of the top three spots on the depth chart. He’s going to get red zone looks and he has the size and speed to make big plays from anywhere on the field. Williams needs to be owned in all leagues.

Victor Cruz, Giants, 37 percent

He is going to be playing nearly as many snaps as the starters, and he has a quarterback who will find him when he’s open. Cruz should have the best matchup most of the time with Odell Beckham always drawing the elite corners and Sterling Shepard taking most of the No. 2 corners. It’s a good situation for Cruz, who should be owned in all PPR leagues and 12-team non-PPR leagues as well.

TIGHT ENDS

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings, 30 percent

On Sunday against Green Bay, Rudolph was targeted eight times for the second week in a row and scored his first touchdown of the year. He’s a top-12 tight end in seasonal leagues right now and it was good to see him clicking with Sam Bradford right away.

Clive Walford, Raiders, 17 percent

He responded to his Week 1 dud with a very solid all-around game. Walford’s role should continue to grow, and he should continue to get good looks in the middle of the field with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree drawing extra coverage. Add him now in all leagues if you need a tight end. He needs to be owned in all leagues with 12 or more teams.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens, 11 percent

He looked very good again, and you can ride him for as long as he stays healthy. He’s clearly picked up where he left off with his longtime quarterback, and he’s getting it done on the field. Pitta is back. He should be owned in most leagues.

Jesse James, Steelers, 25 percent

He’s seeing steady targets and he scored last week against the Bengals. James can help you in leagues with 12 or more teams, and he’s streamable in all formats.

Trey Burton, Eagles, 0 percent

This is more of a dynasty prognostication. He’s a young athletic tight end who could emerge as a regular weapon for Carson Wentz in time. He also could be a factor the next few weeks in really deep formats because Zach Ertz should miss another game or two.

Blog Author: 
Peter Davidson