Before taking questions on Tuesday’s weekly conference call, Bill Belichick called an unusual audible with an opening announcement.

There was good reason for it. Belichick had a roster addition to announce.

“We have roster addition to announce this morning. It’s a little different than the usual one, emphasis would be on little,” Belichick teased.

Steven Belichick

Steven Belichick

Before taking questions on Tuesday’s weekly conference call, Bill Belichick called an unusual audible with an opening announcement.

There was good reason for it. Belichick had a roster addition to announce.

“We have roster addition to announce this morning. It’s a little different than the usual one, emphasis would be on little,” Belichick teased.

Then he announced that he had become a grandfather as his son Steve and his girlfriend, Jen, welcomed a baby girl into the world early Tuesday morning.

“We can add newborn Blakely Rose to the depth chart,” Belichick said. “She was born this morning to my son Steve and the real MVP, Jen. This is a happy and exciting day for all of us.”

And the measurables on Blakely Rose?

“20 inches, seven pounds,” Belichick said.

Steve Belichick has been on his dad’s staff since 2012 and is in his first season as safeties coach.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Week 7 in the NFL marks the first week players on the PUP list can begin practicing with their respective teams.

For the Patriots they have offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson and running back Dion Lewis. Bill Belichick was asked if the two would begin practicing this week on his weekly conference call Tuesday morning.

“Probably not this week,” Belichick said.

Dion Lewis

Dion Lewis

Week 7 in the NFL marks the first week players on the PUP list can begin practicing with their respective teams.

For the Patriots they have offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson and running back Dion Lewis. Bill Belichick was asked if the two would begin practicing this week on his weekly conference call Tuesday morning.

“Probably not this week,” Belichick said.

The Patriots have until Week 11 for the two players to start practicing. Once they do start practicing, the team has 21 days to activate them to the active roster, or else they get reverted to injured reserve.

Jackson has been out with a knee injury since training camp, but has been at practice stretching with the team in recent weeks. Lewis hasn’t been seen at all besides in the locker room since his second surgery on his knee following ACL surgery last season.

While both players likely won’t be back at practice this week, they should be in the near future.

For more Patriots news, visit

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

rotobahn-logoWelcome to the Week 7 waiver wire. Before we get to this week’s options, let’s take a second to look at some of the fallout from Week 6, which is significant. There are a lot of nervous fantasy owners out there with Ben Roethlisberger going down. The ripple effects are many, and obviously go beyond the problems facing the Roethlisberger owner in your league. This negatively affects all of the skill talent on Pittsburgh and puts more stress on guys like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. As great as both players are, both rely on Roethlisberger’s tremendous skill set to open things up for them. Now it’s Bell and Brown who must find a way to make things easier for replacement starter Landry Jones. More on Jones later.

Pittsburgh is just one team to watch this week. There is major flux in Green Bay with James Starks having knee surgery and with Eddie Lacy nursing a sore ankle. There’s also some motion in the Packers’ receiving depth chart. Davante Adams suffered a head injury but apparently has passed concussion tests. Still, with the Packers playing Thursday this week, his status will be an issue. Ty Montgomery stepped up playing in a hybrid role. We also saw Jeff Janis making an impact for the first time this season.

In Washington, Jordon Reed’s status is up in the air, so Vernon Davis may have some appeal later in the week, but he is more of a preemptive move for Reed owners in free agency right now. Tampa Bay is not in as dire shape as Green Bay, but the Buccaneers’ backfield still is short-handed, and we could be in for another week of Jacquizz Rodgers if Doug Martin’s hamstring requires more time.

It looks as if Cody Kessler has taken over for good as the starting quarterback in Cleveland, but will he ever get any real receivers to throw to? Early signs point to Corey Coleman missing another week, and Terrelle Pryor has a sore hamstring. And, obviously, Josh Gordon still is in limbo, to put in kindly.

I’ll be breaking down Week 7 game film all morning, so If you play in a deep league, and you are looking for more options, head over to Rotobahn. My expanded waiver wire will be posted Tuesday afternoon. I’ll have more players at every position, and I will add some streaming defenses plus the waiver wire podcast for your commute home.

The ownership rate listed below were sourced from Yahoo!


Dak Prescott, Cowboys, 57 percent

I’m torn on what’s actually best for Prescott’s future, but the Cowboys winning at Lambeau Field on Sunday was a statement game of sorts, and it’s hard to see Dallas going away from the rookie at this point unless he begins to fall apart, and the remaining schedule makes that seem unlikely. Prescott will have a big ceiling once Dez Bryant is back on the field.

Marcus Mariota, Titans, 60 percent

He’s got 124 rushing yards over the last two weeks plus a rushing touchdown. It’s pretty simple, really. This guy is a QB1 when he runs enough to shake up the defense. Another big plus in Week 6 was the much-needed emergence of Kendall Wright, who could help Mariota achieve a measure of consistency going forward. His remaining schedule is outstanding, though you have a Week 13 bye to contend with and a Week 14 matchup with Denver. The rest is peaches and cream.

Joe Flacco, Ravens, 29 percent

His schedule is very good over the next five weeks with the exception of the Ravens’ Week 8 bye, so you could can add Flacco if you need a guy to get you through the Roethlisberger injury. I actually like the coordinator switch for Flacco, who was a mediocre fit for Marc Trestman’s scheme and perhaps more importantly didn’t seem to embrace it.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers, 9 percent

Yeah, he’s not the most accurate guy out there, and yeah, he has a shortage in the weapons department, but he can help you in certain situations because they are going to let him run. Chip Kelly embraces Kaepernick’s skill set, and that could lead to some big weeks. It’s just a question of getting the young quarterback comfortable in a new scheme. I’m adding him in deep leagues and in 2QB formats.

Brian Hoyer, Bears, 19 percent

Save for the Vikings in Week 8 and a bye in Week 9, the Bears look pretty darn good in the schedule department. Their second matchup with Minnesota comes after the fantasy playoffs in Week 17. Perhaps more importantly, Hoyer looks like he will have to play himself out of the starting job as he’s been better than Jay Cutler to this point, and Cutler has scant support in the Bears locker room.

Landry Jones, Steelers, 0 percent

He’s got more talent than some folks realize, but he’s been very inconsistent so far in his young career. Jones is worth adding in deep leagues and in 2QB formats, but keep expectations reasonable. He has the weapons around him to be a viable option, but he is a huge step down from Roethlisberger.


Jay Ajayi, Dolphins, 31 percent

Only in Miami. The Dolphins bring in Arian Foster and flirt with every back on their roster before finally giving Ajayi a good look. Looks like the guy they were left with by the old regime was their best guy all along. Of course, Foster does complicate matters a bit, but you’d be nuts to pass on a chance to add Ajayi right now. Foster usually fails to suit up on Sundays anyway. Ajayi should be your top priority this week in all leagues.

James White, Patriots, 57 percent

His continuing value is tied to the health and future role of Dion Lewis, but in the here and now White has value, particularly in PPR scoring formats.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers, 22 percent

It sounds as if Doug Martin may not return for Week 7, and that should mean one more week of high volume for Rodgers, who was effective as the lead back in his one start.

Dion Lewis, Patriots, 25 percent

He can begin practicing this week, and his name will be in the news more going forward. If you are inclined to add Lewis and stash him for the stretch run, the time is now. I like the move in PPR formats or in deeper standard leagues. The Patriots offense would be downright scary with a healthy Lewis in the backfield.

Chris Ivory, Jaguars, 43 percent

There’s nothing exciting about this one. The Jaguars have been awful and they have not blocked well for either of their running backs. That being said, Ivory has been dumped in many a league and he appears to have the role at the goal line. If this team picks it up, he could have some value.

Knile Davis, Packers, 0 percent

He was just dealt to Green Bay as I was wrapping up this article. Davis will have value in the near term while James Starks is recovering from knee surgery. He could start this week’s game if Eddie Lacy is not ready to go on the short week. If you own Lacy, adding Davis now is a no-brainer.


Michael Thomas, Saints, 67 percent

He’s been good all year, and we are now seeing steady results. Thomas is not really part of a rotation. He’s a near every-down player and has scored in three consecutive games. The rookie is developing into Drew Brees’ primary red zone weapon and should remain in that role for a long time.

Cameron Meredith, Bears, 52 percent

He’s been targeted 27 times in the last two games. He should be owned in all leagues at this point. Ride him while he is hot, especially in PPR formats. Meredith’s role is assured with Kevin White out and with Eddie Royal more of a slot weapon. Moreover, both Alshon Jeffery and Royal are dinged up more often than not. Meredith has a good chance at remaining productive through the end of 2016. I’m adding him in all leagues.

Corey Coleman, Browns, 39 percent

While his return could still be a week or two away, Coleman is about as good a stash as you can find at the receiver position. He already has shown multi-touchdown potential, and there is a target vacuum in Cleveland that he will fill upon his return, which, I think, will be in Week 8 or 9. Add Coleman now in all leagues and you’ll have a good chance at bolstering your offense down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Quincy Enunwa, Jets, 48 percent

The Jets have played a tough schedule to start the season, and being that they play with a backup quarterback for a starter, the results have been predictable so far. That being said, the schedule lightens up going forward save for a couple of games against the Patriots. The Jets probably will win about half of their second-half games, and Enunwa will be a big part of of it with Eric Decker done for the season.

Kenny Britt, Rams, 11 percent

As I said on the wire a few weeks back, he is running strong routes and looking healthy. He’s been a consistent producer but with no scores of 100-yard games. Both shortcomings were remedied in Week 6, and now Britt is a guy to add in all leagues.


Cameron Brate, Buccaneers, 19 percent

He is the guy now and he will see regular targets, including some solid red zone involvement. Brate has a good rapport with Jameis Winston, so I expect him to be in the weekly TE1 discussion going forward. He is now past his bye week and he has a very favorable closing schedule.

Hunter Henry, Chargers, 35 percent

It’s hard to tell for sure, but we may be witnessing a changing of the guard in San Diego. The question isn’t so much should you play Antonio Gates. At this point you should not unless he somehow gets fully healthy and starts producing. The question is, do the Chargers start giving Hunter full time reps — using Gates as the No. 2 tight end? If so, Hunter will be in the weekly TE1 discussion, because Rivers needs weapons and seems to know how to use the rookie.

Jack Doyle, Colts, 11 percent

Look for news on Dwayne Allen, because his ankle injury is the key to Doyle’s value. If Allen is out this week, Doyle is a very nice option in all leagues, but he’s only a deep league flier if Allen is starting.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans, 1 percent

He had been splitting time with Ryan Griffin early in the season, but he’s opened up a lead the last few weeks. Fiedorowicz has received 15 targets the last two games and he could take over this gig soon if his strong play continues. He’s a nice add in deeper leagues and he can help as a streamer in smaller ones.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets, 3 percent

This is a guy to go after if you need upside at the position. Are there risks? Oh yeah. Of course there are, but the risks are mitigated by the fact that he’s a free pickup. Seferian-Jenkins has burned those who drafted him in August and he’s most certainly burned the Buccaneers, but he still can be your fantasy buddy. Here’s the crux of it: He’s hugely talented and he plays for a team with an abject disaster on its hands at the position. The Jets also lost Eric Decker, so you have a fresh target vacuum within the offense as a whole. There’s no doubt that Seferian-Jenkins is a gas-head, but gas-heads score touchdowns every week in the NFL. If he can stay on the field, he has a chance to post significant numbers.

Ladarius Green, Steelers, 9 percent

The Roethlisberger injury hurts his upside for sure and could delay his takeoff, which was only theoretical in the first place. The emergence of Jesse James is another potential stumbling block for Green. He’s obviously got serious durability concerns. Still, he is worth a stash in deeper leagues for his ceiling alone.

Blog Author: 
Peter Davidson
Oct 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA;  Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams (36) chases New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

LeGarrette Blount (29) runs away from Cincinnati’s Shawn Williams during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. (Stew Milne/USA Today Sports)

As much as the Patriots were able to score 35 points Sunday and take care of the Bengals, Bill Belichick looks at the box score and sees room for improvement. Lots of room.

Before the game-changing illegal contact call on Dre Kirkpatrick on Chris Hogan in the second quarter, the Patriots were not able to generate much on offense.

Ironically, that illegal contact came on a play when the Patriots were facing third-and-18 from their own 17. The Patriots had third-and-long (7 or more yards) four times in the first half. They had second-and-long four other times.

The Patriots were putting themselves in big holes and were having trouble building any momentum.

“The biggest thing for us [Sunday] was just when we were able to avoid negative plays and stay out of long yardage, we moved the ball fairly well. But we got into second and third-and-12, third-and-11, third-and-15, third-and-30. In some of those down-and-distance situations it’s hard,” Belichick noted. “We were fortunate we got off the hook on third-and-15 there. There was an illegal contact penalty which was part of a touchdown drive. When we were able to pick up first downs or get into third-and-four, five, six in those areas where you have a chance to run the ball, you can throw to any of your receivers for four or five yards. You have a lot of options and it’s a lot easier to execute in those situations. I mean you still have to do a good job of it but you have a lot more options.

“When it’s third-and-13 or third-and-15, how many guys on the field can you actually get to that distance to have a chance to pick up the yardage. It’s not very many. When we were able to play the game on our terms we had more success. When we had negative runs, sacks, penalties and we’re in a lot of long yardage situations, then that was a problem. I’d say those negative plays were a combination of everything. A couple plays weren’t great plays. We had some blocking breakdowns; we had some breakdowns in the passing game at all positions. When those negative plays happen and we’re in long yardage, then that’s not where you want to be against a team like Cincinnati. We’ve got to try to avoid those situations and move the ball forward instead of backward. That will give us more options and it’ll give us better results.”

In the second half, things didn’t start off much better, as the Patriots had second-and-12, second-and-17, and third-and-22 before a punt on their first drive. Then Dont’a Hightower sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone and the game changed. The only second-and-long and third-and-long situations came when Rob Gronkowski was called for taunting in the red zone before a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.

The Bengals started the second half playing their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage in an effort to take away some of the crossing and intermediate routes that were so effective on New England’s final drive before the half. But Belichick said reacting to that was not nearly as important as avoiding the negative plays.

“You just can’t play a game in third-and-15 and third-and-25,” Belichick said. “You might luck out every once in a while but that’s just not where you want to be. I’d say that had a lot more to do with it than any kind of adjustments to their coverage. They mixed their coverages throughout the game like they usually do and they try to keep you off balance. They do a good job, they’re well coached, have a good team, good secondary, good front. It wasn’t like they just sat in one thing all day. They moved it around. Again, when you’re so far behind in down-and-distance, you’re really working uphill. We had too many drives like that but that’s really been the story in multiple games this year. When we can’t move the ball forward then we don’t have many drives. I know there’s chattering there but that’s just the way it is.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

There aren't too many tough games left for the Patriots. (Greg M.</p>
<div class=

Antonio Brown has been a huge part of Pittsburgh's success in the early going.  (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Antonio Brown has been a huge part of Pittsburgh’s success in the early going. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Five things you have to know about the Steelers, who will host the Patriots Sunday in Pittsburgh:

1. Even before the injury to Ben Roethlisberger, they are a really tough team to figure out.

Through the first six weeks of the season, few teams have been able to score like the Steelers. An average of 25.7 points per game is ninth in the league, and they’ve topped the 30-point plateau in three of their six games this year. With Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, when it’s all clicking, it’s a really impressive group. On the other side of the ball, Pittsburgh held four of its first five opponents under 100 yards rushing. But then, there’s the flip side that includes an absolutely ghastly 34-3 loss to the Eagles in Philly and a 30-15 defeat at the hands of the Dolphins in Miami that can at least partially be blamed on the injury to Ben Roethlisberger. (But then, there’s the boxscore, which includes 222 rushing yards allowed to the Dolphins.) All five opponents gained more than 300 total yards against the Steelers, while three topped 400 yards. Thing is, when they’re good, they can be very. very good. But when they’re bad, they can be downright awful.

2. No one is quite sure what you’re getting with backup Landry Jones.

If Roethlisberger is out — and it’s up in the air, at least as of Monday night — the Steelers figure to turn to Jones, a third-year backup out of Oklahoma who has made two starts as a professional, both in 2015. In his career, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder is 32-for-56 (57 percent) for 513 yards, three touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 76. Fair, but certainly nowhere near Roethlisberger’s totals. This year, he’s been used mostly in mop-up duty, getting in at the end of a blowout.

3. That being said, they have two of the most explosive offensive options in the game in Brown and Bell.

Brown and Bell are two of the best in the game at their positions. In six games, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Brown has 41 catches (tied for second in the league) on 64 targets for 486 yards (11th in the league) and five touchdowns (tied for best in the NFL). The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Bell, the fastest player in league history to reach 3,000 yards rushing and 1,500 yards receiving, is a multidimensional threat who can beat you on the ground or in the air. In just three games, he has 48 carries for 263 yards an an impressive 5.5 yards per carry average, and is second on the team in catches with 20 receptions on 24 targets for 177 yards. (The wild card here might be the banged up Sammie Coates, who has been dealing with a hand injury. When he’s been healthy, he’s been impressive as a field-stretching option in the passing game with 19 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns. The 22.2 yards per catch is the best in the league.)

Two more things to look out for: one, the Steelers are one of the best third-down offenses in the league, converting at a rate of 45.9 percent (fifth-best in the NFL), while New England’s third-down defense is 27th — opponents are converting at a rate of 44.2 percent. And two, Pittsburgh is one of the best teams in the league when it comes to red-zone offense, scoring a touchdown 79 percent of the time when they get inside the opposing 20. On the other side, the Patriots are one of the worst teams in the league in red-zone defense, as teams score touchdowns 71.4 percent of the time when they get inside the New England 20. It’s debatable how much the Steelers will be able to execute if Roethlisberger is out, but those numbers should certainly concern the Patriots.

4. You can throw on them.

As always, stats have to be placed in some sort of context — it’s not always the total, but when those totals are compiled. While they appear to have a pretty stout run defense (101.2 rushing yards per game allowed, 13th overall), it’s hard to look at these numbers and take the Pittsburgh pass defense seriously, especially when you consider the fact that they’ll be facing a New England offense that appears to be humming along nicely. The Steelers are 29th in the league in pass defense having allowed an average of 294 yards per game, as Kirk Cousins, Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz all topped 300 yards passing against Pittsburgh. The Steelers struggle to get consistent pressure, as they have just eight sacks in six games. Ross Cockrell and William Gay are the Steelers’ two lead corners, and Cockerell has a team-high seven passes defended. Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier and the ageless James Harrison all have one interception each to lead the team. (Only four teams have fewer picks than Pittsburgh.)

5. Their special teams are pretty much middle-of-the-pack.

Kicker Chris Boswell is 4-for-5 on field-goal chances and 18-for-18 on extra points. Punter Jordan Berry is averaging 45.3 yards per punt (18th), and his 40.8 net is 13th. The returners are slightly above average. Brown has handled the majority of work as punt returner, with five returns and an average of 14.6 yards per opportunity. Fitzgerald Toussaint leads all kick returners on the team (four returns, 20.0 average), but Coates (three returns, 20.3 average) and Justin Gilbert (two returns, 18.5 yards average) have also chipped in as needed. Overall, the Steelers are 24th overall on kick returns and 12th on punt returns.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
We check in with former Patriot, current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans for his complete analysis on the Patriots win over the Bengals, and the rest of the NFL.
We talk to special teams Captain Matthew Slater about the win over the Bengals and some of the extra-curricular activities that took place between plays.

[0:00:00] ... It is time to talk with the New England Patriots special teams coach on special teams that there's coaches owe me eyes privacy policy talk with a little special team that's happened Matthew Slater sponsored by Shaw's. And ...
[0:01:30] ... Over the years you've had key guys the best players on this football team the lead is on this team binder that is well and we see those guys doing that. If your new Larry Young ...
[0:02:32] ... living in the right way around here. Consider ourselves a clean competitive football team in. You know sometimes. Things are gonna have been. In on s.'s so ball and leaders that. It is it is it ...
[0:04:03] ... He wishes to take aways were a little higher he talked about special teams take aways early in the season. Is that something you can actually plan for and play four or is that just the luck of whether or not they give up the ball. Or certainly I think. In a special teams falls under this category but we on defense and kicking game. Your goals always try to get the ball back and you ...