Todd Gurley

Give Torrey Smith an MVP vote

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Give Torrey Smith an MVP vote

Torrey Smith doesn't get an MVP vote, but if he did, we know where it would go. 

He thinks the honor belongs to Carson Wentz. 

In the Eagles' locker room on Thursday, Smith volunteered his opinion that Wentz should be the 2017 NFL MVP, despite Wentz's missing the final three games of the season after with a torn ACL. 

"Absolutely," Smith said. "And I'm biased too. I'll tell you that, I am biased. I think he still should be, even with the missed games. I mean, what he meant to this team, what he was actually able to do and he missed two games. 

"It's pretty crazy. Because he probably wouldn't have played the last game if he was there. He missed two games. Still was right up at the top of everything else. I think it says a lot about him."

Smith actually brings up a good point. Had Wentz not been injured, he very likely wouldn't have played in the regular-season finale anyway, which means his ACL injury forced him to miss only two games in the regular season instead of three. 

Wentz finished his season with 3,296 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes. Only Russell Wilson threw more touchdown passes (34) and it took him all 16 games. Wentz is just 19th in passing yards but fourth in passer rating (101.9) behind just Alex Smith (104.7), Drew Brees (103.9) and Tom Brady (102.8). 

It seems like Wentz's biggest competition for the MVP might be two-time winner Brady, who had another stellar season. 

So why would Smith take Wentz over Brady? 

"Tom Brady's the G.O.A.T. though. He is the G.O.A.T.," Smith said. "But Carson was able to make plays athletically that Tom can't physically do, even though he's the greatest quarterback ever. Carson plays the game differently and what he's meant to us on third down, when he's scrambling, the crazy plays he's made. It's not like he's Vick or anything, but the way he makes those plays, it was huge for us. 

"At times we were struggling and those plays turn into opening the gates. He's made some amazing plays all year. I don't know, put their highlight tapes together and see what you think."

The Eagles haven't had an MVP since Norm Van Brocklin won it back in 1960, so it's been a pretty long wait. 

This year's MVP award will be announced Feb. 3, the day before the Super Bowl. 

Unfortunately, although Smith thinks Wentz deserves the award, he doesn't think he's going to get it. 

"No. Because he missed a couple games," Smith said, "but I think he's the MVP."

Best of NFL: Todd Gurley, Rams continue strong start, rally past Cowboys

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Best of NFL: Todd Gurley, Rams continue strong start, rally past Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Todd Gurley scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 53-yard catch-and-run, Greg Zuerlein kicked a career-high seven field goals and the Los Angeles Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys 35-30 on Sunday.

Gurley finished with 215 total yards -- 121 rushing and 94 receiving -- as the Rams overcame two first-half touchdowns from Ezekiel Elliott the day before a federal appeals court hearing related to the star Dallas running back's blocked six-game suspension over a domestic incident in Ohio.

The Rams (3-1) rallied from 11 points down late in the first half and matched their start from a year ago, when they went 1-11 the rest of the way as No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff was sitting and later lost the first seven starts of his career.

Goff showed more poise in first-year coach Sean McVay's offense, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He has seven TD passes and one interception this season.

The Cowboys (2-2) are already a loss shy of their total from last season when Dak Prescott was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Elliott led the league in rushing, also as a rookie (see full recap).

Bucs keep Giants winless on last-play FG
TAMPA, Fla. -- Jameis Winston threw for 332 and three touchdowns without an interception, and Nick Folk kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to push the Buccaneers past the Giants, 25-23.

Folk redeemed himself after missing two field goals and an extra point earlier in the day, booting the winner after Winston answered Eli Manning's second TD pass of the day with an impressive drive that began at his 25.

The Giants (0-4) lost on a last-second field goal for the second straight week. They took a 23-22 lead on Rhett Ellison's 2-yard TD reception with 3:16 remaining. Manning threw to Odell Beckham Jr., in the rear of the end zone for a 2-point conversion that was disallowed because the receiver had stepped out of bounds before making the catch.

Winston threw TDs passes of 6 yards to Mike Evans and 58 yards to O.J. Howard in building an early 13-0 lead. His 14-yard scoring pass to Cameron Brate put the Bucs up 22-17 midway through the fourth quarter, setting the stage for an exciting close (see full recap).

Catanzaro's FG leads Jets to wacky OT win over Jaguars
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 41-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in overtime, lifting the New York Jets to a wacky 23-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

After Catanzaro split the uprights, he and his teammates celebrated wildly in the middle of the field -- but then had to wait a moment because there was a penalty flag on the field. The officials ruled there actually was no penalty on the play -- giving the Jets the victory.

Bilal Powell rushed for a career-high 163 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown, and rookie Elijah McGuire had a 69-yard score and finished with 93 yards rushing as the Jets (2-2) ran all over the Jaguars (2-2).

But New York blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead because of some big mistakes -- and then had to hold on in the extra period (see full recap).

Gano's FG lifts Panthers over Patriots
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Graham Gano hit a 48-yard field goal as time expired, and the Carolina Panthers stunned the New England Patriots 33-30 on Sunday.

The winner served as redemption for Gano, who missed an extra point in the third quarter.

It was the second home loss this season for the usually unbeatable Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The defeat marked just the second time since 2012 that Tom Brady has lost two home starts within a season.

Cam Newton threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. Jonathan Stewart rushed 14 times for 68 yards to pass DeAngelo Williams and become the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

Newton finished 22 of 29 for 316 yards and an interception, picking apart a New England defense that was giving up an NFL-worst 461 yards and 31.7 points per game. The Patriots forced a pair of turnovers but had trouble containing Newton's stable of targets.

Carolina (3-1) finished with 444 total yards, marking the fourth straight game the Patriots have given up at least 300 yards (see full recap).

Fantasy football: Which stars you should/shouldn't buy low

Fantasy football: Which stars you should/shouldn't buy low

I got a text from a friend the other day asking if he should trade Latavius Murray and Willie Snead for Todd Gurley. He'd be getting Gurley. He wanted to know if it was worth it.

The ability to pull off a good 2-for-1 trade is what separates owners in fantasy football. We've been trained to think the side giving up two players is almost always the side that wins the deal. It's a classic fantasy deal — you give up a RB2 and a good wide receiver you don't need and you bring back the best player in the trade. 

In the deal above, Gurley is probably the best player in the trade. But it's not a 2-for-1 deal I would make. Not every buy-low opportunity is one you should seize. 

Todd Gurley, Rams RB
In the above proposal, it's not clear that the Gurley side will win out. Quite frankly, I have just as much confidence in Murray moving forward as I do in Gurley. 

Opportunity is the reason. 

The Raiders have a much more prolific offense than the Rams and that will provide Murray plenty of red-zone touches and goal-line carries. Through two games, Murray has two touchdowns and three carries inside the 10-yard line. Through two games, Gurley has one carry inside his opponent's 10-yard line and it went for minus-4 yards. Teams stack the box against the Rams because their passing game is so incredibly weak.

Gurley may be a stud. He may be one of the most talented running backs in the NFL. But the offense in which he plays makes him untouchable (in a bad way) right now. I'd rather have Murray. In fact, over the rest of the season I'd have at least eight RBs ahead of Gurley: David Johnson, Lamar Miller, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, Mark Ingram, Matt Forte, C.J. Anderson and Murray.

The only way I'm buying low on Gurley right now is if I'm also selling low on a player like Devonta Freeman. If the above proposal was Freeman and Snead, I'd say yeah, go do it. But to sell high on two guys just to buy low on Gurley? No thanks, even if he was a consensus first-round pick a month ago.

Allen Robinson, Jaguars WR
Here's a guy I would buy low on. 

Robinson owners are frustrated right now. It *feels* like he's been worse than he actually has because he's been invisible in the first half in both games, even if he ultimately ended up with OK point totals.

But Robinson is still being targeted a ton by Blake Bortles — 20 times in two games. He's caught nine passes for 126 yards without a TD. That's obviously not the production owners expected after drafting Robinson early in the second round.

But there are several reasons to like A-Rob moving forward. First and foremost is the volume. Give me the guy being targeted 10 times per game. Eventually that will turn into catches, TDs and points. Equally important is the Jaguars' competitiveness. This is a team that will often be playing from behind. Playing from behind last season is when Robinson compiled most of his stats. 

Bortles' accuracy is questionable, so it's not likely Robinson repeats last year's 80-catch, 1,400-yard, 14-TD output. But to me, he's a safe bet for 75 catches, 1,150 yards and eight TDs. His floor is a WR2. And right now you can likely acquire him for slightly less than he's actually worth.

What's an example of a solid buy-low trade for Robinson? Something like Jeremy Maclin and Jeremy Langford for Robinson — a WR3 and a RB2 for a low-end WR1. Two weeks ago, that offer doesn't get you Robinson. Two weeks from now it might not either.

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots TE
If you drafted Gronk in the first round it's probably been a frustrating three weeks. After surprisingly sitting out the first two games with a hamstring injury, Gronk was active on Thursday Night Football, played 14 snaps, was targeted once and finished without a catch. 

On our weekly fantasy football segment Thursday night on Philly Sports Talk, I suggested sitting Gronk last night. Just didn't trust him coming off an injury, on a Thursday night, with a third-string QB. Sure enough, Gronk was a decoy. If you played him you're already likely looking at a Week 3 loss.

Go take advantage of a Gronk owner's anger. If you have a low-end TE1 like Kyle Rudolph or Dwayne Allen, propose your tight end and a player at whichever position that owner is weakest. If they took Gronk in the first round, odds are they're thin at wide receiver or running back.

With Tom Brady back in two weeks, now is the time to pull the trigger. If the Gronk owner is smart, he will likely come back at you with a, "Look, Brady's about to be back so I'm not moving him for 50 cents on the dollar." If he's not, he'll turn his frustration into an unwise trade.

Russell Wilson, Seawhawks QB
John Boruk brought up a great point during our fantasy segment Thursday: This is exactly how Wilson started last season.

Through two games this year, Wilson has 512 passing yards, one TD, one interception and 30 rushing yards. If you're in a four-point pass TD league, that's an average of 12 fantasy points. Not good.

But Wilson and the Seahawks' offense seem to start slowly every year. Even last season, when he finished with the best numbers of his career, his stats through Week 9 were pedestrian: 235 pass yards per game, 10 TDs, seven interceptions, 355 total rushing yards. That's an average of 16.2 fantasy points per week. 

Those last seven games, though? Wilson averaged 273 passing yards, threw 24 TDs, one interception, rushed for 198 yards and a TD. That's an average of 28 fantasy points per week.

Now, that doesn't mean Wilson is going to do the same thing in the second half this season. Seattle's offensive line is worse and he isn't 100 percent healthy. But you might be able to get Wilson extremely cheap and if you can, it's worth it. Wilson's rapport with Doug Baldwin is top-notch, Jimmy Graham is only getting healthier, the running game isn't as reliable, and we know Wilson plays his best football in November and December.

If you can acquire Wilson for a mid-tier QB and a RB or WR you're not using, go for it. I'm talking about something like Eli Manning and an Allen Hurns/DeSean Jackson/Emmanuel Sanders/DeVante Parker-type.

Odell Beckham Jr., Giants WR
Beckham hasn't been bad through two weeks, he just hasn't been the elite option we're used to. He has 12 catches on 19 targets for 159 yards and no TDs. He dropped a sure TD in Week 2 that would make his numbers look much different.

Beckham owners aren't as frustrated as owners of Gronk, Gurley or any other early running back. So I'm actually suggesting you do the opposite of buy-low on Beckham: I'm suggesting that if you have him, you make another owner think they're buying low when they're actually not.

Confused? Here's an example.

My barber traded Beckham this week for Kelvin Benjamin and Melvin Gordon. I think that's a fantastic return for OBJ. You get a potential WR1 and high-end RB2 for Beckham. Great deal. Benjamin might outproduce Beckham by himself this year, and Gordon's volume of carries will increase with Danny Woodhead out for the season.

That's a trade where the owner getting Beckham thinks he's selling high on Benjamin and Gordon and buying low on Beckham. But he's not. He's paying full price — maybe even more — for Beckham. Benjamin is playing like a guy who'll be drafted in the first round next year and there's really no reason to believe he'll regress. He's an enormous target who does his best work in the red zone for the highest scoring team in football. Defenses have so much else to worry about that they can't just double-team Benjamin every play the way they might do to a Beckham or Julio Jones.

We'll check back next week with some more buy-low, sell-high thoughts. Good luck Sunday.

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