Congratulations to those who locked up their season-long titles in Week 16 and my apologies to those having to play for theirs in Week 17. Having fantasy championships in Week 17 gets a bad reputation among fantasy analysts and for good reason. Multiple NFL teams will either be resting players heading into the playoffs or have questionable motivation with their season already in the gutter. Players you started each and every week throughout the season might not even play. It really just doesn't make sense for a lot of the players you relied on all season to not be available to you. Anyways, mini-rant over, onto the news.
Tom Brady to play after 2019
2019 is the final year of Brady’s contract with the Patriots but he reportedly plans on playing for much longer and said, “I have goals to not only play next year but beyond that.” He continued by mentioning, “I don't take any of these things for granted, but I hope I can keep playing, and I hope I can keep playing at a championship level.”
At 41 he has already outperformed any other quarterback in history at this age but has started to show some signs of decline. Over the past three seasons his completion percentage, TD/INT ratio, yards per attempt, and adjusted yards per attempt have all decreased in successive seasons. Beyond the statistics, Brady’s arm hasn’t looked nearly as strong as it was in years past. Coach Bill Belichick and OC Josh McDaniels have helped slow his decline by crafting a scheme to fit Brady’s strengths, but his noticeable lack of a deep ball is tough to work around at times. While it seems unfathomable a quarterback could continue to play at a high level in his age 42 season, if there was someone to do it, it would be Brady.
Dolphins ready to move on from Ryan Tannehill
While many were speculating this would happen, the official report came out today. The Miami Herald reports the Dolphins are prepared to move on from Ryan Tannehill after this season instead of paying him the $19 million he's owed over the next two years. This won’t be too difficult as none of his contract is guaranteed the next two seasons. The Dolphins are also expected to clean house starting with the front office and potentially the coaching staff as well. With a full rebuild in effect, Tannehill will likely be traded or released this offseason.
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Cowboys’ Starters to play in Week 17?
Despite locking up the No. 4 seed in the NFC, coach Jason Garrett insists "anybody who is healthy and ready to play is going to play" Week 17 against the Giants. This is surprising as their Week 17 matchup makes no difference with a win or loss. Garrett actually made similar comments when the Cowboys were in the same situation in 2016. Ezekiel Elliott dressed but didn’t play, and Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant played a handful of series. No Cowboys’ players should be trusted from a fantasy standpoint this week.
Oregon QB Justin Herbert will return to school for his senior season in 2019. Herbert was widely considered the best quarterback among draft-eligible players. His decision to return to school seriously dampens the outlook of the 2019 quarterback class. … Eric Ebron (concussion) was limited in Wednesday's practice. This means he is taking steps towards clearing the concussion protocol, a great sign for his potential availability for Week 17. … Leonard Fournette (ankle, foot) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. His workload is a huge question mark as the Jaguars Week 17 game is meaningless and he’s a bit banged up. His status is something to be monitored throughout the week. … Panthers placed QB Taylor Heinicke (elbow) on injured reserve, ending his season. This isn’t much of a surprise after Heinicke played through substantial pain after getting injured in their Week 16 loss to the Falcons. In his place, UDFA Kyle Allen will draw the start… Odell Beckham (quad) remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice. He hasn’t been officially been ruled out for Week 17 but it’s unlikely he’ll play. …Marcus Mariota said he's "going to do my best to be out there" for Sunday night's Week 17 date with the Colts. This doesn’t really tell us a whole lot about his availability and his status will need to be monitored throughout the week. … DeSean Jackson (foot, Achilles') is not practicing Wednesday. Jackson was stepped on in their Week 16 loss to Dallas this past Sunday. Chris Godwin would be an intriguing Week 17 play if Jackson sits. … Marquise Goodwin (calf, Achilles') is not practicing Wednesday. Goodwin got injured on the final play of Week 16 against the Bears. With Dante Pettis out Goodwin could see extended snaps if he is able to play. … Blake Bortles will start Week 17 against the Texans. Cody Kessler has been playing in Bortles’ place and performed just as poorly. Bortles is an intriguing tournament option in daily fantasy leagues. … Coach Vance Joseph confirmed Phillip Lindsay will undergo wrist surgery and is done for the season. He is expected to be sidelined 4-to-6 months but should be ready in plenty of time for training camp next season. … Davante Adams (knee) did not practice Wednesday. This is likely just a rest day after he exploded for 11-71-1 last week. He needs just two catches and 134 yards to break the Packers’ team records for catches and receiving yards in a single season, meaning he should be eager to play. … Tyler Boyd (knee) remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice. This isn’t surprising as Boyd isn’t expected to play in the season finale against the Steelers. … Kenny Golladay (chest) didn't practice on Wednesday. This is likely just a day of rest for Golladay after playing his normal amount of snaps in last week’s game against Minnesota. He should be good to go for Week 17 but is tough to trust in a meaningless game for the team. … Tevin Coleman (groin) didn't practice on Wednesday. With Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith on injured reserve and Coleman potentially sitting they might be down to fourth-string RB Brian Hill. … Spencer Ware (hamstring) is practicing in full for Week 17 against the Raiders. Ware looks ready to return after sitting out the past two games with an injured hamstring. He figures to share reps with RB Damien Williams who played well in his absence. … Xavien Howard (knee) remained limited at Wednesday's practice. This is a good sign for his chances of playing in Week 17 but Coach Adam Gase has already said he needs to be completely pain-free in order to suit up. Coming off a meniscus injury it’s unlikely Howard suits up. … James Conner (ankle) is practicing in full for Week 17. This is a great sign for Conner’s prospects of suiting up for Week 17. This is a must-win game for them in order to make the playoffs so it seems likely Conner will play. … Todd Gurley (knee) remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice. He remains day-to-day with knee inflammation and will likely need to practice in some fashion prior to getting the nod. If he can’t go against the 49ers, C.J. Anderson will take on another big workload. … Allen Robinson (ribs) didn't practice on Wednesday. This is a new injury for Robinson but isn’t viewed as serious. He has a tough matchup this week at Minnesota even if he does suit up. … ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reports Jim Caldwell has interviewed for the Packers' head coaching job. This would be quite an uninspiring hire for the Packers after Caldwell coached the Lions for seven uneventful years. … The Packers also interviewed Chuck Pagano for their head coaching job. He has connections within the organization, but it was likely just a courtesy interview. … Drew Brees said there's "no doubt" Teddy Bridgewater will see playing time against the Panthers in Week 17. With the Saints locking up the No. 1 seed they have nothing to gain by playing their starters in Week 17. They will likely play some time to keep their routine in check but backups are expected to see lots of playing time. This means we could see multiple quarters from Bridgewater. … ESPN Bengals reporter Kat Terrell reports MLB Vontaze Burfict's career could be jeopardized by his latest concussion. Burfict suffered his seventh known concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Browns. For context, anytime a player suffers five known concussions their career is in question. At seven known concussions, Burfict’s career should be over. …Bucs Coach Dirk Koetter wouldn't rule out giving Ryan Griffin some snaps at quarterback Week 17 against the Falcons. Koetter wants to give Griffin a chance because he has been with the team for years. Both he and Jameis Winston will likely receive playing time in Week 17 making neither viable in daily fantasy leagues.