Jeff Ratcliffe

Football Daily Dose

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Hobbled Cobb

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Grail Knight from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade said, “Choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”


Much like the Grail Knight's tomb, fantasy football is full of false Grails that tempt us to make the wrong decisions with our teams.


While this is certainly true for the entire season, Week 17 has it’s own unique set of traps and pitfalls that we do not have to navigate at any other point in the year.


In yesterday’s Dose, Adam Levitan checked in on the playoff scenarios and how they will impact key fantasy players. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking it out.


However, news came out after the piece was published that makes things particularly tricky for Randall Cobb owners. It was reported yesterday that Cobb is dealing with knee and ankle injuries, which kept him out of practice on Wednesday. Coach Mike McCarthy said the plan is for Cobb to get a limited session in today and to re-evaluate the injury on Friday.


With the Packers heading to the postseason, it’s sounding very iffy that Cobb plays this week.


Cobb is Aaron Rodgers’ most-targeted receiver this season with 102 targets. More importantly, Cobb has caught an impressive 78.4% of those targets. His 467 yards after the catch ties him with Michael Crabtree for the sixth-most in the league.


In terms of fantasy, Cobb has been one of the biggest breakouts of 2012. With an average draft position of 171, Cobb was the 49th receiver off the board and likely went undrafted in shallower leagues. He currently sits 13th in fantasy scoring in standard leagues.


If you own him, there’s no doubt that Cobb is an integral part of your fantasy team. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in place.



Get Him to the Gronk

There’s been grumblings out of New England that we could see a possible Week 17 return for Rob Gronkowski. The elite tight end remained limited on Wednesday, and his status for this weekend is very much up in the air.


Coach Bill Belichick was his usual noncommittal self yesterday, saying that Gronk is doing more in practice, but it’s still a day-to-day thing.


Reading between the lines here, it sounds like Gronk in unlikely to play. Sure, he’ll be a game-time decision. But with the Patriots poised for another postseason run, they’re in no rush to get Gronkowski back on the field. 



Is He or Isn’t He?

On Monday, Raiders coach Dennis Allen said he didn’t believe Terrelle Pryor was ready to be a backup quarterback yet. Allen changed his tune yesterday with Pryor splitting first-team reps with Matt Leinart in practice.


Leinart came in for an injured Carson Palmer last week and played 55 of the Raiders’ 63 offensive snaps. To say Leinart looked bad would be a gross understatement. He completed 16-of-32 passes for just 115 yards, and posted a quarterback rating of 45.7.


Pryor has barely seen the field in his tenure with the Raiders, playing one offensive snap last season and seven this year. He’s attempted a pass in each of the last two games, and completed a ball for five yards in Week 16.


While Pryor has impressive size and speed that makes him a prototypical Al Davis player, his inability to grasp the game at the professional level doesn’t bode well for his chances of ever becoming a full-time starter.



The IDP Corner: The Ravens activated Ray Lewis from injured reserve today, but he’s unlikely to play in Week 17. ... Per the advice of team doctors, Charles Woodson will sit out at least one more week with his injured collarbone. ... Muhammad Wilkerson sustained a concussion in Week 16. He’s unlikely to play this Sunday. ... The Giants are expected to cut ties with Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora this offseason. ... Daryl Smith returned and replaced Russell Allen in the Jags nickel packages, playing 63-of-73 snaps. ... Rookie Luke Kuechly now leads all defenders with 151 total tackles. It's looking more and more likely that he'll man the middle when Jon Beason returns next season. ... Both J.J. Watt and Aldon Smith have a chance to tie or surpass the NFL single-season sack record of 22.5. Watt currently sits with 20.5, while Smith has 19.5. ... Not to be outdone, Von Miller also has an outside shot at the record. He would need five sacks in the season finale to tie the record. ... The decision on Richard Sherman's suspension appeal is expected to be announce on Thursday. Sherman is facing a four-game suspension for testing positive for Adderall. ... Michael Boley has been demoted out of the Giants' nickel packages in favor of Chase Blackburn. Boley has not started the last two games, and coach Tom Coughlin this was was "not necessarily a health thing."


Injury Quick Slants: Dez Bryant is practicing in full this week, so there are no concerns over his injured finger. ... Chris Johnson (ankle) sat out Wednesday’s practice, but is expected to return on Thursday or Friday. ... Jordy Nelson (hamstring) returned to practice on Wednesday, and has the chance of suiting up for Sunday’s regular season finale. ... Matt Forte (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday and will likely be a game-time decision on Sunday. ... Roddy White (knee) was held out of Wednesday’s practice, and is expected to play limited snaps in Week 17. ... The Giants may be without Hakeem Nicks (knee) on Sunday, as the receiver is unsure if he’ll play. ... Arian Foster (irregular heartbeat) is practicing in full and is “fine” according to coach Gary Kubiak. ... Brandon Pettigrew has yet to resume practicing. He’s unlikely to play in the season finale. ... Eagles placed Nick Foles on injured reserved with a broken hand. ... Kendall Wright (ribs) got in a limited practice on Wednesday, and appears to be on track to play on Sunday. ... Alex Green (concussion) is practicing in full this week, and the Packers are expected to use a "hot hand" approach in Week 17. ... Jonathan Stewart (ankle) missed pracitce Wednesday and is unlikely to play in Sunday's finale.

Jeff Ratcliffe is a football writer and IDP analyst for Rotoworld as well as the Assistant Managing Editor of Pro Football Focus Fantasy. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Jeff Ratcliffe

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