Football with the Fantasy Freak: Week 10

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Football with the Fantasy Freak: Week 10

FANTASY FRIDAY
Every Friday, Fantasy Football Draft Guides Scott Gramling (a.k.a. The Fantasy Freak) will help you make the tough decisions for your fantasy teamthe sneaky sleepers that could make or break your matchup, as well as those players you may want to consider leaving on your fantasy bench. He also delves into a hot topic with our Question of the Week. Follow Scott on Twitter @nflfantasyfreak, and watch him every Friday on UNO's Sports Tonight at 6:30 pm. To submit a question to be considered for appearing on the air, do so through Twitter @CSNNE or through our Facebook page at www.facebook.comcsnne.

Week 10 Sleeper of the Week: Raiders RB Marcel Reece
Both Darren McFadden and his backup, Mike Goodson, suffered high ankle sprains in Sundays loss to the Buccaneers, and theyre expected to miss this Sundays game against the Ravens. And while its 195-pound Taiwan Jones thats expected to draw the start, its Reece whos in a position to put up the better fantasy numbers because a) his 240-pound frame will likely receive any goal-line opportunities Oakland may get; and b) hes far more likely to be a factor in the passing game. Reece caught eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers on Sunday, which put him on pace for about 50 catches and 550 receiving yards this season. Im not sure hell catch another eight passes for 95 yards against a Baltimore defense thats better than Tampa Bays, but if youre in a bind because of bye weeks andor injuries, Reece is a guy to consider rolling the dice with this week.

Week 10 Sleeper No. 2: Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders
Sanders is expected to start with Antonio Brown unlikely to play after suffering a high ankle sprain in the first quarter against the Giants, a game in which Sanders ended up playing 56-of-70 snaps.  He scored a touchdown and actually had three straight games of at least 40 receiving yards prior to the Giants game. Hes a guy Ben Roethlisberger trusts and he has a chance to put up some solid numbers on Monday night against the lowly Chiefs.

Week 10 Sleeper No. 3: Bengals QB Andy Dalton
If you have Andy Dalton on your roster, hes a guy you probably sit more than you start, as hes not someone who at this point can be considered a top-10 or -12 guy given all the talent across the league at the quarterback position. This week, however, could be a good spot to give Dalton a whirl, as he faces a Giants defense that has given up the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. I could see the New York secondary having its hands full with A.J. Green, which could result in a big fantasy day for Dalton.

Week 10 Bust No. 1: Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer
Dwyer had two straight games of more than 100 rushing yards prior to missing this past Sundays game against the Giants with a quadriceps injury. While it looks as if Dwyer will be back for Monday nights game against the Chiefs, it appears as if Isaac Redman will get the bulk of the carries as an encore to his 147-yard effort against the Giants. Redman also has a leg up on Dwyer in the passing game, having racked up more than 150 receiving yards this season to Dwyers 25.

Week 10 Bust No. 2: Giants TE Martellus Bennett
Its time to move on from Bennett, who doesnt look like the same player who racked up 15 catches, 185 yards and 3 TDs over the first three games of this season. I know a lot of NFL players are banged up at this point in the season, but Bennett seems to still be hobbled by the knee injury he suffered against the Browns in Week 5. He has just one game of more than 4 catches or 40 yards since Week 3, and he hasnt scored since Week 3.

Week 10 Bust No. 3: Raiders TE Brandon Myers
Myers was a popular waiver-wire pick-up this week, and understandably so after he had two TDs among his eight catches against the Bucs, which put him on pace for what would be perhaps the quietest 78-catch season by a tight end in NFL history. Myers had entered Sunday without a touchdown in 49 career games, so its tough to expect a repeat performance, especially against a Ravens defense that has allowed only two opposing tight ends to go over 60 receiving yards all season, and only one to score a touchdown.

Question of the Week:
Given his current slump, should Eli Manning no longer be considered an every-week fantasy starter?
Manning owners are obviously frustrated by the fact that Eli has failed to reach 200 passing yards in three of his last four games, but Im chalking that up more to the quality of defenses hes gone up against in recent weeks than any kind of drop-off in terms of the overall productivity of Manning and the Giants passing attack. Those three aforementioned games came against San Franciscos No. 2-ranked pass defense, the Cowboys No. 4-ranked pass defense and Pittsburghs top-ranked pass defense. The one time Eli has reached 200 passing yards in his past four games was against Washington, when he threw for 337 yards. Eli wont face a top-10 passing defense for the rest of the season, so I expect his numbers to pick up and for him to end up with even more than the 4,300 passing yards hes currently on pace for, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 TD passes.

Injury Update:
BUFFALO WR Steve Johnson (thigh) has been practicing and expects to start . . . NEW ENGLAND TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle) has been limited in practice, but expects to play. RB Brandon Bolden (knee) will not play Sunday . . . N.Y. GIANTS WR Hakeem Nicks (knee) is probable for Sunday . . . CINCINNATI RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness) returned to practice on Thursday and will start . . . SAN DIEGO WRs Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal (hamstrings) should play . . . CAROLINA WR Brandon LaFell (concussion) will return to action on Sunday . . . TENNESSEE QB Jake Locker (shoulder) remains out, and Matt Hasselbeck will start again. WR Kendall Wright (elbow) expects to play . . . MIAMI WR Brian Hartline (hamstring) has been practicing this week and will start . . . OAKLAND RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson (high ankle sprains) are both doubtful for Sunday . . . NEW ORLEANS RB Darren Sproles (hand surgery) is doubtful to return for Sundays game . . . DETROIT WR Titus Young (knee) did not practice Thursday and is questionable for Sunday . . . MINNESOTA WR Percy Harvin (ankle) is doubtful for Sunday, and could be replaced by rookie Jarius Wright making his NFL debut . . . SEATTLE RB Marshawn Lynch (wrist, back) has missed practice time and is questionable . . . DALLAS RB DeMarco Murray practiced on Thursday, but is a longshot to play this week . . . ST. LOUIS WR Danny Amendola (clavicle) has a great chance of playing Sunday . . . HOUSTON RB Ben Tate (hamstring) is doubtful . . . CHICAGO WR Alshon Jeffery (hand) remains out . . . PITTSBURGH RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) is out, but RB Jonathan Dwyer (quad) is expected to return.

Horford believes Celtics give him best chance at 'ultimate goal' of NBA Championship

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Horford believes Celtics give him best chance at 'ultimate goal' of NBA Championship

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Pinpointing the exact moment Al Horford made up his mind to become a Boston Celtics isn’t clear, but the seeds of that decision can be traced back to last year’s playoffs – and no we’re not talking about the playoff series between Boston and Atlanta, either.
 
It was the Hawk’s second-round playoff series back in May against Cleveland, a team that swept them out of the Conference finals in 2015 and did so again last about five months ago.
 
Horford had every intention of returning to Atlanta, but as the free agency period wore on two things became quite clear: Winning an NBA title would have to go through Cleveland and it happening with him in Atlanta was becoming more and more unlikely.
 
In came the Celtics with a pitch that was heavy on present-day and down-the-road potential that wouldn’t require him to do anything other than continue to play the way he has for the past nine seasons.
 
“It (becoming a Celtic) became real for me real late and real quick,” Horford told CSNNE.com on Wednesday.
 
After mulling it over for a couple days, Horford said he was ready to become a Celtic.
 
“This could be a great opportunity even though I’m leaving a lot behind,” Horford said.
 
As you listen to Horford speak, it’s clear that the Celtics mystique played a role in his decision to sign with Boston.

 But as much as the Celtics’ lore and its on-the-rise status helped, there were certain events that Boston had no control over that actually helped their cause.
 
First the Hawks got in on a three-team trade in June with Utah and Indiana which sent Hawks All-Star point guard Jeff Teague to the Pacers while Atlanta received Utah’s first-round pick which was 12th overall and was used by Atlanta to select Baylor’s Taurean Prince. The move allowed Atlanta’s Dennis Schroeder to slide over into the now-vacant starting point guard position.
 
While it may help Atlanta down the road, it did little to move them closer towards knocking off Cleveland anytime soon.
 
And then there was the Hawks coming to terms on a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Dwight Howard early in the free agency period. That deal coupled with Atlanta’s desire to bring Kent Bazemore back, cast serious doubt as to whether Horford would return.
 
Horford, who inked a four-year, $113 million deal with Boston, told CSNNE.com that at the time of Atlanta’s deal with Howard, he was still open to the idea of returning.
 
But if Horford did, he knew figuring out the best way to play him, Howard and Paul Millsap who by the way has a player option that he’s likely to exercise which would make him a free agent next summer, was not going to be easy.

“It was definitely going to be different,” Horford said, then adding, “For me, the Celtics were becoming more and more a realistic option. After talking with my family, we felt this was the best for me.”
 
And while it’s still very early in his tenure as a Celtic, Horford has no regrets or second thoughts about his decision.
 
“As a player you always want to be in the best position you can,” Horford said. “I felt for me being on this team would put me in a position to be able to contend and win an NBA championship. That’s my ultimate goal.”
 
And that alone makes him a good fit with this franchise which from ownership to the front office to the coaching staff and of course the players, are all focused on one thing and that’s bringing home Banner 18.
 
 “Look at the resume. He’s been a winner wherever he’s played,” said Boston’s Amir Johnson. “It’s good to have a guy like that, with his talent and with his winning, playing next to you.”

Pomeranz 'pretty comfortable' with potential move to bullpen

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Pomeranz 'pretty comfortable' with potential move to bullpen

NEW YORK -- If Drew Pomeranz is going to be part of the Red Sox' postseason plans, the team will likely have a better idea about that question by Thursday afternoon.

Pomeranz, who was scratched from his final scheduled start on Thursday because of soreness in his left forearm and general concern about his 2016 workload, will throw a 30-35 pitch bullpen.

If he responds well, he could then see some relief action over the final weekend at Fenway to determine his readiness for the playoffs.

"Before we even begin to map out a potential relief appearance over the weekend,'' said John Farrell, "we've got to get through that next step.''

Pomeranz pitched well in his last start at Tropicana Field over the weekend, but has been dealing with some discomfort in his forearm.

"I've had some soreness here, late in the year,'' Pomeranz said. "I've thrown more innings than I have ever (before), so we kind of sat down and talked about the best course of action the rest of the way.''

Pomeranz described what he felt as "just some soreness, probably from never covering this time of the year. It's a spot I've never been in before. We just decided the best thing to do was not making this last start and talk about maybe sliding into the bullpen.''

The lefty is no stranger to the bullpen, having pitched there as recently as last season while with Oakland.

"I've had the benefit of doing pretty much everything (in terms of roles),'' he said. "I'm pretty comfortable in any situation. If they see me helping there, obviously, that's where I want to be. But I don't know if it's a sure thing. We'll have to see how it goes.''

Meanwhile, another sidelined starter, Steven Wright, is expected to rejoin the team in Boston Friday. Wright threw a bullpen off the mound earlier this week in Fort Myers as he attempts to come back from inflammation in his shoulder.