Player Notes

  • Steelers re-sign two ERFAs
    Steelers re-signed TE Xavier Grimble and LS Kameron Canaday to one-year contracts.

    Advice: They were exclusive rights free agents. Grimble, 25, operated as the Steelers' third tight end in 2017, playing 175 snaps and blocking on 63 percent of them. He will vie for a roster spot behind Jesse James and Vance McDonald in 2018. Yesterday, 2:09 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Martavis Bryant wants to remain with Steelers
    Martavis Bryant says he wants to remain with the Steelers for 2018.

    Advice: 2017 should have been the final year of Bryant's rookie contract, but it tolled to 2018 after he was suspended for all of 2016. Frustrated with his role, Bryant tried to force his way out of Pittsburgh ahead of the trade deadline, earning himself a team-imposed Week 8 suspension. He returned following the Steelers' Week 9 bye and settled into a steady role down the stretch, catching 50 passes for 603 yards and three touchdowns on the year. The Steelers could be open to moving Bryant this offseason, but he's an extreme bargain at his $705,000 salary. The most likely scenario is Bryant playing out his Steelers deal. Yesterday, 11:28 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Falcons hand out reserve/future contracts
    Falcons signed QB Garrett Grayson, S Marcelis Branch, OL Daniel Brunskill, CB Deante Burton, WR Reggie Davis, TE Alex Gray, DL Joey Ivie, DL J.T. Jones and DL Taniela Tupou to reserve/future contracts.

    Advice: The No. 75 overall pick of the 2015 draft, Grayson quickly flamed out in New Orleans. He spent 2017 on the Falcons' practice squad. Yesterday, 11:13 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Allen Robinson expects to be healthy by March
    Impending free agent Allen Robinson (ACL) expects to be healthy and able to pass a physical before free agency opens in March.

    Advice: Robinson was able to undergo surgery just days after tearing his left ACL in Week 1, suggesting the injury was a clean tear. Even though it is unlikely he will be 100 percent by the time free agency opens on March 14, this injury should not seriously damage his market. Robinson is likely looking for something close to the four-year, $58 million deal Davante Adams signed with the Packers in December. Yesterday, 9:09 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Escobar signs reserve/future deal with Browns
    Browns signed TE Gavin Escobar to a reserve/future contract.

    Advice: A 2013 second-round pick by the Cowboys, Escobar is one of the many tight ends of the future Jason Witten has vanquished. Escobar spent training camp last year with the Chiefs before landing on the Ravens' roster for two games. He is a long-shot to crack the final 53 in Cleveland. Yesterday, 8:01 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • DeMarco Murray thinks he's still a top-end RB
    DeMarco Murray "definitely" believes he is still a top-end running back.

    Advice: "I am very confident in myself and I am excited," Murray said. "I am excited about the future, and my future. I know what kind of player I am." It would be surprising for him to say anything else, but the reality is Murray took a step back in his age-29 season even before being sidelined by a knee injury late in the year. The Titans can wipe all of Murray's $6.5 million salary off the cap by cutting him, making that the most likely outcome. Yesterday, 7:36 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Bell 'definitely' wants to stay in Pittsburgh
    Le'Veon Bell said he "definitely" wants to re-sign with the Steelers.

    Advice: "I never want to leave this city, but obviously, circumstances and things like that," Bell cautioned. The running back has threatened to sit out or retire if the Steelers hit him with the franchise tag again -- he waited until September 4 to sign his tender last season -- but that appears to be where this situation is headed. The tag will be worth around $14.5 million for Bell. Yesterday, 6:17 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Drew Brees expects to re-sign with Saints
    Impending free agent Drew Brees expects to re-sign with the Saints.

    Advice: Brees answered, "I do," when asked if he expects to stay, but the way he talked about the future was even more telling, saying the Saints are entering "a window of time here where we can really make a run at it." Brees set Saints' career-lows for yards and touchdowns as New Orleans transformed into a more balanced attack, but he still completed 72 percent of his throws and was spectacular in the Wild Card win. Even at 39, he has gas left in the tank. Yesterday, 6:08 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Rex Burkhead (knee) expected to play in AFCCG
    NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Rex Burkhead (knee) is expected to play in the AFC Championship Game.

    Advice: Burkhead was close to suiting up against the Titans, so he should be ready to go following another week of practice. That said, Burkhead reportedly was not moving well in practice last week, although he did show improvement later in the week. Dion Lewis will remain the lead back even if Burkhead suits up. Yesterday, 6:04 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Wright surprises with 56 yards versus Saints
    Jarius Wright grabbed three-of-six targets for 56 yards Sunday in the Vikings’ Divisional Round win over the Saints.

    Advice: He had the Vikings' longest play from scrimmage—a 27-yard strike from Case Keenum in the fourth quarter—until Stefon Diggs broke loose for a game-ending 61-yard touchdown. Wright also came down with a 22-yard catch on the game's opening drive. Wright appears to have settled in as Minnesota's No. 3 receiver ahead of Michael Floyd and Laquon Treadwell. He'll face the Eagles on the road in next week's NFC Championship bout. Sunday, 7:01 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Snead makes clutch catch in loss to Vikings
    Willie Snead delivered two catches for 18 yards on three targets Sunday in the Saints’ Divisional Round loss to the Vikings.

    Advice: Snead played a season-high 46 snaps in the absence of slot receiver Brandon Coleman (neck). Though his counting stats weren't impressive, Snead saved the Saints' season (at least for another few minutes) with a clutch catch on fourth-and-10 late in the fourth quarter. That came a few minutes after Snead missed a golden opportunity by throwing an incomplete pass to a wide-open Alvin Kamara on a trick play. Snead was a trendy WR3 pick in fantasy last summer but never panned out while falling behind Ted Ginn and Coleman on the Saints' wide receiver depth chart. With New Orleans relying more and more on its ground game, we wouldn't count on Snead having a bounce-back year in 2018. Sunday, 7:00 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Ted Ginn impresses with eight catches Sunday
    Ted Ginn racked up eight catches for 72 yards on 11 targets Sunday in the Saints’ Divisional Round loss to the Vikings.

    Advice: With Xavier Rhodes glued to Michael Thomas, Ginn spent most of the afternoon tangling with Trae Waynes. That matchup worked to Ginn's advantage, especially in the second half when the veteran contributed six catches for 53 yards. Ginn had a touchdown called back on an illegal shift in the second quarter and was also the intended receiver on the first of Drew Brees' two interceptions. A gadget player in his early years, Ginn has enjoyed a career resurgence by topping 700 receiving yards in each of his last three seasons. He'll be someone to consider as a late-round dart throw in fantasy drafts next summer. Sunday, 6:45 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Keenum hurls walk-off TD as Vikings advance
    Case Keenum completed 25-of-40 passes for 318 yards with one touchdown and one interception while rushing once for four yards Sunday in the Vikings’ Divisional Round win over the Saints.

    Advice: He was sacked twice for a loss of 10 yards. Sunday marked Keenum's first postseason start and it was a game he'll never forget. Keenum was held in check for much of the game and committed a costly interception in the third quarter on a pass that never should have been thrown. Facing pressure from Cam Jordan, Keenum lobbed up an awkward pass that was easily intercepted by Marcus Williams. Keenum redeemed himself in heroic fashion by uncorking a 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs on the final play of regulation as the Vikings walked off with a thrilling 29-24 victory. The Vikings are one win away from Super Bowl LII, which will be played on their home turf at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. To get there, they'll have to knock off the top-seeded Eagles in next week's NFC title game. Sunday, 5:17 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Allen Hurns goes 1/12/0 against Steelers
    Allen Hurns caught 1-of-2 targets for 12 yards in the Jaguars' Divisional Round win over the Steelers.

    Advice: He tied Keelan Cole for third among Jaguars wideouts in targets; Marqise Lee led the way with six, and Dede Westbrook saw three. Hurns is the Jags' full-time slot receiver, a position against which the Patriots struggled down the stretch. Sunday, 2:26 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Keelan Cole catches 45-yard bomb vs. PIT
    Keelan Cole caught 1-of-2 targets for 45 yards in the Jaguars' Divisional Round win over the Steelers.

    Advice: Cole was catch-less until the fourth quarter, when he skied to reel in a 45-yard bomb from Blake Bortles, setting up Leonard Fournette’s third touchdown of the game. Cole's two targets tied Allen Hurns for third amongst Jaguars wide receivers; Marqise Lee led the way with six, and Dede Westbrook drew three. Sunday, 2:23 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Yeldon excels as role player in win over PIT
    T.J. Yeldon rushed five times for 20 yards and a touchdown and caught 3-of-3 targets for 57 yards in the Jaguars' Divisional Round win over the Steelers.

    Advice: The Jaguars gave Leonard Fournette a second-quarter breather and Yeldon handled back-to-back carries in scoring position, hitting pay dirt on the second from four yards out. With Chris Ivory inactive, Yeldon took over as the Jags’ feature back for most of the second quarter after Fournette aggravated his longstanding ankle injury. Fournette returned to begin the second half, pushing Yeldon back into change-of-pace work. Yeldon contributed one of Jacksonville’s longest completions on a 40-yard swing pass in the fourth quarter. A serviceable role player, Yeldon has settled in as the Jaguars' best option at No. 2 running back behind Fournette. If Fournette's ankle acts up at all during the forthcoming practice week, Yeldon could see increased usage in Week 20 against the Patriots. Sunday, 2:15 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Jonnu Smith suffered torn MCL in playoff loss
    Titans TE Jonnu Smith suffered a torn MCL in the Divisional Round loss to the Patriots.

    Advice: Smith had to be carted off the field after a special teams play, so a torn MCL is actually good news. Coach Mike Mularkey expects him to be ready for OTAs. A third-round pick last year, Smith caught 18 passes for 157 yards and two scores as a rookie. Sunday, 2:13 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Chris Hogan plays 83 percent of snaps vs. TEN
    Chris Hogan played 67-of-81 offensive snaps (83 percent) in Saturday's Divisional Round win over the Titans.

    Advice: Hogan was not limited in his return from a shoulder injury, though he was only targeted on four of Tom Brady's 53 passes in the victory. He's been a consistent red-zone weapon for New England, visiting the end zone six times in his 10 appearances this year. The former Penn State lacrosse player will play either the Steelers or Jaguars in next week's AFC Championship game. It's worth noting that Hogan had the game of his life with nine catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburgh in last year's AFC title game. Sunday, 5:50 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Mariota played through sprained quad Saturday
    Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Marcus Mariota sprained his quad in the first quarter of Saturday's Divisional Round loss to the Patriots.

    Advice: Mularkey said the injury forced the Titans to alter their offense. It's not a surprising revelation as Mariota didn't show his usual mobility on Saturday (though he did rush for a team-leading 37 yards) and was sacked a remarkable eight times against a New England defense not known for its pass rush. Injuries hampered Mariota throughout 2017, leading to his worst season statistically. The Titans were outclassed by the Patriots on Saturday and will remain a fringe playoff team until Mariota takes the next step in his development. Sunday, 5:32 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • James White scores twice in Patriots blowout
    James White rushed four times for 11 yards and a touchdown and caught 4-of-7 targets for 29 yards and an additional score in the Patriots' Divisional Round win over the Titans.

    Advice: After Dion Lewis put the Patriots in second-quarter scoring position, White put the Pats into the end zone on a shovel-pass touchdown from five yards out. Less than three minutes later, White scored his second TD on a six-yard carry. White could have had a much bigger yardage day, but he dropped two passes that would have gone for significant gains. Although it was still a productive effort from New England’s main passing-down back, White’s role in the AFC Championship game will be affected by Rex Burkhead’s (knee) health. Saturday, 9:01 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
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