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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Fantasy Football

Maurice Jones-Drew cracks joke after someone drafts him in fantasy

Maurice Jones-Drew Jags

Maurice Jones-Drew officially tied a bow on his NFL career back in March, but at least one fantasy football team owner believes the 30-year-old still has a lot to offer.

On Sunday, Jones-Drew had a great response to a Twitter follower who said he drafted the former Jacksonville Jaguars back in all of his leagues.

Perfect.

Jones-Drew’s best season was in 2011, when he rushed for 1,606 yards and scored a total of 11 touchdowns. That was also his last season over 1,000 or more yards, as he carried the ball just 43 times for 96 yards — an average of 2.2 yards per carry — in a one-year stint with the Oakland Raiders last season. The most notable thing he did was make this political gesture on the field.

If that guy really did draft MJD in his leagues, he must like wasting bench space.

Duke Johnson fantasy stock gets boost with Terrance West trade

Duke-Johnson

The Cleveland Browns traded running back Terrance West to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday for a conditional draft pick, and that could be a positive sign for the future of Duke Johnson Jr.

Johnson has been recovering from a concussion and remained in the NFL’s concussion protocol as of Friday, but the Browns must be confident he is making progress. The former Miami star rushed for 1,652 yards last season and averaged a whopping 6.8 yards per carry for the Hurricanes. Many believe he was a value pick in the third round.

It is unclear if Johnson will be ready to play in Week 1 against the New York Jets, but Cleveland’s decision to trade West has to be seen as a positive. The Browns still have Isaiah Crowell, but he was incredibly frustrating last season and had issues with ball security.

Assuming Johnson can get healthy, he is the clear-cut favorite to earn the feature back role in Cleveland. That has become even clearer now with West out of the way.

Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Davante Adams gets fantasy football boost with Jordy Nelson injury

Davante-Adams

Jordy Nelson suffered what appears to be a season-ending injury in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. If Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target is sidelined for all of 2015, second-year wide receiver Davante Adams could become a much bigger part of the offense.

The Green Bay Packers drafted Adams with the 53rd overall pick in the 2014 draft. The former Fresno State star caught 38 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie season. He has struggled with drops, but he has great athleticism and a lot of upside.

While Nelson is a phenomenal player, the Packers are still going to score plenty of points in his absence. Rodgers always finds a way to spread the ball around, and there will now be plenty of opportunities for Adams to shine.

You can see the video of Nelson’s injury here.

Photo: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes could be fantasy options from Texans

Alfred Blue

If you already had your fantasy football draft and selected Arian Foster, here’s hoping you also handcuffed him with Alfred Blue.

With Foster out indefinitely because of a groin injury that will require surgery, the Houston Texans need to replace their star running back. For now, Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes appear to be most likely to split the action, with Chris Polk also in the mix.

Blue is in his second NFL season out of LSU. He showed he was capable of carrying the load when he rushed for 156 yards on 36 carries in Week 11 against the Browns last year. He only averaged 3.1 yards per carry, which is pretty terrible. More than half of his carries went for less than two yards. But he also is a threat to catch passes out of the backfield. The Texans are unlikely to be completely satisfied with him and would probably bring in someone else.

Grimes is entering his third season with the Texans. He saw some work last season as a third-down back and caught six passes for 86 yards. He also rushed for 153 yards on 39 carries for a 3.9 ypc average.

Polk was signed by the Texans in April. He spent the past three seasons in Philly and actually scored five touchdowns last year with the Eagles, including one on a kickoff return. He’s not the most talented guy, but he will compete for action.

Blue, Grimes and Polk aren’t exactly the greatest combination of backs around. Houston may even look to the free agent market to see who might be worth a pickup.

Here are some of the top free agent running backs available:

Dan Herron fantasy – Ahmad Bradshaw suffers ankle injury

Dan-Herron

The Indianapolis Colts lost an important conference game to the New England Patriots on Sunday, but that may not have been the worst thing that happened to Chuck Pagano’s team.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a broken ankle during the loss. The veteran running back was seen limping to the locker room in the second half without a shoe on his left ankle and was in obvious pain.

Entering Sunday night’s game, Bradshaw had been one of the biggest surprises of the 2014 NFL season. He was running with explosiveness, appeared as healthy as ever and had scored eight total touchdowns. He could now miss the remainder of the season.

The Colts will lean heavily on Trent Richardson in Bradshaw’s absence, but we know how Richardson has responded to being given the feature back job in the past. In all likelihood, third-string running back Dan “Boom” Herron will receive more touches going forward.

For now, Herron will be a change-of-pace back. If Richardson struggles to hit holes like we expect him to, Herron could become a decent fantasy option down the stretch.

Montee Ball, CJ Anderson fantasy options with Ronnie Hillman out

Montee-Ball

The Denver Broncos’ backfield situation is as muddled as it has been all season. Montee Ball is ready to return after missing several weeks with a groin injury and CJ Anderson enjoyed a breakout game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Ronnie Hillman had been the starting running back in Ball’s absence but reports indicate he will not be able to play next weekend.

According to The Denver Post, Hillman is expected to miss “at least” two weeks with a foot sprain. The post also reports that Ball is expected to return against the St. Louis Rams in Week 11.

Where does this leave fantasy football owners? With Ball having been out so long, he will probably be eased back in. The Broncos will likely use a hot-hand approach and give Anderson a chance to carry the load.

However, it should be noted that Ball has reportedly lost more than 12 pounds while rehabbing his groin injury. It’s generally good news when a running back loses weight (Le’Veon Bell is a prime example), so we wouldn’t be surprised if Ball is Denver’s best running back down the stretch. As for Sunday, you might be stuck flipping a coin. We’ll recommend Anderson as the best bet to score a touchdown, at least this week.

Jeremy Hill fantasy – Giovani Bernard battling hip injury

Jeremy Hill Ickey shuffle

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard sat out Wednesday’s practice while nursing hip and clavicle injuries. Bernard has been banged up in three straight weeks, though it doesn’t appear he has sustained any type of serious injury. Still, rookie Jeremy Hill needs to be owned in all fantasy football leagues.

Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson loves to run the ball, which has led to some solid games for Hill this year even with Bernard playing the role of a true feature back. The former LSU star has scored six or more fantasy points in five of seven games this year.

Cincinnati faces a very weak opponent at home this week in the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bengals then have a quick turnaround for what could be an important AFC North showdown against the Cleveland Browns next Thursday. If Bernard’s hip and shoulder injuries are bothering him even a little bit, it would make sense to rest him in Week 9. Hip injuries can be especially troublesome for running backs.

If Bernard does miss Sunday’s game, Hill should be more than capable of handling the load against Jacksonville. He’d instantly become a must-start in fantasy.