HOU: LB Brian Cushing and OT Duane Brown INACTIVE for TNF
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7:08pm
QB Brandon Weeden
WR Braxton Miller
DB Eddie Pleasant
LB Brian Cushing
OT Duane Brown
OG Oday Aboushi
DL Devon Still
NE: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski ACTIVE for TNF
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7:07pm
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
G Jonathan Cooper
RB DJ Foster
OL LaAdrian Waddle
DB Eric Rowe
TE AJ Derby
LB Dont’a Hightower
Gronkowski may be on a snap count tonight, but he wouldn’t be active if the team didn’t plan to use him in high yield situations.
DET: Lions HC Jim Caldwell calls RB Theo Riddick ‘the lead guy’
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 11:45am
The Lions lost their most complete back Wednesday when Ameer Abdullah was placed on injured reserve. It leaves three backs for Detroit to use: Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner.
Of the three, Riddick has the most experience and Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Wednesday that Riddick will be “the lead guy” in Detroit. But others will get work, too.
Zenner has shown power. Washington has a combination of size and speed. But none of them have been in a lead role before in the NFL.
To help reinforce the thought the Lions needed complete backs, Walker spent time this offseason working with Riddick — a premier pass-catcher — on moving his eyes to the proper position to see holes. He worked with him on how to set up defenders to make his blocks even more useful and how to see the developing creases set up by offensive linemen faster.
“When we’re sitting in the film room and we have a clicker in our hand and we can pause stuff and see things, that’s one way,” Walker said. “But guys gotta be able to make split-second decisions on the field and he’s learning where to put his eyes to help him make those split-second decisions.”
So far, Riddick has been a superior runner to what he’s done in the past. He’s averaging 4.56 yards per carry. More importantly, he looks more confident as a rusher than he ever has in the past, too. It helps that he’s being used in a variety of ways now as a runner instead of mostly as a third-down or two-minute runner, as he was in the past.
Riddick said his improved vision comes from Walker’s teachings.
The Lions are willing to give Riddick carries this year (9.0 per game) after he averaged just 2.7 carries per game last season. The early returns are good, but a Week 1 matchup with the Colts has a lot to do with his 4.6 YPC. We expect Washington to see 8-12 touches per game, but he’ll have to hold off Zach Zenner as the goal line back to have weekly fantasy value. Week 3 is shaping up to be a “Riddick game” since the Lions are expected to be playing from behind for most of the day.
DEN: Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders says ‘there’s some frustration’ with his role
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 11:18am
Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders on his role:
“There’s some frustration, but it’s hard to be frustrated when you’re sitting here 2-0,” Sanders said. “I can sit up here and make it all about me and Demaryius, how we’re used to having 100-yard games, we’re used to scoring touchdowns and we’re used to doing this. But we’re sitting here 2-0 … Individually, I would like to have my highlights on ESPN, yeah, I would like to have 100-yard games, be ranked top five, but we’re sitting here 2-0 … I’m waiting for that big game, Demaryius is waiting for that big game — we know it’s going to come.”
Neither Sanders nor Demaryius Thomas has a touchdown reception in the Broncos’ first two games and Sanders hasn’t topped 50 yards receiving in a game. In the Broncos’ win over the Colts this past Sunday, Sanders had three receptions in the Broncos’ first seven plays from scrimmage, then didn’t have another catch in the game.
Sanders went as far as to say Wednesday “that at some point if what we’re doing isn’t working” the Broncos might have to “change” some of their play-calls.
As Sanders said, it’s hard to be too worried about personal statistics when the team is 2-0. Quarterback has and will be an issue for the Broncos all season, but there should be enough volume to support two fantasy receivers.
NE: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski ‘telling teammates’ he plans to play in Week 3
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 10:18am
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been telling teammates all week that he plans to make his 2016 season debut tonight.
Gronkowski’s debut seems likely.
It’s a little surprising since the Patriots are 2-0 and that he couldn’t play a few days ago, but Gronkowski owners will take it. He’s a must-start in most formats even with the team’s QB issues.
CLE: Browns WR Corey Coleman (broken hand) to miss 4-6 weeks
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 10:00am
Browns announce WR Corey Coleman is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with broken hand.
Terelle Pryor probably serves as the WR1 for the next two weeks while Josh Gordon finishes his suspension. Pryor will be a sneaky play this week at Miami since he should see plenty of targets, but there are so many moving parts in Cleveland (with Cody Kessler at QB) that it’s difficult to trust anyone.
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