Fri Oct 15 3:54pm ET
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Columnist
Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner reacts to a play against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
In this Aug. 10, 2018, file photo, Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden reacts during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions in Oakland, Calif. Current or former players, along with people in positions of leadership with NFL clubs, have offered differing opinions this week on how pervasive the sorts of racist, homophobic and misogynistic thoughts expressed by Jon Gruden -- in emails he wrote from 2011-18, when he was an ESPN analyst between coaching jobs, to then-Washington club executive Bruce Allen remain around the sport to this day. (AP Photo/John Hefti, File)
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden attends a news conference after an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Las Vegas, in this Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, file photo. Jon Gruden is out as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after emails he sent before being hired in 2018 contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments. Gruden released a statement Monday night, Oct. 11, 2021, that he is stepping down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner talks to reporters before NFL football practice, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden speaks to the media after an NFL football practice in Henderson, Nev., in this Saturday, July 31, 2021, file photo. Jon Gruden is out as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after emails he sent before being hired in 2018 contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments. Gruden released a statement Monday night, Oct. 11, 2021, that he is stepping down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL.(AP Photo/David Becker, File)
Just imagine what else lurks in those 650,000 emails.
Surely the racism and misogyny and homophobia weren't a Jon Gruden exclusive.
But the NFL, instead of thoroughly addressing what is likely just the tip of a very toxic iceberg, hopes we'll all just meekly accept Grudengate as the end of it.
Move along, everyone.
Nothing more to see here.
We're expected to go along with the ludicrous notion that a yearlong probe into the Washington Football Team wasn't worthy of issuing an actual report or deserves any further examination, even though we've now learned another team's disgraced coach memorialized in emails all the horrible things that were swirling around in his head. (Not to mention, we got a couple of juicy tidbits about an ESPN reporter and the NFL's top lawyer getting a little too cozy with the team's ex-president.)
No doubt, it cuts a much wider, more embarrassing path than that, but the NFL seems intent on protecting one of its own - reviled WFT owner Dan Snyder - and keeping its ''investigation'' firmly sealed before anyone it really cares about is implicated.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, for one, knows the Gruden emails exposed a greater problem than one rogue coach - and stretches far beyond the NFL, for that matter.
''There are people out there like that, that speak that way, that have that mindset, that have not grown,'' Wagner said. ''It's not something that shocks me anymore because you get it in so many different fields. It's not just football.''
The NFL can't be expected to solve all of society's ills, of course, but it can do a much better job of ensuring its own house is in order.
Come to think about it, if the league actually cared about anything more than making billions of dollars and protecting its image, it would have ordered a far-reaching investigation to determine how prevalent this abhorrent behavior is within all 32 franchises.
Instead, it's gone into cover-up mode, banking on its enormous popularity to sweep this issue away like so many others that came before, from concussions to Colin Kaepernick.
It never even issued a public report into its investigation of the Washington Football Team, and apparently has no plans to do so.
In the end, Gruden took the fall - a slap in the face to the 40 former Washington employees who bravely came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace extending all the way to the owner's box.
They are rightfully incensed that the NFL is unwilling to reveal a more complete picture of what they went through, though the leaked emails that cost Gruden his job as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders certainly give a grim sampling.
''In response to a yearlong investigation in which more than 100 witnesses were interviewed, and which we believe substantiated our clients' allegations of pervasive harassment, misogyny and abuse at the Washington Football Team, the NFL has chosen to protect owner Dan Snyder,'' the former Washington employees' attorneys, Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, said in a statement.
''This is truly outrageous.''
Back in July, the NFL wrapped up its investigation by fining Washington $10 million, which for the owner of a franchise worth an estimated $4.2 billion is roughly equivalent to the loose change he finds in his sofa on any given day.
Snyder wasn't even suspended, agreeing instead to turn over the supposed day-to-day operation of the franchise to his wife. Oh, and he also was allowed to buy out his minority partners, coming out on the other side of the scandal stronger than ever.
The NFL clearly didn't want this going any farther than Snyder's slap on the wrist.
After all, this is a league that already has some very troubling racial issues - from its blackballing of Kaepernick over his social justice protests to the alarming lack of Black head coaches in a league where roughly 70% of players have that skin color.
This season, only three of the 32 head coaches are Black.
That's truly outrageous, as well.
The Gruden emails - and whatever else the NFL's investigation uncovered - should have led to an honest, necessary reckoning with the sort of workplace culture that apparently gave him no pause about firing off such vile sentiments - and resulted in no apparent pushback from those on the receiving end of his missives.
(Does the NFL, for instance, plan any retroactive action against Allen, if for no other reason than to prevent him from slinking back into the league?)
The NFL would prefer that it all go away, and likely will get its way unless those who help feed the cash cow decide to exert some of their considerable influence.
Remember, the only reason Washington dropped its former nickname was due to financial pressure from its biggest sponsors.
A group of former team employees are calling on corporate giants Verizon, Anheuser-Busch, Amazon, Pepsi, Nike and Procter & Gamble to demand transparency from the league over this scandal.
That's probably the only chance we'll ever get to the bottom of it all.
We won't hold our breath waiting.
In the meantime, let's give the last word to Wagner.
''We have a long way to go,'' the Seahawks stars said. ''That (Gruden) situation is not anything bigger than what the world is dealing with and what the world should be focusing on and trying to figure out. There's a lot of things that we could figure out that are a lot deeper than just this conversation.''
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus made his only field-goal attempt from 42 yards out in the 22-9 loss to the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. The Broncos offense finally got into the end zone late in the game when they were down by multiple scores and elected to go for a two-point conversion (which failed) instead of kicking the extra point. McManus has only missed three of his 22 field-goal tries on the season and has missed one of his 23 extra-point attempts, so accuracy hasn't been the issue. Denver's low-upside offense is what is keeping McManus from being a top-12 fantasy kicker each and every week. This was the first game in 2021 in which he didn't attempt an extra point, but he's also had three games with no field-goal tries. McManus should be much more active in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions at home.
Even though the Denver Broncos defense only scored four points in most fantasy formats in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, they played pretty well overall against an explosive Chiefs offense. They were able to hold Patrick Mahomes and Company under 300 yards of total offense, including just 178 yards through the air and 89 yards on the ground. The Broncos defense sacked Mahomes twice, and rookie first-round cornerback Patrick Surtain II recorded his third interception in the last two games on a tipped pass off the hands of receiver Tyreek Hill. The Denver D is the strength of this team, and they'll be a popular streaming option in Week 14 against a Detroit Lions team coming off their first win of the season.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick will want to move on quickly from his performance in the Sunday night loss to the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs. In the 22-9 loss, he had season-lows in catches (one) and receiving yards (nine) on five total targets in Week 13. Since scoring his fourth touchdown of the year in Week 9, Patrick has only six catches on 14 targets for 49 yards in three games. The 28-year-old usually catches most passes thrown his way, but he couldn't get on the same page as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in prime time. In Denver's low-volume passing attack as the No. 3 receiver behind Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, Patrick's floor is scary as a WR4/5 in deeper leagues.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant finished the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13 on Sunday night with four grabs for 33 yards on four targets. The bad news is that backup tight end Albert Okwuegbunam had the same number of targets as Fant and caught three passes for 21 yards. The Broncos just have two many receiving weapons and Fant isn't really being used as a viable receiving threat down the field. As long as the Denver offense continues to be a run-first unit and Okwuegbunam remains involved to steal targets away from Fant, he'll likely be a frustrating low-end TE1 play unless he gets into the end zone. Fant hasn't scored since Week 6 and has gone over 40 receiving yards just once since then.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton was barely heard from yet again in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Week 13. Sutton finished the game with two receptions on six targets for a measly 15 yards. Really the only good news in this one was the fact that his six targets were tied for second-most on the team with Jerry Jeudy. Since Jeudy returned from a high ankle sprain in Week 8, Sutton has nine catches for 110 yards and no touchdowns on 18 targets in five games. That says it all right there. The Broncos prefer not to throw the ball too much if they don't have to, and when they do, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater usually spreads it around to a bunch of different weapons. The 26-year-old has found his way to the bench is most fantasy leagues.
Facing the toughest defense against tight ends in Week 13, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce posted a rare dud. Targeted eight times on the evening, Kelce was only able to haul in three balls for 27 yards. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has struggled this season and that has trickled down to Kelce having some rare duds this season. Despite that, managers should continue to treat Kelce as one of the best tight ends in the game. The good news is that Kelce will face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14. When the teams previously met in Week 10, Kelce went for eight receptions and 119 yards. Managers should have no reservations about sitting Kelce next Sunday or any week moving forward.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy caught four of his six targets for a team-leading 77 receiving yards in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Jeudy's four receptions were tied for second-most on the team, and his six targets were also tied for second-most. The 22-year-old second-year wideout continues to be quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's favorite receiver. However, Bridgewater has mostly been mediocre this season, and the Broncos are a run-first offense when they get into positive game script. Most of Jeudy's damage was done late in the game with the Chiefs up by multiple scores. Jeudy will be looking for his first touchdown of the season in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions, where he'll be a WR3/flex.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a quiet outing in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The Cheetah was targeted five times during the contest and caught two balls for 22 yards. He also had a ball hit off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II that would be the only interception for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes struggled on the evening and with windy playing conditions, those could both be attributed to Hill's final game line. Regardless, Hill posted a dud, but managers shouldn't be too concerned with his ability to put up WR1 numbers in most weeks. Hill will face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and previously recorded 7 receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 10 victory.
Denver Broncos running back Mike Boone stepped into the RB2 role behind rookie Javonte Williams in the Sunday night loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder) inactive. Boone only had five touches on the night (four carries, one catch) compared to Williams' 29, but he looked explosive and fresh when he was called upon. On his four carries, Boone totaled 35 yards (8.8 yards per carry), and he caught his lone target for a 19-yard gain. The 26-year-old was basically used to spell the impressive Williams in this one, and that would likely continue to be the case if Gordon misses time, which won't give Boone any standalone fantasy value. If Gordon returns in Week 14, Boone will have an even smaller role as the RB3.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire played the lead role in his second game back from a knee injury during a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. CEH recorded 54 yards on 14 rushing attempts with three receptions for 28 yards. It wasn't the best performance for the sophomore runner, but it was a solid performance nonetheless. Backup running back Darrel Williams saw his fair share of action on Sunday evening and was on the field for all third-down plays. Edwards-Helaire should see his role grow down the stretch run, but managers would be wise to insure him with Williams. Next up will be a matchup versus the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and CEH should be considered a RB2 with RB1 upside in that contest.
Denver Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams was finally unleashed on Sunday night against the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs with Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder) inactive, and he didn't disappoint. Williams was the Broncos offense, carrying 23 times for 102 yards while adding a team-high six receptions on a team-high nine targets for 76 yards and a receiving score for Denver's lone touchdown in the 22-9 loss. He averaged 4.4 yards on the ground and looked like the real deal. Williams is one of the toughest backs in the league to bring down, and he's an extremely powerful runner with tackle-breaking ability. His fantasy managers will be crossing their fingers that Gordon won't return in Week 14 for a dream matchup against the Detroit Lions. If Gordon is out again, Williams will have RB1 upside.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams recorded 20 yards on five carries in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The veteran was in for all third-down plays and recorded three receptions for 60 yards. With running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire healthy and back in the picture, Williams has fallen back into a backup role over the past two contests. Moving forward, Williams should be rostered by all Edwards-Helaire managers for the stretch run, but will be hard to trust without a full time role. Next up for Williams will be a Week 14 date against a Las Vegas Raiders defense that he had his best game of the season against earlier in the year.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (ankle) stated he "absolutely" expects to play in Week 15 against the Washington Football Team. During Sunday's meeting against the Jets, the 24-year-old aggravated the same ankle the landed him on the injured reserve list back in October. However, with the team having a Week 14 bye, Sanders has a good chance at being back. However, if he doesn't, Jordan Howard (knee), Boston Scott (illness), and rookie Kenneth Gainwell, who arguably had the best game of his career against Washington, could be in store for more work. Still, fantasy managers should keep Sanders on the roster as there is a small upside there, although he has been far from a reliable option throughout the 2021-22 campaign.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes put together another underwhelming performance in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The former MVP has been having an off year by his standards and completed just 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 184 yards and an interception. His interception came when wide receiver Tyreek Hill failed to haul in a pass that hit off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II. It wasn't all bad for managers of Mahomes with him rushing four times for 12 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Mahomes has been a shell of himself this season, but his enormous upside makes him a must-start on a weekly basis. Mahomes will look to put up improved numbers versus a Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, a defense that he torched for five touchdowns earlier this season.
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had more interceptions than touchdown passes in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Week 13. He finished the night 22-for-40 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a game-sealing touchdown for KC's defense. Bridgewater ran the ball four times for 17 yards. The yardage total was nice, but Bridgewater and the Broncos passing game never really got in sync all night, with a lot of his yards and his lone touchdown to rookie running back Javonte Williams coming in garbage time with the Chiefs ahead by multiple scores. The Broncos offense is usually in trouble when they have to rely on Bridgewater's arm. He'll have a nice matchup against the Detroit Lions next week, but Bridgewater lacks upside on a weekly basis as a low-end QB2.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin finished with only three catches for 22 yards during the win over Las Vegas on Sunday. The 26-year-old disappeared in Week 13, and it came after he had at least seven targets in each game since Week 1. However, Logan Thomas (knee) likely is done for the year, so McLaurin could get more looks from Taylor Heinicke moving ahead, starting in Week 14 during the NFC North battle with the Cowboys.
Baltimore Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey (shoulder) is expected to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 13, according to sources. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Humphrey could be out 'a while.'
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr completed 28 of his 38 pass attempts for 249 yards and gained 24 yards on two carries in a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team in Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Carr has now finished with one touchdown or less in four of his last five games, and his hot start to the season seems like a distant memory. At this point, Carr is a reach as QB2.
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson had another solid performance on Sunday during the win over the Raiders, compiling 88 yards off 23 attempts. He also secured five of his six targets for 23 yards while also finding the end zone off one of those catches. The 23-year-old has turned up the volume, as he now has at least 19 carries in each of his last four games. He's also been an essential contributor on the receiving end, and he could have an even more prominent role moving ahead with Logan Thomas (knee) likely done for the year. Nonetheless, Gibson has been the real deal and should be considered a priority option for fantasy managers in all formats.
Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (ankle) has a high-ankle sprain, according to a source, and will undergo further testing Monday, Dec. 6.
Fantasy Spin: Not good. Regardless of the test results, it's improbable we'll see him in Week 14, and don't be surprised if he is out multiple weeks. WR K.J. Osborn will be a hot fantasy pickup this week.