Another week and another group of notable Philadelphia Eagles are hitting the sidelines with injuries. This time, one of those is star running back Miles Sanders. With Sanders set to miss at least Thursday night’s game, it’s going to be up to Boston Scott to carry the load for his team and the fantasy football managers that are putting faith into him. Is that a smart choice to make? Can a former practice squad player behind a patchwork offensive line be a productive fantasy option, especially when some seasons are likely on the line?
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Miles Sanders set to miss Thursday’s game, leaving Boston Scott to be the focal point
Sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Monday that the Eagles are expected to be without running back Miles Sanders for Thursday’s game against the New York Giants because of a knee injury.
Sanders, along with tight end Zach Ertz, was injured during Sunday’s 30-28 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Sanders was hurt on his 74-yard run in the third quarter when he was tackled from behind by DeShon Elliott. He left the game and did not return.
Sanders’ injury is a dark cloud hanging over what was a solid day, where he rushed nine times for 118 yards. Yes, his total and 13.1 avg is inflated due to the long score, but when without that, he was still averaging 5.5 yards per carry, well above the season average.
Sanders leads the Eagles with 434 rushing yards on 71 carries with three rushing touchdowns.
Thursday night’s game against the Giants won’t be the first time this season that Sanders has missed a game and left Boston Scott to be the lead back. Sanders missed the season opener, forcing Scott to be the Eagles top RB. He tallied just 11 opportunities for 54 yards that game, though he did have to leave temporarily with an injury of his own.
Scott has totaled just 115 yards on 28 touches this year, good enough for 4.10 yards per touch. While far behind Sanders at 6.32, Scott is still well ahead of Corey Clement’s 2.46 per touch average.
The problem with Boston Scott’s fantasy value might be no fault of his own, but the patchwork offense
There really is no sugar coating this, but the Eagles have been atrocious on offense. Carson Wentz is turning the ball over almost twice per game and has already taken 25 sacks. Sanders hasn’t been effective aside from a few huge rushing plays. And Philadelphia’s receivers are dropping tons of passes. Throw in injuries to Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, and Isaac Seumalo; their struggles should come as no surprise.
Of the initial 22 players on the offensive opening day depth chart, only eight are still healthy. Seven of those injuries are to the offensive line to the starter and his backup. It’s no wonder that the Eagles rank 27th in run blocking, averaging only 3.93 adjusted line yards (ALY) per play.
Scott will struggle to generate yards on the ground without better run-blocking. The Eagles are attempting the sixth-fewest runs per game (23.5), too, so there’s not a lot of carries to go around here. The part of Scott’s game that can salvage his fantasy value is that he is a more than competent pass catcher. While he has only seen 36 targets over the past two seasons in limited work, he has caught 31 of them for 252 yards.
The Eagles, and fantasy managers as well, are hoping to see Scott bring the same value this week as he did to close out their season.
Scott closed out the 2019 season with 82 Fantasy points in the final four weeks, where he saw six-plus targets in four straight games, including one Week 14 start and then another game in Week 17—all while filling in for an injured Sanders.
Going against a Giants defense that allows the ninth most fantasy points to running backs (26.00) and gives up on average six receptions and 50.5 receiving yards per game, I think Boston Scott will be an RB2 in fantasy for Week 7.
This is a must-win game for the Eagles, who, despite a 1-4-1 record, are in second place in the NFC East. They can’t afford to lose this game, and if they can get out ahead early, they will try to limit the turnover opportunities that have plagued their team this year and keep it either on the ground or use a short passing scheme.
The Giants have allowed a staggering 78.3 PPR points through the air to running backs alone this year. That’s 13.1 points per game through the air, and there’s not a whole lot of concern on the roster to take away Scott’s targets.
There is a chance that the team gets back both DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert this week, but outside of them, there is no one else on this offense.
It all comes down to your team’s needs. If you have a solid starting roster, then don’t get too cute and try to force Scott into your lineup, thinking that he will have a monster day. Now, if you have players on a bye week or are struggling with injuries, I believe that Scott is worth consideration as he should see at least 15 touches in this came and be a lower-end RB2 in Week 7.
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Every Monday during the season, theScore’s Justin Boone runs down the recommended waiver wire pickups.
Rostered percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. Free Agent Budget (FAB) amounts are set off a $100 salary cap. Only players rostered in less than 60% of leagues are considered.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings
Cousins has quietly emerged as a reliable fantasy starter – averaging the 12th most fantasy points since Week 3. He’s also thrown for two or more touchdowns in six of his last seven games.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars have been the third easiest matchup for opposing quarterbacks and have permitted multiple passing scores in five straight games, as well as eight of their last 10 outings.
Even without Adam Thielen, Cousins put up 307 yards and three touchdowns on the Panthers this week. Whether Thielen plays or not, Cousins is a quality streamer in Week 13.
Philip Rivers, Colts
Jacoby Brissett‘s newfound presence in goal-line packages is far from ideal for Rivers‘ fantasy value, but he’s regularly finished inside the top-13 quarterbacks since the Colts’ Week 7 bye.
Rivers’ weekly results over the last five weeks: QB5, QB28 (tough matchup with Ravens), QB13, QB10, and he’s the QB11 in Week 12 prior to the Monday nighter.
Though the Texans defense has recently put up better numbers, some of that success is attributed to a softer schedule. Rivers should have no problem spreading the ball around and putting up another solid fantasy performance.
Taysom Hill and Derek Carr are around the 60% rostered mark and would be the top options if they’re still available in your league.
Streamer options: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. CIN (20% rostered), Mitch Trubisky vs. DET (4% rostered), Baker Mayfield at TEN (35% rostered), Sam Darnold vs. LV (8% rostered)
Injured streamer options (if healthy): Gardner Minshew at MIN (12% rostered)
Cam Akers, Rams
As much as we need to stay grounded and not overreact to one big run, it was great to see Akers pour in a career-high 84 yards with a touchdown this week.
The bad news is the rookie was third in the backfield in snaps with 17, behind Malcolm Brown (25) and Darrell Henderson (20). This performance could go a long way toward establishing Akers as the hot hand since Henderson has struggled following his midseason injury and Brown is an average talent.
Akers has another opportunity to showcase his abilities against the Cardinals this week before the Rams get two very winnable games against the Patriots and Jets in the first two weeks of the fantasy playoffs.
This may remain a three-headed committee, but you should want Akers on your roster in case the second-rounder continues to emerge down the stretch.
Benny Snell/Anthony McFarland Jr., Steelers
The Steelers are scheduled to take on the Ravens this Wednesday in a Week 12 game that’s been postponed several times already. If that contest is finally played, it’s possible my feelings about these backs could change based on performance or injury.
At the moment, James Conner is on the COVID-19 list after testing positive. As a cancer survivor, you can be sure the 25-year-old and team will be very cautious with his health.
That should set the stage for Snell to get at least two consecutive starts after head coach Mike Tomlin identified him as the lead back while Conner is sidelined.
That means Snell needs to be rostered as a low-end RB2 with upside for more if he can find the juice he displayed in the opener when he rushed for 113 yards on 19 carries.
McFarland can be rostered as a stash until we see how this situation plays out with Conner.
J.K. Dobbins, Myles Gaskin, Zack Moss, Jamaal Williams, Latavius Murray, andJames White are around the 60% rostered mark and should be rostered in almost all leagues.
High-upside backups Alexander Mattison (32% rostered), Boston Scott (28% rostered), Carlos Hyde (38% rostered), and Tony Pollard (19% rostered) should be rostered in most leagues.
Flex options: Frank Gore vs. LV (25% rostered), Ito Smith vs. No (1% rostered), Brian Hill vs. NO (46% rostered), Devontae Booker at NYJ (9% rostered)
Risky flex options: J.D. McKissic at PIT (59% rostered), Joshua Kelley vs. NE (19% rostered), Gus Edwards vs. DAL (54% rostered)
Other backups to roster: Adrian Peterson at CHI (46% rostered), Royce Freeman at KC (6% rostered), Sony Michel at LAC (20% rostered), D’Onta Foreman vs. CLE, Jordan Wilkins at HOU (17% rostered), Kerryon Johnson at CHI (15% rostered), Devine Ozigbo at MIN (1% rostered)
Deeper stashes: Peyton Barber at PIT (1% rostered), DeAndre Washington vs. CIN (1% rostered), Jeremy McNichols vs. CLE (1% rostered), Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. BUF (3% rostered)
Allen Lazard/Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers
Investing in the Packers’ passing attack is a wise decision, so acquiring one of these wideouts off waivers should be an obvious move.
Lazard reached the end zone again Sunday – the third time he’s done that in five games this year.
Valdes-Scantling was shut out in the boxscore this week after suffering a mild Achilles injury in practice, but he’s still taking the field for SNF. In the previous three games, MVS delivered stat lines of 2-53-2, 4-149-1, and 3-55-0.
Don’t overthink this. Scoop these guys up now and consider using them as WR3/flex plays during their favorable upcoming schedule, which features the Eagles, Lions, Panthers, and Titans over the final month.
Breshad Perriman/Denzel Mims, Jets
The Jets’ outside receivers remain available in the vast majority of leagues, but that shouldn’t be the case based on their recent play.
Consider their last three stat lines:
With Sam Darnold healthy and matchups with the Raiders and Seahawks on deck, Perriman and Mims are flex options with significant fantasy upside.
Deebo Samuel, Sterling Shepard,Curtis Samuel,Cole Beasley, Corey Davis, Michael Pittman Jr.,and Jakobi Meyers are around the 60% rostered mark and should be rostered in almost all leagues.
Flex options: Jalen Reagor at GB (29% rostered), TY Hilton at HOU (38% rostered), Sammy Watkins vs. DEN (44% rostered), Gabriel Davis at SF (3% rostered), Tim Patrick at KC (22% rostered), Keke Coutee vs. IND (1% rostered), Keelan Cole at MIN (27% rostered), Laviska Shenault at MIN (18% rostered), Henry Ruggs at NYJ (28% rostered), Nelson Agholor at NYJ (43% rostered), Emmanuel Sanders at ATL (46% rostered)
Risky flex options: Russell Gage vs. NO (8% rostered), Darnell Mooney vs. DET (7% rostered), Josh Reynolds at ARI (9% rostered), KJ Hamler at KC (4% rostered), Damiere Byrd at LAC (5% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Michael Gallup at BAL (42% rostered), Rashard Higgins at TEN (11% rostered), Hunter Renfrow at NYJ (17% rostered), Collin Johnson at MIN (0% rostered), David Moore vs. NYG (4% rostered), Olabisi Johnson vs. JAX (0% rostered), Chad Beebe vs. JAX (0% rostered)
Injury stashes: Julian Edelman vs. ARI (26% rostered)
Deep bench stashes: Isaiah Coulter vs. IND (0% rostered), Kenny Stills – free agent (1% rostered), Mohamed Sanu at CHI (1% rostered), Demarcus Robinson vs. DEN (1% rostered), Steven Mitchell Jr. vs. IND (0% rostered)
Trey Burton, Colts
Burton isn’t even playing the most snaps among the Colts’ tight ends, and yet he’s still the one we’re targeting.
That’s because the Colts have gone out of their way to get the ball in his hands in scoring position and it’s resulted in touchdowns in back-to-back weeks.
Now Indy has a three-game stretch against the Texans, Raiders, and Texans again. The Colts should find themselves in the red zone often against those defenses, and that means opportunities for Burton to come through as a fantasy streamer.
Jordan Akins, Texans
Akins had a quiet Week 12 with no catches on two targets, but the news of Will Fuller‘s six-game suspension means changes are coming for the Texans’ offense.
Akins is only one week removed from catching five passes for 83 yards and displaying the kind of yardage upside most tight ends don’t possess.
Since the receiving corps is limited behind Brandin Cooks, Akins might be the best option to see an expanded role in Fuller’s absence, making a worthwhile stash this week.
Robert Tonyan and Mike Gesicki are around the 60% rostered mark and would be the top options if they’re still available in your league.
Streamer options: Logan Thomas at PIT (41% rostered),Jordan Reed vs. BUF (25% rostered), Dalton Schultz at BAL (22% rostered), Kyle Rudolph vs. JAX (15% rostered)
Injury stashes: Irv Smith Jr. vs. JAX (6% rostered), Zach Ertz at GB (59% rostered)
Risky streamer options: Will Dissly vs. NYG (4% rostered), Jacob Hollister vs. NYG (2% rostered), Tyler Eifert at MIN (6% rostered), Darren Fells vs. IND (3% rostered)
Greg Vanney, who led Toronto FC to respectability and then helped fill its trophy case, is stepping down as the Major League Soccer club’s head coach and technical director.
The club made the announcement Tuesday, in the aftermath of last week’s playoff loss to Nashville SC.
Vanney’s departure was not expected although delays in sorting out a new contract had raised questions. His current deal expires at the end of the 2020 season.
An emotional Vanney thanked his players, staff and TFC’s ownership, saying it was the right time to move on.
“I’m a builder. I like to build things and I like projects and I like big things,” he told reporters. “And this club is in a really really good place. There’s not a lot of building to do. It is an incredible club that is positioned, from where we started to where we are, to be great.”
WATCH | Nashville ends Toronto FC’s season early:
Daniel Rios scored in the 108th minute as Nashville SC upset Toronto FC 1-0 in round one of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. 1:40
The father of four said his departure had nothing to do with money or other contract terms, calling it a “personal family decision.” He praised the club for its patience “while I worked through this entire process.”
Toronto says the search for Vanney’s replacement will begin immediately.
The 46-year-old Vanney, who also broke up in thanking the Toronto fans, said he had been mulling over his future for some time but especially after finally being able to spend some time with his family after the regular season.
He said he had not thought “a ton” about the future but wanted to spend time with his family and “regroup.” There are openings elsewhere, including the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Vanney is the longest tenured coach in TFC history, holding every coaching record, including games coached (250) and wins (112).
2017 MLS coach of the year
A finalist for coach of the year, Vanney led TFC to the second-best regular-season record at 13-5-5 in a difficult 2020 campaign. Forced to play all but four games away from BMO Field because of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, injury-plagued Toronto limped into the playoffs losing three of its last four regular-season games.
The post-season ended quickly in a 1-0 extra-time loss to expansion Nashville.
Vanney originally joined TFC in December 2013 as the club’s assistant general manager and academy director. Named head coach in August 2014 after Ryan Nelsen was fired, Vanney inherited a 9-9-6 team that had never made the playoffs.
He turned [Toronto FC] into an MLS champion. More than that, he is of high character and a great family man.— Team president Bill Manning on Vanney
He took the club into the post-season in 2015 and went on to guide TFC to the MLS Cup final in 2016, 2017 and 2019, winning the title in 2017 on home soil.
Vanney also coached Toronto to the Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship in 2017, becoming the first MLS club to win a domestic treble. He was named MLS and CONCACAF coach of the year that season.
Toronto qualified for the playoffs under Vanney five of the past six seasons and captured three Canadian championships since 2016.
TFC president Bill Manning praised Vanney in a statement.
“I wish Greg nothing but the best in the future,” Manning said. “Back in 2014 he took over the head coach duties for a team that had never made the playoffs and turned them into an MLS champion. More than that, he is of high character and a great family man. I thank him for time well served for our club, his legacy here in Toronto is secure.”
Vanney had all three of his sons in TFC colours. His twins were part of the academy while his youngest boy was in the TFC Juniors program.
Greg Vanney has stepped down from his position of Toronto FC head coach and technical director, the club announced Tuesday.
Vanney led Toronto to a treble in 2017, winning MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship. He holds every coaching record in TFC history, including matches managed (250) and wins (112). He originally took charge during the 2014 season.
“I want to thank Mr. Tanenbaum, the board of directors and MLSE for their unwavering support for the past seven years. I recognize that I have been extremely fortunate to work for one of the best ownership groups in all of sports. I also want to thank Bill [Manning] and Ali [Curtis] for their support and leadership and most importantly the relationships we’ve developed over the years,” Vanney said in a club statement. “Thank you to all of the TFC staff and players for the incredible experiences we’ve shared together during this journey. I’m forever grateful to each of you. Lastly, to the TFC Fans. You’re truly amazing and the memories and emotions from our biggest nights together will be cherished.”
Toronto did not have the reputation they enjoy today prior to Vanney taking over as head coach. The club failed to make the playoffs in their first eight seasons in MLS, then broke that streak in Vanney’s first full season. On top of the treble in 2017, Vanney helped guide the club to two more Canadian Championship titles and two more trips to MLS Cup.
They also got to the Concacaf Champions League final in 2018, losing in penalties. No MLS club has ever won that competition.
“I wish Greg nothing but the best in the future,” said TFC president Bill Manning. “Back in 2014 he took over the head coach duties for a team that had never made the playoffs and turned them into an MLS champion. More than that, he is of high character and a great family man. I thank him for time well served for our club, his legacy here in Toronto is secure.”
Toronto will begin their search for a head coach immediately.
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