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FFL: Offseason | NFL: Championship

Vikings pick up 5 additions to Pro Bowl, including Cousins

Tue Jan 21 3:55pm ET
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, Travis Kelce, Julio Jones, Jack Doyle, Kyle Juszczyk, Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Amari Cooper, Kenny Golladay, George Kittle, Austin Hooper, Alvin Kamara, D.J. Chark, Tyreek Hill, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Chris Godwin, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, C.J. Ham, Mecole Hardman

Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) runs after intercepting a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Vikings have five additions to the NFC Pro Bowl roster, giving them eight players in the all-star game for their highest total in 10 years.

The NFL announced Tuesday that quarterback Kirk Cousins, defensive end Everson Griffen, fullback C.J. Ham, linebacker Eric Kendricks and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were picked as replacements. Running back Dalvin Cook, defensive end Danielle Hunter and safety Harrison Smith were originally selected for the exhibition Sunday in Orlando, Florida. The Vikings sent nine players to the Pro Bowl after the 2009 season.

With San Francisco reaching the Super Bowl, defensive end Nick Bosa, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, tight end George Kittle and cornerback Richard Sherman automatically dropped out from the 49ers. That opened spots for Griffen, Ham, Rhodes and Atlanta tight end Austin Hooper.

Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner was dealing with ankle and knee injuries that he said last week would likely keep him out of the Pro Bowl, paving the way for Kendricks to make it for the first time. Kendricks was a first team All-Pro selection.

Cousins will fill in for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose team lost to San Francisco in the NFC championship game. His left tackle, David Bakhtiari, also backed out for injury, replaced by Philadelphia's Lane Johnson. The Packers had three additions for injury absences: wide receiver Davante Adams (Atlanta's Julio Jones), defensive tackle Kenny Clark (Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald) and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (Chicago's Khalil Mack).

Other NFC subs announced by the league: Detroit wide receiver Kenny Golladay (Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin), Dallas wide receiver Amari Cooper (Tampa Bay's Mike Evans), Carolina guard Trai Turner (Philadelphia's Brandon Brooks), New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara (Carolina's Christian McCaffrey), Dallas linebacker Jaylon Smith (Carolina's Luke Kuechly) and Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller (Los Angeles Rams' Jalen Ramsey).

AFC champion Kansas City had six players needing subs, with the following replacements tabbed for the Chiefs: Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle (Travis Kelce), Buffalo return specialist Andre Robers (Mecole Hardman), Jacksonville wide receiver D.J. Chark (Tyreek Hill), Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill (Patrick Mahomes), Jacksonville defensive end Josh Allen (Frank Clark) and Tennessee defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (Chris Jones).

The AFC roster also added these players for injury: Baltimore tackle Orlando Brown (Oakland's Trent Brown), Cleveland guard Joel Bitonio (Pittsburgh's David DeCastro), Indianapolis center Ryan Kelly (Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey), Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram (teammate Joey Bosa), Buffalo linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (New England's Dont'a Hightower) and Pittsburgh cornerback Joe Haden (Baltimore's Marcus Peters).

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Player Notes
Patrick Mahomes Jan 22 2:30pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (concussion) said that he has been cleared from the league's concussion protocol, which makes him good to go for the AFC Championship against the Bills on Sunday. He was on the practice field on Friday, and head coach Andy Reid said that Mahomes took all of the snaps in Wednesday's practice and most of them on Thursday. The All-Pro signal-caller didn't actually suffer a blow to the head when he was forced to leave the Divisional Round against the Browns, so it was expected all along that he'd be available this weekend. The 25-year-old might be a tad bit more risky given his high DFS price against Buffalo, but Mahomes should be all systems go and has as much upside as any QB this weekend among Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Josh Allen.

From RotoBaller

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan 22 1:30pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially activating defensive tackle Vita Vea (leg) from Injured Reserve on Friday, and he will be eligible to play in the NFC Championship game against the Packers on Sunday, according to a source. Vea has been out of action since fracturing his leg in Week 5, but he'll be in the trenches for Tampa's strong defensive front in an effort to slow down quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. Rakeem Nunez-Roches has been holding down the fort at defensive tackle with Vea out this year. We wouldn't be surprised if Vea is limited in how many snaps he can play in his first game back, though, so don't be surprised if Nunez-Roches continues to play a big role. Either way, it's a slight upgrade for a Buccaneers Defense that has a tall task ahead of them at Lambeau Field.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Brown Jan 22 12:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (knee) has been ruled out for the NFC Championship game against the Packers. Brown's knee injury that he suffered in the divisional round win over the Saints wasn't deemed serious- though he was unable to take the practice field on Wednesday and Thursday. While head coach Bruce Arians said that his star wideout wouldn't need to practice to play, he also noted this morning that the knee would swell from the team's flight to Green Bay, so playing him wouldn't make much sense. Fellow wideouts Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller will take on a larger role in the offense. Miller makes for a potential value DFS play, as he and Tom Brady showcased the ability to make big plays down the field earlier this season.

From RotoBaller

Vance McDonald Jan 22 11:50am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday. McDonald was a second-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2013. He spent four years with the Niners before being traded to Pittsburgh shortly before the 2017 season. McDonald played in 101 career games (77 starts) and finished with 181 catches for 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns. In his four years with the Steelers, McDonald reeled in 117 passes for 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns in 53 games (47 starts). His best season came in 2018, when he caught 50 passes for 610 yards (12.2 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. The 30-year-old dealt with his fair share of injuries in eight seasons. His retirement will save the team $5.2 million in salary cap space heading into the 2021 season.

From RotoBaller

Drew Brees Jan 22 11:50am ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' (foot, shoulder) wife Brittany revealed that the 42-year-old signal-caller was playing through a torn rotator cuff and a torn fascia in his foot. "He's as courageous and as tough a player as I've ever been around," head coach Sean Payton said, via The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Brees' injuries likely played a part in his struggles pushing the ball downfield, and he threw three interceptions in what will be the final game of his storied career in the Divisional Round loss to the Buccaneers. He has yet to make his retirement official, but it's expected to come eventually, especially after playing through other injuries that we didn't know about. If this is the end, Brees will go down in NFL history as one of the greatest to ever play the position.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Jan 21 11:03pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams led the NFL with 23 red zone receptions and 14 red zone touchdowns in 2020, and his 46 red zone touchdowns since 2016 are 17 more than any other player.

Fantasy Spin: Adams led the NFL with 18 receiving touchdowns, tied for second with 115 receptions and finished in a tie for fifth in receiving yards. His status as the unquestioned go-to target for Aaron Rodgers should continue to make him one of the safest fantasy options at any position for the foreseeable future.

From TheHuddle

Derrick Henry Jan 21 10:23pm ET

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry led all running backs with 75 forced missed tackles this season, and his 1,490 rushing yards after contact were the most in the league.

Fantasy Spin: Henry has been a fantasy monster since Ryan Tannehill took over as the Tennessee quarterback. His massive workload will likely take a toll at some point, but there is no reason he shouldn't deliver another RB1 campaign in 2021.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Rodgers Jan 21 9:53pm ET

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers led the NFL with 1,242 yards on passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield during the 2020 season.

Fantasy Spin: Rodgers also led the league in touchdown passes in a season that could net him MVP honors for the third time and a second Super Bowl ring. After seeing his numbers dip a bit the last couple of years, he is back in the mix of top-five fantasy options at the quarterback position heading into next season.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Mahomes Jan 21 9:30pm ET

Things are trending in the right direction for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (concussion) to play in the AFC Championship against the Bills on Sunday. Mahomes was limited in practice for the second straight day on Thursday and took the majority of the snaps on offense, a good sign that he didn't suffer a setback after practicing on Wednesday. The hope is that he's a full participant in practice on Friday, which means he'd likely be on his way toward being cleared from the league's protocol before Sunday. The 25-year-old former MVP will be a tad more risky at his elevated DFS price against Buffalo coming off a head injury that knocked him out of the Divisional Round game against the Browns, but Mahomes should put up numbers in what could be a high-scoring affair this weekend as long as he doesn't suffer another head injury.

From RotoBaller

Trevor Lawrence Jan 21 9:20pm ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to hire Darrell Bevell as their new offensive coordinator, according to sources. Several teams were trying to hire Bevell after he finished the 2020 season as the Detroit Lions interim head coach. The 51-year-old was the offensive coordinator in Detroit the last two years, with the team averaging 22.5 points per game and 348.5 total yards per game in his two seasons at the helm. Bevell became the Seahawks offensive coordinator in 2011, 11 seasons after breaking into the NFL as an assistant quarterbacks coach with Green Bay. He made back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl with Seattle in 2013-14 and won one championship. His biggest task will be working with a likely rookie quarterback -- expected to be Clemson's Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall selection in the draft -- to mold Jacksonville's offense to the young signal-caller's strengths.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Jan 21 6:53pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (quadriceps) was limited during practice Thursday, Jan. 21.

Fantasy Spin: Godwin should be ready for the NFC Championship game as long as he does not suffer a setback. He will see plenty of targets against the Green Bay Packers and can be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Mike Evans Jan 21 6:53pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (knee) was limited during practice Thursday, Jan. 21.

Fantasy Spin: Evans continues to be one of the main options in the passing game when healthy and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues if active.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Jan 21 6:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones (finger, quadriceps) was limited during practice Thursday, Jan. 21.

Fantasy Spin: Jones shared playing time with Leonard Fournette in the last game but may see a few more touches this week. He can be a starting option in most fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jamaal Williams Jan 21 6:33pm ET

Green Bay Packers RB Jamaal Williams (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Jan. 21.

Fantasy Spin: Williams received 12 carries in the Divisional Round playoff game and probably will receive a similar workload against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He can be a possible flex option in some leagues but is not a must-start option.

From TheHuddle

Vita Vea Jan 21 6:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Vita Vea (ankle) participated in practice Thursday, Jan. 21, and 'looked fit and didn't appear to be having any challenges getting in and out of stance.' according to ESPN's Jenna Laine. 'Vita moved around pretty good today when it was full speed,' head coach Bruce Arians said.

From TheHuddle

Antonio Brown Jan 21 6:03pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown (knee) did not practice for a second consecutive day Thursday, Jan. 21, and is expected to be a game-time decision for the NFC Championship game versus the Green Bay Packers, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Fantasy Spin: As Arians told reporters, Brown is "veteran enough" to handle his business Sunday without getting in any practice this week if it comes to that. Either way, a limited Brown is enough of a reason to back off of him in all fantasy formats, especially because the Buccaneers are deep at receiver. Scott Miller and Tyler Johnson would likely split snaps if he is unable to go.

From TheHuddle

Chris Godwin Jan 21 6:00pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin is poised for a great showing against the Packers in the NFC Championship game. Godwin has 19 targets in the Buccaneers' two playoff games, a mark that leads the team. He could be in line to receive more work than usual, as Mike Evans will likely have to deal with star corner Jaire Alexander and Antonio Brown (knee) is a game-time decision. The drops have been an issue for Godwin in the postseason, but Tom Brady's trust in him hasn't wavered. He won't be as pricey as Stefon Diggs or Davante Adams, but he could provide similar production, making him a great DFS value play this week.

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Cole Beasley Jan 21 5:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley (knee) was added to the injury report and limited in practice Thursday, Jan. 21.

Fantasy Spin: There has been no indication as of yet from Buffalo's beat writers that Beasley had a setback Thursday, but his name was a curious omission from the injury report on Wednesday considering he is far from 100 percent. Friday's practice report will be telling in terms of what fantasy owners and DFS players should expect, but the likely absence of rookie Gabriel Davis may help Beasley bounce back from his bagel against the Baltimore Ravens in a big way.

From TheHuddle

Mike Evans Jan 21 5:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans will likely face off with Packers' star corner Jaire Alexander in the NFC title game. This is fresh off of being held to one catch by Marshon Lattimore- though his lone reception was a touchdown. Evans and Alexander went toe-to-toe in Week 6, with Alexander following him on 76 percent of the routes, holding him to zero catches, per Pro Football Focus. Evans is talented enough to beat any corner, but this is legitimately a matchup to fear. He should be faded in DFS tournaments this weekend.

From RotoBaller