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FFL: Week 14 | NFL: Week 14

49ers rookie Purdy to make starting debut vs. Brady's Bucs

Thu Dec 8 8:23pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, left, passes against Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Zach Sieler during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)


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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy speaks at a press conference after the team's NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vsquez)


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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to running back Christian McCaffrey with offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill, middle, as Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) reacts during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vsquez)


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Brock Purdy was 5 days old when Tom Brady played his final college football game, not yet walking when Brady was drafted and a toddler when Brady won his first of seven Super Bowl titles.

When Purdy makes his first career start on Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Purdy and Brady will have the same title as starting quarterbacks.

''I think it's awesome in terms of Tom Brady coming and playing and playing his team, but at the same time, I'm playing the defense,'' Purdy said Thursday. ''I'm going to be going up against those guys rather than Tom himself, but definitely still awesome to have Tom Brady come and play on the same field and compete against our team. I think it's awesome, so really excited about it.''

Purdy will be the seventh quarterback to make his first career NFL start against Brady, joining Luke McCown, Matt Flynn, Tyler Palko, Jake Locker, EJ Manuel and Luke Falk.

While those other six all lost, Purdy could have the best chance thanks to a loaded roster that features the league's top-ranked defense and an offense with playmakers like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk.

He also has a fearlessness that attracted coach Kyle Shanahan to him in the first place.

''He's very aggressive in what he does,'' Shanahan said. ''Sometimes that can keep both teams in the game, so that's stuff that you have to work on as you play more, but that's where you want to start with it. When a guy can make some plays like he does, he gives you a chance to win, but we have to figure out what's the best way to win with him.''

Purdy's journey to starting quarterback has been a rapid once since he got the moniker ''Mr. Irrelevant'' for being the last pick in the draft in the spring.

Purdy got only a handful of practice reps in the offseason program but impressed his coaches and teammates during training camp and the preseason to beat out Nate Sudfeld for a roster spot as a backup behind Trey Lance and Garoppolo.

''I've always believed that I don't care what slot, what round, what pick that I get picked or if I was undrafted, my whole thing was, man, I just want to go out and, and prove to myself that I can play at this level,'' Purdy said. ''That's always been my mentality. Even though I was the last pick, that's just where I happened to fall in the draft.''

The early returns have been positive as Purdy came in after Garoppolo got hurt on Sunday and threw for 210 yards and two TDs in a 33-17 win over Miami.

More important was the poise he displayed in his first extensive game action that was similar to the confidence he showed each day in practice competing on the scout team against the NFL's top defense.

''He's savvy for being a rookie,'' linebacker Fred Warner said. ''You see him doing the no-look passes and putting the ball where it's supposed to be. I feel like he's way advanced in terms of like where he is at for being a rookie. So that's really impressive to see every week.''

NOTES: DE Nick Bosa (hamstring) missed his second straight practice but defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said Bosa is ''working his way back in. He's doing good.'' ... DB Tarvarius Moore (knee) and DL Hassan Ridgeway (pectoral) also missed practice. ... McCaffrey (knee), Samuel (quadriceps), DL Arik Armstead (foot, ankle) and OL Spencer Burford (ankle) were all limited.

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Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 14

Player Notes
Joe Mixon Dec 8 8:10pm ET
Joe Mixon

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has cleared the league's concussion protocol, has put in two full practices this week and is set to end his two-game absence and play in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. He'll return as the team's lead back, with Samaje Perine working as the ultimate situational runner and change-of-pace back. Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan likes the idea of keeping both Mixon and Perine fresh in December and into the playoffs, but Mixon will have clear RB1 upside in fantasy again this weekend against a shaky Browns run defense. Meanwhile, Perine will remain involved, but the drop in volume will make him a touchdown-dependent RB3/flex with Mixon back. Six of Mixon's first nine 100-yard games in his career came in December, with two coming against the Browns.

From RotoBaller

John Wolford Dec 8 8:00pm ET
John Wolford

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford (neck) is under center with the starting offense during pre-game drills on Thursday night, so it looks like he'll get the start over Baker Mayfield against the Las Vegas Raiders. Wolford was questionable coming into this one with an injury, but he's active and will at least start the game for the Rams. But this will only be Wolford's seventh NFL game and fourth career start. Even though Mayfield was just claimed off waivers from the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, he apparently already has a good grasp of the playbook and figures to get into this game if Wolford struggles at all. With Matthew Stafford (concussion, neck) basically done for the year on Injured Reserve, Mayfield could run with the job the rest of the way. Rookie Bryce Perkins is also active and will be the No. 3 on Thursday.

From RotoBaller

John Wolford Dec 8 7:10pm ET
John Wolford

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford (neck) is active for the Week 14 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. The 27-year-old was questionable coming into this game after being limited during practice this week. It sounds like Wolford is feeling good enough to play, but it's unclear if he'll start. The Rams have also mentioned that Bryce Perkins and newly acquired Baker Mayfield are also active for this game. They haven't announced which quarterback is going to be under center for this contest. Regardless, this isn't an ideal streaming situation for fantasy managers anyway.

From RotoBaller

Josh Jacobs Dec 8 7:00pm ET
Josh Jacobs

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (calf, quad) will be active for the Thursday Night matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. The 24-year-old was questionable coming into this game due to lingering calf and quad injuries. However, it appears Jacobs is good to go and should have his normal workload during this contest. Jacobs has been putting on a show lately and is a must-start against this Rams defense in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Mike Williams Dec 8 6:50pm ET
Mike Williams

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (ankle) was upgraded to full during Thursday's practice. The 28-year-old has been sidelined the last two weeks after re-aggravating his ankle injury in Week 11. It appears Williams is trending in the right direction for the Week 14 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Obviously, there is certainly high risk with starting Williams in fantasy leagues. However, he does have strong WR2 value for this contest. The Chargers desperately need a win and having Williams on the field will certainly help their chances. Fantasy managers should check back again after Friday's practice to see if his status changes at all.

From RotoBaller

Saquon Barkley Dec 8 6:40pm ET
Saquon Barkley

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (neck) was limited during Thursday's practice. This is a bit of a surprise to see Barkley pop up on the injury report with a neck injury. It doesn't sound like this is something that is going to stop Barkley from playing against the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend. The hope is that this neck issue won't impact his performance on the field. If healthy, Barkley is a strong RB1 heading into this Week 14 matchup with Philly. Fantasy managers will have to check back after Friday's practice for another update on Barkley.

From RotoBaller

Diontae Johnson Dec 8 6:30pm ET
Diontae Johnson

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (hip) was not able to suit up for Thursday's practice. He has been nursing a hip injury throughout most of the season. He was able to get through a limited session on Wednesday. As always, Friday's practice is going to go a long way to determining whether or not Johnson will play this weekend. His absence would mean increased value for George Pickens. If healthy, fantasy managers should consider Johnson a WR3 for this matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. There should be more details on his status after Friday's practice.

From RotoBaller

Najee Harris Dec 8 6:20pm ET
Najee Harris

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (oblique) was only able to get in a limited practice session on Thursday. The 24-year-old suffered an oblique injury in Week 12, but was able to play through it last week. This seems like the Steelers are just being cautious with Harris, so fantasy managers shouldn't be too concerned. It sounds like he'll be fine for this weekend, assuming he doesn't suffer a setback during Friday's practice. He'll be in the RB2 mix for the upcoming matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.

From RotoBaller

Trevor Lawrence Dec 8 5:40pm ET
Trevor Lawrence

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (toe) missed his second straight practice of the week on Thursday. Head coach Doug Pederson said on Wednesday that he thought Lawrence might be able to practice at some point this week. Friday's session will be a shorter workout, so it's possible Lawrence can get back on the field then. Still, the second-year QB's status for Week 14 against the Tennessee Titans remains very up in the air. If the 23-year-old is able to practice on Friday and play this weekend, he'll be a nice QB2 with upside against an injury-ravaged Titans secondary. For what it's worth, Lawrence said early this week he expected to play in Week 14. If he doesn't get cleared, backup C.J. Beathard would make his first start since the 2020 season.

From RotoBaller

Zay Jones Dec 8 5:40pm ET
Zay Jones

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (chest) put in a limited practice on Thursday for the second day in a row this week. There's no indication that Jones' injury will keep him from playing this weekend against the Tennessee Titans. However, quarterback Trevor Lawrence (toe) might not play, so Jacksonville's receivers would need to be downgraded if C.J. Beathard is forced to make his first start since the 2020 season. Jones had a career day in Week 12 with 11 receptions for 145 yards on a season-high 14 targets, but he came back down to Earth last week with just two catches for 16 yards. His production this year has been completely unpredictable, and he's scored just one time (back in Week 3).

From RotoBaller

D'Andre Swift Dec 8 5:30pm ET
D'Andre Swift

Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (ankle) returned to a full practice on Thursday after he was listed as limited on Wednesday. Barring some sort of setback on Friday, Swift should be all systems go for a Week 14 meeting with the Minnesota Vikings. The 23-year-old has been a frustrating RB in fantasy all year, but he saw over 50 percent of the offensive snaps last week for the first time since Week 8. Swift appears to be getting healthier towards the end of the season and should continue to have a bigger role in Detroit's backfield, but the problem is that Jamaal Williams has been a touchdown vulture and isn't going away anytime soon. But with added touches coming his way, Swift has been bumped up to the RB2 tier in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Kalif Raymond Dec 8 5:30pm ET
Kalif Raymond

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond (illness) missed his second straight practice this week on Thursday due to an illness. He'll need to get back on the practice field on Friday to have a shot at playing this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. But even if Raymond is able to play in Week 14, he should be left on benches in deeper leagues. The 28-year-old caught both of his targets for just 12 yards in the Week 13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he has fallen down the receiver depth chart with the returns of DJ Chark and rookie Jameson Williams. Raymond has yet to visit the end zone in 2022 and has 32 receptions on 46 targets for 382 yards in 12 games (five starts).

From RotoBaller

Tee Higgins Dec 8 5:20pm ET
Tee Higgins

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (hamstring) was added to the Week 14 injury report on Thursday and was listed as a limited practice participant. Higgins put in a full practice on Wednesday, so he may have tweaked something in Thursday's practice. His status will be worth keeping an eye on before Friday's official injury designations are released for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. Higgins has 19 catches (27 targets) for 297 yards and two touchdowns in the last three games and is a must-start WR1 in this offense when he's healthy. If he's limited or out this weekend, more targets will be coming for Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd, while Trenton Irwin would likely operate as the No. 3 wideout.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Dec 8 5:10pm ET
DeAndre Hopkins

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (illness) was held out of practice on Thursday due to an illness. Hopkins still has a few days left to return to practice with the Cardinals facing the New England Patriots on Monday night in Week 14. The 30-year-old should be ready to go by then and will continue to operate as quarterback Kyler Murray's favorite target through the air. When healthy, Nuk is a must-start WR1 in fantasy. Since making his season debut in Week 7 due to a suspension, he has 49 catches on 64 targets for 574 yards and three touchdowns in only six games played. The return of Marquise Brown takes a little shine off of Hopkins' fantasy ceiling, but he's still a must-start.

From RotoBaller

Greg Dortch Dec 8 5:10pm ET
Greg Dortch

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (thumb) was back to a full practice on Thursday. Dortch had nine catches for a career-high 109 yards in Week 11, but he then missed the Week 12 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team's bye last week seems to have done wonders for Dortch, and he's tracking towards returning in Week 14 to face the New England Patriots on Monday night. With Rondale Moore (groin) potentially missing another game, Dortch could operate as the No. 3 wideout on Monday behind DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown. The 24-year-old has had a couple spike games in 2022 for the Cardinals because of injuries to the rest of the receiving corps, but he'll need Moore to miss another game to have a shot at another against the Pats.

From RotoBaller

Vonn Bell Dec 8 4:53pm ET
Vonn Bell

Cincinnati Bengals TE Hayden Hurst (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 8. WR Tee Higgins (hamstring) and DE Sam Hubbard (calf) were limited. OT La'el Collins (rest), D.J. Reader (rest), S Vonn Bell (rest), S Jessie Bates (groin) and RB Joe Mixon (concussion) practiced in full.

From TheHuddle

Cameron Brate Dec 8 4:53pm ET
Cameron Brate

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Mike Edwards (hamstring), S Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) and OT Tristan Wirfs (ankle, knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 8. CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad) and NT Vita Vea (foot, shoulder) were limited. TE Cameron Brate (illness) practiced in full.

From TheHuddle

Leonard Williams Dec 8 4:43pm ET
Leonard Williams

New York Giants OG Joshua Ezeudu (neck), CB Adoree' Jackson (knee), OG Shane Lemieux (toe) and DE Leonard Williams (neck) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 8. CB Darnay Holmes (shoulder), WR Richie James (knee), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), DT Henry Mondeaux (knee) and RB Saquon Barkley (neck) were limited. OG Mark Glowinski (rest), WR Kenny Golladay (illness), DL Dexter Lawrence (rest) and S Julian Love (rest) were not given a practice designation.

From TheHuddle

Justin Houston Dec 8 4:43pm ET
Justin Houston

Baltimore Ravens C Trystan Colon-Castillo (personal), QB Lamar Jackson (knee), CB Marcus Peters (rest), CB Daryl Worley (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 8. OT Patrick Mekari (toe), LB Del'Shawn Phillips (quad), LB Patrick Queen (thigh), OT Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and LB Kristian Welch (concussion) were limited. DE Calais Campbell (rest), WR Devin Duvernay (rest), LB Justin Houston (rest) and OT Morgan Moses (rest) were not given a practice designation.

From TheHuddle

DeAndre Hopkins Dec 8 4:33pm ET
DeAndre Hopkins

Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (illness) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 8.

Fantasy Spin: Hopkins has a chance to return to practice later in the week, but fantasy players can keep an eye on the situation. He has been very productive since serving his suspension and should be a starting option in all leagues if active.

From TheHuddle