Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) answering questions during a news conference at the end an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Landover, Md. Eagles won 24-8. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) looking to pass the ball against the Washington Commanders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson meets with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Nick Foles (9) following an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jaguars defeated the Colts 24-0. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) celebrates with head coach Doug Pederson after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Years passed in Philadelphia with sports fans around the globe howling, how could the city erect a statue of Rocky Balboa but not one for real boxing Hall of Famer and famous resident Joe Frazier?
The answer: The statue was nothing more than a movie prop left behind once ''Rocky III'' filming was finished so it could stand as a tourist attraction. No offense, Smokin' Joe.
A similar question arose this week, with former Eagles coach Doug Pederson bringing his Jacksonville Jaguars to Philly.
Why is a statue of Pederson and QB Nick Foles commemorating the most famous play in team history - and on the short list of great ones in Super Bowl lore - wedged in between gates in a hard-to-find spot across the street from Lincoln Financial Field? Because again, the 9-foot tall bronze statue that honored the trick play that won the Eagles their only Super Bowl was donated by a beer company and not bestowed from the franchise.
Eagles fans, though, love the spot. For selfies. For stories. For just seconds of a reminder of the time Foles ran to the sideline and asked Pederson '' You want Philly Philly?'' and the coach said ''Yeah, let's do it.'' Foles then caught a touchdown pass on fourth down and city light poles were never the same.
Super Bowl memories and kitschy statues can last forever.
Jobs, well, they're a little less permanent.
Pederson was fired less than three years after he led the Eagles to the Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots over a fractured relationship with the front office in decisions ranging from the rebuilding path to the draft to his relationships with star players. He had two years left on his contract when owner Jeffrey Lurie made the January 2021 decision to cut ties with Pederson. About 13 months later, Pederson was hired to help clean up the mess left behind in Jacksonville once Urban Meyer was fired after what will go down as one of the worst coaching tenures in NFL history.
Yo, Philly. Look who's back.
Allen Iverson played here in a Denver Nuggets jersey. Andy Reid coached on the sideline for the Kansas City Chiefs. Eric Lindros showed up in a Rangers sweater.
Now here comes Pederson and the Jaguars at 2-1 -- not bad considering they had a league-low four wins combined the past two seasons -- and walking into what should be a happy homecoming for the 54-year-old coach.
How about a standing ovation?
''Hopefully something in that realm,'' Pederson said. ''But look, it's Philly. Anything's possible, right, with these fans? I'm just looking forward to running out of that tunnel with the Jaguars and getting ready to play a game there.''
Pederson went 42-37-1 in five seasons with the Eagles. He guided the Eagles to two division championships and three playoff appearances before going 4-11-1 in 2020. Lurie indicated after Pederson was fired the coach wasn't on board with rebuilding. Pederson's relationship with Carson Wentz also reached a boiling point once the QB was benched with four games left in the 2020 season for Jalen Hurts.
Pederson is gone. So is Wentz, who had a very bad day in his first game against the Eagles in a loss last weekend. Hurts, though, is still around and playing like an MVP as he has the Eagles off to a 3-0 start and dominant in every phase of the game.
''Everything that you're seeing now is everything that we saw in him when we drafted him,'' Pederson said. ''You're seeing the growth, not only in the quarterback, but also in the team. Some of the pieces around him. He's going to defy all odds. That's just the way his career has been built.''
Pederson insisted he could keep his emotions in check as he returns to the stadium that was the site of some of his greatest professional triumphs. He just wants to escape Philly with a win. He definitely won't take a selfie at his statue.
''Maybe one day after I retire or something like that, but I have no plans to anytime soon,'' Pederson said.
RUNNING TO DAYLIGHT
Jacksonville's James Robinson has the longest two touchdown runs of any running back this season.
The third-year pro notched a 50-yard scoring run at the Los Angeles Chargers a week after logging a 37-yarder against Indianapolis.
''Not bad at all,'' he said.
Really good considering Robinson tore his left Achilles tendon in December. Those long TD runs, as well as his 230 yards on the ground, should be enough to prove he's fully recovered from the injury.
''If the past weeks doesn't show, then I don't know what people want,'' he said.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni showed the team a motivational clip of Kobe Bryant before last week's win at Washington. The Eagles won 24-8 - Bryant's two uniform numbers when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers.
This week, Sirianni showed video of Tiger Woods explaining how he always wanted to get better even when he was the top golfer in the world.
''We can learn so many good things from what not to do and what to do,'' Sirianni said. ''Last week, it was a Kobe Bryant film. This week, it was a Tiger Woods film of just how am I going to improve my swing today to make sure that I'm getting better even though I'm playing pretty good right now?''
Denver Broncos defensive back K'Waun Williams (knee) has been downgraded to out for the Week 13 contest against the Baltimore Ravens, according to a source. Williams was listed as questionable on Friday but now won't travel with the team to Baltimore. The 31-year-old is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss his third straight game. The good news is he was able to return to limited practices this week, so Williams should have a shot to return in Week 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Denver's D has been good at limiting opponents total yards and points per game, but they don't have much fantasy upside, especially in a tough matchup against Ravens dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson this Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (illness) wasn't given an injury designation on Friday and will play in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Goodwin was added to the injury report on Thursday, but he'll be good to go this weekend. The 32-year-old pass-catcher had a two-touchdown game in Week 7 and also scored a touchdown in Week 10 in the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but outside of those games he's done very little for fantasy managers. He caught all three of his targets for 48 yards in Week 12 and has 19 receptions for 265 yards and three TDs on 25 targets in nine games for Seattle in 2022. With both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett healthy, Goodwin has no business being in starting fantasy lineups in Week 13.
New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (illness) was added to the injury report on Saturday and is now questionable to play in Week 13 against the Washington Commanders. The Giants could be short-handed at receiver on Sunday, as Darius Slayton (illness) and Richie James (knee) are also up in the air to play. The 29-year-old Golladay is nowhere near fantasy relevance this year, catching only four of 10 targets for 51 yards in seven games. Depending on which receivers can actually play for the Giants this weekend, Isaiah Hodgins, Marcus Johnson and David Sills could see expanded roles in the passing attack against the Commanders.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said that quarterback John Wolford will start in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but rookie Bryce Perkins will also be available for the Rams, and there's "a chance" he could also play. Matthew Stafford (concussion, neck) will miss another game and may not return to play in 2022 with the Rams well out of playoff contention, so the Wolford-Perkins show could continue beyond this weekend. The 25-year-old Perkins has much more scrambling ability than Wolford, which probably makes him slightly more attractive as a desperation low-end QB2 in superflex leagues if he makes another start to close out the season. In his first career start last week, Perkins went 13-for-23 for 100 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while also carrying the ball nine times for 44 yards.
With New York Jets running back Michael Carter (ankle) doubtful to play in Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings, the Jets are prepared to use a backfield by committee involving rookie Zonovan Knight, Ty Johnson and James Robinson on Sunday. Carter took over the starting gig when rookie Breece Hall (knee) was lost for the season in Week 7. The Jets are confident in Knight and Johnson, who combined for 131 rushing yards and a touchdown last week against the Chicago Bears. Knight had 103 yards from scrimmage, the most by a Jets rookie in his debut. Robinson was a healthy scratch last week. The Vikings run defense isn't anything special, so both Knight and Johnson could be productive again while sharing touches in New York's backfield this weekend.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle), who was placed on Injured Reserve before the Week 5 game due to a fractured ankle, is targeting a late-December return. Crowder suffered a clean break of his fibula and he began walking again a little under a month ago. He's been running on an underwater treadmill for the last two weeks and is intending to get back on the field to start jogging in "maybe like, two weeks." Getting Crowder back for the postseason would be big for the team's receiver depth, but they could also add free-agent Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) after they visit with him this weekend. Crowder would be an upgrade over normal slot receiver Isaiah McKenzie when working against zone coverage, but he's unlikely to have any fantasy appeal the rest of 2022.
There is "considerable doubt" around the league that free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) is healthy enough to play football this year, according to an NFC executive. It's a problem because Beckham has told teams he's seeking a multi-year deal that he hopes will end up being worth $20 million per season. He met with his old team, the New York Giants, on Thursday, but the Giants remain "the longest of long shots" to sign OBJ. The most likely team to sign him remains the Dallas Cowboys, who have been talking Beckham up for months. Beckham tore the ACL in his left knee twice in a 16-month span, with the last time less than 10 months ago in the Super Bowl. The Buffalo Bills will also visit with Beckham this weekend. If he signs with a team soon, there's no guarantee he'll become fantasy relevant anytime soon.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady threw for 190 yards and a touchdown while completing only 52.9% of his throws against the Saints in Week 2. In all fairness, the signal-caller was forced to navigate his way though that one without Chris Godwin and Julio Jones. Although the signal-caller will be without tackle Tristan Wirfs (ankle), he'll at least have most of his weapons on the offensive end. With New Orleans also banged up defensively, the 45-year-old garners fantasy attention and starting consideration, despite the potential for another lackluster outing.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore has totaled 10 catches for 99 yards in his previous two games. Although the rookie hasn't scored a touchdown, his increase in production has been a welcome sight, especially for those who'd thought he'd be hot right out of the gate in 2022-23. While Moore has a way to go before being a must-start fantasy option, he may continue to benefit without Kadarius Toney (hamstring), Mecole Hardman (abdomen), and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) for the Week 13 AFC Championship rematch versus Cincinnati. However, Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster (illness), and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (shoulder) will be on the field, so Moore will need to fight for targets from Patrick Mahomes. That said, the wideout has upside for those with nowhere else to turn, so he deserves starting considering for a likely high-scoring affair.
Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet had a slow start to the 2022-23 campaign. However, he turned things around by totaling five touchdowns over a three-game span, beginning in Week 8. Unfortunately, the 23-year-old couldn't find the end zone in his previous two games, although he didn't have Justin Fields (shoulder) for the Week 12 loss to the New York Jets. Fields will be back against the Packers on Sunday, which is a plus. At the same time, the season-ending injury to Darnell Mooney (knee) could open up more targets for Kmet in Week 13, so fantasy managers should consider him a starting option in all formats.
Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams had 11 carries in the Week 12 loss to the Chiefs, three more than Cam Akers. He finished with two fewer rushing yards than Akers (35), although he was more involved on the receiving end, catching all three targets for 25 yards. Both men should have a role in Week 13 for the NFC West showdown with Seattle. However, Williams may be the lead option against a horrendous Seahawks run-stop unit, especially since Akers was under the weather throughout the week. That said, L.A. has averaged a second-worst 79.7 rushing yards per game this season, so Williams' outlook isn't bright by any means. Yet, his pass-catching prowess could be somewhat beneficial for desperate managers in deeper PPR fantasy setups.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst caught six passes for a season-high 57 yards in Week 12 against the Titans. With Joe Mixon (concussion) and Ja'Marr Chase (hip, labrum) sidelined for that one, Hurst got some extra attention from Joe Burrow. However, the 29-year-old hasn't scored a touchdown since early October, leaving many frustrated with his lack of production. Yet, with David Njoku (knee), Kyle Pitts (knee), Dallas Goedert (shoulder), and Darren Waller (hamstring) out, fantasy managers are struggling to fill the tight end spot on the roster. While Hurst has had plenty of underwhelming performances in 2022-23, he certainly has a higher upside than others for Sunday's meeting with the Chiefs, even if Chase and Mixon are back in the lineup.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine got the start in Week 12 against the Titans, filling in for Joe Mixon (concussion). He played well, too, finishing the day with 58 yards and a touchdown off 17 attempts while catching four of his seven targets for 35 yards. With Mixon still in concussion protocol, Perine may lead the backfield once again on Sunday for the AFC Championship rematch versus the Chiefs. If that's the case, the 27-year-old, who has amassed four total touchdowns over the last two weeks, could be in store for another productive outing, so fantasy managers should keep him on the roster for now.
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Cameron Dicker was not asked to do much last week but projects as a great option in Week 13 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Dicker has proven himself to be reliable as he is perfect through his first five starts and could be busy on Sunday with the Raiders allowing over 25 points per game. Fantasy managers can start Dicker with full confidence in what could be a high-scoring divisional affair.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver DeAndre Carter posted a career performance last week and will hope to keep the momentum going in a Week 13 contest against the Las Vegas Raiders. Carter has finished as a top-30 fantasy WR in three of his last four games and should stay highly involved with Mike Williams (ankle) inactive once again. Both Keenan Allen and Joshua Palmer should be viewed as superior options, but Carter is worth a look as a flex option in deeper leagues as the Raiders' defense ranks as a bottom-10 unit against the pass.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett disappointed fantasy managers in a great matchup last week but will have an opportunity to redeem himself against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 13. The Raiders have allowed the sixth-most PPR fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season and surrendered a touchdown to Everett back in Week 1. His inconsistencies make him difficult to trust as a top fantasy option, but the list of reliable tight ends is so short that Everett should still be viewed as a low-end TE1 with solid upside.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Joshua Palmer has been up-and-down for fantasy purposes this season but will have an excellent opportunity in Week 13 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Palmer exploded for over 100 yards and two scores in Week 11 but was outshined by DeAndre Carter last Sunday. Both should remain involved this week with Mike Williams (ankle) inactive, but Palmer will be the preferred fantasy option due to his more consistent target volume. With Las Vegas allowing over 25 points per game, Palmer has great upside and can be deployed as a WR3 or flex option in all formats on Sunday.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has found the end zone in seven of 11 games this season and should be able to find success against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 13. Ekeler leads all running backs with 98 targets and could easily feast as a PPR option against a Las Vegas defense allowing over 28 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. This divisional matchup has one of the highest projected point totals of the week, so fantasy managers should have supreme confidence deploying Ekeler as a high-end RB1 in all formats.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (illness) missed his second straight practice this week on Friday with an illness. If Brate doesn't return to practice on Saturday, there's a good chance he won't be available to play on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. But even if the 31-year-old veteran tight end is out there in Week 13, he's not even much of a realistic TE2 streamer in fantasy with rookie Cade Otton's emergence. Brate is still searching for his first touchdown of the 2022 season in seven games and has only 16 receptions on 29 targets for 137 yards. In his last two games, he's hauled in three of his seven targets for 23 yards. Look elsewhere.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has provided a much-needed spark to the team's offense since returning to the starting lineup and will have a great opportunity to produce in a Week 13 bout with the Las Vegas Raiders. With Mike Williams (ankle) ruled out once again, Allen will operate as the clear WR1 for the Chargers and should see a healthy number of targets from quarterback Justin Herbert. With the Raiders currently ranking as a bottom-10 pass defense in the NFL, Allen has obvious top-12 upside this week, especially in PPR formats. He projects as a great option in all lineups for what could be a divisional shootout.