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Jamey Eisenberg chat replay (7/31)

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Live Blog Chat with Jamey Eisenberg, Thu., 3 p.m. ET

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Player News
DT Alan Branch appears all but set to join Patriots
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:32 pm ET) Veteran defensive tackle Alan Branch has yet to officially sign with the Patriots, but he walked through the locker room during the media interview session Thursday and radio station NESN is already reporting that he will don uniform number 97. He did not practice, however.

Branch, who was released by Buffalo on Aug. 24, had started 79 of 80 games over the last five seasons.


Bears CB Kyle Fuller able to get some practice reps in Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:22 pm ET) Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller returned to practice in a limited capacity Thursday after sitting out Wednesday due to a hip pointer and broken hand. The Bears are preparing to face the Patriots in Week 8.

Not looking good for Alfred Morris
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:21 pm ET) With the news that Colt McCoy will start at quarterback for the Redskins Week 8 at Dallas, running back Alfred Morris' chances for a bounce-back performance go from bad to worse.

Not only is he facing a defense that has allowed the ninth-fewest Fantasy points per game, but he also won't have a quarterback who can help keep defenses honest. Dating back to his days with the Browns, McCoy hasn't shown the ability to stretch the field, and though his final line in relief of Kirk Cousins Sunday looked good, that was mostly because wide receiver Pierre Garcon turned what should have been a short catch into a 70-yard touchdown. Otherwise, McCoy completed 10 passes for just 58 yards.

With such a limited passing game, the Redskins are basically inviting the Cowboys to stack the box against them. Morris has had a hard enough time since starting quarterback Robert Griffin III went down in Week 2, averaging just 60.6 total yards in the five games started with Cousins. Now with McCoy under center, he might even be a sit in Fantasy. Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank him just 29th among running backs for Week 8.


Bears TE Martellus Bennett (hamstring) practices Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:17 pm ET) Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was back at practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday due to a hamstring injury. He was listed as limited in practice Thursday as the Bears prepare to play the Patriots in Week 8.

All-Pro Gerald McCoy says Buccaneers defense has been 'soft'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:05 pm ET) Buccaneers All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy did not hold back Thursday when talking about the team's defensive struggles. He said the defense has been "soft" through six games, per ESPN.

"Yeah. I mean if you look out there on tape and you see a bunch of guys sitting on blocks, are you not earning the title of being soft?'' McCoy said. "I mean, guys get so sensitive around the league, but we have to be men. This is a man's league. This is a man's league and we're professionals. Guys have issues with criticism. I've been getting criticized since I've been in the NFL, and I don't even feel it anymore. It is what it is.''

The Buccaneers rank last in total defense (422.8 yards per game) and last in scoring defense (34 points per game).

"I think we're making too many excuses,'' McCoy said. "There's always a reason why this is happening or why that's happening. It has to stop. We just have to say, 'OK, I did wrong, I didn't win that one, I have to win the next one and the one after that.' If you win 70 percent of your battles, you have a shot to win, simple as that."


Might be time to sit Matt Ryan
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:59 pm ET) After he lost his fourth starting offensive lineman for the season in what his third straight game with just one touchdown pass, I suggested Fantasy owners might consider sitting Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for Week 8 against the Lions in London. Turns out Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard are completely on board with that, ranking him only 20th among quarterbacks.

Granted, the Saints' Drew Brees managed to find a way against them last week, but it doesn't change the fact that the Lions have allowed the fewest Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks by far. And most of the ones they've faced still had their offensive lines intact.

Part of Ryan's problem is that he just doesn't have time to throw the ball downfield, and that's not going to improve with his starting center now gone. The Lions, as you might expect from their ranking, have a terrific pass rush. They're tied for third with 21 sacks. They're also one of three teams that have recorded more interceptions than they've allowed touchdown passes.

Even if everything was hunky-dory for Ryan and he was coming off a stretch where he looked like Peyton Manning, he'd be a candidate to sit with such a tough matchup. As things currently stand for him and the Falcons, it's a no-brainer move.


Ravens TE Owen Daniels a no-go for Thursday practice
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:58 pm ET) A knee issue has Ravens tight end Owen Daniels out of his second straight practice Thursday. He missed the Wednesday session, but that had been thought of as a veteran's day off.

The continued absence could be a red flag in regard to his status for Sunday at Cincinnati. Daniels has been coming on of late with 13 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown in the last three games combined.


Panthers ready for challenge of facing Seahawks' Richard Sherman
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:56 pm ET) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he won't be afraid to throw against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman in Week 8. However, he knows he has to be careful when he challenges one of the league's best cornerbacks.

"If the play is called for me to read it to Richard’s side, by all means I’m going to do it," Newton said, per ESPN. "And I’m going to give each and every receiver an opportunity to make plays.  I’m not going to force it. I’m not going to be an idiot. I’m going to do a great job of protecting the football and be aggressively patient in taking what the defense gives me."

Sherman will likely draw rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin for most of the afternoon Sunday. Benjamin is ready for the challenge.

"You can tell he loves the game," Benjamin said. "He brings the passion to it. He has fun. He talks a lot of smack out there, but this is football. I’m just going to come out there and match his intensity; play fast and be sound in all my assignments."


Texans' Jadeveon Clowney would be 'surprised' if he doesn't play
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:46 pm ET) Texans rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney said Thursday he is ready to return to action Week 8 against the Titans after missing the last six games due to knee surgery.

"I’m as healthy as I’m going to be this season," he said, per the Houston Chronicle. "I’m ready to play football. I’ll be surprised if I don’t play, but it’s up to the coaches.

"My knee’s going to bother me a little. There’s a little discomfort, but it’s something you have to push through. I’ve been working on my craft and trying to get in football shape. It’s one thing to run, but another to be back on the field. I’m looking forward to helping my team and getting back and having fun. I’ve been missing being with my team."


Packers RB James Starks able to practice Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:43 pm ET) Packers running back James Starks was back on the practice field Thursday after sitting out Wednesday due to an ankle injury he suffered Week 7. The Packers are preparing to face the Saints in Week 8.

 
 
 
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