Week 14 Rankings
Hes turned them into 13 catches for 262 yards and a touchdown. Its been easily the best two-game stretch of Stills career, as hes posted his first- and fourth-best yardage totals.
Although hes known as a deep threat Stills 20.0 yards per catch as a rookie led the NFL he has a surprisingly polished and varied skill-set. Stills knows when to work back to the ball on short-to-intermediate routes, and doesnt need a lot of separation to make catches. His ball skills stand out on tape. Even though his 69-yard touchdown in Week 13 came when The Ghost Of Ike Taylor slipped, Stills is comfortable working in tight spaces. He plays bigger than his 6-foot-0, 194-pound frame in 1-on-1 situations. Hes also a smart player, avoiding unnecessary contact, and always aware of his location on the field. Stills can often be spotted extending the ball for extra yards at the end of a catch, as he did on his nine-yard score in Week 11 against the Bengals. Facing Drew Brees, Stills caught a lob at the two-yard line, but spun around seemingly on instinct, jamming the ball into the pylon for a touchdown.
Even with Cooks sidelined, Stills is a WR3 at heart. Realistically, hes still just a 6-8 target player in the Saints spread-the-wealth passing attack. But he has the upside for so much more in strong matchups, and thats what he has for Week 14 in crumbling Carolina. How bad is the Panthers secondary? They just released Antoine Cason, an 11-game starter who played 75-of-75 snaps in Carolinas second most recent game. The Panthers will be trotting out Josh Norman and Bene Benwikere at cornerback against Brees. Norman is a third-year fifth rounder whos barely graded out positively in Pro Football Focus ratings. Benwikere is a fifth-round rookie whos played 41 snaps since Week 5. Stills is going to have cushions, and hes going to exploit them.
You need a few players like Kenny Stills in the fantasy playoffs. Hes probably not someone youve owned long, and hes definitely not someone you envisioned starting over one of your early-round studs. But Stills has upside that can win weeks in matchups like the one he has with the Panthers. Starting Stills for the fantasy quarterfinals isnt getting cute its being smart.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-5) at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-7)2013-11-07
The Vikings try to snap a four-game losing skid when they face the roller-coaster Redskins for the fourth straight year on Thursday.
Washington has alternated losses and wins in each of the past six games (both SU and ATS), rolling up 500 total yards in last weeks 30-24 overtime victory versus the Chargers. Minnesota's 27-23 loss in Dallas last week, in which TE Kyle Rudolph broke his foot, drops the club to 0-7 SU (2-5 ATS) on U.S. soil this year. Although Minnesota is happy to return home, its defense is allowing 36.7 PPG and 413 total YPG at Mall of America Field. This series is 5-5 (SU and ATS) since 1992, with the Redskins prevailing 38-26 last year behind QB Robert Griffin III, who threw for 182 yards and touchdown and ran for 138 yards and 2 TD. Both teams have some favorable trends, as Washington is 10-2 ATS (83percent) versus poor passing defenses (61percent completion pct. or worse) in the past two seasons, while the Vikings are hoping this trend stays true to form: Road favorites with 130+ rushing YPG, after outrushing an opponent by 100+ yards, are only 70-117 ATS (37percent) since 1983
Washington's ground game has been outstanding over the past four games with 187 rushing YPG on 5.2 YPC. RB Alfred Morris has piled up 390 yards on 5.1 YPC over this stretch, including 121 yards and a touchdown in last week's overtime win versus the Chargers. QB Robert Griffin's III had a big throwing day in Week 9 when he completed 23-of-32 passes (72percent) for 291 yards (9.1 YPA), but he also tossed an interception with no touchdowns, bringing him to 9 TD and 9 INT for the season. Last year Griffin threw 20 TD passes with only five picks. But because of the Redskins' punishing ground game (5.2 YPC, 2nd in NFL), they have been outstanding both in third down situations (44.5percent conversions, 4th in NFL) and in the red zone (65.4percent efficiency, 3rd in NFL). Winning the turnover differential has been vital to this Redskins team, which has a minus-4 TO margin in its five losses, but a +2 TO margin in its three victories. But this team isn't going anywhere unless the defense improves dramatically. Washington has allowed 31.6 PPG (2nd-worst in NFL) and 399 total YPG (3rd-worst in league). The run defense has been better recently though, allowing just 89 rushing YPG on 3.8 YPC over the past six games
Minnesota will once again start Christian Ponder under center, as he had some big moments in the near upset of heavily favored Dallas last week. He completed 68percent of his passes for 236 yards and 2 TD (1 rushing, 1 passing), but he also committed two turnovers, including a third-quarter fumble in his own end zone that the Cowboys recovered for a touchdown. Ponder also had his ups and downs in last year's meeting with the Redskins, completing 35-of-52 throws (67.3percent) for 352 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but he also tossed a couple of picks, including one that was returned for a score. For the Vikings to get back on track, they have to keep giving the ball to reigning league MVP, RB Adrian Peterson. After averaging just 50 rushing YPG over three straight losses, Peterson rumbled for 140 yards on 25 carries (5.6 YPC) in last week's defeat. He rushed for a solid 79 yards on 17 carries (4.7 YPC) in last year's loss in Washington. The Minnesota defense has not played well by any stretch, but the unit has been on the field for a 34:18, which is the second-longest time of any NFL team. This has led to 395 total YPG allowed (4th-most in league). The Vikings have the NFL's worst defense on third downs (49.2percent), which has led to the team allowing the third-most points in the league at 31.5 per game. The lack of a consistent pass rush (17 sacks) has been unable to help generate turnovers. The Vikings started out the season with 12 takeaways in four games, but they have forced just two turnovers combined over the past four contests. They have also been decimated by injuries, especially in the secondary where S Harrison Smith (toe) is on short-term IR, S Jamarca Sanford (groin) is doubtful, and CBs Chris Cook (hip) and Xavier Rhodes (leg) are both questionable for this week.
Nate Washington expected to remain with Titans2013-04-23
General manager Ruston Webster told reporters Tuesday that he expects Washington to be on the roster in September and dismissed talk of trading the 29-year-old pass-catcher, per Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
Washington hasn't missed a game since 2005, making 60 starts for the Titans over the past four seasons. The problem is his uneven production. Washington's 46 receptions from last season don't pair well with his gaudy $4.2 million price tag for 2013.
We doubt the Titans are done fielding calls -- if there are any -- for what is, at best, a complementary wideout.
Tennessee must find new targets for Jake Locker.
Kenny Britt reportedly "looked great during workouts" this week, but he remains a headache-inducing wildcard at this stage in his career. There's a lot to like in Kendall Wright, but the Titans don't have much depth at the position, with or without Washington in the fold.
Super Bowl odds 2013: 49ers are 3 1/2-point favorites2013-01-31
The 49ers are, in fact, a 3 1/2-point favorite over the Baltimore Ravens, according to Sportsbook. The over/under is set at 47 1/2.
The 49ers opened as 5-point favorites, but that has shrunk a little bit over the last week and a half. Unless something drastic happens, the 49ers will be the favorites heading into Sunday night's game.