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Holy injuries Batman!  The number of concussions, questionable statuses, and long-term injuries has been staggering this year.  Thought you could count on Roddy White, Eddie Lacy, Larry Fitzgerald, Malcom Floyd, Andre Johnson, Reggie Bush, Ray Rice, or any number of fantasy-relevant stars without worrying about their health?  Think again.  It looks like most of those guys will still play next week, but you better keep an eye on their status as the week goes on.  For some, the matchup may be a good one, but concerns about targets/carries may not merit the start.  Fantasy Football is all about weighing your options and there has already a lot more of that necessary than there has been in past seasons.

Week three starts off with Andy Reid’s return to Philadelphia and you can almost guarantee there will be surprises aplenty in that game.  This past weekend, The Eagles defense looked absolutely dreadful in a loss to The Chargers while The Chiefs squeaked out a close win over The Cowboys.  The Chiefs’ defense is one of the best in the league right now, but they’ll be put to the test against The Eagles.  If you have LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles or DeSean Jackson, I don’t have to tell you to start them this week, but you might be a little more concerned about Dwayne Bowe and I’m here to tell you to start him with confidence.  The Eagles are going to give up points and Bowe is bound to catch somewhere between 5 and 8 passes this week.  If you’re in a jam, Alex Smith could even turn out to be a pretty solid start.  Philip Rivers has been a pretty popular waiver wire pickup this week, but I’d take Smith in week 3 over Rivers.

Speaking of quarterbacks with some buzz around them, EJ Manuel had an alright game against the Panthers, but he’ll definitely struggle against the Jets this weekend which could be bad news for Stevie Johnson as well.  Johnson is substantially more talented than Aaron Dobson or Kenbrell Thompkins, but the Jets are also a lot more likely to double cover Johnson than either of those guys.  Even Julian Edelman, who caught 13 passes against the Jets last week, only managed a longest reception of 10 yards.  On the ground, CJ Spiller may also continue to struggle.  You probably drafted him in the first round so you can’t sit him, and you shouldn’t, but if you can only start 1-2 RBs and your other options are McCoy and Richardson (nice team), you might want to think twice about Spiller this week.

You thought Spiller was disappointing?  Imagine how Stevan Ridley owners feel.  First Shane Vereen comes in and lights things up.  Then Vereen gets injured and suddenly everyone thinks it’s Ridley’s show again, but on 16 carries last week, he managed 40 yards without a touchdown.  It’s not like the Patriots were behind and needed to throw the ball either.  Well guess what Ridley owners, you aren’t gonna like this week.  The Buccaneers have a stellar run defense that held the 1 2 3 punch of Thomas, Sproles and Ingram to a combined 75 yards.  Brady may hate any receiver that isn’t named Julian right now, but don’t think for a second that he’s suddenly going to hand the ball off more because of it.

There is a silver lining for some, however.  Although the Vikings’ Defense is one of the waiver wire darlings this week because they’re playing the Browns, they still have a tough time covering the run and that’s great news for Trent Richardson owners.  Brandon Weeden may be terrible, but having Josh Gordon back will keep defenses a little more preoccupied with the pass than they were facing the Browns the first two weeks of the season as well.

On the receiving side, playing the Ravens has its advantages currently and that’s excellent news for DeAndre Hopkins who would see even more looks his way if Andre Johnson is unable to suit up this week.  Owen Daniels should see a bump in targets as well so if you have any Houston players, this is a good week to use them.  Even Ben Tate, who has been a solid fill in even as a backup, could see some extra production.

Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, and Reggie Bush, assuming everything is fine with his knee, should also have great weeks against the Redskins.  Look for Matthew Stafford to bounce back after a somewhat disappointing week 2 fantasy performance and throw at least 3 TDs this week.  Vick and Rodgers have combined for 7 TDs against the Redskins so far this season so the Lions have plenty to look forward to.

Well there you have it, I know you have plenty of questions specific to your own teams so let’s get this comment party started.  Don’t forget to follow @JRLoudon for some additional thoughts and last minute advice.

  1. Rags says:
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    Asked in another thread but no answer. Looking for some opinions on how desperate my situation is and whether or not I need to make a move.

    0-2 and my team’s a mess. It’s a keeper league, and a lot of top guys get kept so I had to take a bunch of gambles and none of them have worked. My team right now (2RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE Flex; and standard scoring):

    Kaepernick
    Wilson, Lacy, Sproles, J. Rodgers, Pead
    Garcon, S. Smith, Jennings, Brown, Harvin, Streater, Patton
    Graham
    Streaming K and D/ST

    Would you tough it out these next few weeks, work the waiver wire and hope Lacy and Wilson turn things around? Or should I go for a big trade, maybe Graham for a package?

    Mainly holding Patton as my keeper lottery ticket. Should I drop him, Streater and/or Rodgers for Snelling, D. Robinson, B. Bolden or Marcel Reece (on the assumption that DMC won’t stay healthy)?

    Thanks for the strategy help.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Rags: Lacy likely won’t play for 2 weeks (resting this week and a bye next week). Wilson should turn things around however. The Giants really are running out of options. If I were you, I’d hold onto Graham unless you can get huge value for him (ex. a top 10 receiver AND a TE like Thomas or Cameron). Patton is a solid lottery ticket, but he was selected by the 49ers in the 4th round. Do you really think he’s going to be such a huge value for you down the stretch?

      I would definitely concentrate on another RB option if I were you. Maybe try to trade Rodgers for Starks? It’ll only help you this week, but Rodgers isn’t exactly an impressive option and he won’t get the goal line duty anyway. Rodgers will have more immediate value if Jackson misses more time, but Starks at least gives you a solid flex play this week. I think dropping Streater for another option would also be worth it in your position. Marcel Reece probably has the most upside of the guys you listed if he sees any starts this season. Let’s be honest, when you’re the backup for DMC, there’s about an 80% chance of that happening.

  2. Dingbat says:
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    I’ve got the same Jordan Cameron vs. Jared Cook dilemma this week that I had last week. Cecil Shorts is sitting on my bench when his team goes to Seattle, so I need a TE for my WR/TE spot. Cameron has been the more consistent producer so far, and Minnesota looks like a better matchup than Dallas for TE scoring. But Cameron also has a replacement QB throwing to him this week.

    Thoughts?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dingbat: With Gordon back on the field and a backup QB throwing the ball, I actually like Cameron more this week than I would otherwise. I doubt Cook will be as bad as he was last week and they’re both solid starts, but I’d say Cameron has a real opportunity for a targets boost this week.

  3. isaacvandamme says:
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    I like how I feel twice as stupid after your 3rd and 4th paragraphs since I own BOTH Spiller and Ridley…hence my crap record of 0-2. Anyways, Ridley vs. McFadden this week as a flex? Would you pick one over the other? Or would you suggest not playing either guy and looking elsewhere? Thanks in advance.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @isaacvandamme: Before the season started, they both looked like they’d have huge years and there’s still plenty of time. It’s just a slow start for your team, but don’t go selling them off for pennies on the dollar just yet. For this week, I think Ridley is the safer play mainly because Oakland could find themselves down by a few TDs pretty quickly and abandon the run completely. If this is a PPR, however, I’d tip the scale to McFadden.

      • isaacvandamme says:
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        @Loudon: good looking out man. I was worried since 0-2 teams hardly have a chance to make it to playoffs in the real NFL what chance would I have but then again, there’s only 12 teams, not 32. Razzball advice > NFL.com advice. Thanks again.

  4. Shabba Ranks says:
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    Who do you like rest of way in PPR. Cecil Shorts or Royal?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Shabba Ranks: Shorts, but Royal this week.

  5. Jim says:
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    Speaking of injuries, by now you know that Brian Hoyer will be filling in for Weeden, so you need to knock down T-Rich’s expectations a bit because Hoyer doesn’t have the arm to hit Gordon long… also, Duane Brown with a bad case of turf toe, so Schaub’s blind side is hurting and that’ll make it harder to run and pass on Raven’s D… Texans still win, of course ;-)

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Jim: I actually still like TRich A LOT this week. Hoyer is starting over Jason Campbell and that says something about his abilities. Frankly, Weeden wasn’t exactly playing like an elite QB so who knows what could happen. On the Texans side, you’re right, that could make it a little harder, but I doubt it’ll change anything drastically.

  6. Dave says:
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    Don’t really know what to do in my RB2/Flex spot its .5 PPR.. For the Rb2 spot I can put Ridley or Daryl Richardson or I can start both in both the RB2 and flex spots. If I should only start one RB out of those 2, which receiver should I start in the flex? Choices are Tavon Austin, Deandre Hopkins, Antonio Brown, Kenbrell Thomkins.

    Also if Gronk plays that can only help Ridley right?

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dave: I think Ridley and Richardson are the safest picks for production even with Ridley’s matchup. That being said, in a .5PPR, Brown has a good shot at production.

  7. EDUB says:
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    Start K Wright or V Brown this week in PPR?
    Any of them over B Tate?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @EDUB: Wright over Brown, but neither over Tate.

  8. Bitchesbeshoppach says:
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    Thinking about dropping Arizona def for either the titans, Vikings, browns or chargers. Thoughts?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Bitchesbeshoppach: Any of them will be better than Arizona this week. The Vikings are nice because you’d be able to start them next week too before needing to find another defense.

  9. kidbr9 says:
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    Mathews or Tate?

    I own Arian as well and like don’t like putting my eggs in one backfield if I don’t have to, but Tate actually has more rushing yards than Arian…

    Thanks!

    • kidbr9 says:
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      @kidbr9: A follow up to my own question: would you entertain Bilal Powell as an option over any of the above?

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @kidbr9: If you were between Powell and Tate, I could see the argument for Powell, but I would likely go Tate in that scenario.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @kidbr9: I would go Mathews. Tate is a wild card every week and while he’s been decent with his carries, it’s still Foster’s show.

  10. Matt says:
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    Alex Smith has been great in the first couple weeks, should I consider starting him over Andrew Luck who has a tough matchup in San Francisco?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Matt: Consider it? Sure, but with Richardson in Indy now, that could open some things up for Luck this week.

  11. Zandy says:
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    trade my lamar miller for talented mr ridley?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Zandy: If you can wait until after this week to pull the trigger on that, I think it’ll end up being a good deal, but I like Miller quite a bit more than Ridley this week.

  12. Zandy says:
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    Also worth trying to add Pead to my RB lotto stash of bolden, ellington, hunter? Non ppr or is he behind those guys on your list of holds?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Zandy: Is this a keeper league? Ellington has VERY long term value, but I think Pead has more of a shot this year.

  13. Zandy says:
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    after the cleveland trade, pick up mcgahee or chris og??

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Zandy: McGahee. Assuming he passes his physical today.

  14. Principal Blackman says:
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    I am getting screwed at RB in my 12-team PPR league. My starting RBs are Lynch and MJD. I was goin to benh MJD in favor of Bradshaw, but the Trent Rich trade effectively nixes that idea. My backups are Ivory and Snelling. And my waiver options are Ingram, Hillman, Daniel Thomas, Da’rel Scott, and Ogbonnaya. Do I drop one of my backup RBs or my WR5: Cordarrelle Patterson for one of the aforementioned free agents?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Eh, no. None of them are worth a pickup. Think Ogbo will be out if they sign McGahee.

  15. Mike says:
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    Trent Richardson been traded how much better well he be.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Mike: Honestly, I think he’ll be about the same. He will likely have a few more goal-line chances than he would have in Cleveland, but I’m guessing Bradshaw will still be in the mix. The only fantasy player this really hurts is Bradshaw. Honestly, I think Andrew Luck owners have something to be happy about though. A little more attention will be paid to the run the rest of the season.

  16. DP says:
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    Bradshaw, David Wilson and former Vereen owner here. Mcgahee is already gone, do I drop Cecil, Marlon Brown or Givens to pick up Rainey on a crapshoot? Desperately need help

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DP: I wouldn’t. David Wilson still has a good deal of value and Bradshaw will likely have at least a 50% time share this week so you aren’t at a total loss yet. Keep an eye on how things play out this week and then maybe make a move then. Don’t forget, Richardson has an injury history so Bradshaw still has value.

  17. Kobayashi Maru says:
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    Thoughts in Richardson this week? Between the new team and San Fran, is he still over, say . . . Wilson, or Pierce if Rice is out?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’m not starting him if I can help it.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Kobayashi Maru: I’d start Richardson over Wilson, but not Pierce (if Ray Rice is out). Although there is still plenty to learn, when your job is mainly to find the opening and run through it, there is less to cover than with a receiver.

  18. Rabbit says:
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    Brady or Vick this week in a one QB league? Typical points except 6 points per thrown TD for QBs.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Rabbit: Vick. Brady just isn’t Brady when he can’t trust his receivers. He’ll be back to his old self as soon as Amendola and Gronk are on the field.

  19. Ron says:
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    Drop Emannuel Sanders for Mcgahee (new CLE back)?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Ron: I think that’s worth the gamble.

  20. DDT says:
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    Crazy to drop Helu or K. Hunter for Andre Ellington?

    • Zandy says:
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      @DDT: I’d drop helu for Ellington

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @DDT: I agree with Zandy. Drop Helu for him.

  21. Hans says:
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    Ooop McGahee already picked up.
    What’s the fastest source to get these news like Trent getting traded?
    I literally only visit Razzball for my Fantasy.

    • fitz says:
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      @Hans: unfortunately it’s undoubtedly twitter. I made an account just to follow the fantasy guys for breaking news.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Hans: Most of the Razzball writers have twitter accounts and we can break news there faster than we can write an article. That being said, it seems like Adam Schefter is almost always the first to break news like this.

  22. Harris says:
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    Guy in my league cut Bradshaw for McGahee. Is Bradshaw worth having on the bench over a guy like Fleener?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Harris: Absolutely. Richardson still has an injury history and Bradshaw has proven he can handle the load if he needs to.

  23. Wilsonian says:
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    Minnesota over Buffalo for this week now?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Think it’s still too risky. BUF has a weak offensive opponent too. Like them and their numbers so far much more

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Wilsonian: Buffalo actually has a pretty decent schedule for defenses until week 8. Not ideal, but still pretty good. Minnesota, on the other hand, has a bye week 5. They’re pretty close this week and while I’d probably tip the scales to Minnesota this week, I think you’re better off riding Buffalo for the time being unless you can stash Buffalo on your bench or you have a better D stashed on your bench already.

  24. fitz says:
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    Traded MJD and J Cook for Ridley and Bennett in PPR

    Not sure how I feel. I guess as a Pats fan it gives me extra incentive to root for my fav team’s player if nothing else…

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @fitz: That’s a pretty decent trade. Honestly, by the end of the season, that trade could end up being a complete wash as far as total fantasy points on the season. Still, I always like having a player from my favorite team if I can manage it so for you and your enjoyment of the game, I like this trade.

  25. Jeremy Handrup says:
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    Would you play mike Williams (TB) or decker this weekend?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Jeremy Handrup: Nope, but they are pretty close for me right now.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Jeremy Handrup: Sorry, I read that as “over” Decker, not “or.” I would play Decker.

  26. Jiggy Nits says:
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    My Colston and Moreno OR Colston and DeAngelo Williams for his Cobb. Fair?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Jiggy Nits: That depends, are you stacked at RB and would be sitting Moreno and Williams every week? If so, it’s not terrible, but you’re giving up a good deal for not much of an upgrade at receiver.

      • Jiggy Nits says:
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        @Loudon: DeMarco Murray / T-Rich / Gio Bernard / Bernard Pierce are my other RBs. Last two weeks Ive had them both on the bench.

        Other Wrs are B Marshall / Givens / DeAndre Hopkins / Josh Gordon

        • Jiggy Nits says:
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          @Jiggy Nits: I think Im going to send DeAngelo & Colston offer for Cobb… I just dont think Ill ever start Williams so the upgrade makes sense.

  27. KCC says:
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    Really need some advice on who I should start in my flex this week…went with Edelman last week and I was let down!

    Here my Skill players starting

    RB – Adrian Peterson
    RB – Reggie Bush
    WR – Demayrius Thomas
    WR – DeSean Jackson
    TE – Tony Gonzalez
    Flex – James Starks or Julian Edelman….

    I am having a hard time deciding between the two! Please I need some advice with a good explanation anything will help!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @KCC: I was let down by Edelman last week as well, but I’m going double or nothing on him this week in one of my leagues. If Eddie Lacy is completely ruled out, I would probably give him the advantage just because of guaranteed touches, but Edelman would be my starter until I see that report.

  28. Heisenberg says:
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    I have a RB situation here, Ridley, Starks or D’Angelo Williams? I have Spiller as my other starting back.

    Also, you think Stevie Johnson will be double teamed, not worth a start? I have Golden Tate and Ashlon Jeffery to replace?

    Not a good week.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Heisenberg: Rough matchup week for you, but there’s plenty of talent on your team. I would personally start Williams over Ridley, but they’re pretty close for me. As for your WR situation, I do think Johnson will be well-covered, but he’s still your best option and he’s talented enough to make plays regardless of the matchup.

      • Heisenberg says:
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        @Loudon: thank big L !

  29. Bubba38 says:
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    Looks like Minnesota D could be a good pickup with Richardson gone and Hoyer at QB. What’s your take?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Bubba38: Minnesota was a good D this week before those two things. Now it’s a great D pickup (for this week).

      • Viv Savage says:
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        @Loudon: Next week too, home vs. Pitt.

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