Fantasy football stock watch

Fantasy football stock watch

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

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Danny Amendola, WR, Rams: His average route isn't much deeper than a phone booth, but there's something to be said for finding holes in zones and keeping the chains moving. And with Sam Bradford looking sharp again, the Rams passing game is no longer a toxic waste dump. We obviously can't chase Amendola's 15 receptions from last week, but he should be good for 5-7 grabs against Chicago's effective-but-predictable Cover 2.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions: His push off to the year has been solid if unspectacular - eight grabs, 95 yards, one touchdown, one egregious TD drop. But we mention Pettigrew here because he's taking dead aim at a Tennessee secondary that's allowed five tight end touchdowns through two weeks, including a Donte Rosario hat trick in Week 2. Go where the matchup steers you.

Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins: There's nothing special to his skill set, but Hartline runs precise routes and catches just about anything in his neighborhood. More importantly, he's been the receiver quickest to adjust to rookie quarterback Ryan Tannenhill. if anyone is going to snag 60-70 downfield passes here, it's Hartline. Consider him a deep WR3 or a shallow WR4 in standard leagues.

Martellus Bennett, TE, Giants: Big Blue has to play without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw in Carolina this week, which clears the deck for Bennett. The jumbo-sized tight end has already surprised us with nine catches for 112 yards and two scores, and the Panthers linebackers and safeties can be leaky in coverage. Eli Manning knows a good thing when he sees it.

Donnie Avery, WR, Colts: We're already on board with Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne - the 2012 Colts remind us of the 2011 Panthers, a fantasy carnival - and Avery might be the third amigo in the group, especially if Austin Collie can't shake his concussion problem. Avery had a strong 9-111 run against the Vikings (on just 10 targets), showing the ability to find open space and cut aggressively after the catch. You'd never guess he had several knee injuries back in his St. Louis days.

Vernon Davis, TE, Niners: The Maryland product finally grasped the Jim Harbaugh offense late last year, and a ballistic run in the playoff followed (four touchdowns, 292 yards). Small-sample fluke? Not on our clipboard. Davis already has three spikes in 2012, showing he's the most dynamic receiver in the 49ers scheme. And while Alex Smith isn't an elite quarterback, he's very good with seam throws - and his pre-snap reads have improved dramatically.

Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers: Although he doesn't have sprinter speed, you love that LaFell managed 17.0 YPC last year, a combination of usage patterns and the ability to adjust to the ball in the air. The Panthers have expanded LaFell's responsibilities this year, resulting in 155 yards and a score through two weeks. From watching the film to this point, you can see how much the club likes LaFell - he was a deep specialist last year, but he's running a variety of routes this season. LaFell also appreciates the constant double coverage that opponents throw at teammate Steve Smith.

Brandon Meyers, TE, Raiders: Carson Palmer isn't a deep or sideline thrower at this stage of his career, so it makes sense that Meyers is making plenty of hay over the middle. The unheralded Iowa product has a snappy 11 grabs for 151 yards through two weeks, securing each target in his direction. That's how trust is built.

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Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: His blocking has been terrible, the play-calling is ordinary and predictable, and Tennessee's defense can't keep the games close through four periods. Other than that, everything's fine. Johnson might find some lanes in Week 3 against an overrated Lions defense, but after that the matchups tighten up (Houston, Minnesota, Pittsburgh).

David Wilson, RB, Giants: The opening-night fumble landed him in Tom Coughlin's expansive doghouse, and even the Ahmad Bradshaw injury in Week 2 didn't rescue Wilson - Andre Brown came out of obscurity and took over in the backfield. Brown was also a big part of Big Blue's comeback last week, so he'll get the rock at Carolina. Wait your turn, rookie.

James Jones, WR, Packers: While he has good size for a wideout and adequate speed, Jones has trouble separating downfield and his ball skills in the air leave a lot to be desired. Jones couldn't secure what should have been a Week 2 touchdown at Chicago, and you can't blame Aaron Rodgers for focusing on other receivers. The Packers don't want to promote Jones past the WR3 tag, and he might not even be that important by this time next year. Even in deeper pools, we'd rather spend our lottery ticket elsewhere.

Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals: He was the snappier runner in the win at New England, but he also put the ball on the ground late - his second fumble of the year. Even if Williams fixes the ball-security problem, he's still running behind the NFC's worst run-blocking line. Let someone else chase the dream. We don't see a 1,000-yard rusher in the desert.

Jared Cook, TE, Titans: A seven-catch, 87-yard start might not seem that bad, but it's going to get worse before it gets better for Cook. More mouths are around to feed in the offense - Kendall Wright is emerging, Kenny Britt is back - and we're not going to bet our fantasy lives on scattershot second-year QB Jake Locker (who's been running for his life through two weeks).

Derrick Rose pens farewell to Chicago: 'It’s time for a new chapter'

Derrick Rose pens farewell to Chicago: 'It’s time for a new chapter'

Derrick Rose was officially introduced as a member of the New York Knicks on Friday afternoon.

After thanking the Bulls organization for trading him, Rose penned his farewell to the city of Chicago via TheCycle.com.

While looking forward to playing alongside Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis with the Knicks, Rose reflected on his time with the Bulls.

Chicago made me who I am. It’s tatted on my wrist. I was raised in my grandmother’s house on South Paulina Street in Englewood. Being drafted by the Bulls, becoming an All-Star and an MVP on the Bulls, helping the them make the playoffs — all of that was a dream come true. I’ll never forget it. I’ve carried Chicago with me everywhere I’ve gone, from around the country to all over the world. I always will.

I understand that this is a business and the Bulls have their plans, their own ideas with what direction they want to go with the team, but I’m gonna use this as motivation. I was with them for eight years and they let me go. There’s no hard feelings, no grudges. They’re trying to do what’s best for the team. I totally understand that. But I don’t think I would be wrong for using this as motivation.

Check out the full article here.

Chris Coghlan understands his role with Cubs is different this time around

Chris Coghlan understands his role with Cubs is different this time around

At one point in the middle of last season, the Cubs were on a 12-game winning streak with Chris Coghlan hitting third in the lineup...while playing second base.

It's hard to see that scenario playing out again in 2016 for a lot of reasons.

After getting traded back to Chicago earlier this month, the 31-year-old outfielder came to a different Cubs team than the one he played a major contributing role with in 2015.

Coghlan was penciled in at fifth in Friday's Cubs lineup and has generally been playing against right-handed pitchers since he was acquired, akin to his role last season.

But what about when Jorge Soler returns? And when Dexter Fowler gets off the disabled list, the Cubs will still want to find time for Albert Almora Jr. and Matt Szczur and have $184 million man Jason Heyward patrolling right field.

Plus, Kris Bryant has played a lot of corner outfield already this season and his presence out there allows Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella (who is also currently on the DL) to man third base.

Simply put: Coghlan will be hard-pressed to reach 500 plate appearances again this season.

"I think my role is different. I've accepted that," Coghlan said. "Last year, I felt like if it was a righty, I'd start every day and do the platoon thing. Here, there's just so much talent and different roles that I don't think mine's maybe as definitive as last year's was. 

"I would probably say I'm even more accepting of that. 'Cause I feel to go from where I went and then to come here and get another opportunity. When you're on a team that plans on winning the World Series vs. a team that hopes you go to the playoffs, it's two totally different things.

"To get back on that and be around it, you're like, 'Man, I have a chance legitimately to win a World Series. I'll do whatever I can to win a World Series.' And that's kinda the attitude that I have. 

"I think it's different for people if you're not trying to win a World Series and you're not one of those teams, then you probably want a bigger role. But when you have a legitimate shot, there's a reason why there's only 25 that are allowed and there are only certain roles. I'm excited for this opportunity, however big or small it may be."

Coghlan only got 12 plate appearances in the postseason with the Cubs last year, collecting a lone single in the process.

It's understandable the former National League Rookie of the Year (2009) would want to play more after overcoming a lot of adversity in his career with injuries and posting a .793 OPS with 25 homers in 273 games with the Cubs from 2014-15.

But he also got his first taste of the playoffs last year and just moved from a last-place Oakland A's team to a squad that has a World Series or bust mentality.

Coghlan sees a different Cubs team than the one that got hot in the final two months of 2015 and wound up winning 97 games and two playoff series.

"When I came over here, I just realized, man, you've seen guys have more time," Coghlan said. "You see some growth and you see so much depth that you just feel like it's a matter of — this isn't an arrogant comment — playing within ourselves. 

"When you're on that level of talent and then you have everybody as close as they are, you feel like you're only competing for one thing and that's to win the World Series.

"...To watch it and to be a part of it, you're just like, 'Man, if we stay within ourselves and execute and stay healthy, we're gonna be fine.' And I think that's kinda more the attitude vs. maybe last year, it wasn't until the end where we kinda found our identity and our belief.

"Early on [last season], it was like, 'Man, we're fighting mano y mano and we need to have something break through.' Now, I think it's just about us executing. We execute and we got a shot to beat anybody in baseball."

NBA Free Agency: Where will Joakim Noah end up playing in 2016?

NBA Free Agency: Where will Joakim Noah end up playing in 2016?

Despite appearing in just 29 games and registering the worst statistical season of his eight-year NBA career in 2015-16, Bulls center Joakim Noah will be in high free agent demand this summer.

According to Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News, the Washington Wizards are prepared to offer Noah a maximum contract, which would start at $28 million and reach an estimated $120 million across four seasons.

Noah, who is expected to move on from the Bulls, is also being pursued by the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks.

The Knicks interest in the two-time All-Star and 2014 Defensive Player of the Year is a no-brainer with Derrick Rose now in New York and Noah having spent his teenage years in the Big Apple, starring for Brooklyn's Poly Prep. 

Noah, the ninth overall pick of the Bulls in 2007, is coming off shoulder surgery that cut his season short last January.

The 31-year-old Noah has averaged 9.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 572 games across eight seasons with the Bulls.