Ray Guy stumps for Jim Plunkett, Cliff Branch, Tom Flores as fellow Hall of Famers - OAKLAND -- It was whispered in certain smoke-filled corners of Silver and Blackdom that Ray Guy could punt a football so far and so high, rain would come down with the pigskin.
How appropriate, then, that it was in a virtual monsoon that Guy, the first pure punter to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was honored Thursday night with a halftime ceremony and presented his ring by his children at O.co Coliseum.
Guy is the 22nd Hall of Famer recognized by the Raiders, and 13 of them were on hand for the shindig -- Ron Mix, Jim Otto, Willie Brown, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes, Howie Long, Dave Casper, Marcus Allen, James Lofton, John Madden and Rod Woodson.
ESPN - Oakland Raiders
Fantasy Football Week 12: Insider Notebook and Preview - Welcome to Josh Gordon week. Fantasy owners are going to follow every report, his every move, as he gears up for a still-undetermined return to game action Sunday at the Atlanta Falcons.
Gordon was officially reinstated Monday from his full-year suspension, which was reduced to 10 games. Fantasy owners cannot contain their excitement, but let's let him do his thing at his pace. Quarterback Brian Hoyer told Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer:
We all know what Josh is capable of, but let's not put all this pressure on him to be the savior. We all have to be better on offense. We all have to be more consistent. We don't want to create these crazy expectations for Josh. He's got six games to play.
He hasn't been doing anything physically with us in 10 weeks. That's tough. Imagine having a whole offseason and then coming back and playing. Obviously we all know how talented he is physically, and I think he'll pick up everything because he's been in meetings and stuff, but I also think we have to bring him along where he's at this own pace and does it the way he's going to do it.
Our coaches have a good plan for that and we'll see how it is when this week rolls around.
Hoyer added the Browns system is not necessarily geared to target a go-to man. Fantasy won't care. If Gordon does not burn his one-week roster exemption and is activated, you have to start the potential No. 1 fantasy wideout down the stretch in all leagues.
You just look at the way our receivers rotate now, that's just the way the system is. And like I said before, let's not put this on Josh, this huge responsibility that there's six games for him to go out and catch 1,500 yards. I mean, it's not realistic. He's going to go out there and our coaches do a good job of getting him ready to go and like I said, I'm just excited to get out on the field with him on Wednesday and see how it plays out.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith told reporters Monday he will be expecting a full dose of Gordon right away, The Plain Dealer's Cabot reported:
Absolutely I do. They've stated that they want to get him out on the field as quickly as possible. And he's a game-changer. He's a guy that with the ball in his hands, he can make plays. So we're anticipating that we're going to get a full dose of him this week.
Gordon, surprisingly, is still available in over 30 percent of ESPN.com leagues. He has to be your first priority off waivers, even if he might not be activated to the roster before Sunday's game at Atlanta (1 p.m. ET). The good news is fantasy owners can make their lineup decision on him after the 11:30 a.m. inactives come out.
The fantasy lineup decision will be made for you. If Gordon is active, he starts in all leagues, regardless of his snap count and reported target expectations.
Backs in Purgatory, if Not Hell
The byes might be concluding this week with just the Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers idle as the final teams to get their week off, but the oft-injured running back position is a cause for concern. It sure makes for some confusion for fantasy owners.
Do you trust your veteran ace coming off injury, Arian Foster (groin) or Giovani Bernard (hip), or their top-notch Week 11 fill-ins, Alfred Blue and Jeremy Hill, respectively? What do we do with commissioner exempt-listed Adrian Peterson?
The answers will likely wind up being yes, even if that is too vague for you right now.
The easiest "yes" to injury questions regarding running backs will be the Denver Broncos' C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson. They will serve as the ground-pounders for Peyton Manning's Broncos coming off a loss. Ronnie Hillman (foot) and Montee Ball (groin) are out for Week 12, if not more, as Mike Klis of The Denver Post reported Monday.
Both could hit fantasy double digits at home against the Miami Dolphins. Only three teams have given up more receiving touchdowns to fantasy backs (four) to date: Philadelphia Eagles (six), New England Patriots (six) and the San Diego Chargers (five). Anderson has put together strong back-to-back fantasy performances, while Thompson (knee) has healed and moves up the injury-riddled Broncos depth chart.
As for the other fantasy back question marks above, the injury and practice reports will settle our start-sit recommendations later in the week. Check back at Bleacher Report in Wednesday's Week 11 Big Board, Thursday's Week 11 predictions and The Ultimate Guide to Sunday's Action on Saturday morning.
The week will bring us clarity.
Waiver-Wire Consensus Rankings
Every Monday of the season, FantasyPros.com surveys analysts on their top choices off the waiver wire, creating consensus rankings for the top pickups. We give you a chart of them here:
Buy, Sell...Err, Cut!...Options
With all of the injuries, there are fantasy options everywhere. You might need an analyst's opinion to settle your own. Here are some of the guys we would buy into and some others we would no longer bother with as you make your stretch-run push to the fantasy postseason:
WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—This is winding up being a monster rookie year, despite working with scraps at the quarterback spot.
RB Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams—He is clearly the feature back for one of the most run-heavy teams in football now. The touchdowns will come.
RB Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts—You might not like his talent, but the opportunity presents itself for him with Ahmad Bradshaw (broken leg) out indefinitely.
RB C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos—He should be a fairly decent run with the previous depth chart leaders out for a few weeks or more.
RB Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—He is Lovie Smith's guy, and the schedule lines up nicely for him, save for Week 14 at the Detroit Lions.
Scrap Heap 'Em
QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins—It sure seems like Jay Gruden is tired of RG3's act. It got ugly, as The Washington Post's Scott Allen chronicled Monday night.
RB Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams—Hasn't scored a fantasy point since Week 8!
RB Montee Ball, Denver Broncos—Won't return in time to help fantasy owners in the regular season.
WR Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins—As RG3 goes...he literally might...so too do his primary weapons.
RB Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns—He has slipped to a distant third on his team's depth chart.
RB Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens—See Tate.
TE Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers—Antonio Gates just hasn't gotten hurt as fantasy anticipated.
RB Andre Williams, New York Giants—He and the Giants have been disappointments, and Rashad Jennings (knee) is back.
WR Wes Welker, Denver Broncos—They were banged up this week at St. Louis, and Welker could not step forward statistically...no thanks.
RB Branden Oliver, San Diego Chargers—Ryan Mathews (knee) isn't 100 percent, but Oliver's recent numbers have been 100 percent bunk.
Thursday Night Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Kansas City Chiefs
Start: Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Travis Kelce, K Cairo Santos, Chiefs D/ST
Sit: Alex Smith, Dwayne Bowe, Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins, Anthony Fasano
Charles is a given, but a likely blowout against the third-worst team in fantasy against running backs and the sixth-worst run defense will make Davis a productive option as a flex. Davis scored this past Sunday and should here, too. Kelce and the Chiefs special teams look like solid options, as well.
Start: Mychal Rivera
Sit: Derek Carr, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, James Jones, Andre Holmes, Vincent Brown, Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders D/ST
The Raiders' pitiful running game figures to make this a tough game all around, no matter if the Chiefs blow it out. The Chiefs are fourth-best in fantasy against quarterbacks and running backs, the only team fantasy can say that about.
We give Rivera as a start, if only because someone here has to score, and the Chiefs have given up eight touchdowns to fantasy tight ends. Only three teams have given up more: New York Jets (11), Chicago Bears (10) and Seattle Seahawks (10).
Note: All of the fantasy points allowed data and rankings are pulled from FFToday.com.
Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game.