Pelicans Rookie Frank Jackson to Undergo Surgery for Foot Injury

New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson will have surgery on Friday after fracturing his foot. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Jackson would require surgery to fix his broken right foot. 

     

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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August 31, 2017 at 04:32PM

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Lane Kiffin Says Alabama Wins National Championship vs. Clemson If He’d Been OC

Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin told the Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore on Thursday he believes the Alabama Crimson Tide would have defeated the Clemson Tigers in January’s national title game had he not been jettisoned as the team’s offensive coordinator.

"It’s no disrespect to Steve [Sarkisian]," Kiffin said. "No matter who it was, you’ve been there all year long. You’ve been there for the quarterback. You’re all he knew. You were undefeated together. We’ve won [26] straight games together. You feel like, okay, it’s different. As great as Sark is, it’s just different. Again, if it had been 14 points either way … when it’s one play here or there, you think if those guys had the person they were used to, it would have made a difference."

 

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August 31, 2017 at 04:32PM

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans Reportedly Agree to New 5-Year, $81M Contract

DeAndre Hopkins may get his wish to spend his entire career in Houston after all. The Texans reportedly agreed to a five-year contract with their former All-Pro wideout that will give him the highest guarantee for a receiver in the NFL

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news and added the five-year deal is worth $81 million with $49 million guaranteed. 

Hopkins, 25, held out part of training camp in hopes of a new deal last season. The Texans did not renegotiate his rookie contract, which paid him $1 million in base salary, and Hopkins returned to the team before missing significant time. 

Hopkins recorded 78 receptions for 954 yards and four touchdowns, a far cry from his breakout 2015 campaign. He was one of many offensive victims of the struggles of quarterback Brock Osweiler, a free-agent bust whom the Texans traded to the Cleveland Browns this offseason. 

In 2015, Hopkins posted 111 receptions for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 192 targets were the third-most in football behind only Julio Jones and Antonio Brown; Brown and Jones were also the only players who had more receptions (136).

Despite the Texans’ problems at quarterback, Hopkins has remained steadfast in his desire to stay in Houston.

"If I can play my whole career here, I would," Hopkins said last February, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. "I love this place. This organization took a chance on drafting me. You have to look at that."

Football Outsiders‘ DYAR metric ranked Hopkins the 68th-best receiver in football. That came a year after Hopkins ranked 13th while playing with a revolving door at quarterback that ranked among the league’s worst. Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden each threw passes for Houston in 2015.

Tom Savage is slated to begin the 2017 season as the Texans’ starter under center. The team also selected DeShaun Watson with its first-round pick in April’s draft and view him as the quarterback of the future. 

Now signed to a long-term deal, Hopkins can emerge even more as a leader—perhaps Houston’s offensive counterpart to J.J. Watt on defense. 

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August 31, 2017 at 04:32PM

Ten things to ponder ahead of fantasy season (Yahoo Sports)

With fantasy draft season nearing an end, here are the 10 things most on my mind heading into the season, and the analytics behind these thoughts.

1. “Is Todd Gurley even good?” He had the second worst rushing season (yards per rush) since the merger (minimum 200 attempts), for a first- or second-year player. On the list of sub-3.5-yard rushing seasons (there are 19 in history), only two of these players developed: Jerome Bettis (1994 Rams; so he needed a change of scenery) and Ricky Williams (1999 Saints and he rebounded with three-straight seasons worthy of Gurley’s current 20-ish ADP).

Curtis Elis (5th overall), Sammy Smith (9th) and Ron Dayne (11th) were busts. I’m tabling the late Lawrence Phillips (6th) for his well-documented off-field issues. So if we thought the odds of Gurley being good were 50/50 (one good year, one bad), this means they’re more like 60% he’s bad. I don’t put a lot of stock in environment, admittedly horrible but which great runners historically overcome.

2. “Marlon Mack is the poor man’s Joe Mixon.” Mack has to beat out Frank Gore, Mixon has to beat out Jeremy Hill. That’s a wash. Colts offense when (if) Andrew Luck is back is about a wash with Cincinnati. The fantasy community wanted Mixon to be the Bengals starter but it looks like Hill will be involved heavily. Yet Mixon is still a third-rounder and Mack basically free.

3. “Zay Jones and Cooper Kupp over Marvin Jones hilarious.” Why is this a thing, even among experts? I guess people want to make a statement but Jones is in a high-powered passing offense with a good QB and looked like a league-winner early in 2016. Jones also has elite air yards, which is the most predictive WR stat.

4. “I get docking Jordan Reed for injury but why is Rob Gronkowski going 40 picks higher now?” Both are often hurt. Gronkowski’s back injuries seem more career threatening. If both are healthy, Gronk wins this matchup but it’s close. And lots of targets left Washington, too. Reed was 87-952-11 in 14 games in 2015, which projects to 99-1,088-12 in 16 games (add a half a TD there if you want).

5. “Why is Donte Moncrief suddenly so cheap?” He always was overrated but Luck’s uncertain status doesn’t explain Moncrief sliding from the fourth round to the 10th, where I took him 114th overall in the Yahoo Friends and Family league this week. And I hated Moncrief. But it’s always the price and never the player. And I advocate a QB-centric WR ranking model and if Luck plays 14 games, the floor for a Colts starting WR is about WR30. No one has threatened Moncrief in camp this summer.

6. “Why am I suddenly pro-auction?” Scott Pianowski and I have had huge debates over this and my take is that Fantasy Football auctions are such irrational pricing markets and the talent pool so deep in 12-team leagues that everyone would go stars-and-scrubs so who cares? But the difference now is that fantasy has two unfair players — David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell. And auction gives everyone a shot at them. This is an unusual phenomenon that I didn’t think we’d see again at the running back position. But here we are. Owning one of these guys in a draft format at least doubles your win probability.

7. “Why doesn’t Drew Brees ever go as the No. 1 QB?” Brees has five 5,000-yard passing seasons (including last year). All the other QBs in NFL history have combined for four. There are no other repeaters. It’s reasonable to project Brees for 5,000 passing yards. And he has led the NFL in passing yards three-straight years and seven times overall.

8. “Why isn’t Travis Benjamin’s ADP rising?” He’s secured a spot in three-WR formations and takes the top off the defense so he’s going to see a lot of snaps. He’s had a great camp.  And he’s showed his speed has returned after last year’s knee injuries. In 2015, on the putrid Browns, Benjamin went 68-966-5. He’s a last year’s bum available in the last round of just about every draft.

9. “Why are people hesitant on elevating Kareem Hunt appropriately?” This is a world where Gurley and Leonard Fournette (horrible QB, offense and an injury to boot) are going in the second round and no one blinks. But now Hunt going there raises eyebrows? It’s because his price is now tethered to where he had been drafted prior to Spencer Ware’s injury. It’s a recency bias. If Ware was released in March and the Chiefs drafted Hunt just where they did, he’d be a 20ish overall RB no worries. I recently dove deeper into Hunt’s value.

10. “Is Wendell Smallwood sneaky?” LeGarrette Blount is a minimum-salary veteran. He also is not good and is over 30. That makes him a spring chicken compared with Darren Sproles. Smallwood is free so my zeroBadQB rules are not in play. How many young backs with no competition have coaches publicly saying they are three-down backs? I don’t like Carson Wentz, who best comp is Mark Sanchez 2009. But maybe Wentz IS good. In other words, when the price is right, Philly is not a sure-fire, bad-QB team. So when it’s free, why not gamble?

Most Fantasy Football tips from Yahoo Sports

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August 31, 2017 at 04:18PM

Stephen Curry Donates $118K to Hurricane Harvey Relief After Making 18 of 25 3’s

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, in conjunction with Active Faith Sports, has offered a donation of more than $100,000 to relief efforts of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Active Faith Sports’ Instagram account posted a video of Curry knocking down 18 of 25 three-point attempts, with the organization offering $1,000 for each made shot. The two-time MVP offered to match that donation and add $100,000, making a grand total of $136,000.

            

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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August 31, 2017 at 04:03PM

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans Reportedly Agree to New 3-Year, $22M Contact

The Houston Texans and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz reportedly agreed to terms Thursday on a three-year, $22 million contract extension that includes $10.1 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle first reported the sides were finalizing a deal worth an average of appoximately $7 million annually. 

The 25-year-old was initially scheduled to earn $1.8 million in the final year of his previous contract. 

According to Spotrac, the reported terms of Fiedorowicz’s new deal mean he will earn the same as Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham and Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett on average. 

Looking ahead, Fiedorowicz is in line to build on a productive 2016 season that saw him record 54 receptions for 559 yards and four touchdowns. 

As Pro Football Focus’ Tyler Buecher noted, "nobody targeted the tight end more than Houston while trailing in games last year (33 percent) and the Texans failed to add any competition through either free agency or the draft."

With Fiedorowicz now locked up long-term, the Texans should continue to deploy Ryan Griffin—who previously signed a three-year, $9 million deal to stay in Houston—as their No. 2 tight end as head coach Bill O’Brien’s passing game attempts to find a groove following a fairly anemic 2016. 

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August 31, 2017 at 04:03PM

Roger Federer Pushed to 5th Set Again, Beats Mikhail Youzhny at 2017 US Open

For the second straight round, Roger Federer was pushed to a fifth set at the 2017 U.S. Open. For the second straight round, Federer got the job done.  

The third-seeded Swiss dispatched of Mikhail Youzhny in a 6-1, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph that once again tested his fortitude. After breezing through the first set in just 26 minutes, Federer dropped the next two thanks to a series of uncharacteristic mistakes.

Much like he did in his first-round thriller with Frances Tiafoe, Federer struggled to find his backhand. He committed 68 unforced errors to Youzhny’s 55, giving the 35-year-old Russian life during key moments of the match.

While Federer was understandably perplexed at points against Tiafoe, a 19-year-old against whom he’d played only once prior, there was little such reason for his struggles Thursday. Federer entered having won all 16 of his previous matchups against Youzhny and only dropped a set in four of them.

     

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August 31, 2017 at 04:03PM