FANTASY PLAYS: Watch for wacky in last 2 weeks of season
Week 17 typically plays out as one of the more bizarre weeks in the NFL with some intense playoff battles, some teams giving up early and others resting their stars to get a look at some younger talent.
Because of this, most season-long fantasy championships are held during Week 16 and some of the biggest daily fantasy tournaments will conclude with "main event" prize pools this week, but savvy fantasy players should still be on the lookout for traps similar to the last week of the season.
Patriots, 49ers have brain lock in Week 14
The San Francisco 49ers aren't accustomed to lining up in victory formation. So, it should come as little surprise that third string quarterback Nick Mullens took a knee too quickly on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Broncos with 5 seconds left.
Broncos Preview Capsule
DENVER BRONCOS (5-11)
New faces: QB Case Keenum, RB Royce Freeman, RB Phillip Lindsay, WR Courtland Sutton, WR DaeSean Hamilton, RT Jared Veldheer, CB Adam "Pacman" Jones, DE Clinton McDonald, ILB Jose Jewell, OLB Bradley Chubb, ILB Alexander Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock, S Su'a Cravens, CB Isaac Yiadom, P Marquette King.
Key losses: CB Aqib Talib, QB Trevor Siemian, QB Brock Osweiler, RB C.J. Anderson, TE Virgil Green, WR Cody Latimer, OL Menelik Watson, S Jamal Carter, P Riley Dixon.
49ers add WRs Louis Murphy, Tim Patrick
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have signed receiver Louis Murphy and claimed receiver Tim Patrick off waivers from Baltimore.
The team waived linebacker Jimmie Gilbert and receiver BJ Johnson III as injured designations Monday to make room on the 90-man roster.
Murphy returns to the Bay Area where he started his career as a fourth-round draft pick by Oakland in 2009. He has 162 catches for 2,322 yards in 88 games with the Raiders, Carolina, the Giants and Tampa Bay.
Preparing for bowl, Utah moves past late-season collapse
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham scoffed at the suggestion that his team doesn't have much to play for in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 28.
The Utes (8-4) started the season 7-1 and controlled their chances for the first Pac-12 football championship in school history, but fell out of contention by losing three of their final four games. Facing Indiana (6-6) in the Foster Farms Bowl doesn't have the same cachet as the Rose Bowl, but the Utes say they have something to prove.
No. 21 Utah tries to regroup after falling out of contention
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Eight months of work toward a singular goal has come to an end for No. 21 Utah and each player seems to be dealing with the loss in his own way.
Oregon traveled to Salt Lake City and upset Utah 30-28 on Saturday, ending the Utes' hopes of winning the Pac-12 South.
Williams leads No. 24 Utah to 31-27 rally over USC
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Troy Williams grew up 15 miles from Southern California's campus but said he wasn't recruited by the Trojans despite being ranked the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country by Rivals. On Friday night, the Utah quarterback showed the storied program what it missed.
Williams threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in No. 24 Utah's 31-27 comeback victory over USC.
High expectations for Utah pass game after years of futility
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah receiving corps has been a laughingstock in recent years and Tim Patrick is sick of it. The unit — and the passing game in general — has struggled to progress since the program joined the Pac-12 in 2011.
Quarterback Tyler Huntley and receiver Tim Patrick stood about 20 yards apart from one another in the hot late-morning sun after a recent Utah practice. Both were tired, huffing and puffing. Both were still padded up, decked in their gear. Both were sweated through, looking as though they had walked in front of a fire hose, having paid the required toll for passage through another day.
Utah football: Tim Patrick personifies rising confidence for Utes receivers
Receivers coach Guy Holliday recently called senior Tim Patrick “the complete package” at wideout.
Apparently, that package includes some big talk. When asked about what stood out about the receiving group this fall, Patrick said, “our dominance.”
Utah football notes: Receivers stressing physicality, competitiveness on jump balls
On Saturday as Tyrone Smith made a leaping catch without a defender nearby, receivers coach Guy Holliday didn’t smile, but clapped his hands together.
In a week the Utes started by suspending one of their best receivers, Holliday finds himself pleased with what he’s seen so far.