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The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2: Timing is everything

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The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2: Timing is everything

A great man once said, it’s better to be lucky than good. And there’s no better time to get lucky in fantasy football than to have top waiver priority after the opening week of play.

We’re one of those fortunate souls. By random chance we have secured No. 1 priority for pickups this week, allowing us to claim the most sudden standout of Week 1. A player almost nobody drafted during the summer but is already being compared to last season’s revelation, the Jaguars’ James Robinson.

Say hello to the leading rusher in the National Football Conference: San Francisco rookie Elijah Mitchell.

The rookie from Louisiana was thrust into action after starter Raheem Mostert went down with a knee injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season. Mitchell rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. And there could be plenty more in the coming weeks, for Mitchell, for the 49ers, and for your humble narrator’s fantasy team.

Mitchell won’t be the only Week 1 standout coveted by fantasy mavens this week. There are these fellows:

Latavius Murray (Ravens RB) — The former Viking got a touchdown in his first game with Baltimore on Monday night. He’ll be sharing the backfield with Ty’Son Williams, but the Ravens’ running game is always strong. We’re thinking Murray will be the back of choice near the goal line.

Baltimore Ravens running back Latavius Murray (28) scores a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Mark Ingram (Texans RB) — While many thought he was long past his expiration date, Ingram ran 26 times for 85 yards and a touchdown in Houston’s win over Jacksonville. His rivals for touches, David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay, combined for a mere 12 carries for 65 yards. Ingram is worth grabbing, at least until he runs out of gas in a few weeks.

1631726544 933 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Houston Texans running back Mark Ingram II (2) rushes for a gain against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Mike Williams (Chargers WR) — Quickly becoming a favorite of phenom quarterback Justin Herbert, Williams was targeted 12 times Sunday against Washington. His eight catches for 82 yards and a touchdown are easily repeatable in the Chargers’ offensive attack.

1631726544 733 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Washington Football Team cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (25) lines up against Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Cole Beasley (Bills WR) — He has been in the headlines for his anti-vaccine stance but Beasley was in the spotlight Sunday, being targeted 13 times by Buffalo QB Josh Allen. He caught eight passes for 60 yards and will be a reliable receiver all season as defenses focus on stopping Stefon Diggs.

1631726544 521 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley warms up prior to the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Orchard park, N.Y., Sunday Sept. 12, 2021. (AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Jameis Winston (Saints QB) — New Orleans’ new quarterback only completed 14 passes Sunday, but a remarkable five went for touchdowns. The more remarkable number for Winston was his number of interceptions: zero. Coach Sean Payton just might be able to make Winston a star again.

1631726544 139 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) rolls out to pass while being defended by Green Bay Packers linebacker Krys Barnes (51) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Jared Goff (Lions QB) — The lesser half of the Matthew Stafford trade passed for 338 yards and three TDs, mostly because Detroit was playing catchup all day Sunday. But that is going to be the Lions’ natural state all season. If you’re a fan of garbage time statistical padding, you will just love the 2021 edition of the former No. 1 pick.

1631726544 223 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) looks to pass against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

SITTING STARS
How long will it be until the Giants’ Saquon Barkley is again one of the NFL’s best running backs? It certainly won’t be Thursday night, so you might want to bench him against the Washington Football Team. … Same goes for Jacksonville RB James Robinson, who was a non-factor in the opener and will have even less room to run against Denver. … Kansas City’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire also had an unimpressive opener and should be no better vs. Baltimore. … Until Tennessee’s offensive line remembers how to block for him, you should keep QB Ryan Tannehill out of your lineup, including Sunday vs. the Seahawks. … And while you should always start former Vikings WR Stefon Diggs, he will have a tough go of it against Miami’s top-notch secondary.

1631726544 521 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is tackled by Denver Broncos’ Shelby Harris (96) and Kareem Jackson (22) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

MATCHUP GAME
Starting with Thursday night’s Washington-Giants game, there are two guys we especially like: WFT running back Antonio Gibson and Giants wideout Sterling Shepard. … Bad run defenses should be a boost for Denver’s Melvin Gordon (vs. Jaguars) and New England’s Damien Harris (vs. Jets). … Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield will bring the Texans back to reality after their surprising opener. … Justin Herbert and Dak Prescott will both post huge numbers in the Chargers-Cowboys matchup. … The Packers will bounce back fiercely after their Week 1 embarrassment, meaning big numbers for the usual suspects and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling. … And now that Ja’Marr Chase has stopped dropping the ball, the Cincinnati rookie WR should post more good numbers against an overrated Bears defense.

1631726544 313 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) talks to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Sept.12, 2021 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

INJURY WATCH
While Mostert had the first season-ending injury of Week 1, Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was not too far behind. His hip injury could end up costing him the rest of this season, elevating Taylor Heinicke to No. 1 for the WFT. … Denver wideout Jerry Jeudy suffered a high ankle sprain that looked much worse on video. He will be out four to six weeks, which will lead to more targets for Courtland Sutton and K.J. Hamler. … Dallas WR Michael Gallup (calf) could miss as many as five weeks, so Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb will keep posting huge numbers. Notables listed as questionable include Cleveland WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Philly tight end Zach Ertz.

1631726544 582 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) is tackled by New York Giants’ Logan Ryan (23) and James Bradberry (24) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

THE DEEPEST SLEEPER
While most Minnesota fans would like to forget everything about the opening week loss in Cincinnati, the game was not a total loss. We know now who will likely be the Vikings’ No. 3 pass receiving option: second-year wideout K.J. Osborn. The former Miami Hurricane caught seven passes for 76 yards and earned raves from Vikings coaches. He could find himself open regularly as defenses focus their attention on Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Pick him up, park him on your bench, and see if he blossoms.

1631726544 733 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) makes a catch against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati. The Bengals won 27-24. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

THE THURSDAY PICK
Giants at Washington (-3):
Pick: Washington by 7

1631726544 121 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) throws the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

BREAKING NEWS
We’ll be updating our column, based on the latest injuries and innuendo, right up until Sunday’s kickoffs. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.

You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Other voices: How to mess up a 5G rollout

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AT&T and Verizon switch on a new, faster form of 5G wireless data service

It’s hard to know which is more messed up these days — air transportation, or the Biden Administration. As another case in point, consider the clash between airlines and wireless carriers over 5G.

Verizon and AT&T said Tuesday they’ll delay a 5G rollout that was planned for Wednesday after airlines complained it would disrupt flights across the country. President Biden took credit for preventing anarchy in the skies, though his Administration created the mess.

At issue is the C-band spectrum that carriers plan to use to blanket metro areas with 5G. Carriers paid the U.S. government $80 billion for this valuable spectrum, but the Federal Aviation Administration now won’t let them use it. The agency says the signals could potentially interfere with plane altimeters that measure the distance to the ground.

The Federal Communications Commission reviewed these concerns during notice-and-comment on its plan to repurpose C-band from satellite operators. In March 2020, it approved a 258-page decision that included a safe buffer between the bands occupied by altimeters and 5G — larger than many other countries require.

Yet some 20 months later, the FAA demanded to relitigate the FCC decision and took airlines and carriers hostage. If Verizon and AT&T didn’t pause their 5G rollout, the FAA would order flights grounded or diverted. AT&T and Verizon didn’t want to be blamed for that, so they twice agreed to scale back and delay their rollouts.

Two weeks ago they struck a deal with the Transportation Department to limit C-band signals within a mile of airport runways for six months and delay deploying 5G until Jan. 19. The FAA said it wouldn’t ask for another delay. And if you believed that …

On Sunday the FAA said it had cleared only 45% of U.S. commercial airplanes to land in low-visibility conditions at only 48 of the 88 airports it deemed at highest risk from potential 5G interference. This didn’t cover Boeing’s wide-bodied 777 and 787 models, which are flying in countries around the world with fewer 5G restrictions.

This meant airlines would have to reroute or cancel thousands of flights. The disruptions would cause immediate havoc while forgone 5G service wouldn’t be felt by Americans. Wireless carriers would be blamed for the chaos, which is probably why they conceded Tuesday to more “voluntary” and “temporary” restrictions.

“At our sole discretion, we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways as we continue to work with the aviation industry and the FAA to provide further information about our 5G deployment, since they have not utilized the two years they’ve had to responsibly plan for this deployment,” AT&T said.

That’s far too charitable to the FAA and Transportation Department. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg rolled FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, who has supported the carriers’ 5G rollout behind the scenes. And now he and Mr. Biden are portraying their blundering as a diplomatic victory. This Administration needs less political spin and more competent governance.

— The Wall Street Journal

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Adele postpones Las Vegas residency, citing pandemic impact

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Adele postpones Las Vegas residency, citing pandemic impact

LONDON — Adele has postponed a 24-date Las Vegas residency hours before it was to start, citing delivery delays and coronavirus illness in her crew.

The chart-topping British singer said she was “gutted” and promised to reschedule the shows.

In a video message posted on social media, a tearful Adele said: “I’m so sorry but my show ain’t ready.”

“We’ve tried absolutely everything that we can to pull it together in time and for it to be good enough for you but we’ve been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and COVID,” she said, adding that “half my team are down with” the virus.

Adele had been due to perform 24 shows at Caesars Palace Hotel starting Friday following the release of her fourth album, “30.”

In a tweet, Caesars Palace said it understood fans’ disappointment but added: “Creating a show of this magnitude is incredibly complex. We fully support Adele and are confident the show she unveils at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace will be extraordinary.”

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Denver weather: Snow likely to fall Friday

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Denver weather: Sub-zero temperatures and accumulating snow for New Year’s Eve

Denver will experience a wintery day to end the week, with snow likely to fall on the city. Although not much accumulation is expected.

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, light snow should fall in the mountains, foothills and Denver metro on Friday. Slick travel conditions are possible with a few inches of accumulation at higher elevations. Forecasters say a sharp gradient of snowfall is likely across the Denver metro as totals will range from a half-inch to a couple of inches.

Downtown will see snow mainly between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. as the day will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Less than an inch of snow is forecasted. Winds could gust to 15 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60%. Overnight temperatures will fall into the teens.

Saturday will begin a dry and sunny weekend with a high of 45 degrees and a low of 22 degrees.

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