Didn't take long for Fantasy Football owners to forgive Ray Rice -- because just hours after he was reinstated, Ray has become the MOST picked up player in Yahoo! fantasy leagues.
As we previously reported, Ray's fantasy stock sank like a stone after TMZ Sports published the inside-the-elevator footage back in September.
But now, according to Yahoo! "Transaction Trends" page, Ray has already been added to more than 168,000 fantasy teams ... the #1 added player today ... BY FAR.
In fact, the #2 guy is Vikings running back Matt Asiata who was added to 14,000 teams.
Funny thing is ... Ray hasn't been signed to a real team yet.
Clearly, 168k people think he'll find a new squad before the season ends.
Finally Speaks Out
Blasts Ravens, Defends Ray Rice
11/28/2014 1:11 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Janay Rice has finally broken her silence about the ENTIRE Ray Rice elevator saga ... from the fight to the cover up to the reason she decided to NOT divorce the NFL star.
Janay spoke with ESPN on November 5th in an interview that the network agreed to hold until after the U.S. District judge issued their ruling on the NFL's actions.
In the interview, Janay says she doesn't remember what she and Ray were fighting about in Atlantic City back in February ... but says she does remember Ray got physical first.
"As we were arguing, he was on his phone and not looking at me. I went to reach for his phone, and when he grabbed it back, he spit at me and I slapped him."
On Apologizing for Her Role in the Incident at Ravens News Conference:
" I know some people disagreed with me publicly apologizing. I'm not saying that what Ray did wasn't wrong. He and I both know it was wrong. It's been made clear to him that it was wrong. But at the same time, who am I to put my hands on somebody? "
On What Ray Was Thinking After He Hit Her:
"I asked him how he felt when he saw that I was unconscious. He told me he was in shock. I asked him what happened when we got out of the elevator. He told me he was terrified because security was there. I asked him how he felt seeing me like that. He said he was thinking, "What did I just do?" I didn't watch the video again."
On What Ray and Janay told Roger Goodell:
"Ray told the commissioner, and his colleagues, everything that happened. There was no reason to lie because we knew that there was a video and we assumed the NFL knew what was in it, even though we didn't know whether or not they saw it.
On Anger at Baltimore Ravens for Cutting Ray:
"I was extremely surprised and angry that the Ravens released him, because they know him. They were our family, but I felt like the Ravens completely disregarded the past six years with him. Anytime the Ravens needed someone for a community event, Ray was their man.
On Being a Martyr for Domestic Violence:
"If it took our situation becoming headline news to show domestic violence is happening in this country, that's a positive."
LETTERS OF BOOM
NFL Star Drops iPhone App
11/26/2014 9:28 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
NFL star Richard Sherman is officially in the app business -- dropping a brand new word game called "Letters of Boom."
Sherman describes the app as an "action-oriented word game" ... where players try to rearrange letters and spell words as fast as they can. Also, stuff blows up.
"I've always loved word games, but there has never been anything out there that felt hard-hitting or extreme for me," Sherman said.
Sherman -- who provided voice-work on the game -- says the app also comes with an updated dictionary that includes "slang" and "swagger" words like "picksix."
He's not the 1st NFL star to get involved with apps ... former Indianapolis Colts defensive back Brandon King developed a game called "Smashman" earlier this year where a QB runs for his life from a defense.
FYI -- King's game had 2,000 downloads in its first week.
I HAVE A REAL SUPER BOWL RING
Here's How I Got It ...
11/26/2014 6:23 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Steve Young ... Jerry Rice ... Teri Hatcher -- they ALL have rings from Super Bowl XXIX -- even though one of them wasn't actually on the team.
The former "Lois & Clark" star WAS a cheerleader for the 49ers back in 1984 ... but in the video, she explains why she was allowed to enjoy the spoils of victory when the team beat the Chargers 10 years later.
FYI -- Teri just returned from NY where she gave a speech to the U.N. about eliminating domestic violence -- and encouraged people to wear orange ... the official color to unite women against D.V.
Taunts NFL for Fining Marshawn $100K ...
11/25/2014 2:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Richard Sherman slammed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the massive fine he dropped on Marshawn Lynch for not talking to the media ... by accusing the league of being two-faced.
Seattle Seahawks Sherman and Doug Baldwin (hiding behind a cardboard cutout of himself) held a pretty shocking news conference today where they openly mocked the league policy forcing players to talk to reporters. The duo talked excessively, but only about things the league does NOT want them discussing.
They shouted out personal sponsors -- including Beats by Dre -- which the league banned players from wearing on gameday because of a deal with Bose. Then Sherman went nuclear, calling out the league for saying it's dedicated to "player safety" ... while making them play 2 games within 5 days.
A blatant shot at Thursday night games.
You gotta see this -- pretty sure Sherman's gonna be a few thousand bucks lighter in the pockets once the commish sees it.
NFL Legend Aeneas Williams
CLEANING UP FERGUSON
... Boarding Up Windows
11/25/2014 1:47 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Aeneas Williams -- one of the best defensive players in NFL history -- is hitting the streets of Ferguson ... helping to repair the city one shattered window at a time.
The Hall-of-Famer -- who's also a pastor in St. Louis -- rounded up a crew of people and is boarding up some of the windows that were smashed during the melee last night.
"Love Never Fails! Love is an ACTION WORD! I SEE A LOT OF LOVE HERE IN FERGUSON," Williams tweeted.
"After all the finger pointing is done, my [question] is what are we going to do now? Answer LOVE."
Ex-NFL Star Fred Smoot
Arrested for Domestic Violence
11/25/2014 8:44 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
10:45 AM PT -- TMZ Sports obtained the police report which shows cops were called to Smoot's residence around 11 AM.
Smoot's GF told police Smoot pushed her against the wall in their bathroom when she tried to grab the keys to his truck so she could drive it to work.
The GF says, "He scratched her on the knuckle and the stomach."
She also claims Smoot "grabbed her shorts and ripped them."
The responding officer noted that the GF has "minor marks to the knuckle and stomach. Her shorts were ripped in the crouch [sic] area."
We spoke to the GF who tells us, "He came through the door after me and ripped my boxer shorts."
The GF says she ran outside the home and tried knocking on neighbor's doors -- but no one answered. Eventually she claims she got back in her house and called cops and hid in a closet until police arrived.
After the cops arrived, the GF says she went to Smoot's truck and found a half-empty box of condoms ... and believes that's why he was trying to keep her out of the car.
We spoke with a rep for Smoot who told us the ex-NFL has no comment and wants the legal process to run its course.
Former NFL star Fred Smoot was arrested in Washington D.C. Sunday for domestic violence after allegedly beating up his girlfriend ... TMZ Sports has learned.
The 35-year-old cornerback -- who finished his career with the Washington Redskins -- was arrested for misdemeanor simple assault.
The alleged victim has posted photos on social media showing cuts to her upper lip and bruises to her arm she says she sustained from multiple incidents. She also claims to have requested a restraining order against Smoot.
Law enforcement tells TMZ Sports ... Smoot was arraigned this morning and was released on $2,500 bond.
Story developing ...
NFL Star Torrey Smith
My Son Should Be the Gerber Baby!!!
11/25/2014 8:24 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Torrey Smith is on a mission to make his son the next Gerber Baby ... entering the 7-month-old into the official Gerber competition -- and he's already got celebrity support.
The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver and his wife Chanel entered little Torrey Jeremiah (aka TJ) into the Gerber "Be Our Baby" photo search ... where TJ will battle it out with tykes from across the country.
The competition closes on December 14 ... and the winner gets $5,000!
Chanel says it's not about the money for them -- "I just want TJ in a Gerber commercial 😂😂 that little face belongs somewhere!"
She adds, "If TJ wins we plan to give half of the money to a children's charity and the other half would go to TJs college fund."
Janay Rice has also joined the campaign on Instagram saying, "Make sure you vote for this adorable face & my favorite cool kid for the Gerber baby contest."
Odell Beckham Jr.
LeBron Tweeted About Me?!
Best Moment of My Life!
11/25/2014 6:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. says he's been BOMBARDED with praise since that one-handed miracle grab ... but the best moment involved a tweet from LeBron James.
OBJ was at Steiner Sports in NYC last night when revealed that LeBron is his all-time favorite athlete ... and when King James tweeted about the catch on Sunday, it blew his mind.
FYI -- here's the tweet LeBron posted after Beckham's catch: "Man I just witnessed the greatest catch ever possibly by Odell Beckham Jr! WOW!!!!"
Imagine your hero writing that about you. Pretty cool, right?!
Still, Odell is modest about the 3-fingered catch, saying the greatest snag ever made still belongs to ANOTHER NY Giants wide receiver.
Check out the clip ...
Johnny Manziel Accuser
I've Got Pics Of Fight Injuries
11/25/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The man who claims he was attacked by Johnny Manziel and his "entourage" last week says he's still in pain from the alleged hotel beatdown ... and says he's got pics to prove it.
TMZ Sports spoke with Chris Gonos ... who claims his left elbow was jacked up by Johnny's crew during a fight at The 9 hotel in Cleveland late Friday night.
Gonos says the picture shows severe swelling and a nasty bruise -- but claims he also suffered a swollen lip and and injuries to his eye.
Gonos says he's not sure who hit him -- but he's confident the assailant was part of Johnny's crew.
Police are investigating the incident ... but so far, no arrests have been made.
As for Johnny, he tells a very different story ... saying he was "accosted by a very aggressive man and his associates" at the hotel that night.
Manziel also says he was never rolling with an "entourage."
Says Grand Jury Can Reverse Ruling
... Inspires False Hope
11/24/2014 10:53 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Adrian Peterson believes there's a slight chance the grand jury in Ferguson will change its mind and indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Mike Brown ... problem is, he's flat-out wrong.
In the wake of the decision in Ferguson, AP went to Twitter to express his dismay over situation ... writing, "The GRAND JURY DECIDED NOT TO INDICT ME TOO! But that changed a week LATER! MAYBE, BUT NOT LIKELY N THIS CASE #PUTyourTrustNGODnotINtheWORLD!"
AP is obviously referring to his child abuse case ... insisting he was under the impression the grand jury was leaning toward NOT pursuing charges against him for beating his son with a switch ... only to change its mind and indict at the last minute.
There were reports that AP's case was "no-billed" by a grand jury and then taken to another grand jury, which decided to indict the NFL star ... but the Montgomery County D.A. eventually shot those reports down.
"The same grand jury was the one that reviewed all the evidence and the law in this particular case, and the one that issued the indictment,” the D.A. stated.
That being said, seems AP is ill-informed about how grand juries work ... because unless a game-changing new piece of evidence emerges, the decision by the grand jury in Ferguson will stick ... like it or not.
Odell Beckham's H.S. Coach
I Tried to Get Him to Catch With 2 Hands
... He Wouldn't Listen
11/24/2014 5:06 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Check this out ... we just spoke with Odell Beckham Jr.'s high school coach Nelson Stewart about the insane 1-handed catch -- his quotes are fantastic.
-- "We tried to stop him from catching the ball with one hand in high school ... but then we said, 'This is stupid, he never drops the ball. Let's just let him.'"
-- "Now we have a problem with our players trying to catch the ball with one hand. They say, 'But you let him do it.' I say, 'You are not Odell Beckham!'"
-- "He said he wants to have his high school jersey hanging at the high school one day. We haven't given his number away since -- so I think he's on his way."
-- "His hands were bigger than anyone on our team. He literally never dropped a ball. He redefined everything you could do."
Fun Fact -- OBJ went to Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans ... where Eli and Peyton Manning played their prep ball.
KC Chiefs Star Eric Berry
Team Doctors Believe
He Has Lymphoma
11/24/2014 2:29 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Kansas City Chiefs star safety Eric Berry has been placed on the non-football injury list after doctors discovered a mass on the right side of his chest ... which they believe to be lymphoma.
Berry is expected to go to Emory University hospital for further evaluation.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of the situation, "Right now, he needs to be a beast. He'll attack this."
Berry released a statement, saying, "I am truly thankful for all of the support from family, friends, coaches, teammates and the entire Chiefs kingdom. At first I was in shock with the diagnosis on Saturday and did not even want to miss a game, but I understand that right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent."
He added, "I know my coaches and teammates will hold things down here the rest of the season and until I am back running out of the tunnel at Arrowhead. I am so thankful and appreciative of being a part of this franchise and playing in front of the best fans in the NFL. I will be back!"