Wed Aug 14 5:23pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Tuesday, June 10, 2019 file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws a pass during a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Santa Clara, Calif. Jimmy Garoppolo had a practice to forget in his final session before facing an opposing defense for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury last September. Garoppolo threw interceptions on five straight pass attempts at practice for the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 in by far his worst session in his return from the torn ACL that cut short his 2018 season after three games.(AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo had a practice to forget in his final session before facing an opposing defense for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury in September.
Garoppolo threw interceptions on five straight pass attempts at practice for the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday, by far his worst session since his return from the torn ACL that cut short his 2018 season after three games.
''I was the defensive coach today so I was pumped,'' coach Kyle Shanahan said. ''The defense did great today. Obviously, he struggled. You hope to never have a day like that. But I don't think it's never not happened to anyone. When you do that, you hope you can practice long enough and you have a chance to play out of it.''
Garoppolo's day went off the rails when safety Jaquiski Tartt intercepted a pass that was tipped by linebacker Kwon Alexander. Free safety Tarvarius Moore added two more interceptions, cornerback Richard Sherman jumped in front of tight end Ross Dwelley for one of his own and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon had one in the end zone on an attempt to Dante Pettis.
Garoppolo settled down a bit after that and did lead a two-minute drill into the red zone before Tartt nearly came up with another interception on the final play, only to have it go through his hands to Jordan Matthews for a completion short of the goal line.
Shanahan said he hopes a practice like this will be a learning experience for Garoppolo on how to deal with frustration when things don't go the right way in games.
''You want so badly to make it up the next play but the next play you still have to make the right decision and go with what the defense gives you,'' Shanahan said. ''Sometimes it's hard to make the right decisions when you're fired up and competitive. Usually when you make a bad play, it makes your mind go a little bit sideways. That's why it is sometimes a good situation to put guys in and when that does happen sometimes you try to protect them a little bit in the game. But in practice it's the exact opposite. When there's an issue, you kind of poke at it a little bit more and see how guys react.''
Garoppolo will get a chance to rebound when the 49ers hold joint practices with the Denver Broncos on Friday and Saturday in preparation for an exhibition game. This will be Garoppolo's first time facing an opposing defense since injuring his knee in Kansas City last Sept. 23. He will also get a chance to play in the game on Monday night.
The one bright spot in Garoppolo's poor performance was that it showed that maybe the 49ers will have a more opportunistic defense this season after setting NFL records for futility with just two interceptions and seven takeaways all last season.
San Francisco goes into the joint practices a bit short-handed, especially on the defensive line where starting defensive ends Dee Ford and Nick Bosa remain sidelined. Ford (knee tendinitis) could return to practice next week for the first time since July 30.
Bosa had a severe ankle injury last week and his status for the season opener remains in doubt. Bosa worked out on the side Wednesday in an encouraging sign that he is making progress.
Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said making this missed time even more crucial is the fact that the team is implementing new techniques on the defensive line under coach Kris Kocurek.
''That stuff, to me, is important,'' Saleh said. ''Do I think it will hinder us from still being able to get after the passer? No, I don't think it will be too bad. I feel like there's going to be an adjustment. ... We're going to have a high celling once those guys get back of trying to master those techniques and master the relationship they have with one another so they can operate at a very high level.''
NOTES: LT Joe Staley didn't take part in team drills with pectoral soreness. ... TE George Kittle remains day to day with tightness in his calf. ... S Jimmie Ward has been cleared to practice but will still be held out of contact after breaking his collarbone during the offseason program. ... Rookie LB Dre Greenlaw was held out of contact drills because of a stinger suffered in practice Tuesday. ... DL Jullian Taylor (back) and TE Levine Toilolo (shoulder) didn't practice.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard hasn't done much in 2019, with that trend expected to continue in Week 7. The veteran has rushed for just 49 yards off of 23 attempts while racking up a subpar 108 receiving yards on 14 receptions so far this season. Joe Mixon continues to retain a firm grasp as the No. 1 option out of the backfield, so Bernard likely won't produce in all aspects until that changes, even with the team down A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (shoulder). For those fantasy managers who have Bernard on their roster for some reason, keep him benched against the Jaguars on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate will remain as the team's No. 2 option for Sunday's matchup against Jacksonville. With A.J. Green (ankle) still not ready to return, Tate will continue to receive a favorable amount of looks from quarterback Andy Dalton in Week 7. The 22-year-old was targeted 11 times against the Ravens in Week 6, and despite Dalton playing behind a horrendous offensive line, expect Boyd to produce something against a Jaguars Defense that no longer has Jalen Ramsey. The upside is there, especially in deeper formats.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has had a disappointing 2019. With just 15 receptions for 108 yards and a score, many were expecting the veteran to regain some traction this season after injuries plagued the team on the offensive end. However, Eifert remains a bust despite remaining healthy this season after spending a massive amount of time on injured reserve throughout the years. The upside is there against the Jaguars, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect much on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd will remain the No. 1 option on Sunday against the Jaguars. With A.J. Green (ankle) still not ready to return, Boyd should continue to get his looks from quarterback Andy Dalton. The 24-year-old has played relatively well, considering that the team has arguably the worst offensive line in football, and without Jalen Ramsey in the mix for Jacksonville after he was traded, the door is open for some solid production from Boyd. The upside is there for those plagued with injuries or looking to get through a bye.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Week 7 against the Jaguars. The 23-year-old has been a colossal disappointment this season, rushing for only 252 yards on 74 attempts in addition to 97 yards off of 14 catches, with his only touchdown of the season coming through the air during the Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. With a weak offensive line along with limited options on the receiving end, opposing defenses continue to keep Mixon in check. Don't expect anything different on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will have his hands full against Jacksonville. After throwing for 262 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals in Week 5, Dalton took a few steps back against Baltimore by logging a subpar 53.8 completion percentage to go along with an interception. With the Jaguars Defense getting to the quarterback often this season, expect Dalton to feel the pressure on Sunday behind arguably the worst offensive line in the league. Keep the veteran benched on Sunday.
The New York Jets Defense is getting star middle linebacker C.J. Mosley back for a tough Monday night matchup vs the Patriots. Mosley was a monster in the one game he played this season forcing two turnovers and scoring a touchdown in a Week 1 loss to Buffalo. The Jets defense hasn't looked the same without him so adding Mosley to a defense that already has safety Jamal Adams gives the Jets defense sleeper appeal in the second half against a soft schedule. Despite the good news, the Jets defense shouldn't be started this week against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has a rough matchup Monday against a Patriots Defense that allows the fewest fantasy points against to opposing wide receivers. Thomas got five targets last week, so he's been getting more involved in the offense, but is still not seeing the type of target share to warrant consideration in standard-size fantasy leagues. Thomas got five targets last week but is the clear third option behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder and won't carry much fantasy appeal as long as those other two are healthy.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder will face a tough test Monday when the Patriots No. 1 ranked pass defense comes to town. New England allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and shut down Crowder in Week 3 when they held him to only 25 yards on two catches. Third-string quarterback Luke Falk started that game, so Crowder should have more success with Sam Darnold back under center. In two games with Darnold, Crowder has 20 catches for 197 yards, so he has major fantasy upside moving forward, especially as the Jets' schedule gets softer. In Week 7, however, Crowder is only a borderline WR3 who has more appeal in PPR formats.
New York Jets Le'Veon Bell will face a tough matchup Monday night when the Patriots elite defense heads to MetLife Stadium. New England allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so it's a tough matchup for Bell, but he should put up RB2 numbers based on volume. Bell has played 92.2 percent of the team's offensive snaps so far and has the second-most targets on the team. Bell should see his usual 20-25 touches and fantasy owners should start him with confidence he can put up a decent day even if he doesn't score a touchdown.
Free-agent RB Samaje Perine (Bengals) passed through waivers and was re-signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and assigned to their practice squad Friday, Oct. 18.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson will look to change his fortunes against the Patriots in a tough matchup Monday. In seven career games against New England, Anderson hasn't scored a touchdown and his 39.5 percent catch rate is by far his lowest mark against any team he's faced more than once. This season, the Patriots are as daunting a matchup as there is in the NFL allowing the fewest fantasy points against to wide receivers. There is always the chance Anderson grabs a long touchdown, like the 92-yard score he had last week, so he has some appeal as a flex in deeper leagues. However, where possible, owners should look to steer clear of Anderson in this matchup.
Washington Redskins WR Wendell Smallwood has the ability to handle RB Chris Thompson's (toe) duties on passing downs against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, according to offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell.
Fantasy Spin: With Thompson sidelined, Smallwood could be headed for the handful of catches and 50-plus total yards typically reserved for Thompson, but he's still just a DFS lottery ticket for fantasy purposes.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold will face a tough challenge Monday night against the Patriots, the team that has given up the fewest fantasy points this season to opposing quarterbacks. Darnold, who missed three games with mono, had a strong showing in his return to the field Sunday when he put up 338 yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect that type of performance Monday against arguably the best defense in the NFL, especially with two starters on the offensive line unlikely to play. Darnold is best left on the bench this week, however, the Jets schedule gets very soft after the game vs New England so Darnold is a good bench stash for those matchups.
New Orleans Saints RB Dwayne Washington will be 'invited into the offensive mix' against the Chicago Bears in Week 7 with RB Alvin Kamara (ankle) ruled out, according to Larry Holder of The Athletic.
Fantasy Spin: While Washington will likely see some touches, Latavius Murray is the back to target if you are looking for a replacement for Kamara. However, a matchup with a tough Chicago defense limits Murray to flex consideration.
Oakland Raiders WR Trevor Davis is expected to see an expanded role in the passing attack against the Green Bay Packers in Week 7 because of the injury to WR Tyrell Williams (foot), according to Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Fantasy Spin: Davis caught four passes for 42 yards against Chicago in Week 5 in his second game with Oakland after being acquired from Green Bay. He could be worth a flier in DFS contests when faces off against his former team.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant (hamstring) and cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) were limited in practice this week and are questionable for Week 7 against the Bills. Even if Grant plays this weekend, he's nowhere close to being fantasy relevant behind Devante Parker, Preston Williams and Albert Wilson on the depth chart. Grant has only nine catches (19 targets) for 52 scoreless yards in four games this year. Howard is the team's best cornerback, but the Dolphins Defense/special teams is also well off the fantasy radar. If Howard sits, it'll be good news for Bills wideout John Brown.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring) practiced in full the last two days and isn't on the Week 7 injury report against the Bengals. Oliver has yet to play in his rookie season, but this weekend would be good timing for him to make his debut with Geoff Swaim out and James O'Shaughnessy on Injured Reserve. There's no guarantee that Oliver is heavily involved in the offense in his first game, but he's one to watch for those that are desperate at the position.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Nick Foles (collarbone) is expected to return to practice next week. He is currently on the Reserve/Injured list.
Fantasy Spin: Foles probably is a few weeks away from returning to the lineup, so Gardner Minshew will continue to be the starting quarterback for now. Minshew should have a favorable matchup this week and can be a low-end No. 1 quarterback in deeper leagues.