Sun Sep 23 4:26pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
Baltimore Ravens running back Javorius Allen, right, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Alex Collins in the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum, center, throws a pass as he is pressured by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Za'Darius Smith, right, in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins, center, celebrates his touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins, right, rushes past Denver Broncos defensive back Justin Simmons for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Denver Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb (55) sacks Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco prepares to throw to a receiver in the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
BALTIMORE (AP) Joe Flacco picked apart Denver's depleted defense for 277 yards and a touchdown, and the Baltimore Ravens defeated the previously unbeaten Broncos 27-14 Sunday.
Connecting with eight receivers, Flacco went 25 for 40 without an interception on a rainy afternoon. He threw 28 passes in the first half alone, when Baltimore (2-1) took control.
Flacco's success came against a Denver backfield that began the day without injured cornerback Adam Jones (thigh) and lost cornerback Tramaine Brock (groin) in the first quarter. As a result, rookie Isaac Yiadom saw significant playing time at right corner.
Javorious Allen caught a 12-yard touchdown pass and ran for a score for the Ravens.
Denver was coming off two home wins, both by virtue of fourth-quarter comebacks. This time, the Broncos could not rally after Allen's 1-yard TD run made it 27-14 midway through the third quarter.
Denver was inside the Baltimore 5 with 9 minutes left before Case Keenum was intercepted by Patrick Onwuasor, whose 89-yard return for a touchdown was wiped out by a block in the back.
The Broncos' next drive ended at the Baltimore 11.
Keenum completed 22 of 34 passes for 192 yards.
Denver got a touchdown after blocking a punt and also swatted away a field goal try. Chris Harris took the second blocked kick 58 yards for a touchdown, but an illegal block nullified the second-quarter score.
On the ensuing series, Broncos rookie running back Phillip Lindsay was ejected for throwing a punch during the scramble for a fumble by Keenum.
A wild first half ended with Baltimore up 20-14.
After Denver's Joseph Jones blocked a punt to set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Royce Freeman, Alex Collins ran in from the 6 for Baltimore.
Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders made it 14-7 with a 35-yard end around, his first career rushing touchdown.
Justin Tucker sandwiched a pair of 52-yard field goals around a 12-yard touchdown throw by Flacco.
Tucker now has six career games with multiple field goals of 50 yards or more, an NFL record. He has also connected on his last eight attempts from at least 50 yards.
The Ravens welcomed back linebacker Ray Lewis, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August following a 17-year career with Baltimore.
After the players were introduced, the song ''Hot in Herre'' by Nelly boomed over the PA.
Lewis emerged from the tunnel wearing his yellow Hall of Fame jacket and performed his trademark dance while the soggy crowd cheered.
Lewis was presented with his Hall of Fame ring during a ceremony at halftime. He was joined by Jonathan Ogden, the Ravens' other HOF member.
Broncos: S Darian Stewart left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury but returned.
Ravens: MLB C.J. Mosley was inactive with a bruised knee.
Broncos host Kansas City in an AFC West showdown Monday night.
Ravens travel to Pittsburgh for a Sunday night matchup between AFC North teams.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is coming off a fantastic real-life game which saw him complete 18 of his 22 pass attempts against the Carolina Panthers. That being said, his production in the fantasy realm was lacking as he threw just one touchdown in the game. Since the team fired Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, the Browns have been playing slow on offense, which has limited Mayfield's ceiling somewhat. This week, the Browns travel to Denver to take on the Broncos on Saturday night. The Broncos have been great against the pass this season, ranking No. 2 in pass defense DVOA. That being said, the Broncos have suffered several injuries in their secondary over the past few weeks which keeps Mayfield in the conversation as a deep-league streamer. Treat Mayfield as a mid-QB2 for Week 15.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle) could be limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 12, as the team will closely monitor his ankle injury heading into Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Tannehill has binged with a couple of three-score games, but history has shown you can't count on that this week against the Minnesota Vikings. He's a QB2 in two-QB leagues.
Seattle Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks (knee) injured his knee during the team's Week 14 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and his availability for the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Dec. 16, is in question, according to head coach Pete Carroll.
The Tennessee Titans signed TE Cole Wick off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Tennessee also signed free-agent OL Austin Pasztor (Falcons).
San Francisco 49ers WR Pierre Garcon (knee) was officially placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will head into Week 15 with 102 receptions for 1,218 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. Thomas will face a Panthers secondary that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to receivers, including four 100-yard receiving games since Week 11. Carolina has surrendered 10 touchdowns to receivers over their last six games and now must try and shut down one of the game's elite receivers. Thomas should be able to exploit this matchup in Week 15 and will be a WR1 option across all fantasy formats.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley will go up against a Titans defense in Week 15 that is allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. But at this point in the season, tough matchups no longer scare fantasy owners of the fantastic rookie. Barkley has least 100-plus yards from scrimmage in 12 of the 13 games played this season to go along with 13 total touchdowns. Barkley is about as bankable a fantasy option as any player in the league right now and heads into Week 15 with 1,753 all-purpose yards. Start Barkley with confidence.
New York Giants tight end Evan Engram's fantasy arrow has been pointing up over the last two games, posting 143 yards over that span. But he could struggle to out-score his fantasy projections against a Titans defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Titans defense has not allowed a tight end to catch a touchdown against them this season and only two tight ends have scored more than six fantasy points in a single game. Engram will be a dicey TE2 play in Week 15.
Arizona Cardinals WR Chad Williams (ankle, hamstring) was listed with the first-team offense on the team's depth chart Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: This is somewhat notable since Williams has missed the last five games and doesn't exactly have the kind of resume that one usually has to keep a job when he is sidelined that long. Larry Fitzgerald remains the only playable Cardinal receiver, but DFS players who may have been hoping to strike gold with J.J. Nelson and Trent Sherfield versus the Atlanta Falcons may have to look elsewhere.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Kelvin Benjamin is reportedly picking up the offense quickly, but it remains unlikely he will play an extended amount of time in Week 15 versus the Los Angeles Chargers.
Fantasy Spin: It's understandable considering he hasn't been with the team two weeks yet. Still, Tyreek Hill will almost certainly be limited in some way, shape or form and the Chiefs may be down to Damien Williams as their starting running back. Despite the presence of Patrick Mahomes, owners should be able to do better than Benjamin in their starting lineups during the fantasy playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who had his first practice with the team last Friday, is unlikely to play extended snaps if he makes his team debut on Thursday against the Chargers. However, they may need Benjamin active with Sammy Watkins (foot) not expected to be available until the playoffs and Tyreek Hill (heel, wrist) being dinged up in Week 14. Its just concepts and really learning the language of a new playbook, Benjamin told The Star on Tuesday. Its coming real good to me. I feel like Im grasping it real well. Benjamin was terrible in his time with Buffalo and lacked hustle and motivation, so hopefully he'll be more motivated to make an impact with his first team, who currently have the top seed in the AFC. Even if Benjamin plays this Thursday and in the final two games of the season, he's unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact unless either Hill or Chris Conley get hurt.
Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Keke Coutee (hamstring) was limited in practice on Tuesday. Coutee has missed the last two games but is trending toward being active in Week 15 on Saturday against the Jets. Hamstring issues have limited the rookie to just six games in 2018, and he can't be trusted in starting lineups behind DeAndre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas if he returns. Quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn't been throwing the ball all that much either, making Coutee unlikely to see heavy targets if he's back this Saturday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) had his injured thumb immobilized Tuesday, Dec. 11. He cannot squeeze a football with his injured hand yet but hopes to play again this season.
Fantasy Spin: In the meantime, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries will continue to see increased targets. They have a tough matchup this week, though, against the Baltimore Ravens, so lower your expectations.
New York Jets LB Jerry Attaochu (concussion), RB Trenton Cannon (toe) and LB Jordan Jenkins (shoulder, ankle) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 11. LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) was limited. OT Kelvin Beachum (knee), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder, neck), TE Jordan Leggett (knee), C Spencer Long (knee, finger), WR Andre Roberts (foot) and CB Buster Skrine (shoulder) participated fully.
New York Jets WR Robby Anderson (ankle) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Last week Anderson found the end zone for the first time in six games and saw seven targets for the third time in four games, but he's an inconsistent player who can't be trusted in postseason lineups.
New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was not at practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Enunwa has done next to nothing since the beginning of the season. Now is not the time to take a chance on starting him and hoping he rebounds.
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (foot) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: If you made your league's playoffs, you probably didn't get there by starting Darnold. Don't start now.
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Carter (concussion), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), C Zach Fulton (hand), S Andre Hal (ankle), CB Kareem Jackson (knee), OG Senio Kelemete (elbow) and DE J.J. Watt (knee) were limited in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11. LB Dylan Cole (wrist, knee), CB Aaron Colvin (ankle), C Greg Mancz (knee), LB Brian Peters (ankle), S Justin Reid (shoulder, wrist) and CB Shareece Wright (neck) participated fully.
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (foot) practiced on a limited basis Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Hopkins has been limited in practice practically the entire season. He has produced consistently despite the nagging issue, so there's no reason to remove him from starting lineups, especially in the fantasy playoffs.
Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson (shoulder) was a full practice participant Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Watson has been bruised and battered for the entirety of his sophomore campaign but he'll be good to go in a favorable matchup with the New York Jets. He's a QB1 for those still in the fantasy postseason.