Sat Aug 17 7:06pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) meet at midfield after an an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Raiders won 33-26. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) puts on his helmet prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
NAPA, Calif. (AP) Antonio Brown made it through a walkthrough practice for the Oakland Raiders with no issues with his frost-bitten feet and is expected to be a full participant in practice soon for the first time this summer.
Coach Jon Gruden said Saturday that he thinks Brown will be able to get back into practice before the Raiders play their third exhibition game next week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, against the Green Bay Packers.
Brown hasn't taken part in a full practice session all of training camp as he dealt with injuries to his feet suffered in a cryotherapy mishap in France last month and fought with the NFL over the helmet he's allowed to use.
''He did everything with us just now,'' quarterback Derek Carr said. ''The man's recall is unbelievable. He came in and had no mental errors. In this offense, that's not easy to do. Especially whenever you have a day off just even as a player, you come back and you have to stay on Coach Gruden's offense all the time. You can tell Antonio has been studying because he came out and didn't miss a beat.''
Brown started training camp on the non-football injury list because of the injuries to his feet. He participated in one warmup and part of one practice before leaving the team briefly to get treatment and deal with a grievance with the NFL over his helmet. He returned to the team this past Tuesday after losing the grievance and began looking for a new helmet. He took part in pregame warmups in Arizona two days later and the walkthrough on Saturday.
Brown is being counted on as a major part of Oakland's offense this season after being acquired in a trade from Pittsburgh back in March. He had 686 catches and 9,145 yards receiving in his final six seasons with the Steelers, the best mark ever for a receiver in a six-year span.
In Brown's absence, the Raiders have gotten good contributions in practice and preseason games with the other receivers on the roster in a positive sign at a position that was a weakness on the team last season.
Tyrell Williams has been a star at practice as the projected starter across from Brown and had a leaping 27-yard grab against the Cardinals in his only brief preseason appearance. Undrafted rookie Keelan Doss is making a case for a roster spot with seven catches for 47 yards and a TD in two exhibition games, while fifth-round rookie slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and free-agent acquisitions J.J. Nelson and Ryan Grant have also flashed.
''It's awesome,'' Williams said. ''I feel like we have guys with speed, guys with size, guys that work in the slot. Everybody has something that's really unique to them and I think everybody can do everything too, so it's just nice to see. Especially in the game, seeing the undrafted guys go out there and make plays because I know how it felt in that same situation when I first came in, so seeing them have success is awesome.''
NOTES: The Raiders activated G Denzelle Good (back) from the physically unable to perform list and will work him back into the rotation on the line. Oakland will be without its two projected starting guards to begin the season with Richie Incognito serving a two-game suspension for violating personal conduct rules and Gabe Jackson expected to miss at least the first month with a knee injury. ... The Raiders signed G/C Cameron Hunt, who played three games for Oakland last year and spent time with the team in the offseason program. ... WR Jordan Lasley was waived.
Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 2
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller was dominant against the Saints, catching 12 balls for 103 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 16 targets. The Saints had absolutely no answer for Waller. He is too big and strong for safeties and cornerbacks and too fast for linebackers, so he is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He is clearly quarterbackDerek Carr's favorite offensive weapon, leading the team in targets by a significant margin. He will match up against the Patriots next week, a team that has found success against opposing tight ends thus far, but they have not faced an elite tight end like Waller to this point. Look for Waller to have another strong performance next week. He's a must-start high-end TE1 each and every week.
Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers (rib) is being listed as day-to-day after separating rib cartilage in the Week 2 win over the Eagles. Akers had just three carries for 13 yards before suffering the injury last Sunday, but he should be OK going forward. However, the Rams are uncertain on Akers' status for this weekend at the Bills, which is already a very tough matchup to begin with. Malcolm Brown (pinkie) is ailing, too, but LA also has Darrell Henderson Jr. in the picture, so Akers will once again be an extremely risky flex option in shallow leagues for Week 3. After two weeks, this Rams backfield has been extremely tough to predict, as was expected coming into the year.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had an impressive performance against the Saints, throwing for 282 yards and three touchdowns in a Monday night victory. Carr showed his efficiency once again, completing 73 percent of his passes and not throwing an interception. The Saints have a solid defense, so this was an encouraging performance from Carr. After a difficult first quarter, the Raiders were great on third down, and the Saints had no answer for the passing attack. Carr has led the Raiders offense to 34 points per game over the first two contests, but it will not be easy to keep this pace next week against the Patriots. Carr will need to have a couple more of these performances to start being considered as a legitimate fantasy starter.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs picked up 88 yards on 27 carries in a win against the Saints. The Saints have one of the best defenses in the league, so yards did not come easy for Jacobs. It was not the best fantasy day, considering he was not heavily utilized in the passing game, catching just three balls for 17 yards. However, he showed that he can still put up a significant amount of yards against stout run defenses, gaining over 40 yards after contact. He will look to build on this performance next week against the Patriots, who surrendered 115 rushing yards to running backs against the Seahawks in Week 2. Jacobs should remain a starter in fantasy lineups no matter who he matches up against.
The Denver Broncos signed free agent quarterback Blake Bortles to a one-year deal on Tuesday morning. The former Jaguars signal-caller will officially sign once he passes his COVID protocols and will serve as some much-needed depth in the absence of Drew Lock (shoulder). Bortles owns an 80.6 career passer rating in 73 starts along with 103 touchdowns to 75 interceptions. Backup Jeff Driskel looked good in relief of Lock on Sunday and should remain the starter for the near future, though if he falters, Bortles could step in as a serviceable backup.
Las Vegas Raiders TE Jason Witten posted one grab for three yards on his only target in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Witten won't sniff the field for many snaps as long as Darren Waller is healthy and running hot. He is more of an on-field coach and mentor at this point of his career. His fantasy value is rather negligible at the moment. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders WR Nelson Agholor was limited to just one reception for 19 yards on one target in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Agholor was mostly invisible, with fellow wideouts Bryan Edwards (two), Hunter Renfrow (three) and Henry Ruggs III (three) each seeing more targets, and Zay Jones scoring the lone touchdown among the group. As such, Agholor has a ways to go before regaining fantasy relevance. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders WR Zay Jones posted a 15-yard touchdown on his only target in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Despite the score he isn't someone for fantasy owners to count upon going forward outside of the very, very deepest of leagues. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr completed 28-of-38 passes for 282 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Carr's favorite target was Darren Waller (12-103-1), and he targeted the tight end 16 times while targeting 10 others players a total of just 18 times. The Raiders travel to meet the New England Patriots in Week 3.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jalen Richard rushed twice for 26 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown scamper, in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: It wasn't a great night, and he didn't have any receptions. Two touches, even with a touchdown, won't make him terribly attractive for fantasy owners in most leagues. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.
New Orleans Saints S Malcolm Jenkins posted seven total stops, a sack, a tackle for loss, a pass defensed and a quarterback hit in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook posted just two grabs for 13 yards on five targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders, but he was able to score a touchdown.
Fantasy Spin: Cook salvaged the line with the touchdown, even if his yardage total was way down. He had five grabs for 80 yards in Week 1, so he has found a way to contribute each game. He remains a decent low-end TE1 in leagues of 12 or more teams heading into Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers.
New Orleans Saints LB Demario Davis registered eight total stops with one tackle for loss and a pass defensed in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New Orleans Saints CB P.J. Williams posted seven total tackles, including five solo stops, and he added a fumble recovery in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New Orleans Saints WR Emmanuel Sanders registered just one catch for 18 yards on three targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Sanders was very disappointing given the fact Michael Thomas was out due to injury and he figured to have a much larger role. Fantasy owners will want to keep him reserved until he gets more acclimated to his new surroundings and he gets more involved. The Packers visit the Saints in Week 3.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz connected on his only field-goal attempt and made three extra points in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. Lutz didn't get to try for many field goals considering the Saints offense capitalized with touchdowns when they were in the red zone. As part of a high-octane offense, Lutz remains a weekly starter considering his large role and reliability.
New Orleans Saints WR Ty Montgomery posted two receptions for 25 yards on three targets in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Montgomery is a versatile player who has lined up in the backfield for rushes, as well as as a wideout, during his time with the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets. However, he has plenty of company at both spots and isn't going to get enough touches to make him fantasy worthy in most leagues.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara had a tremendous performance in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders, getting 13 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns along with leading the team with nine receptions for 95 yards on nine targets. The absence of Michael Thomas thrust Kamara into a huge role and he put on a great display in both the passing and rushing game. He remains a solid RB1 going forward.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith came through in the Week 2 loss to Las Vegas, getting five receptions for 86 yards on seven targets. With Michael Thomas sidelined, it was only natural to see Smith see some more targets and he delivered with a great performance. He should see some targets as long as Thomas is out, keeping him in the flex tier for the foreseeable future.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders only managed one reception for 18 yards on three targets in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. It was certainly a disappointing performance for the temporary WR1 of the Saints as Drew Brees even eclipsed 300 passing yards. Sanders will look to get back on track in Week 3 against the Packers, but his value should be downgraded to a flex considering his Week 2 struggles.