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One and Done - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 12

Undefeated Patriots take on improved Jets team with Darnold

Thu Oct 17 2:10pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Tom Brady, Benjamin Watson, Rob Gronkowski, Matt LaCosse, Robby Anderson, Luke Falk, Ryan Izzo, Sam Darnold

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes under pressure from the New York Giants in the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are still rolling right along with a high-powered offense and a stingy defense that has their record blemish-free.

The New York Jets look a bit different, though, from the team Bill Belichick's bunch beat 30-14 less than a month ago. And, it all starts at quarterback.

Luke Falk was under center then, making his first NFL start and looking overwhelmed and overmatched. Sam Darnold is back this time around, fully recovered from mononucleosis and coming off one of the best performances of his young career.

''He's a big, strong kid that can stand in the pocket and he's hard to tackle,'' Belichick said. ''He's not an easy guy to bring down. He's big, he can see and find guys under pressure.''

Darnold showed no signs of rust after missing three games because of his illness, going 23 of 32 for 338 yards and two TDs with an INT in a 24-22 win over Dallas and being selected the AFC's offensive player of the week.

It was a big boost for what had been a badly struggling Jets offense. Darnold's day was highlighted by his 92-yard touchdown throw to Robby Anderson, the longest offensive play in the NFL this season and the second-longest in franchise history.

Now, Darnold and the Jets hope to use that momentum to get something going against the Patriots' top-ranked defense at MetLife Stadium in a prime-time showdown.

''You've got to continue to grind,'' Darnold said. ''We know that after a good win, you've got to come right back in here because we got a tough one Monday night against the Pats. We know what our job is, we've just got to come in and get back to work.''

The Patriots are off to a 6-0 start for the fourth time in team history, with a chance to get to 7-0 for just the third time. They also have a chance to sweep the two-game regular-season series against the Jets for the fourth straight year.

Brady is 28-6 against the Jets in the regular season, including seven straight wins. He's also 16-7 in Monday night games, including 2-0 against New York. Meanwhile, Belichick is 18-8 on Monday nights - but just 9-7 in those games on the road.

''Monday night is always a high-energy game,'' Belichick said. ''We'll point to that and know it's always tough down there in New York. So, we need to have a good week here and be ready to go.''

Here are some other things to know for the latest Patriots-Jets showdown:

BEEN A WHILE

The Jets and Patriots play on a Monday night for the eighth time, and New York leads those matchups 4-3.

The previous time the AFC East rivals squared off on ''Monday Night Football'' was in 2010, when New England cruised to a 45-3 victory.

It's also the first time the Patriots are playing a Monday night game on the road against the Jets since 2005, when they won 31-21.

THIRD-DOWN DOMINANCE

The Patriots entered Week 7 allowing a league-low eight points per game. One of the reasons is how stingy their defense has been on third down.

New England has held teams to an NFL-low 10 of 73 (13.7 percent) conversion rate in those situations. The fewest third downs allowed in a 16-game season is 49 by the 1991 New Orleans Saints.

In their Week 3 win over the Jets, the Patriots did not allow a third-down conversion, which is something New England has accomplished five times since 2000. Only five teams have not allowed a third down twice in the same season - the Packers (2005), Eagles (2009), Giants (2010), Dolphins (2011) and Saints (2018).

YOU RANG?

Le'Veon Bell hasn't had a breakout-type game for the Jets, but the fluid quarterback situation certainly hasn't helped.

With Darnold back and the offensive line improving the past few weeks, the star running back could start seeing some more opportunities to make plays. He has 256 yards rushing and a TD on 85 carries for a 3.0 average, and 28 catches for 169 yards and a score.

''Hopefully we can open it up a little bit for him,'' coach Adam Gase said. ''We've seen a lot of loaded boxes, he's had a lot of tough runs. He's made the most of what he's had and probably gotten us more than what we should have.''

WELCOME BACK, WATSON

Tight end Ben Watson is back for another stint with the Patriots and it's right on time for an offense looking for some stability and more production from the position.

The 38-year-old Watson was re-signed by New England on Wednesday, less than a week after being released. Belichick left the door open for Watson to return, saying he was cut simply because there wasn't an available roster spot once he returned from serving a four-game suspension for a positive banned substance test following last season.

Circumstances changed when Matt LaCosse injured his knee during the Patriots' win over the Giants on Thursday.

Without Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots haven't gotten a ton of production in the pass game from their tight ends. LaCosse and Ryan Izzo have combined for only nine catches for 169 yards.

NO BENNETT

Michael Bennett will be missing from the Patriots' defensive huddle on Monday night.

The defensive end was suspended for what he said in a statement to ESPN was a ''philosophical disagreement'' with defensive line coach Bret Bielema. Bennett also offered an apology for any distraction it might have created.

Belichick declined to comment when asked about the suspension this week.

The Patriots traded for the 11-year veteran in March, but his usage has steadily decreased over New England's first six games. Bennett has started just once and played a season-low 11 snaps in the Patriots' win over the Giants in Week 6.

Player Notes
George Kittle Nov 22 11:30am ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (knee) was limited in Thursday's practice and it appears as if he could be headed for a game-time decision in Week 12. The 49ers have the Sunday night game this week, which makes things tough on fantasy owners, but he's a must-start if he's active. If there's no significant news prior to the first set of games on Sunday, owners would be wise to lock up a backup tight end playing Sunday night or Monday night to have on hand in case Kittle is inactive. If he plays, he'll be facing a very vulnerable Packers pass defense and should have the potential to deliver around six catches for close to 100 yards with solid touchdown potential.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Nov 22 11:20am ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku is tentatively expected to suit up for his team's Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Njoku has been on injured reserve since he broke his wrist against the New York Jets back in Week 2. If he does end up playing, Njoku can be treated as a low-end TE1 for fantasy purposes on a weekend where many of the top tight end options are on bye, including Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry. Miami's pass defense has been average against tight ends this season, allowing the 15th-most fantasy points per game to the position. That being said, the Browns should spend plenty of time in the red zone in this contest, a part of the field where Njoku excels.

From RotoBaller

Cleveland Browns Nov 22 11:20am ET

The Cleveland Browns Defense draws a fantastic home matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Cleveland enters this weekend installed as 10.5-point home favorites against a Miami offense that is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to fantasy defenses. Even though Cleveland will be without Myles Garrett, they should still have little trouble limiting a turnover-prone Dolphins offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fire up the Browns defense in all fantasy formats for Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Emmanuel Sanders Nov 22 11:20am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) was a limited practice participant on Thursday and is currently listed as questionable for Week 12. It's looking like he could end up being a game-time decision and, unfortunately, the team has a Sunday night game against the Packers, so owners might need to make a decision on him earlier than they'd like. The Packers have ranked amongst the bottom third of the league in pass defense, so there will be solid opportunities for whichever 49ers receivers are available. Sanders has the upside to deliver around six catches and between 80 and 100 yards with solid touchdown potential if he goes in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Jarvis Landry Nov 22 11:10am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry brings a three-game touchdown streak into a Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. While teammate Odell Beckham Jr. gets most of the headlines, Landry has quietly been the more consistent fantasy producer this season. He will take on a Miami pass defense that has struggled to contain opposing wideouts, ranking last in the league in DVOA and having allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to the position. Treat Landry as a solid WR2 in all fantasy formats for Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Nov 22 11:10am ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown four touchdown passes in two of his past three games. This week, Garoppolo and the 49ers face the Packers and there's a chance he'll have the team's top receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and tight end George Kittle (knee) back for the game. Both players are currently questionable and could end up being game-time decisions. The Packers rank amongst the ten worst passing defenses in the league, allowing around 258 passing yards per game. The 49ers have struggled to run the ball lately, so Garoppolo could be tasked with throwing a good amount. His upside is compromised if Sanders or Kittle or both are out, but he's a viable low-end QB1 start this week regardless.

From RotoBaller

Kareem Hunt Nov 22 11:00am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt draws a beautiful Week 12 matchup against a weak Miami Dolphins run defense. Miami ranks 29th in the league in run defense DVOA and is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the running back position. Hunt has been busy in the passing game in his two contests with the Browns, hauling in 13 of 17 targets for 90 yards. There is some concern that the Browns jump out to a big lead and lean run-heavy in the second half but Hunt could see a sizable workload on the ground if the team decides to give starter Nick Chubb a break. Treat Hunt as an RB2 in PPR leagues and a solid flex option in standard formats for Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Odell Beckham Jr. Nov 22 11:00am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has only one touchdown in his first season with his new team, although he came close to scoring on a few occasions in Week 11. He draws a fantastic Week 12 matchup against a leaky Miami Dolphins secondary that ranks last in the league in pass defense DVOA. Beckham is primed to break out in Week 12, making him a projected WR1 in fantasy for the first time in a few months. Start Beckham in all formats in what could very well be his best performance of the entire season.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Nov 22 10:50am ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been trending up in recent weeks after a brutal start to the season. He finds himself in a fantastic spot in Week 12 as the Browns welcome the Miami Dolphins to Cleveland. Miami's defense has struggled to stop the pass this season, ranking dead last in the league in pass defense DVOA while allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position. Mayfield can be trusted as a mid-range QB1 in fantasy for Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Graham Nov 22 10:50am ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham will square off with the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Graham was given veteran's rest again this week so that coupled with the Week 11 bye should have him feeling well-rested ahead of a clash with the league's best pass defense. The 32-year-old has gone over 50 receiving yards three times this year and has caught three touchdowns in 10 games. Graham will find it difficult to accomplish either feat this week. San Francisco has allowed the fewest receiving yards to tight ends and have only surrendered two touchdowns to tight ends in 10 games. Graham is a TE2 at best this week.

From RotoBaller

Nick Chubb Nov 22 10:50am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb draws a dream matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Chubb will take on a Miami run defense that ranks 29th in the league in DVOA and is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position. While Chubb has lost some passing game work since Kareem Hunt returned from suspension, the Browns should jump out to a big lead, thus giving Chubb a positive game script in the second half. Treat Chubb as a top-five fantasy running back in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Geronimo Allison Nov 22 10:40am ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison isn't a recommended option against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Allison has topped 50 receiving yards once this year and has just two receiving touchdowns in 10 games. The silver lining is the fact that the 25-year-old has been on the field for at least 63 percent of the snaps in the last three games, so he hasn't lost any playing time. Considering the 49ers allow the fewest passing yards in the league, this doesn't feel like a game where Allison will get going.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Nov 22 10:20am ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling can't be trusted for fantasy purposes right now ahead of a Week 12 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers' number-one pass defense. In Week 10 against the Carolina Panthers, the 25-year-old was held without a catch and played a season-low 17 percent of the snaps. Valdes-Scantling put up 6-99-1 and 2-133-1 receiving lines this year, but those games feel very far away at the moment. He should be on fantasy benches until he gives us a reason to trust him again.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Nov 22 10:00am ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams will square off with the San Francisco 49ers' number-one pass defense in Week 12. Green Bay isn't taking any chances with their star wide receiver's health, as they've limited Adams' practice reps in both sessions this week. With practice and bye week rest, Adams will be good to go for Week 12 and has averaged 9.5 targets per game in six games played. The 49ers rank seventh in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Even in a matchup like this, Adams is too involved in the offense to be concerned. Start him as a WR1.

From RotoBaller

Jamaal Williams Nov 22 9:40am ET

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Despite fellow back Aaron Jones emerging as a fantasy star, there's still been room for Williams to operate most weeks. The 24-year-old has averaged 10 touches per game in nine games played and has a team-leading five receiving touchdowns. San Francisco's defense ranks first against the pass but just 20th against the run. Through Week 12, opposing backs have averaged 22 touches per game against the 49ers. Williams may get less rushing attempts than Jones, but he could operate as a safety valve for Aaron Rodgers out of the backfield. It's risky, but Williams can be used in the flex spot this week.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Jones Nov 22 9:10am ET

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones will face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Fantasy's RB4 through 12 weeks is rested coming off the Week 11 bye. On paper, the 49ers seem like the toughest test of the year for Jones. They are elite, but their number-one pass defense has been the tough shell to the soft underbelly of their 20th-ranked rushing defense. In the 49ers' past five games, each opposing back tallied at least 15 touches and all but one eclipsed 80 scrimmage yards. Green Bay will look to establish the run early and often, rather than throwing into the teeth of a stingy defense. There is some risk, but Jones should be started as an RB1 this week.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Stills Nov 22 5:40am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills recorded just one catch for six yards during the Thursday night win over the Indianapolis Colts. Stills logged his worst performance of the year and was a victim from a production standpoint by the return of Will Fuller (hamstring), who missed the team's previous three games. He likely has a few more decent performances left in the tank between now and the end of the season, but his potential will continue to be relegated by Fuller's presence in the lineup moving ahead.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Nov 22 5:30am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins played well against the Colts on Thursday night, finishing things up with six catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. After recording just two scores during the first six games of the year, the 27-year-old has turned it up as of late by visiting the end zone in three of his last five games. Hopkins continues to get his looks from quarterback Deshaun Watson, and besides Michael Thomas, he remains the most efficient fantasy wide receiver in the league. He will look to keep things going against a rough Patriots Defense in Week 13.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Nov 22 4:30am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller was targeted 11 times during the win over the Colts, finishing with seven catches for 140 yards. After accumulating 217 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons in Week 5, Fuller fizzled in his previous two contests coming into Thursday night, so this performance was a step in the right direction. Fantasy managers shouldn't expect this type of production consistently moving ahead, especially in Week 13 against a tough Patriots Defense, but the ceiling is always high when the matchup is in his favor, as long as he can stay healthy and on the field.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Nov 22 4:20am ET

Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson finished with 22 yards on five carries to go along with one catch for eight yards during the win over the Colts on Thursday night. This was yet another disappointing performance from the 26-year-old, who has now recorded just three receptions over the last two games. While he may have a few more games where he catches four or five passes, his ability to get it done on the ground will continue to be relegated by Carlos Hyde, who is averaging 16 touches per outing on the year. For those who are desperate, Johnson does have the potential to score from a week-to-week basis but don't hold your breath waiting for consistent production.

From RotoBaller