Wed Dec 2 5:30pm ET
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Pro Football Writer
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrates a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
In this Oct. 25, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) is congratulated by Corey Davis (84) and Derrick Henry (22) after Brown scored a touchdown on a 73-yard pass reception in the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee has been looking for years for top wide receivers, and the Titans now have two in A.J. Brown and Corey Davis who make big plays with key catches while also blocking for Henry whenever the NFL's leading rusher has the ball. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrates returning an onside kick for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts with wide receiver Cameron Batson (13) and lDaren Bates in the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans are clicking at a pretty high level offensively, and a lot of the credit goes to Derrick Henry.
Just don't make the mistake of thinking the Titans are a run-only offense.
Tennessee has been looking for years for top wide receivers, and the Titans now have two in A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. They keep making key catches while also blocking for the NFL's leading rusher, a combination that has the Titans (8-3) the NFL's sixth-best offense in scoring 29.5 points a game.
The Cleveland Browns (8-3) get to defend the Titans' duo and the rest of this potent offense Sunday.
''That's what makes this a big challenge because this is a very, very good offense, and it's not a one-man show,'' Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Wednesday. ''They have the ability to throw it to (those) guys ... They have a really good trigger man. I don't think you can key in on one guy because they can hurt you in multiple ways.''
Davis, the No. 5 pick overall in 2017, has a team-high 42 catches. Brown, a second-round selection out of Ole Miss in 2019, leads Tennessee with 638 yards receiving and eight TD catches. Brown is averaging a team-high 18 yards per catch followed closely behind by Davis averaging 14.7 yards a catch.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill says it's huge having such production from Davis and Brown.
''Both of those guys are extremely talented and have been huge for us all year, so being able to have two weapons like that is huge,'' Tannehill said. ''They can't key in on one guy, try to take away one guy. They have to honor both sides of the field. So I'm lucky and I call it a blessing to be able to share the field with those guys.''
Brown has gotten plenty of attention after leading rookies with 1,051 yards receiving last season, the third-best rookie season in team history. Nobody in franchise history has had more than Brown's 16 TD catches through the first 25 games of his career.
The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Brown also is a perfectionist. After uncharacteristic drops in a Nov. 12 loss to Indianapolis, Brown couldn't wait for the rematch. He scored twice in a 45-26 rout of the Colts last week and led the Titans with four catches for 98 yards.
''Oh, I replayed it,'' Brown said of his drops. ''It was in my mind for like two weeks, to be honest. It was definitely a rough week. I was just trying to just shade back. But I have learned it's week to week, some highs and lows. You've got to appreciate the lows because it gives you more motivation.''
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Davis was the first receiver selected in the 2017 draft. As much as they've liked the physical receiver's run-blocking - Davis can be seen downfield doing just that on many of Henry's TD runs - they didn't pick up his fifth-year option for 2021.
He's also clutch with 67 of his 85 catches since the start of the 2019 season going for first downs, a 78.8% conversion rate that puts him fourth in the NFL in that span.
Davis has had three 100-yard receiving games this season despite going on the reserve/COVID-19 list Oct. 7 and losing his older brother, Titus, to rare kidney cancer Nov. 11. Davis said it's huge that both he and Brown are playing well this season.
''But we have a lot of talent, a lot of talented players on both sides of the ball,'' Davis said. ''And now one week it might be yours to go off, and it might be the other guy's. So we've got to do our part to stay in it mentally and physically.''
NOTES: The Titans added LS Matt Orzech to the practice squad after waiving him Monday. ... WR Adam Humphries, who has missed the past four games in the concussion protocol, practiced fully Wednesday along with TE MyCole Pruitt (knee). RT Dennis Kelly (knee) was limited. DT Jeffery Simmons (knee), TE Jonnu Smith (knee), LG Rodger Saffold (ankle), CB Adoree Jackson (knee), TE Anthony Firkser (not injury related) and RB D'Onta Foreman (knee) did not practice.
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 13
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller will go up against a Lions Defense that is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to receivers this season. After a tough start to the season the Lions secondary has allowed only three touchdowns to receivers since Week 7. Miller came up huge in the fourth quarter of the Bears comeback win against the Lions in Week 1 but has largely disappeared from games most of the season. Despite a strong fantasy line against the Lions earlier in the season, Miller cannot be trusted to deliver in Week 13.
Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham will go up against a Lions Defense that is allowing the sixth fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Graham caught the first of his five touchdowns this season against the Lions in Week 1 but Detroit has been tough on the tight end position this season. Graham, in turn, has only been effective in the red zone but little else in the Bears offense. The veteran will be a touchdown-dependent dart throw in fantasy in Week 13.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will go up against a Lions Defense in Week 13 that is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Montgomery busted out against the Packers last week, ripping off a career-high 57-yard run and racking up a season-high 103 rushing yards. Now he will go up against a Lions defense that has surrendered some monster performances on the ground and have allowed 21 total touchdowns to the running back position this season. 13 different players have posted at least 10+ fantasy points against the Lions this season and Montgomery will head into Week 13 with a solid floor as a starting point in fantasy.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II should continue to see plenty of targets in Week 13 against the Lions. The return of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to the lineup last week meant plenty of looks for Robinson, who caught two touchdowns and racked up 13 targets. The veteran receiver will take on a Lions Defense that is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. 11 different receivers have posted 12 or more fantasy points against them and Robinson caught five passes for 74 yards in Week 1 against Detroit. The Bears are in must-win mode and Robinson should factor heavily in their offensive game plan for Week 13.
The San Francisco 49ers activated wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and defensive linemen D.J. Jones and Jordan Willis from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. They'll all be eligible to play in Week 13 against the Bills. The rookie receiver has missed the last two games after testing positive for the virus, but he'll return and be one of quarterback Nick Mullens' top two targets alongside Deebo Samuel. The 22-year-old out of Arizona State has 35 receptions on 56 targets for 446 yards and three touchdowns in his first eight games. Buffalo's defense will be a tough matchup for San Fran's wideouts, though, and there's a chance that Aiyuk will draw All-Pro cornerback Tre'Davious White in coverage. In his first game back, the rookie will be on the WR3/4 borderline for fantasy managers.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will try and save the Bears season in Week 13 against the Lions. The Bears have lost five in a row but having the Lions on the schedule next may be just the panacea that they need. The Lions are allowing the seventh fewest fantasy points to opposing passers this season but were torched by the Texans Deshaun Watson last week and Trubisky has enjoyed immense success against them in his career. In six career games, Trubisky has 14 touchdowns passes, only four interceptions and is averaging 266.83 passing yards a game while completing 67% of his passes. The Lions have allowed 11 passing touchdowns over their last five games and Trubisky tossed three touchdowns against them in Week 1 to lead a furious comeback win. Of all the weeks to consider starting Trubisky in fantasy, a matchup against the Lions is one of those rare times.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will start again in Week 13 against the Lions. Trubisky got the start in the Week 12 loss to the Packers, his first since being benched in Week 3, and he went 26-for-46 for 242 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked three times, fumbled three times and lost one of those fumbles. Trubisky is by no means the answer to Chicago's offensive woes in the long term, but he presents fantasy managers with more upside than Nick Foles because of his ability to use his legs. Against a Detroit defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing signal-callers, Trubisky will have some streaming appeal as a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues on Sunday.
Tennessee Titans TE Jonnu Smith (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to check on Smith's status later in the week to see if he will be able to play in the Week 13 game. He has not been a big factor in the passing game over the last several games and can be benched if better options are available.
Tennessee Titans WR Adam Humphries (concussion) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Humphries appears to have a good chance to play in the Week 13 game, but more will be known later in the week. He probably would see a few targets if he plays his week but can be avoided in most fantasy leagues.
Tennessee Titans TE Anthony Firkser (non-injury), RB D'Onta Foreman (knee), CB Adoree' Jackson (knee), OG Rodger Saffold (ankle) and DT Jeffery Simmons (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 2. OT Dennis Kelly (knee) was limited during practice, while TE MyCole Pruitt (knee) fully participated in practice.
The Denver Broncos claimed defensive back Will Parks off waivers from the Eagles on Wednesday, according to a source. Parks signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia in the offseason and was expected to replace Malcolm Jenkins at safety, but he failed to make an impact in six games (three starts), recording just 13 tackles. He'll reunite with the Broncos, who drafted him in the sixth round out of Arizona back in 2016. Parks had four interceptions, 13 passes defensed and 104 solo tackles in his four seasons with the Broncos. He'll provide depth for a young and inexperienced secondary, but the Broncos Defense remains off the fantasy radar for a Week 13 divisional matchup against the high-flying offense of the Chiefs.
Atlanta Falcons RB Todd Gurley (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players should have a better idea of Gurley's status later in the week. He can be a No. 2 running back if he is active for the game, but players should have other options available in case he sits out again.
Atlanta Falcons TE Hayden Hurst (ankle) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Hurst was able to play in the last game and should be on track to play again this week. He has been targeted at least seven times in four of the last five games and can be a No. 1 fantasy tight end if he plays.
Atlanta Falcons CB Kendall Sheffield (illness) and OG James Carpenter (groin) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 2. DE Dante Fowler (hamstring) and PK Younghoe Koo (groin) were limited during practice. FB Keith Smith (knee) fully participated in practice.
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that offensive tackle Trent Brown returned to practice on Wednesday after missing extended time after testing positive for COVID-19. Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and defensive end Clelin Ferrell also practiced Wednesday. Brown has played in just two games this season for the Raiders and hasn't been on the field since Week 5. Along with his COVID-19 scare, the 27-year-old also had to be hospitalized before the Week 8 game against the Browns due to complications from a pre-game IV. The Raiders offensive line and running game will receive a boost if Brown can return for Week 13 against the winless Jets.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (ankle, foot) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley likely will be available for the Week 13 game unless he suffers a setback during the week. He has been a consistent fantasy option this season and should be a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues if he is active.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) was limited during practice Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Jones was not able to play in the last game, so fantasy players will need to check on his status later in the week. He is a risky option since he has been dealing with hamstring problems for most of the season but should still be a starting option if he is active for the game.
The Las Vegas Raiders placed defensive tackle Maliek Collins (undisclosed) on Injured Reserve on Wednesday. According to Pro Football Focus, Collins is the lowest-graded defensive tackle in the NFL and he's the second-lowest graded run defender in 2020. He's failed to record a single sack in his first year with the Raiders after being one of the more underrated defensive tackles in the league when he was with the Cowboys. The free-agent bust will have to miss at least the next three games, so with only five games remaining in the regular season, Collins might have already played his last snap with Las Vegas. Although the Raiders defense hasn't been much of a factor in fantasy all year, they'll be a streaming option in 12-team leagues against the winless Jets this Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts TE Trey Burton (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Fantasy Spin: Burton has been targeted 11 times over the last two games and has a touchdown in both games. He should receive a similar workload and could be a starting option in some leagues.
Indianapolis Colts OT Anthony Castonzo (knee), OT Chaz Green (back), DE Justin Houston (non-injury), LB Bobby Okereke (ankle), P Rigoberto Sanchez (illness) and S Khari Willis (back, quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 2. DE Kemoko Turay (ankle) was limited during practice, while C Ryan Kelly (neck), CB Isaiah Rodgers (knee) and RB Jordan Wilkins (ribs) fully participated in practice.