Sun Nov 10 7:45pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage (27) waves to fans as he leaves the field following the team's NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The Dolphins defeated the Colts 16-12. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is surrounded by teammates as he celebrates a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) breaks the tackle of Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) to score a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Dolphins defensive back Steven Parker (26) rolls away with the ball after stripping it in the end zone from Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (85) during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The play was rule an interception by Parker. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (85) makes a catch in the end zone over Miami Dolphins defensive back Steven Parker (26) during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The play was rule an interception by Parker. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Miami Dolphins defensive back Nik Needham (40) tackles Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Brian Hoyer throws against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Ryan Fitzpatrick scored on an 11-yard run in the first half and the Miami Dolphins defense made a late stop Sunday to preserve a 16-12 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
The Dolphins (2-7) have won two straight after a miserable start and earned their first win at Lucas Oil Stadium since 2013.
Indianapolis (5-4) has lost back-to-back regular-season games for the first time since October 2018. With starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett out because of an injured left knee, the Colts offense sputtered. Indy gained just 300 total yards and Brian Hoyer was picked off three times, with Miami scoring 13 points off those turnovers.
Yet, the Colts had four chances to take the lead in the final minute from the Miami 16. Hoyer threw incompletions on the first three plays and hooked up with Eric Ebron for eight yards on fourth-and-10, sealing the decision.
It sure wasn't pretty.
Hoyer's first interception led to a 47-yard field goal by Jason Sanders, and Hoyer's second pick set up the Dolphins' only touchdown - Fitzpatrick scrambled to the right on third down and found a wide open running lane to the end zone for a 10-0 lead.
Indy finally scored on a 25-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri early in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 10-6 when Vinatieri tied Morten Andersen's league record for field goal attempts on a 39-yarder with 38 seconds left in the third. Vinatieri and Andersen have each attempted 709 career field goals though Vinatieri has made a record 596.
The Colts took their only lead when Hoyer hooked up with Jack Doyle on a 1-yard TD pass early in the fourth. But Vinatieri missed his sixth extra point of the season, leaving the score 12-10.
Miami answered with a 48-yard field goal to make it 13-12. The Dolphins capitalized on Hoyer's final interception with another 48-yard field goal.
Dolphins: Fitzpatrick was 21 of 33 with 169 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. ... Kalen Ballage had 20 carries for 43 yards. ... DeVante Parker had five receptions for 69 yards.
Colts: Hoyer was 18 of 39 with 204 yards and one TD. ... Marlon Mack ran 19 times for 74 yards. ... Eric Ebron had five catches for 56 yards.
Dolphins: Linebacker Jerome Baker left in the second half with what appeared to be an injured right knee and the refs sent Fitzpatrick to the sideline at the start of Miami's final series. Fitzpatrick took a hit to the helmet on the previous series.
Colts: Running back Jordan Wilkins injured his ankle during the third quarter and did not return.
Former Colts pass rusher Dwight Freeney became the 16th inductee into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime.
Freeney finished his career as Indianapolis' sacks leader with 107 1/2 and now ranks second, behind former teammate Robert Mathis (123). He was joined by a group of former teammates including Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James as well as Bill Polian - who selected Freeney in the first round of the 2002 draft.
It was a different experience for Freeney.
''Before when I came out of that tunnel, when I was the last out of the tunnel, I had my helmet on, I was ready to go, I was ready to go in and attack somebody,'' he said. ''Well this wasn't attack-mode. This was more like, `All right Dwight, calm down. Remember what you're going to say.' It was a different feeling. It was a great feeling.''
Dolphins: Return home to face division rival Buffalo next Sunday.
Colts: Will try to win third straight division game this season when Jacksonville visits next Sunday.
The Green Bay Packers Defense faces a tough task this weekend in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. In their regular-season meeting, the Packers gave up 37 points and only dropped Jimmy Garoppolo only three times. They also failed to generate any turnovers. Green Bay's defense may need to lend their offense a helping hand by creating a turnover or two to swing the field position game. If Za-Darius and Preston Smith can ramp up the pressure, the Packers will have a good chance of generating a turnover or two and winning the game. It certainly won't be easy, considering how formidable the 49ers offense has been this season.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham gets a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. Graham has back-to-back 49-year receiving performances, but those games came against teams that struggle to defend the tight end position. The 49ers are not one of those teams. They allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends all season and were the league's stingiest pass defense. Maybe Graham makes a play in the red zone. Still, he's a cheaper DFS play but by no means a comfortable one.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison (illness) is trending in the right direction to play in the NFC Championship game this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers. Even if available, Allison isn't an option in any fantasy format. The 25-year-old hasn't caught more than four passes in a game this season. It sure doesn't seem like he'll eclipse that mark against the league's best defense with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (ankle) is currently questionable for the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. There's certainly a risk for injury, considering he re-aggravated the ankle in last week's playoff game. Still, it's hard to ignore the two-game stretch Lazard had to end the season, where he saw 17 targets. That alone makes him worth a gamble, particularly in a must-win game for a Packers team in desperate need of another threat at receiver. Just beware, the matchup isn't ideal. The 49ers allowed only 172 passing yards to the Vikings last week.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams gets a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game this weekend. Adams produced only 43 receiving yards and a score against San Francisco in the regular season but still had 12 targets. The star receiver has seen double-digit targets in nine of 13 games played this year. There's not many receivers that you can virtually pencil in for double-digit targets- but Adams is one of them. If fellow receivers Geronimo Allison (illness) and Allen Lazard (ankle) suit up, they may be limited. Adams could be looking at more work than usual, even in a matchup this difficult.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense enter Championship weekend as the highest-priced fantasy defense. The Niners face the Green Bay Packers, who they demolished 37-8 in Week 12. In that previous contest, the Niners relentlessly harassed future Hall of Famer quarterback Aaron Rodgers, dropping him five times and forcing a fumble. The Packers were a meager one for 15 on third down conversions. The 49ers will need to follow that blueprint again in the critical NFC Championship to emerge victorious. With a higher-intensity contest expected, it could be difficult to splurge on a defense in fantasy compared to other addressable positions.
San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders both offer solid fantasy value in the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. Both players were limited to under 45 yards apiece in last weekends Divisional Round blowout but were featured early on when the game was still in question. The rookie Samuel has emerged as a consistent dual threat in the latter half of 2019 and is likelier the safer floor. Sanders, the savvy vet has proven himself as a reliable chain-mover with big-play potential. Against the Packers 10th-best pass defense by DVOA, either option seem primed to pop in Sundays winner-take-all battle.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams will face off with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game this weekend. Williams has been playing second fiddle to Aaron Jones quite a lot recently, as he hasn't seen double-digit carries since Week 13 against the Giants. It's worth noting that Williams played a large role in the regular-season game against the 49ers, which saw him rack up 18 touches. Green Bay very well could utilize Williams in spurts to keep San Francisco guessing, though his recent downtrend in usage makes him hard to trust.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is a reasonable DFS bet for Sundays NFC Championship matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Priced as the third-best quarterback, Jimmy G squares off against a strong Packers defensive line that ranked 12th-best in adjusted sack rate during the regular season. Garoppolo was not pressed into service in the Divisional Round blowout win, but will likely be tasked with a tougher test on Sunday. While the Niners have mostly ridden its dominant running game throughout the year, Garoppolo has answered the bell in multiple occasions with three four-touchdown games. With dangerous weapons surrounding him, Garoppolo shouldnt be ruled out in the biggest game of his career to-date.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones will take on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game this weekend. The 49ers Defense held Jones to just 38 rushing yards in their regular-season meeting. However, the star back has been playing some seriously good football in his last five games, with 501 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. He's also had 20-plus carries in three straight contests. Expect Green Bay to utilize Jones early and often in screens and runs to combat the 49ers mighty pass rush. Even if Jones doesn't pile up over 100 yards, his propensity to find the end zone and role in the passing game make him a safer play this weekend.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will take on the San Francisco 49ers this weekend with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The 49ers Defense held Rodgers to just 104 passing yards and one touchdown in their regular-season meeting. However, there are a couple things that are different ahead of this matchup. First, tackle Bryan Bulaga will play in this game after being injured in the first quarter against the 49ers previously. Rodgers should have better protection than he had when these teams met. Secondly, Rodgers himself is playing better football than he was during the regular season before this matchup. He has 566 passing yards and four touchdowns in his last two contests. There is also the added motivation of denying a Super Bowl berth to the team that could have drafted him. Play Rodgers on Sunday, despite the tough matchup.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne is worth a gamble for Sundays NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. Bourne scored the only receiving touchdown for the Niners in the Divisional Round, adding to his 2019 resume as a legitimate red-zone threat. The third-year pro has just 33 catches this year, including the playoffs, but collected six scores. Despite his risks as a zero-floor fantasy option, Bourne has emerged as a trustworthy target in clutch situations.
San Francisco 49ers running backs Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert are both bankable DFS options in Sundays NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. The two backs combined for 163 rushing yards in the Divisional Round, with Coleman riding a hot hand to two touchdowns. Considered a backup for the latter half of the regular season, Coleman played 46 percent of snaps last Sunday compared to Mosterts 34 percent. While the touch forecast for either back is cloudy, the Niners draw one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. The Packers ranked 23rd in rushing DVOA during the regular season with the second-worst defensive line in the league, yielding 4.96 adjusted yards per carry. With a likely floor of 10 touches for each Coleman and Mostert, both runners have great opportunities to make a splash.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (ankle) was a full participant in Thursdays practice and should be fine for Sundays NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. Kittle scared Niner Nation with soreness on the left ankle he chipped earlier this year, but confirms he feels fabulous. Kittle factored more as a blocker in last Sundays Divisional Round blowout but the Niners passed just 19 times. The All-Pro is an integral piece in all facets of the offense so is worth his premium TE1 price in DFS on Sunday.
Detroit Lions WR Danny Amendola is set to become an unrestricted free agent, but he's a 'prime candidate' to be re-signed, in the opinion of The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett.
Free-agent WR Antonio Callaway (Browns) signed with the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL Thursday, Jan. 16.
Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (illness) remained out of practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: McCoy played just one offensive snap in last week's Divisional Round game against the Houston Texans. He's clearly behind RB Damien Williams and is no longer worth starting.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Moore (illness) and DT Chris Jones (calf) didn't participate in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. DT Khalen Saunders (knee), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), CB Kendall Fuller (knee), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (neck), C Austin Reiter (wrist) and G Andrew Wylie (ankle) practiced in full.
Green Bay Packers DL Kenny Clark (back), TE Marcedes Lewis (non-injury), LB Preston Smith (ankle), FB Danny Vitale (knee) and CB Tramon Williams (non-injury) were limited participants in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. S Adrian Amos (chest), OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), WR Ryan Grant (non-injury), LB Blake Martinez (hand) and OL Billy Turner (ankle) practiced in full.
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) remained limited at practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Kelce earned a light practice week while catching 10 of 12 targets for 134 yards and three touchdowns against the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round. He's the week's top tight end option once against this week so long as he takes the field.