Sat Aug 24 11:28pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) breaks away from New Orleans Saints' Marcus Davenport (92) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets' Ty Montgomery (88) runs away from New Orleans Saints' Colton Jumper (51) for a touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets' Robby Anderson (11) stiff-arms New Orleans Saints' Marcus Williams (43) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell runs onto the field for the team's NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas (13) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of New York Jets' Tevaughn Campbell (35) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Drew Brees threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas to cap his only drive in his preseason debut, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the New York Jets 28-13 on Saturday night.
Brees didn't take a snap in the Saints' first two exhibition games, but Sean Payton gave the 40-year-old quarterback a brief regular-season warmup in this one. And, Brees and the starting offense breezed down the field.
Alvin Kamara had a 25-yard catch on third down, and a 20-yard grab by Thomas two plays later got the Saints (2-1) down to the 23. On third-and-6, Brees found Thomas in the back-right corner of the end zone with a perfectly placed ball over cornerback Tevaughn Campbell's head for the touchdown.
Brees finished 4 of 6 for 68 yards and was done for the night, along with the rest of the offensive starters, and was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater.
Sam Darnold's night for the Jets (1-2) lasted quite a bit longer as the second-year quarterback played midway into the second quarter, despite three projected starting offensive lineman - center Ryan Kalil and guards Kelechi Osemele and Brian Winters - sitting out.
After a sluggish start - and Darnold taking a hard shot from Trey Hendrickson to end his fourth drive - the starting offense got things going against the Saints' backup defense.
On third-and-5 from the Jets 40, Darnold connected with Robby Anderson down the left sideline for a 41-yard gain. After two runs by Ty Montgomery and a defensive holding call on Terrell Williams Jr. put the ball at the Saints 2, Darnold threw a pretty swing pass to Montgomery for a touchdown that cut the Jets' deficit to 10-7 with 8:22 left in the first half.
That was it for Darnold, who was 8 of 13 for 97 yards and the score. He was replaced by Trevor Siemian, who appears to be a lock as Darnold's backup.
Saints rookie wide receiver Deonte Harris returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown with 7:27 left, giving New Orleans a 23-13 lead. Harris, out of Assumption College, avoided a diving tackle attempt by punter Matt Darr before sprinting into the end zone.
Kalil was expected to make his debut with the team, but the team decided to have him sit out while he continues to get into football shape and learn the playbook. Jonotthan Harrison started again in his place.
Kalil, who played 12 seasons with Carolina, came out of retirement earlier this month and signed a one-year, $8.4 million deal with the Jets.
''(Last) Sunday night was his first night in pads, so he's only had really three practices,'' general manager Joe Douglas said before the game. ''So, we felt the smart thing to do was to hold him out. We'll re-evaluate it next week. Again, we're 15 days away from the opener, so we feel good that's he's going to have plenty of time to be ready for Week 1.''
JUST FOR KICKS
Jets kicker Taylor Bertolet - whose roster spot is uncertain - bounced back after missing two extra points last week, making field goals of 48 and 56 yards and converting on his one extra-point try.
Bridgewater was 15 of 26 for 143 yards before giving way to Taysom Hill in the third quarter. The do-it-all Hill ran for what appeared to be a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown late in the third, but it was wiped out by a holding call on Patrick Omameh. The Saints had to settle for a 38-yard field goal by Wil Lutz that put New Orleans up 16-13 with 2:36 left in the quarter. ... Lutz was also good from 39, 40 and 34 yards, but was wide left on a 43-yard attempt.
Saints: LB Josh Martin left in the third quarter with an apparent right arm injury.
Jets: S Brandon Bryant suffered a head injury in the third quarter after being called for unnecessary roughness for leading with his helmet on a play.
Saints: home vs. Miami on Thursday night.
Jets: at Philadelphia on Thursday night.
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) said he played through a concussion in Week 1 against the Cowboys because he wanted to try and help the team win. Shepard didn't start feeling normal until this week and is off the final injury report for Week 3 against the Buccaneers. Shepard will be the top wideout this Sunday with Cody Latimer (concussion) ruled out. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones could target Shepard heavily in his NFL debut, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Shepard is in line for a big day. It's also important to note that Shepard and Jones didn't play together in the preseason because Shepard broke his thumb on the first day of training camp. In his first game back from the concussion, Shepard will be a shaky WR4 with volume upside.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn accumulated a grand total of zero targets against the Rams in Week 2 after a solid Week 1 performance, and fantasy owners should expect more duds going forward. Ginn, already a boom-or-bust option, finds himself in a tough spot with starting quarterback Drew Brees(thumb) sidelined for the next six weeks. He faces a leaky Seattle secondary in Week 3, but is not worthy of any fantasy consideration in standard-sized leagues with Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill taking the snaps under center.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Danny Amendola came crashing back down to earth in Week 2, seeing only one target compared to 13 in Week 1. Fantasy owners who started Amendola with hopes he would replicate his Week 1 performance were undoubtedly disappointed, but we have now seen what his ceiling and floor are in this Lions offense. This will likely be how the season goes for Amendola, putting him firmly in the WR4/WR5 conversation. He faces off against a porous Eagles secondary on Sunday but is a risky start, at best.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (knee) was a full participant in practice on Friday and is cleared to play in Sunday's game against the Texans. Allen's knee injury was minor and just held him out of practice for a couple days. After racking up 16 catches for 221 yards in the first two games, Allen is set to face a forgiving Texans secondary that has been below-average so far. Allen continues to be the heart and soul of the receiving corps, and owners should expect another big day with lots of targets for him on Sunday.
Green Bay Packers LB Oren Burks (chest) and OG Lane Taylor (biceps) did not practice Friday, Sept. 20, and have been ruled out for Week 3 against the Denver Broncos. DL Montravius Adams (shoulder) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. LB Kyler Fackrell (shoulder), TE Jimmy Graham (groin), WR Jake Kumerow (shoulder) and WR Darrius Shepherd (hamstring) were limited in practice Friday and are listed as questionable. WR Davante Adams (personal) did not practice Friday, while LB Blake Martinez (shoulder) remained a limited participant; both players were removed from the injury report. DL Fadol Brown (knee), OT Bryan Bulaga (rest), DL Kenny Clark (calf), CB Ka'dar Hollman (neck), CB Kevin King (chest), S Will Redmond (ankle), S Darnell Savage (shin), LB Za'Darius Smith (ankle), CB Tramon Williams (rest) and RB Jamaal Williams (ankle) fully participated in practice Friday and no longer appear on the injury report.
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) fully participated in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and is not on the injury report for Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Kelce did not miss any practice time this week and will be fine for the Week 3 game. He is one of the top tight ends in the NFL and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson (elbow) fully participated in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and is not on the injury report for Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Robinson has stepped up at receiver while Tyreek Hill is sidelined and will continue to receive a solid amount of targets for the time being. He will be facing a tough matchup this week but can still be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in leagues.
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Week 3 against the Saints after suffering an injury in practice on Friday. Late-week additions to the injury report are never good, putting Penny in real danger of sitting out this Sunday. He was a risky RB3/flex in PPR leagues to begin with as the clear backup to workhorse Chris Carson. Carson would become a stronger RB1 selection if Penny is inactive, while C.J. Prosise could see his role expand in passing situations in Week 3.
Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills caught a touchdown in Week 1, but in Week 2 he played just 38 percent of Houston's offensive snaps, turning those 24 plays into two catches for 38 yards. The battle between Stills and Keke Coutee for the third receiver role is a bit of a mess at this point, with Coutee getting more snaps in Week 2 but Stills outperforming him. For now, it's best to ignore Stills in season-long leagues, though there will be weeks where he looks like a good DFS option. The Chargers Defense is probably too good for Week 3 to be one of those weeks, though.
Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (knee) and DB Brynden Trawick (elbow) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 3 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. TE Mark Andrews (foot) was limited in practice for a second straight day Friday, Sept. 20, while FB Patrick Ricard (back) was upgraded to full practice; both are listed as questionable. S Earl Thomas (non-injury), WR Marquise Brown (non-injury), CB Brandon Carr (non-injury) and LB Pernell McPhee (non-injury) did not practice Friday but were removed from the injury report.
Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) fully participated in practice Friday, Sept. 20, but is listed as questionable for Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: McCoy appears to be on track to play and probably will join the starting lineup with Damien Williams ruled out. Fantasy players in most leagues should consider McCoy as a flex option or possibly a low-end No. 2 running back.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) fully participated in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and is not on the injury report for Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Mahomes remains one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL even with the minor injury and is a must-start option against the Baltimore Ravens.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman returned to practice Friday after dealing with a quadriceps injury. He'll start this Sunday at home against the win-hungry New York Giants. Perriman has been an afterthought during his first two starts with the Bucs, logging only two receptions for 10 yards. He's a paper-thin replacement to the departed DeSean Jackson and is leaving a lot to be desired by only being the fourth or fifth best option on this talent-heavy team. This journeyman wide receiver is not on our radar as a viable start this week, even versus aGiants Defensethat is giving up a whopping 13.4 yards per target. He's a WR4 and should remain on your bench for the foreseeable future.
The Cleveland Browns placed tight end David Njoku (wrist) on Injured Reserve on Friday and claimed safety Juston Burris off waivers from the Raiders in a corresponding move. Njoku had four catches for 37 yards and a touchdown in two games before getting injured in the Monday night win over the Jets. We'd recommend keeping Njoku stashed in an IR spot on your roster if you have the space. Demetrius Harris and Ricky Seals-Jones are the next guys up with Njoku out, but it's unlikely that either of them will become streaming options at the weak tight end position. Jarvis Landry could benefit the most in the passing game underneath and down the middle of the field.
Heading into Week 3, the story with Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller is essentially the same as it's been all year: his speed makes him a major weapon down the field for quarterback Deshaun Watson, but his lack of targets gives him a lot of risk. Week 2 was a little different, as Jalen Ramsey shadowed DeAndre Hopkins and led to Fuller getting a bigger share of the offense, but he ended up catching just four passes for 40 yards. He's got upside against the Chargers in Week 3, but he also could have just four or five targets. If you need the upside, he's worth playing, but if you're looking for consistency you might want to look elsewhere.
Buffalo Bills TE Tyler Kroft (ankle, foot) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and has been ruled out for Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Kroft was making progress from his foot injury but is now dealing with an ankle injury. Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney will continue to receive playing time at tight end, but neither player has fantasy value.
Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and is listed as questionable for Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Jeffery missed most of practice this week and likely will be a game-time decision for Week 3. The Eagles may consider resting him since they play on Thursday Night Football next week, so fantasy players may want to look for more reliable options for their lineups.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins spent Week 2 having to go against one of the NFL's top corners, Jalen Ramsey. He caught five passes for 40 yards. He has another tough matchup in Week 3 against a good Chargers secondary, but Hopkins' target share and skill make him a must-start. Maybe he's more like a top-10 receiver than a top-five receiver this week, but there's zero scenarios where you should consider sitting Hopkins. Consider him a solid WR1 who could have a few things go wrong and end up as a WR2.
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (foot), DE/LB Bruce Irvin (hamstring), S Rashaan Gaulden (groin) and OG Brandon Greene (neck) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 3 versus the Atlanta Falcons. DT Kawann Short (shoulder) also did not practice all week but is listed as questionable. TE Greg Olsen (back) fully participated in practice for a second straight day Friday, Sept. 20, and is also listed as questionable.
Buffalo Bills WR John Brown (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Sept. 20, and is not on the injury report for Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Brown has caught 14 of his 18 targets this season and has been the main option in the passing game so far. He has become a weekly starting option in fantasy leagues as a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver.