Guest of the League
THIS LEAGUE IS LAST YEAR'S OLD Est. 2017
One and Done - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Ryan, Falcons hand Panthers 7th straight loss, 24-10

Sun Dec 23 4:24pm ET
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Heinicke, Tevin Coleman, Christian McCaffrey, Calvin Ridley

Carolina Panthers' Taylor Heinicke (6) sits on the ground after being sacked against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons' Mohamed Sanu (12) runs past Carolina Panthers' Captain Munnerlyn (41) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Atlanta Falcons' Mohamed Sanu (12) runs past Carolina Panthers' Captain Munnerlyn (41) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Atlanta Falcons' Calvin Ridley (18) runs for a touchdown after a catch against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan (2) looks to pass under pressure from Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly (59) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Carolina Panthers Kyle Allen (7) looks to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, right, argues a call during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Carolina Panthers' Donte Jackson (26) breaks up a pass to Atlanta Falcons' Calvin Ridley (18) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers' Ian Thomas (80) runs past Atlanta Falcons' Ito Smith (25) and Sharrod Neasman (41) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Atlanta Falcons' Tevin Coleman (26) runs against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (22) runs past Atlanta Falcons' Brian Poole (34) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton walks the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers' Taylor Heinicke (6) holds his arm after being injured against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers' Taylor Heinicke (6) is examined after being injured against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers' Taylor Heinicke (6) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons' Grady Jarrett (97) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. Heinicke was injured on the play. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones (11) is tackled by Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly (59) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones (11) catches a touchdown pass past Carolina Panthers' Mike Adams (29) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons' Mohamed Sanu (12) runs after a catch as Carolina Panthers' James Bradberry (24) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)


Carolina Panthers' Taylor Heinicke (6) runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (22) runs as Atlanta Falcons' Damontae Kazee (27) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton celebrates with Taylor Heinicke (6) after Heinicke's touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Matt Ryan threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns, and the Atlanta Falcons handed Carolina Panthers their seventh straight loss and knocked their NFC South rivals out of playoff contention with a 24-10 win on Sunday.

Ryan found Calvin Ridley for a 75-yard touchdown strike on the first play of the second half for the go-ahead score. He also connected with Mohamed Sanu on a crossing route for a 44-yard score and threw a 1-yard TD pass to Julio Jones in the back of the end zone.

Ridley had three catches for 90 yards and Sanu had five grabs for 81 yards for the Falcons (6-9). Brian Hill had 115 yards on eight carries.

The Falcons intercepted Taylor Heinicke three times and forced four turnovers after allowing a touchdown on the game's opening possession. Heinicke, making his first NFL start for the injured Cam Newton, left the game briefly in the second quarter with a left elbow injury, but returned and was hit repeatedly by the Falcons.

He finished 33 of 53 for 274 yards with one touchdown.

Christian McCaffrey had 21 rushes for 101 yards and 12 receptions for 77 yards and set an NFL record for receptions in a season (106) by a running back.

He became the third running back in league history to record 100 receptions and 1,000 yards rushing in a season, joining LaDainian Tomlinson and Matt Forte. Next week at New Orleans, McCaffrey will have a chance to become only the third player to post 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving.

McCaffrey was pulled late in the fourth quarter to rest, marking the first time he's missed an offensive play since Week 9.

MORE FINES FOR REID?

Panthers safety Eric Reid has already been fined four times by the NFL for illegal hits and almost certainly will get a fifth letter in his locker next week. Reid was flagged for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Ridley in the second quarter as Ridley tried to make a sliding catch.

Reid has been outspoken about the league drug-testing him six times in 11 weeks and fining him for four hits, one of which has already been overturned. Reid sued the NFL for collusion for keeping him out of the league because of his decision to kneel alongside Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice.

Reid knelt before Sunday's game.

KEEPING UP WITH JONES

Jones continued to be a problem for the Panthers. He came into the game averaging more than 100 yards in 12 career games against Carolina and didn't wait long to assert himself with four catches for 28 yards and 1-yard TD catch on Atlanta's first possession.

INJURIES

Falcons: Running back Tevin Coleman left the game with a groin injury in the second half and did not return with the Falcons up by two scores.

Panthers: Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner left the game with an ankle injury and did not return.

UP NEXT

Falcons: Visit the Buccaneers next Sunday.

Panthers: Visit the Saints next Sunday.

Player Notes
Deebo Samuel Aug 25 12:20am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel caught two of three targets for 27 yards Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. After two solid preseason games, Samuel had a relatively quiet evening. The second-round rookie has demonstrated electric upside and could be in-line for a meaningful role immediately in the Niners offense. With a stellar college resume and advanced skillset, Samuel deserves some sleeper love as RotoBallers WR73.

From RotoBaller

Dante Pettis Aug 25 12:10am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis grabbed three balls on five targets for 36 yards Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Following two quiet games, Pettis was finally in the mix after he indicated he was playing explosive and consistent earlier this week. Despite being pushed by rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd (back), Pettis appears a lock to start heading into Week 1. After emerging as the second option to tight end George Kittle last season, Pettis is shaping up as a solid backend WR2.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Aug 25 12:10am ET

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay did not take action on Saturday night in the Broncos preseason game versus the Los Angeles Rams. Lindsay is coming off of preseason week two where he took reps with the second team and the backs behind him looked lackluster. The 2nd-year back seems to have the starting job locked up in Denver going into the regular season as he looks to follow up a stellar rookie year.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Hurd Aug 25 12:10am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd (back) did not play Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Hurd also sat out last Monday due to back tightness so two consecutive missed games is not a positive development. The 2019 third-round pick made noise with two touchdowns in the first preseason contest but has dealt with nagging injuries even before he was a Niner. Hurd has the size to be a legitimate red zone threat but his fantasy impact will be muted until he sees the field.

From RotoBaller

Brandon McManus Aug 25 12:10am ET

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus continued what has been an impressive preseason, with a solid performance Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. The 6th-year kicker connected on both field-goal attempts on the night, with a long of 38 yards. McManus looks to keep his consistency going in 2019, surrounded by an improved roster from the 2018 season.

From RotoBaller

Matt Breida Aug 25 12:00am ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida recorded nine touches for 75 yards and a touchdown Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Breida toted the rock seven times for 44 yards and added two catches for 31 yards including a 20-yard touchdown from Jimmy Garoppolo in the first quarter. While Breida will share snaps with Tevin Coleman this season, the third-year player has repeatedly proven he can make plays when he touches the ball. He should make a fine RB3/flex heading into 2019.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Aug 24 11:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 14 of 20 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown in Saturdays victory against the Kansas City Chiefs. Garoppolo bounced back in a big way after an ugly game last Monday, finding running back Matt Breida for a 20-yard score in the first quarter. In his second game back from a torn ACL, the performance should qualm some alarmists in the Niner and fantasy communities about Garoppolos competency as a starter. However, hes still just a factor in two-quarterback leagues or a backup in standard formats.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Thomas Aug 24 11:20pm ET

Houston Texans tight end Jordan Thomas was targeted six times in Houston's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys, grabbing two of those targets for a team-high 33 yards. It was a rough night for the Texans, who failed to reach 100 passing yards, but Thomas was the tiniest sliver of a bright spot. He still has a chance to beat out Jordan Akins for the starting tight end job, though the word "starting" isn't likely to mean much as Akins, Thomas, and veteran Darren Fells will all rotate in and out, with rookie Kahale Warring expected to play a small role if healthy. Thomas has potential in fantasy leagues, but if Houston plays all of their tight ends, it'll be hard to see a path for Thomas to consistent fantasy relevance.

From RotoBaller

Karan Higdon Aug 24 11:10pm ET

Houston Texans running back Karan Higdon carried the ball a team-high 13 times for 28 yards in Saturday's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Higdon was the first back up after starter Lamar Miller went down with an ACL, which seems to suggest he's next in line in this Houston offense to see early down work. However, Higdon wasn't that impressive in this one and could very well wind up cut by the time the season rolls around. It's a fluid situation, and there's no good reason to pick Higdon in a re-draft league until we actually have some clarity.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Aug 24 11:00pm ET

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson played just one series in Houston's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He was sacked twice and watched teammate Lamar Miller get carted off the field, which probably contributed to head coach Bill O'Brien sending his star quarterback to the bench. Watson has the chance to be a top-five fantasy quarterback, but Houston's offensive line will have to give him a pocket. Saturday didn't help anyone feel better about that being a reality this year. You still draft Watson as a top quarterback, but do so with an understanding that he could get beat up this season.

From RotoBaller

Joe Webb Aug 24 11:00pm ET

Houston Texans quarterback Joe Webb had a rough one in Saturday's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys, going 8-for-21 passing the ball for 62 yards and a pair of interceptions. He added 25 yards on four carries as well. Webb's going to be Houston's third quarterback once A.J. McCarron is back, so he doesn't have any fantasy value heading into the season and shouldn't be rostered anywhere, but he will likely see major minutes again when Houston hosts the Rams in the preseason finale. Webb's a risky but potentially rewarding DFS option for the last week of preseason action.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Aug 24 10:53pm ET

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 14 of his 20 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 24.

Fantasy Spin: After a horrible preseason debut, Garoppolo looked sharp in his second appearance. The 49ers added a bunch of weapons this offseason, but Garoppolo is still an unproven commodity. Consider him a midrange QB2 with upside.

From TheHuddle

Andrew Luck Aug 24 10:53pm ET

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck announced his retirement from the NFL Saturday, Aug. 24.

From TheHuddle

Robby Anderson Aug 24 10:50pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson caught both of his targets for 60 yards against the Saints on Saturday. The highlight of Anderson's night was a 41-yard reception where he made a nice adjustment on an underthrown ball from Sam Darnold. Anderson finishes the preseason with five catches on five targets for 92 yards and no touchdowns. Anderson is a high ceiling, low floor receiver on a week-to-week basis because he relies so heavily on the big play, but should provide enough big games to be drafted near the top-60 players overall.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Aug 24 10:43pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup caught a 12-yard touchdown in a 34-0 preseason win over the Houston Texans Saturday, Aug. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Gallup enters the season as the No. 2 option in the Dallas passing game, but he is still likely to be a big-play dependent deep threat. He's worth a look as a WR5.

From TheHuddle

Lamar Miller Aug 24 10:40pm ET

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller is feared to have suffered a torn ACL in Saturday's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. If confirmed, Miller's season is over before it began, and his Texans career is likely coming to a close as well. Duke Johnson will get more chances to run the ball, but the workload in Houston will also fall to someone else as well. Maybe it's veteran Taiwan Jones. Maybe it's one of the undrafted rookies, Damarea Crockett or Karan Higdon. Maybe Houston signs or trades for a back. Whoever earns the job has value as a flex option, but it's going to be a few days before we have a clear sense of how this backfield will shake out. At the very least, it's time to grab Crockett and Higdon in dynasty leagues just to be safe.

From RotoBaller

Christian Kirk Aug 24 10:30pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk only caught two of his six targets for five yards, including a dropped pass Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings. The upside though was that Kirk was second in targets for the afternoon. Even though the Cardinals' offense this preseason has been very bland, there is too much talent and too much upside to be ignored. Expect Kirk and this offense to light it up this season and he will come in as a nice WR2/3. With his poor showings this preseason, now might be a good time to buy Kirk at his lowest in dynasty formats.

From RotoBaller

Chase Edmonds Aug 24 10:30pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds put in a strong performance Saturday afternoon against the Vikings, rushing three times for 13 yards and hauling in both of his two targets for 24 yards. Edmonds continues to be a top handcuff to own in the fantasy world and would be a solid weekly starter if something were to happen to David Johnson. With starters likely resting for the fourth and final preseason game, look for Edmonds to get his fair share of touches against the Denver Broncos.

From RotoBaller

Ty Montgomery Aug 24 10:30pm ET

New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery carried the ball eight times for 21 yards and caught all four of his targets for 24 yards and a touchdown against the Saints on Saturday. Montgomery has been the Jets most productive running back so far with Le'Veon Bell not playing preseason games. The former wide receiver finishes the preseason with 67 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown running to go along with five catches. He should be considered the primary backup to Bell with some PPR value in deep leagues as he should see plenty of work on passing downs.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Aug 24 10:23pm ET

Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson will take over as the starting running back in the wake of RB Lamar Miller's (knee) knee injury, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, and McClain believes Johnson will 'get all the playing time he can handle.'

Fantasy Spin: Johnson has been a major weapon in the passing game in the past, and if given an every-down role, RB2 production seems like his floor, especially in PPR formats. Add him now if he is available in your league.

From TheHuddle