Fri Dec 4 7:34pm ET
By DAN GREENSPAN
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Jalen Ramsey thought he was done playing DeAndre Hopkins twice a season when he got traded to the Los Angeles Rams.
But just like the blanket coverage the cornerback is used to dishing out, Ramsey just can't seem to shake Hopkins.
''I follow him during the games, he followed me to the division, that's what it seems like,'' Ramsey said Friday.
Ramsey will renew his friendly rivalry with Hopkins when the Rams face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. It will be the eighth matchup between the two, but the first outside of the AFC South.
Ramsey spent four seasons with Jacksonville before he was dealt to the Rams (7-4) in October 2019. Hopkins got traded to the Cardinals (6-5) in March after seven seasons in Houston.
''We've had some good battles,'' Ramsey said. ''I've won some, he's won some and, more importantly, the team I was on won some of those games. Unfortunately, we also lost some of those games, and that's what matters at the end of the day is that team win.''
The Jaguars went 2-5 in those games, but Ramsey typically fared well in his individual assignment. He had 27 tackles, defended 12 passes, made one interception and recovered one fumble. Hopkins had three touchdown catches and topped 100 yards receiving just once when Ramsey was in Jacksonville's secondary.
While the familiarity of division play can breed contempt, especially when the outspoken Ramsey is involved, his relationship off the field with Hopkins has been cordial.
''We cool, for sure,'' Ramsey said. ''But on Sunday we won't be. On Sunday we gonna be competing. I'm gonna try to hold it down for my team and he gonna try to make big plays for their team. We got mutual respect because of that too. Because of the mindset. We can be cool outside of the field. Outside of the game we have a lot of respect for each other, but when it's time to play, when it's time to buckle our chinstraps and go make plays for our team, we both not gonna hold nothing back.''
Ramsey was limited in the Rams' 23-20 loss to San Francisco last week because of a hip injury that flared up during warmups. He played 50 of 72 defensive snaps, but coach Sean McVay said Ramsey is back to full strength and should see his usual workload against the Cardinals.
That doesn't mean Ramsey will be shadowing Hopkins on every play.
''You definitely don't want to be so predictable that the only thing he's doing is just traveling around with DeAndre all day,'' McVay said. ''Those two have tremendous respect for one another. They're two of the best in the world at what they do.''
Hopkins showed that elite ability when he caught the ''Hail Murray'' to beat Buffalo in Week 10, but it was the lone bright spot in an otherwise lackluster November. Subtract that 43-yard touchdown catch, Hopkins' other 19 receptions last month produced just 220 yards without scoring, which might explain why he didn't have much to say about his reunion with Ramsey.
That left others to do the talking about the anticipated showdown in a crucial NFC West game.
''I definitely will have my popcorn out watching it from the sideline, for sure,'' Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said. ''It's going to be another clash of the titans.''
NOTES: DT Sebastian Joseph-Day is questionable to play against the Cardinals because of a hip injury. Joseph-Day, who returned to practice on a limited basis Friday, leads the team with 25 tackles on run plays. . The Rams re-signed LB Jachai Polite to their practice squad after clearing waivers. Polite, a third round pick of the New York Jets in 2019, has played in 11 games for Los Angeles this season.
Five Hot Plays: Week 13
Las Vegas Raiders RB Theo Riddick was removed from the Exempt/COVID-19 list Friday, Dec. 4, and now counts toward the active roster.
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Chase McLaughlin is not a viable starter this week. Though he has made all three of his field-goal attempts and both of his extra-point attempts in two games played this season, the sample size is too small and it's fair to question his reliability compared to other kickers who have played most of the season. As a result, there are better options to start at the position for Week 13.
Las Vegas Raiders DB Lamarcus Joyner was removed from the Exempt/COVID-19 list Friday, Dec. 4, and now counts toward the active roster.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tyler Eifert is not a worthy starter this week against Minnesota. In nine games played, the TE has only surpassed 40 yards once, and he has also been very inconsistent in his weekly numbers. Because the Jaguars don't have a strong passing attack, this makes Eifert too risky to start and thus irrelevant for fantasy purposes.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Defense should remain benched or on waivers this week. The Jags play Minnesota, a team that has solid receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, an elite back in Dalvin Cook, and a QB in Kirk Cousins who can get hot any given week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville ranks among the bottom of the league in most defensive categories, which keeps this unit well off the fantasy radar this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole Sr. is only a low-end flex for this week. Cole has produced at least five targets in three of the past five games but has only gotten over 40 yards in two of the past five games. The Jaguars don't have a strong passing attack due to their multiple changes at QB. Cole should not be trusted this week given his inconsistent stats.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. is a WR3 for Week 13 against the Vikings. As the WR1 on the team, Chark does see targets, but he doesn't always produce. The WR has gotten at least seven targets in four of the past five games but has only gotten at least 45 yards in three of those contests. Nevertheless, his weekly volume should keep him in the starting tier against a Minnesota team allowing the second-most points to fantasy wideouts.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. should be considered nothing more than a lower-end flex against the Vikings this week. In the past four games, the rookie has only eclipsed 40 yards and five targets once. Jacksonville has no stability at QB and its passing attack isn't high-powered. As a result, Shenault doesn't produce consistent and decent numbers each week. There are better options to start this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon will once again get the start this week but should remain benched in fantasy. Glennon posted 235 yards and two touchdowns last week in an impressive performance, but that was only one game and the journeyman has not proved he is worthy of a start each week. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy QBs, but there are certainly better, proven options out there.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson is an RB1 this week against the Vikings. The 22-year-old has now rushed for at least 99 yards in four of the last five games and has been stellar this season as the lead back for the Jags even though his value in the passing game has been minimal. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy backs, but Robinson's high weekly volume sets him up to produce once again.
Baltimore Ravens WR Chris Moore (thigh) was designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Dec. 4.
Las Vegas Raiders DT Maliek Collins (hamstring, ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Dec. 4.
Baltimore Ravens QB Trace McSorley will be the starting quarterback for the Week 13 game if QB Lamar Jackson (illness) is not cleared to play.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see if McSorley or Jackson will be the starter. Jackson should be a starter in all fantasy leagues if he is cleared to play. McSorley had one big play in the Week 12 game but should be avoided in fantasy leagues if he starts.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow had a good performance last week against the Falcons, and he will look for another solid performance this week against a poor Jets secondary. He is a consistent possession receiver but lacks the explosion to be considered a viable fantasy option. Renfrow is averaging 3.5 catches and 46 yards per game this season, so those numbers make him a fringe flex option. He has not found the end zone in four consecutive games, but the Jets Defense allows a lot of points. He consistently catches passes every game, but his ceiling is low.
Seattle Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde (toe) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is listed as questionable for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Hyde may be a game-time decision, so fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his official status. He will have a role in the running game if he is active for the game but can be avoided in most leagues.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (foot) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Carson likely will receive plenty of carries this week against the New York Giants this week and should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller disappointed last week against a bad Falcons Defense but will likely bounce back this week against the Jets. The Jets Defense ranks 29th against opposing tight ends, and Waller is the second-most expensive DFS tight end this week. Waller has had a few bad performances this season but always seems to bounce back. He has followed up his disappointing performances this season with at least five catches in the following game. Look for Waller to rebound in a big way this week. He is definitely a must-start TE1 in Week 13.
Las Vegas Raiders WR Nelson Agholor (ankle) was limited during practice Friday, Dec. 4, but is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Agholor has been targeted 15 times over the last two weeks and has five touchdowns in the last eight games. He will have a favorable matchup this week and can be a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues if he plays.
Indianapolis Colts TE Trey Burton (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Burton has been targeted 11 times over the last two games and has two touchdowns during that span. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 tight end in deeper leagues.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Devontae Booker (back) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Booker likely will receive most of the work at running back with Josh Jacobs ruled out. He will have a favorable matchup this week and can be considered a low-end No. 2 running back or flex option.