By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
Players: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Demaryius Thomas, Bilal Powell, Ryan Griffin, Allen Hurns, Albert Wilson, Ty Montgomery, DeVante Parker, Robby Anderson, Sam Ficken, Jason Sanders, Chandler Cox, Lamar Jackson, Sam Darnold
New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) kicks the winning field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) reacts with teammates after kicking the winning field goal during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) reacts as he watches his 44-yard field goal split the uprights against the Miami Dolphins to end an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 22-21.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders (7) celebrates with punter Matt Haack (2) and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) after kicking a field goal against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Jets cornerback Nate Hairston (21) reacts with teammates after intercepting a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Allen Hurns (17) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) splits the defense between Miami Dolphins defensive back Nik Needham (40) and free safety Adrian Colbert (36) to score a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) runs the ball against the New York Jets during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets were looking at fourth-and-really long - and another brutal loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Until a controversial call changed it all.
Sam Ficken kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired to give the Jets a 22-21 comeback victory Sunday after they benefited when an incomplete pass was reviewed in New York and a rare game-altering pass interference ruling on Miami was added.
''I thought it was pass interference,'' Darnold said. ''And, obviously, they overturned it.''
Darnold got the winning drive going with a short pass to Vyncint Smith, who turned it into a 37-yard gain that included a high-step over a would-be tackler. After a sack by Andrew Van Ginkel two plays later put the ball at the Dolphins 46, Darnold threw an incomplete pass to Smith.
But, the Jets argued Nik Needham interfered with the receiver by wrapping his right arm around Smith's right shoulder.
''I knew it was pass interference from the beginning,'' Smith said. ''I think I had one earlier in the game that they didn't call, so I was upset they weren't calling that one, either.''
But the play went to a video review at the league office and the interference call was added - giving the Jets a first down and new life.
''Honestly, it's just trash,'' Needham said.
A 12-yard catch by Ty Montgomery got the ball to the 26. Two plays later, Ficken won it, helping the Jets (5-8) avoid a season series sweep by the lowly Dolphins (3-10).
''This one feels really good,'' said Ficken, who made three field goals but missed an extra point. ''This is definitely the best moment I've had in my pro career ''
Miami coach Brian Flores appeared incensed as the game ended, with TV cameras catching him shouting his displeasure at one of the officials. He refused to discuss the overturned call with reporters.
''We lost the game,'' Flores said. ''I was upset we lost the game.''
Added Needham: ''How else am I supposed to get to the receiver? He's in front of me. I can't run through him. I have to get around him to get the ball out. Yeah, so it's a P.I. in their house.''
Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, said the call was made by New York by rule with the game having under two minutes left. All reviews are done in the booth and/or in New York.
''It was clear and obvious that the receiver did get significantly hindered prior to the ball getting there,'' Riveron told a pool reporter.
The Jets - who lost to the previously winless Cincinnati Bengals last week - overcame a Dolphins franchise-record seven field goals by Jason Sanders, including a 37-yarder that gave Miami the lead with 1:33 left.
Sanders kicked a 48-yarder to put the Dolphins up 18-16 with 6:59 remaining, but Ficken's 42-yarder gave New York the lead again with 4:05 left.
Darnold, who injured his right hand at the beginning of the fourth quarter, was off on a few of his late passes but finished 20 of 36 for 270 yards and touchdowns to Demaryius Thomas and Robby Anderson. Darnold also was intercepted once.
Anderson had seven catches for 116 yards and the score. Bilal Powell, starting in place of the ill Le'Veon Bell, had 74 yards on 19 carries before leaving on the final drive with an ankle injury.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 21 of 37 for 245 yards with an interception for Miami, playing without top receivers DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson who both left with concussions.
The Jets took a 16-6 lead with 1:55 left in the opening half on Thomas' 14-yard touchdown catch, his first for New York. The initial call of an incomplete pass was overturned by a video review as officials ruled Thomas had possession as he was tackled by Needham while falling into the end zone.
New York nearly had another score a few plays later when James Burgess intercepted Fitzpatrick and took it into the end zone, but the Jets linebacker was called for defensive holding - negating the turnover.
Miami ended up getting a 28-yard field goal from Sanders with 19 seconds remaining in the half to cut the deficit to 16-9.
The Jets were without two of their best players with both Bell and safety Jamal Adams sitting out.
Bell was ruled out Saturday because of what Gase said after the game is the flu. He practiced fully Wednesday, but then sat out Thursday and Friday.
Adams was officially ruled inactive 90 minutes before the game after he missed practice all week with a sprained ankle. It was the first game Adams has missed in his three-year NFL career.
Dolphins: Parker went out with a concussion in the second quarter, and Wilson in the third. ... TE/FB Chandler Cox injured a shoulder in the fourth quarter.
Jets: TE Ryan Griffin left with an ankle injury on New York's opening drive and didn't return. ... DL Quinnen Williams suffered a burner in the third quarter and didn't return. ... CB Kyron Brown was in crutches in the locker room after hurting his left quadriceps in the fourth quarter.
Dolphins: play at MetLife Stadium again next Sunday to take on the Giants.
Jets: travel to Baltimore to take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Thursday night.
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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.
Tennessee Titans LB Jayon Brown (shoulder), LB Rashaan Evans (foot), WR Adam Humphries (ankle), CB Adoree' Jackson (foot), WR Cody Hollister (ankle) and OT Jack Conklin (shoulder) were limited in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. CB Logan Ryan (illness) and LB David Long Jr. (knee) participated in full.
Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (illness) was limited in practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: It's an upgrade for Allison after he missed Wednesday's practice. He's likely to be limited for much of the week but should ultimately suit up for Sunday, Jan. 19's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. He made just one catch for 11 yards last week against the Seattle Seahawks and isn't worth much more than a desperation flier.