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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 11

Chiefs move on with Moore while Mahomes rehabs injury

Sat Oct 19 5:57pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes, Mecole Hardman

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Moore smiles during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Moore (8) throws as Denver Broncos defensive back Kareem Jackson (22) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Matt Moore spent his spring as a scouting assistant with the Miami Dolphins, and he spent most of the summer gearing up for a season as an assistant high school football coach.

He'll be spending his fall trying to keep the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl hunt.

The journeyman quarterback, who was signed on the eve of the regular season following an injury to backup Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne, has been thrust into the starting role after reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes dislocated his kneecap in Thursday night's victory over the Broncos.

The injury happened as Mahomes was sneaking for a first down in the second quarter, and Moore played the rest of the way - his first meaningful snaps in two years - in an eventual 30-6 rout.

''You saw production from him for a number of years. He was in those situations where people would debate he should be the starter or the other guy should be the starter, wherever he as,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ''You saw that ability to start football games and win.''

Now, his responsibility will be to keep the Chiefs (5-2) on the right track until Mahomes is able to return. An MRI taken Friday revealed no major damage to the ligaments in his right knee, and the team is hopeful that Mahomes could return in four to six weeks - roughly the amount of time until its bye.

''He's an inspirational guy,'' Moore said, when asked whether Mahomes said anything in the post-game locker room. ''He said a bunch of stuff about the team win, gave a bunch of props to the defense. The defense played outstanding. Just kind of brought us together and broke us down.''

The Chiefs actually came close to signing Moore before last season.

They were in search of a veteran backup for Mahomes, who was heading into his first season as the starter, and were wavering between Moore and Henne. They wound up selecting the latter, but Henne broke his ankle during a preseason game and the Chiefs decided to give Moore a chance.

He quickly picked up the intricate Kansas City offense over the first six weeks of the season, and he was good enough to keep the Broncos guessing the rest of the way Thursday night.

Moore wound up completing 10 passes for 117 yards with a 57-yard scoring strike to Tyreek Hill.

Most importantly, he didn't throw a pick or make any big mistakes.

''I was devastated for (Mahomes), obviously. He's been down and popped up pretty quick,'' Moore said. ''This one obviously wasn't that case. So I just hope he's OK. At the same time, we have to go and win a football game, and I've been in this position before and you just kind of move forward.''

Moore went 15-15 in 30 starts with the Panthers and Dolphins, and he appeared in 51 games in all over the course of 10 seasons with them. Adds his totals from Thursday night and he's thrown for more than 7,000 yards with 46 touchdown passes and 36 interceptions.

Along with experience, he also appears to have the support of a locker room full of star players who expect nothing short of a championship. Hill is back from an earlier collarbone injury, and Kansas City could get more offensive reinforcements back soon - wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring), left tackle Eric Fisher (groin) and left guard Andrew Wylie (ankle) are making progress.

''With Pat out everybody has to step up to a whole other level. When the MVP goes down everybody has to step up,'' wide receiver Mecole Hardman said. ''We did that. Matt came in and did a great job. I think the O-line picked it up a bit. It's the next man up.''

The Chiefs also have a little extra time for Moore to get settled. They played the Broncos on Thursday night, and their next game doesn't come until they face the Packers a week from Sunday.

''Matt has been in the league for a long time. We have trust in him,'' Hardman said. ''We just had to go out there and play and keep everything the same. We can't dwell on it and get down.''

Player Notes
Brian Hill Nov 12 9:33pm ET

Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill played 51 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Nov. 10, in the win over the New Orleans Saints. The bulk of Hill's work came with RB Devonta Freeman (foot) out of the game.

Fantasy Spin: With Freeman expected to miss multiple games and backup Ito Smith (neck) already out for the year, Hill will have a big role in a nice matchup against the soft Carolina Panthers run defense. He should be a top waiver priority this week.

From TheHuddle

Damien Williams Nov 12 9:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams played 72 percent of the offensive snaps in the Week 10 loss against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Nov. 10. RB Darrel Williams played just 21 percent with RB Darwin Thompson getting a total of five offensive snaps. RB LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch.

Fantasy Spin: Williams' 109 yards from scrimmage were the second-most he's racked up in a game and came on the heels of a season-high 125 rushing yards last week. He didn't find the end zone for the first time in three weeks, but it was a heavy workload and he lived up to the task. Fantasy managers who took a chance on him this year seem like they'll be rewarded down the stretch run.

From TheHuddle

Kalen Ballage Nov 12 9:13pm ET

Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage played 82 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Nov. 10, against the Indianapolis Colts. RB Patrick Laird played just eight offensive snaps with RB Myles Gaskin playing five total snaps (all on offense).

Fantasy Spin: Ballage ran the ball 20 times but for a very disappointing 43 yards. He caught all four of his targets but for just two yards. It was the Dolphins' second straight win but it remains highly doubtful there'll be many more of these. If he wasn't successful in Week 10, it's unlikely he will be.

From TheHuddle

Kareem Hunt Nov 12 9:13pm ET

Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt played 54 percent of the offensive snaps against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 10, but starter Nick Chubb played a three-week high of 81 percent in the 19-16 victory. RB Dontrell Hilliard played just eight offensive snaps for his lowest total since Week 5.

Fantasy Spin: Chubb ran 20 times for 116 yards while catching two of four targets for just five yards. Hunt totaled 74 yards from scrimmage on 11 touches with seven receptions and four carries. It's quite possible both could be effective fantasy options in the same games, but Chubb remains the definitive No. 1 option.

From TheHuddle

Diontae Johnson Nov 12 8:50pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson has put together a solid rookie campaign with 30 receptions, over 360 yards, and three touchdowns. In Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Browns, Johnson will work to stay in the sights of quarterback Mason Rudolph. However, Rudolph has been favoring shorter routes recently, which puts Johnson at a bit of a disadvantage. Although Johnson's big-play ability gives him value as a touchdown-dependent WR4 in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Jarvis Landry Nov 12 8:43pm ET

Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry drew criticism from head coach Freddie Kitchens Tuesday, Nov. 12, for the 15-yard taunting penalty he took Sunday, Nov. 10 against the Buffalo Bills. 'I don't like penalties,' said Kitchens. 'I don't like penalties. I want him playing with passion, though, not emotion, but passion.'

Fantasy Spin: Landry had one of his best games of the season by catching nine of 10 targets for 97 yards and finding the end zone for the second straight week, but the penalty set up the missed 48-yard extra point by PK Austin Seibert.

From TheHuddle

JuJu Smith-Schuster Nov 12 8:40pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has just 12 receptions for 170 yards and one touchdown in his last four games. With a Thursday Night football matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11, Smith-Schuster shouldn't be considered the reliable option many drafted him as. Quarterback Mason Rudolph has been favoring shorter to intermediate routes, which should favor the USC product, but the numbers haven't followed. Look at Smith-Schuster as a touchdown-dependent WR2 against Cleveland.

From RotoBaller

James Washington Nov 12 8:40pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington is coming off the best consecutive performances of his young career. He's hauled in 10 of 11 targets for 159 yards and a touchdown in the last two games, and he seems to be redeveloping a connection with his college quarterback Mason Rudolph. He'll face off against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night and has a chance to build himself more opportunities in the offense. View Washington as nothing but a WR4 in deeper leagues, as he still has some room to prove his fantasy worth.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Nov 12 8:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (shoulder) was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, all but confirming he's good to go for Thursday night's road game against the Cleveland Browns. After missing the last two contests, Conner has been missed on offense, as the Steelers have combined for just 132 rushing yards in that span. Against the Browns, Conner should help open up the offensive gameplan by reassuming the lead-back role. Look at the 24-year-old as an RB2 against a defense that allows 19 fantasy points per game to running backs.

From RotoBaller

Jaylen Samuels Nov 12 8:20pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels steps away from the lead-back role with the expected return of James Conner (shoulder) in Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns. Over the last two games, Samuels turned 38 touches into just 123 yards and no touchdowns, so it's clear he's not suited for four-down work in this offense. Against the Browns on Thursday, the NC State product isn't very fantasy appealing as Cleveland has allowed just 40 receptions to running backs this season, the ninth-fewest in the NFL. Since Conner is likely returning, Samuels is best left on fantasy benches in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Mason Rudolph Nov 12 8:10pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph gets a favorable matchup for Thursday Night Football when the Steelers travel to take on the Cleveland Browns. Rudolph has been gaining more confidence with each start, and his 242 yards passing last week were the second highest of his short career. Against the Browns, the second-year signal caller faces a defense that allows an average of 23 fantasy points per game. Rudolph can be considered a low-end QB2, especially in the early game of the week. You could do worse, but you could certainly do better for a streaming option.

From RotoBaller

Colin Kaepernick Nov 12 8:03pm ET

Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) shared a message on Twitter Tuesday, Nov. 12, addressing the previous reports of the league-arranged free-agent workout Saturday, Nov. 16. 'I'm just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I've been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can't wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday,' Kaepernick wrote.

From TheHuddle

Matt Breida Nov 12 7:30pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (ankle) will seek a second opinion on his reaggravated sprained ankle. Breida only accrued 25 yards on 12 touches in Week 10 before exiting in the second half. Breida is no stranger to playing injured but NFL Networks Tom Pelissero believes he could miss some time to let it heal. Breidas absence would benefit third-string back Raheem Mostert who flashed promise earlier this season when Tevin Coleman was hurt. Mostert would be a risky but upside flex play in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals if Breida is inactive.

From RotoBaller

Dante Pettis Nov 12 7:23pm ET

San Francisco 49ers WR Dante Pettis is running out of time to prove his worth in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. 'The more he doesn't take advantage of his opportunities, the less opportunities he gets,' Shanahan said Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Fantasy Spin: Pettis, a second-year pro, has caught just 11 of 24 targets this season for 109 yards and two touchdowns. He shouldn't be on rosters in anything shallower than 14- or 16-team leagues.

From TheHuddle

Luke Willson Nov 12 7:23pm ET

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (hamstring) has a 'legit' hamstring injury, according to head coach Pete Carroll Tuesday, Nov. 12.

From TheHuddle

Ed Dickson Nov 12 7:23pm ET

Seattle Seahawks TE Ed Dickson (knee) was close to being activated off of injured reserve this past week and will return for Week 12 following the team's bye, according to head coach Pete Carroll Tuesday, Nov. 12.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Nov 12 7:20pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (knee, ankle) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) are considered day-to-day and shaping up as game-time decisions in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. Kittle and Sanders figure to practice minimally this week, if any. Kittle missed Week 10 and his injury appears serious but head coach Kyle Shanahan refrained from ruling out the warrior. Sanders suffered a rib cartilage injury on Monday night and the severity is unknown. Without their top aerial playmakers, the biggest gainer could be wideout Deebo Samuel. The rookie amassed 112 yards on eight catches in Week 10 and was clearly the most electric player amongst Kendrick Bourne, Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis. Samuel will be a hot waiver commodity and slots as a WR3 if both Kittle and Sanders cant go.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Blair Nov 12 7:13pm ET

Updating a previous story, San Francisco 49ers DL Ronald Blair (knee) will undergo season-ending surgery for his torn ACL, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan Tuesday, Nov. 12.

From TheHuddle

Bryce Callahan Nov 12 7:03pm ET

Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock (thumb) returned to practice Tuesday, Nov. 12. A decision will need to be made by Dec. 3 to activate him from injured reserve. CB Bryce Callahan (foot) also returned to practice Tuesday. He has remained on the 53-man roster.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Nov 12 6:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (knee) is day-to-day, although head coach Kyle Shanahan is 'hopeful' Kittle will be able to play in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Fantasy Spin: Expect the third-year tight end to be held out of practice early in the week, although it sounds like Kittle's fantasy owners need to be prepared for the possibility of another missed game. If he can make it through a limited practice by Friday, he'll have a chance to suit up and be worth a start in fantasy. If he can't go, Ross Dwelley and Garrett Celek figure to see the bulk of work on passing downs in his absence.

From TheHuddle