Thu Oct 17 7:01pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson works out prior to an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas (29) intercepts a pass, as Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11), attempts to tackle, during the first half at an NFL football game, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times. Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces former team on Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, left, and quarterback Lamar Jackson celebrate Jackson's touchdown run against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half of a NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
SEATTLE (AP) There is an understandable mutual admiration between Baltimore's Lamar Jackson and Seattle's Russell Wilson.
In Jackson, Wilson sees a combination of speed and shiftiness working in concert with an underrated passing ability that has the young QB causing headaches for anyone tasked with slowing him down.
In Wilson, Jackson sees a veteran who has reached the pinnacle of the NFL, who has figured out a way to balance his athleticism and running ability with a dynamic right arm that makes him one of the premier passers in the league.
''I love everything about his game,'' Jackson said. ''He's a great quarterback. He makes guys miss. He breaks the pocket, and there will be guys chasing him everywhere. He knows what to do with the ball - dish it out, go to a checkdown. He makes plays. He's a playmaker, and that's what you need in a guy and at the quarterback position. That's what he is.''
Jackson and Wilson will meet on the field or the first time on Sunday when the Seahawks host the Ravens in a showdown between two of the better teams in each conference and two of the early MVP candidates.
Jackson has wowed with his combination of running and passing. He's on pace to rush for 1,200 yards and throw for 4,000. Last week, he became the first player in league history to throw for more than 200 yards and rush for more than 150 in the same regular season game.
Jackson is completing 65% of his passes, has 13 touchdowns passing and rushing and causing nightmares for opposing defenses.
''People always mention his speed. That's obvious. But I think the mixture of all the different things he can do - he can throw it down the field, he's tough, he hangs in there, he's a smart player too,'' Wilson said. ''You put all those things together with his elusiveness, which is as good as it gets, probably best you've ever seen kind of speed, he's really special.''
Where Wilson has impressed is his overall command of Seattle's offense. He's just the fourth QB in league history to start the season with six straight games with a passer rating of 100 or higher. He hasn't thrown an interception since Week 17 of last season. Wilson is playing with a confidence and savvy that's flashed at times throughout his career, but perhaps never for such a prolonged period.
''I know he's deep in the conversation for the MVP already,'' Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. ''We hope, and we're going to do everything we can, to make sure that we don't make that argument any stronger, or help make that argument any stronger.''
Here's what else to watch as the Seahawks and Ravens meet for the first time since 2015:
MY NAME IS EARL
Aside from the quarterbacks, the biggest story line is the return of safety Earl Thomas, who spent his first nine seasons with Seattle before signing with Baltimore in free agency. Thomas was a star with the Seahawks, a founding member of the ''Legion of Boom'' secondary and a three-time first-team All-Pro selection. The final image of Thomas with Seattle was being carted off the field last season after breaking his leg in Arizona and flashing the middle finger at Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, angry about not getting a contract extension with the Seahawks.
''I don't know what this game is going to bring, but I definitely respect and love the organization. They gave me my first shot,'' Thomas said.
BACKFIELD IN MOTION
The Ravens have been forced to shuffle their defensive backfield this season to cope with injuries to Tavon Young, Tony Jefferson, DeShon Elliott and Jimmy Smith. First-year general manager Eric DeCosta refurbished the secondary this week by trading for two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters and signing safety Bennett Jackson from the Jets practice squad.
Both newcomers are expected to play Sunday, so it's imperative that they work in unison with cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr, as well as Thomas.
''Communication is going to be really critical, especially there,'' Harbaugh said. ''It won't be quite as loud, because their offense will be on the field, maybe as it would be here. But it's a loud place, and you're on the road. It's terminology.''
Seattle should get a boost on its defensive line with the return of Jarran Reed after he was suspended for the first six games. Reed had 10+ sacks last season, but more important will be his ability to draw attention and potentially open up more on the outside for Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah. Seattle has just 10 sacks through six games and didn't have a quarterback hit recorded last week against Cleveland.
The task this week isn't so much getting pressure on Jackson as it is keeping the elusive QB contained.
''That's why we come out here to practice, to get a feel of each other,'' Reed said. ''We talked a long time. We're going to get out here. We're going to work together. We're going to build that chemistry together.''
The Ravens cranked up the music at practice this week to simulate the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field. Jackson played in packed stadiums while at Louisville, and he's twice started in Kansas City against the Chiefs. But playing in Seattle is taking it to another (sound) level.
''The coaches have been telling us it's very loud,'' Jackson said. ''I just have to do a good job of executing, calling out the plays and letting everyone hear me.''
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 11 against the Patriots. Remove Jeffery from your starting lineups. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) out the rest of the year, the Eagles will now have to get by with some combination of Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jordan Matthews at receiver. Agholor might be worth a deep league or DFS flex, but the matchup against New England's strong secondary isn't ideal. Tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert should also be more involved, although New England could look to double team Ertz now. Quarterback Carson Wentz will likely struggle in this one.
Detroit Lions running back Ty Johnson (concussion) returned to a full practice on Friday but is listed as questionable for Week 11 against the Cowboys. It's still unclear if Johnson has actually cleared the concussion protocol, but it's a good sign that he practiced in full on Friday. This could come down to a game-time decision. Detroit's backfield has been one to avoid in fantasy ever since Kerryon Johnson was lost for the year, especially since the Lions have been going to the air more as a result. Even if Johnson plays, he'll be a low-end RB3/flex in deeper leagues. J.D. McKissic would have flex appeal in PPR leagues, but only if Johnson is deemed inactive on Sunday morning.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (knee, illness, ribs) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) were both limited in practice the last two days and are questionable for Week 11 against the Redskins. Barring a late setback, both players are fully expected to suit up. Bell has been a disappointment to fantasy owners in his first year with Gang Green, but he has another great chance to put up numbers this Sunday against a bad Redskins Defense. Thomas has been better than Robby Anderson of late, but he's still more of a low-upside WR4/5 in a shaky Jets offense.
Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (hamstring) will not play in Week 11 against the 49ers, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Edmonds was fantasy relevant weeks ago when David Johnson was hurt and before the team traded for Kenyan Drake. The Cardinals will go on their bye in Week 12, and Edmonds will return to find himself third on the running back depth chart. Unless one of Drake or Johnson get hurt, Edmonds should find himself on the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues.
New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) didn't practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 11 against the Buccaneers. Lattimore, the team's best cover corner, held Mike Evans to no catches on three targets in their first meeting this year, so this is really good news for Evans' chances of putting up numbers in the second meeting. Evans is a must-start WR1 on a weekly basis, but his ceiling just got higher. Quarterback Jameis Winston's outlook also improves significantly with this news.
The Houston Texans Defense is not a recommended option in Week 11 on the road against arguably the most electrifying offense in football. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have been on fire lately hanging 49 points on the Bengals last week and should do more of the same this week. The Texans defense has been hit hard with injuries and should not be started in this brutal matchup vs the team that allows the sixth-fewest points to opposing defenses this season.
New York Jets LB C.J. Mosley (groin), DB Matthias Farley (quad), OL Ryan Kalil (knee) and LB Paul Worrilow (quad) were unable to practice Friday, Nov. 15, and have been ruled out for Week 11 against the New York Jets. CB Darryl Roberts (calf) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. RB Le'Veon Bell (ribs, knee, illness), LB Brandon Copeland (hip, thumb), LB Neville Hewitt (neck, knee), OL Alex Lewis (elbow), DL Steve McLendon (neck), OL Kelvin Beachum (ankle) and WR Demaryius Thomas (knee, hamstring) were limited in practice Friday and are listed as questionable. DL Henry Anderson (shoulder) was upgraded to full practice Friday and is also listed as questionable. WR Robby Anderson was a limited participant in practice all week but no longer appears on the injury report. RB Josh Adams (illness), QB Sam Darnold (thumb), WR Jamison Crowder (knee, quad), WR Braxton Berrios (hamstring, hip), TE Ryan Griffin (ankle), OL Tom Compton (back), LB Jordan Jenkins (calf), DB Blessuan Austin (knee) and DB Nate Hairston (thumb, knee) fully participated in practice Friday and have also been removed from the injury report.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 15, and has been ruled out for Week 11.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation to see when Hilton will be able to return. Zach Pascal will continue to be the main receiver in the passing game and could be a flex option despite the matchup.
The Minnesota Vikings activated wide receiver Josh Doctson (hamstring) off of Injured Reserve on Friday. He'll be available to play in Week 11 against the Broncos. Doctson has some history with quarterback Kirk Cousins from their time in Washington, but it's a long shot that Doctson will be very involved in the offense this weekend, even with Adam Thielen (hamstring) out another week. Olabisi Johnson and Laquon Treadwell should still see most of the work in three-receiver sets alongside Stefon Diggs.
Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills should run more routes out of the slot this week, assuming Will Fuller is back in action Sunday at Baltimore. Fuller returned to practice on a limited basis, and while he's not been cleared to play yet, he seems on the right track. Stills has no more than six targets in a game this season, and if Fuller returns, there will be even fewer targets to go around. The saving grace for Stills is that this game has a very high projected point total, and Stills is always capable of making one big play to put up fantasy production. Start Stills as a WR3 with more upside if Fuller is ruled out.
The New York Jets Defense will be a good streaming option this Sunday when they face rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins and the inept Redskins offense. The Jets defense has been hit hard with injuries, but led by Week 10 defensive player of the week Jamal Adams, they've found ways to create turnovers despite also giving up points. In addition to a couple of Haskins turnovers being likely, the Jets got to the quarterback for six sacks last week and could feast again against a banged-up Washington offensive line. Start the Jets as a top-10 option in Week 11.
Washington Redskins DL Tim Settle (hamstring), WR Paul Richardson (hamstring) and RB Chris Thompson (toe) were held out of practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 11 against the New York Jets. TE Vernon Davis (concussion) was limited in practice all week and has also been ruled out. S Deshazor Everett (ankle) and S Montae Nicholson (ankle) were limited in practice Friday, Nov. 15, and are listed as questionable. CB Josh Norman (hamstring) and RB Adrian Peterson (toe) fully participated in practice Friday and no longer appear on the injury report. RB Wendell Smallwood (non-injury) was not given a practice designation for a second straight day but has also been removed from the injury report.
Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury isn't naming a starting running back for Week 11 against the 49ers, and he said it'll be "by committee" between running backs Kenyan Drake and David Johnson. The vagueness and uncertainty of the situation isn't doing fantasy owners any favors, and the Niners defense presents an incredibly tough matchup. Drake actually performed well against San Fran two weeks ago, but DJ also wasn't active. Based on how Johnson looked last week, we'd expect Drake to see more of the chances, but this is a situation to avoid if you can this weekend. Drake is more of an RB2/3, while Johnson will be a risky RB3/flex.
The Philadelphia Eagles intend to sign free-agent running back Jay Ajayi after working him out on Friday, according to a source. Ajayi is healthy after tearing his ACL and will be returning to the team that traded for him in 2017. The Eagles want to add some depth behind Jordan Howard, who is dealing with a stinger, and rookie Miles Sanders after Darren Sproles was announced as out for the season on Friday. Ajayi has experience with Philly, but he's unlikely to come into any fantasy value unless either Howard or Sanders miss time with injury.
Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells will be a touchdown-dependent streamer in a tough matchup at Baltimore. Fells has three touchdowns in his past two games, but in his last game, a 1-yard touchdown was his only catch. Fells has less than four targets in six of nine games played this season and is yet to top 70 yards. He's fine when he catches a touchdown, but with the Texans other receiving options getting healthy, it'll be tough to rely on Fells finding pay dirt every week.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson (hamstring) and tight end Vernon Davis (concussion) have been ruled out for Week 11 against the Jets. Davis has no timetable for a return. Jeremy Sprinkle hasn't taken advantage of his starting role with both Davis and Jordan Reed (concussion) out for most of the year, and that probably won't change anytime soon with rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins at the helm. Richardson should've already been on waiver wires before his injury. Rookie Terry McLaurin is the only receiver you can trust in D.C., and even then he's just a boom/bust WR4 in this sad offense. Trey Quinn and rookies Steven Sims Jr. and Kelvin Harmon should see more run in three-receiver sets with Richardson out.
Carolina Panthers CB Ross Cockrell (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 15, and has been ruled out for Week 11. OT Dennis Daley (groin) missed practice and is listed as doubtful. CB Donte Jackson (hip) was limited during practice and is listed as questionable. LB Shaq Thompson (ankle), DE Mario Addison (non-injury) and LB Bruce Irvin (non-injury) did not practice but are not on the injury report. DT Kyle Love (shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (knee), OT Greg Little (concussion), CB James Bradberry (groin) and LB Brian Burns (wrist) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.
Arizona Cardinals RBs Kenyan Drake and David Johnson will be used in a committee in Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who noted to reporters Friday, Nov. 15, that being named a starter at running back in his offense doesn't matter because of sub-packages.
Fantasy Spin: The Cardinals have seemingly been playing games with fantasy owners at running back ever since David Johnson first hurt his ankle last month. Just about anyone who watched Johnson run in Week 10 could see he is nowhere close to 100 percent, so fantasy owners should be able to plug Drake into their lineups and feel relatively good about his ability to deliver RB2 production.
Minnesota Vikings WR Josh Doctson (hamstring) was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Nov. 15.
It looks as though Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake has jumped David Johnson on the depth chart. Drake was running receiving drills with first-team wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella at practice. We'll have no idea if this is actually true until game day on Sunday against the 49ers, but Drake has looked better in his two games with the Cardinals and Johnson just can't seem to power through his injuries. The Cardinals have a game plan in mind involving both Drake and Johnson in their backfield this Sunday, but the mystery surrounding the two isn't making it easy on fantasy owners. Based on how DJ looked last week, it's hard to trust him in fantasy lineups as anything more than an RB3/flex, and the matchup this weekend is as tough as it gets.