Sun Sep 8 4:35pm ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku celebrates after scoring a 3-yard touchdown during the second half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) and strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (24) celebrate a safety during the first half in an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, left, congratulates running back Derrick Henry after Henry scored a 1-yard touchdown during the first half in an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) scrambles during the first half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) avoids Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson (25) during the first half in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws under pressure from Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan (26) during the first half in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) hands off the ball to running back Derrick Henry (22) for a 1-yard touchdown during the first half in an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry rushes for a 1-yard touchdown during the first half in an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during the first half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield looks to throw during the first half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is introduced before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
CLEVELAND (AP) Maybe Marcus Mariota and the Titans deserved all the hype.
Tennessee's quarterback threw three touchdown passes - one a stunning 75-yarder to big back Derrick Henry - and the Titans rolled to a 43-13 rout Sunday over the Cleveland Browns, who fell flat on their faces in their highly anticipated opener.
Titans tight end Delanie Walker had two TD catches in the fourth, and Tennessee's defensive backs intercepted Baker Mayfield three times in the fourth period.
Cameron Wake sacked Mayfield in the end zone for a safety in the first half, and the Titans dominated the undisciplined and perhaps overblown Browns, picked by some to contend for a Super Bowl title after adding Odell Beckham Jr.
The Browns committed 18 penalties for 182 yards, a poor reflection on first-year coach Freddie Kitchens. Cleveland also had a player ejected for kicking a Titans defender. The performance left Cleveland fans and wondering if they've been duped.
The Browns are 1-19-1 in openers since 1999.
The Titans always seem to be overlooked, but after just missing the playoffs last season, coach Mike Vrabel had his team ready.
Mariota finished 14 of 24 for 248 yards, completing his two scoring passes to Walker in a span of 3:29 of the final quarter when the Titans opened a 23-point lead.
Mayfield, who took several big hits while playing behind a patchwork line, brought Cleveland within 15-13 with a 3-yard TD pass to David Njoku. But the Titans countered immediately as Henry, who sat out the preseason with a calf injury, took a short pass, picked up a few blocks and rumbled down the sideline for the long score.
Kevin Byard picked off Mayfield moments later, and Mariota connected with Walker for an 11-yard score. The three-time Pro Bowler was making his return after suffering a season-ending broken leg in last year's opener.
Mayfield was then picked for the second time and Tennessee's Logan Ryan led the entire defense to the far end of the field, where they taunted Cleveland's rabid Dawg Pound section.
Mayfield went 25 of 38 for 285 yards, with his last throw returned 38 yards for a TD by Malcolm Butler. Beckham finished with seven catches for 71 yards in his Cleveland debut.
The first half was a mess for the Browns, flagged 10 times, saw starting left tackle Greg Robinson get tossed, and had his backup, Kendall Lamm, go down with a knee injury on Wake's sack.
Robinson was booted for booting safety Kenny Vaccaro in the head.
Tennessee's Cairo Santos, signed earlier this week, made two field goals, from 53 and 37 yards. Santos was brought in after Ryan Succop was placed on injured reserve.
Browns: RB Dontrell Hilliard left with a concussion in the first half. ... Lamm never returned after going down. ... TE Demetrius Harris left briefly with a right shoulder injury.
Titans: host Indianapolis on Sunday. The Colts won both meetings last season by an average of 22 points.
Browns: visit the New York Jets on Sept. 16 in matchup of first teams to play on Monday night.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert caught five passes in Week 6, gaining 48 yards. He was targeted eight times, and was much more involved than he'd been in previous games, with Zach Ertz seeing just one more target. Goedert is about due for a "blow up" game, but his usage remains too inconsistent to be anything more than a TE2, even with how weak the position has been in fantasy this year.
Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott made all of his kicks in Week 6. Elliott split the uprights on his two extra point attempts and also made field goals from 53 and 40 yards out. It was a solid performance for Elliott, who should continue to be one of the more consistent fantasy kickers going forward.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins did nothing in Week 6, making no catches on two targets. Hollins was on the field in three-wide sets but only saw two balls go his way and did nothing with them. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) targeting a Week 7 return, Hollins should return to his special teams role soon.
Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells had six receptions for 69 yards in the win over the Chiefs on Sunday. Fells was fresh off of a two-touchdown performance against the Falcons coming into this one and continued to get looks from quarterback Deshaun Watson. If he is available in deeper formats, snag him up before it's too late.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown has been quiet over the last two games after a two touchdown performance in Week 4. Brown caught two of his four targets in the 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 6. The Titans continue to have struggles on offense and that has hurt Brown's value. Fantasy owners can't expect much at this point, so Brown should be considered a low-end flex option for next week versus the Chargers.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was not even targeted in Week 6. The hyped-up rookie now has two games in a row where he's drawn no targets. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) on his way back to the field soon, Arcega-Whiteside will continue to have zero value in redraft formats.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas made four catches for 62 yards in a win over the Cowboys Sunday. The 62 yards are the most Thomas has gained in three games played this season, and he has been getting more involved in the offense overall. On the Jets second drive, the first goal-to-go snap they ran was a quick slant to Thomas for what would have been an easy touchdown, had it not been for pass interference. Despite the Jets trying to get Thomas more involved, it'll be hard for them to support three fantasy-relevant wide receivers and Thomas has been the third guy behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. As long as Anderson, Crowder and running back Le'Veon Bell are healthy, Thomas likely won't see enough targets to be relevant in standard-size fantasy leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz caught four passes in Week 6, gaining 54 scoreless yards and losing a fumble. Ertz was targeted nine times, but has now scored just one touchdown through six weeks of the season. He hasn't gone over 72 yards receiving yet either. In a position as shallow as tight end, Ertz is very much still a weekly TE1, but he seems to be working with much less upside than in previous seasons. We'll see if the Eagles start getting Ertz more involved going forward.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery caught 10 passes in Week 6, gaining 76 yards and scoring a touchdown. Jeffery was faded in many rankings this week as he was taking on the Minnesota Vikings secondary, but he picked up several quick short passes and came down with a three-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Jeffery should be able to maintain his value as a WR2/3 even when DeSean Jackson (abdomen) returns to the starting lineup.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller hauled in five receptions for 44 yards during the win over the Chiefs on Sunday. While he was nowhere near the level of efficiency that we saw in Week 5, it was still a semi-decent performance for those who had him in PPR lineups. With nine targets on the night, Fuller should continue to be involved moving ahead despite the potential return of Kenny Stills (hamstring), who is expected back soon.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder made six catches for 98 yards in a win over the Cowboys Sunday. Crowder was excited to have starting quarterback Sam Darnold back under center as Crowder had his biggest game since Week 1, the last game Darnold played before being ruled out with mono. In two games with Darnold, Crowder has 20 catches for 197 yards as opposed to the 75 yards total he had in three games with backups starting for New York. Having Darnold back makes Crowder a startable WR3 in fantasy, even with a tough matchup with New England looming next Monday night.
The Cleveland Browns Defense struggled in a 32-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6. Cleveland's offense jumped out to a 20-6 lead early in the second quarter but the defense was unable to hold on for the win, allowing 26 points in the final three quarters. The defense didn't get much help as the Cleveland offense committed four turnovers in the loss. Seattle also got excellent field position after blocking a punt. On the plus side, Cleveland's defense continues to sack the quarterback at a high rate, notching another three in the contest while also forcing one turnover. The Browns defense has plenty of talent but they have played a tough schedule thus far. Things won't let up after their Week 7 bye as they draw a brutal road matchup against the undefeated New England Patriots in Week 8. At least fantasy owners have two weeks to make plans to secure a proper replacement defense in their fantasy leagues before that matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor caught four passes in Week 6, gaining 42 scoreless yards. He had one catch in his last two games combined, so while it was nice to see him come down with the four catches, he didn't really do much to inspire confidence in his play going forward. He simply does not have NFL-caliber hands. Agholor will be a desperation-only play going forward, especially when DeSean Jackson (abdomen) is back on the field.
Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee had four catches for 39 yards during the win over the Chiefs on Sunday. While DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Darren Fells accounted for 28 looks from quarterback Deshaun Watson, Coutee was still semi-involved to the delight of those who had him in fantasy lineups to provide some injury relief. With Kenny Stills (hamstring) potentially returning against the Colts in Week 7, Coutee may not be as involved moving forward.
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker has been unable to do much over the last three games, but it's not all his fault. Walker hauled in three of his five targets for 43 yards in the Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos. Both incompletions were bad passes by the quarterback, so difficult to blame Walker there. Walker might have better fantasy value in another system as the Titans really struggle to get him the ball. He'll have low-end TE1 upside against the Chargers in Week 7.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins hauled in nine receptions for 55 yards during the win over the Chiefs. While his 12 targets were a season-high, his lack of scores on the year has severely diminished his fantasy value outside of non-PPR formats. Nonetheless, Hopkins remains a must-start moving forward and hopefully can find the end zone against the Colts in Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders made the most of his touches in Week 6. Sanders carried the ball just three times, gaining six yards. All of his damage came through the air though, where he caught three passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. The rookie's score came on a 32-yard pass from Carson Wentz in the second quarter. Sanders getting only six touches is a bit concerning, but if he can do this much with that little, he'll continue to at least have RB3/4 appeal.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 14 times for 50 yards and scored his first touchdown since a receiving score in Week 1 vs Buffalo. Bell has been the centerpiece of the Jets offense so far playing a 94.3 percent snap share coming into the game, and head coach Adam Gase seemed determined to get his workhorse into the end zone. After a pass interference call in the end zone, the Jets gave Bell the ball not once but twice to score the first touchdown of the afternoon. Bell was limited in the passing game today with only a three-yard catch on one target, but was still the primary back used by New York as no other running back had more than three touches. Bell is a must-start running back despite a tough matchup vs New England in Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott carried the ball four times in Week 6, gaining 30 yards. Scott was just elevated to the active roster from the practice squad this week, to take the place of Corey Clement (shoulder) on the running back depth chart. Scott will serve mostly in a complementary role on offense while spending most of his time on special teams, but if Miles Sanders keeps showing nothing in the running game, Scott could suddenly see himself elevated even further in the game plan.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis was quiet once again in the 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 6. Davis caught three of his five targets for 36 yards on Sunday. Davis has put together one good game all season and is making it difficult on fantasy owners to even trust him. The Titans have struggled to get their receivers the ball and that will likely continue. Fantasy owners should consider Davis a low-end flex option for Week 7 versus the Chargers.