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FFL: Week 7 | NFL: Week 7

Rams-Browns Preview

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Players: Drew Brees, Odell Beckham Jr., Malcolm Brown, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold

In this Feb. 3, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) passes under pressure from Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald (99) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game in Atlanta. The Rams, the defending NFC champions, with an offense teeming with talent and defense led by incomparable star tackle Donald, will visit Cleveland in the Browns first nationally televised Sunday night game in 11 years. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)


CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns passed their first prime-time test. The second one won't be nearly as easy.

Here come Aaron Donald and those big, bad Los Angeles Rams.

The defending NFC champions, with an offense teeming with talent and defense led by incomparable star tackle Donald, will visit Cleveland in the Browns' first nationally televised Sunday night game in 11 years.

On Monday night, the Browns (1-1) bounced back from a dreadful 30-point loss in their season opener to Tennessee by bullying the New York Jets, who were already missing quarterback Sam Darnold when his replacement, Trevor Simiean, went down with a season-ending injury.

The uber-hyped Browns, who have gone from winless two years ago to somewhat overexposed in 2019, get a chance to see how they stack up to a legitimate Super Bowl contender, one fixated on winning an NFL title this season.

''It'll be a challenge and we'll be able to really measure where we're at as a team,'' said Browns guard Joel Bitonio. ''Now it's a true team, a true playoff team, a team that was in the Super Bowl, a team that we can see, `Hey, how are the Cleveland Browns this year?'''

It's hard to gauge them to this point. The Browns were undisciplined in Week 1, committing 18 penalties and allowing the Titans to score 28 unanswered points in the second half. Cleveland cleaned things up considerably against the Jets, but quarterback Baker Mayfield had his second straight shaky performance and the Browns suffered a couple major injuries that may force first-year coach Freddie Kitchens to play rookies in key spots.

That could help the Rams (2-0), not that they really need any.

Quarterback Jared Goff and the Los Angeles offense have had some issues, but Donald and the rest of the defense are playing at a high level already. They shut down New Orleans last week, helped by Donald inadvertently sidelining Saints quarterback Drew Brees with a thumb injury.

Browns star Odell Beckham Jr. said Donald will have everyone's attention.

''There's no way to even go around him,'' said Beckham. ''He's probably the best player in the league. If not the best player in the league, one of the most disruptive players I've ever seen. So, yeah, No. 99 has to be accounted for. The game plan starts right there. They have a lot of other stars, a lot of very, very talented, great players, but it starts with 99.

''So we have to get that handled, and we're going to be tested in every position.''

DONALD, DUCK

The two-time AP Defensive Player of the Year, Donald has no sacks and just two tackles through two games. The numbers are deceiving as teams are scheming to stay clear of Donald. The Browns will probably do the same.

''Everybody is sliding to him,'' defensive end Michael Brockers said. ''He's going to get a lot of attention, and that's what's happening now. It's leaving a lot of opportunities for other guys to make plays. As the season goes on, they're going to have to pick their poison on which guys to block, and that's when it's going to get really fun.''

It didn't get fun for Donald until Week 4 last year. He have record a sack in his first three games and still finished with 20 1/2.

THROW IT

Mayfield has been guilty of holding onto the ball too long, and not taking advantage of receivers being open while trying to complete long passes.

He's still getting into a rhythm with Beckham, who sat out the preseason but showed why he's elite on Monday by scoring on an 89-yard play.

''It's a learning curve,'' said Mayfield, who while not as accurate as usual has still completed 60 percent of his throws. ''Needing to know when I can take my shots and check the ball down to get completions. It's a little difficult at times but, like I keep harping on, I just need to get completions.''

LINE WORRIES

The Browns could exploit inexperience up front for the Rams, who are likely to have three untested starters on their offensive line.

Right guard Austin Blythe is unlikely to play due to a left ankle sprain. If he becomes the first starting offensive lineman to miss a game due to injury in McVay's tenure, sixth-round pick Jamil Demby is expected to make his first start alongside fellow 2018 draft choices Brian Allen at center and Joe Noteboom at left guard.

Allen and Noteboom will be making their third career starts. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth and right tackle Rob Havenstein haven't been spectacular so far this season, either.

GURLEY GOES

Rams running back Todd Gurley has fond memories of the team's last meeting with the Browns: Gurley scored his first two NFL touchdowns against Cleveland during a 128-yard performance as a rookie in St. Louis in 2015.

Gurley is a quiet ninth in the league this season with 160 yards rushing on 30 attempts. Backup Malcolm Brown has 17 carries as the Rams attempt to lessen the load on Gurley, who leads the NFL in yards rushing since the start of the 2017 season. Gurley has insisted his knee is fine and he's ready for any workload.

Player Notes
Marquise Goodwin Oct 18 6:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin should see a bump in usage with Deebo Samuel (groin) ruled out in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. Goodwin leads all Niner wideouts in snaps but has surpassed 45 receiving yards just once this season. With the team heavy favorites and the Redskins pass defense inept at handling shorter routes, Goodwins skillset could be marginalized. Expect the Niners to keep pounding the rock on the ground and tight end George Kittle to continue dominating targets. Goodwin needs just one big play to return fantasy value but hes a low-floor WR4. Receivers Kendrick Bourne and Richie James Jr. will likely share snaps voided by Samuel.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown Oct 18 6:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) didn't practice all week but is questionable for Week 7 against the Seahawks. Brown missed last week and is certainly on the wrong side of questionable this weekend. Making things even more difficult for fantasy owners is the fact that Brown and the Ravens kick off in the afternoon on Sunday. He's an extremely risky WR3 if he suits up. If Brown misses his second straight game, Willie Snead, rookie Miles Boykin, Seth Roberts and Chris Moore will have increased roles. Snead and Boykin have the most upside, but even they would be more of WR5 options in a run-first offense. Tight end Mark Andrews would be the only fantasy lock if Brown were inactive.

From RotoBaller

Johnathan Joseph Oct 18 5:50pm ET

Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) is questionable for Week 7 against the Colts, but he's expected to return and will likely be tasked with slowing down wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Cornerback Bradley Roby (hamstring) is questionable but is not expected to play. Safety Tashaun Gipson (hip) is questionable but is expected to play. It's good news that the Texans will have both Joseph and Gipson in their secondary, but Houston's defense/special teams is a low-upside fantasy streamer during bye weeks.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Oct 18 5:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Lockett has caught each of his last 11 targets over the last three games and is the main option in the passing game. He is a must-start option in all leagues despite the matchup.

From TheHuddle

Chris Carson Oct 18 5:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Carson has been one of the best running backs over the last three weeks and will continue to receive plenty of touches in the offense. He should be a starting option in every league this week.

From TheHuddle

K.J. Wright Oct 18 5:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks TE Will Dissly (Achilles) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and has been ruled out for Week 7. S Lano Hill (elbow) did not practice and is listed as doubtful. OT Duane Brown (biceps) and S Bradley McDougald (back) missed practice and are listed as questionable. OG D.J. Fluker (hamstring), DE Quinton Jefferson (oblique) and DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle) were limited during practice and are listed as questionable. LB K.J. Wright (knee) fully participated in practice and is not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Sean Lee Oct 18 5:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and has been ruled out for Week 7. C Joe Looney (back) did not practice and is listed as questionable. DE Dorance Armstrong (neck), OT La'el Collins (knee), CB Byron Jones (hamstring), OG Zack Martin (ankle, back) and OT Tyron Smith (ankle) were limited during practice and are listed as questionable. LB Sean Lee (knee, non-injury) did not practice but is not on the injury report. P Chris X. Jones (back) were limited during practice but is not on the injury report. C Travis Frederick (non-injury) and RB Tony Pollard (knee) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Clay Matthews Oct 18 5:33pm ET

Los Angeles Rams LB Clay Matthews (jaw) was unable to practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 7 versus the Atlanta Falcons. RB Malcolm Brown (ankle) also did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. S Eric Weddle (non-injury) did not practice Friday, Oct. 18, but was removed from the injury report. CB Jalen Ramsey (non-injury) and RB Todd Gurley (quad) practiced in full Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Michael Gallup Oct 18 5:23pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup (knee) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18, but is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Gallup could be the main option in the passing game this week because of the injuries to Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb. Gallup can be considered a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Amari Cooper Oct 18 5:23pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (ankle, quadriceps) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is listed as questionable for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Cooper is expected to be able to play this week, but fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his official status. He will be a risky option if he plays but can still be a starting option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Kenny Stills Oct 18 5:23pm ET

Houston Texans OL Tytus Howard (knee) and OL Greg Mancz (concussion) did not participate in practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts. CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring) and S Tashaun Gipson (hip, wrist) were limited and are listed as questionable. LB Zach Cunningham (knee), WR Will Fuller (calf, oblique), WR DeAndre Hopkins (ribs), RB Carlos Hyde (calf), RB Taiwan Jones (hip) and WR Kenny Stills (hamstring) were able to practice in full Friday, Oct. 18, and have been removed from the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Albert McClellan Oct 18 5:13pm ET

New York Jets DE Henry Anderson (shoulder), OT Kelvin Beachum (ankle), RB Trenton Cannon (ankle, foot), LB Neville Hewitt (knee, neck), LB Albert McClellan (concussion), OG Kelechi Osemele (shoulder), OG Alex Lewis (neck) and FS Rontez Miles (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18. CB Nate Hairston (knee), LB C.J. Mosley (groin), CB Darryl Roberts (ankle), C Ryan Kalil (shoulder), DT Steve McLendon (hamstring) and OG Brian Winters (knee, shoulder) were limited during practice. LB Blake Cashman (ankle), WR Josh Bellamy (shoulder), LB Brandon Copeland (thumb), S Blake Countess (hamstring), TE Ryan Griffin (ankle), LB Jordan Jenkins (ankle), DE Trumaine Johnson (thigh), DT Quinnen Williams (ankle) and LB Tarell Basham (heel) fully participated in practice.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Oct 18 5:13pm ET

Indianapolis Colts WR Parris Campbell (abdominal), DL Tyquan Lewis (ankle) and CB Kenny Moore II (ankle) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 7 versus the Houston Texans. S Malik Hooker (knee) was upgraded to a full practice Friday, Oct. 18, but is listed as doubtful. CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) and DE Justin Houston (calf) remained out of practice and are listed as questionable. OG Quenton Nelson (hip) was added to the injury report Friday and is also listed as questionable. S Clayton Geathers (rest), DL Denico Autry (rest), OT Anthony Castonzo (rest), WR T.Y. Hilton (rest) and DE Jabaal Sheard (rest) did not practice Friday but have been removed from the injury report. LB Zaire Franklin (hamstring) and TE Eric Ebron (illness) logged a full practice Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Randall Cobb Oct 18 5:13pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Randall Cobb (back) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is listed as questionable for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Cobb's status for Week 7 is still uncertain, so fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his official status. He has posted decent numbers this season but can be benched if better options are available.

From TheHuddle

Vic Beasley Oct 18 5:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley has been put on the trade block with the deadline approaching, according to a league source. The former first-round pick is making $12.8 million this year and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The 27-year-old had a career-high 15.5 sacks in 2016 but had a combined 10 sacks the following two seasons as the Falcons moved him around. He has 12 total tackles and 1.5 sacks through six games in 2019. He's off the IDP radar for now, but he could become more attractive if he lands in the right spot.

From RotoBaller

Larry Fitzgerald Oct 18 5:03pm ET

Arizona Cardinals DL Zach Allen (neck), OL Brett Toth (illness) and RB D.J. Foster (hamstring) did not practice Friday, Oct. 18, and have been ruled out for Week 7 against the New York Giants. RB David Johnson (ankle), DL Zachariah Kerr (ankle), LB Zeke Turner (hamstring), TE Maxx Williams (ankle), LB Dennis Gardeck (ankle), WR Christian Kirk (ankle), P Andy Lee (hip) and S Charles Washington (shoulder) were limited Friday and are listed as questionable. OL Joshua Miles (illness) was added to the injury report Friday and is also listed as questionable. LB Terrell Suggs (non-injury) did not practice Friday but no longer appears on the injury report. S Chris Banjo (illness), WR Larry Fitzgerald (non-injury) and DL Corey Peters (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday and have also been removed from the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Christopher Herndon IV Oct 18 5:03pm ET

New York Jets TE Chris Herndon (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18.

Fantasy Spin: It appears Herndon will not be able to play in Week 7, so fantasy players should look for other options to use.

From TheHuddle

Demaryius Thomas Oct 18 5:03pm ET

New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18.

Fantasy Spin: Thomas appears to have a decent chance to play this week despite the injury but will be facing one of the best defenses. Fantasy players may want to look for other options and avoid Thomas.

From TheHuddle

Jeremy Sprinkle Oct 18 5:00pm ET

Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will be the starter for the third consecutive week with Vernon Davis having once again been ruled out and Jordan Reed's entire career up in the air. The Redskins are the only team, real or otherwise, that he should start for this week. The 49ers are allowing fewer than four catches per game to tight ends, and Sprinkle has caught a total of four in his two weeks as the starter. There isn't much else to say. Sprinkle isn't relevant on his own bad team, so he is thereby a player to ignore in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Oct 18 4:53pm ET

Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (toe) did not participate in practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams. OG James Carpenter (knee) and WR Julio Jones (hip) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 18, but no longer appear on the injury report. CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (groin), DE Adrian Clayborn (knee) and S Ricardo Allen (knee) fully participated in practice Friday and have been removed from the injury report. FB Keith Smith (knee), OG Jamon Brown (knee) and DE Takkarist McKinley (groin) were not given an official practice designation Friday but also no longer appear on the injury report.

From TheHuddle