Guest of the League
Hump Day
FFL: Playoff Week 1 | NFL: Week 15

Ravens' Jackson shrugs off leg injury, keeps focus on wins

Tue Dec 10 6:55pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

Players: Willie Snead, Lamar Jackson, Hayden Hurst

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) carries the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) heads to the locker room after stopping to sign autographs for fans following a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/John Munson)


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson meets with reporters following an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. The Ravens won 24-17. (AP Photo/John Munson)


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws a pass under pressure by Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy (93) during the second half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. The Ravens won 24-17. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Setting NFL records and garnering MVP votes doesn't mean that much to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who's far more interested in stacking wins and getting Baltimore to the Super Bowl.

Jackson stands 23 yards shy of breaking Michael Vick's single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback (1,039 in 2006). Although Jackson is practicing this week with a sore quadriceps, his motivation to play Thursday night against the New York Jets has nothing to do with personal glory.

''I'm planning to win the game,'' Jackson said Tuesday. ''If I've got to be out there all four quarters, that's what it's going to be.''

Jackson was struck in the leg on Sunday while throwing a 61-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hayden Hurst, a key play in a 24-17 victory over Buffalo that extended Baltimore's winning streak to nine games and put the Ravens (11-2) on track to finish with the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

That hit in the pocket did nothing to slow Jackson's sprint to the end zone to share the occasion with Hurst.

''I was celebrating. It was 100 percent worth it,'' said Jackson, who made it clear that the injury is nothing to worry about.

''I feel great. I'm 100,'' he declared. Jackson did, however, note that his legs took a pounding the past two weeks in wins over San Francisco and the Bills.

''When I'm on the edge I kind of avoid it all the time,'' he said. ''But when I'm in the pocket trying to complete a throw, that's when nine times out of 10 they're going for my legs. It is what it is.''

He's not complaining.

''We're playing football. It's an aggressive game,'' Jackson said. ''They're trying to make a tackle and I'm trying to make them miss.''

The 22-year-old Jackson is enjoying an MVP-caliber season in his second year in the league. His 28 touchdown passes are tops in the NFL, he ranks ninth in yards rushing and he is smoothly directing an offense that averages 408 yards per game.

The accolades and awards and records might be worth celebrating in late February. For now, Jackson just wants to keep the Ravens on a hot streak.

''He just wants to win games. He's been telling me that since last year,'' Baltimore receiver Willie Snead said. ''Whatever comes with it, that's what comes with it. But at the end of the day, his goal, our goal is to win the Super Bowl. That's what we're working for.''

Jackson won a Heisman Trophy at Louisville in 2016 because of his running ability. When he was drafted No. 32 overall by Baltimore in 2018, he was determined to master passing, too. Jackson has improved immensely from his rookie year but he's not perfect yet - even though he earned a perfect quarterback rating this season in wins over Miami and Cincinnati.

''He gets (ticked) off when he runs for touchdowns because he wants to throw touchdowns,'' Snead said. ''He wants to be a quarterback. He wants to prove to everyone that he can be an elite passer as well as an elite runner when he has to be.

''He will probably tell you, I can get so much better. That's the mindset that makes him so great right now at a young age. He wants to get better every week, and we're going to help him get there.''

Player Notes
Greg Olsen Dec 11 1:33pm ET

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) took part in individual drills Wednesday, Dec. 11, which was a moderate surprise to beat writer Joe Person.

Fantasy Spin: Olsen has a great matchup against the Seattle Seahawks this week if he's able to go. Olsen will be a low-end TE1 option in PPR leagues.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Dec 11 1:33pm ET

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) said the team's playoff eligibility won't be a factor on if he returns this season. 'I would never quit on my team,' Hilton said. 'I signed up for 16 games. Some guys may shut it down and call it quits. I don't do that.'

Fantasy Spin: We still view him on the wrong side of questionable to return this season. If he's able to, he'd be a WR2 option. Zach Pascal should be a WR3 in the interim.

From TheHuddle

Golden Tate Dec 11 1:23pm ET

New York Giants TE Golden Tate (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Fantasy Spin: Tate had just one catch for 11 yards with Eli Manning last week, but he has a great matchup against the Miami Dolphins if he can go this week. He'd be a high-end WR3.

From TheHuddle

Evan Engram Dec 11 1:13pm ET

New York Giants TE Evan Engram (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Fantasy Spin: He was limited in practice last week as well, and he didn't play. Rhett Ellison (concussion) was also limited, and this situation remains in flux. If Engram goes, he's a midrange TE1. If he doesn't, Kaden Smith could be worth streaming again.

From TheHuddle

Jason Witten Dec 11 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is a floor-play only for a Week 15 contest against the Los Angeles Rams. Witten has seen plenty of targets lately, with seven in Week 14 and right in Week 13, but he's only come up with 11 catches for 79 yards total in both games. He's one of the least likely players in fantasy football to put up a goose egg in your lineup, but he's also very unlikely to put up a game-changing score, even in PPR. He's a tight end to play when you only need to reach a floor in your matchup, otherwise, even in a position as shallow as tight end, there are likely higher upside options on the waiver wire.

From RotoBaller

Blake Jarwin Dec 11 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin is not a strong fantasy option for Week 15 despite a strong performance in Week 14. Jarwin caught six passes for 50 yards against the Bears last week, but it was the first time this season he'd even been targeted more than four times. He's likely to sink back into the two-or-three targets per game life this week against the Los Angeles Rams and makes for nothing more than a dart-throw tight end option.

From RotoBaller

Kai Forbath Dec 11 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys brand new kicker Kai Forbath is a decent option at kicker for Week 15 fantasy lineups. Forbath was signed to replace Brett Maher, who was released by the Cowboys earlier this week. Forbath has made just under 86 percent of his field goal tries in his career and made his only attempt this year as a member of the Patriots. He did miss one of his two extra points, though. Most leagues will have higher-upside guys available on the waiver wire, but Forbath is fine as a fill-in kicker if needed.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Dec 11 1:00pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys Defense is a middling option at best in a Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Cowboys defense has been generally disappointing this season, and this week they take on a Rams offense that looked like it finally figured things out in Week 14. There are likely better options on the waiver wire in most leagues, especially given this week's matchups.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Dec 11 12:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is a solid choice in any Week 15 fantasy lineup. Cooper looked a bit slow in Week 14 due to his previous injuries, but he'll have had 10 days to heal up even more before the Cowboys take on the Rams on Sunday afternoon. With the Cowboys offense struggling somewhat of late and Jalen Ramsey likely attached to Cooper all day, Cooper's usual upside is a bit limited, making him more of a high-end WR2 this week.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Dec 11 12:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is a strong WR2 option for a Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams. With Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey likely shadowing Amari Cooper in this one, Gallup could be more of the first look for quarterback Dak Prescott than usual. Coming off a game in which he led the Cowboys in receiving with 109 yards, Gallup is a strong WR2 option with upside for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Randall Cobb Dec 11 12:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Randall Cobb had a nice flash in the pan moment a few weeks ago, but it looks like he's settled back into fantasy irrelevance in most formats. Cobb saw at least seven targets for four games in a row from Week 9 to Week 12, but saw just eight balls thrown his way in Weeks 13 and 14 combined. That much smaller target share will likely continue in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Rams. Cobb is nothing more than a desperation dart-throw type wide receiver and is not a recommended starter in most formats.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Dec 11 12:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is expected to play in Week 15 and has a decent matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Prescott suffered a sprained left hand and an injured index finger on his throwing hand in Week 14's Thursday night loss to the Chicago Bears. With 10 days to rest, Prescott should be good to go against the Rams. Still, he's been struggling along with the whole Dallas offense of late and a possible flare up of the injuries won't help. Prescott hasn't been great on the field lately, but he's still been producing solid fantasy numbers. He's a low-end QB1 for Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Dec 11 12:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott should be a solid fantasy contributor in a Week 15 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Elliott scored twice in Week 14 despite the Cowboys inexplicably going away from the running game for long stretches. Hopefully, coach Jason Garrett feeds his star running back in this one. Elliott comes in as a top-half RB1 for this matchup.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Dec 11 12:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard should return from an ankle injury that kept him out of Week 14, but shouldn't be in any fantasy lineups. Pollard will be strictly a backup to Ezekiel Elliott in what is expected to be a close game. Elliott should be on the field for almost every snap, leaving Pollard to only reach relevance if the starter were to get injured. Most leagues will have someone with a clearer path to touches on the waiver wire. Pollard remains no more than a handcuff for Elliott owners.

From RotoBaller

Jake Elliott Dec 11 12:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott is a decent kicking option in a Week 15 game against Washington. The Eagles shouldn't have too much difficulty scoring on a weak Washington defense, but Elliott does seem to be in a bit of a slump lately. After starting the season off with 12 perfect weeks without a missed field goal, Elliott has missed two of his last six tries. He's still a K1, and should be fine in a fantasy lineup this week.

From RotoBaller

Philadelphia Eagles Dec 11 12:30pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles Defense have an excellent matchup in Week 15 against Washington. While the Eagles looked rough against the Miami Dolphins in Week 13 and came out slumping in the first half of Week 14 against the New York Giants, they were able to put it together and play well for the second half of Monday's win. The Eagles defense is a little risky because they have shown the capacity to fall apart against lesser competition, but the Washington offense is last in the NFL in scoring and allows the fifth most points to opposing fantasy defenses. The risk should be worth the reward this week.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Dec 11 12:10pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert is a strong option for Week 15 fantasy lineups. Going up against an easy Washington defense, Goedert has the added benefit of working as one of the top receiving options for Carson Wentz. Dealing with a decimated wide receiver corps, the Eagles will almost certainly rely on their running backs and tight ends to move the ball in this matchup. Goedert could end up behind only Zach Ertz in passing game pecking order. He's a mid-range TE1 with touchdown upside.

From RotoBaller

Odell Beckham Jr. Dec 11 12:03pm ET

Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. (groin) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Fantasy Spin: OBJ has really struggled the last few weeks, but he's the kind of talent you need in there as at least a WR2 against the Arizona Cardinals.

From TheHuddle

Greg Ward Dec 11 11:50am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward will play a significant role in Week 15's game against Washington. At the end of Monday night's overtime win against the New York Giants, Ward was literally the only healthy wide receiver left wearing an Eagles uniform. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (hamstring) is expected to be ready to go on Sunday, but he and Ward make up the entire Eagles wide receiving corps for now. Ward saw nine targets in Week 14 after seeing 10 total in the 13 weeks before. The Eagles will likely focus their passing game on their running backs and tight ends, but Ward could be a sneaky-good play this week, especially in DFS leagues.

From RotoBaller

JJ Arcega-Whiteside Dec 11 11:50am ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside should play a significant role in Week 15's game against Washington. With the Eagles wide receiver corps decimated, Arcega-Whiteside is one of only two healthy receivers left on the roster. He showed flashes of dominance in the preseason but has turned that into just eight catches for 130 yards and one touchdown this season. He came up limping with a hamstring injury at the end of Monday night's game, but he is reportedly "fine" and will be ready to go on Sunday. Arcega-Whiteside comes with some nice upside this week, but he has a very low floor, as the Eagles could just focus on running backs and tight ends in their passing game.

From RotoBaller