In this Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks to pass during the first half at an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at quarterback Sunday for the winless Miami Dolphins at Buffalo, and Josh Rosen will be back on the bench. Coach Brian Flores announced the decision Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore (20) tries to get past Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Jayon Brown (55) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. The Bills won 14-7. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills haven't seen the last of FitzMagic.
Ryan Fitzpatrick picked up many of his colorful nicknames for his fearless flair for dramatics during a four-year stint in Buffalo.
Seven years and five teams later, the Harvard-educated swashbuckler will be back in town facing his former team Sunday, this time with the winless Miami Dolphins. He reclaimed the starting job this week in rookie coach Brian Flores' bid to spark an offense that's scored just 42 points.
''Decided that we feel like that was the best thing for this team and give us an opportunity - the best opportunity - for this team to go up into a tough environment and try to pull out a win,'' Flores said, in explaining his sudden change of heart in having Fitzpatrick take over for turnover-prone Josh Rosen.
Fitzpatrick, 3-2 against the Bills since being released by Buffalo, is more accustomed to playing in what should be a rowdy environment, where the folding table-breaking Bills Mafia has jumped on board a 4-1 team that's off to its best start since 2011. He's proven to be more productive in running a talent-depleted offense after engineering two fourth-quarter touchdown drives before coming a failed two-point conversion short in a 17-16 loss to Washington last week.
Perhaps most of all, Fitzpatrick's easygoing approach might be what the frustrated Dolphins need to stay loose amid questions of tanking, and facing a defense that has yet to allow more than 17 points or 250 yards passing - a big reason Buffalo is 4-1.
Fitzpatrick was already busy cracking jokes upon being named the starter Wednesday. He noted it'll be easy to pick out friends and former neighbors in the stands because they'll be the only ones wearing his old No. 14 Bills jersey.
More seriously, the 36-year-old understands the importance of leading the Dolphins on the field and mentoring Rosen, a former first-round pick now on his second team in two years.
''He knows I'm there and he knows I've been through a lot of different things,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''Every Sunday I have the fate of this whole team on my shoulders and that's what you do as a quarterback. But if you allow it to overpower you and you allow it to cripple you, it will. So just trying to play free.''
Tight end Lee Smith certainly remembers Fitzpatrick's freewheeling style when the two were teammates in Buffalo.
''Josh reminds me a lot of him,'' Smith said, referring to Bills second-year starter Josh Allen. ''Both of them are wild. They're diving headfirst into dudes because they want to get every inch they can for their team.''
Fitzpatrick's ability to throw caution to the wind has both extended his career and limited his chances of being a long-term starter. With a 50-77-1 record, he ranks 53rd on the career list with 192 touchdowns, and 59th with 152 interceptions.
One way or the other, he'll have the Bills secondary on its toes.
''With Fitzpatrick, he's a gunslinger,'' Bills safety Micah Hyde said. ''He's going to give us opportunities and he's going to give them opportunities.''
Containing Bills running back Frank Gore, the NFL's active leading rusher, is nothing new for Flores. He was a linebacker at Boston College when his team lost to Gore and the Miami Hurricanes in 2001.
Flores said he didn't actually get a chance to tackle Gore.
''I wasn't very good,'' Flores said. ''I wasn't in there very much.''
Gore, who spent last season with Miami, is 79 all-purpose yards from becoming the ninth player to reach 19,000. He's also two touchdowns shy of becoming the 25th player to reach 100.
LOSING THE SPREAD
Bills defensive tackle Jordan Phillips might be on to something when he said, ''What's that mean?'' when informed the Bills opened as 15 1/2-point favorites.
The Bills have lost the last two times they've been favored by 15 1/2 or more points. Buffalo lost 24-17 to the New York Jets on Dec. 6, 1992, and 16-13 at Indianapolis the previous week.
By losing a matchup of winless teams against Washington, the Dolphins are favorites in the race for the No. 1 draft pick.
That fits nicely with the organization's rebuilding effort and pursuit of a franchise quarterback. ''Tankfortua'' is a popular Twitter hashtag, as Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is well aware.
''It's flattering,'' Tagovailoa said this week. ''But we have a season to worry about now. Everyone is saying `Tank for Tua' now. But if we end up losing all our games the rest of the season, they won't be there saying it then.''
Chan Gailey's first win as Bills coach in 2010 came courtesy of Fitzpatrick. Same went for interim coach Perry Fewell, who turned to Fitzpatrick after Dick Jauron was fired nine games into the 2009 season.
Fewell had an anxious moment with Buffalo nursing a 17-14 lead over Miami. Taking over with 2:31 remaining, Fitzpatrick ignored his coach's suggestion to play conservatively and instead launched a 51-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens in an eventual 31-14 win.
Free-agent DT Justin Ellis (Raiders) signed an undisclosed contract with the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Baltimore Ravens CB Cyrus Jones was released on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Ravens also placed DL Daylon Mack (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list with a knee injury, according to sources.
New York Giants CB Corn Elder was signed off the Giants' practice squad by the Carolina Panthers on Monday, Nov. 11.
Free-agent RBs Jeremy Hill and Elijah McGuire worked out for the Houston Texans on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Free-agent DT Domata Peko (Broncos) is reportedly 'working on a deal'to sign a contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
Updating previous reports, San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida (ankle) may miss time to let his aggravated ankle sprain heal. He'll seek a second opinion on the injury, which doesn't sound like a bad one.
Fantasy Spin: Tevin Coleman would receive a small boost with Breida out, but Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson would share reps with Coleman. Mostert is worth the speculative add, and Coleman could be an RB2 next week.
Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (shin) had to be treated immediately for a bruise on his shin that caused swelling, but head coach Pete Carroll expects Lockett to be fine.
Fantasy Spin: It sounds like he may have had a hematoma develop that needed drained. The Seahawks are on a bye this week, and it's possible that Lockett may not miss game action. Stay tuned.
Cleveland Browns DE Olivier Vernon (knee) and S Eric Murray (knee) are out of practice Tuesday, Nov. 12. Murray has been ruled out for the game Thursday, Nov. 14, and Vernon is unlikely to play as well.
Cincinnati Bengals LB Preston Brown was released Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett didn't get to spend any time celebrating with his teammates after the huge win on Monday night because he was already on his way to the hospital. Lockett suffered a severe leg contusion on the final play of regulation, and while his fellows Seahawks were able to pull off the win in overtime, Lockett is actually being left behind in the Bay Area for treatment. Head coach Pete Carroll told the media after the game that everyone was extremely concerned about Lockett because the contusion caused immense swelling right after it happened, so the possibility of compartment syndrome is being considered. Lockett will get the bye to rest up, but until more is known, he is considered questionable moving forward.
Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers caught plenty of bad press for missing a game-winning kick last week, but the offense bailed him out by scoring a touchdown in overtime. This week, it was Myers who did the saving. Myers blasted through three extra points and a pair of field goals, including a game-winning 42-yarder as time expired in overtime. Myers hasn't really lived up to his billing as a Pro Bowl kicker, especially lately, but he came through when it mattered most on Monday night. Hopefully, this will be a sign of things to come, and that missed game-winner against the Bucs will be seen as the turning point of his season.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Malik Turner had only been targeted twice since September coming into Monday night's game, but then Tyler Lockett suffered a severe leg contusion in the fourth quarter of the team's game against the 49ers. Of course, in football, when one man goes down, an opportunity opens for another. However, when Seattle received the ball to start overtime in their biggest game of the year, the first play didn't go to D.K. Metcalf, their star rookie, or Josh Gordon, their newly-acquired former stud. The first throw went to Turner, an undrafted free agent. When it was 3rd-and-16 and the game was on the line while Russell Wilson was running for his life, Turner's the jersey he saw and delivered a strike to. Turner then put on some fancy footwork to turn that pass that was a yard short into a 28-yard gain that put Seattle just outside SF's red zone. Turner's unlikely to play a big role after everyone gets a bye week to rest and recover, but if his number gets pulled, it looks like he's able to respond.
It's real easy for a general manager to look like a genius when the guys he trades for play like stars against his team's biggest rivals. Jadeveon Clowney returned a fumble for a touchdown and knocked another ball loose. Quandre Diggs, playing in his first game as a member of the Seahawks, snatched a key interception. Overall, the Seahawks Defense went from looking overmatched to settling in, generated three turnovers, and bailed the offense out on numerous occasions en route to a huge win. Seattle still has a host of issues defensively, but if they can play like that on a regular basis, they can be back in the mix in the fantasy world.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister was on the receiving end of another Russell Wilson touchdown throw, but it's still unclear how the two of them made it happen or whether the pass was even directed to Hollister in the first place. With two tacklers bearing down on Wilson from three yards out, he lobbed a gentle floater into the center of the end zone while Tyler Lockett and Hollister were both being openly mugged by 49ers defenders. While Lockett ended up being tackled at the goal line, Hollister dove and snagged the ball with one hand as he fell to the ground. He also went on to catch seven other passes during the game and appears to be one of Wilson's favorite new receivers.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon got to play in his first game with the team on Monday night and made a small but critical impact when he caught a pair of passes late in the game. Both catches came on third downs and got the respective first downs. Gordon looked like he was in ridiculous shape, but it will take a couple more games for his role to really be fleshed out. An injury to Tyler Lockett (leg contusion) possibly opens up some more opportunities, and a handy bye week next Sunday will allow Gordon some extra time to learn the playbook. He could still be useful yet.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf had quite the game on Monday night. In a game that was likened to a heavyweight bout where both fighters were just slugging at each other over and over, Metcalf had stuff happening all over the chart. He suffered the loneliest feeling in the world when a big gainer turned into a fumble at the two-yard line, recovered by San Francisco. He then got the news that he was the team's new No. 1 receiver in overtime of the biggest game of his career when Tyler Lockett was sidelined with a serious leg contusion. Metcalf finished with six catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns, but the box score doesn't do his night justice. He'll get to mull it all over for the next two weeks due to the bye week. Welcome to the NFL.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got off to a slow start on Monday night, but when push came to shove, he continued to be the bane of 49ers fans everywhere. Wilson ended the evening with 232 yards passing, a touchdown, and an interception, but his clutch moments in the second half were truly the important part of the performance. Wilson, like many of the offensive players on the field, fumbled and made some poor decisions on third down, but a couple unbelievable throws and a critical 18-yard run in overtime helped seal San Francisco's first loss of the season. Wilson remains magnificent.
In one of the toughest games of his career, Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson bashed and bounced his way to 89 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's win over the 49ers on Monday night. Tallying just 3.6 YPC, it seemed like Carson was constantly being hit. His long rush for the night was just nine yards, and he truly fought for every inch he gained. Carson contributed one of five Seahawks fumbles on the evening, but his was actually recovered, so it likely won't be the focus of this week's conversations about fumbling. Carson continues to be one of Seattle's focal points on offense, though he's probably going to be taking a lot of painkillers this week. Good thing they have a bye next week.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (ankle) aggravated his lingering ankle injury in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. Breida was stuffed for just 18 yards on 10 carries while netting two catches for seven yards. Its unclear if he was limited all game, but backup runner Raheem Mostert was the primary change-of-pace back for Tevin Coleman in the second half. Breida is no stranger to playing hurt but hell have a short week to heal before facing the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11. Hell be a flex candidate if he suits up.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne caught four of eight targets for 42 yards and a touchdown in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. Bourne was rewarded with a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter and received extra playing time throughout with wideout Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) exiting early. The third-year pro now has touchdowns in consecutive games but doesnt have the volume or pedigree to be a sustainable fantasy asset. Even if Sanders misses time, Bournes not someone to chase on the waiver wire.