Thu Oct 17 5:45pm ET
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Locher)
In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 file photo, Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs around Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) during the second half of an NFL football game in Houston. alen Ramsey was thrilled to land with the Los Angeles Rams, and the team is already optimistic about keeping the star cornerback around for a long time. Ramsey headed to the Rams training complex Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 a day after Los Angeles traded two first-round picks to Jacksonville for the mercurial two-time Pro Bowl selection.(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)
In this Oct. 13, 2019, file photo, Atlanta Falcons NFL football head coach Dan Quinn speaks to the media after a 34-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz. The Falcons returned from their two-game road trip to find their losing streak at four games and the pressure mounting on coach Dan Quinn to quickly show signs he can stop the skid. The Falcons, who play the Rams on Sunday, rank last in the league in scoring defense and that only adds to Quinn's woes since he took over the defense this season. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs as Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (55) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
ATLANTA (AP) There is no guarantee that a Super Bowl appearance will generate long-term momentum.
Just ask the Los Angeles Rams, who return to Atlanta as a .500 team with three straight losses only eight months after their Super Bowl appearance.
Or check in with the Atlanta Falcons, whose 2016 Super Bowl season seems a distant memory. The Falcons have lost four straight, leaving them on target for a second straight losing record.
The Rams (3-3), who play the Falcons (1-5) on Sunday, had a busy week while retooling their secondary. The big addition was cornerback Jalen Ramsey, one of the league's top players at his position, who was acquired from Jacksonville.
Also this week, the Rams placed cornerback Aqib Talib and safety John Johnson on injured reserve and traded cornerback Marcus Peters.
The Rams gave up three draft picks, including two first-rounders, for Ramsey in a dramatic attempt to generate renewed momentum for another playoff run following their Super Bowl loss to New England.
Coach Sean McVay said Ramsey provides ''all the traits that you look for in a corner.''
While Ramsey prepares to play, the Rams may have to rely on a bunch of relatively untested defensive backs against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, including cornerbacks Troy Hill and Darious Williams and safety Marqui Christian.
The Falcons' frustrations may have peaked when usually reliable Matt Bryant missed a potential game-tying extra point in last week's 34-33 loss at Arizona. Only a dramatic turnaround would save the Falcons from their second straight losing season. The losing streak has increased the pressure on fifth-year coach Dan Quinn.
Quinn said his players ''want to get it right.''
''They're hurting, the fans are hurting, everybody is,'' he said. ''If you're around the team, you know how much they care and how much it means to them. More than anything, they want to get it right. When we haven't done that, it stings.''
Here are some more things to know about the Rams-Falcons matchup:
THEN THERE WAS ONE
Safety Eric Weddle is the only starter from last week's loss to San Francisco who will return in the Rams secondary. He has to lead the new mix of starters.
''That's why you have me, quite honestly,'' Weddle said. ''I've been through this many a time. Revolving door, whether it's safeties, corners, it's my job to get everyone on the same page and play at a high level.''
Quinn fired all his coordinators after last season and named himself defensive coordinator. That hasn't produced the results he wanted. The Falcons rank last in the league in scoring defense and sacks. ''There's nothing where we can say we're hitting the mark in any way,'' Quinn said.
JUST VISITING, Y'ALL
The Rams will remain in Atlanta and will practice at Georgia Tech next week before flying to London for their Oct. 27 game against Cincinnati. Quarterback Jared Goff said he thinks the time away from home will be ''somewhat galvanizing.''
''When you're off on the road, and all you do have is each other, you have that us against the world type of deal,'' Goff said. ''It does tend to bring a team together and you hope you go out and get this win this weekend and build from there.''
RYAN ON A ROLL
Ryan, who leads the NFL with 15 touchdown passes, can become the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards in each of the first seven games of a season. Ryan also has cut down on mistakes. After throwing six interceptions in the first three games, he has only one in the last three.
David Edwards, a rookie fifth-round pick from Wisconsin, is expected to be the Rams' starting left guard after Joe Noteboom was lost for the season with a knee injury. Edwards has yet to take an offensive snap. He has played sparingly on special teams.
The Rams must trust Edwards because backup guard Jamil Demby apparently has not impressed the coaches. The line was the offense's strength last year, but it has been a liability this fall with Edwards the third new starter. The line has had less-than-dominant play by tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein.
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.