Thu Oct 17 5:20pm ET
By KEITH JENKINS
AP Sports Writer
Chicago Bears quarterback Chase Daniel (4) is sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa (91) during the first half of an NFL football game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden shouts during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard makes a catch for a first down while being defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. Green Bay won 23-22. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) is tackled during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and head coach Matt LaFleur, third from left, talk during a timeout in the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, front right, talks with quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Next man up: Allen Lazard.
Lazard caught his first pass from Aaron Rodgers on Monday night. He ended up catching three more, including one for a 35-yard touchdown in the Packers' win over Detroit. It was the biggest moment of the undrafted second-year receiver's career.
''Anybody can do it one time, and that's what we say, but now you gotta do it each and every time,'' coach Matt LaFleur said. ''That's the expectation and that's the standard. But, again, he puts in the work and he does a great job in practice. So I'm excited to see him put together back-to-back-to-back (productive games) and see where it goes.''
Lazard will try for an encore on Sunday when Green Bay (5-1) hosts the Oakland Raiders (3-2), a team the Packers have defeated seven straight times, going back to 1990.
''Monday was great and all, but our focus is on Miami in February (site of the Super Bowl). So we still gotta get to there,'' Lazard said.
Despite being an All-Big 12 performer in three seasons at Iowa State, the 6-foot-5 Lazard went undrafted last year and wound up on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. He used that time to learn from one of the game's best.
''I was going against Jalen Ramsey every single day,'' Lazard said. ''And so just to be able to sit there and go against him, and really, I was studying, watching him, how he reacted against me and how he played me. I sat there and talked to him, asked him questions. What was he doing here? What was he thinking?''
That preparation made Lazard an attractive option for the Packers, who snatched him from the Jaguars toward the end of last season.
Injuries to receivers Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison and a vote of confidence from Rodgers created an opportunity for Lazard to showcase his skills. Now, Lazard is another weapon for Rodgers in an offense that Raiders coach Jon Gruden and his staff have to figure out how to stop.
''They are doing a lot of different things with the structure of their plays, but Rodgers is still working the snap count,'' Gruden said.
''You see him beat Denver with the hard count. His magnificent scrambling, creating offense is uncommon, it's just unbearable to watch. I hate watching this guy, he's fun to watch but he's really not fun to watch when you got to play against him. He still has a very quick trigger, deadly accurate, a lot of overall athleticism and a great competitor. You saw it again the other night.''
The Packers announced the signing of receiver Ryan Grant on Wednesday. The 6-foot, 194-pound six-year veteran was with the Raiders from the offseason through the first two games this year. Grant, who worked out with Adams during the offseason, will wear No. 11 for Green Bay.
''I just want to come in and help as much as possible,'' Grant said. ''Whether it's on offense or special teams. Anyway, anywhere I can help.''
FRIEND OR FOE?
No. 11 previously belonged to Trevor Davis, whom the Packers traded to Oakland following their Week 2 win over the Vikings. Davis had four catches for 42 yards and a 52-yard kickoff return in the Raiders' Week 5 win over Chicago in London.
Oakland also has Rodgers' former backup, DeShone Kizer. Kizer played in three games for the Packers last season and threw for 273 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Green Bay during the preseason before not making the team's 53-man roster.
The Raiders have been searching for a consistent pass rush ever since trading away Khalil Mack before last season. The rush is showing signs of progress. Oakland had four sacks in its last game against Chicago for its most since 2017. Benson Mayowa leads the team with 4+ sacks, second-year defensive tackle Maurice Hurst had two against the Bears, and rookie Maxx Crosby got his first and has been disruptive the past two weeks.
GROUND AND POUND
Rookie Josh Jacobs is showing why the Raiders drafted him in the first round. His 430 yards rushing is the second most for a Raiders rookie through five games to Bo Jackson's 475 yards in 1987. He had 26 carries for 123 yards and two TDs against the Bears and has been a bigger factor in the passing game of late with five catches his past two games. The running game should get a boost this week with the expected return of right guard Gabe Jackson, who has been out since training camp with a knee injury.
WHERE ARE THE WIDEOUTS?
Oakland will be without its projected top four wide receivers heading into the season this week. Antonio Brown was expected to be the focal point of the offense before getting released two days before the opener.
Tyrell Williams got off to a strong start this year but is expected to miss his second straight game with a foot injury. Grant and J.J. Nelson have both been released in recent weeks. That leaves Davis, fifth-round rookie Hunter Renfrow and recently acquired Zay Jones as the top options for quarterback Derek Carr.
''We've had a lot of things happen to our wide receiver corps, so we've been on the lookout to acquire some good, young players,'' Gruden said. ''To get Zay for what we feel like we gave up is a risk worth taking and we'll see if it pays any dividends, but he's a good young player. He's got some size and speed and was a very, very productive receiver, so we're happy to have him.''
New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray struggled to make an impact in Week 11 against the stingy run defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 29-year-old posted 10 carries for 27 yards and two catches for five yards. Murray's physical, ground-and-pound style wasn't as successful against this defense as Alvin Kamara's elusive, scat-back style. The seventh-year veteran was out-touched by Kamara in this game 23-12. The positive for Murray is he'll likely be locked into around 10-12 touches each game, giving him flex value depending upon the matchup. Next week against the Carolina Panthers looks like a good one, as they've surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this year.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert caught three of his four targets for 21 yards in Week 11 against the Raiders. The Bengals managed to move the ball well on the ground in the game, but quarterback Ryan Finley struggled mightily through the air, completing just 13 passes. Eifert has some value in deep leagues but Finley's inexperience and struggles make him hard to trust as a starter for now. Eifert has failed to top 25 receiving yards in five of his past six games, which is a very uninspiring trend.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd was a complete non-factor in Week 11 against the Raiders. He had just one catch in the game but he failed to gain any yards on it. His only positive yardage came on a 10-yard rush, his only rushing attempt in the game. Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley completed only 13 passes in the game, so it's no surprise that Boyd wasn't able to come through with a decent game. Boyd had been mostly consistent all year until this game, so hopefully he can bounce back against the Steelers in Week 12.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow caught five passes for 66 yards as the team edged the Bengals 17-10 in their home victory. The Clemson product finished only one behind Darren Waller in targets with six as he recorded his fourth-straight game with four or more catches. Renfrow has emerged as a favored target for Derek Carr, and is starting to produce a safe floor in PPR formats. His ceiling is capped, however, as the third passing option on a team that chooses to run the ball nearly 50% of the time. Renfrow is an intriguing dynasty stash but is a WR4 at best in PPR redraft leagues. He'll look to continue his solid production next week when the Raiders travel to face the Jets
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dreadful offensive showing for the Bengals in Week 11. Mixon carried the ball 15 times for 86 yards and a touchdown and added a 17-yard reception for his only catch of the day. This was one of Mixon's better performances of the season as he'd only topped 80 rushing yards twice before this game. He has a tough matchup against the Steelers in Week 12, but is still worthy of an RB2 start or at least flex consideration in most leagues due to his workload alone.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard carried the ball three times for 30 yards and added a 16-yard reception in Week 11. The Bengals managed 173 total rushing yards in the game, but most of it came from fellow running back Joe Mixon, while quarterback Ryan Finley also added 47 yards. Bernard is the clear No. 2 behind Mixon in the offense and would warrant some appeal if something were to happen to Mixon, but for now, Bernard can be left on the waiver wire.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate led the Bengals in receiving in Week 11, catching four of his six targets for 56 yards. Tate has now topped 50 receiving yards in four of his past five games. Tate was fortunate that his line ended up decent on a day where quarterback Ryan Finley completed just 13-of-31 passes for 115 yards. No other Bengal had more than 21 receiving yards. Tate is a viable WR3 or flex option most weeks and is worth rostering in all leagues of 12 or more teams.
The Patriots Defense might not have single-handedly carried your team this week as they've done in previous weeks, but they still managed to have a solid fantasy day against the Eagles in Week 11. The Patriots held the Eagles to 10 points in the game while recovering a fumble and sacking Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz five times. The Ravens have been the only team to eclipse 14 points against the Patriots, who will look to keep things rolling against the Cowboys in Week 12.
New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk hit all three of his field goal attempts in Week 12 against the Eagles. He wasn't heavily challenged in the game as none of his attempts were longer than 39 yards. Folk is now a perfect 5-for-5 in two games with the Patriots. He should be owned in all leagues and counted on as a reliable starter until further notice.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley completed just 13-of-31 passes for 115 yards and an interception in Week 11 against the Raiders. He also lost a fumble and was sacked five times. He managed to rush for 47 yards in the game, which helps make his day look a little better, but it was still a rough day all around to put it nicely. The Bengals' offense is in a tough spot right now and they have an even tougher matchup lined up against the Steelers in Week 12.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara tallied 75 rushing yards on 13 attempts and caught all 10 targets for 47 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kamara looked healthy and found room to run against the league's best rushing defense. The Pro Bowler has full control of the backfield, as he's received 35 touches to Latavius Murray's 19 the last two weeks. Kamara did fumble early in the game and had a touchdown called back due to a holding penalty, though neither occurrence should concern fantasy managers. Ball security won't be an issue for him moving forward- and the touchdowns will come, given his huge role in the offense. He'll be an RB1 next week against the Carolina Panthers, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
New England Patriots rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry saw some action for the first time of the year in Week 11 against the Eagles. He was targeted four times in the game and caught three passes for 18 yards. The Patriots struggled to move the ball all game in Week 11, but it's encouraging to see that Harry was targeted as many times as Mohamed Sanu in the game. Harry is someone to keep an eye on going forward in all league types and is of course a must-own player in all dynasty and keeper leagues.
New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett scored his team's only touchdown in Week 11. The score came on a trick play as he was the recipient of a 15-yard pass from fellow wide receiver Julian Edelman. Apart from the score, it was a quiet day for Dorsett. In total, he caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He's now been held under 50 receiving yards in five straight games. He's a potential WR3 or flex in deep leagues going forward but he has a relatively low floor as we've seen.
Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller caught five passes for 78 yards on Sunday as the team went on to defeat the Bengals 17-10 in Week 11. He also rushed once for a two-yard loss and was vultured by Foster Moreau's TD grab in the second quarter as he's now left fantasy owners wanting more for the third-straight week. The positive takeaway is Waller led the offense with seven targets, including a pass in the end zone that went off his fingertips for an incompletion. The 2019 breakout has come down to earth recently, averaging three catches and 45 yards over his last four games after averaging 7/80 through the team's first six games. He still remains a top weapon in this passing offense, and will be a mid-range TE1 in Week 12 versus the Jets.
New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was a complete non-factor in Week 11 against the Eagles. He was targeted four times in the game and managed just two catches for four yards. It's an extremely disappointing performance for Sanu, especially considering he was targeted 14 times in the team's previous game and wound up with 10 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots struggled all around offensively in Week 11 and Sanu suffered because of this. He'll look to bounce back against the Cowboys in Week 12.
Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Williams rushed 13 times for 116 yards in Week 11 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and he added one grab for 31 yards.
Fantasy Spin: Williams came out of nowhere to shine once Marlon Mack went down with a hand injury, and fantasy owners are going to be awfully curious about him after 147 total scrimmage yards. He was in with Jordan Wilkins hurt, and he could be worth a look in Week 12 at Houston on a short week if Mack is forced to miss time.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was the only Patriot to throw for a touchdown in Week 11 against the Eagles. Yep, you read that right. On a trick play, Edelman completed a 15-yard pass to Phillip Dorsett that would be the Patriots' only touchdown in the game. The Patriots struggled to move the ball in the game as Tom Brady mustered just 216 passing yards and the team only rushed for 74 yards. Edelman still came out all right, in part due to the touchdown pass, but he also led the team in receptions (5), receiving yards (53) and targets (10).
San Francisco 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley turned four grabs into 14 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. With star tight end George Kittle (ankle, knee) banged up, Dwelley assumed the starting role and cashed in on his opportunities. Dwelley played meaningful snaps but obviously lacks the upside possessed by Kittle. Hes a touchdown-dependent streamer in Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers if Kittle misses another game.
The Philadelphia Eagles Defense mostly held their own against the New England Patriots offense despite a 17-10 loss in Week 11. The Eagles allowed 17 points, but didn't record any turnovers. They were able to sack Tom Brady just once. The Eagles won't be a recommended defensive unit in fantasy lineups next week against Russell Wilson against the Seattle Seahawks.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Olabisi Johnson caught six of nine targets for 35 yards in a Week 11 win over the Denver Broncos. Johnson resumed his post as the No. 2 receiver with Adam Thielen (hamstring) out, but he wasn't able to come up with much of anything in terms of receiving yardage. That has been the case for Johnson as he has yet to exceed 43 receiving yards in a game this season. Thielen should be back in Week 13 and Johnson will not be on the radar as an option in re-draft formats.