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FFL: Offseason | NFL: Offseason

Bills D delivers in 31-21 victory over winless Dolphins

Sun Oct 20 4:28pm ET
By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer

Players: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Tyler Kroft, DeVante Parker, Kalen Ballage, Jason Sanders, Josh Allen, Preston Williams

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, right, celebrates his touchdown pass to wide receiver John Brown, left, in the second half of an NFL football game Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley, right, celebrates his touchdown catch with Duke Williams in the second half of an NFL football game Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, right, celebrates with guard Jon Feliciano after throwing a touchdown pass to Cole Beasley in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown celebrates his touchdown catch against the Miami Dolphins in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Miami Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan, left, and defensive back Ken Webster, below, tackle Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary, center, in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)


Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick celebrates his touchdown pass to DeVante Parker in the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Tre'Davious White forced two second-half turnovers, Micah Hyde returned an onside kick for a touchdown, and the Buffalo Bills rallied from a five-point deficit for a 31-21 victory over the winless Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

The Bills, who began the day favored by 17 points, avoided what would have been a major upset against a patchwork Dolphins opponent in a major rebuilding mode.

Josh Allen led fourth-quarter touchdown drives following each of the Dolphins turnovers, and the Bills improved to 5-1 in matching their best start to a season in 11 years.

White's diving interception at the 2 of Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass on second-and-goal from the 12 led to Buffalo going ahead 17-14 on John Brown's 20-yard touchdown catch that capped a 12-play, 98-yard drive.

Two series later, White punched the ball out of the hands of rookie Preston Williams near the Miami 30, and the fumble was recovered by defensive end Jerry Hughes. Three plays later, Allen hit a wide-open Cole Beasley for a 3-yard touchdown.

The outcome wasn't decided until 1:38 remaining, and after Fitzpatrick scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to cut Buffalo's lead to 24-21.

Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders' onside kick attempt to the right bounced directly into a leaping Hyde's arms. He stayed on his feet and returned it untouched to seal the victory.

Fitzpatrick provided the Dolphins a spark - and their first lead beyond the first quarter of the season - by engineering consecutive 75-yard touchdown drives.

Kalen Ballage put Miami up 7-6 by scoring on a 3-yard run on the first snap of the second quarter. And then Fitzpatrick hit DeVante Parker for a 12-yard touchdown catch with 5:51 remaining in the half.

The Dolphins entered the game having led only once in a game, and never past the end of the first quarter this season.

But the ''FitzMagic'' ran out in the second half against one of his seven former teams.

He finished 23 of 35 for 282 yards to end Buffalo's streak of 13 games of not allowing 250 yards passing.

Buffalo overcame a sloppy first half in which the team appeared as if it was still knocking off the rust in coming off its bye week. The Allen-led offense settled for three field goals on its first three drives.

White's interception came two plays after the Dolphins successfully ran a fake field goal on fourth-and-1 from the Buffalo 4. Holder Matt Haack caught the snap and then scampered for a 2-yard gain.

The Bills defense finally responded on the next play with former Dolphins defensive tackle Jordan Phillips crashing over the line and sacking Fitzpatrick for a 10-yard loss.

EARLY EXIT

Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was ejected for throwing a punch at Buffalo Bills tackle Cody Ford on the second snap from scrimmage.

Wilkins was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for throwing the punch away from the play and after Allen threw an incompletion.

KROFT DEBUT

Tight end Tyler Kroft was not targeted in making his long-awaited Bills debut after being sidelined by several injuries since signing with Buffalo in free agency in March. Kroft missed the entire offseason after breaking his right foot in his first practice. He then missed the past three games after hurting his left ankle in practice.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: Prime-time game at Pittsburgh Oct. 28.

Bills: Host Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 27.

Player Notes
Ben Roethlisberger Feb 23 1:40pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) had a doctor visit on Friday and said, "It was a good report. I got to bypass the tennis ball throwing for a month and go right to the football. Still going to be about 2.5-3 months until I get total clearance from doc but we are doing good!" The Steelers posted a video on Twitter of Roethlisberger lightly tossing a football in a gym on Saturday. The veteran gunslinger played in just two games in 2019 before needing season-ending right elbow surgery. He seems to be coming along well and should be ready for the season opener in 2020, barring any setbacks. Big Ben is injury prone at his age, but he put up career highs in passing yards and touchdowns in 2018 and will be a QB2 with QB1 upside if he can stay healthy.

From RotoBaller

Mason Crosby Feb 22 5:40pm ET

The Green Bay Packers agreed to a three-year contract extension with kicker Mason Crosby on Saturday, according to a source. Crosby has been with the Packers since he was drafted in 2007, and he missed just two field goals and one extra point in 2019. The veteran kicker will turn 36 before the start of the 2020 season, but he should remain fantasy relevant as at least a low-end fantasy kicker as long as the Packers offense remains effective under quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Crosby finished last season with 106 fantasy points, which came in at 14th in the league.

From RotoBaller

Ben Roethlisberger Feb 22 3:40pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) was seen lightly throwing a football in a video that the Steelers posted on Twitter on Saturday. Roethlisberger only played in two games in 2019 before needing reconstructive surgery on his right elbow, but it looks like he's making progress. He's focused on returning to finish out his contract, which runs through the 2021 season. Pittsburgh's front office and coaching staff are optimistic that Roethlisberger will be ready for Week 1. Turning 38 next month, Big Ben will be an injury risk as a QB2, but he could be a steal if he returns to the form he displayed in 2018 when he had a career-high 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns.

From RotoBaller

Danny Amendola Feb 22 2:20pm ET

The Detroit Lions re-signed wide receiver Danny Amendola to a one-year deal on Saturday, according to his agent, Erik Burkhardt. All three of Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Amendola are in contract years in 2020. Amendola, 34, had 62 catches for 678 yards and a touchdown in his first season with Detroit last year. The 678 yards were the second-highest total in his career. The veteran slot man has caught 547 passes for 5,362 yards and 21 touchdowns in 141 games in his career with the Patriots, Rams, Dolphins and Lions. Unless one of Golladay or Jones are injured in 2020, though, Amendola's fantasy ceiling will be limited.

From RotoBaller

Josh Doctson Feb 22 1:40pm ET

The New York Jets signed wide receiver Josh Doctson to an undisclosed deal on Saturday. Doctson was taken 22nd overall in the first round by the Redskins in 2016, but he's mostly been a disappointment in his career to this point. He finished three seasons with Washington with 81 catches, 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns. Doctson signed with Minnesota in 2019 but spent most of the year on Injured Reserve. Robby Anderson is expected to leave in free agency and Demaryius Thomas could as well, while Quincy Enunwa's status is in the air because of a neck injury. Doctson won't be the only wideout New York adds this offseason, and he'll mostly serve as receiver depth heading into the 2020 season.

From RotoBaller

Austin Hooper Feb 21 8:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons two-time Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper will become a free agent on March 16, and he could reset the tight end market with his next deal. Hooper was fifth in the league in catches among all players with 52 through the first eight games of last season. He missed three games with a knee injury but still managed to finish with a career-high 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns. Hooper is expected to top Jimmy Graham's $10 million per-year-average from his 2014 contract with the Saints, even if the Falcons re-sign him. With the Falcons having little room with the salary cap, they'll have to do reshuffling to keep Hooper. Staying with Atlanta would probably be best for his fantasy stock, but Hooper could easily remain a high-end TE1 if he goes elsewhere.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Feb 21 8:00pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (abdomen), who had surgery on Jan. 21 on a core muscle, posted a video on his Instagram of him running on a treadmill on Thursday. A league sources estimates that Beckham will be healthy in a month. There's no guarantee that OBJ will take part in the offseason program, which begins on April 6 for teams with new head coaches. Cleveland's new offensive system will challenge quarterback Baker Mayfield, who won't be able to work with his top receivers until training camp. If Beckham and Mayfield can get on the same page, they should have a good shot to improve on their numbers last season. However, Beckham will be seen as more of a low-end WR1 with upside until the Browns prove us wrong.

From RotoBaller

Jameis Winston Feb 21 8:00pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have considered signing quarterback Jameis Winston to a two-year deal this offseason, with the first year guaranteed and the second year a team option, according to sources. The first year of the deal would be roughly the same as the franchise tag of $27 million. Tampa could also just use the franchise or transition tag, with the transition tag around $2.5 million cheaper than the franchise tag. The 26-year-old led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns last year, but he also led the NFL with 30 interceptions. Winston's fantasy value will be the highest as a QB1 if he stays in Tampa with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as his top two receivers.

From RotoBaller

Taylor Gabriel Feb 21 3:50pm ET

The Chicago Bears are releasing wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and cornerback Prince Amukamara on Friday, according to a source. Gabriel played in just nine games in his second and final season in Chicago in 2019 because of injuries, catching only 29 passes (48 targets) for 353 yards and four touchdowns. He's still on the right side of 30 years old but offers a limited upside in fantasy and limited size (5-foot-7, 168 pounds). Gabriel did manage a career-high 67 catches, 688 yards and two scores in 2018. Depending on where he lands in free agency, he's likely to be a complementary piece of a passing offense. Amukamara, 31 this June, had 53 tackles (44 solo), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 15 games for the Bears last season.

From RotoBaller

Tyrell Williams Feb 21 3:40pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams (foot) is making good progress from the plantar fasciitis issues he dealt with last season. In his first year with the Raiders, Williams caught 42 passes for 651 yards and six touchdowns. He only missed two games but was slowed by his foot issues, mostly in the second half. Williams started off with five touchdowns in his first five games, but he predictably fell off from there with just one more touchdown on the season. He gives the Raiders a downfield threat, but the problem is that quarterback Derek Carr doesn't often challenge defenses deep. If Las Vegas addresses the receiver position in free agency or the draft, Williams could have even more trouble being a consistent performer. As of now, he's a touchdown-dependent flex option.

From RotoBaller

Chris Conley Feb 21 3:40pm ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars exercised their team options for fifth-year wide receiver Chris Conley and fourth-year safety Jarrod Wilson on Friday. Conley will be under contract for 2020, while Wilson is now under contract through 2021. Conley set a career high in catches (47), receiving yards (775) and yards per catch (16.5) in his first season with the Jaguars in 2019. He managed five touchdowns in all 16 games (14 starts). The 27-year-old has 10 touchdowns in the last two seasons, but his fantasy ceiling is limited in a run-first offense while also competing for targets with D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook. Think of Conley as more of a WR5/flex play in deeper leagues.

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Alshon Jeffery Feb 21 3:10pm ET

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Dwayne Haskins Feb 21 3:00pm ET

The Washington Redskins are growing increasingly hopeful that left tackle Trent Williams will return to the team, as head coach Ron Rivera has made him one of his offseason priorities in trying to get him to return. Williams held out last season because of beef with the team's previous front-office regime and training staff, but those parties are all gone. Rivera and Williams have had positive phone conversations, and it sounds like they have a good shot to retain him. It's all good news for second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who looked a little overmatched in limited playing time in his rookie season. The 'Skins are slowly rebuilding, and having Williams anchor down Haskins' blind side would be huge.

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Nelson Agholor Feb 21 2:50pm ET

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Damon Harrison Feb 20 9:50pm ET

The Detroit Lions plan to release defensive tackle Damon Harrison in the coming days, according to a source. The move will free up around $6.7 million in salary cap space but will leave the team with a hole on their defensive line up the middle. Even though Snacks Harrison had a down year in 2019 due to knee and groin injuries, he was their best defensive player in the second half of 2018 after he was acquired from the Giants. Harrison finished with 49 tackles last year, his lowest total since his rookie year in 2012, and he only had two sacks in 15 games. He will consider retirement this offseason while seeing what materializes in free agency. In his prime, Harrison was one of the best run-stuffing nose tackles in the game.

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Corey Davis Feb 20 9:40pm ET

The Tennessee Titans aren't expected to pick up wide receiver Corey Davis' fifth-year team option for the 2021 season. If the Titans were to pick it up, Davis would be owed around $15.8 million in 2021. The 25-year-old former fifth overall pick in 2017 had 65 catches for 891 yards in his sophomore season in 2018, but he regressed in 2019 when he had only 43 receptions for 601 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie A.J. Brown became the Titans go-to No. 1 receiver last year. Tennessee envisioned Davis becoming that guy when they drafted him, but he's failed to live up to expectations in his three seasons. Heading into 2020, he'll be a WR4/5 without much upside in this run-first offense.

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A.J. Green Feb 20 9:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said on Thursday that wide receiver A.J. Green is "a guy we want to be around." Green hasn't played in a game since December of 2018 and hasn't been a Pro Bowler since 2017 in his last full season. He's due to become a free agent next month and has played in just nine games the last two years, but the Bengals could still use him. If Cincinnati can't reach a long-term extension with the veteran, they're likely to use the franchise tag on him. Turning 32 this summer, Green has had 1,000 yards receiving in six of his eight seasons, but his fantasy stock will be way down since he hasn't been able to stay healthy of late. If he remains with the Bengals, as is expected, he'll likely have LSU quarterback Joe Burrow throwing him passes in 2020.

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Jordan Reed Feb 20 9:30pm ET

The Washington Redskins released tight end Jordan Reed on Thursday. The move was expected and will save the team $8.5 million in salary cap space. Reed missed all of the 2019 season with a concussion, his seventh documented one in his seven seasons. He was just cleared from the league's concussion protocol on Wednesday and has never played a full season in the NFL due to head and other injuries. Despite the lingering concussion concerns, a source close to Reed said he wants to continue playing. In a career-high 14 games in 2015, Reed had 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Without Reed in the picture, Washington's top tight end is Jeremy Sprinkle, who had 26 catches in 2019. However, he's considered more of a blocker, so the 'Skins will surely look to bolster the position in free agency or the draft. If Reed continues his career and lands elsewhere, he'll strictly be a low-end injury risk as a TE2.

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Jarvis Landry Feb 20 9:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip) is expected to be sidelined six to eight months after having surgery to shave down some cartilage and remove two pieces of bone embedded in the labrum of his left hip on Feb. 4. The Browns expect Landry to make a full recovery for the 2020 season, but he might be limited in training camp and could be questionable for the Week 1. He will be on crutches for two weeks and then can continue with physical therapy and riding a stationary bike. Despite dealing with the hip injury in 2019, Landry didn't miss a game for the sixth straight year and had career highs in yards (1,174) and yards per catch (14.1). His six touchdowns were the second-best total of his career. With a new coaching staff in place, losing repetitions in training camp could be problematic. Landry will have some added risk as a WR2 in PPR leagues in 2020.

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Everson Griffen Feb 20 6:03pm ET

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen met two figures that voided the final three years of his contract by securing six or more sacks and playing 57 percent or more of the defensive snaps in 2019. As such, Griffen has exercised his right to opt out of his deal, according to a source. That will free up roughly $13 million in salary cap space for the Vikings, with $800,000 in dead money. The 32-year-old was already at risk of being cut with a $13.9 million cap hit in 2020. The Vikings might try to keep him around at a reduced price, as Griffen had eight sacks and 24 QB knockdowns last season. He's been a great complement to Danielle Hunter on the other side of the line, so losing Griffen would be a blow to the Vikes pass rush.