Sun Oct 27 7:30pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman is greeted by teammate offensive guard Mike Person, top, after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. In the background is San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84). (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa runs with the ball after making an interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera stands on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton stands on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman celebrates and is greeted by his teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The touchdown was Coleman's third in the first half. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman goes diving into the end zone to score a touchdown as Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) and cornerback James Bradberry (24) look on during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. In the background is San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84). (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Tevin Coleman scored three of his four touchdowns in the first half, rookie Nick Bosa had three sacks to go along with an acrobatic interception and the San Francisco 49ers remained unbeaten with a 51-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in their highest-scoring game in 26 years.
The Niners (7-0) are off to their best start since winning their first 10 games in 1990 but still faced questions because five of those first six victories came against teams that have losing records.
But San Francisco delivered perhaps its most complete performance of the season against the streaking Panthers (4-3), who had won four straight games and featured one of the league's top defenses.
Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense had little trouble carving Carolina's defense with 232 yards rushing and a pair of touchdown passes for San Francisco's most prolific offensive game since beating Detroit 55-17 on Dec. 19, 1993. The Niners stellar defense did the rest.
San Francisco intercepted three passes from Kyle Allen, who came into the game with no interceptions on 153 career attempts while winning his first five starts in place of injured starter Cam Newton. They also had seven sacks, with Bosa getting three of them to go along with his leaping interception and 46-yard return on the final play of the third quarter.
Coleman did most of the rest of the damage. He scored on a 19-yard run in the first quarter, added a 10-yard catch in the second quarter, broke the game open with a 48-yard run late in the first half and added a 1-yard run late in the third quarter.
Coleman finished with 11 carries for 105 yards and two catches for 13 yards. He became just the fourth 49ers player to score at least four touchdowns in a regular-season game, joining Jerry Rice (1993, 1990) and Billy Kilmer (1961). Rice holds the team record with five TDs against Atlanta in 1990.
Receiver Deebo Samuel added a 20-yard touchdown run on a nifty inside handoff that tricked Carolina and Raheem Mostert scored on a 41-yard run that made it 51-13 in the fourth quarter.
Garoppolo finished 18 for 22 for 175 yards with TD passes to Coleman and Emmanuel Sanders.
Allen went 19 for 37 for 158 yards on a day that Newton was able to take warmups before the game in a sign that he could be close to being ready to return from a foot injury that has sidelined him since Week 2.
Christian McCaffrey was the lone bright spot on Carolina's offense with 117 yards rushing and a TD and 38 yards receiving.
The 49ers made a trade earlier in the week to acquire Sanders from Denver and it paid off almost immediately. Sanders caught two passes on the opening drive, including a 4-yard TD from Garoppolo . He finished with four catches for 25 yards.
Niners kickoff specialist Mitch Wishnowsky got called for a rare personal foul when he was called for lowering his helmet to initiate contact on Carolina returner Reggie Bonnafon in the second quarter. That gave the Panthers the ball at the 49ers 47 to start the drive but a holding penalty on Trai Turner wiped out a long run by McCaffrey and a sack by D.J. Jones led to a stalled drive for Carolina.
Panthers: WR Jarius Wright left with a leg injury in the second half.
49ers: RB Matt Breida left after injuring his ankle late in the first half. ... RB Jeff Wilson left in the fourth quarter with a head injury.
Panthers: Host Tennessee on Sunday.
49ers: Visit Arizona on Thursday night.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and running back James Conner (shoulder) were both full participants in practice on Wednesday. The Steelers are expecting to get both players back for Week 15 against the Bills on Sunday night. Smith-Schuster and Conner have both been out since Nov. 14 and will return to a difficult matchup against a strong Bills Defense. Their pending returns are bad news for Benny Snell Jr. and James Washington mostly. It's likely that Bills shutdown cornerback Tre'Davious White will shadow Smith-Schuster in his return on Sunday evening. This whole offense will receive a boost with both players on track to return, but it's still somewhat limited with Devlin Hodges leading the charge under center.
New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was listed as limited at practice on Wednesday. Sanu returned to the field last week but caught only one pass and it is clear that the ankle injury is hampering his ability to play at full speed. The Patriots will take on a Bengals Defense that is allowing the 10th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season and have allowed only two touchdowns to receivers since Week 10. Sanu should be considered on course to suit up in Week 15 but the injury, combined with the state of the Patriots offense, makes him unusable in most fantasy formats.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel will take on a Bengals Defense in Week 15 that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to opposing backs this season. But Michel has completely fallen off the fantasy map as of late, totaling only 15 carries for 53 yards over his last two games. Matters got so bad for Michel last week that James White, Brandon Bolden and Rex Burkhead all saw more carries in the game than him. The second-year running back has been a major disappointment this season and pinning your fantasy hopes on him as a starter in Week 15 would be a mistake.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will have an excellent chance to get his offense back on track this week against an awful Bengals team in Week 15. Brady and the Patriots offense has severely struggled the past few weeks and Brady has passed for only nine touchdowns over his last eight games. New England is trying to incorporate young receivers into the offense on the fly and Brady will go up against a Bengals Defense that is allowing the ninth most fantasy points to passers this season. The Bengals haven't allowed a substantial amount of touchdowns but certainly are lenient in passing yards allowed. This is a perfect opportunity to have a positive offensive day against an inferior opponent and Brady has a shot at top-10 numbers among QB's for Week 15.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) did not take part in practice on Wednesday. Edelman has been on the injury report pretty much all year with nagging injuries, but he manages to play every week and remains quarterback Tom Brady's favorite aerial target. Edelman had eight catches on 12 targets for 95 yards and a touchdown in the Week 15 loss to the Chiefs. He's found paydirt in back-to-back weeks and has seen double-digit targets in every game since Oct. 6 against the Redskins. Expect him to return to practice later this week and play against Cincinnati, where he'll be a must-start in the fantasy playoffs.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is likely to make his second straight start in Week 15 against the Dolphins despite rookie Daniel Jones (ankle) returning to a limited practice on Wednesday, according to a team official. It could be the 38-year-old Manning's final home start for the G-Men. The decision will ultimately be head coach Pat Shurmur's, but the Giants will be cautious with Jones. Jones insisted he's improving and is pushing to play, but he's just hoping he can play in one of the final three games of the season. Manning was 15-for-30 for 203 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the overtime loss to the Eagles on Monday night. Even in a juicy matchup with Miami, Manning would be a low-end QB2 for fantasy if he starts again.
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (knee) was held out of practice on Wednesday. The Falcons are likely just giving Freeman some rest early in the week after he went for 84 yards and his first rushing touchdown of the season on 17 carries in Week 14 against the Panthers. It was a breath of fresh air for his fantasy owners, but he could go right back to being a disappointment in Week 15 against a tough Niners defensive front. Consider Freeman more of a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 for this Sunday at San Francisco. He's one to fade in DFS.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thinks that wide receiver Tyler Lockett (illness, shin) is "really back" and ready to go for Week 15 against the Panthers. Since his 152-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers on Nov. 3, Lockett has been missing in action for his fantasy owners. He hasn't gone over four catches or 43 yards in four games since, including a donut in Week 13 against the Vikings. Lockett had four catches for 43 yards in the Sunday night win over the Rams. There's always top-shelf upside here, but he's become more of a boom/bust WR3 in Seattle's run-first offense of late.
The Chicago Bears Defense will take on the Packers in Week 15 and Green Bay is allowing the sixth fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Bears defense is loaded with talent but have been extremely disappointing from a fantasy perspective this season. They currently rank outside of the top-15 in fantasy points scored among defenses and have 10 or more fantasy points only once over their last nine games. The biggest issue for the team has been a steep decline in turnovers and sacks from the previous season. The Packers offense hasn't lit up the league this season but the Bears defense lacks enough fantasy appeal to keep them on the bench in Week 15.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (foot) was limited in practice on Wednesday. In his return from Injured Reserve in Week 14 against the Browns, Ross was pretty much invisible, catching two of three targets for just 28 yards. The speedster is now dealing with a foot injury, but he should be able to play this Sunday against the Patriots at home. Ross can always break away for a touchdown as a deep-threat specialist, but he just can't be trusted in the fantasy playoffs in a tough matchup with New England. He'll be more of a boom-or-bust WR4/5, but his targets could go up with Auden Tate (knee) on Injured Reserve and A.J. Green (ankle) still nowhere close to returning.
Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen will take on a Packers Defense in Week 15 that is allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing backs this season. Green Bay has allowed 13 different running backs to post 11 or more fantasy points against them and 13 rushing touchdowns. The matchup is appealing but Cohen lacks value as a fantasy starter for Week 15. He has a role in an improving offense but his touches have decreased as the season has gone along. Cohen has taken on more of a change-of-pace role in the offense and his touches have been capped in the 8-to-12 range. Cohen has game-breaking talent but his fantasy floor should be keep him on the bench in most leagues in Week 15.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson will face the Packers for the second time this season in Week 15. The veteran posted seven receptions for 102 yards in Week 1 and is having a Pro Bowl-type season with 76 receptions for 898 yards and seven touchdowns. The Bears will face a Packers Defense that is allowing the ninth fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and possess some of the more talented cornerbacks in the league. But this shouldn't scare fantasy owners from starting Robinson, who continues to deliver solid performances weekly. Robinson is a solid WR2 with WR1 upside in Week 15 as the Bears season is on the line.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion) are still in the league's concussion protocol and didn't practice on Wednesday. Wide receiver Javon Wims (knee) also missed practice. Gabriel and Braunecker are questionable, at best, and obviously shouldn't be counted on in fantasy lineups for Week 15 against the Packers. Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller are the only Chicago pass-catchers worthy of being in fantasy lineups this Sunday. Rookie Jesper Horsted is the best bet at tight end if Braunecker misses another game, but he's off the fantasy radar.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller will try and keep his resurgent second half of his season going against a tough Packers secondary in Week 15. Miller has emerged as a streaming option over the last month, posting 24 receptions for 313 yards and one touchdown over his last four games. He will have a tough test in Week 15 against a Packers Defense that is allowing the ninth fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Secondary receivers have enjoyed modest success, at times, against Green Bay but the Bears offense will need to stay hot if they intend on keeping their playoff hopes alive. Miller's fantasy stock is rising but will be a dicey start during the fantasy playoffs.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky will try and stay red-hot against a tough Packers Defense in Week 15. The Bears season is on the line and Trubisky has delivered in recent weeks, averaging 286 passing yards and racking up nine total touchdowns (two rushing, seven passing) over his last three games. Trubisky now will go up against a Packers defense that is allowing the seventh fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, surrendering only 10 touchdown passes over their last nine games played. Only one quarterback (the Cowboys Dak Prescott) has posted more than 20 fantasy points against the Packers but they haven't faced a passer with the ability to run like Trubisky. The third-year quarterback's arrow is pointing up but fantasy owners should hesitate throwing him into starting lineups during the fantasy playoffs. Trubisky has an decent chance at top-12 numbers among quarterbacks for Week 15.
The New York Jets Defense had a nice run of solid matchups, making them an attractive streaming option in fantasy. That portion of the schedule is over and so is the Jets defense's usability in fantasy. The Jets will take on MVP candidate Lamar Jackson and the high-flying Ravens on Thursday night in Baltimore in what is arguably the worst matchup for fantasy a defense could possibly face. The Jets defense may also be without star safety Jamal Adams (ankle), who will be a true game-time-decision Thursday night. Regardless of Adams' status, the Jets defense belongs back on waivers.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (hamstring) and wide receiver Adam Humphries (ankle) were not seen at practice on Wednesday. Henry has been by far the best running back in football in the second half of the season. He's gone over 100 yards rushing in four straight games against the Chiefs, Jaguars, Colts and Raiders and has seven touchdowns in that span (all on the ground). The Titans continue to rest him early in the week, but fantasy owners aren't taking him off their benches. He'll face the Texans this Sunday as an elite RB1. Humphries is no guarantee to return this weekend. No pass-catchers can be trusted outside of A.J. Brown or Corey Davis in this run-first offense.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will be a focal point of the Bears offense against the Packers in Week 15. The numbers may not show it but Montgomery is really beginning to bloom in the Bears offense over the past few games. The rookie's vision between the tackles is improving and has been a tough guy to bring upon first contact. Now Montgomery will take on a Packers Defense that is allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Green Bay has allowed 13 rushing touchdowns to running backs this season and 13 different backs have posted 11 or more fantasy points against them. Montgomery has a strong chance at becoming the 14th back among that list in Week 15 and should be considered a solid RB2 with upside.
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (concussion) took part in individual drills at practice on Wednesday. It's a good start to the practice week for Olsen, but he'll still need to be cleared from the league's protocol before he can play in Week 15 against the Seahawks. Ian Thomas had five catches for 57 yards and a score last Sunday with Olsen out, but he'd move to a backup role if Olsen returns. Olsen would return to low-end TE1 status in the fantasy playoffs this weekend if he's cleared to play against Seattle.
Denver Broncos rookie tight end Noah Fant (foot) will not practice on Wednesday, but his outlook is "positive overall." Fant caught all four of his targets for 113 yards and his third touchdown of the season in the surprising win over the Texans in Week 14. In his first game with quarterback Drew Lock last week against the Chargers, Fant had just one catch for five yards. Fant has been up and down in his rookie season, but his upside is no doubt much higher with Lock under center. If he plays, the rookie tight end will be an upside TE2 against the Chiefs in a game where the Broncos might be passing often. If Fant cannot get cleared, Jeff Heuerman would be the primary pass-catching tight end on Sunday against KC.