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FFL: Week 15 | NFL: Week 15

Browns hold off Bills 19-16 to end 4-game slide

Sun Nov 10 4:41pm ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

Players: Steven Hauschka, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Kareem Hunt, Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Austin Seibert, Josh Allen, Antonio Callaway

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) and teammates celebrate after they defeated the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after the Browns defeated the Buffalo Bills 19-16 in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns tight end Demetrius Harris (88) congratulates wide receiver Rashard Higgins (81) after Higgins scored a 7-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, top, is tackled by Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens, left, talks with quarterback Baker Mayfield during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) rushes against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) scores a 10-yard touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens watches the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) cannot hold onto pass under pressure from Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)


CLEVELAND (AP) Baker Mayfield threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Rashard Higgins with 1:44 left as the Cleveland Browns snapped a four-game losing streak - and took some pressure off first-year coach Freddie Kitchens - with a 19-16 win on Sunday over the Buffalo Bills.

The Browns (3-6) rallied for a win that kept their season from completely collapsing.

Cleveland survived more problems in the red zone, but sealed the much-needed win when Buffalo kicker Stephen Hauschka's 53-yard field-goal attempt was short with 22 seconds left. Earlier, Hauschka missed a 34-yarder.

Quarterback Josh Allen had two touchdown runs for the Bills (6-3), who were off to their best start since 1993.

Mayfield finally delivered a clutch drive after Allen's 1-yard sneak put the Bills ahead 16-12.

On second-and-goal, he threaded his TD pass to an open Higgins, who had been suspiciously missing from Cleveland's game plan this season after being one of Mayfield's favorite targets last season. It was Higgins' only catch.

Mayfield had his second straight solid game, completing 26 of 38 passes for 238 yards and two TDs. He didn't throw an interception for the second week in a row.

However, Cleveland struggled again to complete drives as the Bills stopped them on 12 plays inside the 3-yard line, holding Cleveland to three points.

Browns running back Kareem Hunt made his debut for Cleveland and picked up 74 combined yards. The 24-year-old was eligible after completing an eight-game NFL suspension for two violent acts, including shoving and kicking a woman while he played for Kansas City.

Nick Chubb rushed for 116 yards on 20 carries for the Browns, and Jarvis Landry had nine catches for 97 yards and made a crucial catch on Cleveland's game-winning drive.

The Bills' defense tied it 9-9 early in the third as linebacker Tremaine Edmunds sacked Mayfield in the end zone for a safety. The Browns were in an empty backfield and didn't account for blocking Edmunds, who came in untouched off the left side and quickly wrapped up Mayfield.

Buffalo's defense stopped the Browns on eight straight plays at the 1 - the equivalent of two goal-line stands - in the first quarter. The Bills stuffed Chubb on five carries, and Buffalo overcame a pair of pass interference calls in the end zone while keeping the Browns out of the end zone and off the scoreboard.

Allen's 10-yard quarterback draw - his fifth rushing TD this season - gave the Bills a 7-6 lead in the second quarter.

The Browns again got deep in Buffalo territory but were denied on three plays from the 3-yard-line. Kitchens decide to go for it on fourth down, but then changed his mind when right tackle Chris Hubbard was called for a false start.

The penalty pushed Cleveland back and the Browns settled for Austin Seibert's 27-yard field goal to go up 9-7.

Mayfield delivered a back-shoulder strike to Landry for his first TD, completing an effortless, efficient game-opening 75-yard drive for the Browns, who finally had all their offensive pieces with Hunt back.

Landry, though, was called for taunting cornerback Levi Wallace after the score and Austin Seibert missed a 48-yard PAT.

CALLAWAY BENCHED

The Browns sat No. 3 wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who had played in all four games since returning from a four-game drug suspension to start the season. Callaway had a big drop in his first game back and hasn't been as consistent as the Browns had hoped.

Callaway's absence cleared the way for Higgins, who made his one catch count.

UP NEXT

Bills: At Miami on Sunday.

Browns: Host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.

Player Notes
James Conner Dec 11 5:30pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Dec 11 5:30pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Dec 11 5:30pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Dec 11 4:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Dec 11 4:30pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Eli Manning Dec 11 4:20pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Dec 11 4:20pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Dec 11 4:10pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Chicago Bears Dec 11 4:10pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

John Ross Dec 11 4:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Tarik Cohen Dec 11 4:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Dec 11 4:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Ben Braunecker Dec 11 4:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Anthony Miller Dec 11 4:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Dec 11 3:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

New York Jets Dec 11 3:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Derrick Henry Dec 11 3:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

David Montgomery Dec 11 3:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Greg Olsen Dec 11 3:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Dec 11 3:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller