Mon Sep 16 11:42pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
Players: Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Griffin, Chandler Catanzaro, Trevor Siemian, Odell Beckham Jr., Taylor Bertolet, Sam Ficken, Baker Mayfield, Luke Falk, Nick Chubb, Kaare Vedvik, David Njoku, Austin Seibert, Sam Darnold
Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham (13) runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith (50) goes into play during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Cleveland Browns' Christian Kirksey (58) celebrates with Myles Garrett (95) after Garrett sacked New York Jets' quarterback Luke Falk (8) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Cleveland Browns' Baker Mayfield (6) runs away from New York Jets' Leonard Williams (92) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs a pass route during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Trainers check on New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) after he was injured during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) grabs his leg after being hurt during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham (13) catches a pass in front of New York Jets' Nate Hairston (21) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Odell Beckham Jr. had an 89-yard touchdown catch and a spectacular one-handed grab in his return to MetLife Stadium, and Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns did just enough to beat the short-handed and banged-up New York Jets 23-3 on Monday night.
Beckham, traded from the Giants in March, helped the Browns (1-1) bounce back from a 30-point loss to Tennessee in their opener to top the Jets (0-2).
New York lost quarterback Trevor Siemian to an ankle injury in the second quarter, and Luke Falk - promoted from the practice squad earlier in the day - played the rest of the game. Siemian was starting in place of Sam Darnold, who's sidelined for at least a few weeks while recovering from mononucleosis.
The Jets couldn't get anything going on offense, and the Browns blew open the game late in the third quarter.
Falk led the Jets on their longest drive of night to that point - 60 yards - but Le'Veon Bell could only get 1 yard on a fourth-and-2 pass, turning the ball over on downs at the Browns 11.
On the very next play, Mayfield hit Beckham with a slant pass, and the receiver outran the Jets' defenders all the way to the end zone for an 89-yard TD that put Cleveland up 23-3 with 3:32 remaining in the third quarter.
The touchdown came after Beckham called out Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams last Thursday, saying the coach - then with the Browns - instructed players to hurt him in a preseason game in 2017. Williams denied Beckham's accusations, jokingly asking reporters: ''Odell who?'' Williams, who led the Browns to a 5-3 record as their interim coach last season, also chided reporters for giving Beckham attention.
Well, Williams clearly knows who Beckham is now. The coach was seen shouting angrily on the sideline after Beckham's touchdown.
And, that wasn't all for Beckham, who finished with six catches for 161 yards and the TD.
He helped the Browns take a 3-0 lead on their first possession on Austin Seibert's 23-yard field goal - a drive highlighted by a spectacular 33-yard, one-handed grab that got Cleveland down to the Jets 4.
It was reminiscent of Beckham's highlight-reel, one-handed reception for the Giants on ''Sunday Night Football'' as a rookie in 2014. On this one, Mayfield found Beckham down the right sideline, and the receiver stuck out his right hand to snare the ball behind Nate Hairston - in nearly the same spot as his big catch five years ago.
And, yes, Beckham was wearing his expensive watch - despite the NFL telling him last week not to.
Beckham then had to come out of the game because officials made him change his mirrored visor. He returned with a clear visor on his helmet.
Seibert's 48-yarder gave the Browns a 6-0 lead with 6:15 left in the opening quarter as Cleveland outgained New York 101-4 in the first quarter.
Nick Chubb's 19-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter put Cleveland up 13-0. The drive was helped by a defensive holding call on Hairston - starting in place of Trumaine Johnson - on fourth-and-2 from the Jets 24.
Siemian was knocked out of the game after throwing a long incomplete pass to Ryan Griffin and Cleveland's Myles Garrett slammed into him, and fell on top of him. Siemian appeared to roll his left ankle as Garrett, who was penalized for roughing the passer, sent him to the turf.
Falk replaced Siemian with 7:58 left in the half and helped the Jets get their first points to cheers of ''Luuuke!'' Sam Ficken, the Jets' fourth kicker since July, booted a 46-yarder - and got loud cheers from the crowd who had seen the likes of Chandler Catanzaro, Taylor Bertolet and Kaare Vedvik struggle.
Siemian finished 3 of 6 for 3 yards, while Falk was 20 of 25 for 198 yards as the Jets lost their seventh straight at home, dating to last season.
Mayfield, who beat the Jets last year in his NFL debut during a Thursday night game that ended Cleveland's 19-game winless skid, was 19 of 35 for 325 yards, including the long TD to Beckham, and an interception.
Garrett had three of the Browns' four sacks.
Bell had 68 yards rushing on 21 carries and had 10 catches for 61 yards for the Jets.
Browns defensive end Chris Smith played after his girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was killed in car accident last week.
The 26-year-old Cordero was killed after she exited Smith's Lamborghini and was standing on the highway's shoulder when she was hit by an oncoming car.
Browns: TE David Njoku sustained a concussion in the opening quarter and didn't return. ... S Morgan Burnett injured his quadriceps.
Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins left in the first quarter with a calf injury. ... WR Demaryius Thomas, making his Jets debut after being acquired from New England last week, injured a hamstring.
Browns: host Los Angeles Rams next Sunday night in their second straight prime-time game.
Jets: at AFC East rival New England next Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could have a hard time in Week 8 on the road against the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles offense looked like a mess in Week 7 against the Cowboys, with Wentz throwing for just 191 yards on 16 completed passes. The Bills Defense poses another threat to Wentz and the whole Philly offense. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) still not a sure thing to suit up, it looks like a week to fade every fantasy-relevant Eagle a bit. Wentz is more of a high-end QB2 this week.
Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) underwent a procedure on Tuesday morning and will miss at least eight weeks while on injured reserve. After many had hoped that the 22-year-old would be in store for a breakout season, Johnson disappointed by compiling just 308 yards and three total touchdowns while averaging a subpar 3.3 yards per carry throughout six games. With his season potentially over, Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic will take over, with Johnson potentially getting the bulk of the carries on the ground and McKissic being involved catching passes out of the backfield. How exactly the time will be split is unknown at the moment in addition to the team also rumored to make a deal before the trade deadline.
The Washington Redskins Defense will head to Minnesota on Thursday night to take on a Vikings team that has averaged 36 points a game over the last three weeks. Minnesota's recent offensive success directly coincides with its newly established willingness to air the ball out from the arm of Kirk Cousins, who has averaged 325 yards per game and thrown 10 total touchdowns in this span. Adding fuel to the grease fire that is Washington's fantasy outlook for Week 8, the Vikings also have a running back by the name of Dalvin Cook who just so happens to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game at 103.6. Even with Adam Thielen in danger of missing this game for the Vikings, there is no conceivable reason to deploy the Redskins defense in fantasy lineups this week.
Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will presumably start for the fourth consecutive week on Thursday night against the Vikings, but that starting role has yet to yield any positive fantasy results. Vernon Davis has missed Washington's last three games, a time frame in which Sprinkle has caught a total of six passes for 54 yards. Even a visit to the endzone can't necessarily save him from a usage rate that low. The Vikings are allowing double-digit PPR production on average to tight ends, but the last thing you want to do is needlessly roll the dice on a risky Thursday night player and have it go up in flames. Whether Davis (who is currently listed as doubtful) unexpectedly suits up or not, there are safer and more proven options at tight end than Sprinkle for Week 8.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson has a relatively favorable matchup on his hands Thursday, but has done nothing this season to convince fantasy owners he can capitalize. The Vikings are allowing an average of 15 receptions and 159 yards per game to opposing receivers, along with 11 total touchdowns. Richardson hasn't caught a pass for two straight weeks, and Terry McLaurin is a productive target vacuum in Washington's offense, so the reliability scale tips in the latter's direction. As much as the Redskins would probably like to involve someone other than McLaurin and diversify their attack, Richardson simply cannot be trusted as a fantasy play in any format based on his output to this point in the season.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn has totaled seven catches for 56 yards in his last three games. His only double-digit PPR outing came all the way back in Week 1 when he happened to score a garbage-time touchdown. With a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game and a Redskins offense that hasn't looked any good for pretty much the entire season, Quinn's outlook remains grim even against a Vikings Defense that has been somewhat friendly to wide receivers. If he miraculously has a productive night against Minnesota after catching three or fewer passes in four consecutive weeks, it unfortunately needs to happen on the waiver wire.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin should be in line for a ton of targets in Thursday night's game at Minnesota, making him the only reasonably safe fantasy option among his teammates. The Vikings have allowed the most receptions to wide receivers of any team in the league, for 1,116 total yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns. McLaurin's well-established rapport with Case Keenum through the first half of the season suggests he should be the pass-catcher tasked with exploiting Minnesota's secondary. Game flow figures to work in his favor as well, as the Vikings could reasonably be expected to jump out to an early lead. McLaurin's volume keeps him in flex territory for WR-needy fantasy teams.
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum will look to bounce back from Sunday's 9-0 loss in which he threw for under 100 yards, but a date with Minnesota doesn't provide him with much more fantasy appeal. This should be interpreted more as a lack of faith in Washington's offense than a vote of confidence in the Vikings' relatively exploitable pass defense, but the point remains. The Redskins are averaging 12.9 points per game on offense, and they could be without both of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson in the backfield. The hope here from a fantasy perspective is that Minnesota's suddenly explosive offense puts the Redskins up against a massive early deficit, thus forcing Keenum to air it out. Even if the Thursday night game unfolds as such, fantasy owners would be putting a ton of misguided faith in pass-catchers like Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn by starting Keenum in fantasy lineups. The reward does not outweigh the risk.
Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood might be the starter by default in Thursday night's game at Minnesota. Adrian Peterson is questionable with a high ankle sprain, while Chris Thompson continues to nurse a toe injury that held him out of last week's contest. Considering the short week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Redskins err on the side of caution regarding Peterson and Thompson. They don't have much to play for, and it wouldn't be worth risking further injury to either if one or both are not at 100% health. If Smallwood does have the backfield to himself, volume doesn't outweigh the unfavorable matchup. The Vikings are giving up 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs, and have surrendered just one rushing touchdown to the position. Smallwood will have to turn in his fantasy value in the receiving game, which is not worth banking on. He is best avoided unless you find yourself in desperate need of a PPR flex.
Houston Texans CB Phillip Gaines (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injury list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
New York Giants LB Keion Adams (knee) was released from the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 21.
Baltimore Ravens LB Pernell McPhee (triceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Chicago Bears DE Jonathan Harris was released Tuesday, Oct. 22; the move cleared a spot for the signing of DL Brent Urban.
Cleveland Browns RB Elijah McGuire was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was listed as the No. 2 receiver on the version of the Falcons' depth chart released following the trade of WR Mohamed Sanu Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley was already Atlanta's second-most productive receiver behind Julio Jones, but he stands to gain at least a few extra targets per game without much depth behind the top two wideouts for the Falcons.
Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson out-snapped RB Carlos Hyde 39-to-26 in the Week 7 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson received a total of nine touches and racked up 56 yards. It was his first start of the season but Carlos Hyde still had more carries. Johnson has the higher ceiling in PPR formats, but Hyde is the safer option in standard leagues.
New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) said Tuesday, Oct. 22, he's confident he'll return to the field soon. 'Oh, I'll be back out on the field,' Shepard said. 'It's just whether it's gonna be this week or next week.'
Fantasy Spin: Shepard has been limited to four games this season, but he has been able to rack up 25 receptions on 34 targets for 267 yards and a touchdown. The more experience QB Daniel Jones acquires while Shepard is out of the lineup will only boost the receiver's production upon his eventual return. He's a solid buy-low candidate.
Free-agent DE Kasim Edebali (Eagles) signed an undisclosed contract with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent LB Nate Orchard (Dolphins) worked out for the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with free-agent DL Shane Ray (Ravens) and DE Quinton Bell (Raiders).