In this Oct. 27, 2019, file photo, New York Jets head coach Adam Gase, right, talks to quarterback Sam Darnold (14) on the sideline prior to the start the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jets are enduring a tough season under first-year coach Adam Gase and young quarterback Sam Darnold they hope will be the foundation of long-term success. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Steven Ryan)
In this Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, Washington Redskins head coach Bill Callahan, left, talks with quarterback Dwayne Haskins before an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Redskins at the bye week of a lost season are a team without a definitive answer at quarterback, answers to questions on offense and defense and a visible organizational plan for the future. Callahan has repeatedly set the expectation at winning the next game and said hes receiving no direction from the front office on how to develop young players for the next few years. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) hands the ball off to running back Adrian Peterson (26) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) When the New York Jets take the field on Sunday, the Washington Redskins could see a glimpse into their future.
It's not pretty, but it's progress.
The Jets are enduring a tough season under first-year coach Adam Gase and young quarterback Sam Darnold they hope will be the foundation of long-term success. It's a reasonable blueprint for the Redskins, who this week named first-rounder Dwayne Haskins their starting quarterback and could hand the coaching reins next season to someone with more say over personnel than the previous regime.
This meeting between New York (2-7) and Washington (1-8) is Haskins' first game as the full-time starter and a step toward following the Jets' lead.
''You drafted him as a high first-rounder, and you've got to figure out what he brings to the table,'' Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses said. ''We all know it's a business and obviously we have an interim head coach in (Bill) Callahan, and so, if he's going to be the head coach or whoever's going to be the next coach, you've got to figure out what this kid has.''
Unlike the Jets, who started Darnold immediately after drafting him third in 2018, the Redskins have been cautious about throwing Haskins in the deep end after selecting him 15th in April. Since-fired coach Jay Gruden and Callahan leaned on veteran Case Keenum instead.
Perhaps that's because Haskins, despite all his tools at his potential, didn't flash the same NFL-ready look as Darnold did coming out of college. Washington's coaching staff got an up-close look at Darnold during joint workouts at training camp in the summer of 2018, and he looked prepared to get the nod right away.
''I thought he was ahead of the game,'' Callahan said. ''I thought he was mature, he understood the game, he knew where to go with the ball, his decision-making was good and it's only getting better.''
Darnold still has plenty of growing pains. Before beating the Giants last week, he threw nine interceptions in his previous four starts. And Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones - taken nine spots ahead of Haskins at No. 6 - has eight interceptions to go along with 15 touchdowns since taking over as the starter in Week 3.
Haskins has four interceptions and no touchdowns in three appearances, including his first NFL start Nov. 3 at Buffalo, but that's part of the process the Redskins are now diving into.
''Mistakes, it's going to happen, especially when you're a young guy at the quarterback position,'' Washington running back Adrian Peterson said. ''You're going to make mistakes. Look at both guys in New York. They have had a lot of mistakes - way more mistakes than our young guy. The way that you keep that respect with the veteran guys is coming out, being on point and executing your stuff. That's what he's been doing. We're going to continue to ride with him.''
GASE IN PLACE
Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson gave Gase a vote of confidence earlier in the week, saying he'll remain coach not only through this season but for next season, too.
Gase was hired last January after three seasons in Miami and has a career regular-season record of 25-32 as a head coach.
Johnson cited the various injuries to key players this season, including 14 starters who have missed a total of 53 games, as a major reason for the struggles. He also insisted he believes in Gase being the right coach to help Darnold progress, and stability is a key for a young quarterback.
''It's absolutely important, but that's not why I'm keeping Adam, but it's certainly a component,'' Johnson said. ''Changing systems year after year is just a disaster, for a young quarterback, especially.''
The Redskins aren't just getting a look at their QB of the future but also the guy they hope is their running back for years to come. Second-year back Derrius Guice is set to play for the first time since injuring his right knee Week 1 and will make his home debut after missing all of 2018 with a torn ACL in his left knee.
''It's great to have him back,'' Callahan said. ''I know he's itching to get back on the field and work and play. He's worked well the last two weeks and you can see his maturity and his maturation process only get better. I think the rehabilitation process takes you through that, puts you inward a little bit mentally and really take inventory about where you're at and how important the game is so that when those opportunities come back up again you take full advantage of those.''
Jets safety Jamal Adams had the best game of his young career last week against the Giants, a performance that earned him AFC defensive player of the week honors.
Adams had a team-leading nine tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery that he returned 25 yards for a touchdown after he ripped the ball out of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones' hands.
Adams, who made the Pro Bowl last year in his second season, joins Donnie Abraham (2004), Erik McMillan (1989) and Darrol Ray (1980) as the only Jets players to return a fumble and an interception for a TD in the same season. Adams had a 61-yard INT return at New England on Sept. 22.
''He may talk a lot,'' linebacker Jordan Jenkins said with a smile, ''but if he keeps doing that, I can deal with it.''
The Jets have been stingy in run defense this season, holding opponents to 3.01 yards per carry - the lowest mark in the NFL. That's after the Giants' Saquon Barkley managed just 1 yard on 13 carries last Sunday, the worst game of his career.
New York also leads the league with 69 tackles for no gain or negative yards, according to Radar360. The next closest team is Tampa Bay with 53.
''That's what we do best: stop the run,'' nose tackle Steve McLendon said. ''It doesn't stop there. The work never stops. Like I always say, the gym is always open, so you (have) to keep working.''
Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones shouldn't have a hard time against a leaky Minnesota Vikings secondary in Week 14, but uncertainty remains with rookie quarterback David Blough starting for the Lions. Jones has hauled in 17 receptions for 206 yards and three touchdowns over the last four weeks, proving to be at least somewhat quarterback-proof. Fantasy owners need more assurance than that heading into the first week of the fantasy playoffs though. Jones did absolutely torch the Vikings in Week 7, going off for 93 yards and four touchdowns, but that was with Matthew Stafford (back) throwing the passes. Jones will slot in as a boom-or-bust WR3 in Week 14.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay was able to haul in 158 yards and a touchdown with rookie quarterback David Blough under center in Week 13, but a closer look into the game tells a different story. Most of Golladay's production, including his touchdown catch, came on one play in the first quarter. It was a very quiet afternoon for Golladay and the entire Lions offense from then on. Golladay doesn't have the toughest Week 14 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings on deck, but it should be noted that the Vikings did hold him to just one catch for 21 yards when these two teams met back in Week 7. With so much uncertainty surrounding Golladay this week, he will slot in as a fringe WR2 against the Vikings.
The Washington Redskins Defense has performed well both in real life and in fantasy football the last two weeks, greatly contributing to the fact that their team has won its last two games. With fantasy championships at stake in Week 14, now is not the time to buy into this trend so much that you believe they are up to the task of handling Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers may not be launching MVP-level numbers around, but he also doesn't turn the ball over or otherwise make mistakes that make things easy on opposing defenses. If Washington is able to post its third straight impressive defensive effort in a row this week, so be it. Let it happen on the waiver wire.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack is expected to be back on the field for a Week 14 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mack hasn't played since Week 11 due to a broken hand, but according to Colts coach Frank Reich, Mack won't be limited or on any kind of a pitch count. While fantasy owners are likely thrilled that Mack is back, he has a rough matchup to welcome him. Tampa Bay features the league's best run defense and one of the league's worst pass defenses, so the Colts are more likely to take to the air than to rely on their running game. Mack is a low-floor RB2 for this one.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Kelvin Harmon can hang his hat on an increased role in an otherwise terrible pass offense over the last few weeks, but that's where the positives begin and end regarding his Week 14 outlook. The Packers are in a three-way tie for the second-fewest receptions allowed to wide receivers on the season, and the Redskins much prefer to run the ball anyway. Harmon is worth monitoring in deep PPR leagues as the fantasy playoffs progress, but he can't be confidently relied upon this Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is out for Week 14 due to a knee injury. The Colts signed Chase McLaughlin earlier in the week and he will assume kicking duties for Indianapolis against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Vinatieri says that IR has not been discussed, so he can be seen as week-to-week for now. McLaughlin makes for a solid fill-in kicker for any fantasy teams looking to tweak their kicking game.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin's outlook has been and will continue to be hurt by having Dwayne Haskins as his quarterback, but there is big-play potential in his spectrum of outcomes for Week 14 if this pass offense can display some level of competence. The Packers are allowing nearly 16.5 yards per catch to opposing WRs, setting McLaurin up well if his inaccurate rookie QB can actually connect with him a few times. Adding to the risk in this matchup is that while Green Bay is susceptible to big plays from wideouts, the Pack is tied for the second-fewest receptions allowed to the position. As such, McLaurin doesn't carry a high PPR floor, and cannot be considered a safe play.
Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson was a non-factor in his return from injury last week, and there is little evidence to suggest he'll see much of an uptick in Week 14 against the Packers. Dwayne Haskins is given minimal opportunities to throw the ball for obvious reasons, and it helps that Washington has been able to establish an effective rushing attack of late. Thompson doesn't factor into that rushing attack, so his opportunities to produce fantasy numbers are almost entirely limited to whatever work he sees on passing downs. The Packers could theoretically jump out to an early lead and force the Redskins to throw, in turn boosting Thompson's outlook. That's not worth banking on this late in the season with fantasy championships at stake.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) won't be suiting up for a Week 14 matchup against the Tampa Bay. Hilton had another setback in practice a few weeks ago and wasn't able to practice at all this week. He has already stated that he's not sure if he'll be able to play again this season. At this point, fantasy owners should not be expecting anything from the speedy wide receiver. Zach Pascal will benefit the most from Hilton's absence, especially against a soft Tampa Bay secondary.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not practice Friday, Dec. 6, and is listed as doubtful for the team's Week 14 game against the Detroit Lions.
Fantasy Spin: Unless there's a semi-miraculous change in fortune over the next 48 hours, it appears as if Thielen will miss his fifth start in the last six games. His fantasy owners should be well-versed in the Plan B drill.
Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson continues to split backfield work with Derrius Guice, but the two of them proved together last week that they can both enjoy success in the right matchup. They'll get their second consecutive "right matchup" this week at Lambeau Field against a Packers Defense giving up the sixth-most rushing yards per game and the second-most total rushing touchdowns to opposing backs. Guice is the better boom-play here, with more potential for big-time production on middling volume. Peterson should still be in line for enough of his own share, however, and should be regarded as a flex possibility unless you are fortunate enough to be super-deep at running back.
Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) practiced again Friday, Dec. 6, and will play Sunday, Dec. 8, in Week 14, head coach Dan Quinn announced.
Fantasy Spin: Check back pre-game Sunday to be certain, but it appears as if it's an early Christmas for Hooper owners, who have been without fantasy's top tight end (10.8 points per game) since Week 10.
Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (wrist) told reporters on Friday that he expects to be activated from the injured reserve for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Njoku has been sidelined since he fractured his wrist during Week 2's win over the New York Jets. He told reporters that he felt ready to play two weeks ago, but it is apparent that the team did not want to rush him back into action. It remains to be seen whether he will see a full complement of snaps in his first game back against Cincy. That being said, Njoku's Week 15 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals makes him a priority waiver add for any forward-thinking fantasy GM hurting at the tight end position. Arizona has been one of the worst defenses in the league when it comes to defending enemy tight ends.
Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins will go for his third straight victory in Green Bay on Sunday. Whether the Redskins pull off the upset or not, their two-game winning streak is in spite of their quarterback--not because of him. Haskins has just two touchdowns in six appearances this year, and hasn't eclipsed 215 passing yards in any of his starts. This is arguably the least interesting pass offense in the NFL, with both Haskins and his pass-catchers shouldering the blame for that distinction. The rookie's only upside for Week 14 comes in the form of potential garbage-time chances at production, as the Packers could reasonably be expected to win this one going away.
Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice couldn't have many better matchups in which to follow up on his excellent Week 13 outing. The Packers are allowing the sixth-most yards per game to running backs, and their 13 rushing touchdowns surrendered to RBs is the second-most. We know the Redskins would run the ball on every single play if they could, so look for Guice to once again be a focal point of his team's offensive game plan. Continuing to cap his upside is the presence of Adrian Peterson, but Guice proved last week that a backfield split isn't enough to totally neutralize him when the matchup is right. Guice should be viewed as a fantasy starter in all formats for Week 14.
Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (shoulder) practiced again Friday, Dec. 6, and will play in Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers, head coach Dan Quinn announced.
Fantasy Spin: Good news for Jones owners as the wideout will return to the WR1 ranks, and now all that's needed is for Jones to deliver a WR1-quality stat line and snap his frustrating eight-game streak without a TD.
New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell (non-injury) on Friday, Dec. 6, sat out a second consecutive day of practice with an illness, and head coach Adam Gase said he's unsure if Bell will be able to play Sunday, Dec. 8, in Week 14.
Fantasy Spin: Bad timing for Bell owners who will need to be extra vigilant up until kickoff. If Bell can't go, it will likely be a combo of Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery filling in, but neither would be much more than a dart-throw flex option.
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert erupted for 154 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in Week 12, rendering starter Tevin Coleman obsolete. The fifth-year back has been explosive in limited opportunities this season, averaging 5.9 yards per tote, but it may not translate into increased usage in Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints. With Matt Breida (ankle) returning and Coleman inevitably in the mix, Mostert will likely revert to his standard change-of-pace role. Against a tough Saints rush defense, the Niners may play the hot hand, giving Mostert an upside of double-digit touches. But due to the high backfield uncertainty, fantasy managers should prudently view him as a flex option.
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) on Friday, Dec. 6, was ruled out of Week 14 with a concussion.
Fantasy Spin: As expected, Olsen is a no-go for the first time this season. Backup Ian Thomas is a decent fantasy fill-in if the tight end options are as thin as they are in most leagues.
New York Giants TE Evan Engram (foot) is expected to play in Week 14 after missing the previous three games with a foot injury. 'All indications are he'll be ready to go,' Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said before practice Friday, Dec. 6.
Fantasy Spin: A return for Engram, who ranks sixth among tight ends with an average of 13.7 PPR points per game, would be a welcome sight for his fantasy teams who have had to make do without him for the last month. We'll, of course, check the practice and injury reports leading up to Monday night's game in Philly, but the light appears green at the moment.