Sun Sep 15 4:21pm ET
By JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeffrey Wilson (30) celebrates his touchdown during the second half an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor works the sidelines during the second half an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) catches a touchdown pass during the second half an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) runs the ball past Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Andrew Billings (99) during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan works the sidelines during the second half an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passes during the first half an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon, below, is tackled by San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) during the first half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) celebrates his touchdown during the first half an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
CINCINNATI (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo tied his career high with three touchdown passes Sunday, and the San Francisco 49ers completed a sweet and satisfying week in the Buckeye State with a 41-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that left them unbeaten for the long flight home.
Rather than return to the West Coast after their opening 31-17 win in Tampa Bay, the 49ers headed to Youngstown, Ohio, where they worked out on a soccer field, enjoyed a local ice cream shop and rested at a Holiday Inn. Then they started their trek west with a resounding and notable win.
The 49ers improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2012. They've opened the season with back-to-back road wins for the first time since 1989, when Joe Montana's crew was coming off its second Super Bowl win over the Bengals.
The Niners piled up 573 total yards, their highest total in seven years. They've topped 30 points in each of their first two games for the first time since 1998. The 41 points were the most allowed by the Bengals in a home opener.
It couldn't have gone much worse for Bengals first-year coach Zac Taylor in his regular-season debut at Paul Brown Stadium. The crowd of 50,666 began filing out after the third quarter. Cincinnati's defense had repeated breakdowns and missed tackles, and the offense managed only 25 yards rushing as the Bengals fell to 0-2 for the second time in the last three years.
An opening 21-20 loss at Seattle gave the Bengals hope that things would be better. Instead, Seattle looked more like a mirage as the 49ers rolled ahead 31-10 after their opening drive of the second half, culminating in Garoppolo's third touchdown pass.
After an unproductive game at Tampa Bay that marked his return from knee surgery, Garoppolo was much sharper the second time around, taking full advantage of numerous breakdowns in the Bengals' coverages.
Marquise Goodwin went unguarded for a 38-yard touchdown catch on their opening series, and Raheem Mostert turned a screen pass into an easy 39-yard score . The 49ers piled up 291 yards in the first half - more than they had in the opener - with three plays of at least 34 yards.
Garoppolo finished 17 of 25 for 297 yards with one interception. Matt Breida filled in for the injured Tevin Coleman and ran for 121 yards as San Francisco piled up 261 on the ground.
49ers: DE Dee Ford suffered a knee injury in the second half. Left tackle Joe Staley hurt his lower left leg in the third quarter and didn't return.
Bengals: The line suffered more sapping injuries. LT Cordy Glenn missed a second straight game in concussion protocol, and backup Andre Smith suffered a groin injury in the first half. Rookie guard Michael Jordan was taken off on a cart in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury... DE Carl Lawson hurt his right hamstring in the second half.
49ers: host Pittsburgh next Sunday.
Bengals: at Buffalo next Sunday.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is in for a rough Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. Except for his four touchdown passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5, Bridgewater has been an average fantasy quarterback. Through six weeks, Bridgewater has averaged just 217.8 yards per game with 6.9 yards per attempt and seven touchdowns. He'll take on a Bears Defense that ranks fifth in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Bridgewater is a low-end QB2 for this contest and won't have fantasy value for long with starter Drew Brees' return coming soon.
It's been a strange year so far for Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman. He's averaging just 3.6 yards per carry and has been held under 50 rushing yards in all but two games so far this year. However, he has 25 catches for 203 yards and three touchdowns through the air over the season, which has made him a solid RB2. Freeman is the unquestioned No. 1 running back in an elite offense and should be started just about every week. This week, Freeman and the Falcons host the Rams. The game probably won't be as high-scoring as the team's previous two matchups, but the Falcons will still likely put up a sturdy point total. Expect Freeman to be between 80 and 100 total yards from scrimmage with multiple receptions and a good chance to score.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is slated for his first start of the 2019 season as the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Nashville in Week 7. Tannehill completed 13 of 16 passes for 144 yards and an interception last week following the benching of quarterback Marcus Mariota in the third quarter. Although the offense wasn't able to score any points with Tannehill under center, they were able to move the ball downfield much more effectively. It is yet to be seen how the offense will look with a full game of Tannehill under center, but for the time being both Tannehill and his weapons in the passing game are better left on the fantasy bench.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has found the end zone in four of six games so far this year, keeping up his impressive touchdown rate from his rookie season. He has 21 targets over his last three games and should stay heavily involved in the offense as the team hosts the Rams in Week 7. Ridley is a bit handicapped by the number of mouths to feed in the Atlanta offense. Apart from star receiver Julio Jones, Ridley also has to compete with Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Devonta Freeman for targets. This makes Ridley a bit risky on a week-to-week basis, but he should still produce decent WR2 numbers more often than not given the strength of the Falcons passing game.
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. There shouldn't be any drama this week over whether Johnson will suit up. He'll be out there in an excellent Week 7 matchup against the Giants as the Cardinals lead back once again. Consider him a surefire RB1 this Sunday. Chase Edmonds will continue to spell Johnson in the backfield and remains one of the better fantasy handcuffs out there.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been outstanding for fantasy owners all year. He has eight total touchdowns over his past two games and hasn't been held under 300 passing yards yet this season. This week, Ryan will face a Rams Defense that has shown some vulnerability this year. Ryan and the Falcons return home after two straight road losses and will look to improve on their 1-5 record. Expect Ryan to throw a lot of passes in this game, enabling him to top 300 yards once again with a good chance to score multiple touchdowns.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has been held out of the end zone since Week 3 and held under 60 receiving yards in two of his past three games. The Falcons have been spreading the ball around more this year, heavily integrating tight end Austin Hooper into the offense. But make no mistake, Jones is still the team's unquestioned No. 1 target in the passing game, and it's one of the most productive passing games in the entire league. Jones might have some down games with his target share decreasing from previous years, but he'll still produce solid numbers more often than not. Look for him to catch about six or seven passes for around 100 yards with a good chance to score this week.
New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) said that he will play on Monday night against the Patriots. Mosley has been out since the season opener with a severe groin injury, but it looks like he's targeting this Monday as his return to action. The Jets Defense/special teams just hasn't been the same without their prized offseason acquisition. He will certainly boost the interior of their defense if he returns, but it won't be enough to make Gang Green a streamable defense in fantasy against the undefeated Patriots on Monday night.
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox has had a solid rookie year so far and has 137 receiving yards on 12 targets over his past three games. This week, the Bills have a favorable matchup against the Dolphins. Knox should be involved in the offense, but his degree of involvement is a big question. Tyler Kroft (ankle), who was signed to be the team's starting tight end in the offseason, has returned to practice without limitations and appears slated to make his debut for the team this week. It's unclear how much Kroft will play but he'll certainly take some snaps away from Knox. If you're starting Knox, you're essentially hoping for a touchdown, which is a tough thing to gamble on. Avoid him if you can.
The Bills Defense has been fantastic so far this year and this week they'll have their easiest task to date. The Bills host the lowly Dolphins in Week 7. The Dolphins have scored a total of just 42 points over five games this year. Even the Redskins held them to just 16 points. The Bills should wreak havoc on Josh Rosen and company, forcing a few turnovers and tallying multiple sacks on the day. They should be one of the top-producing defenses on the week. Start them with confidence.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Duke Williams had a fantastic debut for the team in Week 5, catching all four of his targets, including the game-winning touchdown. He figures to be the team's second outside wide receiver for now, behind No. 1 receiver John Brown. However, slot receiver Cole Beasley still receives a heavy dose of targets and tight end Dawson Knox is also in the mix. Williams could be a sneaky start this week against the Dolphins if Brown (ankle) misses the game. Brown was a limited practice participant in Wednesday's practice. However, if Brown is active, just keep an eye on Williams.
Cincinnati Bengals left tackle Cordy Glenn (concussion) was cleared to return from his concussion on Wednesday, but he and the team have been at odds regarding his head injury, its symptoms, whether he's able to return and the need for second opinions, according to multiple sources. Cincinnati fined Glenn $200,000 for conduct detrimental to the team and Glenn at one point told head coach Zac Taylor to cut him. The second-round pick back in 2012 has yet to play this season and feels the team was trying to rush him back. He would be a huge upgrade to the team's atrocious offensive line, but it doesn't look like he'll be back in Week 7 against the Jaguars.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (ankle) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. It's particularly concerning since the team's top three receivers -- Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison -- have also yet to practice and are all in danger of sitting out in Week 7 against the Raiders. The veteran Graham could be available if he gets in some practice on Friday, so we'll have to keep an eye on his status. Although he hasn't done much for fantasy owners this year, he'll be as close to a must-start as ever this Sunday if the Packers are missing some of their receiving threats.
Green Bay Packers wide receivers Davante Adams (toe), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) remain sidelined at practice for the second straight day this week on Thursday. Adams has missed the last two games with turf toe and seems doubtful to play in Week 7 against the Raiders. MVS and Allison are also on the wrong side of questionable right now, so they must practice on Friday to have a chance to play. Green Bay would be down to Jake Kumerow, Allen Lazard and rookie Darrius Shepherd if all three of Adams, MVS and Allison are inactive. That'd obviously be terrible news for quarterback Aaron Rodgers this weekend. No matter what, expect Green Bay to lean on both running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in this one.
Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) remains sidelined at practice for the second straight day Thursday. Brown missed practice all of last week and the Week 6 game, and he's looking unlikely to play again this weekend against the Seahawks. None of Willie Snead, rookie Miles Boykin or Seth Roberts stepped up in the passing game with Brown sidelined last week, so all three of them are desperation dart throws, at best, for a flex spot if Brown misses his second straight contest. Tight end Mark Andrews remains quarterback Lamar Jackson's favorite target outside of Brown.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) said he still has "a little ways to go." He hasn't practiced this week and isn't expected to make his season debut in Week 7 against the Jaguars. With Green out at least another week, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate will remain the team's top two receivers. Against a Jaguars team now without cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Boyd has WR1 upside in a great bounce-back spot this Sunday. Tate will have flex appeal for those hurting at the position or in need of a body because of bye weeks. Continue to stash Green everywhere. He'll be Cincy's top wideout whenever he returns.
The Los Angeles Chargers placed wide receiver Travis Benjamin (quadriceps) on Injured Reserve on Thursday and signed defensive tackle T.Y. McGill in a corresponding move. Benjamin can return later this year, but he should be dropped from all fantasy rosters in deeper leagues. The 29-year-old had just six catches on 16 targets for 30 scoreless yards in five games this year. With Dontrelle Inman also on IR, Geremy Davis figures to be the team's No. 3 wideout behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. He won't be fantasy relevant unless there's an injury ahead of him.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' (ankle) injury is a legitimate injury. Sources are saying that the injury is worse than most people think it is, and head coach Andy Reid said it's something that has bothered the quarterback since Week 1. Mahomes aggravated the ankle each of the last two weeks. He has been very reluctant to flee the pocket and has seen his completion percentage drop as a result. Opposing defenses have switched to play man coverage recently with Mahomes ailing. Denver's defense doesn't often play man coverage, but it remains to be seen how they defend the start quarterback Thursday night. The Broncos D has been playing much better in recent weeks and this is no easy matchup, but Mahomes remains a must-start in fantasy.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen) missed another practice on Thursday. The Eagles were optimistic about Jackson playing this weekend for the first time since Week 2, but that's looking like more of a long shot if he can't get on the practice field. A notoriously slow healer, D-Jax might be more likely to come back in Week 8 against the Bills on the road. The Eagles desperately need Jackson's deep-threat abilities to open up their offense. If he sits out again, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins will continue to operate in three-wide sets on Sunday night against the Cowboys.
New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman (concussion) practiced in full on Thursday. After missing last Thursday's contest, Gallman looks to be on track to return in Week 7 against the Cardinals. However, Saquon Barkley (ankle) is also practicing in full and should be able to return after a two-game absence. Gallman will be a little-used backup for the Giants if Barkley is starting and playing his normal allotment of snaps. Gallman would only be on the RB2/3 borderline if the Giants play it cautious and hold Barkley out for another week. With Barkley healthy, Gallman is strictly a handcuff for Barkley owners.