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FFL: Playoff Week 2 | NFL: Week 15

Raiders S Karl Joseph's best season derailed by injury

Mon Nov 11 6:36pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Philip Rivers

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. (11) catches a touchdown pass against Oakland Raiders' Daryl Worley (20) and Karl Joseph (42) during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)


ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Karl Joseph was finally living up to his first-round draft billing when a season-ending foot injury derailed all that and left a major hole in the Oakland Raiders secondary.

Joseph hurt his foot as he jumped to intercept a pass from Philip Rivers, marking the second straight game that he provided the game-sealing defensive play.

Joseph, a first-round pick by Oakland in 2016, had dealt with injuries and some inconsistent play his first three seasons but has played a key role this year in helping the Raiders (5-4) move into playoff contention in the AFC.

''As a team, we started to click as a unit, especially in the secondary,'' he said Monday. ''I don't think it's just me necessarily. It's all of us playing good ball. As a team we're starting to click. That's what is most frustrating for me. We started to play some real good football and I wanted to be part of this team going forward. I believe we have a strong chance to go to the playoffs. That's what's frustrating for me.''

Joseph's status with the Raiders was in doubt heading into the season as the team failed to exercise his fifth-year option after drafting Johnathan Abram in the first round.

But Abram went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in the season opener and Joseph was given a bigger role than expected. That peaked when he broke up a pass in the end zone on fourth down from the 1 in the closing seconds of a 31-24 win over Detroit on Nov. 3 and then had the interception at the end of a 26-24 win over the Chargers last Thursday.

Joseph said he'd like to remain with the Raiders after his contract is up but things will remain up in the air until he gets healthy. He will visit foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay to determine whether he needs surgery and how long it will take to get healthy.

Joseph isn't the only member of the Raiders secondary who went down with an injury on the final drive against the Chargers, with slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner injuring his hamstring earlier in the drive.

Oakland had previously lost starting middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict to a season-ending suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit.

''It's hard,'' coach Jon Gruden said. ''You've already lost your middle linebacker, now you lose your second safety and you lose your nickel corner potentially. This is the National Football League, this is going to be a tough assignment and we're going to have to have a great week of preparation.''

The Raiders brought in some reinforcements by signing former Arizona safety D.J. Swearinger over the weekend to be in the mix to replace Joseph.

Swearinger spent two seasons playing for Gruden's brother, Jay, in Washington before getting cut by Arizona after four games this season. The Raiders had tried to get Swearinger last year after he was cut late in the year by Washington only to have the Cardinals win out because of a higher waiver priority.

Swearinger said he hopes to get up to speed quickly, especially because this defense is similar to the one run in Arizona.

''It's not that big a deal,'' he said. ''This is probably my eighth defensive coordinator. There are only about four or five defenses and I've played every one of them.''

The Raiders also added pass rusher Dion Jordan over the weekend but he can't join the team until his 10-game suspension for testing positive for Adderall ends Tuesday.

Jordan was drafted third overall in 2013 with a pick originally held by the Raiders. Oakland moved down nine spots to take cornerback D.J. Hayden and then tackle Menelik Watson in the second round, while Jordan went to Miami.

He had just three sacks his first two seasons and then missed all of 2015 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He had 5 1/2 sacks in 17 games the past two seasons in Seattle.

''He's a talented guy,'' Gruden said. ''We liked him at Oregon, we liked his body of work in Seattle last year when we played against him. We're happy to have him and we need him, so we'll have a better piece of information after we actually get to see him.''

The Raiders also designated linebacker Marquel Lee as the team's second player eligible to return from injured reserve. Lee hurt his ankle in Week 3 and is allowed to practice for the next 21 days before being activated. The first game he is eligible to play is Dec. 1 at Kansas City.

Player Notes
Brandin Cooks Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught four receptions for 46 yards in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys. The four catches were all he had in the last three games entering the contest. He was third on team with eight targets. It was nice that he re-emerged as a target in the offense, but he's still not an option in fantasy against the San Francisco 49ers next week.

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Robert Woods Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods had four catches for 17 yards on nine targets in Week 15. The Dallas Cowboys did their homework and made him a non-factor. He was second on the team in targets. Next week will be even more of a chore against the San Francisco 49ers. Woods will be a WR3 option in the matchup.

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Tyler Higbee Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee had a game-high 12 catches for 111 yards in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys. He was targeted 14 times in the game, which led all players. He has 26 catches for 334 yards and one score the last three games as he has emerged as a TE1. He'll have a solid matchup against the San Francisco 49ers next week as a midrange TE1.

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Greg Zuerlein Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein had a single extra point in the blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15. He'll have a decent matchup against the San Francisco 49ers next week, and Zuerlein will be a low-end kicker option.

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Aaron Donald Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald had three tackles (one solo) in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys. He was unable to land a sack in the game. He'll have a midrange matchup against the San Francisco 49ers next week as a low-end DL1.

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Ricky Seals-Jones Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end Ricky Seals-Jones had a big game against his former team in Week 15. Seals-Jones caught three of his four targets for 29 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, furthering Arizona's season-long struggles against the tight end. David Njoku was a surprise pregame scratch, which helped lead to a larger role for Seals-Jones. Regardless of what happens with Njoku in Week 16, none of the Cleveland tight ends will be recommended options against a tough Baltimore Ravens Defense.

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Terry McLaurin Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin hauled in all five of the passes thrown his way on Sunday, producing 130 yards and a touchdown. McLaurin's two best fantasy outings of the year have now both come against the Eagles, so Philly is likely happy to be finished with him until 2020. The Redskins' number-one receiver has scored in back-to-back weeks, and has put up serviceable PPR numbers in three of his last four. He remains in the starting conversation for all formats, especially for those fantasy owners who've been hit with injuries to WRs lately.

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Stefon Diggs Dec 15 9:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught four of six targets for 76 yards in a resounding 39-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. He also added one rush for four yards in the victory. Diggs hauled in his 13th reception of at least 30 yards (most in the NFL) on a nice 46-yard catch in the fourth quarter, setting up an eight-yard Mike Boone touchdown. Diggs clearly could have had a bigger game if the Chargers had been able to keep it close, but the Vikings threw just five times in the second half with the outcome already determined. Diggs has emerged as one of the top deep threats in the NFL and should remain a high-upside WR2 in Week 16 against the Green Bay Packers.

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Chandler Jones Dec 15 9:20pm ET

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones had five solo tackles and a sack against the Cleveland Browns Sunday. He has at least a half-sack in six straight games, but he has had five or more tackles in just four games this season. So it's a risk to use him against the Seattle Seahawks next week, but he'll be a low-end LB1 option.

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Budda Baker Dec 15 9:20pm ET

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker had seven tackles (five solo) in Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns. Baker has been a solid DB1 in individual defensive player leagues all season, but he has fizzled out a bit. He's good for tackles, but he doesn't do much else. He'll be a low-end DB1 against the Seattle Seahawks next week.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Dec 15 9:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught eight of his 13 targets for 66 scoreless yards in a 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. On the plus side, Beckham's 13 targets are the most he's seen in a game all season. That being said, he failed to cash in on a dream matchup against an extremely ineffective Arizona secondary. Beckham is still stuck on just two touchdowns this season. His career-low in that category is three, which came in 2017 when he played in just four games. Beckham will be tough to trust in Week 16 against a tough Baltimore defense.

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Jared Goff Dec 15 9:20pm ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff went 33-for-51 for 284 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Week 15. The Rams were never in the game, and Goff was forced to throw for the entirety. Goff will face off against the San Francisco 49ers Saturday in Week 16. The 49ers haven't been as stout against opposing quarterbacks of late, and Goff will be a low-end QB1.

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Jarvis Landry Dec 15 9:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry turned in a slow outing in a 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15. Landry caught five of his eight targets for just 23 yards in the loss. The slow outing goes down as a big letdown after Landry had been an extremely consistent fantasy option for much of the season. The slot receiver also got into an argument with head coach Freddie Kitchens early in the fourth quarter after a missed field goal. Things won't get much easier for Landry as he draws a tough Week 16 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

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Todd Gurley Dec 15 9:20pm ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley scored on the ground and in the air in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys. The Rams actually fell behind early and never recovered. Gurley had 11 rushes for 20 yards and three catches for 18 yards. Those touchdowns salvaged what would have been a rough fantasy week. Gurley will be a solid RB2 against the San Francisco 49ers next week.

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Cooper Kupp Dec 15 9:20pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp salvaged a six-catch, 41-yard performance with a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday. Kupp was fifth on the team in targets as quarterback Jared Goff really hasn't connected well with him the last few weeks. Kupp will have a tough matchup in Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers, but he'll be a low-end WR2.

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Nick Chubb Dec 15 9:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb had a big game in a 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15. Chubb carried the ball 17 times for 127 yards and a touchdown while adding three receptions for 21 yards in the loss. The second-year running back also broke a two-game scoreless streak when he found the end zone for the eighth time this season. Chubb has been excellent this season but he will have his work cut out for him in Week 16 when he takes on a tough Baltimore Ravens Defense. He finished with 165 rushing yards and three touchdowns the last time these two teams met in Week 4, but Baltimore's defense is much improved since then. Treat him as more of a high-end RB2 for that matchup.

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Kenyan Drake Dec 15 9:10pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake lit it up in Week 15 with 137 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He was the first player in franchise history to score four times on the ground since 1993. He also had a nine-yard reception. Drake hadn't done much the last month, but he really put one on Sunday. He'll be a low-end RB2 in point-per-reception formats next week against the Seattle Seahawks.

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Kyler Murray Dec 15 9:10pm ET

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was an efficient 19-for- 25 for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday. He also rushed eight times for 56 yards. Murray spread the ball around to nine different targets, and no one had more than six looks. Murray isn't setting the world ablaze, but he is producing enough to be worthy of a low-end QB1 play against the Seattle Seahawks next week.

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Christian Kirk Dec 15 9:10pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk caught four balls for 33 yards in Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns. He also had a 28-yard rush. The entire passing attack was pretty quiet while running back Kenyan Drake scored four times on the ground. Kirk has the most upside of all the receivers, and he'll be a flex option against the Seattle Seahawks next week.

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David Johnson Dec 15 9:10pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson rushed just three times for six yards and was not targeted in the passing game in Week 15. With Kenyan Drake putting four runs into the end zone this week, Johnson's roster viability has become grim. It's unlikely he'll have a big enough role the final two weeks to be more than a handcuff to Drake.

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