Mon Nov 18 6:52pm ET
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Pro Football Writer
Tennessee Titans tight end Anthony Firkser (86) and wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (19) celebrate with wide receiver Adam Humphries, on the ground, after Humphries scored the winning touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 35-32. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel runs off the field after an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 35-32. (AP Photo/James Kenney)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans believe their bye with the much-needed time off helped then heal for the final six games on the schedule.
How much remains to be seen. Coach Mike Vrabel didn't tip his hand Monday except to say he expected two of four Titans to test themselves when they practiced. But Tennessee doesn't have to share an injury report until Wednesday.
Tight end Delanie Walker and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey both think they're feeling good enough that there's a chance each might play Sunday when the Titans (5-5) host Jacksonville. Casey has missed the past two games with an injured shoulder, while Walker hasn't played since five snaps Oct. 20 against the Chargers.
''Been gone way too long,'' Casey said. ''Never in my life would I have I have thought I'd miss this many games in my career. But Lord got things up His sleeve. Just ready to get back out there.''
Walker talked to reporters while wearing a brace on his left knee to help him avoid aggravating the right ankle that has kept him out of the past two games. That's the same ankle he broke in the 2018 season opener. Walker said he wouldn't be wearing the brace in a game, and he likes how he's feeling right now. The test will be how he feels after practicing.
''Just by the things I've been doing, it feels good, so I think it's going in the right direction,'' Walker said. ''Again, I'm a tough guy, and I feel like at this point it's where I'm able to play. But again we just have to see.''
The Titans also played without linebacker Jayon Brown (groin) and wide receiver Corey Davis (hip) in their 35-32 win over Kansas City before their bye.
Tennessee is back at work with the AFC South bunched up, just a game out of first behind Indianapolis (6-4) and Houston (6-4) but just ahead of Jacksonville (4-6). Four of the final six outings are inside the division, including a trip to Indianapolis on Dec. 1. The Titans are playing the Texans twice in the final three weeks.
Vrabel calls it a great opportunity that's no different than the Kentucky Derby when a hole opens up for a horse to take advantage.
''Or in this case, the team will take advantage of the opportunity,'' Vrabel said. ''So, all we can focus on right now is Jacksonville. We didn't play the game how we wanted to play it last time down there, so we'll have to do a much better job this week of preparing to continue to give ourselves opportunities.''
The Titans lost 20-7 in Jacksonville on Sept. 19 as part of a 2-4 start that led to the benching of Marcus Mariota. They went into the bye having won three of four with Ryan Tannehill, and Vrabel said the coaches spent a lot of time with the players last week looking at where they can improve in areas ranging from fundamentals and penalties to third downs.
Now it's back to work after a bye week that came late in the season.
''Everybody's a little bit refreshed, and that's what we needed,'' Walker said.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a solid bounce-back performance in Week 13, throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns. This week, Ryan and the Falcons face the Panthers. The Falcons are riddled with injuries on offense, but signs seem to be pointing towards a return for Julio Jones (shoulder) and Austin Hooper (knee) this week. The Falcons have struggled so much to run the ball this year that Ryan is regularly forced to throw a lot of passes. Expect him to top 300 yards and throw for multiple touchdowns in Week 14.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (knee) was a limited practice participant on Wednesday and could be slated to make his return in Week 14 against the Panthers. Hooper was having a monster season before the injury sidelined him. He earned at least five targets in each of the nine games he played this year and he has six touchdowns on the year. Keep an eye on his status the next few days, but if he's active for the game, he's a must-start.
The Bills Defense did a solid job holding a strong Cowboys offense to just 15 points in Week 13, but this week, they face an even tougher opponent, the Ravens. The Ravens are averaging over 33 points per game on the year and about 420 yards from scrimmage per game. The Bills defense has been exceptional all year and even though this week doesn't figure to be one of their stronger showings, they should still be able to make it out with an adequate fantasy day. They're a low-end starting option this week.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell has had a rough first year in green and white averaging just 3.2 yards per carry and scoring just four total touchdowns through 13 games. Despite the rough season, a juicy matchup with a porous Dolphins run defense should have Bell in fantasy lineups once again this week. Miami gives up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and the Jets should focus on giving Bell the ball. Last week the Jets only gave Bell 10 carries against a bad Bengals run defense and were rightfully panned in the New York media for their game plan vs Cincinnati. Expect the coaching staff to learn from their mistake and feed Bell 20-plus touches this weekend putting Bell in the low-end RB1 conversation based on volume and matchup.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had a miserable game in Cincinnati last Sunday, but will be in the streaming quarterback mix again in Week 14 with a home date against Miami. Darnold was roughed up by the Bengals taking several big hits and was seen limping during the last drive, but he practiced in full on Wednesday and will be good to go Sunday. The Jets offense looked lost last week but before that they scored 34 points in three straight games with Darnold looking much better than he did in his first few games back from illness. Darnold isn't the sexiest option to start in the fantasy playoffs, but he's been playing much better, he only has two turnovers in his last five games, and the Dolphins give up the third-most points to opposing QBs on the season.
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox has had a steady role in the offense over the past month, but his usage isn't high enough to inspire confidence for fantasy owners. He has five catches on six targets in his past two games, but has only managed to gain 28 yards total in those two games. The team's passing offense has relied heavily on John Brown and Cole Beasley this year. Knox has shown promising flashes and could be a decent sleeper to target next year, but he can remain on waivers for now.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown is coming off of his worst game of the season. He caught just three passes for 26 yards in Week 13, only the second time he'd been held under 50 receiving yards in a game on the season. This week, the Bills face a tough Ravens Defense and they'll likely need to rely on Brown, one of their top playmakers, in order to stay in the game. Expect Brown to see around seven targets in the game, giving him a good chance for four or five catches and a few big plays. He's a WR2 this week.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been on a roll lately. He's topped 70 receiving yards in three of his past four games and has scored touchdowns in two straight. He's earned more targets than the team's No. 1 receiver John Brown each of the past two weeks. This week, the Bills face a tough Ravens Defense and quarterback Josh Allen may need to rely on Beasley as his short-yardage safety net once again. Expect Beasley to see around seven or eight targets in the game, making him a solid WR3 or flex play in PPR leagues. In non-PPR, he's a bit risky, but could still be considered a low-end WR3 or flex.
Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary has 55 touches over his past three games and figures to have a heavy workload once again in Week 14 against the Ravens. Singletary is averaging a remarkable 5.6 yards per carry on the year and has topped 100 yards in each of his past two games. The Ravens allow the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game in the league and they will pose a challenge for Singletary, but his talent and workload should be enough to make his day solid. Expect around 18 touches for Singletary, giving him a solid shot to gain between 80 and 100 yards.
Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore has continued to be heavily involved in the team's offense. He has had double-digit touches in three straight games. However, he's struggled to make the most of his touches, particularly in Week 13, when he rushed for just 11 yards on nine carries. Devin Singletary is the clear No. 1 running back in the offense, with Gore behind him. The Bills face a tough Ravens run defense this week and it will be hard enough for Singletary to find running room, so it's impossible to trust Gore in the matchup. He can be left on waivers or dropped at this point.
Buffalo Bills running back T.J. Yeldon has been inactive for six straight weeks and there's little reason to believe that streak will end against the Ravens this week. The Bills are going exclusively with Devin Singletary and Frank Gore at this point, making Yeldon unworthy of ownership in any league format.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has scored multiple touchdowns in eight straight games, but this week, he has a particularly difficult test against the Ravens, who are allowing just 18.2 points per game on the year. Allen has done well against tough matchups vs. the Cowboys and Broncos the past two weeks, so there's reason to believe he could end up fine once again this week. If you have better options on the table, you might want to consider benching Allen in one-quarterback leagues. In two-quarterback leagues, he's good to go as a mid-tier QB2.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning is 'very likely' to start against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, Dec. 9, according to head coach Pat Shurmur.
Fantasy Spin: An ankle injury is the culprit for Daniel Jones, who is expected to give way to Manning on MNF. It would certainly be a nice moment if Manning stepped in and led his team to an upset win in prime time, but it seems unlikely given the team's overall struggles and Manning's before he got benched. He's not worth rolling the dice on.
Oakland Raiders LB Quentin Poling and OG Kyle Kalis were released from the practice squad on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
San Francisco 49ers WRs Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back) will not be activated from the Reserve/Injured list and will miss the remainder of the 2019 season, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
The San Francisco 49ers re-signed free agent CB Antone Exum to a one-year contract on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Former Philadelphia Eagles WR Mack Hollins was claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, Dec. 4. The Dolphins also signed C Evan Brown off the New York Giants practice squad, waived/injured CB Ken Crawley (shoulder) and waived OG Chris Reed.
Los Angeles Rams TE Gerald Everett (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Everett did not play last week because of the injury and could miss another game if he does not practice this week. Fantasy players should look for other options to use and keep Everett on the bench.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (hamstring) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Hill has been targeted at least eight times in four of the last five games and will continue to be one of the main options in the passing game for the Chiefs. He should be a starting option in all leagues this week.
Kansas City Chiefs CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), CB Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and RB Darrel Williams (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4. DE Frank Clark (shoulder) was limited during practice. OT Eric Fisher (groin), CB Kendall Fuller (thumb), S Jordan Lucas (shoulder), DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) and DE Alex Okafor (ankle) fully participated in practice.