Sun Nov 10 7:45pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage (27) waves to fans as he leaves the field following the team's NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The Dolphins defeated the Colts 16-12. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is surrounded by teammates as he celebrates a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) breaks the tackle of Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) to score a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Dolphins defensive back Steven Parker (26) rolls away with the ball after stripping it in the end zone from Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (85) during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The play was rule an interception by Parker. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (85) makes a catch in the end zone over Miami Dolphins defensive back Steven Parker (26) during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The play was rule an interception by Parker. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Miami Dolphins defensive back Nik Needham (40) tackles Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Brian Hoyer throws against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Ryan Fitzpatrick scored on an 11-yard run in the first half and the Miami Dolphins defense made a late stop Sunday to preserve a 16-12 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
The Dolphins (2-7) have won two straight after a miserable start and earned their first win at Lucas Oil Stadium since 2013.
Indianapolis (5-4) has lost back-to-back regular-season games for the first time since October 2018. With starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett out because of an injured left knee, the Colts offense sputtered. Indy gained just 300 total yards and Brian Hoyer was picked off three times, with Miami scoring 13 points off those turnovers.
Yet, the Colts had four chances to take the lead in the final minute from the Miami 16. Hoyer threw incompletions on the first three plays and hooked up with Eric Ebron for eight yards on fourth-and-10, sealing the decision.
It sure wasn't pretty.
Hoyer's first interception led to a 47-yard field goal by Jason Sanders, and Hoyer's second pick set up the Dolphins' only touchdown - Fitzpatrick scrambled to the right on third down and found a wide open running lane to the end zone for a 10-0 lead.
Indy finally scored on a 25-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri early in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 10-6 when Vinatieri tied Morten Andersen's league record for field goal attempts on a 39-yarder with 38 seconds left in the third. Vinatieri and Andersen have each attempted 709 career field goals though Vinatieri has made a record 596.
The Colts took their only lead when Hoyer hooked up with Jack Doyle on a 1-yard TD pass early in the fourth. But Vinatieri missed his sixth extra point of the season, leaving the score 12-10.
Miami answered with a 48-yard field goal to make it 13-12. The Dolphins capitalized on Hoyer's final interception with another 48-yard field goal.
Dolphins: Fitzpatrick was 21 of 33 with 169 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. ... Kalen Ballage had 20 carries for 43 yards. ... DeVante Parker had five receptions for 69 yards.
Colts: Hoyer was 18 of 39 with 204 yards and one TD. ... Marlon Mack ran 19 times for 74 yards. ... Eric Ebron had five catches for 56 yards.
Dolphins: Linebacker Jerome Baker left in the second half with what appeared to be an injured right knee and the refs sent Fitzpatrick to the sideline at the start of Miami's final series. Fitzpatrick took a hit to the helmet on the previous series.
Colts: Running back Jordan Wilkins injured his ankle during the third quarter and did not return.
Former Colts pass rusher Dwight Freeney became the 16th inductee into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime.
Freeney finished his career as Indianapolis' sacks leader with 107 1/2 and now ranks second, behind former teammate Robert Mathis (123). He was joined by a group of former teammates including Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James as well as Bill Polian - who selected Freeney in the first round of the 2002 draft.
It was a different experience for Freeney.
''Before when I came out of that tunnel, when I was the last out of the tunnel, I had my helmet on, I was ready to go, I was ready to go in and attack somebody,'' he said. ''Well this wasn't attack-mode. This was more like, `All right Dwight, calm down. Remember what you're going to say.' It was a different feeling. It was a great feeling.''
Dolphins: Return home to face division rival Buffalo next Sunday.
Colts: Will try to win third straight division game this season when Jacksonville visits next Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) called Thursday's practice a "win," but he will see how the rest of the week goes before he decides whether he'll play in Week 15 against the Chargers. Thielen is more optimistic about returning than he has been before. It's looking like he'll finally return for the first time since Nov. 3 when he re-injured his leg against the Chiefs. Most fantasy owners will immediately throw Thielen back into their lineups in the fantasy playoffs, but he'll be more of a WR3 if he returns, and he could be at risk of seeing limited snaps if the Vikings choose to ease him back into the fold. His return would be bad news for Olabisi Johnson and tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee) wasn't seen at practice on Thursday for the second straight day. Unless Agholor gets in a limited practice on Friday, he'll be on his way to missing another game. It hurts even more with Alshon Jeffery on Injured Reserve for the final three games of the season. Even if Agholor were to suit up this Sunday against the Redskins, he'd be a low-upside WR4/flex for desperate fantasy owners. Philly could be using three-wide sets consisting of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward Jr. and Robert Davis this weekend. Tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert will be heavily involved.
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny (knee) doesn't have a timetable for a return next year after suffering a torn ACL last Sunday night against the Rams. Head coach Pete Carroll said that doctors will wait for inflammation to subside before undergoing surgery on Penny's knee. While he wouldn't say for sure that Penny won't be available for the start of next season, he didn't completely rule it out either. The Seahawks will rely on C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer as the backups to lead ball carrier Chris Carson for the rest of the 2019 season. Carson is a surefire RB1 with heavy volume expected in Week 15 against a suspect Carolina run defense. Penny remains a firm hold in dynasty/keeper leagues despite his devastating injury.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard (shoulder) returned to practice with the team on Thursday. He is currently questionable for Week 15 against the Redskins. If he's able to go this week, he could be a sneaky good start against a Redskins Defense allowing almost 135 rushing yards per game. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott have been shouldering the load while Howard has been out the past four games. If Howard returns, he'd likely be one of the team's primary rushers, with Sanders seeing more action in the passing game and Scott being relegated to single-digit touches. Keep an eye on Howard's status through the next few days.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that running back Raheem Mostert has earned his role as the lead ball carrier of late and that "he's given us no choice." Mostert has had double-digit carries each of the last two weeks against the Ravens and Saints and has also caught four passes, including one for a touchdown. Over the last three contests, Mostert has four total touchdowns (three on the ground) and was impressive with 146 ground yards against Baltimore on Dec. 1. He's taken over the backfield from Tevin Coleman and should be considered an RB2 on the rise for Week 15 in a great matchup against the Falcons.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) returned to practice on Thursday after being held out on Wednesday. The Patriots were just giving Edelman a rest on Wednesday, as he's battled through nagging injuries for much of the season. He's clearly quarterback Tom Brady's favorite target -- eight straight games with double-digit targets -- and he'll be a no-brainer must-start in fantasy against a Bengals squad that the Patriots should be able to take advantage of through the air in Week 15. Edelman isn't in any danger of sitting out this Sunday.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (hamstring) said "I'll be ready to go" for Week 15 against the Raiders. Henry has been rested early in the week recently as he navigates a nagging hamstring injury, but he should be fine for this Sunday and is a must-start in all fantasy lineups. The bruising 25-year-old back is once again carrying teams in the fantasy playoffs in 2019 with four straight 100-yard performances. We see no reason why that shouldn't continue against Oakland this weekend as long as Henry plays the entire game.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has certainly risen to the occasion since joining the team in November. He's hit 16 of his 18 field goal attempts on the year, with three made field goals in four of the five games he's played with the Falcons. This week, the Falcons face the 49ers and both teams should be able to put some points on the board. Expect Koo to get around three field goal attempts in the game with a few extra-point opportunities to boot, making him a solid starting kicker option once again this week.
The Falcons Defense faces an extremely tough task in Week 15. They're up against a 49ers team that has put up 36-or-more points in three of the past four weeks. The only time they were held under that number was against the Ravens. Needless to say, the Falcons don't have quite as formidable of a defense as the Ravens. The Falcons will likely cede over 30 points in this game and they may struggle to come up with a turnover, let alone multiple turnovers, to save their day. They should be avoided in all formats.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) is returning to practice on Thursday. It gives him a chance to suit up on Monday night against the Saints. Hilton hasn't seen game action since Nov. 21 against the Texans, though, so he could have his snaps limited if he returns against New Orleans. That would obviously make him a pretty risky fantasy option, especially on a Colts team that is usually run-first. Making the decision even tougher for fantasy owners is that the game is on Monday. Zach Pascal is Indy's No. 1 receiver with Hilton out, so he'd be the plug-and-play option if you take your decision all the way to Monday.
Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus made waves with his first NFL catch last week. It went for 93 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, it was his only catch of the game. There might be more opportunities for Zaccheaus going forward as Calvin Ridley (abdominal) is out for the season and Julio Jones (shoulder) is currently questionable for Week 15 as well. Zaccheaus was fourth on the team in offensive snaps amongst receivers in Week 14, behind Jones, Ridley and Russell Gage. If Jones sits this week, Zaccheaus could be a worthwhile dart throw in DFS or as a WR4 in deep leagues. If Jones plays, it's probably best to just keep Zaccheaus on your watch list or add him to your bench.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage should see his role increase going forward with Calvin Ridley (abdominal) out for the year. Gage has earned at least four targets in each of his past six games, with nine-plus targets in three games over that stretch. Julio Jones (shoulder) and Devonta Freeman (ankle) have been dealing with injuries this week and are both questionable for Week 15 against the 49ers. If one or both of them sit, Gage's upside becomes even higher, making him a must-start in PPR and a more realistic non-PPR option as well. Regardless of Jones and Freeman, Gage is a great WR3 or flex play in PPR as he should have a great chance to catch about five passes for 60-plus yards.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper has had an absolutely exceptional season with 58 catches for 640 yards and six touchdowns over 10 games. Last week, in his return from a three-game absence, he had one of his weaker showings of the year, catching just two passes for 32 yards. However, it was a rare off-game in an otherwise top-end season. Plus, the team just lost Calvin Ridley (abdominal) for the season and there's a chance they could be without Julio Jones (shoulder) and/or Devonta Freeman (ankle) this week as well. Hooper should see at least six or seven targets regardless of the availability of Jones and Freeman, and we've seen him turn in high-end tight end numbers with targets like those all year, so make sure to get him in your lineups.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) is expected to be a limited participant in practice Thursday, Dec. 12, as the Colts return to the field. Head coach Frank Reich said the team plans to take it careful with Hilton, and he will play in Week 15 on Monday night only if the Colts feel he's 100 percent.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton has played in only one game with three receptions for 18 yards since Week 8, and it would be a nice early Christmas for his fantasy teams if he were able to return. That still seems like more of a longshot at this point, but we'll have to monitor Indy's practice reports over the next few days to get a better gauge.
Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison is currently third on the team's depth chart behind Devonta Freeman (ankle) and Brian Hill. Freeman has been dealing with an ankle injury this week and is currently questionable for Week 15, but even if he sits, it would be Hill who stands to benefit more than Ollison. In Week 14, Freeman earned 17 carries, while Hill had nine and Ollison had only four. If Freeman plays, Ollison's playing time will be greatly limited and if Freeman sits, Ollison will be a touchdown-or-bust option. He's best to avoid in all formats.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (shoulder) has been limited in practice this week and is currently questionable for Week 15 against the 49ers. It was recently announced that Jones's teammate and fellow wide receiver Calvin Ridley (abdominal) would miss the rest of the season. So now, Jones figures to see an even heavier workload as Ridley had been seeing around 10 targets per game the past month. Jones is a must-start if he plays this week. He's had a disappointing season by his lofty standards with only four 100-yard games and no touchdowns since Week 3. However, he's been essentially a lock for five-plus catches and 60-plus yards all year, which is a fantastic baseline and we all know how high his ceiling is.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is coming off a solid game against the Panthers in which he threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. This week, the Falcons face a tougher matchup against the 49ers, but Ryan should still have ample opportunities to pile up yardage. The team will be without Calvin Ridley (abdominal) this week and for the rest of the season, but Ryan should have the rest of his primary arsenal intact. Expect him to throw for over 300 yards with two touchdowns on the day. He might throw one or two interceptions or lose a fumble, which makes him a low-end QB1 option this week as opposed to mid-tier or high-end.
Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill had a strong showing in Week 14 against the Panthers. He rushed the ball nine times for 62 yards and a touchdown playing as a backup to Devonta Freeman (ankle). There's a chance Freeman is out this week as he's dealing with an ankle injury and is currently questionable. If Freeman suits up, he's likely to receive around 20 touches and greatly limit Hill's workload. However, if Freeman is out, Hill becomes a potential RB3 or flex play against the 49ers. He doesn't have high upside as a starter, but could pull through with another touchdown or a few big plays.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (thumb) is throwing tennis balls in practice on Thursday. Winston suffered a fractured thumb in Week 14 against the Colts but played through it. He's listed as day-to-day this week, but it's far from a guarantee that he'll even play in Week 15 against the Lions. Even if Winston is active, the thumb ailment could hamper his production, especially now that he no longer has talented wideout Mike Evans at his disposal the rest of the season. Winston has high-end QB1 potential against the Lions, but there's far more risk with him this week because of his fractured thumb. If he can't go, Ryan Griffin would get the nod and would be a weak QB2 play.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (ankle) will miss his second straight practice of the week on Thursday. Chark is considered week-to-week and is looking like a long shot to play in Week 15 against the Raiders. The 23-year-old has had an excellent season with 67 catches for 956 yards and eight touchdowns, but he's in danger of missing the final three games with his injury. Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and Keelan Cole should be in three-wide sets if Chark misses any games. Westbrook is your best bet in fantasy, although Conley is also worth a look as a boom/bust type against a weak Raiders Defense this weekend if Chark is out.