Mon Sep 16 11:42pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
Players: Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Griffin, Chandler Catanzaro, Trevor Siemian, Odell Beckham Jr., Taylor Bertolet, Sam Ficken, Baker Mayfield, Luke Falk, Nick Chubb, Kaare Vedvik, David Njoku, Austin Seibert, Sam Darnold
Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham (13) runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith (50) goes into play during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Cleveland Browns' Christian Kirksey (58) celebrates with Myles Garrett (95) after Garrett sacked New York Jets' quarterback Luke Falk (8) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Cleveland Browns' Baker Mayfield (6) runs away from New York Jets' Leonard Williams (92) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs a pass route during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Trainers check on New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) after he was injured during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) grabs his leg after being hurt during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham (13) catches a pass in front of New York Jets' Nate Hairston (21) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Odell Beckham Jr. had an 89-yard touchdown catch and a spectacular one-handed grab in his return to MetLife Stadium, and Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns did just enough to beat the short-handed and banged-up New York Jets 23-3 on Monday night.
Beckham, traded from the Giants in March, helped the Browns (1-1) bounce back from a 30-point loss to Tennessee in their opener to top the Jets (0-2).
New York lost quarterback Trevor Siemian to an ankle injury in the second quarter, and Luke Falk - promoted from the practice squad earlier in the day - played the rest of the game. Siemian was starting in place of Sam Darnold, who's sidelined for at least a few weeks while recovering from mononucleosis.
The Jets couldn't get anything going on offense, and the Browns blew open the game late in the third quarter.
Falk led the Jets on their longest drive of night to that point - 60 yards - but Le'Veon Bell could only get 1 yard on a fourth-and-2 pass, turning the ball over on downs at the Browns 11.
On the very next play, Mayfield hit Beckham with a slant pass, and the receiver outran the Jets' defenders all the way to the end zone for an 89-yard TD that put Cleveland up 23-3 with 3:32 remaining in the third quarter.
The touchdown came after Beckham called out Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams last Thursday, saying the coach - then with the Browns - instructed players to hurt him in a preseason game in 2017. Williams denied Beckham's accusations, jokingly asking reporters: ''Odell who?'' Williams, who led the Browns to a 5-3 record as their interim coach last season, also chided reporters for giving Beckham attention.
Well, Williams clearly knows who Beckham is now. The coach was seen shouting angrily on the sideline after Beckham's touchdown.
And, that wasn't all for Beckham, who finished with six catches for 161 yards and the TD.
He helped the Browns take a 3-0 lead on their first possession on Austin Seibert's 23-yard field goal - a drive highlighted by a spectacular 33-yard, one-handed grab that got Cleveland down to the Jets 4.
It was reminiscent of Beckham's highlight-reel, one-handed reception for the Giants on ''Sunday Night Football'' as a rookie in 2014. On this one, Mayfield found Beckham down the right sideline, and the receiver stuck out his right hand to snare the ball behind Nate Hairston - in nearly the same spot as his big catch five years ago.
And, yes, Beckham was wearing his expensive watch - despite the NFL telling him last week not to.
Beckham then had to come out of the game because officials made him change his mirrored visor. He returned with a clear visor on his helmet.
Seibert's 48-yarder gave the Browns a 6-0 lead with 6:15 left in the opening quarter as Cleveland outgained New York 101-4 in the first quarter.
Nick Chubb's 19-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter put Cleveland up 13-0. The drive was helped by a defensive holding call on Hairston - starting in place of Trumaine Johnson - on fourth-and-2 from the Jets 24.
Siemian was knocked out of the game after throwing a long incomplete pass to Ryan Griffin and Cleveland's Myles Garrett slammed into him, and fell on top of him. Siemian appeared to roll his left ankle as Garrett, who was penalized for roughing the passer, sent him to the turf.
Falk replaced Siemian with 7:58 left in the half and helped the Jets get their first points to cheers of ''Luuuke!'' Sam Ficken, the Jets' fourth kicker since July, booted a 46-yarder - and got loud cheers from the crowd who had seen the likes of Chandler Catanzaro, Taylor Bertolet and Kaare Vedvik struggle.
Siemian finished 3 of 6 for 3 yards, while Falk was 20 of 25 for 198 yards as the Jets lost their seventh straight at home, dating to last season.
Mayfield, who beat the Jets last year in his NFL debut during a Thursday night game that ended Cleveland's 19-game winless skid, was 19 of 35 for 325 yards, including the long TD to Beckham, and an interception.
Garrett had three of the Browns' four sacks.
Bell had 68 yards rushing on 21 carries and had 10 catches for 61 yards for the Jets.
Browns defensive end Chris Smith played after his girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was killed in car accident last week.
The 26-year-old Cordero was killed after she exited Smith's Lamborghini and was standing on the highway's shoulder when she was hit by an oncoming car.
Browns: TE David Njoku sustained a concussion in the opening quarter and didn't return. ... S Morgan Burnett injured his quadriceps.
Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins left in the first quarter with a calf injury. ... WR Demaryius Thomas, making his Jets debut after being acquired from New England last week, injured a hamstring.
Browns: host Los Angeles Rams next Sunday night in their second straight prime-time game.
Jets: at AFC East rival New England next Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) is unlikely to suit up for Thursday Night Football against the Washington Redskins in Week 8. The 29-year-old seems to think he is capable of playing, but the Vikings will likely rest their ailing star against a mediocre opponent on a short week. In his absence, rookie Olabisi Johnson will likely serve as the WR2. Johnson, who had 40 yards and a touchdown in Week 7, is a viable streaming option for fantasy managers that are desperate for a receiver in Week 8.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller is expected to miss several weeks with a significant hamstring strain, per Ian Rapoport. Fuller suffered the injury against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. With Fuller sidelined, Kenny Stills becomes a must-add asset in almost all formats. The 27-year-old produced 105 yards on four catches against the Colts after Fuller exited the game. Stills can be considered a mid-tier WR3 against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8.
Seattle Seahawks S Bradley McDougald (back) sat out of practice all week after suffering from back spasms and was unable to play in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, but head coach Pete Carroll told reporters during his postgame press conference that he believes McDougald will be able to make it back for Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen only hauled in 4-of-11 targets for 61 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Despite having a positive pass-catching game script, Allen and Philip Rivers failed to connect on several deep balls. Luckily, due to the Chargers' uninspiring defensive unit, the game script is almost always positive for the passing attack. Allen remains a mid-tier WR1 against the Chicago Bears in Week 8.
Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints CB Eli Apple (knee) likely suffered a hyperextended knee late in the team's Week 7 game versus the Chicago Bears, although more tests are scheduled to determine the extent of his injury Monday, Oct. 21.
Updating previous reports, Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss 'several weeks' after suffering 'a rather significant hamstring pull,' according to a source via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller hasn't come close to playing a full season in four years in the NFL, so fantasy owners can't exactly be shocked by this development. While the Texans will miss his ability to stretch the field, Fuller's lack of durability was probably one of the biggest reasons Houston made sure to land Kenny Stills in the Laremy Tunsil trade this summer. Stills should be able to fill in nicely and serve as a high-upside WR3 for however long Fuller is sidelined.
Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins S Montae Nicholson (ankle) was seen walking around in a boot Monday, Oct. 21, after injuring his right ankle in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Free-agent CB Kayvon Webster (Saints) worked out for the New Orleans Saints on Monday, Oct. 21.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry caught six passes for 97 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. The 24-year-old has seen 17 targets over his past two games. Now fully healthy, Henry is unquestionably a top-tier tight end for the remainder of the season. He has a tougher matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 8, but he is still an undisputed TE1 for the contest.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert pulled in just two receptions for 10 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. The veteran has been a huge fantasy disappointment this season, and with rumblings of a trade before the deadline, Eifert's days in Cincy may be over soon. He has the potential to produce, and if you're able, he is worth a stash in deeper formats, at least for now.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt (abdomen) has been cleared by the NFL to rejoin the team and begin practicing with them Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Hunt has been sidelined all season recovering from sports hernia surgery and serving an eight-game suspension for domestic abuse for an incident that occurred during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former rushing champion is not eligible to return to game action until Week 10, so Nick Chubb will serve as a team's featured back for at least two more weeks. It's expected Hunt will serve as the change-of-pace back when he returns.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler only produced seven rushing yards on five carries in Week 7, but he salvaged the day by catching seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Melvin Gordon had 16 carries in the contest despite being outplayed by Ekeler, but the Chargers continue to let Gordon dominate the ground game. Nevertheless, Ekeler's ability as a receiver continues to give him value as a fantasy asset. He is an above-average flex option against the dominant Chicago Bears' defense in Week 8.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate finished with three catches (six targets) for 65 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. After getting 11 looks from quarterback Andy Dalton against the Ravens in Week 6, Tate's production was yielded by Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight receptions for 137 yards on the day. With A.J. Green (ankle) expected to return soon, Tate will likely be relegated to backing up Green and Tyler Boyd moving forward. Keep an eye on Green's status for Week 8 and plan accordingly.
Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, Oct. 21, but he faces the 'real possibility' of not playing in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.
Fantasy Spin: While everyone around the team believes the injury is not serious, the Vikings play on Thursday, making it an almost impossible turnaround for Thielen. In theory, Minnesota should not need him against the Redskins, but the Vikings' passing attack is not so deep and talented that it can just assume it will thrive without Kirk Cousins' favorite receiver. If Thielen sits, it will be the first game he's missed in his NFL career. Fantasy owners should feel free to bump up Stefon Diggs in their weekly rankings as well.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon produced 32 yards on 16 carries during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. While he caught a one-yard touchdown pass, he also lost a fumble at the goal line in the final seconds of the game to drop the Chargers to 2-4 on the season. The 26-year-old continues to be outplayed by Austin Ekeler, but Gordon continues to get the majority of the touches. As long as he remains the workhorse in the offense, he is a worthy RB2 in fantasy formats. Unfortunately, he has a tough matchup in Week 8 against the daunting Chicago Bears Defense, which likely makes him a flex play at best.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished with five receptions for 55 yards against Jacksonville on Sunday. With 14 targets on the day, which was tied with Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight catches for 137 yards, Boyd wasn't able to get anything going against a Jaguars Defense that was all over quarterback Andy Dalton. A.J. Green (ankle) is expected to return within the next week or so, and while it may decrease Boyd's looks, Green's presence back in the lineup may open things up for 24-year-old moving forward.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 24 of his 38 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Rivers has now thrown for over 300 yards in a game five times this season and has also had five games with multiple passing touchdowns. Despite the notable production, Rivers is a tough fantasy asset to trust in Week 8 against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. He is only an option in two-quarterback leagues for that contest.
Free-agent RB Spencer Ware (Colts) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.
Free-agent WR Eli Rogers (Steelers) is working out for the Houston Texans Monday, Oct. 21.
Free-agent RB Jay Ajayi (Eagles) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Ajayi has been training and preparing to sign with a team for a few weeks. He's definitely worth stashing in deeper leagues and would be a flex option in the right situation.