Thu Nov 8 12:46 am
Wide receiver Golden Tate, who was acquired by the Philadelphia Eagles at the trade deadline, has an idea of what is he walking into when he plays his first game with his new team on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Super Bowl champions are facing the Dallas Cowboys and Tate already knows what that means even though he will be experiencing it for the first time.
"I've heard about it on social media," Tate said this week. "Our fans have expressed their passionate dislike for the Cowboys. It's going to be a great game. I'm happy that my first game gets to be at home against such an intense opponent.
"I can't wait to get to Lincoln Financial Field for my first game and play a division opponent. Coach said (earlier in week) we're right where we want to be, and this is the most important game not just because it's the next game, but because it's a division opponent."
The Eagles are only 4-4 coming off their bye week and trail the Washington Redskins (5-3) in the NFC East, but can take control with three of their next four games in the division.
Tate, who leads the NFL in yards after catch since entering the league out of Notre Dame in 2010, is expected to give quarterback Carson Wentz added help to go with tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert and wideouts Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor.
"He's a veteran player, he's been in a couple different systems, so he's got familiarity with different systems in the league and he can relate it to things that he's done in the past," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said when asked about Tate. "We're trying to look back at things that he's had a lot of success with and start there."
The Eagles and Cowboys have split their head-to-head matches in each of the last five seasons, with Wentz leading a 37-9 rout in Dallas before the Cowboys won, 6-0, in Philadelphia later in the season. The teams play again in Dallas on Dec. 9.
Tate already has seen the Cowboys this season with the Lions, when he made eight catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, as Dallas prevailed, 26-24.
"I think that's to my advantage," said Tate, who probably is licking his chops at the thought of facing a Dallas secondary that couldn't handle him the first time. "They run the same defense, and I'm on a different team with different concepts, so I think that's to my advantage."
The Cowboys (3-5) have their own new wide receiver, Amari Cooper, who was acquired from the Oakland Raiders before the trade deadline for a first-round draft choice.
Cooper got off to a good start with the Cowboys, catching five passes for 58 yards and a touchdown from quarterback Dak Prescott in a loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday night.
However, that seemed to take away from Cole Beasley, the team's leading receiver, who had only three receptions for 16 yards.
That's only one problem the Cowboys have to figure out with their offense this week, as the Titans held Ezekiel Elliott to 61 yards rushing, which usually opens things up for Prescott to run the ball, but he had only 11 yards on two carries.
Head coach Jason Garrett indicated that might change if the Eagles stack their defense against Elliott this week.
"If they want to put a lot of guys up in the box and take (Elliott) away, that's typically when the quarterback runs have come alive," Garrett said.
With Tennessee slowing down Elliott, Prescott passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans, but he also threw an interception and lost a fumble deep in Titans territory, which proved very costly in the 28-14 setback.
And then there's the Dallas defense, which allowed the Titans to gain 340 yards, 60 more than their average entering the game. Tennessee also converted 78.6 percent of their third downs into first downs.
Part of the problem was that defensive linemen David Irving and Randy Gregory were out because of injuries and the Cowboys didn't get enough pressure on quarterback Marcus Mariota on third down.
But Dallas goes from facing the 30th-ranked Titans offense at home to playing at Philly against the Eagles, who average 366.9 yards per game.
Unless the Cowboys pick it up on offense, they might not be able to keep up.
Indianapolis Colts starting free safety Malik Hooker (hip) is expected to miss this week's game against the Tennessee Titans. Hooker has been dealing with the injury since their Week 7 win over the Buffalo Bills. He was able to return last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars after missing a game against the Oakland Raiders and having the bye to rest up. After not practicing all week, the Colts are choosing to hold him out in hopes that he will be ready to go for next week's game. His play-making will be missed on the back end, and it's likely that Mike Mitchell will start in his place this week.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (hand) broke his thumb in a Week 11 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Graham has been underwhelming, although useful in fantasy in 2018, producing in the bottom of the TE1 range. He has lost a step since his time in New Orleans and does not see the high red zone usage that he had in Seattle. Green Bay has never utilized their tight ends extensively, so this outcome hasnt been much of a surprise. Veteran tight end Lance Kendricks will take most of Grahams snaps. Tight end Robert Tonyan had a big touchdown grab in Week 11 but is unlikely to see any additional work even with Grahams injury. Kendricks is a reliable, although unremarkable player. He is unlikely to accomplish much in the tight end light Green Bay offense. Graham can be dropped without too much concern. His ceiling is not high enough to warrant chewing up a bench spot for weeks. Kendricks should only be picked up in more desperate situations.
The Philadelphia Eagles activated tight end Richard Rodgers from injured reserve on Friday. He replaces Josh Perkins (knee), who was put on injured reserve, on the 53-man roster. The 26-year-old has been out all season due to a knee injury that he suffered during the preseason. Rodgers is expected to serve as the Eagles' third tight end, behind Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, against the Saints in Week 11. Fantasy owners can ignore the fifth-year vet.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (hip) is doubtful for the Week 11 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 33-year-old did not partake in any of the Ravens' three practices this week, and it was disclosed during the team's bye week that he suffered the injury during the loss to the Steelers in Week 9. While it does not look good for the 11th-year vet to suit up against the Bengals, coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week that Flacco did not have to practice to play in the game. Flacco has struggled recently, but if he can give the Ravens anything, it wouldn't be a total surprise that Harbaugh started him in what essentially is a must-win game. Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin will start under center if Flacco can't go.
On one hand, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't defend. On the other hand, the New York Giants can't offend (except their fans). Classic movable object meeting a stoppable force situation. The Giants added guard Jamon Brown last week and shored up their line enough to only give up one sack. With weapons all around the field, it doesn't matter that Eli Manning is still throwing to them. No way should the Buccaneers D/ST be recommended this week but if you have to start them it might not be the worst idea.
Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods has had at least 70 receiving yards in nine straight games heading into a Week 11 matchup with a Kansas City Chiefs team that is allowing the third-most receiving yards per game.
Fantasy Spin: Woods has shown one of the safest floors among fantasy receivers all year, and he shouldn't slow down in what will likely be a high-scoring affair against the Chiefs.
Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller faces the Washington Redskins in Week 11, and the Redskins have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game this season.
Fantasy Spin: After a couple of 100-yard rushing efforts, Miller delivered a dud against the Denver Broncos last time out. He's been held under 50 rushing yards in four of his last six games and could be headed for another rough outing against Washington. He's just a volume-based flex play.
Baltimore Ravens RB Alex Collins faces the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11, and the Bengals are allowing the second-most rushing yards per game and the fourth-most yards per rush.
Fantasy Spin: Collins has struggled with efficiency this year, but he has seven touchdowns and routinely receives double-digit touches. He should be a solid RB2 against a weak Cincinnati run defense.
Chicago Bears LB Roquan Smith has 22 total tackles, including 19 solo stops and a sack, over his last two games, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Smith is 'processing quicker' and playing faster.
Dallas Cowboys WR Allen Hurns has played less than 20 snaps in back-to-back games, but he said he is staying patient. 'Just wait for the opportunity and control what I can,' Hurns said.
Fantasy Spin: Hurns has been a disappointment all year, and with Amari Cooper now in the mix, there is no reason to expect him to turn things around.
Detroit Lions WR Bruce Ellington should see 'a lot more work' against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11 with WR Marvin Jones (knee) ruled out, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.
Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (thumb) could miss a few weeks while recovering from a broken thumb, according to David J. Chao, MD.
Fantasy Spin: The injury could push Davante Adams' heavy workload to another level, and it will also open the opportunity for someone to emerge as the No. 2 option in the passing attack.
The last time we saw Denver Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman in action (Week 9) he was having himself quite the day. Possibly the best game he'll ever play over the course of his NFL career. Heuerman brought in 10 of 11 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown, and while I don't believe this will be the norm sans Demaryius Thomas, I do believe it's a positive sign on things to come. Especially, considering the Chargers have allowed three of the last four TEs they've faced to eclipse 50 yards receiving while surrendering three TDs to the position over that stretch. Heuerman was used to neutralize the stout Texans pass rush in Week 9, and it would only make sense for the Broncos to employ a similar strategy given the Chargers affinity to get after the QB. He could be in for an encore in this one, and should be viewed as a viable streaming option for fantasy owners in Week 11.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is coming off two of his lowest yardage totals of the 2018 season -- 57 in Week 8, 47 in Week 9 -- and will have his work cut out for him in Week 11 against a respectable Chargers defense. However, he's seen at least seven targets in seven of the Broncos nine games this season, remains the No. 1 option in this passing attack, and has put up 78.6 yards per game (13th among WRs). Despite the inconsistent play of quarterback Case Keenum, and the less than ideal matchup, Sanders remains a WR2 in Week 11 based on volume and pedigree.
We may have to wait another week to see Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton realize his post-Demaryius Thomas breakout as his squad faces a respectable Week 11 foe in the Los Angeles Chargers. Truth be told, this Chargers defense has benefited from facing some not exactly prolific passing offenses -- Buffalo, San Francisco, Oakland (twice)-- but they've allowed just three 100-yard receivers on the season and at 148.8, have given up the seventh-fewest yards per game to the position; just one receiver has found the end zone against them over their last four contests. Sutton is likely to see a minimum of five targets -- so he shouldn't go out silent -- but I wouldn't expect much more than low-end WR2 numbers in this one.
Seattle Seahawks RB J.D. McKissic (foot) will return to practice next week, according to head coach Pete Carroll.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay capitalized on the absence of teammate Royce Freeman in Weeks 8 and 9 -- rushing for 155 yards and a touchdown while catching five passes for 41 -- but Freeman was a full-participant in Thursday's practice - signaling the end of Lindsay's run as the man. Lindsay averaged 10.5 fantasy points per game (standard) in the seven games with Freeman in the lineup, so Freeman's return doesn't completely extinguish his value, but this Chargers defense -- which has held opposing backs to just three rushing TDs and 85.7 yards per game -- just might. Nonetheless, given his production to this point in the season (and the six teams on bye), Lindsay still finds himself in the RB2 range; he's just on the lower end of the conversation.
Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum averaged 16.1 fantasy points over his last five games before the team's Week 10 bye. But, more importantly, he went into the bye on the heels of his first interception-free game of the season. Keenum told the media, "Its fire-all-the-bullets-in-the-chamber... time for this offense, but unfortunately, he'll draw a Chargers defense which has limited opposing QBs to one or fewer touchdown pass in four of their last five contests while accumulating five interceptions and 18 sacks. He's trending upward, but consider Keenum a low-end, 2-QB league option in advance of this less than favorable road matchup.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Gurley will have a favorable matchup this week and could receive a lot of touches since the game could be high scoring. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee), CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (non-injury), C John Sullivan (non-injury) and OT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 16.