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FFL: Week 11 | NFL: Week 11

Ramsey hopes to play Sunday in LA Rams' revamped secondary

Thu Oct 17 10:27pm ET
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Malcolm Brown, Todd Gurley

In this June 11, 2019, file photo, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey walks to the field for an NFL football practice in Jacksonville, Fla. Ramsey is expected to return to practice two days after seeing a back specialist. The Jaguars host New Orleans on Sunday, Oct. 13. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Thanks to two injures and a couple of major trades, the Los Angeles Rams will be without three regular starters in their secondary this weekend in Atlanta.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips realizes that's not the ideal way to face Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Matt Ryan and the NFL's second-most prolific passing game.

Not even if one of those new starters turns out to be Jalen Ramsey, who is optimistic he will make his Rams debut at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

''(The Falcons) have probably the top passing offense in the league, so it would be a challenge whether we had all the same people or different ones,'' Phillips said Thursday. ''It's a challenge for whoever you have out there.''

The Rams' defense is spending the week in frantic preparation for its new lineup against the Falcons. Starting cornerback Marcus Peters was traded on Tuesday, while safety John Johnson and cornerback Aqib Talib went on injured reserve earlier this week.

Ramsey went through his first full practice at the Rams' training complex Thursday, two days after the Rams acquired him from Jacksonville in an even bolder trade. Wearing the No. 20 jersey he got from new teammate Troy Hill, Ramsey looked loose and happy during the workout.

''We're going to do what's smart for myself and the team, but I hope (to play Sunday), Ramsey said. ''I hope I can go contribute to a win, somehow, some way, whether it's limited or whatever, or a couple of plays. It doesn't matter.''

After requesting a trade last month, Ramsey missed the Jaguars' last three games with a back injury. Although he must learn the Rams' defense and get back into full game shape before he'll feel comfortable with his new team, Ramsey thinks he is on his way.

Ramsey said the defensive system ''fits me very well,'' and he called Phillips ''a legend'' in their first meeting.

''I love challenges like that,'' Ramsey said of the Falcons. ''They've got elite receivers, Julio especially, arguably one of the best receivers in the league. Definitely I love that challenge, and if I'm able to perform well, I would like to be out there.''

The only remaining regular starter in the Rams' secondary is safety Eric Weddle, who joined the defending NFC champions in the offseason. The veteran actually sounds eager for the challenge facing the Rams' suddenly inexperienced secondary.

''That's why you have me, quite honestly,'' Weddle said. ''I've been through this many a time. Revolving door, whether it's safeties, corners, it's my job to get everyone on the same page and play at a high level. There's no excuses in this league, and it's my job to get those guys going.''

But there's no denying the fact that the Rams must figure out how to win without two of their three busiest defensive players this season. Only linebacker Cory Littleton has taken more defensive snaps than Peters or Johnson for Los Angeles, while Talib is seventh despite sitting out last week with the rib injury that now threatens his season.

Hill is almost certain to start at cornerback for the Rams. If Ramsey doesn't play extensively, the Rams are expecting to give significant playing time to Darious Williams, a second-year pro who hasn't played a defensive snap this season and has one career tackle.

The coaching staff is high on Williams, who went undrafted in 2018 after playing two seasons at UAB. Those two seasons were in 2014 and 2017, separated by two years of training without games after the school dropped football and before the program was reinstated.

The Rams claimed Williams off waivers last October and kept him on the roster this season, but he played only four snaps on defense last season and none in six games this year.

There weren't many snaps available at cornerback recently with Peters and Talib playing extensively along with Nickell Robey-Coleman, one of the NFL's most effective nickel backs against slot receivers. Snaps are suddenly in abundance, but the Rams aren't shaken by the upheaval.

''We're just going to hold strong,'' Robey-Coleman said. ''We're going to fight and battle with the guys that we've got. Having Jalen on the defense now, we don't have to worry about one half of the field, I know for sure. That made everybody's job a little easier.''

NOTES: Ramsey was listed as a full participant in practice, while RB Todd Gurley's participation was limited. Coach Sean McVay is optimistic Gurley will play after missing last week's game. ... Gurley's backup, Malcolm Brown, missed his second straight practice with an ankle injury. McVay hasn't ruled out Brown for Sunday, noting that ''sometimes these things end up turning the corner pretty quickly, so we'll use our time on this.''

Player Notes
Matt Breida Nov 13 2:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida is expected to miss "a week or two" after aggravating a low-ankle sprain in the Week 10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. It's mostly good news, and there was some concern Breida would have to miss a more significant amount of time. Tevin Coleman will operate as the clear lead back in Breida's absence, but Raheem Mostert suddenly climbs into fantasy consideration while he fills Breida's place on the depth chart.

From RotoBaller

Jacoby Brissett Nov 13 1:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett (knee) will practice fully Wednesday, Nov. 13, and he'll start this weekend, barring any setbacks.

Fantasy Spin: It'll be a midrange matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have a good pass rush, and coming off a knee injury, Brissett is a midrange QB2.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Nov 13 1:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) is out of practice Wednesday, Nov. 13, but there's a chance he could practice later in the week.

Fantasy Spin: It sounds like Hilton could return against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but it's still too early to get excited. He'd be a WR2 in a so-so matchup.

From TheHuddle

Dallas Cowboys Nov 13 1:10pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys Defense makes for a strong addition to a Week 11 fantasy lineup. The Cowboys defense has been a bit more hype than performance so far this season, but Week 11 lines up as a good one. Taking on the Detroit Lions, who could be without quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Cowboys defense shouldn't have too much of a hard time racking up fantasy points this week.

From RotoBaller

Randall Cobb Nov 13 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Randall Cobb has been trending up lately and could have another solid performance in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Facing a much stronger Vikings Defense last week, Cobb caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown and has now caught six passes in two straight games. He'll continue to work behind Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, but when the Cowboys offense clicks, there can be plenty of targets to go around. Cobb has the lowest floor and ceiling of all the Cowboys receivers, but he could still end up as a valuable bye week filler.

From RotoBaller

Jason Witten Nov 13 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is not a strong starting option in Week 11. Even with quarterback Dak Prescott throwing 46 passes last week against the Vikings, Witten ended up with just two catches for 17 yards. He was targeted five times, so he could have done more, but his role is still a very low-upside one. The Detroit Lions Defense doesn't do much well, but one thing they are okay at is defending opposing tight ends. Witten is no more than TE2 floor play this week.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Nov 13 1:00pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (wrist) told reporters that his broken wrist feels "great" on Tuesday. Njoku has been on the injured reserve since fracturing his wrist during Week 2. He also indicated that he is very optimistic about his chances of being activated from IR when he is first eligible next week. Njoku's return would provide a big boost to a Browns offense that has not gotten much production out of the Ricky Seals-Jones/Demetrius Harris duo. Njoku is worth a waiver add if you need a tight end in your league.

From RotoBaller

Blake Jarwin Nov 13 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin does not make for a strong starting option in Week 11. Jarwin actually caught one more pass (three) than Jason Witten last week in a loss against the Vikings, but he was only able to turn that into 35 scoreless yards. The Detroit Lions don't do much in terms of defense, but one thing they are decent at is limiting opposing tight ends. Jarwin is a dart-throw in case he scores a touchdown, but most leagues will have much safer picks available on the waiver wire.

From RotoBaller

Brett Maher Nov 13 1:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is a strong fantasy choice like usual in a Week 11 matchup against the Detroit Lions. Maher gets a boost in value in fantasy leagues that offer bonus points for distance, as he and the Cowboys have shown that they are not afraid to send out the kicker for attempts well over 50 yards at times. Maher is right in the middle of K1 rankings this week, coming in as the overall K6.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Nov 13 12:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper makes for an excellent fantasy starter in Week 11. Cooper and the Cowboys take on the Detroit Lions and their giving defense one week after Cooper caught 11 passes for 147 yards and a score against a much stronger Vikings secondary. Cooper should have an excellent game with an easier matchup and is currently ranked as the overall WR6 for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Nov 13 12:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is set up for a strong game in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Gallup caught four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown last week, but he was targeted 10 times so he could have had a much bigger game. Facing a much softer defense this week, Gallup should have no problem at least matching what he did against the Vikings. He's a strong WR2 choice with some legitimate upside.

From RotoBaller

Cleveland Browns Nov 13 12:40pm ET

The Cleveland Browns Defense will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night in Week 11. Cleveland shapes up as a solid fantasy option as they face off against second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph. The Steelers have run a very conservative offense under Rudolph, which limits the team's fantasy upside. The Browns are installed as 2.5-point home favorites in a game with a low 40-point over/under, which is also good sign for their defense's chances. Cleveland's defense has been among the league leaders in sacks this season and their fierce pass rush could be an issue for the inexperienced Rudolph. Treat the Browns as a top-12 fantasy defense in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Austin Hooper Nov 13 12:40pm ET

Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper is expected to miss about a month with a sprained MCL. Hooper was leading the NFL in catches by a tight end, catching 56 passes for 608 yards and six scores. The four week timetable brings him back in Week 15 assuming everything goes well, meaning Hooper can likely be dropped in redraft formats. The Falcons will rely on their wide receivers in Hooper's absence, as the next guy up on the tight end depth chart is block-first Luke Stocker.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Nov 13 12:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard remains one of the league's best handcuffs, but he is not a starting option despite that excellent upside. Pollard has received just four carries in the past two games and is firmly behind three-down back Ezekiel Elliott. The Detroit Lions Defense is generous to opposing running backs, but that will benefit starter Elliott much more than Pollard. Pollard needs to be held in all formats, but shouldn't be in a starting lineup at this point.

From RotoBaller

Austin Hooper Nov 13 12:33pm ET

Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) is expected to miss a month with a sprained medial collateral ligament.

Fantasy Spin: No one on the roster is a serviceable fantasy pickup. You're likely going to have to play the matchups if you have to replace Hooper. Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson has the matchup this week if he's available on waivers.

From TheHuddle

Jarvis Landry Nov 13 12:30pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry heads into his Week 11 game with a two-game touchdown streak. The veteran slot receiver has been Cleveland's most consistent receiver, drawing double-digit targets in three straight games. He does have a tough matchup on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh just held star slot receiver Cooper Kupp without a catch in Week 10, which could be a concern for Landry this week. That being said, Landry's recent volume is tough to ignore when deciding who to start in Week 11. Treat Landry as a low-end WR2 in PPR leagues and a WR3 in standard formats.

From RotoBaller

Demetrius Harris Nov 13 12:30pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end Demetrius Harris settles in as a shaky fantasy option in Week 11. Harris will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Thursday night. The Steelers have been solid against the pass this season, although they have been susceptible to enemy tight ends. On the season, Pittsburgh is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position. That being said, Harris has been mostly an afterthought in the passing attack, as he will operate as the No. 5 option at best on Thursday night. Harris has yet to catch more than three balls in a game this season and should be treated as a touchdown-dependant TE2 for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Nov 13 12:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott should have a strong bounce back week in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Elliott was shut down by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10, running for just 47 yards on 20 carries. The Lions Defense does not offer that kind of performance, so Elliott and the Cowboys offense should have much less trouble getting things going on the ground. Elliott is this week's overall RB3 and is as surefire an RB1 as there is in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Nov 13 12:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is a great starting option in Week 11 fantasy lineups. Prescott is coming off a strong 397-yard performance last week and gets a Detroit Lions Defense that has been very generous to opposing quarterbacks. Prescott has emerged quite a bit this season and proved it last week when he led the offense extremely well despite Ezekiel Elliott being almost completely shut down. Dak is a top-five quarterback for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Aqib Talib Nov 13 12:03pm ET

Miami Dolphins LB Andrew Van Ginkel (foot) was the second player designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list. CB Aqib Talib (ribs) and DE Jonathan Ledbetter (ankle) will not come off IR.

From TheHuddle