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FFL: Week 2 | NFL: Week 2

Mike Shanahan returns to Broncos camp after years away

Sat Aug 17 6:30pm ET
By PAT GRAHAM
AP Sports Writer

Players: Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws a pass during a combined NFL training camp with the Denver Broncos Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Retired NFL head coach Mike Shanahan, center, talks to reporters during a combined NFL training camp at which the Denver Broncos hosted the San Francisco 49ers Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, back, tosses a ball as defensive backs coach Joe Woods looks on during a combined NFL training camp with the Denver Broncos Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, left, chats with San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during a combined NFL training camp Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Broncos' headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Mike Shanahan patrolled the sideline with his familiar stare as he watched his son's team practice against his former one.

No way could the former head coach stay away from the Denver Broncos headquarters this weekend.

For a decade, Shanahan avoided the facility where he won two Super Bowl titles before getting fired after the 2008 season.

Time, though, has thawed any hard feelings. And so has golf with Broncos boss John Elway, who made it clear that Shanahan was always welcome around team headquarters.

Shanahan certainly had good reason to drop by the past two days with Denver holding joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers coached by his son, Kyle.

''It's great to be back,'' said the elder Shanahan, who won back-to-back Super Bowl titles with Elway under center in the late 1990s. ''I haven't been here in 10 years and to see all the changes, a lot of people you were here before working with - it's great to see.''

Shanahan been a frequent guest of the 49ers since his son was hired by San Francisco in 2017. He mentored Jimmy Garoppolo after the QB suffered a torn ACL three games into the 2018 season. The two talked schemes and blitzes with Garoppolo's year finished.

''It was a chance for him to relax and have some fun and at the same time get to study some football together,'' Shanahan said.

Shanahan does miss coaching. A lot. Shanahan hasn't been a head coach since going 3-13 with Washington in 2013. He had conversations with Elway and nearly got another shot with the Broncos, who have turned things over to 60-year-old first-time head coach Vic Fangio.

''It didn't work out and sometimes it works out for the right reasons,'' said Shanahan, who also attended a Broncos practice last month. ''I made a decision a long time ago, right when I got fired, I said if I didn't get the right job right away that gave us a chance to win a Super Bowl, that I was going to do what I'm doing - be a dad, follow your son and the organization and be a part of that.''

Kyle Shanahan didn't get a chance to spend much time with his dad Saturday.

He had a practice to run.

Still, it was a surreal experience to be on the same turf where his father guided all those Broncos teams. Although the facilities have been updated, it's still the familiar place where he used to spend a bulk of his teen years.

''I've got a lot of memories here,'' Kyle Shanahan said. ''It's a very special place for me.''

Same goes for Mike Shanahan, who has a standing invitation to return anytime he wants - with one exception.

''Unless we're playing the 49ers in a real game,'' cracked Fangio, whose team faces the 49ers in a preseason matchup Monday night.

Shanahan has long been friends with Fangio, forged by years and years of matching wits. That helped pave the way for Shanahan's return. So did rounds of golf with Elway.

''It's always good to see him out here because I enjoy talking football with him,'' Elway said. ''As you all know, he's very knowledgeable in the game, so I'm glad that he's able to come back and know that this is home for him.''

One question that makes Shanahan sheepish is the notion that he belongs in the Broncos' Ring of Fame or even in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

''When people just mention you about those things, you go, `Wait a minute,''' said Shanahan, who amassed 170 wins with the Raiders, Broncos and Washington. ''You think Hall of Fame and you just say, `what a great honor,' when people talk to you about it. ... But I never even think about things you can't control.''

Shanahan does think the Broncos made the right move in hiring Fangio, who's trying to turn around a franchise that hasn't been to the postseason since winning the Super Bowl following the 2015 season in Peyton Manning's final game.

''No-nonsense guy, that understands the game,'' Shanahan said of Fangio. ''I think players will follow him very quickly.''

Naturally, Shanahan's a big fan of the coach in San Francisco, too. He believes the 49ers have put the pieces around his son to be competitive.

''All you want to have is the opportunity to have success,'' the father said. ''Kyle has been given that opportunity.''

Player Notes
Wil Lutz Sep 22 12:00am ET

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz connected on his only field-goal attempt and made three extra points in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. Lutz didn't get to try for many field goals considering the Saints offense capitalized with touchdowns when they were in the red zone. As part of a high-octane offense, Lutz remains a weekly starter considering his large role and reliability.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Sep 21 11:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara had a tremendous performance in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders, getting 13 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns along with leading the team with nine receptions for 95 yards on nine targets. The absence of Michael Thomas thrust Kamara into a huge role and he put on a great display in both the passing and rushing game. He remains a solid RB1 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Tre'Quan Smith Sep 21 11:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith came through in the Week 2 loss to Las Vegas, getting five receptions for 86 yards on seven targets. With Michael Thomas sidelined, it was only natural to see Smith see some more targets and he delivered with a great performance. He should see some targets as long as Thomas is out, keeping him in the flex tier for the foreseeable future.

From RotoBaller

Emmanuel Sanders Sep 21 11:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders only managed one reception for 18 yards on three targets in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. It was certainly a disappointing performance for the temporary WR1 of the Saints as Drew Brees even eclipsed 300 passing yards. Sanders will look to get back on track in Week 3 against the Packers, but his value should be downgraded to a flex considering his Week 2 struggles.

From RotoBaller

Jared Cook Sep 21 11:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook only managed two receptions for 13 yards on five targets in the Week 2 loss to the Raiders. After coming off an 80-yard performance in Week 1, the tight end was certainly disappointing. Nevertheless, with Michael Thomas sidelined, he should still see a decent number of targets and can redeem himself in Week 3. Cook can be explosive, thus keeping him in the TE1 tier going forward.

From RotoBaller

Drew Brees Sep 21 11:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees went 26-for-38 and put up 312 yards, one touchdown, and one pick in the loss to the Raiders on Monday. After a hot start, the Saints cooled down and the offense couldn't get going deeper into the game. It was obvious the absence of Michael Thomas was felt, but this was the type of performance that is now expected of Brees, which is generally not explosive in terms of touchdowns. He should remain a low-end QB1 or high QB2 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Denver Broncos Sep 21 10:10pm ET

The Denver Broncos Defense was respectable in the Week 2 loss against a powerful Steelers offense with two rookies in the secondary. Safety Justin Simmons had two passes defensed, including an interception of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Fellow safety Kareem Jackson also recovered a fumble that led to a fourth-quarter touchdown that cut Pittsburgh's lead to five. The defense had a total of six tackles for loss, with their lone sack coming courtesy of defensive tackle Mike Purcell. They did, however, allow two passing touchdowns and gave up over 100 yards on the ground to James Conner, the second straight week allowing a back to go for over 100 rushing yards. Against Tampa and Tom Brady with receiver Chris Godwin (concussion) back in the fold, Denver's D will be a risky streaming option.

From RotoBaller

Solomon Thomas Sep 21 10:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Solomon Thomas (knee) was confirmed to have suffered a torn ACL in the Week 2 win over the Jets. The season got off to a bad start for Thomas when the Niners declined the 25-year-old's fifth-year option, and things just got a lot worse. The Stanford product hasn't lived up to his draft stock as a third-round pick in 2017. The 49ers had the worst luck of any team in the injury department in a Week 2 full of devastating season-ending injuries. All-Pro pass-rusher Nick Bosa also tore his ACL, ending his 2020 campaign. Look for rookie Javon Kinlaw to pick up the slack up the middle, while the Niners will also need DJ Jones and Arik Armstead to step up.

From RotoBaller

Brandon McManus Sep 21 9:50pm ET

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was 2-for-3 on his field-goal attempts and made his lone extra-point try in the 26-21 Week 2 loss to the Steelers. McManus connected from 49 yards and 28 yards out and missed his lone attempt from 58 yards out. Denver's offense has potential, but they are dealing with injuries to quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) and running back Phillip Lindsay (toe), while receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) will miss the rest of the season. McManus isn't much of a fantasy option at the kicking position until further notice, despite his big leg.

From RotoBaller

Tim Patrick Sep 21 9:40pm ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick secured just two of his five targets for 24 yards in the 26-21 Week 2 loss to the Steelers on the road. It was a slight step down for the 26-year-old, as he caught four of five targets for 29 yards in the season-opening loss to the Titans. There will be more opportunities for Patrick the rest of the year with Courtland Sutton (knee) suffering a torn ACL, but even so, Noah Fant and rookies Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler will likely be ahead of him in the pecking order. Also, quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) is out for two to six weeks.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Jeudy Sep 21 9:20pm ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy caught four of his seven targets for 62 yards in the Week 2 loss to the Steelers. Even though Jeudy has yet to score a touchdown in his first year in the NFL, he was tied for the team lead in catches and targets in this game. There's a lot to like about his route-running ability, which helps him gain plenty of separation, but he won't be as exciting as a WR4/flex for fantasy managers with quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) expected to miss anywhere from two to six weeks.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Sep 21 9:20pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant caught four of his five targets for 57 yards and a touchdown in the 26-21 Week 2 loss to the Steelers. He now has nine catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns, just one short of his rookie-season total, through two games in 2020. Quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) will be out anywhere from two to six weeks, but the drop-off to Jeff Driskel may not affect Fant all that much. In fact, Driskel could lean heavily on Fant moving forward. As one of the top receivers in Denver's offense with Courtland Sutton (knee) out for the year, Fant has become a solid TE1.

From RotoBaller

Royce Freeman Sep 21 9:10pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman attempted just three rushes for 20 yards in the Week 2 loss to the Steelers with Phillip Lindsay (toe) inactive. Even with Lindsay on the sidelines for this one, Freeman just wasn't a part of the offense as Melvin Gordon III's backup. Lindsay could miss more time, but Freeman just won't see enough touches to be fantasy relevant unless Gordon also suffers an injury that causes him to miss time.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Sep 21 9:00pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III carried the ball 19 times for 70 yards in the Week 2 loss to the Steelers with Phillip Lindsay (toe) inactive, but he salvaged his day for fantasy managers with two catches for 14 yards and his second touchdown of the season. The good news for Gordon is that he should continue to be a big part of this offense with Lindsay potentially out for another game and receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) out for the remainder of the year. He'll be facing a Buccaneers Defense in Week 3 that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the running back position through the first two weeks. Consider Gordon a usage-based RB2 until Lindsay is back in the fold.

From RotoBaller

Allen Lazard Sep 21 8:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard had a quiet day in Week 2 against the Lions, though he was still sneakily involved in the offense. Lazard saw five targets, which was an improvement on the four looks he saw in Week 1. He hasn't put up amazing numbers yet, though he has been on the field far more often than fellow wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has had better stats so far. Interestingly enough, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a higher passer rating when targeting Lazard than when he throws to Valdes-Scantling or star receiver Davante Adams. These are reasons to keep the 24-year-old stashed on fantasy benches. Lazard has a couple of fantasy-friendly matchups on the way against the Packers in Week 3 and the Falcons in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Kerryon Johnson Sep 21 8:10pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson led the Detroit backfield in carries and scored a rushing touchdown in a 42-21 loss to the Packers in Week 2. It should be noted that Detroit had to abandon the run earlier than they would have liked in this one, considering how quickly Green Bay jumped out to a lead. So in reality, leading the backfield in touches sounds much more impressive than it actually was, as Johnson ended up with only eight touches. It wasn't a bad showing, but Johnson's role is just too unpredictable with D'Andre Swift and Adrian Peterson also manning the backfield. He's likely not worth rostering a this point, unless injuries force him into action.

From RotoBaller

Nick Bosa Sep 21 8:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (knee) has suffered a torn ACL and is out for the remainder of the season. The team was fearful that he would miss significant time and the MRI confirmed those fears. The 22-year-old was a big reason why the 49ers fielded arguably the league's best defense last season, as he registered nine sacks as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl. It's a crushing blow for a defense that was looking to prove that 2019 was no fluke. With multiple injuries on defense in addition to Bosa, the 49ers' unit is one that will have to be downgraded for fantasy purpose moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Henry Ruggs III Sep 21 7:50pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (knee) is active and will take the field against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. Ruggs III was expected to play after upgrading to a limited session on Friday and taking the practice field again on Saturday, though it is always nice to get the official word. It's possible that the rookie isn't 100 percent for this one, but his speed and big-play ability will still have to be respected by the New Orleans defense. Look at him as a boom-or-bust WR4 for a contest that has the potential to be high-scoring.

From RotoBaller

Drew Lock Sep 21 6:00pm ET

Denver Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel led an unlikely comeback against the Steelers in Week 2 that ultimately fell short after Drew Lock (shoulder) was injured. Driskel took six sacks and absorbed 17 hits from a ferocious Pittsburgh defense, but the Broncos were 15 yards away from a stunning upset on the road. With Lock out at least several weeks, Driskel will continue to lead Denver's offense, beginning in Week 3 against the Buccaneers. In the end, he completed 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the 26-21 loss, adding two rushes for five yards. Even though Driskel exceeded expectations in a tough situation, he'll be low-end QB2 streamer going forward in superflex leagues.

From RotoBaller

Seattle Seahawks Sep 21 5:50pm ET

Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (knee) tore his ACL in the Week 2 win over the Patriots on Sunday night and will miss the rest of the 2020 season, according to a source. It's a tough blow for the 32-year-old veteran, especially since the Seahawks Defense had allowed close to 1,000 total yards of offense combined to the Falcons and Patriots in the first two weeks. Rookie first-rounder Jordyn Brooks will need to step up in the middle of Seattle's defense for the rest of the season. Against a Cowboys team that made a miraculous comeback in Week 2 with over 40 points, you should be looking to avoid the Seahawks defense in fantasy.

From RotoBaller