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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Brees comeback, missed XP gets Saints past Ravens 24-23

Sun Oct 21 7:39pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

Players: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Benjamin Watson, Justin Tucker, John Brown, Taysom Hill, Michael Thomas, Mark Andrews, Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, left, walks off the field after missing a point after attempt in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, center, celebrates with teammates after throwing his 500th career touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scores a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates after throwing his 500th career touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore, right, break up a pass-attempt to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead, left, in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead (83) rushes the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees prepares to throw to a receiver in the first half of an NFL football gameagainst the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws to a receiver in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) is tackled by a group of Baltimore Ravens defenders as he rushes the ball in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


BALTIMORE (AP) Justin Tucker missed the first conversion of his career after the Baltimore Ravens scored the potential tying touchdown with 24 seconds left in response to a strong fourth quarter by Drew Brees, and the New Orleans Saints escaped with a 24-23 victory Sunday.

Brees threw two touchdown passes, locked up two more milestones and engineered a comeback that enabled the Saints (5-1) to wipe out a 10-point deficit.

It was 24-17 before Joe Flacco directed a beat-the-clock drive covering 81 yards and ending with a 14-yard touchdown pass to John Brown.

That seemingly set up overtime, given that Tucker had connected on 112 straight extra points and was the only NFL kicker without a miss since the placement of the ball was moved back in 2015. He made the first 222 tries of his career.

This attempt, however, went wide right - the deciding moment in a matchup between the NFL's highest-scoring offense and top-ranked defense.

Brees brought back the Saints from a 10-point deficit against a unit that allowed only 12 second-half points all season. The 39-year-old quarterback threw a 5-yard TD pass to Michael Thomas with 4:58 remaining to put New Orleans ahead 21-17, and the Saints tacked on a field goal just before the two-minute warning.

Earlier, Brees threw his 500th career touchdown pass, connecting with tight end Benjamin Watson for a 1-yard score to put New Orleans up 7-3 late in the second quarter.

The NFL leader in career passing yardage, Brees joined Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks in league history with 500 TD passes.

In addition, Brees beat the Ravens for the first time. Previously 0-4 against Baltimore, Brees is one of three quarterbacks - along with Favre and Manning - to defeat every team in the league.

Brees went 22 for 30 for 212 yards. Facing a defense that made 11 sacks one week earlier in Tennessee, Brees escaped the tenacious Baltimore rush, with the exception of a fourth-quarter sack by Terrell Suggs.

Joe Flacco completed 23 of 39 passes for 279 yards for the Ravens (4-3), including a 56-yarder to Brown that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson for a 10-7 halftime lead.

An 8-yard pass from Flacco to rookie tight end Mark Andrews put the Ravens ahead 17-7 with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

ALL FOR NOTHING

After converting three fourth-down plays during the opening series - including a successful fake punt - New Orleans misfired on its fourth attempt of the drive.

New Orleans held the ball for 20 plays and 9 minutes, 58 seconds. But the Saints came away empty when backup quarterback Taysom Hill fumbled on fourth down from the Baltimore 4.

It was the longest drive to result in no points since the Browns went 9:59 against the Jets in the first week of the 2015 season.

Coming into the game, Baltimore's opponents were 0 for 4 on fourth down.

INJURIES

Saints: Guard Josh LeRibeus left with an ankle injury in the second quarter.

Ravens: OL Bradley Bozeman left in the second quarter with a left calf injury, returned to action and left again in the fourth quarter. ... CB Marlon Humphrey (thigh), OL Alex Lewis (neck), OL James Hurst (back) were on the inactive list.

UP NEXT

Saints: A Sunday night game in Minnesota is next for New Orleans, continuing a stretch of three road games in four weeks.

Ravens: Baltimore faces Carolina next Sunday, its fourth road game in five weeks.

Player Notes
Braxton Miller Aug 21 12:30pm ET

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent wide receiver Braxton Miller on Wednesday. The former Ohio State star spent two years with the Texans and was on the Eagles practice squad in 2018. He tallied 34 receptions for 261 yards and two touchdowns in 21 games over his two seasons with Houston. He'll represent depth for a talented receiving group in Cleveland that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway and Jaelen Strong. It's unlikely that Miller will make his way into fantasy relevance among this group if he makes the final roster.

From RotoBaller

Jake Butt Aug 21 12:30pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Jake Butt (knee) is expected to be a full participant in Wednesday's non-padded practice, according to sources that informed NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Butt was the team's starter in 2018 for three games before he tore his ACL for the third time in his career. It's notable progress, but it doesn't guarantee that Butt will be ready to go for the regular season, and he also has Jeff Heuerman and impressive rookie Noah Fant ahead of him on the depth chart. The Broncos will be happy with whatever they can get out of Butt this season. You can ignore him for now in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Mack Hollins Aug 21 11:50am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins is expected to make his way onto the team's 53-man roster. Hollins had a brief moment as a dynasty sleeper, but injuries and overall disappointing play have kept him buried on the depth chart so far in his career. Unless several injuries strike the Eagles receivers, Hollins will be more of a special teams player in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Aug 21 11:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor is expected to be a "significant part" of the offense according to Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice. Agholor was reportedly fighting a losing battle to rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside earlier in the preseason, but Agholor has turned it on lately and has been one of the most impressive Eagles players of the summer. The Eagles are expected to run a lot of two-tight end sets with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, so even if Agholor wins the third wide receiver role, he won't be on the field for every down.

From RotoBaller

Miles Sanders Aug 21 11:40am ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders is expected to take over the top spot on the running back depth chart soon. The spot currently belongs to Jordan Howard, and although he has reportedly run the ball well, Sanders has been much more dynamic and well-rounded in camp. The rookie will still have competition on passing downs from Corey Clement and Darren Sproles, but if he can hold off Howard for short yardage and goal-to-go situations, he should be a legitimate fantasy asset in a strong offense.

From RotoBaller

Marqise Lee Aug 21 9:49am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee won't play Thursday against the Dolphins. The third preseason game is traditionally the one where a team gives their starters the most snaps and the Jaguars are expected to do just that after resting nearly every key player for the first two preseason contests. But Lee, who was just activated from the PUP list after a knee injury last season, is being brought along slowly and head coach Doug Marrone clearly doesn't think he needs to be on a football field yet. Lee was a popular sleeper pick when it looked like he'd be a full go this year, but he's sliding down the rankings as it continues to look like he won't start the year as part of the team's main receiver grouping.

Jamaal Williams Aug 21 5:00am ET

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams went through individual drills in a recent practice, behind projected starter Aaron Jones. Williams is clearly the backup for the Packers this season, and was able to be effective last season, but wasn't able to pop on film. Fantasy owners should consider him as a handcuff in later rounds, as injury to Jones would mean Williams would be given the reigns of the backfield, with rookie Dexter Williams having been inconsistent this offseason.

From RotoBaller

J'Mon Moore Aug 21 5:00am ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver J'mon Moore has struggled in camp this season, especially with dropped passes. However, in recent practice session, he made one of the best plays of camp, making a diving catch from quarterback Tim Boyle, over the back of safety Natrell Jameson. Moore is currently buried on the depth chart behind a number of players including Jake Kumerow who looks to be the backup wide receiver for the team should any of the starting trio miss time in the season.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Jones Aug 21 4:50am ET

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is looking forward to getting into a preseason game. The Packers are due to play Oakland Raiders this week in preseason, and Jones is wanting to be involved, having been limited with a hamstring injury earlier in camp. Jones is widely considered to be the starting running back for the team, with Jamaal Williams being the backup for him. Jones was highly effective last season, averaging over 5.4 yards per carrying. If you are able to pick up Jones as your RB2 this draft season, then that would give you a significant advantage at the position for the season.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Aug 21 4:40am ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams made a pair of one-handed grabs during practice. Adams is an elite wide receiver and could finish top of the position in fantasy scoring. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers commented earlier in the season that Adams was more open than he thought, and should, therefore, be able to continue to get the healthy target share that he received last season. Fantasy owners in the first round should feel confident about adding him at the top of drafts.

From RotoBaller

Mason Crosby Aug 21 4:10am ET

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is holding off a strong challenge from Sam Ficken, who was claimed from waivers early in the offseason. Crosby has hit 16 of his 17 attempts in practice, and in the preseason matchups has hit all three of his kicks. However, Ficken who was in camp earlier, with the veteran missing time through injury, has connected on 28 of the 35 attempts he has taken on in practice. Whoever wins this battle in camp will have fantasy value in an offense that should score points this season.

From RotoBaller

Jake Kumerow Aug 21 3:50am ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow struggled in a recent practice with the team. Kumerow had a tough day, dropping two passes and wasn't able to catch the third ball from quarterback Aaron Rodgers along the sideline. Kumerow is still likely to be the next guy up should any of the initial starting receivers miss time in the season, having had an impressive training camp and showing in the preseason. Kumerow will not likely be drafted but could be a hot waiver pickup if there were any injuries to the starting wide receivers.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Graham Aug 21 3:40am ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham missed practice with an injured finger, but he won't require surgery on it. Graham has been impressive in camp, after developing on his chemistry with starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. However, with Graham missing time through injury this gives rookie Jace Sternberger an opportunity to impress. Graham should be a good fantasy option in the later rounds of drafts, but if he continues to miss time through injury then that could change.

From RotoBaller

Jace Sternberger Aug 21 3:30am ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Jace Sternberger returned to practice, after missing several sessions due to the injury to his jaw he suffered in the open practice with the Houston Texans. Sternberger's return coincides with veteran Jimmy Graham being forced to miss practice with an injury to his finger. If Graham misses time, then Sternberger could be fantasy relevant at the start of the season, but once the veteran returns Sternberger is likely to be limited in games.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Rodgers Aug 21 3:20am ET

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has returned to practice for a second straight day after missing time with back tightness. Rodgers is yet to take a competitive snap in the new Packers offense but could be available for the preseason game against the Oakland Raiders this week. Rodgers could end up being a great value in fantasy drafts this season, given the fall he suffered last season, but that hinges on his ability to get out on the field and put the new offense into action.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Aug 21 1:00am ET

Despite earning two straight Pro Bowl nods and taking his team to the Super Bowl last year, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff is ranked as the No. 13 quarterback in the preseason by Pro Football Focus. For what it's worth RotoBaller has Goff ranked as the No. 9 fantasy signal caller entering the season. The 24-year-old has improved in each of his three seasons in the NFL and had 4,688 yards passing, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2018. However, Goff also took a career-high 33 sacks and was responsible for 21 total turnovers. He's in a great place in Sean McVay's offense with perhaps the best receiver trio (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp) in the league, so don't be surprised if he improves upon last season if he makes better decisions more consistently.

From RotoBaller

Matt Breida Aug 21 1:00am ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida ran the ball once for four yards and caught one pass for no gain in his first preseason action on Monday night against the Broncos. Breida somehow managed to play in 14 games last year despite dealing with several nagging injuries along the way, and he led the team with 814 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 153 attempts. He also caught 27 passes for 261 yards and two more scores. The 24-year-old is versatile and tough, but he's also going to have to contend for touches with Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon, although McKinnon's injury this preseason is boosting Breida's fantasy stock as an RB3/flex type or handcuff for Coleman owners.

From RotoBaller

Robby Anderson Aug 21 12:50am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is eager to prove in 2019 that he is more than just a deep threat, and the team expects him to run routes all over the field. "Hes going to run all types of routes: short, intermediate, and deep routes. Hes going to run the whole gamut," receivers coach Shawn Jefferson said. Anderson had three catches for 32 yards in the preseason game against the Falcons last Thursday and made multiple contested catches. The 26-year-old had 50 receptions for 752 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games in 2018, but don't be surprised if he has a career year in 2019 if quarterback Sam Darnold takes a second-year leap. He's not a bad target as a WR3 with WR2 upside around the eighth round of drafts.

From RotoBaller

Trent Taylor Aug 21 12:40am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Trent Taylor (foot) could be back by Week 1. The oft-hobbled third-year player underwent foot surgery on August 10 with an expected rehab of 4-6 weeks, although head coach Kyle Shanahan believes he wont miss any regular season action. Limited by injuries, Taylor has tallied just 645 yards across his first two seasons but has been effective when healthy. Hes also a first down machine, moving the chains on 38 of 69 career grabs. Assuming a swift recovery, Taylor is locked as the Niners slot receiver and is a deep PPR play. If he endures any setbacks, rookie receiver Jalen Hurd and second-year man Richie James Jr. are beneficiaries.

From RotoBaller

Jakeem Grant Aug 21 12:20am ET

The Miami Dolphins agreed to a four-year extension with wide receiver/returner Jakeem Grant on Tuesday, sources told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The sixth-round pick in 2016 was entering the final year of his rookie deal and was set to make $720,000 this year. While he doesn't really move the needle in fantasy as a wideout with Miami's QB situation unsettled, Grant is a special teams ace and has logged 59 punt returns and 58 kickoff returns in the last three seasons, including three returns for scores. He has 34 catches for 471 yards and four touchdowns in the last two seasons and should go undrafted in standard fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller