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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Falcons stun first-place Saints, 26-9

Sun Nov 10 4:24pm ET
By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer

Players: Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Jared Cook, Julio Jones, Latavius Murray, Teddy Bridgewater, Devonta Freeman, Michael Thomas, Austin Hooper, Alvin Kamara, Brian Hill

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a touchdown pass to running back Brian Hill, not pictured, in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) carries in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)


Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) celebrates his sack with defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)


Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) celebrates his sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, on ground, in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) and defensive end Vic Beasley (44) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)


NEW ORLEANS (AP) Matt Ryan passed for two touchdowns and the Atlanta Falcons ended their six-game slide with a 26-9 victory over the Saints on Sunday that stopped New Orleans' six-game winning streak.

Atlanta's defense stunningly dominated New Orleans' normally stout offensive line. Coming in with an NFL low seven sacks all season, the Falcons sacked Drew Brees six times, with Grady Jarrett, Vic Beasley Jr., Adrian Clayborn and De'Vondre Campbell all getting involved. Jarrett finished with a team-high 2 1/2 sacks.

It was the second time this season the Saints were held without a touchdown at home, but the first time with Brees under center. New Orleans also failed to score a TD in a 12-10 victory over Dallas in Week 4 with Teddy Bridgewater filling in at quarterback.

Ryan, returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him in the game before the Falcons' Week 9 bye, was 20 of 35 for 182 yards.

His first touchdown went for 8 yards to tight end Austin Hooper in the second quarter and his second to running back Brian Hill in the fourth quarter to put Atlanta in front 20-9.

Ryan was intercepted once inside the final five minutes by Marcus Williams, but the Saints offense quickly turned the ball back over on downs.

Julio Jones caught three passes for 79 yards - including a 54-yarder to set up a field goal - for Atlanta, which rolled up 317 yards and were the first Saints opponent since Seattle in Week 3 to gain more than 257 yards.

Brees went 32 of 45 for 287 yards and the Saints finished with 310 yards, well below their average of 375.3 coming in. That's despite getting running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook back from injuries that had kept them out of New Orleans' previous two games. Other than receiver Michael Thomas, who caught 13 passes for 152 yards, few regulars on the Saints' offense approached their usual production.

The Saints also were mistake-prone, committing committed 12 penalties for 90 yards. Several of those infractions extended Atlanta drives on third and even fourth down.

With 9:01 left, J.T. Gray, who had blocked a punt in Chicago in Week 7, committed a 15-yard, roughing the kicker penalty trying to block another. The penalty led to Younghoe Koo's 48 yards field goal, which widened Atlanta's lead to 23-9 with 7:27 to go.

INJURIES

Falcons: Running back Devonta Freeman left with a foot injury. ... Defensive back Damontae Kazee was being treated after tackling Saints running back Latavius Murray in the third quarter. ... Hooper limped off early in the fourth quarter after being tackled by Demario Davis. ... Safety Kemal Ishmael received treatment on the field in the final minutes but was able to walk to the sideline.

Saints: Cornerback Marshon Lattimore walked to the locker room in the second quarter and missed the remainder of the game with a thigh injury. ... Guard Andrus Peat left the game later in the second quarter with an arm injury.

UP NEXT

Falcons: Visit Carolina on Sunday for the first matchup of the season between the NFC South foes.

Saints: Visit Tampa Bay on Sunday, looking for a season sweep of the Buccaneers.

Player Notes
Aldrick Rosas Apr 9 12:50pm ET

New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas signed his restricted free-agent contract on Thursday after the Giants previously made a second-round qualifying offer on March 16. The 2018 Pro Bowler has made 62 of 75 field-goal attempts (82.7 percent) and is 86-for-94 on extra points in 48 regular season games for the Giants. He made 32 of his 33 kicks in 2018, which was the fifth highest total in team history, and his 97 field-goal percentage was a Giants record. However, he attempted only 17 field goals in 2019 and made 12 of them, while making 35 of his 39 extra points. Until New York's offense proves worthy under second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, Rosas should be avoided in most fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

Devin Singletary Apr 9 12:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary is at the top of the depth chart with Frank Gore gone, and general manager Brandon Beane thinks that Singletary can be the team's workhorse in the backfield if needed. Singletary averaged over 5.0 yards per carry last year but didn't become the lead running back until the second half of the season in his rookie year. Beane thinks that Singletary's hamstring injury early last year cost him a chance at 1,000 yards rushing. I think Devin can do either or. Hes an unselfish player, Beane said. If we want him to be the workload guy, I think he could definitely do it. I think Year Two is going to be better for him. T.J. Yeldon currently is the No. 2 behind Singletary, but the Bills could easily add a running back at some point in the draft to share the load with Singletary.

From RotoBaller

Gerald Everett Apr 9 12:40pm ET

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is excited about the possibilities for tight end Gerald Everett in 2020, and the team wants to get him more involved in the offense. Everett started the year hot but got hurt in Week 11, which allowed Tyler Higbee to go off in the final five games of the season to finish with 69 catches for 734 yards and three touchdowns. It was the best season for a Rams tight end. "Really, really excited about what Gerald Everetts going to do," McVay said. "I think Tyler Higbee did a phenomenal job, but I think Gerald Everetts a guy that Ive got to do a better job of utilizing his skill set because hes a difference-maker." The former second-round pick has plenty of talent, but it remains to be seen if he can break out with Higbee also involved. Higbee will be the preferred fantasy target as a low-end TE1, but Everett is still worth a late-round selection as an intriguing TE2 with upside for more.

From RotoBaller

Tua Tagovailoa Apr 9 12:30pm ET

The Detroit Lions, who have the No. 3 overall pick in this month's draft, have had discussions with teams about potentially moving back from their slot, according to sources. Teams wanting to move up to third overall have been receptive, and they'd likely be moving up to select a quarterback. If the Lions don't move back, they're expected to address the defense with the third overall pick, but a package of picks to move back might be too tempting to pass on, depending what other teams are offering them. Now that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to be recovered from his hip injury, interested teams might want to move up to No. 3 overall to select him.

From RotoBaller

Bryan Edwards Apr 9 12:20pm ET

South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards (foot), who fractured the fifth metatarsal before the NFL Combine, had his walking boot removed and is moving around well, according to sources. Teams were sent updated images and scans of Edwards, who is expected to come off the board on Day 2 of the draft as the Gamecocks all-time leader in catches. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder had 234 receptions for 3,045 yards (13.0 yards per catch) and 22 touchdowns in his four seasons at South Carolina. It doesn't look like his draft stock will be negatively affected now that he's getting back to full health in what is a loaded draft class for wide receivers.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Washington Apr 9 10:29am ET

The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to an undisclosed one-year deal with running back DeAndre Washington on Wednesday, according to a source. Washington was drafted in the fifth round by the Raiders back in 2016 and has rushed the ball 282 times for 1,122 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns in his four years in the NFL. He's also added 88 catches on 110 targets for 613 yards and another score in 55 career games (five starts). The 27-year-old had 108 rushing attempts for 387 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games last year (three starts). He'll provide depth for the Chiefs backfield behind Damien Williams while also competing for touches with Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams. He finds himself in an even more crowded backfield, meaning that it's unlikely Washington will yield any fantasy help.

Gerald Everett Apr 9 8:43am ET

Los Angeles Rams TE Gerald Everett is a player that head coach Sean McVay said he has to do a better job of utilizing. 'Really, really excited about what Everett's going to do,' McVay said. 'I think Tyler Higbee did a phenomenal job, but I think Everett's a guy that I've got to do a better job of utilizing his skill set because he's a difference-maker. But he's got to get the opportunities and I think that starts with some of the things I know I can do a better job of.'

Fantasy Spin: Everett was a TE1 for a big chunk of the season last year before a knee injury did him in. That allowed Tyler Higbee to break out in a monstrous way. Everett will be victim to a numbers game often, but he'll still be a TE2 or a bye-week filler in 2020.

From TheHuddle

Kenyan Drake Apr 8 10:43pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RBs Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds have head coach Kliff Kingsbury 'really excited' about the first two spots on the depth chart, but Kingsbury told a group of reporters in a videoconference on Tuesday, April 7, that he'd like to have three running backs 'that we feel like we could roll through and not lose much.'

Fantasy Spin: While this could be an indication Kingsbury wants to use a three-man committee, it's more than likely a realization that he wants to be deep at a position that was ravaged by injuries in 2019. Drake did more than enough after arriving via trade at midseason to warrant at least 15 touches per week and should be considered a low-end RB1 for fantasy purposes. Edmonds also performed well before getting hurt and should be considered Drake's high-upside handcuff.

From TheHuddle

Dre Kirkpatrick Apr 8 7:53pm ET

Free-agent CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Bengals) has received some interest from the Minnesota Vikings.

From TheHuddle

Kenyan Drake Apr 8 7:30pm ET

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that the team would like to have three running backs sharing the load in 2020. "D.J. was banged up last year," Kingsbury said. "We think he has a good skill set. But that's an area that we'd like to have three. You saw we got to (using) a third (running back in 2019). We'd like to have three that we feel like we could roll through and not lose much." Kenyan Drake, who signed his transition tender, will see the majority of touches, but Chase Edmonds and D.J. Foster will also get some work. Drake was one of the best running backs in the league after his trade over from the Dolphins, and he'll be a coveted RB1 in fantasy circles with Arizona's offense looking more explosive with the addition of receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Edmonds will merely be a handcuff for those that take Drake early in drafts.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Apr 8 7:03pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals franchise free-agent WR A.J. Green (ankle) has completely recovered from his ankle injury and is working out in Atlanta, according to head coach Zac Taylor.

Fantasy Spin: Green has only played nine games over the last two seasons, but he appears to be on track for the 2020 season. He is a risky option because of his injury history but can be a weekly starting option in all leagues if he is healthy.

From TheHuddle

DeAndre Washington Apr 8 6:43pm ET

Free-agent RB DeAndre Washington (Raiders) agreed to terms on one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs Wednesday, April 8, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Jack Crawford Apr 8 6:33pm ET

Updating a previous report, free-agent DE Jack Crawford (Falcons) officially signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Demarcus Robinson Apr 8 6:33pm ET

Updating a previous report, free-agent WR Demarcus Robinson (Chiefs) officially re-signed with the Kansas City Chiefs Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Al Woods Apr 8 6:23pm ET

Updating a previous report, free-agent DT Al Woods (Seahawks) officially signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Aldrick Rosas Apr 8 6:23pm ET

New York Giants restricted free-agent PK Aldrick Rosas signed his one-year tender offer Wednesday, April 8. Financial terms were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Darryl Roberts Apr 8 6:13pm ET

Updating a previous report, free-agent CB Darryl Roberts (Jets) officially signed with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, April 8. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

A.J. Green Apr 8 4:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) is "fully healthy" and has been working out in Atlanta. It's good news after Green missed the entire 2019 season. He's scheduled to make around $18 million in 2020 on the franchise tag, but we may not get to see him until later this summer due to restrictions amid the coronavirus. Green will turn 32 in July and has played in just nine games in the last two seasons due to injuries. But he was a Pro Bowler each of his first seven seasons in the league from 2011 to 2017, surpassing the 1,000-yard receiving mark six times. He'll likely have rookie quarterback Joe Burrow throwing him passes in 2020, which could make fantasy owners even more hesitant to draft Green as even a WR2.

From RotoBaller

Justin Jackson Apr 8 2:50pm ET

The Los Angeles Chargers remain "very high on" running back Justin Jackson. Melvin Gordon is now playing for the Broncos, so there will be more opportunity for Jackson behind Austin Ekeler moving forward. Jackson, a seventh-round pick by the Bolts in 2018, has rushed 79 times for 406 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in his 20 games (one start) in two seasons for the Chargers. The soon-to-be 25-year-old also has 24 catches for 157 yards in his two years in the league. Ekeler should take over workhorse duties in this backfield with Gordon gone, but Jackson will have a role as a change-of-pace back and could be a great value pick late in fantasy drafts this fall.

From RotoBaller

Casey Hayward Apr 8 2:50pm ET

There's a chance that the Los Angeles Chargers look to trade cornerback Desmond King. King is seemingly a man without a position now that the Bolts signed Chris Harris Jr. to defend the slot in the middle of the field in 2020. Casey Hayward and Michael Davis can work on the outside, so it remains to be seen what the team will do with King if they hold onto him. The 25-year-old fifth-round pick in 2017 was a first-team All-Pro in 2018 when he had a career-high three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). King had 51 tackles (40 solo) and two passes defensed without an interception in 15 games (eight starts) in 2019. He could be part of a draft-day trade if the Chargers indeed move him.

From RotoBaller