New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick takes questions from reporters before an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and head coach Bill Belichick, right, speak during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Cleveland Browns' Christian Kirksey (58) celebrates with Myles Garrett (95) after Garrett sacked New York Jets' quarterback Luke Falk (8) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase watches his team play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) When the New York Jets called New England earlier this month to inquire about trading for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, it was a long shot considering Bill Belichick hadn't once traded during his Patriots coaching tenure with the team he infamously resigned from after one day as head coach in 2000.
But Jets coach Adam Gase recalls New York general manager Joe Douglas being optimistic about the prospect in the aftermath of New England signing four-time All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown.
Thomas, who played under Gase when he was offensive coordinator in Denver in 2013 and `14, was a perfect fit for an offense the first-year Jets coach felt needed a boost after a season-opening loss to Buffalo.
''We were trying to figure out, `How could we go about this?''' Gase recalled. ''I think to Joe's credit, he was like, `I'm just going to call him and the worst they could say is no.' And when they said, `Let's talk,' then those guys worked it out.''
Belichick acknowledged that the stars aligned perfectly to make a rare deal between the AFC East foes possible.
''I would say, a certain period of time when there's no way this transaction would've happened,'' Belichick said. ''They're not the easiest trades to make, but, you know, if the trade is good for both teams and ultimately what we're trying to do is improve our team.''
It may be the only bit of kindness Belichick shows New York (0-2) when it arrives at Gillette Stadium for Sunday's matchup.
The Patriots (2-0) ran through Pittsburgh and Miami in their first two games, outscoring them 76-3 in a pair of routs .
Now they face a Jets team against which they have won six straight games and eight consecutive regular-season games in New England. The Jets beat the Patriots in Foxborough in the playoffs in the 2010 season, but haven't won a regular-season game there since 2008.
The Jets opened as an 18-point underdog. The line quickly grew to 23 by early in the week.
Asked this week if he's ever gone into a game with his opponent favored by that much, Gase smiled.
''Oh, I'm sure,'' Gase said. ''I was in Detroit five years.''
Some things to know as the two AFC East rivals square off in the first of two meetings this season:
Luke Falk will make his first NFL start after making his debut last Monday night against Cleveland.
The 24-year-old quarterback was on the practice squad a week ago, but was promoted to the active roster a few hours before the game. That was because Sam Darnold is recovering from mononucleosis . Trevor Siemian started against the Browns, but is now out for the season after injuring ankle ligaments. Falk went 20 of 25 for 198 yards after replacing Siemian.
Gase chose to stick with Falk as the starter - until Darnold returns in a few weeks. Falk was with Gase last season in Miami.
''He's very confident in his abilities,'' Gase said of Falk. ''He's confident in his intelligence, and he's able to take things from the classroom with no reps and go out and execute. Obviously, being in the system for two years now, he has a really good grasp of it.''
The Patriots are the only team in the NFL yet to give up a TD and are just the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to allow three points or fewer through their first two games. The previous one was 1981 Buffalo Bills.
ON THE CORNER
Trumaine Johnson entered the season as the Jets' No. 1 cornerback. He opened the team's second game on the sideline - and stayed there most of the game.
Johnson, who signed a five-year, $72.5 million deal last year, was replaced in the lineup by Nate Hairston. And, it appears that could be the case against the Patriots.
''It just hasn't worked out as well as we need it to,'' Gase said of Johnson's benching. ''The good thing is we've got a long ways to go.''
Johnson didn't play until late in the fourth quarter when Hairston dealt with cramps. Johnson acknowledged after the game against the Browns and again during the week that he was ''upset'' by the team's decision. He insisted, though, he just wants to do what's best for the team to help them win.
''When my number's called,'' Johnson said, ''I'll be ready to play.''
New England's offensive line took another hit this week when starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn was placed on injured reserve .
Wynn hurt a foot during the Patriots' 43-0 win at Miami. This is the second straight season Wynn has been placed on IR. A preseason Achilles tendon injury caused him to miss his entire rookie season in 2018.
It comes after starting center David Andrews went on IR before the season opener with blood clots in his lungs. Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon also sat out last week after injuring his shoulder in the win over Pittsburgh.
Marshall Newhouse, who was signed last week, started in Cannon's place against Miami. He is likely to get nod this week if Cannon remains out.
Five Sleepers: Week 3
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will look to bounce back in Week 3 after a rough Week 2 running the ball. CEH did catch six passes on eight targets in last Sundays contest and managers should be pleased that hes getting involved in the pass game. The Ravens defensive unit has been strong this year, but allowed over 100 yards to the Browns backfield of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb in Week 1, before shutting down David Johnson for just 34 yards. CEH is shaping up to be the newest tool in the shed in an already explosive offense and should be considered a RB1 in Week 3.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill will have a tough matchup in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. Hill is coming off of a strong Week 2 performance, but the Ravens Defense has done a very good job at shutting down wide receivers this season. Hill is still an explosive athlete and could bust out a big play at anytime. The Ravens defense has been much friendlier to tight ends this season and Hill may have to play second fiddle to Travis Kelce in this matchup. He should be considered a low-end WR1 in Week 3.
Although the Baltimore Ravens have been one of the best defenses through two weeks, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce remains a strong option in Week 3. The Ravens Defense is only allowing 305 yards per game and 11.5 points per game, but they have allowed 15 receptions, 148 yards and two touchdowns to tight ends this season. With Patrick Mahomes likely to be pressured, look for him to look Kelces way early and often. Kelce is coming off of a strong week and is the number one player at his position. He makes for a good DFS option and should be started every week by managers.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will face his toughest task of the season on Monday versus a tough Baltimore Ravens Defense. The Ravens have allowed just 305 yards per game and thats good for second in the league. The Ravens have also only allowed 22 points on the season. Mahomes has passed for 513 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions through two weeks and also has rushed six times for 54 yards. Despite the tough matchup, Mahomes and the Chiefs offense remains explosive and Mahomes should be considered a QB1 and should be started every week.
Jacksonville Jaguars LB Myles Jack recorded 11 tackles (seven solo) against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, Sept. 24.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Keelan Cole caught four of five targeted passes for 43 yards on Thursday, Sept. 24, against the Miami Dolphins.
Fantasy Spin: Cole actually led the team's receiving corps in yards, though he finished a distant second to RB James Robinson. Miami forced everything to happen in front of them and then rallied up to make the tackle, making Jacksonville have to put drives together a few yards at a time. The team could've used more from Cole with D.J. Chark out of action, but nobody other than Robinson seemed capable of making plays on Thursday. With two TDs in three weeks you can't simply dismiss Cole, but he's no better than roster depth right now.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Chris Conley had three receptions (on eight targets) for 34 yards in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins.
Fantasy Spin: Conley looked lost Thursday night, dropping two passes that killed drives and drawing an offensive pass interference penalty that effectively ended another. On a night when the Jags needed someone to step up and fill the void left by D.J. Chark, Conley couldn't have played much worse.
Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker caught five passes for 69 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Fantasy Spin: While modest, Parker's 69 yards more than doubled the next-highest receiver for Miami in a game where they simply maximized their opportunities and let Jacksonville make mistakes. A lingering hamstring injury appears to be limiting his effectiveness, particularly downfield, but he was sure handed and still found ways to get enough separation to make the catch. There are definitely weeks where Parker will perform in the WR2 bracket, though it's best to consider him more of a WR3 when setting your lineup.
Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki caught one pass for 15 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Fantasy Spin: On a night where Ryan Fitzpatrick only threw two incompletions, both of them were intended for Gesicki, who followed up a eight-catch, 130-yard outing in Week 2 with a disappointing performance that was somewhat salvaged by getting into the end zone. He's still the most dangerous weapon the Dolphins have outside of DeVante Parker, though, and remains a viable choice at TE1.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) was limited in practice for the second straight day on Thursday but is in line to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Cardinals. Golladay suffered a strained hamstring in practice on Sept. 9 and has missed the first two games of the season. Normally a pretty solid WR1 option for fantasy lineups, the Lions No. 1 wideout will carry a bit more risk with him if he makes his 2020 debut this weekend. Plus, Golladay will likely be covered by Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, which won't be an easy task by any means. You're probably starting Golladay if he's active, but it might be wise to temper expectations a bit. If he's back, it'll be bad news for Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola.
Miami Dolphins RB Jordan Howard ran three times for one yard and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Fantasy Spin: Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have ourselves a touchdown vulture. The former 1,000-yard back got three carries Thursday night, all of which came inside the 5-yard line, and had a good chance at two TDs (he was stuffed twice before Ryan Fitzpatrick ran it in himself on third and goal). It's a tough spot for fantasy players as Howard pretty much needs multiple scores to offer appreciable value while at the same time hurting Myles Gaskin's appeal. At best Howard looks like a weekly lottery-ticket play with a modest ceiling.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) missed his second straight practice on Thursday. It's not a good sign for the 23-year-old after he missed the Week 2 game. Brown will need to get in at least a limited practice on Friday to have a shot at suiting up this Sunday against the Vikings. Have a backup plan in place if you own him. Corey Davis will be worth flex consideration if Brown misses another game, Adam Humphries would have some sleeper potential in DFS and deeper leagues, and tight end Jonnu Smith would have real TE1 appeal after going for four catches, 84 yards and two touchdowns without Brown in the lineup last weekend.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was a popular pick to have a breakout game against the Dolphins in Week 3, but it didn't happen, as he finished with just 33 receiving yards. Shenault did record five receptions, but with his usage mainly coming in the short-yardage passing, Shenault didn't have the chance to do much with the opportunities he received. Moving forward, Shenault is a low-ceiling fantasy option until we actually see him used in a way that offers a chance for him to produce more than just a handful of yards.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 18 of 20 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns during the team's Week 3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fitzpatrick also ran seven times for 38 yards and a score.
Fantasy Spin: Jacksonville's defense had no answers for Fitzpatrick, whose only two incompletions came on the team's two-minute drive before halftime. If the Jags had been able to keep pace, who knows what kind of numbers Fitzpatrick would've put up. Instead, Miami was in firm control throughout the second half with Fitzpatrick only attempting a handful of passes. He'll enjoy a weekend off before hosting the Seahawks in Week 4.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Thompson continued to see his role expand on Thursday night, catching five passes for 35 yards and adding three rushing yards on two carries. Thompson isn't the same receiving threat that he was in Washington, but he's becoming a larger part of things for the Jaguars. That doesn't mean you need to rush out and put him in your fantasy lineups moving forward, but it's worth keeping an eye on what Thompson does in Week 4 against the Bengals.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole caught four passes for 43 yards in Thursday's loss to the Miami Dolphins. It was Cole's first game this year without a touchdown. Thursday showed us what Cole's floor this year likely looks like: a handful of catches with an average of around 10 yards per reception. You'll take that in deeper leagues, but he's likely just a tad too inconsistent to be a weekly start in 12-team leagues, especially when you consider this was a matchup that felt ripe for the taking for the Jaguars passing game and they responded with their worst offensive output of the season.
With D.J. Chark Jr. (chest/back) out, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley was a popular pick to see an expanded role on Thursday night. And he did, as he led the team in targets with eight. The problem? Drops and some poor positioning led to Conley catching just three of those passes for 34 yards. This was his chance to impress and show he deserved a larger role, and it just didn't happen. Conley's on the fringes of rosterability in season-long leagues at this point, with his value fully dependent on Chark missing more time.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson was the only consistent source of production in Thursday's loss to the Miami Dolphins. The undrafted rookie ran the ball 11 times, finishing with 46 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also led the team in receptions, catching six of them for 83 yards. Robinson might be the only player who can be a weekly starter on this offense right now and should be considered a fantasy RB2 going forward. Even when the Jaguars offense looks like a train wreck, Robinson manages to get his numbers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars weren't supposed to be blown out by the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, but they were, as the Dolphins took the 31-13 victory. Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II struggled all night, going 30-for-42 for 275 yards with no touchdowns while throwing an interception and narrowly avoiding throwing a second. He also added 22 yards on the ground. Minshew was a huge disappointment to fantasy managers, and now we have reason to doubt the mustached passer, who we thought was on his way to being a consistent fantasy QB2.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has his most formidable challenge of the 2020 season thus far against the Chiefs on Monday night. The third-year signal-caller has played relatively well against Kansas City throughout his career (two games), throwing for 414 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 22 carries for 113 yards and an additional score. While his previous performances against the squad doesn't guarantee a similar output, it is reasonable to assume that fantasy managers may see the same type of production once again. In case there was any doubt, keep him starting in all formats.