Sat Aug 17 7:06pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) meet at midfield after an an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Raiders won 33-26. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) puts on his helmet prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
NAPA, Calif. (AP) Antonio Brown made it through a walkthrough practice for the Oakland Raiders with no issues with his frost-bitten feet and is expected to be a full participant in practice soon for the first time this summer.
Coach Jon Gruden said Saturday that he thinks Brown will be able to get back into practice before the Raiders play their third exhibition game next week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, against the Green Bay Packers.
Brown hasn't taken part in a full practice session all of training camp as he dealt with injuries to his feet suffered in a cryotherapy mishap in France last month and fought with the NFL over the helmet he's allowed to use.
''He did everything with us just now,'' quarterback Derek Carr said. ''The man's recall is unbelievable. He came in and had no mental errors. In this offense, that's not easy to do. Especially whenever you have a day off just even as a player, you come back and you have to stay on Coach Gruden's offense all the time. You can tell Antonio has been studying because he came out and didn't miss a beat.''
Brown started training camp on the non-football injury list because of the injuries to his feet. He participated in one warmup and part of one practice before leaving the team briefly to get treatment and deal with a grievance with the NFL over his helmet. He returned to the team this past Tuesday after losing the grievance and began looking for a new helmet. He took part in pregame warmups in Arizona two days later and the walkthrough on Saturday.
Brown is being counted on as a major part of Oakland's offense this season after being acquired in a trade from Pittsburgh back in March. He had 686 catches and 9,145 yards receiving in his final six seasons with the Steelers, the best mark ever for a receiver in a six-year span.
In Brown's absence, the Raiders have gotten good contributions in practice and preseason games with the other receivers on the roster in a positive sign at a position that was a weakness on the team last season.
Tyrell Williams has been a star at practice as the projected starter across from Brown and had a leaping 27-yard grab against the Cardinals in his only brief preseason appearance. Undrafted rookie Keelan Doss is making a case for a roster spot with seven catches for 47 yards and a TD in two exhibition games, while fifth-round rookie slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and free-agent acquisitions J.J. Nelson and Ryan Grant have also flashed.
''It's awesome,'' Williams said. ''I feel like we have guys with speed, guys with size, guys that work in the slot. Everybody has something that's really unique to them and I think everybody can do everything too, so it's just nice to see. Especially in the game, seeing the undrafted guys go out there and make plays because I know how it felt in that same situation when I first came in, so seeing them have success is awesome.''
NOTES: The Raiders activated G Denzelle Good (back) from the physically unable to perform list and will work him back into the rotation on the line. Oakland will be without its two projected starting guards to begin the season with Richie Incognito serving a two-game suspension for violating personal conduct rules and Gabe Jackson expected to miss at least the first month with a knee injury. ... The Raiders signed G/C Cameron Hunt, who played three games for Oakland last year and spent time with the team in the offseason program. ... WR Jordan Lasley was waived.
Five Hot Starts: Week 3
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been the number-one wideout in fantasy football through two weeks. Ridley is tied for the league-lead in receiving yards with 239, ranks sixth with 23 targets and has scored two touchdowns in consecutive games. Week 3 brings a matchup against the Bears, who have yet to allow a 100-yard receiver, though it should be noted they haven't played a passing offense with Atlanta's firepower. Ridley is on fire right now and very well could be the first 100-yard receiver against this unit. If teammate Julio Jones (hamstring) sits out, Ridley would see even more targets in Week 3. Either way, he should be in lineups as a WR1.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) faces a Bears Defense that has surrendered the seventh-fewest fantasy points to enemy wideouts so far in 2020. After reportedly making his injury worse in Week 2, Jones missed his second straight day of practice on Thursday- needless to say, his Week 3 status is in jeopardy right now. There is some considerable risk if the veteran wideout plays, both of re-injury and Atlanta using him as the dreaded decoy. However, this is still an All-Pro wideout we're talking about, who put up a 9-157-0 line in Week 1 while having the same injury designation he has now. If he's playing, start him as your WR1.
Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II gets a seemingly-tough matchup against the Bears. Chicago has allowed the 11th-fewest rushing yards to opposing backs, though they did it against an uninspiring Lions' backfield and a Giants' offense that lost Saquon Barkley (knee) early in the game. Gurley II- who quietly ranks eighth in rushing attempts- should be able to find running room against the Bears. He may not look like the 2018 version of himself, but Gurley II can certainly put up RB2 numbers with the kind of volume he's getting. If he gets more involved as a receiver, it will be gravy to his fantasy managers. Plug him into lineups as an RB2/flex for Week 3.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will face off with the Chicago Bears in Week 3. Chicago presents a tough matchup, as they've allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks through two weeks and have surrendered the league's lowest passer rating against. However, they've faced Matthew Stafford and Daniel Jones, neither of whom are playing at the level that Ryan is so far. The veteran signal-caller ranks in the top-10 in passing yards, yards per attempt and touchdown passes through two weeks. Ryan has also thrown the second-most passes in the NFL, thanks to a poor Falcons' defense. This is Ryan's toughest matchup yet, but he should throw enough to put up solid QB1 numbers.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry is off to a slow start in the 2020 season. The usual target-hog has turned nine targets into eight catches for 107 scoreless yards in two games. The new Cleveland offense has been run-heavy, as expected under Kevin Stefanski, which has limited Landry thus far. The veteran wideout will go up against the Washington Football Team in Week 3. Washington has an exploitable secondary but they also have a dangerous pass rush that could throw off the rhythm of the Cleveland passing attack. Fantasy gamers need to treat Landry as a low-upside WR3 until he starts to be a larger part of the game plan.
Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper is off to a slow start with his new team. The veteran tight end has caught just four of six targets for 37 yards through two games. Last year's overall TE6 was certainly expected to perform better by those who drafted him this summer. Hooper will go up against the Washington Football Team in Week 3. Washington was shredded by Dallas Goedert in Week 1 and is not a particularly formidable opponent for fantasy tight ends. That being said, it is hard to trust Hooper in fantasy until he shows that he is going to be targeted more heavily in the Cleveland offense. Treat him as a low-end TE2 in Week 3.
The Denver Broncos Defense must disrupt Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in Week 3 to have a chance at avoiding an 0-3 start on the season. Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu has stepped up in Von Miller's (ankle) absence, starting across from former fifth overall pick Bradley Chubb. The young secondary of Essang Bassey and Michael Ojemudia will surely be tested by Brady, with Tampa wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who is returning from a concussion, having the clear advantage. Denver's D has just two sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception through two games, good for three fantasy points per game. Until the Broncos get a better matchup, you should look elsewhere for your starting defensive unit.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to check on Smith-Schuster's status after practice Friday, Sept. 25, but he was able to play last week despite the injury. He should be at least a No. 2 receiver in leagues if he is able to play.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (non-injury) fully participated in practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Roethlisberger is off to a terrific start to the season and seems to have a good connection with his receivers. He can be considered a low-end No. 1 quarterback in deeper fantasy leagues.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant has caught nine of his 11 targets for 138 yards and two touchdowns through two games this season and has even more fantasy upside now that receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) is out for the rest of the year. Even with quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) out and backup Jeff Driskel in this Sunday against Tampa Bay, Fant should see a healthy array of targets, putting him at least on the TE1/2 borderline for fantasy managers. Saints tight end Jared Cook had five catches for 80 yards in the season-opener against rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr., so Fant could easily match or exceed that kind of production.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off a productive game in a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Beckham caught four passes for 74 yards and a touchdown in the win. He will go up against a leaky secondary employed by the Washington Football Team in Week 3. While Washington doesn't have a great secondary, they do have one of the pass rushes in the league, led by rookie Chase Young. That could spell trouble for the Cleveland passing attack in Week 3. The Browns are also seven-point home favorites, so expect the team to skew run-heavy on Sunday. Fantasy gamers can still start Beckham as a low-end WR2 but a WR1 week out of OBJ is looking unlikely.
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus has a big leg and kicks half of his games in altitude, but he just hasn't been worth putting in starting lineups just yet in 2020. McManus didn't attempt a field goal in the season-opening loss to the Titans, but he connected on two of his three tries in the Week 2 loss to the Steelers. With quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) and running back Phillip Lindsay (toe) out this week and receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) out the rest of the season, Denver's offense isn't expected to move the ball consistently enough to give McManus enough chances for points. In a matchup against the Buccaneers in Week 3 where Denver is the clear underdog, it's wise to avoid McManus.
Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (non-injury) fully participated in practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Jackson has been targeted 16 times over the first two games of the season and should see plenty of targets this week with Jalen Reagor sidelined. He will have a favorable matchup and can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in leagues.
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (hamstring), TE Josiah Deguara (ankle) and P JK Scott (non-injury) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 24. DL Kenny Clark (groin) and LB Randy Ramsey (groin) were limited. DL Montravius Adams (toe), CB Jaire Alexander (hand), C Corey Linsley (thumb) and OL Billy Turner (knee) practiced in full.
New Orleans Saints DT Malcom Brown (foot), LB Chase Hansen (hip) and WR Michael Thomas (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 24. OT Terron Armstead (groin), DE Marcus Davenport (hip) and DE Trey Hendrickson (groin) were limited.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick will be in three-receiver sets moving forward now that Courtland Sutton (knee) is done for the rest of the 2020 season. Patrick will be behind rookie wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler and tight end Noah Fant in the passing-game pecking order, though, which will leave him very few targets on a weekly basis in this offense. On top of that, quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) will miss multiple weeks with his injury. The 26-year-old has six catches (10 targets) for 54 scoreless yards through two weeks and should remain on waiver wires in the majority of fantasy leagues.
Minnesota Vikings CB Cameron Dantzler (rib), CB Mike Hughes (neck) and CB Kris Boyd (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 24. RB Mike Boone (concussion) and OT Riley Reiff (ankle) were limited.
Updating a previous report, Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle (knee) was limited during practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Doyle may be a game-time decision this week, so fantasy players will need to monitor his status over the next few days. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 tight end in leagues if he is able to play.
New York Giants DB Adrian Colbert (quad) was limited in practice for a second straight day Thursday, Sept. 24. LB Carter Coughlin (hamstring) practiced in full.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) was limited during practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Jeffery was on the field Thursday for the first time since last season but his status for Week 3 is uncertain. Fantasy players may want to see Jeffery play in a game before considering him for their lineup and can avoid him this week.