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FFL: Week 4 | NFL: Week 4

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
Eddy Pineiro Sep 24 3:10am ET

Chicago Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro went 1-for-2 on field goals and hit all four of his extra-point attempts in the Bears 31-15 win over the Redskins. Pineiro surprisingly showed up on the injury report over the weekend with a knee injury and it showed. Reports indicate he tweaked the knee during a workout session and the rookie displayed a noticeable limp throughout the game. Pineiro refused to land on his right leg after his kicks, one of them resulting in his first missed field goal of the season in the third quarter. He managed to make a 38-yard attempt but do not be surprised if the Bears work out kickers this week as Pineiro deals with the injury.

From RotoBaller

Adam Shaheen Sep 24 3:00am ET

Chicago Bears tight end Adam Shaheen caught one pass for seven yards in the Bears win over the Redskins in Week 3. Shaheen was featured early as the Bears flashed a lot of heavy formations on offense. But the athletic tight end seemed to disappear after making his only reception of the game. The former second-round pick has a reputation of struggling to recover after incurring in-game contact and this game was no exception. Shaheen has little fantasy value but has the potential to catch a few short-yardage touchdowns in the red zone this season for the Bears,

From RotoBaller

Chicago Bears Sep 24 3:00am ET

The Chicago Bears Defense was on full display for MNF against the Redskins, causing five turnovers in the team's 31-15 convincing win over the Redskins. Led by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Khalil Mack, the unit racked up two forced fumbles, three interceptions and four sacks. Clinton-Dix got the party started with a pick-six of Redskins quarterback Case Keenum and added another, that almost resulted in a touchdown, towards the end of the first half. Mack was as disruptive as ever, forcing a fumble and picking up two sacks. The Bears defense is among the best in the league and delivered an elite fantasy performance. They will have their hands full next week, however, against Dalvin Cook and the Vikings in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Anthony Miller Sep 24 2:50am ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller caught only one pass for 15 yards in the team's 31-15 win over the Redskins in Washington. Miller was targeted only three times and was, once again, left out of the mix in the passing game. The second-year player was flagged for an ill-timed false start in the first quarter and Mitch Trubisky's passes seemed to be just out of reach. Miller is playing catch-up after an ankle injury late in training camp has stunted his role in the offense thus far. When the ball is in his hands, Miller can make big things happen. But until more targets come his way, he lacks any kind of fantasy appeal heading into Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Trey Burton Sep 24 2:50am ET

Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton caught four passes for 20 yards in the Bears 31-15 win over the Redskins in Week 3. Burton is slowly working his way back into the offense and quarterback Mitch Trubisky found him for a couple of first downs. Burton has talent but is miles away from the type of production he put up in the first half of last season. If he can stay healthy, Burton should begin to see more looks in the red zone. Regardless, he will be a touchdown-dependent fantasy option in Week 4 against the Vikings.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Sep 24 2:40am ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson caught six passes for 60 yards in the team's 31-15 victory over the Redskins. Robinson, once again, was a reliable source of production for an improving Bears offense. He saw six targets in the game and his longest reception went for only 14 yards. But the veteran got open in key spots and continues to be a safety valve for the inconsistent Mitch Trubisky. Robinson isn't posting eye-popping numbers but a big fantasy performance is in his near future. He will have a challenging test, however, next week against the Vikings.

From RotoBaller

Tarik Cohen Sep 24 2:40am ET

Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen caught two passes for 26 yards in the Bears handling of the Redskins 31-15 in Week 3. Cohen also saw four carries in the game but disappointed with negative-two rushing yards as his role in the offense continues to be minimal. Cohen has game- breaking speed and ability but is a huge hit-or-miss fantasy asset right now. Fantasy owners certainly shouldn't think about dropping just yet but until he sees more than 10 touches in a game, he should ride the fantasy bench next week against the Vikings.

From RotoBaller

Cordarrelle Patterson Sep 24 2:40am ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson carried the ball four times for 14 yards and added one catch for six yards in Week 3 against the Redskins. One week after busting a huge run against the Broncos, Patterson was featured often in the Bears offensive formations. Patterson isn't a fantasy factor right now but his presence on the field should continue in the head coach Matt Nagy's scheme. The veteran will continue to steal snaps from David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and Anthony Miller as defenses now must respect his speed whenever he's on the field.

From RotoBaller

Taylor Gabriel Sep 24 2:30am ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel caught six passes for 75 yards and three touchdowns in the team's 31-15 win over the Redskins in Week 4. Gabriel was open all over the field, springing free for two easy red zone scores. He then capped off his first half by making Bears history, making a highlight reel catch for 36 yards and becoming the first Bears player with three receiving touchdowns in one quarter. When Gabriel and quarterback Mitch Trubisky are clicking, the veteran is an elite fantasy option. There were stretches last season where Gabriel was the Bears biggest threat in the passing game. But inconsistency will keep Gabriel on the fantasy fence heading into the team's Week 4 matchup against the Vikings.

From RotoBaller

David Montgomery Sep 24 2:30am ET

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery carried the ball 13 times for 67 yards and added 14 receiving yards in the Bears 31-15 triumph over the Redskins. The rookie got off to a slow start but his unique elusiveness was once again on display. When the Bears built a 28-3 lead at halftime the offense leaned on Montgomery in the second half. The talented runner broke runs in between the tackles and even popped a 25-yard run using his speed on the edges in the second half. The Bears offense is a work in progress but brighter days are ahead for Montgomery. It may not happen overnight but the rookie has plenty of talent and is on pace to develop into a solid fantasy starter by Halloween.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Sep 24 2:20am ET

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed 25-of-31 passes for 231 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the Bears convincing 31-15 win over the Redskins. Trubisky was on point in the first half, completing 20-of-23 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns, all to wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. The maligned third-year quarterback cashed in on two short-field scoring opportunities thanks to a dominant defense and then made the best play of his young season. Trubisky rolled out and delivered a dime to Gabriel for a 36-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead. Trubisky still showed glimpses of inaccuracy and his lone interception was a terrible throw in the red zone but the Bears quarterback is making progress. Trubisky is gaining confidence but will have a tough test at home in Week 4 against the Vikings.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Hurd Sep 24 1:20am ET

San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd (back) is trying to recover from a hairline fracture in his back, but he could return to practice next Monday, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. Hurd has yet to make his NFL debut, but he'll have a shot to do so after the team's Week 4 bye. It would still probably be overly optimistic to expect him to play in Week 5, though, even if he returns to practice next week. On a Niners team that is mixing in Marquise Goodwin, Deebo Samuel, Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne and Richie James, it's hard to see Hurd having a significant role in his rookie season. He remains more of a dynasty/keeper league stash.

From RotoBaller

Travis Benjamin Sep 24 1:20am ET

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said that wide receiver Travis Benjamin (quadriceps) is dealing with an injury that will put his availability for Week 4 against the Dolphins in question. Tight end Virgil Green (groin) is day-to-day after injuring himself in the Week 3 loss to the Texans. Benjamin caught two of five targets for just five yards on Sunday, while Green failed to catch his only target. Neither player is worth a roster spot in fantasy leagues, even heading into an excellent matchup this weekend against the flailing Dolphins. Receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will continue to soak up most of the targets in the passing game, as well as running back Austin Ekeler.

From RotoBaller

San Francisco 49ers Sep 24 1:20am ET

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (foot) is expected to miss at least a month with a foot sprain, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. Emmanuel Moseley will be first in line to replace Witherspoon, but a competition with Jason Verrett and others will take place. San Francisco's secondary will need to step up. Luckily they'll have a Week 4 bye to figure things out before being tested by Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. on Monday night in Week 5. The Browns could have their way with San Fran's secondary in that matchup.

From RotoBaller

DeSean Jackson Sep 24 1:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (groin) was listed as a non-participant on the team's estimated Monday practice report. Jackson sat out in Week 3 and is pretty much doubtful to suit up on Thursday night against the Packers. You need to be making other plans if he's on your roster. Nelson Agholor has been the biggest beneficiary with both Jackson and Alshon Jeffery (calf) basically missing the last two games. However, Jeffery has a chance to return this Thursday and the Packers secondary has improved drastically from a year ago. If Jeffery returns and D-Jax remains out, Jeffery and tight end Zach Ertz will likely be Carson Wentz's main targets.

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Sep 24 1:10am ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the team still has faith in running back Chris Carson, who has lost three fumbles in three games. "Because we do believe in him, we're going to continue to show him that," Carroll said. Carson might've lost work in Week 3 against the Saints if it weren't for the fact that backup Rashaad Penny (hamstring) was inactive. Seattle will stick with Carson as the lead back for now, but that might not be the case for much longer if his ball-security issues persist. Penny has RB3/flex standalone value in deeper PPR leagues but would become much more valuable if he starts stealing work from Carson. Carson will remain an RB2 in Week 4 against the Cardinals on the road.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Graham Sep 24 1:00am ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (groin, quadriceps) was listed as a non-participant on the estimated injury report for Monday. Graham is also dealing with thigh and finger injuries. The veteran tight end continues to become less attractive in fantasy by the day. He played less than half the offensive snaps in Week 3 against the Broncos. Graham has been targeted just twice the last two weeks combined and has zero catches to show for it. If he doesn't find the end zone these days, he'll be a TE2 bust for fantasy owners. We'd recommend looking for other options in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Jones Sep 24 1:00am ET

Green Bay Packers running backs Aaron Jones (shoulder) and Jamaal Williams (neck) were both listed on Monday's estimated injury report as limited participants. Jones helped fantasy owners with two touchdowns, but he rushed for just 19 yards and had two fewer carries than Williams. Williams also saw two targets in the passing game to Jones' one. Jones remains the more intriguing fantasy option in Green Bay's backfield, but he'll have a limited ceiling and more volatility on a week-to-week basis if the Packers continue to give Williams more run. Both players should play on Thursday night against the Eagles, but Philly's strong defensive front gives both Jones and Williams bust potential.

From RotoBaller

T Y Hilton Sep 24 12:50am ET

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said that wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) aggravated his quadriceps injury in Week 3 against the Falcons. "We'll see how he progresses this week," Reich said. Thankfully for his fantasy owners, Hilton did all of his damage in the first half (eight catches, 65 yards, one touchdown) before getting injured and not returning after halftime. You'll have to keep a close eye on his practice status this week, but Hilton would remain a strong WR2 if he suits up against the Raiders. If he's inactive in Week 4, the Colts could lean heavily on the run while rookie Parris Campbell and Deon Cain work as the likely top receivers.

From RotoBaller

Ito Smith Sep 24 12:40am ET

Atlanta Falcons running backs Ito Smith and Kenjon Barner are both in the concussion protocol after suffering head injuries in the Week 3 loss to the Colts. Smith saw just one carry on Sunday before his injury. He has very limited standalone value in fantasy if Devonta Freeman is healthy. If Smith cannot get cleared for Week 4 against the Titans, Brian Hill and rookie Qadree Ollison would likely battle for scraps behind Freeman. Barner has only one catch for four yards in 2019 and is not a fantasy option at all when he's healthy.

From RotoBaller