Fri Aug 23 11:09pm ET
By FRED GOODALL
AP Sports Writer
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins (81) can't hang onto the ball after getting past Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (33) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) eludes a tackle by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Carl Nassib (94) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves III (28) knocks the ball away from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Derrick Willies (84) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback M.J. Stewart Jr., (36) knocks a pass away from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins (81) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith (50) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) knocks the ball away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (19) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston (3) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Matt Gay kicked a 21-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining, giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 13-12 preseason victory over the Cleveland Browns on Friday night.
The rookie's game-winner capped a 16-play drive lasting more than seven minutes. Cairo Santos booted a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter and third-string quarter Ryan Griffin threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Leggett for the Bucs (2-1).
Rookie Austin Seibert kicked four field goals for the Browns (2-1), who led 9-0 when Baker Mayfield and the rest of Cleveland's starters left the game.
Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 draft, started and played the entire first half after getting just one series of work in Cleveland's preseason opener against Washington and sitting out last week's game at Indianapolis.
Playing without starting receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (hip) and Jarvis Landry, the second-year quarterback led three short field-goal drives and was not particularly sharp while completing 10 of 26 passes for 72 yards and one interception.
Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston had an even tougher night, though it wasn't all his doing.
Gay missed a 37-yard field goal and Tampa Bay's leaky offensive line had difficulty protecting Winston, allowing five sacks while the fifth-year pro was in the game.
The No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft, who's closing in on becoming the franchise's career passing leader yet still trying to prove he's the club's long-term answer at quarterback, finished 9 of 19 for 88 yards without an interception.
Winston played seven series after seeing limited action the previous two weeks against Pittsburgh and Miami. Backup Blaine Gabbert started the second half and led the Bucs into field goal range before falling awkwardly at the end of an 8-yard scramble and heading to the locker room with a shoulder injury. Griffin's TD pass to Leggett gave Tampa Bay a short-lived 10-9 lead late in the third quarter.
Browns: Starting CB Denzel Ward made his preseason debut after missing two games with a minor leg injury. ... Coach Freddie Kitchens doesn't view the third preseason game as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. He's more concerned with keeping players fresh and healthy for the Sept. 8 opener, so his plan was to determine playing time for regulars on a case-by-case basis.
Buccaneers: WR Mike Evans, ILB Lavonte David, DL Vita Vea, TE Cameron Brate, S Mike Edwards, ILB Devante Bond, OLB Anthony Nelson and OLB Kahzin Daniels did not play. ... Backup TE Antony Auclair (calf) left the game in the first half and did not return. ... ILB Deone Bucannon (knee) and S Kentrell Brice (shoulder) were injured during the second quarter.
With field goals of 54, 36, 30 and 35 yards, Seibert may have made some headway in the competition for Cleveland's kicking job. Incumbent Greg Joseph has struggled and Seibert, a fifth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma, had not been consistent before converting all three of his attempts Friday.
Tampa Bay's kicking situation is unsettled, too, with Gay, a fifth-round draft pick from Utah, competing against incumbent Cairo Santos. Gay kicked a 55-yard field goal against Miami last week, but hasn't been as accurate on shorter kicks. His 37-yard attempt against the Browns hit the right upright and bounced away.
Browns: Preseason finale at home vs. Detroit next Thursday
Buccaneers: Close the preseason next Thursday at Dallas
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling should be considered as a flex option with upside this week. Valdes-Scantling had some boom plays in the opening matchup against the Chicago Bears but struggled to make the same impact against the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Denver Broncos have only given up an average of 15.6 points to the position, but haven't faced a quarterback of significant talent yet this season. Given that Davante Adams is due to face a tough personal battle in the matchup, Valdes-Scantling has a great opportunity to bounce back with a few big plays this week.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison has had a wildly inconsistent start to the season, making him a difficult player to trust in lineups this week. Allison wasn't given a single target in the Packers opening matchup and while he had four receptions last week, it was the touchdown that saved his fantasy value. Allison has been used primarily as a large slot player so far this season, but at the moment seems to be a touchdown-or-bust option. While that might change later in the season, fantasy owners should look elsewhere for wide receiver production this week, especially since the Denver Broncos have given up just 15.6 points to the position.
The Green Bay Packers Defenseis a good option for fantasy owners this week. In previous seasons, the defense has struggled to have a consistent impact. However, after multiple additions in the offseason, the Packers have been an effective fantasy option this season. The've only allowed 19 points so far this season, as well as totaling six sacks and five turnovers. The Denver Broncos have struggled to get their offense firing consistently and are on the road in a tough environment, making the Packers worth a start this week.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Buffalo on Sunday. After injuring his ankle during the Week 1 encounter with the 49ers, Mixon has undoubtedly not been at his best, racking up just 27 yards on 17 rushing attempts to go along with just five receptions. Things won't be easy for the 23-year-old, however, as he will be going up against an efficient Bills Defense that has allowed 23.05 fantasy points to opposing backs while allowing opponents to accumulate just 296.5 total yards this season. Nonetheless, Mixon is still a must-start in most fantasy leagues despite his dismal play this season.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will hit the road for a potentially rough Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. The Bills Defense has been one of the most effective units in the league this season, allowing opponents to net just 296.5 yards through the first two games of the season. Dalton has played well, however, throwing four touchdowns with only one interception to go along with a 65.6 completion percentage. With the veteran signal-caller getting some steady production from the likes of John Ross, Tyler Boyd, and Tyler Eifert, Dalton could be a decent streamer in all formats for those in need of a quarterback despite the tough matchup on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers probably didn't expect to be rolling into Week 3 with a field goal record of 0-for-1. Seattle made 22 field goals in 27 attempts last season, but after two weeks of 2019, they've attempted just one shot for three points. Even that attempt was a serious long shot as Myers was forced to kick at the end of the first half against Pittsburgh from 58 yards out. That would have tied his career-long, and no one is really upset that he missed that bomb. The good news is that he is 7-for-7 on extra points so far, and eventually, he'll get his chances on field goals.
New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (thigh) was limited during practice Thursday, Sept. 19..
Fantasy Spin: Ginn likely will lose some fantasy value because of the change at quarterback but is still a big play threat. He could be a flex option in some leagues but could be benched if better options are available.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (thumb) and WR Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. FB Zach Line (knee), OG Andrus Peat (ankle) and DT Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) were limited during practice.
When the Seattle Seahawks drafted wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round of this year's draft, there was a ton of criticism about how Metcalf was nothing but a workout warrior. However, head coach Pete Carroll was enthralled by Metcalf's size and speed combination. He's been searching for that type of receiver for years, trying out the likes of Sidney Rice, Brandon Marshall, and others. None have been the right fit for long, but so far, Metcalf has been fantastic. Metcalf will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong when he faces a soft Saints secondary on Sunday. He should have no problem racking up some more points.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has made a mark in the team's offense, leading the team with eight targets in Week 2. He'll look to follow that up this week as the squad travels to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in a game that will likely force more pass attempts from Derek Carr. With Tyrell Williams drawing coverage from All-Pro Xavier Rhodes, the field could open up more for Renfrow who's starting to become a weapon underneath the secondary. He's too risky to start in DFS and redraft leagues, but with another solid showing, he could be a sneaky option in PPR formats.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly caught his first touchdown of the season last Sunday, and it was quite the relief for him. Dissly doubted that he'd ever play in the NFL again after he tore his patellar tendon last September, and the concern jumped up again when he left the team's Week 1 game early due to banging knees with a teammate. Now, it looks like he might be able to find a regular spot in the rotation of the offense. Dissly ended up hauling in two touchdowns in the win against Pittsburgh, and suddenly, teams are going to have to start scheming for him. With Seattle looking like they'll have no problem reaching the red zone regularly, expect Dissly to be a big, attractive target for Russell Wilson.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (ankle), DE Dee Ford (quadricep), WR Jalen Hurd (back), OT Joe Staley (fibula) and WR Trent Taylor (foot) didn't practice Thursday, Sept. 19. DE Nick Bosa (ankle), S Jaquiski Tartt (toe) and S Jimmie Ward (hand) got in limited practices.
Seattle Seahawks OG Ethan Pocic (neck) and CB Neiko Thorpe (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. WR Jaron Brown (toe), DE Quinton Jefferson (hip), DT Poona Ford (calf), C Joey Hunt (ankle), S Tedric Thompson (hamstring), OG D.J. Fluker (ankle) and CB Tre Flowers (ankle) were limited during practice. DE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), OG Mike Iupati (foot) and WR David Moore (shoulder) fully participated in practice.
Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard is firmly planted as a distant backup to Josh Jacobs this season after dominating touches for the offense in 2018. He's picked up just five touches through two games so far for a total of eight measly yards after leading the team with 68 receptions a year ago. Richard was a valuable pass-catcher last season, but with more weapons added to the passing game, it appears Richard is starting to fade away in this offense. Jacobs is dealing with a hip issue as well as an illness so he may see a few more touches this week versus the Vikings, but he carries no standalone value in any format. Unless Jacobs misses significant time, Richard can be ignored for fantasy purposes.
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny led the team in rushing last week, but it was really because of one big run that he got fortunate on. Penny lumbered 37 yards for a touchdown on a broken play where he cut back to the other side of the field and used lead blocker Russell Wilson to make way for him. Outside of that single run, Penny has carried the ball 15 times for 43 yards in the first two weeks, averaging less than 3.0 YPC. While starter Chris Carson has been catching some passes, Penny has caught just one for three yards. At this point, Penny needs to hit a huge run to matter. Outside of that, he continues to be a disappointment.
Coming off a big week where he snagged 10 passes for 79 yards, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett gets to face another one of the softest secondaries in the league. So far, wide receivers have scored the sixth-most fantasy points against the Saints Defense this season, and Lockett's quickness and route running should keep the passes headed his way. Lockett has received a surprising amount of support from teammate D.K. Metcalf after many thought Metcalf wouldn't be useful, and Metcalf's presence has freed up Lockett to juke and slide his way through coverage with ease. Seattle's offense is always one where the ball can go anywhere, so he's not a lock, but it looks like it should be another good week for Lockett owners.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson told the media on Wednesday that he's sad that Drew Brees won't be out there on the field on Sunday. Wilson mentioned that he's close friends with Brees, who he also said is one of his favorite players of all time. Wilson will instead be facing off against Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill, though it will likely be the New Orleans defense that he's paying more attention to. The Saints Defense has struggled so far, and Wilson has been lights out up to this point. Completing 78% of his passes and racking up five touchdowns through the first two games, owners should expect another consistent performance by Wilson in Week 3.
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson will be facing the best run defense he's seen this year when he welcomes the Saints to Seattle on Sunday. That said, the biggest thing that may help pad Carson's stats is the lack of Drew Brees in the New Orleans huddle. Without Brees, the Saints enter the game as a four-point underdog, and if Seattle can get out to a fast start, Carson could see a considerable amount of ground work later in the game. The coaching staff has made good on their promise that Carson would see more work through the air too, and he's already racked up nine catches for 61 yards and a score over the first two weeks. Expect to see a lot of opportunities again on Sunday, and he should be able to put up solid numbers.
Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton (ribs) didn't practice Thursday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Sutton has 11 receptions for 160 yards but no scores through two games. He remains a viable FLEX option as long as he's in the lineup.
Denver Broncos OT Ja'Wuan James (knee) and G Ronald Leary (not injury related) didn't practice Thursday, Sept. 19. CB Bryce Callahan (foot), FB Andy Janovich (pectoral) and LB Joseph Jones (triceps) were limited. LB Todd Davis (calf) was a full participant.