Sat Aug 17 6:30pm ET
By PAT GRAHAM
AP Sports Writer
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.''
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (calf) wasn't seen at practice on Wednesday. It doesn't mean that Mack won't play in Week 3 at home against the Falcons, but it's certainly something to monitor as the week progresses. Indy is tied for second in the NFL in rushing with 185 yards per game after two weeks, so Mack would be a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 if he plays. Atlanta ranks in the middle of the pack against the run (110.5 rushing yards allowed per game). If Mack is unable to suit up, Jordan Wilkins would see a big value boost on early downs, while third-down back Nyheim Hines would become more attractive in PPR leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (foot) appeared as a full participant on the injury report Wednesday, Sept. 18, but will start in Week 3 against the New York Giants.
Fantasy Spin: Winston would be a high-end QB2 under standard circumstances with a nice matchup in Week 3, but he could be the best available option for fantasy managers who've already lost a quarterback early in the season.
Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein was perfect during the teams 29-7 Week 2 victory over the New Orleans Saints with two field goals and three extra points. Zuerlein was able to show his range in Week 1 with a 56-yard kick against the Carolina Panthers, quieting any health concerns after the veteran had suffered a leg injury during the latter half of last year. Lock in Zuerlein as a top option in all leagues thanks to the explosiveness of the Rams offense.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quad) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton played 90% of snaps and caught four of six targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. There isn't yet any concern this early in the week, and he should stay locked in as a WR1.
Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett (knee) was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Brissett has been held below 200 yards passing in each of the first two games of the season. He has thrown five touchdowns against one interception. He's a low-end QB2.
Carolina Panthers S Rashaan Gaulden (groin), OT Brandon Greene (neck), LB Bruce Irvin (hamstring) and DT Kawann Short (shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard (concussion) didn't practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. CB Pierre Desir (knee), DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (shoulder), DE Jabaal Sheard (knee), DE Kemoko Turay (neck) and RB Jonathan Williams (rib) were all limited.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp appears to be the WR1 in Los Angeles two weeks into the season thanks to his rapport with quarterback Jared Goff. Kupp enters Week 3 leading the team in receptions, yards and targets, an impressive feat considering he had torn his ACL just one year ago. In Week 3, Kupp will be matched up against the Cleveland Browns, a team with a young but talented defense that could apply heavy pressure on the Rams offensive line. If the O-line collapses, expect Goff to continue to look Kupps way when under pressure, as the wide receivers average depth of target has been just 5.9 yards (84th in the NFL). Lock Kupp in as a high-end WR2, as his chemistry with Goff will keep his floor stable and his ceiling sky-high.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods struggled in the teams Week 2 29-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints. After all, he only had two receptions on two targets for 33 yards. However, fantasy owners should treat Week 2 as an anomaly; Woods had multiple plays called back due to holding penalties and the game script aligned with a run-focused offensive scheme with the Rams leading for the majority of the contest. With a Week 3 matchup against the Cleveland Browns on the horizon, he should see a larger target share in what could end up being a high-scoring, offensive duel thanks to a potent Browns offense. Woods remains a mid-tier WR2 across all formats.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks rebounded in the teams Week 2 29-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints with three receptions on four targets for 74 yards and a TD. However, his five receptions through two games remains extremely concerning and indicates that the veteran could very well be the WR3 on the Rams depth chart. Still, Cooks should be a WR2, as he is the teams best deep threat and faces a Browns secondary that gave up chunk-yardage plays during Week 1 to rookie wideout A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans. Be wary, though, that Cooks could be behind both teammates Cooper Kupp and Robert Woodsin target share.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff saw some success in the teams 29-7 Week 2 victory over the New Orleans Saints, completing 19 passes on 28 attempts for 283 yards and two TDs (one passing, one rushing). While Week 2 was a definite improvement over his subpar Week 1 performance, unfortunately Goff remains plagued by issues with accuracy. Entering a Week 3 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, the quarterback will most likely face heavy pressure from a strong defensive front led by Myles Garrett and Sheldon Richardson. As long as Goff remains composed in the pocket, the upside of the Rams offense should keep his ceiling as a high-end QB2.
Miami Dolphins S Reshad Jones (ankle) and WR Albert Wilson (hip/calf) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. LB Trent Harris (foot), S Bobby McCain (shoulder) and CB Ken Webster (illness) were all limited. DE Charles Harris (wrist) was a full participant.
Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen (knee) participated in full in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Rosen has replaced starter Ryan Fitzpatrick in each of the Dolphins' first two games of the season. He's still listed as the backup, but it seems to be only a matter of time until the sophomore is handed the starting job. He's worth stashing in dynasty leagues.
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Newton is questionable for Week 3, so fantasy players should monitor the situation during the week. Players will need other options available in case Newton is ruled out.
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (back) was limited during practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Olsen was able to play last week despite the injury and posted 110 yards in the game. He may be playing with a new quarterback this week but has a chance to still be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Mack played 68% of the Colts' offensive snaps in Week 2 and rushed for 51 yards on 20 attempts after going for 174 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. It won't be surprising to see him rest early in the week at practice in order to keep him ready for such heavy workloads on Sundays.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey will play on Thursday against the Titans, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Ramsey is unhappy with his contract situation in Jacksonville and requested a trade Monday night. He's expected to get dealt as early as this Friday for a pair of first-round picks, so Thursday's game is shaping up to be his last in a Jaguars uniform. The shutdown corner will likely shut down Titans receiver Corey Davis on the outside. Against a slow-paced, run-first Titans offense led by inconsistent quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Jaguars Defense is in play as a low-end starting option in Week 3.
Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) will start on Thursday against the Titans. It's an upgrade for rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew's blind-side protection in Week 3, but Jacksonville's offense is still likely to struggle to move the ball consistently without Nick Foles (collarbone) under center. You should only be looking to start Minshew if you're desperate in deep two-QB leagues.
Buffalo Bills TE Tyler Kroft (foot) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept 18.
Fantasy Spin: Kroft appears to be on track to play in Week 3 and could take over the starting tight end job. He should not be a starting fantasy option this week, but fantasy players could keep an eye on him because he could be a waiver wire option down the road.
Buffalo Bills WR John Brown (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Brown has become the team's main target in the passing game and should continue to see plenty of target during games. He can be at least a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues this week.