Wed Oct 9 3:27pm ET
By TODD KARPOVICH
In this Sept. 30, 2018 file photo Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matt Judon celebrates with fans as he leaves the field after a 26-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. Judon is playing in the final year of his $2.59 million rookie deal, he says his focus is entirely on his performance. Next up for Judon and the Ravens is Cincinnati on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright, file)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon said is not worried about his future.
He believes that would be unfair to his teammates.
Even though Judon is playing in the final year of his $2.59 million rookie deal, he said his focus is entirely on the next game in front of him.
''The better I play, the better our team plays, the more it helps me out with the contract,'' Judon said. ''I am not really thinking about that. I have a job to do everyday. How selfish would it be for me and to all these guys if I'm just out here pouting about some money?
''I am blessed to be here. So, I am just going to soak it up and take every advantage and opportunity I have to play hard and have fun with my guys.''
The onus has been on Judon to fill the void left by the departure of the franchise's all-time sack leader, Terrell Suggs, and last season's top pass rusher, Za'Darius Smith, via free agency.
That seems like it is a lot of pressure for a fifth-round pick in 2016 from Grand Valley State, a Division II program in western Michigan.
So far, Judon has been up to the challenge. He is tied with fellow linebacker Pernell McPhee for a team-leading three sacks this season. Judon also ranks third on the Ravens with 19 tackles.
''Matthew plays super hard,'' Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. ''He's had really great plays and he's had plays he wants to do better, like all guys. I never question his effort. I never question his intensity. He always wants to do well. He's very valuable and important to our defense. We need him.''
One of the areas Judon needs to improve is penalties.
Over the last 21 games, he has been flagged eight times. The penalties have included three for unnecessary roughness calls, one for roughing the passer and a horse-collar tackle Week 3 against Kansas City, which helped extend a drive and led to a touchdown.
''Those are things you have to make wise choices on,'' Harbaugh said, referring to the penalties. ''They call them the way they call them and they're pretty consistent with how they call them. We have to be pretty consistent with how we play all those kinds of things.''
Both Suggs and Smith left for huge deals in Arizona and Green Bay, respectively. Linebacker C.J. Mosley had contract discussions with the Ravens, but opted to sign a 5-year, $85-million deal with the Jets this offseason.
At age 27, Judon will likely have plenty of suitors if the Ravens can't reach a new deal with him before free agency. As a result, Judon does not know what to expect as the clock ticks down on his current contract.
''I have no clue what the future holds,'' Judon said. ''Hopefully, I'll be here forever and ever. But, like this offseason, we never know.''
While Judon is all business on the field, he also provides levity in the locker room. In this year's team photo, Judon is pointing to the sky with a huge grin as the rest of his teammates stare forward into the camera.
''We put our head down, go to work, put our helmets back on, and we're always up for a challenge, up for a party,'' he said about the camaraderie in the Ravens locker room.
The Ravens have uncharacteristically given up some big plays this season. They are ranked 21st in overall defense and 29th against the pass.
Baltimore has also managed nine sacks over five games. Judon is looking to do more to support the injury-riddled secondary, starting this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
''Some of the quarterbacks have been getting the ball out pretty fast,'' Judon said. ''We've been up against some pretty good blocking schemes. When it really comes down to it, we have to win our one-on-ones up front. We have to do a better job getting to the quarterback and applying pressure and helping our secondary out.''
Dallas Cowboys WR Randall Cobb (back, hip) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 6 game.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield appeared to injure his lower back in the third quarter against the Seahawks. Mayfield was taken to the locker room for evaluation, but he promptly returned without missing a single snap and is currently back in the game. It appears Mayfield will tough this one out, but his Week 7 status needs to be monitored.
New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.
Fantasy Spin: Thomas likely will receive a handful of targets against the Dallas Cowboys, but fantasy players may be able to find better options for their lineups this week.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly went down in Week 6 against the Browns with an injury to his achilles. The injury was non-contact, and Dissly was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. At the time of the injury, Dissly was just targeted just once and failed to haul it in. Luke Willson is in at tight end for the rest of the afternoon, and currently has one catch for five yards. Dissly's Week 7 status is in doubt and needs to be monitored.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 6 game.
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (back) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson likely will receive a lot of touches during the game despite the injury and should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (groin) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.
Fantasy Spin: Kittle is one of the best right ends in the NFL and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
The Panthers Defense brutalized the Tampa offense during the Week 6 matchup in London. With seven sacks on the day, including receiving 2.5 from Gerald McCoy against his former team, Carolina was relentless by also forcing quarterback Jameis Winston to throw five interceptions. With a week off, the team will have a stiff challenge against a sound 49ers offense in Week 8.
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen was targeted seven times against the Buccaneers on Sunday and finished with four catches for 52 yards. After failing to record a catch against the Jaguars in Week 5 while recording just two in Week 4, the veteran's performance in London was a slight improvement. Nonetheless, Olsen has been a disappointment from a fantasy perspective and should only be expected to produce efficient performances on sporadic occasions throughout the remainder of the season regardless of who is under center for the Panthers.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Dissly missed last season with an injury to his right knee, so this is a brand new injury to his left Achilles. We don't know the severity yet, but it was bad enough to immediately rule him out for the rest of the game. It took him a couple of minutes to get off the turf and it sure seems like this is a serious injury. Stay tuned. At tight end, Luke Willson will take over and he's an athletic TE who may become a threat.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber was unable to get anything going against the Panthers in Week 6, gaining just 28 yards on 10 carries on the day. Barber did get more carries than backfield mate Ronald Jones II, but could not find any holes and was otherwise a non-factor in what turned out to be a pass-heavy game. Barber has established himself through the first 6 weeks of the season as borderline unstartable in any fantasy format and should be treated as such. The Bucs have a bye in Week 7 before another tough matchup against the Titans in Tennessee in Week 8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was unable to get going Sunday, gaining only 10 yards on four carries, but did score a touchdown to save his day. Jones again fell victim to the Bucs unpredictable backfield rotation after starting to seemingly separate himself from the pack, seeing fewer snaps and touches than fellow backfield mate Peyton Barber in Week 6. It will be hard for fantasy owners to trust any of the Bucs running backs until something changes in that backfield. Until then they can both be considered very low-end bye week fill-in options. The Bucs are off in Week 7 before a tough matchup against the Titans in Week 8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston disappointed fantasy owners in a big way Sunday, completing 30-of-54 passes for 400 yards and a touchdown to go along with an absurd five interceptions. Winston wasn't given an inch on the day, getting sacked seven times and losing a fumble in the process. Anything Winston did through the first four weeks to gain fantasy owner's confidence has been thrown out the window over the last two weeks. This shouldn't come as the biggest surprise though, as inconsistency has been the theme of Winston's career. The Bucs have a bye in Week 7 before a tough matchup against the Titans in Tennessee, Winston will slot in as a mid-range QB2 for that matchup.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel recorded four catches for 70 yards, while also recording a pair of touchdowns against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Samuel got it done in all areas in London, rushing for a score midway through the third quarter before catching a touchdown off of a 13-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Allen in the fourth. With Cam Newton (foot) potentially returning after the Week 7 bye, the 23-year-old will continue to split the bulk of the targets with fellow wideout D.J. Moore and running back Christian McCaffrey regardless of who is under center.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore recorded 73 yards off of seven catches during the win over the Buccaneers in London. With 10 targets on the day, Moore kept it going after recording six receptions for 91 yards against the Jaguars in Week 5. The quarterback situation remains a mystery as the team heads toward the bye, but the 22-year-old should remain involved regardless of who is under center while continuing to split the majority of the targets with Curtis Samuel, who finished with two touchdowns on the day.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey recorded just 57 total yards against Tampa Bay on Sunday, but still managed to find the end zone twice in Week 6. While McCaffrey was stuffed by the Buccaneers Defense by rushing for an abysmal 31 yards on 22 attempts, he offset his shoddy numbers with a touchdown run late in the first quarter, while acquiring his second off of a 25-yard pass from Kyle Allen. With the team heading into a bye, the potential MVP will look to keep it going in Week 8 against the 49ers.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen recorded his fourth straight win on Sunday against Tampa Bay in London. While Jameis Winston recorded five interceptions on the day, Allen was able to get it done by finishing with 227 yards and two touchdowns on 20-for-32 passing. With the Panthers heading into a bye, things will get interesting for the Panthers if Cam Newton (foot) can return for the Week 8 matchup with San Francisco. Fantasy managers will want to monitor the situation, but Allen should remain on rosters until Newton is officially back in the mix as a starter.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (ankle) is active against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kamara gets a juicy matchup in Week 6, though he might be limited. Even if he has a smaller role, he should still put up RB1 numbers against Jacksonville.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) is inactive against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6 while tight end Mark Andrews (shoulder) will play. Andrews is a TE1 with upside, as quarterback Lamar Jackson will lean on him in the passing game. Ravens slot receiver Willie Snead could be a sneaky sleeper without Brown in the fold.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is officially inactive for Week 6. His absence should give the rest of the Kansas City offense more opportunities. In a likely shootout against the Houston Texans, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson are flex plays while Tyreek Hill is back and ready to resume his WR1 role.