New York Giants quarterback Mike Glennon throws a pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Dallas Cowboys' Keanu Neal (42), Micah Parsons (11) and Jayron Kearse (27) help defend as New York Giants running back Devontae Booker (28) reaches the end zone over the top of the pile for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones throws a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) celebrates intercepting a Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott pass in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Los Angeles Rams safety Nick Scott (33) intercepts a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle. The Rams won 26-17. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants are heading in opposite directions as they meet for the third time in five seasons.
The Rams (4-1) are off to another good start and in line to make the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons under now 35-year-old coach Sean McVay.
Heading into Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium, the Giants (1-4) are off to another horrible start and face a fifth straight losing season. It would be their second straight under Joe Judge, their fourth coach in the short span, which includes interim coach Steve Spagnuolo.
New York also is dealing with injuries. Quarterback Daniel Jones (concussion), running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) all were hurt last week in a loss to Dallas.
Still, McVay - whose Rams have won the last two meetings - isn't taking the Giants lightly. He said they have playmakers, good coaches and play hard. But he likes the progress his team has made this season.
''That doesn't mean that it's a perfect trajectory where you're just always on that upward tick, but you do want to see the things that we've emphasized continue to come to life,'' McVay said. ''The things that really matter. The things that end up making the difference between winning and losing, and I like where our team is at.
''There's a lot of improvement and looking forward to seeing some of these things we've emphasized come to life on Sunday.''
Judge and the Giants keep saying they are making progress, but the standings tell a different story. They opened last season 1-7, and are on the same path this year.
''It's tough, but you have to keep plugging,'' Giants receiver Sterling Shepard said. ''Whatever we've done in the past to figure (it) out midway through the season, we have to hurry up and do it now.''
Shepard went to the playoffs with the Giants as a rookie in 2016. Only losing seasons have followed.
''We've got to fix the things that we're not doing well,'' he said. ''And that's the bottom line.''
Jones seemed to be in Stage 4 of the NFL concussion protocol on Thursday. That's taking part in a non-contact practice. The next step would be taking part in a full practice and then being cleared by a specialist to play.
Concussions can be tricky. Jones may be cleared to practice, but could feel dizzy after a tough workout. He also could take a hit in a game and be back to square one. Whatever happens, backup Mike Glennon is ready to go.
The Rams had the NFL's top defense last season, but they've regressed after the departure of coordinator Brandon Staley - now the Charges coach - and four starters.
Los Angeles is ranked 23rd in yards allowed and 13th in points allowed. Although their pass rush is still formidable and Jalen Ramsey is having an outstanding season in his do-everything role, the Rams have enough vulnerability to give the Giants some hope. The injury absence of starting cornerback Darious Williams means extensive playing time for either rookie fourth-round pick Robert Rochell or inexperienced David Long Jr.
After watching him catch 10 passes for 189 yards - a team rookie record - expect the Giants to get the ball to elusive wide receiver Kadarius Toney. In a relatively short time, he has shown he can take a short pass and turn it into a big play with a quick feet.
While Golladay's status is iffy for the game, Shepard and fellow starting receiver Darius Slayton appear ready to return after missing two games with hamstring injuries.
SHARING THE BALL
Stafford is already off to a strong start with the Rams, and the passing game is only getting better now that he's distributing the ball more evenly among his top targets.
Cooper Kupp got the bulk of the important throws in the first four weeks, while Robert Woods was curiously underused. After a heart-to-heart talk between Woods and McVay, Stafford targeted Woods 15 times in Seattle to tremendous effect.
Second-year pro Van Jefferson is emerging as a solid No. 3 wideout, while DeSean Jackson has been an effective deep threat. McKay is using more aggressive downfield throws than he did with Jared Goff throwing.
Another reason the Giants have to be concerned: Their fans are fed up with the losing.
In their last home game, the organization retired the jersey of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and added his name to its Ring of Honor. With New York trailing Atlanta at halftime, co-owner John Mara was booed during the ceremony.
The Giants plan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Super Bowl XLVI championship - the '11 season - at halftime Sunday. It could be ugly if New York is trailing again.
Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his hip, officially ending his 2021 season. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the surgery is a measure that will help him heal. The 38-year-old suffered a hip subluxation in the Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and appeared in only one game in 2021. He finishes the season with 13 yards passing on six attempts. Fitzpatrick is on an expiring deal with Washington, and it's unclear where the veteran will land in 2022. Taylor Heinicke will continue to be Washington's starting quarterback and has been a solid fantasy asset this season. The 28-year-old has thrown for 2,809 yards and an 18:11 TD: INT ratio while rushing for 289 yards and a score over 12 games. Heinicke can be used as a streamer against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14.
New England Patriots defensive back Adrian Phillips (knee) exited Monday's game against the Buffalo Bills early with a knee injury and did not return. The 29-year-old suffered a knee injury late in the game. He racked up five solo tackles before leaving. The severity of his knee injury is unknown at this time, and he's considered day-to-day. Phillips has been solid this season, recording 64 tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble, and a touchdown across 13 games in 2021. The Patriots have a bye in Week 14, Phillips will have an extra week to rest. If Phillips were to miss any games, Sean Davis would see an uptick in sna
The San Francisco 49ers released wide receiver Devin Funchess (undisclosed) from the practice squad injured list Monday. He was placed on the 49ers practice squad injured list last Tuesday and ultimately released from the team on Monday. Funchess hasn't played a game since 2019 and has now been released by two teams in 2021. The Packers released the 27-year-old from Injured Reserve with an injury settlement during the offseason. Funchess will look to latch onto another team, searching for receiver depth purposes.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) remains "day-to-day," and the team is hopeful he can play in Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 25-year-old was ruled out in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks with a groin injury. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor the situation throughout the week. Samuel has been terrific this season, hauling in 56 catches for 1,006 yards and five touchdowns on five targets while also seeing 25 carries for 203 yards and five more touchdowns. 49ers tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk would see an uptick in targets if Samuel cannot suit up for Week 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Stay tuned.
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said that "he expects Melvin Gordon III (hip, shoulder) to practice at some point during the week." He missed practice last week and was ultimately ruled out ahead of Sunday night's contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. Broncos explosive rookie running back Javonte Williams rushed 23 times for 102 yards while adding a team-high six receptions on a team-high nine targets for 76 yards and a receiving score in Gordon's absence in the Week 13 loss. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor the situation, but if Gordon cannot suit up in Week 14, Williams becomes a surefire RB1 in a plus matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders saw an uptick in targets during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. Recently, the veteran wideout hasn't been much of an option in the passing attack. However, this week he hauled in three of his six targets for 22 yards in the loss. Obviously, this wasn't a good performance, but the weather was a huge factor. The wind made it difficult for either team to pass the ball at all. Those six targets were the most for Sanders since Week 9. Hopefully, Sanders can remain involved next week for the potential shootout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll be on the WR4 radar for that favorable matchup.
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox had an awful game versus the New England Patriots in Week 13. He hauled in two of his six targets for 14 yards in the loss. To be fair, the wind made it almost impossible for either team to pass the ball. However, Knox dropped two catchable passes and committed a huge false start on the Bills' final drive. There isn't much positive to take from his performance in this one. Luckily, he has a fantastic rebound opportunity against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. Fantasy managers should consider Knox a TE1 for that matchup.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis is normally not someone who is significantly involved in the passing attack. However, he hauled in two of his four targets for 30 yards and one touchdown in the Week 13 loss to the New England Patriots. The young wideout hauled in a 14-yard score, which was the only passing touchdown between the two teams. It was a game where the weather made it nearly impossible to pass the ball. Despite a decent performance, Davis isn't someone who should be trusted in fantasy formats. He'll be a desperation deep league PPR option in what is a potential shootout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley posted another dud performance during the Week 13 matchup versus the New England Patriots. To be fair, this wasn't really Beasley's fault since the weather was awful. The veteran wideout hauled in one of his three targets for 11 yards in the loss. Fantasy managers have seen Beasley's production declining over the last four weeks. Possibly, the return of Dawson Knox has hurt Beasley's target share. Regardless, he does have plenty of bounce back potential against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. He'll be a boom-or-bust PPR option for that matchup.
Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss found no room to run during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. The second-year back was a healthy scratch last week, but found his way back on the field for this one. Sadly, he rushed for 21 yards on eight attempts in the loss. He also added two receptions for 12 additional yards through the air. The 10 carries did tie Devin Singletary for the team lead. The weather conditions made both teams lean on the running game. It's uncertain if Moss will play next week, but he'll hardly be an option against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense.
Buffalo Bills running back Matt Breida has seen an increased role in the offense over the last three weeks. However, that came to an end versus the New England Patriots in Week 13. Breida rushed one time for three yards and hauled in one reception for five yards in the loss. The weather played a huge factor in this game. Neither team could pass the ball and Breida normally gets a majority of his production as a receiving back. Possibly, Breida bounces back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although, he won't be worth trusting more than a low-end PPF flex option in deep leagues.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs was fairly quiet during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. He hauled in four of his seven targets for 51 yards in the loss. It was a game where the weather played a significant role The wind made it difficult for either team to pass the ball. The fact Diggs was able to accomplish four receptions is impressive. He'll have a fantastic matchup ahead of him against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14. A game where he should be considered an elite WR1.
Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary was surprisingly the best back during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. It was a game where the weather didn't help either team. The Bills had all three of their backs active for this matchup. However, Singletary did the best with 36 yards on 10 attempts in the loss. Obviously, none of the Bills' backs were successful in this game, but the weather did have a factor. Sadly, Singletary will still remain a low-end RB3 for the Week 14 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith is normally a forgotten man in the offense most weeks. That remained the case during the Week 13 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Smith hauled in his lone target for 12 yards in the win. To be fair, the weather was awful in this game, so the Patriots rushed the ball almost the entire game. Quarterback Mac Jones only had three passing attempts throughout this contest. Despite that, it's hard to imagine Smith actually bringing more to the table than that one reception. He remains someone who can be left on the waiver wire or a desperation deep league option.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen certainly had plenty of troubles during the Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots. He completed 15-of-30 passing attempts for 145 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions in the loss. He also added six rushing attempts for 39 additional yards on the ground. It was a game where the wind didn't let either team have success through the air. Fantasy managers shouldn't be concerned with Allen's lack of success in this game. It should be considered a fluke due to the poor weather conditions. He'll be an elite QB1 for a favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week.
New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne finished without a reception during the Week 13 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. It was a blizzard game where the Pats used the ground game almost exclusively. In fact, quarterback Mac Jones only had three passing attempts all game long in the win. Bourne saw zero targets, but did rush the ball one time for three yards. Fantasy managers should consider this a fluke performance due to the weather. The Pats have a bye next week, but Bourne should be considered a PPR deep league option the rest of the way.
New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor posted a dud performance along with basically every receiver on this offense. The conditions for this game were horrendous, so the Pats used the ground game almost exclusively. Agholor saw one target and rushed one time for six yards in the win over the Buffalo Bills. Fantasy managers normally have a good reason to be upset with Agholor, but this game isn't his fault. The Pats have a Week 14 bye week, but regardless Agholor is only a desperation deep league option at this point.
New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry has been a touchdown-dependent option all season long. Fantasy managers are used to getting little production from him, but he gave them a goose egg on Monday. In Week 13, Henry was not involved at all during the win over the Buffalo Bills. The conditions were awful, which led to the Pats running the ball basically all game. Quarterback Mac Jones only had three attempts during the entire game. The Patriots have a bye next week, but Henry will remain a touchdown-dependent TE2 the rest of the way.
New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden has seen an inconsistent role in this offense all season long. In Week 13, Bolden rushed four times for 28 yards and hauled in one reception for seven yards in the win over the Buffalo Bills. It was a quiet game from Bolden, but it wasn't all his fault. The Patriots normally use Bolden as a receiving back and only threw the ball three times during the entire game. This was a fluke due to the poor weather conditions. Bolden will have the week off next week while the Pats have a bye. However, he is only a desperation PPR option in deep leagues going forward.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers was not involved in the passing game at all during the Week 13 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. It was a blizzard game where the Patriots ran the ball almost exclusively. Meyers was not targeted at all and the Patriots only threw the ball three times all night in the win. Fantasy managers shouldn't blame Meyers and consider this a fluke. He should remain on the WR4 radar for Week 15 after the Patriots comes off their bye.