Sat Jul 31 5:13pm ET
By JOHN GLENNON
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) talks with wide receiver Julio Jones (2) during NFL football training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) runs a drill during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Asked how he was feeling in training camp after dealing with multiple injuries last season, Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown smiled and offered a simple response.
''I'm pretty sure everybody can tell I'm healthy,'' Brown said Saturday. ''Soon, everybody else will know, too.''
The acquisition of Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons dominated the Titans' offseason, as the team added a seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to an already prolific offense. But Brown, has grabbed the spotlight in the early days of camp, looking healthy again and all but unstoppable.
It's easy to see the joy in Brown's game again, after he underwent two minor knee surgeries during the offseason. An ankle injury also troubled Brown, who missed two full games and didn't start in two others last season. He still earned a Pro Bowl nod in his second season after catching 70 passes for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns.
''As far as practice, I'm so comfortable'' Brown said. ''I feel like I can do whatever I want to do when I want to do it. My confidence is through the roof.''
Part of Brown's enthusiasm also stems from Jones' arrival to the Titans after 10 years in Atlanta, where he piled up 848 catches for 12,896 yards and 60 TDs. Brown, 24, has long been an admirer of the 32-year-old Jones, so having him in the same receiving room now is a thrill.
''I'm really excited, to be honest,'' Brown said. ''At the end of the day, I've still got to do my job. But he's going to be in the Hall of Fame. That's a Hall of Fame receiver on the other side of me. So you know I've got to pick my game up. We're only going to make each other better.''
Jones played in just nine games in 2020, hampered by hamstring and foot injuries. The Titans are taking a gradual approach with him in training camp, monitoring his workload early on. Jones for the most part has taken part only in individual drills, sitting out team drills.
Still, Jones sounds as excited teaming with Brown as his younger counterpart is about the combination.
''It's just been amazing,'' Jones said of working with Brown. ''I was watching him from afar. But just being in the building with him now, just seeing his work ethic, seeing everything he does, he's a true professional.''
Jones and Brown are both getting in extra work with Ryan Tannehill, catching passes from the Titans' veteran quarterback at the end of various individual drills. It should help the transition for Jones, who played with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan his entire career.
''Just for me being out there, (it's about) the right route depths, getting in and out of breaks, stuff like that,'' Jones said. ''That's it, that's how you build trust at the end of the day.''
The Brown-Jones duo aims to form one of the league's most explosive tandems by the time the season starts.
''That's another alpha on the other side of me,'' Brown said. ''I've got to make plays. I know he is going to make plays. We're going to go tit for tat. I don't want to let him down, and I'm pretty sure he's not trying to let me down. We're going to feed off each other.''
NOTES: Two players left the field with injuries. Undrafted free agent Briley Moore, a tight end, was carted off after what appeared to be a significant left knee injury. Edge rusher Derick Roberson also went to the locker room early. ... Edge rusher Bud Dupree was taken off the reserve-COVID 19 list, though he remains on the PUP list. ... The team agreed to terms with veteran tight end Luke Stocker, who spent two seasons here, waived defensive back Quenton Meeks and placed offensive lineman Brandon Kemp on injured reserve.
New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson leads the NFL with eight sacks that took more than 4.5 seconds from snap to tackle through three weeks, according to Next Gen Stats. Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has seven such sacks on just 46 dropbacks. Overall, Fields has been sacked 11 times and has only 14 completions. In the 26-0 Week 3 loss to the Denver Broncos, Wilson went just 19-for-35 for 160 yards, no touchdowns and two more interceptions. The 22-year-old first-rounder has thrown two touchdowns and a league-high seven interceptions through three weeks, while also being sacked 15 times. Wilson should have a better day in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans, but he cannot be trusted in fantasy.
San Francisco 49ers Trey Sermon carried ten times for 31 yards and a touchdown while catching two receptions for three yards in a 30-28 Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Sermon did not look good against a pedestrian Packers' run defense on Sunday night, but he did manage to convert a one-yard goal-line carry for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. With how difficult it is to predict the primary ball carrier in Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme week-to-week, Sermon should be valued as a low-end RB3 with RB2 upside moving into Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said he "can't definitively say" who will start at quarterback in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions after rookie Justin Fields laid an egg in his first career NFL start in the Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, veteran Andy Dalton (knee) remains week-to-week after getting injured in Week 2. Could we see a Nick Foles sighting next week? It's possible, but the Bears continue to say that Dalton is their starter when healthy. Fields was sacked a whopping nine times and only ran the ball three times while throwing for 68 yards. The 22-year-old has the most upside, but as we saw on Sunday, he's nowhere near ready to be considered as a starter in single-QB leagues in 2021. There's not much to like from a fantasy standpoint with this Bears offense right now.
The Carolina Panthers are signing cornerback Rashaan Melvin to their active roster from the practice squad on Monday, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Melvin played 29 defensive snaps and had four tackles (three solo) in the Thursday night win over the Houston Texans in Week 3. The Panthers are in need of cornerback depth with first-rounder Jaycee Horn (foot) expected to miss several months, and Carolina also traded for former first-rounder C.J. Henderson on Monday. Melvin has six tackles (four solo) in two games played for the Panthers this year and should continue to provide depth for the Panthers secondary with Horn sidelined.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Curtis Samuel (groin) is eligible to be activated off the injured reserve list and return to the lineup as soon as this week against the Atlanta Falcons. Samuel has been dealing with the nagging injury since minicamp in June and re-aggravated it right before the regular season started. Upon his return to the lineup, he should see a significant role in the offense because of his familiarity with the coaching staff and playbook. The 25-year-old will likely take away targets from Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown, slotting in as the unquestioned No. 2 wide receiver in the offense. It would be best to leave him on your bench until he gets back into game shape and develops a solid rapport with quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould did not attempt a field goal during the 30-28 Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Gould managed to convert all four of his extra-point attempts, but the team lost at the last second due to a Mason Crosby 51-yard walk-off field goal conversion. Gould has attempted just four field goals across the first three weeks, converting three of four. As a result, he should remain off of fantasy kicker streaming options moving forward.
Carolina Panthers tight end Tommy Tremble could be in for a more significant role in the offense with the recent departure of Dan Arnold. Tremble caught just one pass for 30 yards and added a rushing touchdown against the Houston Texans in Week 3, and going forward the rookie could potentially be taking the bulk of Arnold's vacated targets. Ian Thomas still figures to see the field quite often, but he has only been targeted four times all season. Head coach Matt Rhule has referred to Tremble as "this year's Jeremy Chinn," or in other words, an instant impact rookie. The 21-year-old has TE2 appeal moving forward and his usage in the offense should be monitored in the next few games.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu caught three of six passes for 36 yards during Sunday's 30-28 Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The veteran wideout only saw one target in each of the team's first two games, while he saw six during Sunday's loss. However, he was targeted in clutch moments of the game, so Sanu remains a good bench stash in deeper leagues, entering a Week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel caught five of 10 passes for 52 yards during a 30-28 Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Samuel remains the alpha target within the 49ers offense, although George Kittle was just behind him with nine targets on Sunday night. This is a run-centric offense, and Samuel gets used as a ball-carrier, too, as he saw two carries but failed to gain any yardage on either attempt during Sunday's loss. Samuel is a high-end WR2 who possesses the ability to generate WR1 weeks moving forward.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk caught four of six targets for 37 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 30-28 Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He also added an eight-yard rushing attempt. The second-year wideout was inactive in Week 1 and failed to do much in Week 2, so seeing him haul in an eight-yard touchdown reception is a sign that Aiyuk is trending in the right direction within the 49ers' offense. Still, Aiyuk is a fringe WR3/WR4 until he can consistently see five or more targets in consecutive weeks.
The New York Giants defense/special teams allowed 296 yards of total offense in Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. New York held the Falcons offense to 17 points and racked up three sacks in Week 3. Overall, despite the loss, it was a solid performance by a mediocre Giants defense. The Giants did lose star linebacker Blake Martinez (knee) for the season with a torn ACL as well. New York will head to New Orleans in Week 4, and the Giants D/ST can be avoided as a streamer next Sunday with the recent rash of injuries.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle caught seven of nine passes for 92 yards during Sunday's 30-28 Week 3 loss against the Green Bay Packers. Kittle was held quiet for stretches throughout the night but caught a massive 39-yard reception to lead the 49ers downfield for the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of Sunday's game. His increased target share (9) is encouraging, as he totaled the same amount of targets on Sunday as he did across the first two weeks. Kittle is not a top-five tight end but still a TE1 moving forward into a Week 4 tilt against the Seattle Seahawks.
New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney caught 2-of-3 targets for 16 yards in Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He is expected to see an increased role after an excellent week of practice. Toney played 66% of the snaps (46) in Week 3, but this was due to the Giants losing wide receivers Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (hamstring) for the game. Fantasy managers can stash Toney for now as his role is expected to increase if both Shepard and Slayton miss an extended amount of time.
San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszcyzk carried five times for 14 yards and caught four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 30-28 Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. With a young and limited backfield due to injuries, Kyle Shanahan designed several runs and passes for his talented fullback, Juszcyzk, who managed to catch a 12-yard touchdown pass to temporarily put the 49ers up 28-27 with 0:37 seconds left in the game. Juszycyzk is a great player for the team in real life, but he should be left on waiver wires for fantasy purposes.
New York Giants kicker Graham Gano went 2-for-2 in field goal attempts in Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He continues to be one of the game's most consistent kickers and has drilled 37 straight field goals. The 34-year-old is 7-for-7 in field goal attempts and 3-for-3 in extra-point tries in 2021. Gano is a borderline K1 and a solid starting option against the New Orleans Saints in Week 4.
New York Giants wide receiver Collin Johnson caught 5-of-7 targets for 51 yards in Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He tied running back Saquon Barkley with seven targets for the team lead in Week 3. The Giants lost wide receivers Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (hamstring) to hamstring injuries. Johnson could see a significant boost in fantasy value if Slayton and Shepard are sidelined for an extended time. The 24-year-old is a name to monitor in deep-league formats. Johnson, Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay are currently the Giants' only healthy wide receivers.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 25 of 40 pass attempts for 257 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception during Sunday's 30-28 Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Garoppolo led a late-game touchdown drive, which included a massive completion to George Kittle and finished with a 12-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszcyzk. Unfortunately, Garoppolo did throw a pass backward late in the game that was ruled a fumble and led to the Packers scoring a field goal. This proved to be the turning point in the game, as Aaron Rodgers led the Packers down the field on one final drive and watched Mason Crosby deliver a 51-yard game-winning field goal. Garoppolo is a solid option in SuperFlex leagues but should remain on benches or waiver wires in a one quarterback league.
Seattle Seahawks DE Kerry Hyder (concussion) left the game Sunday, Sept. 26, in the first half with a concussion and didn't return.
The Carolina Panthers reportedly traded tight end Dan Arnold to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for defensive back CJ Henderson, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The Panthers are 3-0 and recently lost first-round pick CB Jaycee Horn (foot) for multiple weeks and made a trade to shore up the secondary. Arnold will become Jaguars rookie QB Trevor Lawrence's top TE target. Jacksonville tried to sign Arnold in free agency but ultimately required the tight end via trade. Arnold hauled in 7-of-11 targets for 84 yards for the Panthers over three games in 2021. The 26-year-old should see an increase in targets and snaps with his new team and is borderline TE2 rest of the season.
San Francisco 49ers defensive back Josh Norman (chest) was taken to the hospital Sunday night after exiting the first half of Week 3's 30-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He was spitting up blood and ruled out for the rest of the game. The hospital stay was precautionary and all tests came back negative. Norman is considered day-to-day. The 33-year-old was in a rotation and racked up three tackles and forced fumble over two games in 2021. Stay tuned for further updates.