Welcome to game day.
With Joe Flacco still recoverin from a hip injury, the Baltimore Ravens have turned to rookie Lamar Jackson to start Sunday's matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. Jackson, who become the last of 2018's first-round quarterbacks to start a game this season, has a chance to showcase the progress he has made during his first season in the NFL and, perhaps, give his team a glimpse into the future.
As always, keep your internet machines tuned here throughout Sunday for the latest fantasy news and developments. For a running list of inactives, make sure to stop by NFL.com/inactives and visit our rankings page to find your replacement options.
Note: All times listed in pacific.
As though blowing out the defending Super Bowl champions didn't move the needle enough, the Saints decided to go for it on fourth and long. Drew Bres dropped a perfect pass to Alvin Kamara, running vertically from the boundary, for yet another touchdown. Football as poetry:
The #FreeDJ movement needed Byron Leftwich installed as play-caller to gain momentum, but it has come to fruition in recent weeks. Midway through the fourth quarter, David Johnson broke off a 53-yard run to set up the Cardinals in the red zone. The team took advantage of the field position, scoring just a few plays later and regaining the lead over the Raiders.
Already without Martavis Bryant and Jordy Nelson, the Raiders will have to finish Sunday's game without Brandon LaFell. That leaves Dwayne Harris, Seth Roberts and a couple of rookies as the only healthy wideouts in Oakland. Even so, the Raiders lead by six points early in the fourth quarter.
Michael Thomas had a quiet first half, but the Saints eventually found their star wide receiver. Early in the third quarter, Thomas beat his man with a hesitation move at the line of scrimmage, giving Drew Brees an open target hurling towards the end zone. One beautiful pass later, New Orleans extended their lead to 31-7.
The Lions held their collective breath when Kerryon Johnson went down with a knee injury Sunday, but it appears the rookie running back has avoided an ACL tear. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, initial tests on Johnson suggest only has a knee sprain, though he will have an MRI to confirm. Johnson could miss some time, but he and Detroit have to feel thrilled with the news.
The Raiders looked slow to open up Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Christian Kirk took a pass behind the line of scrimmage 59 yards to the end zone, blowing past the entire Oakland defense in the process. The Cardinals now hold a 14-7 lead.
Washington announced that Alex Smith is currently undergoing emergency surgery for a broken tibia and fibula. Not only will the injury affect his 2018 season, but it could potentially impact him next year. This looks like a worst-case scenario for the current NFC East leaders.
After back-to-back defensive penalties set up the Steelers less than a yard outside the end zone, Ben Roethlisberger and the offense had a chance to notch their first lead of the day and a win. Rather than run a QB sneak, Pittsburgh made the bizarre choice put Big Ben in shotgun and have him scramble to his right. Somehow, the play worked, though a Steelers offensive lineman nearly registered the game-winning tackle on Roethlisberger.
With under a minute remaining in regulation, the Panthers scored a touchdown to bring themselves within an extra point of a tie. However, the team decided to go for the win rather than play for overtime, opting instead for a two-point attempt. Norv Turner schemed open Jarius Wright for the easy score, but Cam Newton missed him over the middle.
12:37 p.m. - Julio Jones: Noted TD catcher
Julio Jones somehow went the first half of the season without a touchdown, but he has made up for lost time. He hauled in a beautiful score over second-year cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, Jones' third score in the past three gmaes.
A bad offensive perfomrance for the Steelers led to a first-half shutout, but Antonio Brown eventually got his team on the board, breaking free for a 78-yard touchdown. Pittsburgh's two-point conversion failed, so the Jaguars still have a two-score lead.
12:20 p.m. - Cam returns to action
The Lions have built an early 13-7 lead over the Panthers, but they might have to maintain it without their top running back. Kerryon Johnson left midway through the second half with a knee injury and is questionable to return.
Within minutes of Alex Smith's ankle injury, former MVP Cam Newton went down with an apparent injury of his own. Newton walked off under his power, but Taylor Heinicke has entered the game.
Alex Smith suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle injury and immediatly left the field. Colt McCoy has entered the game and will presumably finish the afternoon for Washington.
Facing third down from just outside the Panthers' own goal line, D.J. Moore bailed out his quarterback by making an impressive sideline catch just beyond the sticks. However, Moore didn't merely secure the first down, charging into open space and setting up Carolina deep in the red zone.
Marcus Mariota cannot catch a break. In a season when he has already missed time with a nerve issue, the quarterback suffered an apparent injury shorlty before halftime. Blaine Gabbert has entered the game.
If you started the Houston defense this week, congratulations. In addition to an earlier interception, defensive back Justin Reid picked off Alex Smith and returned it over 100 yards to pay dirt. To make matters worse, Washington turned the ball over in the red zone.
After missing over a year of his career, Andrew Luck and his arm look as strong as ever. He dropped a ball from the heavens into the arms of T.Y. hilton for the Colts' second touchdown of the game.
Not a typo. Frank Reich channeled his time with the Eagles to call a variation of the famed "Philly Special," this time with tight end Eric Ebron tossing to Andrew Luck. The pass just flew past Luck's fingers, but the effort deserves plaudits.
10:32 a.m. - Watson makes ridiculous pass, Hopkins makes nice catch for TD
The Texans have already built a two-score lead before the conclusion of the first quarter. Their lone touchdown came on a 16-yard connection between Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, but words can't do the play justice:
With Lamar Jackson making his first NFL start, the Ravens decided to take pressure off him by calling all runs through their first 11 plays. Jackson will have to pass at some point, but head coach John Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Mike Mornhinweg apparently fear overloading the rookie before he settles into the flow of the game.