Sun Oct 20 3:55pm ET
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Sports Writer
San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Mike Person walks on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, top, flips over San Francisco 49ers defensive back K'Waun Williams as he rushes the ball in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, right, hands off the ball to running back Matt Breida in the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Washington Redskins defensive back Troy Apke, left, intercepts a pass attempt intended for San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Rain water splashes as San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (20) tackles Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum (8) looks for a receiver as he is pressured by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Fordin in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Robbie Gould made field goals from 28, 22 and 29 yards to provide the only points in an ugly 9-0 win by the San Francisco 49ers over the Washington Redskins in steady rain and driving wind Sunday to remain undefeated.
It wasn't pretty, but San Francisco is 6-0 for the third time in franchise history, and first since 1990. That 49ers team finished 14-2.
Coach Kyle Shanahan's bunch didn't look like an unbeaten powerhouse in horrific conditions that made life difficult on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the entire offense. Garoppolo bounced back from a dreadful first half to finish a passable 12 of 21 for 151 yards passing.
San Francisco's defense continued its dominant run after holding the Los Angeles Rams to seven points last week and the Cleveland Browns to three before that. It's the Niners' first shutout since Week 1 of the 2016 season.
The weather seemed a perfect fit for interim Redskins coach Bill Callahan's run-first, run-second and run-third mentality. Washington (1-6) started the game with 10 rushing plays and Adrian Peterson ran for 81 yards on 20 carries, but they were shut out for the first time this season.
Among those who braved the rain, more than half were 49ers fans - a trend that has haunted the Redskins this season. A ''Let's go Niners!'' chant broke out in the fourth quarter among those in Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and other jerseys from the organization's storied past.
The Redskins had alumni in town for their annual ''Homecoming Weekend,'' but lost their eighth in a row at FedEx Field.
Both offenses struggled mightily in a sloppy first half.
Washington took the opening drive and chewed up more than eight minutes on nine rushes and just one pass, but came up empty when Dustin Hopkins missed wide right from 39 yards. Peterson gained 57 yards on the ground for Washington but just 8 after the first drive.
Gould missed from 45 yards in the second quarter. For the half, the 49ers totaled 68 yards as Garoppolo finished 3 of 10 with 10 yards passing and were shut out in the game's first 30 minutes for the first time this year.
It was the first 0-0 first half in the NFL since Week 17 in 2017 between the Cowboys and Eagles.
49ers: RB Matt Breida cleared concussion protocol and returned after being evaluated for an eye injury. ... WR Marquise Goodwin was evaluated for a concussion in the first half and returned. ... Starting offensive tackles Joe Staley (leg) and Mike McGlinchey (knee) remained out.
Redskins: S Montae Nicholson was lost to a right ankle injury in the second quarter. Nicholson was carted off the sideline. ... Played without injured CB Josh Norman (hand/thigh), RB Chris Thompson (toe) and TE Vernon Davis (concussion).
49ers: Look for the second 7-0 start in franchise history when they host the Carolina Panthers next Sunday.
Redskins: Visit former starting quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
Five Hot Starts: Week 3
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tyler Eifert caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 against the Titans, showing why the Jaguars brought in the oft-injured tight end this offseason. But Eifert is a huge risk in Week 3 against a Dolphins Defense that's struggled this year but has managed to shut down opposing tight ends, allowing 2.2 fantasy points per game to the position through a pair of games. Eifert is a risky deep league streaming option on Thursday night.
The Los Angeles Chargers have named quarterback Justin Herbert their Week 3 starter. Herbert was a last minute replacement in Week 2 after Tyrod Taylor (ribs) was injured during pregame routines. The rookie held his own against the Chiefs with 311 passing yards and 14 rushing yards. He also threw and ran for a touchdown while throwing one interception. He joined Otto Graham and Cam Newton as the only players ever with 300-plus passing yards and one rushing touchdown in a debut. Herberts insertion as the teams starter should help benefit all position players for the Chargers as he is less mobile than Taylor. Herbert will face the Panthers and could be considered in leagues with two quarterbacks. If Herbert has another good week, its possible that he could replace Taylor at the top of the depth chart, even with head coach Anthony Lynn saying that Taylor would remain the starter when healthy.
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has seen some interesting usage patterns through two games, being used at running back at times. He had eight touches against the Titans last week, finishing with 72 total yards of offense. Shenault seems on the verge of a breakout performance and it could come on Thursday against a Dolphins Defense that's struggled in this young season and will be without corner Byron Jones (groin/Achilles). Shenault's far from the safest option, but fantasy managers wanting to take a big swing on upside this week could use him as a flex option.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense is a strong streaming option for Week 3 against the Broncos. Denver will be starting backup QB Jeff Driskel and has lost key players such as Courtland Sutton and Philip Lindsay for this game as well. Meanwhile, the Bucs' defense has generated two picks, six sacks, and two fumble recoveries in just two games. This week presents a prime opportunity to create some turnovers against a rather depleted Broncos offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop should be considered a low-end streaming option in this week's clash against the Broncos. Succop has made all six of his extra point attempts on the season but has gone 2-for-3 on field-goal attempts, which includes a miss of over 50 yards. The Broncos have allowed the fifth-fewest points to kickers this season, so Succop should only be considered in deeper leagues.
Cincinnati Bengals WR Auden Tate's agent publicly voiced displeasure with the team when he was inactive in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Zac Taylor praised the receiver on Wednesday, Sept. 23. 'Audie's the man,' Taylor said. 'Auden is all about this team. He approaches things the right way and you hate that he's put in a tough position like that, because all he does is respond the right way and is a total team player.'
Fantasy Spin: Tate was active in the first game against the Los Angeles Chargers and he was not targeted. He has veterans A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross ahead of him, as well as rookie Tee Higgins. Tate is battling Alex Erickson and Mike Thomas for a role. At this point he has absolutely no fantasy appeal.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard should be considered as nothing more than a backup tight end for this week. In two games thus far, Howard has nine total targets for 47 yards, but six of those targets and 36 receiving yards came in Week 1. It's safe to conclude Howard does not have a stable or large role in this offense as of now. He's best left on the bench for this Week 3 bout against the Broncos.
At some point, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole will have a game this season in which he doesn't score a touchdown and his final stat line will look fairly pedestrian. But with a plus matchup against the Dolphins on Thursday night, fantasy managers in full PPR leagues should be willing to take a chance on Cole as a flex option. The slot receiver has been a valuable short yardage option for quarterback Gardner Minshew II and while there are games ahead where starting Cole is too risky, this game against Miami is another good opportunity for him to catch five or six passes and find the end zone on a short, red zone look.
2020 has been weird for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. The ball is being spread around in Jacksonville, which has left the assumed No. 1 receiver on the team playing a smaller role than expected. But so far, the fantasy results have been fine, as he caught a touchdown in Week 1 (though he had just 25 yards) and then had 84 receiving yards in Week 2. If there's going to be a game that reminds us why we were all so high on Chark ahead of this season, it's Thursday night's meeting with the Dolphins, who are allowing the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Consider Chark -- who, it should be noted, is dealing with a chest injury -- a high-upside WR2 option in Week 3.
Fresh off his first 100-yard game, Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson is set for another solid performance in Week 3, as the Jaguars take on the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. Robinson's lack of passing game usage limits his overall ceiling, though he did see a larger role as a receiver in Week 2. He's received 32 carries through two games, giving him a high floor due to volume. Expect another game of Robinson receiving a large number of touches and feel comfortable deploying him as an RB2 option for this meeting with a banged-up Dolphins Defense.
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (hamstring) said Wednesday, Sept. 23 that he is feeling better and making progress, but a decision on whether he will play in Week 3 will be made later in the week.
Fantasy Spin: If Adams is forced into street clothes for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, look for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to see an uptick in targets and fantasy value, with Allen Lazard also seeing an increase in snaps and workload.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. (chest, back) is listed as questionable for Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, Sept. 24, but it sounds like he might be available. 'I just think we're just being careful,' head coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday, Sept. 23. Chark was injured in Week 2 on a deep pass play.
Fantasy Spin: Chark is a risky fantasy option for Week 3 given the quick turnaround, even if he is able to play. It's better to use a more certain option playing on Sunday or Monday, if you have that flexibility.
Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers(rib) left Week 2 early with a rib injury, and he missed practice on Wednesday as a result. If he misses the game because of the injury, obviously you're not playing him. However, if he's active, Akers will be nothing more than an extremely risky RB3/flex in this crowded Rams backfield. Through two games, he's averaging just 3.1 yards per carry and is fighting for touches with Malcolm Brown (pinkie) and Darrell Henderson. Against a Buffalo Bills Defense that should be getting their two best linebackers back in the fold this week, we would be comfortable letting Akers sit on the bench until he's fully healthy with a more firm role in LA.
Los Angeles Rams running back Malcolm Brown(pinkie) had a great Week 1, but that feels like a lifetime ago after the performance teammate Darrell Henderson put up last week. While Brown relied on touchdowns, Henderson was putting up big plays. In addition to being outplayed by Henderson in Week 2, Brown is also dealing with a fractured pinkie finger that required surgery, which could hold him back. He missed practice on Wednesday, and that issue could hinder his ball-carrying abilities. This backfield is cloudy with all of the talent they have here, and Brown is going against an aggressive Buffalo Bills Defense in Week 3. Let him hang out on your bench for the week.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II has already thrown six touchdowns in 2020, and he should throw more of them on Thursday night against a beat-up Dolphins secondary. Minshew has been one of the biggest surprises of the young 2020 season, looking like a quality NFL starter and already threatening to take the Jags out of the Trevor Lawrence chase. Consider him a high-end fantasy QB2 on Thursday night with Miami expected to be missing multiple starters in their defensive backfield. Minshew Mania continues.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff showed out in Week 2. He finished as the QB12 on the week, and he has the opportunity to do it again in Week 3. This offense is actively working to get the ball out of his hands quickly to his receivers, and it's working to a good amount of success. In Week 2, he didn't put up a great yardage total, but he was efficient in the red zone. In Week 3, we think he has midrange QB2 upside this week, but this Buffalo Bills Defense gives us cause for pause after they got lit up by Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. With his talented pass-catchers, Goff could still have a good week, but we'd be trying to find other options if they're available in single-QB formats.
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson lit it up in Week 2, but it's unclear what his role will be heading into Week 3. He contributed nothing in Week 1 and he looked as though he would be the backup in Week 2 prior to the injury to teammate Cam Akers. If Henderson is the lead back in Week 3, we're confident in using him as a starter in a flex spot, but there is no way to predict this backfield right now. Akers and fellow running back Malcolm Brown are both on the injury report as things currently stand. Pay attention to that as the week goes along. If one or both of them look like they will miss the game this Sunday, lock Henderson into your lineups. If they're all playing, fade him until the murkiness clears.
Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen is still looking for huge play heading into the team's matchup with the Falcons in Week 3. Cohen has only 12 carries on the season and 27 receiving yards through two games but will have a favorable tilt against the Falcons. Atlanta is allowing 39 points a game to opponents through the first two weeks and have surrendered four total touchdowns already to opposing running backs. Cohen can break a game open at any time but is fighting for carries with starter David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson. Cohen will be no more than a boom-or-bust FLEX option heading into this weekend's action.
Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham will try and up his production in Week 3 against the Falcons. Graham caught only one pass for 18 yards last week after securing his first touchdown of the season in Week 1. The veteran will go up against a Falcons Defense that has allowed a touchdown to a tight end in each of their first two games and currently are allowing the fifth most fantasy points to the position. Graham can be a weapon in head coach Matt Nagy's scheme but his lack of targets is sinking his fantasy value.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will look to build off a strong Week 2 performance this Sunday against the Falcons in Atlanta. Montgomery delivered 127 all-purpose yards and one touchdown in the Bears win against the Giants and now will face a Falcons Defense that allowing an average of 39 points a game. The Bears offense has been inconsistent through two weeks but the key could be funneling the offense through the second-year running back. The Falcons have already allowed four total touchdowns to opposing running backs, making Montgomery a solid RB2 in Week 3 with a ceiling to post top-10 numbers among his position group.