Sat Aug 24 10:28pm ET
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer
Houston Texans staff check on running back Lamar Miller (26) after he suffered an unknown injury in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson (4) walks along the sideline in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Dallas Cowboys' Joe Thomas (48) recovers a blocked Houston Texans' Trevor Daniel (8) punt-attempt in the end zone for a Cowboys touchdown in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) is carted off the field after suffering an unknown injury in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass under pressure from Houston Texans outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett (57) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Deshaun Watson didn't get the longer preseason look he wanted against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Houston Texans couldn't get their quarterback off the field fast enough, especially after running back Lamar Miller was injured on the second play.
Watson didn't return for a second series after getting dropped twice in three plays. The first play wasn't a sack because of defensive holding, the second was and resulted in a fumble , the first of four Houston turnovers in a 34-0 exhibition loss to the Cowboys on Saturday night.
Miller was carted off after defensive tackle Maliek Collins slammed into his left leg at the line of scrimmage in what figures to be Miller's only carry of the preseason. The eighth-year back didn't play in the first two exhibitions. There was no immediate update on Miller's status.
Dak Prescott scrambled and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup while playing the first two series for Dallas. Prescott was 2 of 5 for 22 yards, the three incompletions his first of the preseason.
Tony Pollard, the starting running back with Ezekiel Elliott holding out, stayed an extra series, when the rookie had a 20-yard run to finish with 26 yards on six carries. Alfred Morris, the primary replacement during Elliott's six-game suspension two years ago, had a 1-yard TD run.
Pollard nearly reached the end zone by running 24 yards on a screen, but it was negated by an illegal block penalty on Jason Witten. The tight end, poised to set the Dallas record with a 16th season, was playing at home for the first time since coming out of retirement after a year in broadcasting.
Taco Charlton had both the hits on Watson, causing and recovering a fumble on the sack that counted to set up Gallup's touchdown. Charlton got a second sack against Joe Webb III, and Kerry Hyder added a pair. The Cowboys had eight sacks.
The night got worse for Houston's offensive line when versatile starter Zach Fulton was carted off in the first half. Last year's right guard has also played center and left guard in previous seasons.
Joe Thomas blocked a punt for Dallas, kicked the ball toward the goal line while trying to pick it up and ultimately recovered it in the end zone for a 14-0 lead. He almost had an interception return for a touchdown on a pass from Webb that went through his outstretched hands.
IT'LL HAVE TO DO
Watson was hoping for more than the single series he got in last week's 30-23 win over Detroit. His only other appearance was productive, though. Watson was 5 of 7 for 60 yards with a 4-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins. Since he couldn't get a pass off in two dropbacks against the Cowboys, those will be his preseason numbers.
TRUE AND THROUGH
Dallas kicker Brett Maher had his best night in what's been a shaky preseason. Last year's surprise replacement for Dan Bailey made field goals of 36 and 23 yards and all four extra points.
If Miller is out for an extended period, the focus will turn to Duke Johnson, acquired from Cleveland in a trade this month. Johnson hasn't played for the Texans yet. The other two backs who got carries against the Cowboys are undrafted rookies: Karan Higdon Jr. (13 carries for 28 yards) and Damarea Crockett (three for 27).
Preseason finales for both teams Thursday, both at home. Houston plays the LA Rams. Dallas plays Tampa Bay.
Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis will draw the start if Jordan Reed is once again inactive, and he's facing a decent matchup if so. The Bears have allowed 15 receptions to tight ends for 133 yards and a touchdown. The question any fantasy owner must ask themselves if considering Davis for Week 3 is simply: how lucky do I feel? Davis has been targeted just 11 times in two games as Washington's primary tight end, and if you take away his 48-yard touchdown in Week 1, he's got six catches for 40 yards. If you're among those who have been decimated by O.J. Howard's lack of production at the position and missed out on the marquee waiver-wire pickups, at least there's a matchup here for Davis in a game where the Redskins should have to throw a ton. Even so, banking on his minimal target share through two weeks to yield a big day is quite the Hail Mary this early in the season.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn has seen 13 targets through two games. His team's inability to run the ball suggests he could be looking at another relatively high target share on Monday night. The Bears allowed the fourth-most receptions to opposing wideouts last season, and just got carved up by Emmanuel Sanders last Sunday. Quinn could be looking at the volume to return a decent fantasy outing on Monday night, though he hasn't quite produced at a high enough level to consider him unless you play in a deep PPR league. For those in 10 or 12-team leagues, keep an eye on his involvement in a game the Redskins might be forced to air it out often.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson has seen just 10 targets in two weeks. Despite Case Keenum having attempted 81 passes, Richardson just hasn't seen enough volume to believe he's in line for a big night against the Bears on Monday. Terry McLaurin, Trey Quinn, and Chris Thompson have combined for a target share near 60%, making it clear (at least for the time being) that this pass offense runs through the three of them. Richardson is a touchdown-dependent receiver that allowed just 14 of those to wideouts in 2018.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin has impressed in his first two NFL games, hauling in 10 of 16 targets for 187 yards and two touchdowns. His Week 3 opponent is the Bears, who just allowed Emmanuel Sanders to have his way against them last Sunday: 11 catches, 98 yards, one touchdown. Assuming it's business as usual in terms of the Redskins failing to get going on the ground, it stands to reason that Washington will be forced to throw the ball often on Monday night. McLaurin appears to be Case Keenum's favorite target early on, so even against a tough secondary, there is hope for fantasy-friendly volume. For everything the Bears do right defensively, they've been middle-of-the-pack since the beginning of last season in production allowed to opposing wide receivers. I'd exhaust all other options before considering McLaurin in the flex spot, but the potential is there on Monday night.
Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson leads the entire team in targets with 18. He's caught 12 of them for 116 yards. Thompson might be Washington's only hope out of the backfield against the Bears, who have looked every bit like the run defense we expected coming into 2019. If Chicago has bent anywhere, it's been in the short passing game. They've allowed 12 receptions for 93 yards to opposing running backs. Considering Thompson's early involvement and the Redskins' near-total inability to establish the run in either of their first two games, Thompson could be in line for another big-time target share on Monday night. You're not going to feel ecstatic about any player on a below-average offense against Chicago, but Thompson does provide some promise in this matchup.
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum has looked better than most thought he would as the new signal-caller, completing just under 70% of his passes for 601 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. Keenum could reasonably be expected to chuck it early and often on Monday night, considering the Redskins' nonexistent running game and the Bears' rush defense. Just keep in mind this is the same Chicago pass defense that held Aaron Rodgers to 18 completions on 30 attempts for 203 yards and a touchdown. Keenum's early production has certainly earned him some attention in the fantasy community, but let's wait until his team shows some offensive balance and/or they get past this tough early schedule before considering him in lineups.
Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson had minimal success other than a short touchdown run against the Cowboys in Week 2. On Monday night, he'll face a Bears Defense that has permitted just 64.5 rushing yards per game to opposing backs and no rushing touchdowns. The Redskins have provided us with zero evidence that they have the ability to establish the run against defenses that excel at taking it away. Adrian Peterson does not belong in fantasy lineups for Week 3.
The Washington Redskins Defense has its softest matchup of the young season in the Chicago Bears on Monday night. In a perfect world, you could trust this unit to get the job done as a streamer in a week when a few of the better fantasy defenses in the league have tougher matchups (Chargers/Texans, Browns/Rams). If anything, this Monday night game looks less like Washington's first win and more like Chicago's first chance to break out on offense. Washington has been torched by the Eagles and Cowboys for six straight quarters. The Bears have the second-best OL/DL matchup in the league in terms of pass protection. If Mitch Trubisky is going to put a dreadful first two games behind him, Monday is the time to do it.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end James O'Shaughnessy had two receptions for 18 yards during the win over the Titans on Thursday, pulling in a touchdown pass from quarterback Gardner Minshew II early in the first quarter. The 27-year-old still hasn't done enough to justify his presence in virtually all formats, however, but fantasy managers will want to keep an eye on his progress in the weeks ahead.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley pulled in a season-low three receptions for 30 yards in the win over the Titans. Conley's performance has dwindled since Week 1 where he recorded six receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. He isn't a reliable week-to-week option, but he still could have a place on fantasy rosters in deeper formats. Look for him to turn things around against the Broncos in Week 4, hopefully.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) managed to play but caught just one of his five targets for four yards during the loss to the Jaguars on Thursday. To his credit, quarterback Marcus Mariota faced an onslaught from the Jaguars Defense as they recorded nine sacks on the night. As of now, Brown has little value outside of 14-team leagues and shouldn't be relied upon for consistent production until he, along with the rest of the Titans' offense outside of Derrick Henry, can turn things around.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis caught three passes (four targets) for 44 yards during the loss to Jacksonville in Week 3. Davis, along with the rest of the team, couldn't get anything going on Thursday as the Jaguars Defense smothered quarterback Marcus Mariota by compiling nine sacks on the night. At the moment, the 24-year-old has relatively no value in all fantasy formats until he starts producing, which is something that likely won't happen anytime soon.
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker was productive against a tough Jaguars Defense on Thursday night. Despite constant pressure on quarterback Marcus Mariota throughout the contest, the veteran still managed to pull in seven receptions for 64 yards. The 35-year-old has remained efficient throughout the first three games of the season and has been one of Mariota's favorite targets in a semi-struggling offense. Walker is worth a start in most formats moving ahead until he starts to fizzle.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe made two catches against Jacksonville on Thursday night but still managed to accrue 70 yards in the process. It was the best showing of the season for the 24-year-old despite the lackluster play of the Titans offense against a dominant Jaguars Defense that recorded nine sacks. Nonetheless, Sharpe hasn't done enough to earn a place on anything outside of 14-man rosters, with that even being a stretch at the moment.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Adam Humphries caught six of his nine targets during the loss to Jacksonville on Thursday, finishing with a game-high 93 yards. After an uneventful two weeks before this one, the fifth-year man finally came to life against a tough Jaguars Defense that bombarded quarterback Marcus Mariota by recording nine sacks on the night. Though the 26-year-old hasn't done enough to earn his way on to fantasy rosters in most formats, fantasy owners will want to keep an eye on his progress in the weeks ahead.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries during the loss to Jacksonville on Thursday. As the Jaguars Defense recorded nine sacks while limiting the Tennessee offense to just seven points on the night, Henry provided the only source of hope for a comeback early in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, the 25-year-old has been a consistent producer by scoring in each of the team's first three games. Look for him to keep it going against the Falcons in Week 4. He should continue to keep his must-start designation, at least for now.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota couldn't get things going in the loss to Jacksonville on Thursday. Though Mariota managed to throw for 304 yards, things were miserable for the 25-year-old as the Jaguars Defense recorded nine sacks on the night while limiting the Titans' offense to just seven points. After starting off the year with three touchdown tosses against the Browns in Week 1, Mariota hasn't really done much to appease fantasy owners. He will look to get back on track in Week 4 in Atlanta against the Falcons.
Seattle Seahawks WR Jazz Ferguson was released from the practice squad on Wednesday, Sept. 18; in a corresponding move, free agent S Adrian Colbert (49ers) was signed.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has been reduced to nearly equal snap count share with colleague Royce Freeman. That being said, it truly is a toss-up between which running back will see more production in Week 3 as they will likely receive the same volume once again. The Broncos face off with the Green Bay Packers, who have not had an overly intimidating run defense to start the year in 2019. If you absolutely need to play Lindsay in a deep league flex role, especially in PPR setting, he most likely will suffice with decent production, but don't expect anything crazy.
Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman has seen significant time in the start of the 2019 season compared to where he ended last year. Freeman and teammate Phillip Lindsay have been sharing time out of the backfield and neither of them has been able to have a standout game yet this year. Therefore, it can be expected they will share duties once again in Week 3. If you need a player to throw in due to injuries in a deep league, Freeman poses an option with the potential of a breakout game or a few touchdowns looks to get some points on the board.