Sun Aug 18 1:36am ET
By KALANI TAKASE
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver JoJo Natson (19) is congratulated by center Aaron Neary (72), offensive guard Jamil Demby (64), and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver JoJo Natson kneels after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Blake Bortles throws a pass during the first quarter of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, center, celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
HONOLULU (AP) Dak Prescott appears ready for the regular season, with or without Ezekiel Elliott.
The Dallas quarterback completed all five of his pass attempts in his only series of work as the Cowboys came away with a 14-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night.
Prescott dropped back to pass seven times, completed passes to five different receivers, had one short completion negated by an ineligible lineman downfield penalty and was sacked once.
Prescott's only drive covered 97 yards in 12 plays, took more than six minutes and culminated with Tony Pollard's 14-yard touchdown run.
It marked the first Dallas touchdown in a preseason game since Aug. 18, 2018. Dallas was held to three field goals in last week's 17-9 loss at San Francisco to open the preseason.
With starting quarterback Jared Goff among the large number of Rams' starters that did not make the trip to Hawaii, Blake Bortles got the start and finished 7 of 11 for 62 yards. His 7-yard scoring pass to JoJo Natson capped Los Angeles' second drive - which was extended by a fumbled punt return by Dallas return man Reggie Davis and recovered by rookie Jake Gervase.
Los Angeles (0-2) took its only lead on Greg Zuerlein's 29-yard field goal in the second quarter. Zuerlein attempted a 56-yard field goal just before halftime, but missed wide left.
Dallas (1-1) pulled back ahead late in the third quarter, when third-string quarterback Cooper Rush found Devin Smith for an 8-yard touchdown.
Pollard, who started in place of Elliott, finished with five rushes for 42 yards. Elliott, a two-time league rushing champion, missed his second preseason game while he continues his holdout. Alfred Morris, who signed with the team during training camp, saw his first action of the preseason and carried three times for 6 yards, all before halftime.
The teams met in the NFC Divisional round of last year's playoffs. The Rams won 30-22 en route to an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Veteran tight end Jason Witten made his preseason debut Saturday after coming out of retirement - and the broadcast booth - last year. Witten was targeted just once - on a third-down pass from Prescott - on the penultimate play of the first Dallas possession. Witten's 10-yard reception moved the chains and set up Pollard's 14-yard TD run for the game's first points.
''It felt really good. I was very anxious to get out there and play,'' said Witten, a 16-year veteran and 11-time Pro Bowler. ''It is just the next step in the comeback. I worked really hard to get back in shape.
''I hold myself to a high standard, so I can say it was not perfect. I got a little antsy early but had a big third-down conversion on an option route.''
Witten retired following the 2017-18 season and served as color commentator on ''Monday Night Football'' last year.
Cowboys second-year linebacker Chris Covington went down with an undisclosed injury while covering the opening kickoff. He was attended to by Dallas' training staff for a few minutes, but was able to walk off on his own.
Cowboys: Return home to face the Houston Texans on Saturday on Aug. 24.
Rams: Host Denver in their next-to-last preseason game on Aug. 24.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack is his team's lead back. He's far and away the best player at his position on his team. In Week 2, he was stifled by the Tennessee Titans. In Week 3, he has a matchup that is advantageous for him to have a good outcome. The Atlanta Falcons got ran over by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, and the Colts have an even better offensive line. With the speed to hit a big play at any time, Mack belongs in lineups this week with a good amount of confidence.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been quietly steady through the first two weeks. In the team's Week 3 matchup, he has another positive matchup. The Atlanta Falcons Defense has a lot of speed, but they haven't been shutting opponents out through the air. Unless Brissett gets an amazing matchup, he'll consistently be a QB2, but he has a lot of upside this week. This game has some shootout potential, and Brissett could benefit as a result.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin (concussion) remains in the concussion protocol, but head coach Jason Garrett said he is improving. Austin doesn't have a very good chance of being cleared for Sunday against the Dolphins at this rate. He's not much of a fantasy consideration as mainly a kick returner and gadget player on offense, although the Cowboys could use him a little more when he returns with Michael Gallup out two to four weeks.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Smith injured his ankle late in the Week 2 loss and appears primed to miss Week 3 on the road against the Seahawks. With Drew Brees (thumb) out at least the next six weeks, Smith doesn't have much redraft value at the moment despite the injury. If he sits out, rookie Deonte Harris and Austin Carr will battle for work behind Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn. All Saints pass-catchers need to be downgraded with Brees on the shelf.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (knee) has missed practice the last two days with a bruised knee and was limping considerably on Thursday. Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy (ankle) was limited on Thursday, so it's looking like Williams will sit out in Week 3 against the Ravens. If McCoy is active, he'll have RB2 upside in what will likely be a fast-paced and high-scoring game. Rookie Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams could step in behind McCoy for some touches. Thompson would have some flex appeal in deeper PPR leagues. If you own Damien Williams, you should prepare as if he won't play this Sunday.
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Michael Badgley (groin) was a full participant in practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. After missing the first two games of the season, it looks like Badgley has a good chance to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Texans. He's trending upwards as a fantasy booter, but we'd recommend a wait-and-see approach until he proves his health. The Bolts are hoping he's back full time, as they can't afford anymore special teams miscues that cost them wins. When Badgley is healthy, he can be a decent streaming option in good matchups.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (knee) and tight end Vance McDonald (back) were both full participants in practice on Thursday. Conner missed practice entirely on Wednesday, so it appears that he will play in Week 3 against the 49ers. Still, Conner could share more work with backup Jaylen Samuels with Mason Rudolph now at quarterback, making him more of a low-end RB2 against an improved 49ers Defense. McDonald had two touchdowns when Rudolph spelled Big Ben last week and could be a safety blanket for the second-year signal-caller. Consider McDonald a low-end TE1 on the rise.
Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is an effective starting option this week against the Denver Broncos. Crosby has been accurate all season, and in familiar surroundings there is no reason why that would change. The Denver Broncos have allowed just over an average number of field-goal attempts, giving up four so far this season. With the Packers expected to win the matchup, combining the field-goal opportunity with the expectation of extra-point conversions, Crosby should be a starter for fantasy owners this week.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook has yet to show fantasy owners any uptick in production after joining a new team this past offseason. Through two games with the Saints, Cook has managed a disappointing 64 yards on four receptions. It's not surprising, but not what fantasy owners were hoping for. Cook is now without his starting quarterback for the next six weeks of the season and cannot be trusted as more than a middle-of-the-road TE2 going forward. Consider him a risky start in Week 3 in Seattle.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling should be considered as a flex option with upside this week. Valdes-Scantling had some boom plays in the opening matchup against the Chicago Bears but struggled to make the same impact against the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Denver Broncos have only given up an average of 15.6 points to the position, but haven't faced a quarterback of significant talent yet this season. Given that Davante Adams is due to face a tough personal battle in the matchup, Valdes-Scantling has a great opportunity to bounce back with a few big plays this week.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison has had a wildly inconsistent start to the season, making him a difficult player to trust in lineups this week. Allison wasn't given a single target in the Packers opening matchup and while he had four receptions last week, it was the touchdown that saved his fantasy value. Allison has been used primarily as a large slot player so far this season, but at the moment seems to be a touchdown-or-bust option. While that might change later in the season, fantasy owners should look elsewhere for wide receiver production this week, especially since the Denver Broncos have given up just 15.6 points to the position.
The Green Bay Packers Defenseis a good option for fantasy owners this week. In previous seasons, the defense has struggled to have a consistent impact. However, after multiple additions in the offseason, the Packers have been an effective fantasy option this season. The've only allowed 19 points so far this season, as well as totaling six sacks and five turnovers. The Denver Broncos have struggled to get their offense firing consistently and are on the road in a tough environment, making the Packers worth a start this week.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Buffalo on Sunday. After injuring his ankle during the Week 1 encounter with the 49ers, Mixon has undoubtedly not been at his best, racking up just 27 yards on 17 rushing attempts to go along with just five receptions. Things won't be easy for the 23-year-old, however, as he will be going up against an efficient Bills Defense that has allowed 23.05 fantasy points to opposing backs while allowing opponents to accumulate just 296.5 total yards this season. Nonetheless, Mixon is still a must-start in most fantasy leagues despite his dismal play this season.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will hit the road for a potentially rough Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. The Bills Defense has been one of the most effective units in the league this season, allowing opponents to net just 296.5 yards through the first two games of the season. Dalton has played well, however, throwing four touchdowns with only one interception to go along with a 65.6 completion percentage. With the veteran signal-caller getting some steady production from the likes of John Ross, Tyler Boyd, and Tyler Eifert, Dalton could be a decent streamer in all formats for those in need of a quarterback despite the tough matchup on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers probably didn't expect to be rolling into Week 3 with a field goal record of 0-for-1. Seattle made 22 field goals in 27 attempts last season, but after two weeks of 2019, they've attempted just one shot for three points. Even that attempt was a serious long shot as Myers was forced to kick at the end of the first half against Pittsburgh from 58 yards out. That would have tied his career-long, and no one is really upset that he missed that bomb. The good news is that he is 7-for-7 on extra points so far, and eventually, he'll get his chances on field goals.
New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (thigh) was limited during practice Thursday, Sept. 19..
Fantasy Spin: Ginn likely will lose some fantasy value because of the change at quarterback but is still a big play threat. He could be a flex option in some leagues but could be benched if better options are available.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (thumb) and WR Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. FB Zach Line (knee), OG Andrus Peat (ankle) and DT Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) were limited during practice.
When the Seattle Seahawks drafted wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round of this year's draft, there was a ton of criticism about how Metcalf was nothing but a workout warrior. However, head coach Pete Carroll was enthralled by Metcalf's size and speed combination. He's been searching for that type of receiver for years, trying out the likes of Sidney Rice, Brandon Marshall, and others. None have been the right fit for long, but so far, Metcalf has been fantastic. Metcalf will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong when he faces a soft Saints secondary on Sunday. He should have no problem racking up some more points.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has made a mark in the team's offense, leading the team with eight targets in Week 2. He'll look to follow that up this week as the squad travels to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in a game that will likely force more pass attempts from Derek Carr. With Tyrell Williams drawing coverage from All-Pro Xavier Rhodes, the field could open up more for Renfrow who's starting to become a weapon underneath the secondary. He's too risky to start in DFS and redraft leagues, but with another solid showing, he could be a sneaky option in PPR formats.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly caught his first touchdown of the season last Sunday, and it was quite the relief for him. Dissly doubted that he'd ever play in the NFL again after he tore his patellar tendon last September, and the concern jumped up again when he left the team's Week 1 game early due to banging knees with a teammate. Now, it looks like he might be able to find a regular spot in the rotation of the offense. Dissly ended up hauling in two touchdowns in the win against Pittsburgh, and suddenly, teams are going to have to start scheming for him. With Seattle looking like they'll have no problem reaching the red zone regularly, expect Dissly to be a big, attractive target for Russell Wilson.