Sun Aug 25 1:16am ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, left, scores past Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Nick Dzubnar during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Andre Patton, left, scores past Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jamar Taylor during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Sean Culkin, right, is tackled by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jamar Taylor during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passes against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Seattle Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny scores against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is tackled by Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
CARSON, Calif. (AP) Russell Wilson directed a pair of first-half touchdown drives, and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Chargers 23-15 on Saturday night.
Wilson was 6 of 9 for 73 yards. He has directed the Seahawks to a pair of TDs and a field goal in five possessions in two preseason games.
The Seahawks (2-1) were at their own 38 to start the second quarter when Wilson connected for 20- and 30-yard completions to Tyler Lockett. On fourth-and-1 from the Los Angeles 3, Rashaad Penny barreled into the end zone to put Seattle up 7-3 with 11:30 remaining.
Wilson, who had 31 yards rushing on three carries, took advantage of a short field on the next possession after the Chargers turned it over on downs. He threw an 18-yard pass to Jaron Brown on second-and-18 to move Seattle to the Los Angeles 31. Four plays later, C.J. Prosise went up the middle from a yard out to extend the lead to 13-3.
Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen did not suit up for a third straight game, with Chargers coach Anthony Lynn sticking to his pre-training camp plan of resting his veterans. With Melvin Gordon continuing to hold out, the running game struggled as Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson combined for 23 yards on nine carries.
The offensive line also continued to have its difficulties. Tyrod Taylor was on the run most of the time, finishing 6 of 9 for 61 yards in three possessions. Taylor also was the Chargers' leading rusher with 34 yards on six carries.
Easton Stick led the Chargers to a pair of scores in the fourth quarter to get them within eight. Los Angeles (0-3) had the ball late in the fourth but the drive stalled on its 48 when a wide-open Justice Liggins slipped on a pass on fourth-and-10.
BACKUP QB BATTLES
Former Charger Geno Smith was 11 for 18 for 117 yards as he battles Paxton Lynch for the Seahawks' backup spot. Smith also ran for a 9-yard TD during the third quarter to put Seattle up 23-3.
Cardale Jones and Stick are competing for the Chargers' third spot. Jones, who was 4 of 5 for 50 yards, has played well the last two games while Stick bounced back after struggling last week against New Orleans.
The fifth-round pick accounted for Los Angeles' only touchdown with an 8-yard strike to Andre Patton with 9:26 remaining. Stick then ran around right end from 4 yards out on the next drive to get the Chargers within 23-15.
The teams combined for three missed extra points. Los Angeles' Ty Long was 0 for 2, going wide left and having another blocked.
Lynn has tried to give his beleaguered offensive line some confidence by going for it on short yardage on fourth down in two preseason games, but it has backfired. The Chargers went for it twice against the Seahawks and came up empty as Seattle converted the missed opportunities into nine points.
''I'm really disappointed in the fourth-and-1s. Those are `gotta have it' situations,'' Lynn said at halftime. ''We were No. 1 in the league last year in that category. We're a little behind right now.''
Seahawks: Conclude the preseason by hosting Oakland on Thursday night.
Chargers: Travel to San Francisco on Thursday night for their preseason finale.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel caught two of three targets for 27 yards Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. After two solid preseason games, Samuel had a relatively quiet evening. The second-round rookie has demonstrated electric upside and could be in-line for a meaningful role immediately in the Niners offense. With a stellar college resume and advanced skillset, Samuel deserves some sleeper love as RotoBallers WR73.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis grabbed three balls on five targets for 36 yards Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Following two quiet games, Pettis was finally in the mix after he indicated he was playing explosive and consistent earlier this week. Despite being pushed by rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd (back), Pettis appears a lock to start heading into Week 1. After emerging as the second option to tight end George Kittle last season, Pettis is shaping up as a solid backend WR2.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay did not take action on Saturday night in the Broncos preseason game versus the Los Angeles Rams. Lindsay is coming off of preseason week two where he took reps with the second team and the backs behind him looked lackluster. The 2nd-year back seems to have the starting job locked up in Denver going into the regular season as he looks to follow up a stellar rookie year.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd (back) did not play Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Hurd also sat out last Monday due to back tightness so two consecutive missed games is not a positive development. The 2019 third-round pick made noise with two touchdowns in the first preseason contest but has dealt with nagging injuries even before he was a Niner. Hurd has the size to be a legitimate red zone threat but his fantasy impact will be muted until he sees the field.
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus continued what has been an impressive preseason, with a solid performance Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. The 6th-year kicker connected on both field-goal attempts on the night, with a long of 38 yards. McManus looks to keep his consistency going in 2019, surrounded by an improved roster from the 2018 season.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida recorded nine touches for 75 yards and a touchdown Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Breida toted the rock seven times for 44 yards and added two catches for 31 yards including a 20-yard touchdown from Jimmy Garoppolo in the first quarter. While Breida will share snaps with Tevin Coleman this season, the third-year player has repeatedly proven he can make plays when he touches the ball. He should make a fine RB3/flex heading into 2019.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 14 of 20 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown in Saturdays victory against the Kansas City Chiefs. Garoppolo bounced back in a big way after an ugly game last Monday, finding running back Matt Breida for a 20-yard score in the first quarter. In his second game back from a torn ACL, the performance should qualm some alarmists in the Niner and fantasy communities about Garoppolos competency as a starter. However, hes still just a factor in two-quarterback leagues or a backup in standard formats.
Houston Texans tight end Jordan Thomas was targeted six times in Houston's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys, grabbing two of those targets for a team-high 33 yards. It was a rough night for the Texans, who failed to reach 100 passing yards, but Thomas was the tiniest sliver of a bright spot. He still has a chance to beat out Jordan Akins for the starting tight end job, though the word "starting" isn't likely to mean much as Akins, Thomas, and veteran Darren Fells will all rotate in and out, with rookie Kahale Warring expected to play a small role if healthy. Thomas has potential in fantasy leagues, but if Houston plays all of their tight ends, it'll be hard to see a path for Thomas to consistent fantasy relevance.
Houston Texans running back Karan Higdon carried the ball a team-high 13 times for 28 yards in Saturday's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Higdon was the first back up after starter Lamar Miller went down with an ACL, which seems to suggest he's next in line in this Houston offense to see early down work. However, Higdon wasn't that impressive in this one and could very well wind up cut by the time the season rolls around. It's a fluid situation, and there's no good reason to pick Higdon in a re-draft league until we actually have some clarity.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson played just one series in Houston's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He was sacked twice and watched teammate Lamar Miller get carted off the field, which probably contributed to head coach Bill O'Brien sending his star quarterback to the bench. Watson has the chance to be a top-five fantasy quarterback, but Houston's offensive line will have to give him a pocket. Saturday didn't help anyone feel better about that being a reality this year. You still draft Watson as a top quarterback, but do so with an understanding that he could get beat up this season.
Houston Texans quarterback Joe Webb had a rough one in Saturday's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys, going 8-for-21 passing the ball for 62 yards and a pair of interceptions. He added 25 yards on four carries as well. Webb's going to be Houston's third quarterback once A.J. McCarron is back, so he doesn't have any fantasy value heading into the season and shouldn't be rostered anywhere, but he will likely see major minutes again when Houston hosts the Rams in the preseason finale. Webb's a risky but potentially rewarding DFS option for the last week of preseason action.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 14 of his 20 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 24.
Fantasy Spin: After a horrible preseason debut, Garoppolo looked sharp in his second appearance. The 49ers added a bunch of weapons this offseason, but Garoppolo is still an unproven commodity. Consider him a midrange QB2 with upside.
Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck announced his retirement from the NFL Saturday, Aug. 24.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson caught both of his targets for 60 yards against the Saints on Saturday. The highlight of Anderson's night was a 41-yard reception where he made a nice adjustment on an underthrown ball from Sam Darnold. Anderson finishes the preseason with five catches on five targets for 92 yards and no touchdowns. Anderson is a high ceiling, low floor receiver on a week-to-week basis because he relies so heavily on the big play, but should provide enough big games to be drafted near the top-60 players overall.
Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup caught a 12-yard touchdown in a 34-0 preseason win over the Houston Texans Saturday, Aug. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Gallup enters the season as the No. 2 option in the Dallas passing game, but he is still likely to be a big-play dependent deep threat. He's worth a look as a WR5.
Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller is feared to have suffered a torn ACL in Saturday's preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. If confirmed, Miller's season is over before it began, and his Texans career is likely coming to a close as well. Duke Johnson will get more chances to run the ball, but the workload in Houston will also fall to someone else as well. Maybe it's veteran Taiwan Jones. Maybe it's one of the undrafted rookies, Damarea Crockett or Karan Higdon. Maybe Houston signs or trades for a back. Whoever earns the job has value as a flex option, but it's going to be a few days before we have a clear sense of how this backfield will shake out. At the very least, it's time to grab Crockett and Higdon in dynasty leagues just to be safe.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk only caught two of his six targets for five yards, including a dropped pass Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings. The upside though was that Kirk was second in targets for the afternoon. Even though the Cardinals' offense this preseason has been very bland, there is too much talent and too much upside to be ignored. Expect Kirk and this offense to light it up this season and he will come in as a nice WR2/3. With his poor showings this preseason, now might be a good time to buy Kirk at his lowest in dynasty formats.
Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds put in a strong performance Saturday afternoon against the Vikings, rushing three times for 13 yards and hauling in both of his two targets for 24 yards. Edmonds continues to be a top handcuff to own in the fantasy world and would be a solid weekly starter if something were to happen to David Johnson. With starters likely resting for the fourth and final preseason game, look for Edmonds to get his fair share of touches against the Denver Broncos.
New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery carried the ball eight times for 21 yards and caught all four of his targets for 24 yards and a touchdown against the Saints on Saturday. Montgomery has been the Jets most productive running back so far with Le'Veon Bell not playing preseason games. The former wide receiver finishes the preseason with 67 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown running to go along with five catches. He should be considered the primary backup to Bell with some PPR value in deep leagues as he should see plenty of work on passing downs.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson will take over as the starting running back in the wake of RB Lamar Miller's (knee) knee injury, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, and McClain believes Johnson will 'get all the playing time he can handle.'
Fantasy Spin: Johnson has been a major weapon in the passing game in the past, and if given an every-down role, RB2 production seems like his floor, especially in PPR formats. Add him now if he is available in your league.