Sat Aug 24 10:56pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
Players: Robbie Gould, Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jerick McKinnon, Gehrig Dieter, Damien Williams, C.J. Beathard, George Kittle, Trent Taylor, Nick Mullens, Matt Breida, Jeff Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Byron Pringle
San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Damien Wilson (54) and cornerback Herb Miller, bottom, during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) dives to avoid a tackle by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (20) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) scrambles away from San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Damontre Moore (92) and defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (22) scores a touchdown against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Juan Thornhill, left, during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass behind offensive guard Mike Person (68) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was impressive in his return to Arrowhead Stadium, and Chiefs counterpart Patrick Mahomes may have been even better, as the 49ers beat Kansas City 27-17 in their third preseason game Saturday night.
Garoppolo was 14 of 20 for 188 yards while playing the entire first half in a much better showing than his preseason debut against Denver last week. Garoppolo led the 49ers deep into Kansas City territory four times, throwing a nice TD pass to Matt Breida and getting two field goals from Robbie Gould.
It was an encouraging night for Garoppolo on another front: He was able to put to rest any lingering memories from last season, when he tore up his knee during a Week 3 game in Kansas City.
Mahomes finished 8 of 10 for 126 yards, highlighted by a 62-yard catch-and-run to Damien Williams in which the Chiefs' injury-prone running back raced right by the woebegone linebacker covering him.
Mahomes was so sharp in what was likely his final tuneup before the regular season that the league MVP even completed his first incompletion - it was just caught out of bounds. His only other misfire was a drop by backup tight end Blake Bell before coach Andy Reid gave Mahomes a visor to wear.
Garoppolo kept his helmet on, leading a two-minute drill that gave the 49ers a go-ahead field goal.
The 49ers clung to that 13-10 halftime advantage until Chiefs backup quarterback Kyle Shurmur led a 13-play, 97-yard drive that took up most of the third quarter. Byron Pringle capped it with a short TD run as the second-year pro tries to make the Chiefs as an extra wide receiver.
The 49ers answered with a 12-play drive. Nick Mullens, who is battling C.J. Beathard for their backup quarterback job, led the way and Jeff Wilson Jr. finished it with a TD run.
Wilson put the game away with another touchdown run with 3:41 to go.
STAR TIGHT ENDS ARE QUIET
The 49ers' George Kittle broke Travis Kelce's season yardage record for tight ends within hours of him setting it during Week 17 last season. But neither dented the stat sheet Saturday night. Kittle didn't play with a bothersome calf while Kelce did not have a catch for Kansas City.
Along with Kittle, the 49ers rested: CBs Jason Verrett (ankle), K'Waun Williams (knee) and Tim Harris; FS Adrian Colbert (hamstring); RB Jerick McKinnon (knee); DLs Dee Ford (knee), Nick Bosa (ankle) and Jullian Taylor (back); and WR Trent Taylor (foot).
The Chiefs sat SS Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder, CB Michael Hunter (groin) and WR Gehrig Dieter (back).
Chiefs LB Darron Lee left with a chest injury. ... CB Bashaud Breeland hurt his left shoulder while making a tackle along the sideline in the first half, though he eventually returned to the game.
RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY
The Chiefs' game last week in Pittsburgh was delayed about an hour by lightning. Rain fell off and on Saturday night, too, though the game continued without any delays.
49ers: Wrap their preseason against the Chargers on Thursday night.
Chiefs: Visit Green Bay for their preseason finale Thursday night.
Five Sleepers: Week 3
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (hamstring) hasn't been able to practice this week as he's been dealing with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 2. On Friday, head coach Matt LaFleur said that the team would give Adams "the rest of the week" to get back up to speed, but also added that Adams was "probably doubtful" for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. Fantasy owners should prepare to be without Adams this week. If Adams indeed misses the game, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard would be the biggest beneficiaries.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (knee) has been ruled out for Week 3 against the New York Giants. He will miss his second-straight game while he continues to deal with a sprained left knee. Kittle had been practicing on a limited basis the past few days, but the team is proceeding with caution for the star tight end. Jordan Reed, who caught two touchdowns in Week 2, stands to benefit most from Kittle being sidelined. However, keep in mind that Reed will be catching passes from backup quarterback Nick Mullens in the game, as the team's starter Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) has also been ruled out. Kittle seems to have a decent chance to make his return in Week 4 as long as he doesn't have any setbacks.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) will be sitting out this week's game against the New York Giants. Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2 against the New York Jets. He sat out the second half of the game while backup quarterback Nick Mullens took over. Mullens will be getting the start in Week 3, which will make things a bit tougher on all San Francisco pass-catchers. Mullens shouldn't be considered a target for fantasy. Jerick McKinnon and Jordan Reed are the two most attractive offensive players in San Francisco this week, while Jeff Wilson Jr. and Kendrick Bourne are potential desperation plays.
The Indianapolis Colts Defense had a great Week 2, allowing just 11 points and grabbing three interceptions. They will look to carry this momentum into Week 3 against the Jets. The Jets are averaging just 15 points per game over the first two weeks, their offensive line is bad and their best offensive weapons are injured. The Colts are also at home, where they played very well last week. They are without safety Malik Hooker for the rest of the year, so it will be a challenge to fill that void on the back end of the defense. With that being said, the Jets are so bad that we should expect the Colts to have a good defensive performance this week. They are the most expensive defense this week at a DFS price of $4,100.
Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines had a bad Week 2, seeing just nine snaps and catching one ball for four yards. Part of Hines' lack of snaps last week were due to Indianapolis getting ahead early and running the ball with rookieJonathan Taylor. Taylor's emergence means even less rushing attempts for Hines, which means he only carries value in the passing game. Playing a bad Jets team likely means he won't see a lot of snaps again, other than some third downs here and there. Hines may have some flex value in deeper PPR leagues if he can see some red-zone time on third downs, but he is probably best suited on the bench this week.
The Houston Texans have no interest in signing free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown. Houston traded All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals in the offseason and have gotten off to an 0-2 start against tough competition. They have a full receiver room, though, with Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller V, Randall Cobb, Kenny Stills, DeAndre Carter and Keke Coutee on the roster. Brown has plenty of talent, but he's become a headache because of off-the-field issues, and the NFL suspended him eight games for the 2020 season. Some teams have interest in the former Steeler for later this season, including the Seahawks, but it appears the Texans won't be one of them. Brown might be worth stashing in deeper leagues for the end of the year, but ultimately his fantasy value will depend on where he lands.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receivers Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Breshad Perriman (ankle) have been ruled out for Week 3 against the Colts. It'll be Crowder's second straight missed game. The Jets offense is an absolute disaster right now, as running back Le'Veon Bell is also out for multiple weeks. Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios will be quarterback Sam Darnold's top targets this Sunday, making Indy's defense an excellent streaming option. You'd have to be really desperate to consider Hogan or Berrios in a flex spot in the deepest of leagues. Tight end Chris Herndon had a quiet Week 2, but he has some sleeper appeal with all of New York's pass-catchers injured.
Indianapolis Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor will make his second consecutive start against the Jets in Week 3. Taylor had a whopping 26 carries in Week 2 and was able to rush for over 100 yards. The Jets Defense has given up an average of 140 rushing yards per game over the first two weeks, so Taylor will look to build on last week's performance. Taylor's 3.9 yards per carry last week was a bit lackluster, but his heavy workload gives him a great opportunity to put up a respectable amount of fantasy points. He has also shown that he can be an option in the passing game, so he adds some value there. He has a DFS price of $7,000 and should definitely be considered a great starting option this week.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has not had a great start to the season, catching just seven passes for 81 yards thus far. He has a good matchup this week against the Jets, but it seems as if the Colts are going to be a run-first team after having success last week. With just seven catches over his first two games, Hilton is clearly still trying to build a relationship with quarterback Philip Rivers. He will have a good opportunity to see targets, considering the Colts are banged up at tight end and wide receiver. This will be as good a week as any for Hilton to get his season going. At a DFS price of $5,600, Hilton could potentially be a sneaky good flex option this week.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox got the start in Week 2 and took advantage of it, catching five passes for 111 yards. It was his first fantasy relevant game of his career, so it is difficult to expect him to have another strong performance in back-to-back weeks. QuarterbackPhilip Rivers has a good history with tight ends, so it is understandable that Rivers liked Alie-Cox's massive frame. There is a lot of uncertainty for Alie-Cox's snap count this week due to Jack Doyle's status being undetermined at this point. Fantasy owners are probably thinking that Alie-Cox has a chance to have another good performance against a bad Jets team, but there is more bust potential than boom potential.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot) has been ruled out for Week 3 against the Bengals. Jeffery has yet to play this season but is trending upwards and has a chance to make his 2020 debut within the next few weeks, barring some sort of setback. The Eagles need him back, too, as they put rookie first-round receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) on Injured Reserve this week. DeSean Jackson, Greg Ward Jr. and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside should operate in three-receiver sets moving forward, with D-Jax being the only real fantasy option in standard-sized leagues as more of a boom/bust WR3/flex for fantasy managers. Philly should continue to target tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert heavily as well.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers is set to face off against the New York Jets this Sunday. The Jets Defense had a miserable Week 1 against the pass when Bills quarterbackJosh Allen shredded their secondary. They had a better Week 2 against the pass, specifically because the 49ers got up early and ran the ball. It is reasonable to expect the same type of performance from the Colts offense this week after they had success running the ball in Week 2. A run-dominant offense makes Rivers a bad play for Week 3 against the Jets. Rivers also has not had a great start to the season, with just two passing touchdowns to three interceptions and an average passer rating of 92.3. Rivers has a DFS price of $6,000, but there are better options out there for relatively the same price.
Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins has clearly taken the reins as the No. 1 tight end for the Texans, playing over 80 percent of offensive snaps in Week 1 and Week 2 this year. Last week against Baltimore, Akins was targeted seven times, catching all of them for 55 yards. This week's matchup with the Steelers is a tough one and we're not quite sold on Akins having the same level of usage in Week 3 that he did in Week 2, but he's trending in the right direction and is an upside streaming play for fantasy managers who find themselves with a need at tight end.
Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (quad) showed some encouraging signs in Week 2, being targeted eight times and finishing with five receptions for 95 yards. Cooks was eighth in the league in air yards last week. If Cooks is trending towards being quarterback Deshaun Watson's top deep option, he'll always have boom potential, but this receiving corps is just too messy and this Steelers Defense is just too good for us to consider him as anything more than a risky WR3/4 play with some upside on Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers running backs Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) have both officially been ruled out for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Both players sustained knee injuries in the team's Week 2 win over the New York Jets. The team has said that they expect to be without Coleman for about four weeks, whereas Mostert, who is dealing with an MCL injury, could be back sooner. Mostert should be held in all fantasy leagues while Coleman should be dropped anywhere he's owned. In the short term, Jerick McKinnon stands to benefit most and is a solid RB2 in Week 3, especially in PPR leagues. Jeff Wilson Jr. is also a potential flex option and rookie JaMycal Hasty will likely get some opportunities as well.
Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb was expected to be a key part of the underneath game for the Texans in 2020, but so far has been an afterthought. After a five-catch, 59-yard Week 2, a few things have become clear. First, Cobb has just enough usage to make him a viable flex option in a 14-team league. Second, Cobb has a low enough floor to make playing him in a deep league still a risky proposition. Maybe his role will grow as the season rolls along, but for now you can consider him a fringe option in full PPR and not worth a play in standard scoring due to his reliance on short receptions.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V was the team's leading receiver in Week 1, then wasn't targeted in Week 2. So, what do we make of this heading into Sunday's Week 3 contest against the Steelers? It should be noted that Fuller dealt with hamstring issues during that Week 2 game against Baltimore and that he seems to be good to go in Week 3. Still, no targets? It's really hard to trust Fuller against a good Steelers secondary, setting him up to be a high-ceiling, zero-floor WR3 option this week. Fuller could break off a 70-yard touchdown, or he could have no receptions for a second week in a row.
The San Francisco 49ers have officially named quarterback Nick Mullens their starter in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) will be sidelined for the game as he continues to nurse a high ankle sprain. Mullens isn't someone worth starting in fantasy in Week 3. The 49ers will likely be very conservative on offense, calling a lot of running plays and dump-offs. Mullens played the second half of the team's game in Week 2 against the New York Jets and completed eight of 11 passes for 71 yards and an interception. He was also sacked twice. All 49ers pass-catchers suffer with Mullens under center, though none of them other than George Kittle (knee) if he suits up, figured to be solid starting options this week regardless.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has had some tough matchups to open the 2020 NFL season and that continues on Sunday as he faces the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh's defense is a talented group that should be able to pressure Watson and force early throws into a strong secondary, limiting his ceiling. Still, Deshaun Watson is Deshaun Watson, a multi-pronged threat who can bide time with his feet and search for mismatches in the deep passing game, so you're definitely playing him in any season-long league where you have him rostered. He's just risky enough to avoid in most of your DFS contests, though.
Houston Texans running back David Johnson is an incredibly risky play in Week 3 against a Steelers Defense that's allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Johnson will look to do better than Giants back Saquon Barkley, who had just six rushing yards against Pittsburgh in Week 1. Johnson's still got a decent floor because of his projected share of the rushing attempts in this one and his usage in the passing game, but he's also got a low, low ceiling in this meeting. He's a risky RB3 option.