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FFL: Week 15 | NFL: Week 15

Darnold throws 2 TDs in return, Jets edge Cowboys 24-22

Sun Oct 13 7:56pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Jason Witten, Demaryius Thomas, Brett Maher, Ryan Griffin, Tavon Austin, Dak Prescott, Robby Anderson, Sam Ficken, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Sam Darnold, Cedrick Wilson

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, top, tries to leap New York Jets' Darryl Roberts during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, center, reacts after not completing a two-point conversion during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets defeated the Cowboys 24-22. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New York Jets' Trumaine Johnson reacts after the Dallas Cowboys failed to make a two-point conversion during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets defeated the Cowboys 24-22. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott, right, runs the ball for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) celebrates a touchdown with Robby Anderson (11) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New York Jets' Robby Anderson (11) reacts as he scores a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Sam Darnold gave the Jets' struggling offense a huge boost by throwing two touchdown passes in his return from mononucleosis, and New York held on to beat the Dallas Cowboys 24-22 on Sunday night for their first win of the season.

The Jets led 21-9 in the fourth quarter, but Dak Prescott and the top-ranked Cowboys offense stormed back - and had a chance to tie in the closing moments.

Prescott ran for a 4-yard touchdown with 43 seconds left, making it a two-point game. Going for the tie, Prescott dropped back and was quickly met by a blitzing Jamal Adams and his pass on the conversion try fell short of Jason Witten in the end zone.

The Cowboys (3-3) tried an onside kick, but Demaryius Thomas recovered for the Jets (1-4), who won for the first time under coach Adam Gase. It was the third straight loss for Dallas.

Darnold, who missed three games while recovering from mononucleosis, finished 23 of 32 for 338 yards - including a 92-yard touchdown toss to Robby Anderson and a 5-yarder to Ryan Griffin. Le'Veon Bell also ran for a score, his first on the ground with the Jets.

The Cowboys played without starting tackles La'el Collins and Tyron Smith, and star wide receiver Amari Cooper was sidelined most of the game with a quadriceps injury. But Dallas made it a five-point game on Ezekiel Elliott's 5-yard run with 6:30 remaining, capping an 11-play, 84-yard drive.

Sam Ficken's 38-yard field goal with 3:24 left made it 24-16 - but the Cowboys had one more long drive in them, helped by a few penalties on the Jets. After a pass interference call on Adams put the ball at the Jets 16, Prescott ran for 8 yards. Following an incomplete pass to Tavon Austin, Elliott ran for 4 yards to set up Prescott's TD run.

Prescott was 28 of 40 for 277 yards. Elliott finished with 105 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.

Cooper left late in the first quarter and was on the sideline without his helmet early in the second quarter. He had one catch for 3 yards.

Darnold came out throwing in his first snap since the season opener and connected with Thomas for a 17-yard gain. But, Robert Quinn sacked him on the next play and the drive stalled - making it 29 straight games the Jets have failed to score a touchdown on their opening possession, the longest active streak in the NFL.

But, Darnold and the Jets got on the scoreboard on their second drive, capped Bell's 2-yard touchdown run.

Darnold was efficient on the 14-play, 83-yard drive, going 6 of 8 for 43 yards. New York was also helped by three penalties on Dallas, including a horse-collar tackle of Darnold by Maliek Collins on third-and-goal from the 7 that gave the Jets the ball at the 2.

Brett Maher booted a 50-yard field goal to open the second quarter and cut Dallas' deficit to 7-3.

Prescott and the Cowboys marched down the field and got to the Jets 6, but stalled. Elliott lost a yard on third down and Jason Garrett opted to go for it on four-and-2 from the 7. Prescott took the ball on a keeper, but was stuffed by rookie Quinnen Williams for a loss of a yard - and a turnover on downs.

Darnold came out on the very next play and found a wide-open Anderson zipping down the field and hit him in stride for a 92-yard touchdown to put the Jets up 14-3 with 3:34 left in the opening half. It was the second-longest reception in franchise history behind the 96-yard TD catch by Wesley Walker on a pass from Ken O'Brien at Buffalo on Dec. 8, 1985.

Darnold and the Jets weren't done in the half. After the Cowboys went three-and-out, New York got the Ball at its 35. An 11-yard catch by Griffin and a 33-yard grab by Thomas put the ball at the 17. Griffin then caught a pass over the middle and dragged a few defenders along for a 12-yard gain. Darnold went right back to Griffin, who snagged the pass, spun and reached over the goal line for a 5-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 21-3 lead.

Maher tied his franchise record by kicking a 62-yard field goal as the first half ended, making it 21-6. It was also the longest field goal ever made against the Jets. Maher also made a 62-yarder against the Eagles last December, making him the first kicker in NFL history, according to Sportradar, with two field goals of at least 62 yards.

Denver's Matt Prater holds the NFL record for longest field goal, kicking a 64-yarder in 2013.

Dallas opened the second half with a long possession, holding the ball for 7 minutes, 10 seconds, but came away with only three points on Maher's 32-yard field goal - after a 4-yard touchdown catch by Jason Witten was wiped away by an offensive pass interference call on Cedrick Wilson.

The Jets were driving late in the third quarter, but Jourdan Lewis intercepted Darnold's pass intended for Crowder. Darnold had thrown 179 consecutive passes without being picked off, dating to Week 14 of last season at Buffalo.

Dallas couldn't take advantage, though, as Maher's 40-yard attempt sailed wide right 51 seconds into the fourth quarter.

INJURIES

Cowboys: CB Byron Jones left in the second half with a hamstring injury. ... DE Dorance Armstrong left in the second quarter to be checked for a neck injury. ... CB Anthony Brown left in the second half with a hamstring injury.

Jets: LT Kelvin Beachum hurt an ankle in the third quarter and didn't return. .... LB Neville Hewitt, the team's leading tackler, left midway through the second quarter with an undisclosed injury but returned late in the third quarter. ... NT Steve McLendon was injured in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. ... LB Albert McClellan was evaluated for a concussion in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Cowboys: home vs. NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday night.

Jets: host undefeated AFC East rival New England Patriots next Monday night.

Player Notes
Aaron Jones Dec 14 5:30am ET

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones did not play well during his first encounter with the Bears Defense back in Week 1, finishing the night with just 39 yards on 13 attempts, while catching only one pass for no gain. However, the 25-year-old is fresh off of a Week 14 outing against the Redskins, where he logged 134 yards and a score to go along with six catches for 58 yards. Though Chicago is a much more formidable opponent, his performance against Washington suggests that the potential for significant production is always there, with his outlook for Week 15 being no different despite the tougher matchup.

From RotoBaller

Jamaal Williams Dec 14 5:30am ET

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams still remains fantasy relevant despite rushing for a subpar 24 yards on seven carries against the Redskins in Week 14. The 24-year-old has demonstrated this season that he can produce on a week-to-week basis, as evident by the five touchdowns he logged in four-straight outings not too long ago. While the matchup against a tough Chicago Defense will likely make fantasy owners apprehensive, he still should have a place in fantasy lineups, especially in deeper formats for those looking for someone with a significant upside in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Dec 14 3:30am ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (toe) has been removed from the team's injury report and should be ready to go against the Bears in Week 15. After an up-and-down season from a production standpoint to start the year, coupled with a four-game absence as a result of turf toe, the 26-year-old has picked things up, especially as of late, compiling 31 catches (49 targets) for 307 yards and three touchdowns over his last five outings. He did struggle against Chicago in Week 1, but the upside is always there whenever he is on the field and should be considered a must-start in all formats on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Rodgers Dec 14 2:30am ET

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a difficult matchup on Sunday against a Bears Defense that limited him to just 203 yards and a touchdown during the Thursday night season opener. The veteran hasn't been consistent, especially as of late, and has logged a touchdown or less in four of his last five games. The 36-year-old has played relatively well against Chicago throughout his tenure in the league, however, maintaining a 66.9 completion percentage to go along with 46 scores and only 10 picks in 22 career meetings. The upside is there for the fantasy managers who won't be scared off by his recent string of shoddy performances and is worth a start in Week 15 in all formats.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Dec 14 1:10am ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a great game in a tough matchup last week, beating Darius Slay for six catches and 92 yards in the win. He'll have another tough draw against Casey Hayward and the Los Angeles Chargers Defense in Week 15. They have a great secondary and play a lot of zone coverage, which is not Diggs' strong suit. However, Diggs has shown huge upside this season and he put up strong fantasy numbers despite tough matchups in two of the last three weeks. Having Adam Thielen back to draw attention away only helps his cause, and this game projecting to be close means that the Vikings will likely be forced to the air more. Start Diggs as a WR2 who has some sneaky upside in Week 15.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Dec 14 12:40am ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is as volume-based RB1 in Week 15, as he has been for most of the season. He wasn't listed on the injury report at all on Friday and backup Alexander Mattison (ankle) being out definitely increases his projected workload. Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah will split the backup role, but it's unlikely that they'll see the type of volume that Mattison was getting. The Chargers Defense ranks 23rd in rush DVOA but has been stingy as of late as they've had key players return from injury. In fact, they haven't allowed a back to eclipse 63 total yards in their last three games. Start Cook as an RB1 this week as he's a lock for at least 20 touches and a good bet for a few red zone opportunities.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Fournette Dec 13 11:20pm ET

Despite struggling in Week 14 against the Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette should still be considered a solid RB2 in Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders. Fournette dominates the backfield touches on this Jaguars team and has seen his role as a pass-catcher increase over the past three games. The Raiders Defense hasn't offered too much resistance to opposing backs this year and are also allowing the fourth-most receiving yards to running backs. With D.J. Chark out, expect quarterback Gardner Minshew to rely more on Fournette as a receiving option as well, setting him up for what should be a solid outing.

From RotoBaller

Dede Westbrook Dec 13 11:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook should be the team's top weapon on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders with fellow receiver D.J. Chark already ruled out. Westbrook entered the year as the team's number one target, but Chark emerged as a key deep threat and Westbrook dealt with injuries. Now, though, the third-year receiver has a great shot to put up strong fantasy numbers against a Raiders team that's allowing the 13th-most PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers. He's still got risk, especially as he deals with a shoulder issue, but he's the best fantasy option among Jags pass-catchers this week.

From RotoBaller

Gardner Minshew II Dec 13 11:10pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew threw for just 162 yards in his return to the starting role last week, but he should be in line to surpass that when Jacksonville faces the Oakland Raiders in Week 15. Oakland allows the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing passers, and the last time Minshew started against a comparable defense in fantasy points allowed was when he threw for 300 yards against Houston in Week 9. D.J. Chark won't play, which puts a little damper on Minshew's upside, but this is still a plus matchup for the rookie, who should be considered as a solid QB2.

From RotoBaller

DeVante Parker Dec 13 8:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Devante Parker has signed a four-year extension with the team that includes the next two years guaranteed, locking the breakout receiver into a deal with a rebuilding Miami team. This is a good spot for Parker, who's been become a reliable fantasy option for the Dolphins this season, and while there's risk involved based on his track record, he should still be considered a strong fantasy option moving forward in dynasty leagues.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Donald Dec 13 8:40pm ET

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is eighth in fantasy points at the position over the last five weeks. He isn't posting out-of-this-world numbers, but he gets to the quarterback almost every game. The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the game, and Donald doesn't do much outside of the sacks category. Sit him this week.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff has started to right the ship a bit after a three-game touchdown drought. He has thrown for 717 yards, four touchdowns and two picks the last two games. He'll have a solid matchup against a struggling Dallas Cowboys Defense. They've allowed 218.8 passing yards a game the last five games, but they've allowed nine touchdowns to one interception total during the span. Roll with Goff as a low-end QB1 with some upside.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been really sketchy of late, but he has scored a couple of touchdowns to salvage his last two weeks. He has 19 grabs for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the last five games. Quarterback Jared Goff has really grown a rapport with receiver Robert Woods, and Kupp has suffered. The Dallas Cowboys are a midrange matchup, and Kupp is a low-end WR2 this week.

From RotoBaller

Todd Gurley Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley has performed like an RB1 in his best stretch of the season the last five weeks. He has rushed 85 times for 366 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. Gurley caught a modest 11 balls for 87 yards during the stretch. The Cowboys present a midrange matchup that has allowed 3.9 yards per carry during the same span. Gurley will be a high-end RB2 this week.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods is having the best run of his career the last five weeks. In point-per-reception formats, he ranks seventh in fantasy points. He also missed a game due to personal reasons in the span. He's averaging 8.3 receptions for 115.5 yards during the last four games, but the one downside is he has one touchdown on the season. The Dallas Cowboys are a midrange matchup, and Woods is a high-end WR2 play.

From RotoBaller

Brandin Cooks Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks has caught four passes for 56 yards in the last three games since returning from a concussion. His freefall disqualifies him from consideration for fantasy against the Dallas Cowboys.

From RotoBaller

Greg Zuerlein Dec 13 8:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein is 6-for-9 in field goals the last five games, and he has nailed all 11 extra points in what has been a bit of an outage in fantasy. The offense isn't presenting him enough opportunities, and the Dallas Cowboys limit what kickers do against them as well. Steer clear of "Greg The Leg" again this week.

From RotoBaller

Los Angeles Rams Dec 13 8:30pm ET

The Los Angeles Rams Defense has been good over the last five weeks as they're seventh in fantasy points. The Dallas Cowboys are one of the better teams against opposing defenses because they don't turn the ball over or allow many sacks. Look elsewhere for a defense this week.

From RotoBaller

David Johnson Dec 13 8:20pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson came through with a receiving touchdown last week in his first visit to the end zone in nearly two months. Running back Kenyan Drake has really diminished Johnson's role. Johnson has rushed for just 36 yards on 12 carries (3.0 yards per rush) with five catches for 51 yards in his last four games. Maybe the last week's touchdown gave him a bigger piece of the pie, but he can't be played until that's evident. Sit him against the Cleveland Browns.

From RotoBaller

Christian Kirk Dec 13 8:20pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk balled out with a three-touchdown game a month ago, but he has slowed since. He has averaged 5.7 catches for 49.7 receiving yards and no touchdowns per game the last three games. He catches enough to be used in point-per-reception formats, but his yardage and touchdown output is suspect without that point. The Cleveland Browns are a bend-but-don't-break matchup. They've allowed 162.8 receiving yards and 11.8 catches over the last five games and two touchdowns total to the position. Kirk is worth using as a flex option in PPR leagues, but he's a risky choice in non-PPR formats.

From RotoBaller