Sun Sep 15 4:33pm ET
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) celebrates after he recovered a ball fumbled by Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) fumbles as he is hit by Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) and defensive end D.J. Reader (98) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) is wrapped up by Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Myles Jack (44) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) makes a catch in front of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) is pressured by Houston Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
HOUSTON (AP) Justin Reid stopped Leonard Fournette on a 2-point conversion attempt with 36 seconds left, and the Houston Texans held on to edge the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-12 on Sunday.
Houston led by 7 in the fourth quarter when Jacksonville rookie Gardner Minshew led a long drive that included an 18-yard run on fourth-and-10, and he capped it with a 4-yard TD pass to D.J. Chark.
Instead of trying to tie it with an extra point, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone opted to go for the potential win by having Fournette attempt to run it in for the 2-point conversion. But the big running back was stopped by Reid. The play was upheld by video review, giving the Texans (1-1) the victory.
Early in the fourth quarter, Whitney Mercilus used a nice spin move to evade a blocker and sacked Minshew to force a fumble, which was recovered by J.J. Watt on the 11-yard line. Carlos Hyde had an 8-yard run on second down, but was stopped short of a first down on the next play to bring up fourth-and-1. Deshaun Watson then scrambled in from 2 yards out for the touchdown to make it 13-3.
Watson threw for 159 yards, and Hyde had 90 yards rushing for the Texans.
Minshew, a sixth-round pick, threw for 213 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (1-1) in his first NFL start filling in for Nick Foles, who broke his collarbone last week.
After being sacked six times in a loss to New Orleans last week, Watson was sacked four times Sunday - marking the eighth straight game in which he has been sacked at least four times. That ties him with Blake Bortles (2014-15) and Jeff George (1997-98) for the longest streak of games with at least four sacks since it became an official statistic in 1982.
The Jaguars got to Watson on Sunday after failing to sack Patrick Mahomes in loss to Kansas City last week.
Houston acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil in a trade with Miami on Aug. 31 after Watson was sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season, but so far he hasn't helped the quarterback take fewer blows.
Watt had a nice game a week after not getting a tackle or quarterback hit for the first time in 105 career games, and finished with two tackles, a hit on Minshew and the fumble recovery.
Along with Foles, the Jaguars were without four other starters as cornerback A.J. Bouye, receiver Marqise Lee, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and left tackle Cam Robinson were all out with injuries.
Jacksonville star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was seen arguing with Marrone early in the first quarter and missed what looked sure to be an interception in the third quarter. Houston was up by 3 when Ramsey got his hands on a pass from Watson, but couldn't hold onto it. But the Texans couldn't keep the drive going and had to punt three plays later.
The Texans led 3-0 after a field goal with about two minutes left in the first quarter. Ramsey was apparently upset that Marrone didn't challenge a catch by DeAndre Hopkins on third-and-2 earlier in that drive and the two were seen yelling at each other on the sideline after that drive.
The Jaguars tied it with a field goal with about three minutes left in the first half.
Houston took a 6-3 lead into halftime thanks to another field goal as time expired in the second quarter. Kenny Stills had a 31-yard reception to get the Texans to the 4 with 16 seconds left. But they only got one play off after that before the field goal as coach Bill O'Brien didn't call a timeout despite having two.
Jaguars: Visit Titans Thursday night.
Texans: Visit Chargers next Sunday.
The Washington Redskins Defense will head to Minnesota on Thursday night to take on a Vikings team that has averaged 36 points a game over the last three weeks. Minnesota's recent offensive success directly coincides with its newly established willingness to air the ball out from the arm of Kirk Cousins, who has averaged 325 yards per game and thrown 10 total touchdowns in this span. Adding fuel to the grease fire that is Washington's fantasy outlook for Week 8, the Vikings also have a running back by the name of Dalvin Cook who just so happens to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game at 103.6. Even with Adam Thielen in danger of missing this game for the Vikings, there is no conceivable reason to deploy the Redskins defense in fantasy lineups this week.
Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will presumably start for the fourth consecutive week on Thursday night against the Vikings, but that starting role has yet to yield any positive fantasy results. Vernon Davis has missed Washington's last three games, a time frame in which Sprinkle has caught a total of six passes for 54 yards. Even a visit to the endzone can't necessarily save him from a usage rate that low. The Vikings are allowing double-digit PPR production on average to tight ends, but the last thing you want to do is needlessly roll the dice on a risky Thursday night player and have it go up in flames. Whether Davis (who is currently listed as doubtful) unexpectedly suits up or not, there are safer and more proven options at tight end than Sprinkle for Week 8.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson has a relatively favorable matchup on his hands Thursday, but has done nothing this season to convince fantasy owners he can capitalize. The Vikings are allowing an average of 15 receptions and 159 yards per game to opposing receivers, along with 11 total touchdowns. Richardson hasn't caught a pass for two straight weeks, and Terry McLaurin is a productive target vacuum in Washington's offense, so the reliability scale tips in the latter's direction. As much as the Redskins would probably like to involve someone other than McLaurin and diversify their attack, Richardson simply cannot be trusted as a fantasy play in any format based on his output to this point in the season.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn has totaled seven catches for 56 yards in his last three games. His only double-digit PPR outing came all the way back in Week 1 when he happened to score a garbage-time touchdown. With a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game and a Redskins offense that hasn't looked any good for pretty much the entire season, Quinn's outlook remains grim even against a Vikings Defense that has been somewhat friendly to wide receivers. If he miraculously has a productive night against Minnesota after catching three or fewer passes in four consecutive weeks, it unfortunately needs to happen on the waiver wire.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin should be in line for a ton of targets in Thursday night's game at Minnesota, making him the only reasonably safe fantasy option among his teammates. The Vikings have allowed the most receptions to wide receivers of any team in the league, for 1,116 total yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns. McLaurin's well-established rapport with Case Keenum through the first half of the season suggests he should be the pass-catcher tasked with exploiting Minnesota's secondary. Game flow figures to work in his favor as well, as the Vikings could reasonably be expected to jump out to an early lead. McLaurin's volume keeps him in flex territory for WR-needy fantasy teams.
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum will look to bounce back from Sunday's 9-0 loss in which he threw for under 100 yards, but a date with Minnesota doesn't provide him with much more fantasy appeal. This should be interpreted more as a lack of faith in Washington's offense than a vote of confidence in the Vikings' relatively exploitable pass defense, but the point remains. The Redskins are averaging 12.9 points per game on offense, and they could be without both of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson in the backfield. The hope here from a fantasy perspective is that Minnesota's suddenly explosive offense puts the Redskins up against a massive early deficit, thus forcing Keenum to air it out. Even if the Thursday night game unfolds as such, fantasy owners would be putting a ton of misguided faith in pass-catchers like Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn by starting Keenum in fantasy lineups. The reward does not outweigh the risk.
Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood might be the starter by default in Thursday night's game at Minnesota. Adrian Peterson is questionable with a high ankle sprain, while Chris Thompson continues to nurse a toe injury that held him out of last week's contest. Considering the short week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Redskins err on the side of caution regarding Peterson and Thompson. They don't have much to play for, and it wouldn't be worth risking further injury to either if one or both are not at 100% health. If Smallwood does have the backfield to himself, volume doesn't outweigh the unfavorable matchup. The Vikings are giving up 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs, and have surrendered just one rushing touchdown to the position. Smallwood will have to turn in his fantasy value in the receiving game, which is not worth banking on. He is best avoided unless you find yourself in desperate need of a PPR flex.
Houston Texans CB Phillip Gaines (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injury list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
New York Giants LB Keion Adams (knee) was released from the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 21.
Baltimore Ravens LB Pernell McPhee (triceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Chicago Bears DE Jonathan Harris was released Tuesday, Oct. 22; the move cleared a spot for the signing of DL Brent Urban.
Cleveland Browns RB Elijah McGuire was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was listed as the No. 2 receiver on the version of the Falcons' depth chart released following the trade of WR Mohamed Sanu Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley was already Atlanta's second-most productive receiver behind Julio Jones, but he stands to gain at least a few extra targets per game without much depth behind the top two wideouts for the Falcons.
Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson out-snapped RB Carlos Hyde 39-to-26 in the Week 7 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson received a total of nine touches and racked up 56 yards. It was his first start of the season but Carlos Hyde still had more carries. Johnson has the higher ceiling in PPR formats, but Hyde is the safer option in standard leagues.
New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) said Tuesday, Oct. 22, he's confident he'll return to the field soon. 'Oh, I'll be back out on the field,' Shepard said. 'It's just whether it's gonna be this week or next week.'
Fantasy Spin: Shepard has been limited to four games this season, but he has been able to rack up 25 receptions on 34 targets for 267 yards and a touchdown. The more experience QB Daniel Jones acquires while Shepard is out of the lineup will only boost the receiver's production upon his eventual return. He's a solid buy-low candidate.
Free-agent DE Kasim Edebali (Eagles) signed an undisclosed contract with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent LB Nate Orchard (Dolphins) worked out for the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with free-agent DL Shane Ray (Ravens) and DE Quinton Bell (Raiders).
Free-agent DT Willie Henry (Ravens) worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Buccaneers) worked out for the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with fellow free agents S Marcus Gilchrist (Raiders) and DE Joel Heath (Texans).