By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) leaps over Denver Broncos strong safety Will Parks (34) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) celebrates a score against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, left, is swarmed by Denver Broncos defenders during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman (28) celebrates his touchdown catch with teammate Courtland Sutton (14) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
HOUSTON (AP) Rookie Drew Lock threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns, Kareem Jackson had an interception and returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown against his former team as the Denver Broncos built a huge first-half lead and coasted 38-24 over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Lock, who made his NFL debut in a win over the Chargers last week, threw for 235 yards with three TDs in the first half. It was the most yards passing in a first half by the Broncos since Peyton Manning had 282 in Week 5 of 2014.
The Broncos (5-8) scored on their first five possessions to build 38-3 lead early in the third quarter. They scored more than 24 points for the first time since Oct. 19, 2018.
Houston's hold on the AFC South took a hit as the Texans (8-5) came out flat in a terrible first half a week after downing the Patriots 28-22 for their first win in the series since 2010. The Texans are one-half game ahead of the Titans (7-5), who play in Oakland later Sunday.
Deshaun Watson threw for 292 yards with one TD pass and two interceptions after throwing three touchdown passes and grabbing his first career TD reception in a stellar performance against New England.
The Broncos took an early lead when Lock threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Noah Fant with about 7 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. Fant, who finished with 113 yards receiving, had a 48-yard reception earlier in that drive.
Keke Coutee, inactive for the past two games despite being healthy, grabbed an 8-yard reception on Houston's next drive but fumbled. Jeremiah Attaochu picked up the ball and handed it off to Jackson, who dashed 70 yards for the score against the team he spent the last nine seasons with.
Denver pushed the lead to 21-0 in the second quarter when Lock connected with Jeff Heuerman on an 8-yard pass. Lock had completions of 37 and 25 yards on that drive.
The Texans went on fourth-and-1 from their34 with two minutes left in the first half and Watson's pass was tipped at the line and fell incomplete to give the Broncos a short field. They took at advantage when Royce Freeman caught a 3-yard touchdown pass to make it 31-3 at halftime. Houston's Lonnie Johnson had two defensive holding penalties on that drive.
Phillip Lindsay pushed Denver's lead to 38-3 with a 1-yard run early in the third quarter.
DeAndre Hopkins gave the Texans their first touchdown on a 43-yard reception on their first drive of the second half.
Tashaun Gipson intercepted Lock near the goal line on Denver's next drive and returned it 26 yards. The Texans made it 38-17 early in the fourth quarter when Watson leaped into the end zone at the end of a 6-yard scramble.
Houston got a stop and Watson converted a fourth-and-19 with a pass to Hopkins on the next drive before his pass on fourth-and-3 was tipped three times and intercepted by Jackson to end any hope of a comeback.
Watson added another touchdown run with 32 seconds left.
Broncos: DE Dre'Mont Jones injured his ankle in the first quarter and didn't return. ... Fant left in the second half with a foot injury.
Broncos: Visit the Chiefs next Sunday.
Texans: Visit the Titans next Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill had a solid game in Week 14, serving as the team's No. 2 back behind Devonta Freeman. Hill rushed the ball nine times for 62 yards and scored his third touchdown of the year. Freeman saw 17 carries in the game and also had four catches while Hill didn't earn a single target through the air. The game was a bit of an anomaly for Hill, who entered the game averaging 2.8 yards per carry on the year before averaging 6.9 yards per carry in the game. Hill can remain on waivers in just about all leagues as he's not a reliable fantasy option while Freeman is healthy.
Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison didn't receive a single carry in Week 13, despite scoring touchdowns in both Week 11 and Week 12 while Devonta Freeman was sidelined. Last week, Freeman and Brian Hill were the exclusive backs the team used, but this week, Ollison was able to get a little involved. Ollison had four carries in Week 14 against the Panthers, but he was only able to gain six total yards. Freeman saw 17 carries in the game while Hill had nine. Ollison should get more opportunities as the youngster in the backfield, but he can remain on waivers in just about all leagues until we see the Falcons actually start to commit to him more.
The Houston Texans were embarrassed on Sunday by the Denver Broncos, but quarterback Deshaun Watson somehow managed to salvage his fantasy day thanks to his legs. Watson finished the game 28-for-50 throwing the ball for 292 yards, a touchdown, and a pair of interceptions. He also added two rushing scores on six carries, finishing with 44 yards on the ground. This was a tough matchup for Watson, but he's still a fantasy QB1 moving forward because of his ability to do the things we saw him do in this one.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson made seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Dolphins Sunday. Anderson was targeted a season-high 11 times making this back-to-back weeks Anderson has seen double-digit targets. It took Anderson a while to get going this season, but he's found his groove lately going for at least 100 yards or a touchdown in four consecutive games. Anderson has a tough matchup Thursday at Baltimore but will be a startable option in fantasy given his recent production.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (knee) returned to the field in Week 14 after missing the team's past three games. While it was encouraging to see him get six targets in his first game back, he turned in his lowest-scoring fantasy output of the season, catching just two passes for 32 yards. The Falcons were able to run the ball better than usual in this game and they weren't chasing points on the scoreboard so quarterback Matt Ryan only had to throw 34 passes in the game, a low number for him. Hooper will look to bounce-back against the 49ers in Week 15 and he'll be a must-start tight end once again.
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards and a touchdown in Week 14 against the Panthers. He also added four catches on four targets for 10 yards. Freeman dominated the carries as usual for the Falcons, with Brian Hill earning nine carries and Qadree Ollison earning four. Freeman's heavy workload makes him a decent RB2 on a weekly basis at this point and he's especially valuable in PPR due to his heavy involvement in the Falcons pass game.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a solid outing in Week 14 against the Panthers. He completed 20-of-34 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns in the game. He didn't give commit a turnover in the game and was only sacked once. Ryan had all of his primary pass-catchers active for the game as Julio Jones (shoulder) returned from a one-game absence and Austin Hooper (knee) suited up for the first time since Week 10. Ryan's next matchup is a tougher one against the 49ers in San Francisco.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled in a 27-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14. Mayfield went 11-for-24 passing for 192 yards and two interceptions in the win, although he did add 13 yards and a touchdown rushing the ball. It goes down as yet another disappointing performance for Mayfield, who was going up against an extremely vulnerable Cincinnati pass defense. He will find himself in another plus matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15 but he will be tough to trust after disappointing against the Bengals on Sunday.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant was carted off the field in Week 14's game against the Houston Texans. The rookie suffered a foot injury and was taken to the locker room on a cart but was later seen returning to the sideline, also on the cart. With the Broncos up 38-17 in the fourth quarter, there's no reason to rush Fant back into the game. Before leaving, he'd caught four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Miami Dolphins wide receivers Devante Parker (concussion) and Albert Wilson (concussion) have both been ruled out for Sunday's game at the Jets. Parker had two catches for 28 yards before being evaluated for a concussion and Wilson had just one catch for five yards. The Dolphins will update the status of each after the game but both are question marks for next week. Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford are the leading receivers for Miami with tight end Mike Gesicki also expected to see more usage if Parker were to miss time.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 14 game.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu has had one good game since joining the Patriots but has been dealing with the ankle injury. He should see a solid amount of targets and can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (hand) suffered a right hand injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation to see if Winston will miss an extended period of time because of the injury. Ryan Griffin would take over the starting job if Winston is sidelined but should be avoided in fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (forearm) suffered a forearm injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.
Detroit Lions DT A'Shawn Robinson (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate was forced to leave Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns with an apparent ankle injury. Tate went down awkwardly on his ankle in the third quarter after making a catch, and while he was able to walk off the field under his own power, he was soon after walking to the locker room with his gloves and helmet off. There has been no official announcement yet, but Tate looked doubtful to return at best. Before getting hurt, he made one catch for 16 yards on four targets.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 14 game.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman continues to be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots and will see plenty of targets this week. He is a must-start option in all leagues.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (concussion) has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday's game with the 49ers. Cook took a hit to the head that was flagged for targeting a defenseless receiver while coming down with his second touchdown of the day. Cook was evaluated for a possible head injury and has been ruled out according to the team's Twitter account. Josh Hill is now listed as the team's starting tight end but he won't have any fantasy relevance. Expect Taysom Hill to play the role of tight end for New Orleans near the goal line.
Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice has been ruled out for the remainder of Week 14's game against the Green Bay Packers. Guice exited due to a knee injury and was immediately labeled as questionable to return. Not much later, he was ruled out for the rest of the contest. Before being forced to leave, Guice ran the ball five times for an explosive 42 yards. With all of Guice's previous knee issues, this is of course something to keep an eye on heading into Week 15 as well. Adrian Peterson will carry the load for Washington on the ground for as long as Guice is out.
The Oakland Raiders have declared LB Kyle Wilber, WR Hunter Renfrow, CB Isaiah Johnson, DL Terrell McClain, QB Mike Glennon, OG Trent Brown and RB Josh Jacobs inactive for Week 14.