By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) walks off the field in the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Detroit won 13-10. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, left, and Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia talk after an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Detroit won 13-10. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) celebrates his interception against the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Los Angeles Chargers punter Ty Long (1) reacts to missing a field goal as Detroit Lions defensive back Dee Virgin (30) reacts in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (22) runs the ball as Detroit Lions outside linebacker Christian Jones (52) defends in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws in the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (97) and Isaac Rochell (98) celebrate in the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater (5) reacts to missing an extra point in the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Brandon Facyson (28) brings Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) down after a reception in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) scores on a one-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first half an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throws in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
DETROIT (AP) Matthew Stafford and Darius Slay had a lot to do with the Los Angeles Chargers leading the Lions for three-plus quarters.
And, both players bounced back in the final minutes to lift Detroit to a 13-10 victory Sunday.
Stafford threw a go-ahead, 31-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay midway through the fourth quarter and Slay made an interception in the end zone with 1:03 left.
Detroit (1-0-1) overcame Stafford's two interceptions, Slay getting outplayed by Keenan Allen and Matt Prater missing an extra point and a field goal.
''I'm doing this team a disservice if I shut down after two picks,'' Stafford said.
The Chargers (1-1) were in a position to attempt a 45-yard field goal to tie the game, but Philip Rivers tried to force a pass to Allen and Slay picked it off.
Allen had his way with Slay for much of the day, making eight catches for 98 yards.
''I feel like I was putting on a clinic and then to come down to the last play and he makes a play,'' Allen said.
The Lions failed to make plays on both sides of the ball in the opener, blowing an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter and settling for a tie at Arizona. Stafford converted a third-down pass to Jesse James with just under a minute left - a week after a timeout was called just before Stafford completed a pass that could've sealed a win over the Cardinals.
During much of Detroit's home-opening game, though, it looked as though the franchise would have to wait at least another week to earn a win.
Austin Ekeler leaped over the goal line for a 1-yard TD on the Chargers' second drive.
Detroit scored a TD on the ensuing possession with a screen pass that Kerryon Johnson bobbled before securing and sprinting for a 36-yard reception, but Prater muted some of the cheers by missing an extra point to the left. Prater also missed a 40-yard field goal to the right in the second quarter.
The Chargers went from their 3 to the Detroit 21 in 1:16, setting up Ty Long's 39-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give them a 10-6 lead.
Stafford threw a long pass up for grabs in the end zone early in the third quarter and cornerback Casey Hayward came down with it. Stafford had thrown 181 passes without an interception, which was the NFL's longest active streak.
The Chargers had two TDs negated by flags on the next drive and a penalty by Detroit gave Los Angeles the ball at the 1. Ekeler tried to dive into the end zone again for a score, but rookie Jahlani Tavai forced him to fumble and linebacker Devon Kennard recovered it.
Los Angeles got in position to score again in the third, but Long missed a 39-yard field goal by hitting the left upright. The punter was filling in for kicker Michael Badgley, who missed a second straight game with a groin injury.
Stafford helped the Chargers keep their lead on the next possession, trying to force a deep pass to Marvin Jones and getting it easily picked off by safety Rayshawn Jenkins.
''I felt like that third quarter, it was right there for us to blow the doors off,'' Rivers said. ''And then we kept letting it stay at 10-6.''
Los Angeles opted to attempt a 41-yard kick instead of going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 23 and Long couldn't convert on the field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Detroit coach Matt Patricia chose to pass, instead of kick, on a fourth-and-1 on the ensuing drive and Stafford converted on a pass to Jones to set up his go-ahead throw to Golladay on the next snap.
''That was a laser,'' Patricia said, reflecting on Stafford's throw to Jones. ''I don't know if Marvin caught it or if it just stuck in his chest.''
Rivers converted a third-and-10 with a 12-yard run early in the next drive for his longest run since the 2014 season before getting picked off.
HE SAID IT
''There's a lot of bad football in September,'' Patricia said.
Chargers: Rivers was 21 of 36 for 293 yards and an interception. Ekeler finished with 67 yards receiving and 66 yards rushing for his second straight game with 100-plus yards from scrimmage.
Lions: Stafford was 22 of 30 for 245 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Golladay had eight receptions for 117 yards. Johnson had 88 yards from scrimmage.
Chargers: CB Michael Davis (hamstring) was inactive. S Adrian Phillips left early in the fourth quarter with a forearm injury.
Lions: OT Taylor Decker (back) and LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) were inactive.
Chargers: Host Houston on Sunday.
Lions: Play at Philadelphia on Sunday.
Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco finished with 213 yards on 21-for-34 passing in the blowout loss to Kansas City on Thursday. The veteran wasn't able to get anything going as the Chiefs Defense recorded nine sacks on the night, with eight of them going to Flacco. Though the former Raven has maintained a career-best 65.7 completion percentage, he has thrown for just six touchdowns to go along with five picks on the year. With this loss in the books, the Broncos will look to get on track against the Colts in Week 8 but continue to expect to see Flacco as a free agent in a majority of fantasy leagues, and for a good reason.
After being benched following a Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been named the starter for a Week 7 matchup in Buffalo. Fitzpatrick replaced starter Josh Rosen in the fourth quarter of Miami's loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 6, leading the Dolphins on two touchdown drives but ultimately falling short of victory. Facing his most recent former team, Fitzpatrick may find it tough sledding in Buffalo, as the Bills are allowing less than 10 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, a mark that is fourth-best in the league. Even having regained his starting position, Fitzpatrick doesn't belong anywhere but on the waiver wire until further notice.
Benched to start the fourth quarter after throwing two interceptions and completing 15-of-25 passes for just 85 yards in a 17-16 Week 6 loss to the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen will ride the pine again in Week 7. Claiming on Monday that he believed Rosen would still remain the starting quarterback going forward, head coach Brian Flores proved once again that the words of NFL coaches can rarely be trusted, announcing on Wednesday that Ryan Fitzpatrick would instead start against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. A first-round pick in 2018, Rosen has since been traded from the team that drafted him and been benched by league's worst team. If Rosen is still on your roster for some reason, now it the time to correct the mistake.
Following his first career start in a 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 6, Miami Dolphins running back Mark Walton (thumb) has been limited in practice this week, but he should be good to go for Week 7. Even with the start, Walton is still clearly behind Kenyan Drake on the depth chart heading into a Week 7 matchup on the road against a tough Buffalo defense. While there is no reason to start Walton this week in any league, he would certainly become more interesting if Drake were to be dealt before the October 29 trade deadline. Until then Walton remains only a speculative stash.
The subject of trade rumors that have recently heated up, Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake continues to be a fantasy non-entity heading into a Week 7 matchup with the Buffalo Bills. Drake has only 290 total yards on the season, with 19 receptions and zero touchdowns, giving him just 25 points on the year in standard leagues and making him a poor option for a majority of fantasy teams. Things won't get any easier in Week 7 with Miami facing one of the league's stingiest defenses in regards to allowing fantasy points. While the Bills are not as effective at stopping the run as they are the pass, the 18 points per game they've allowed to running backs is still good for 12th-best in the NFL. Facing a tough defense on the road and with teammate Mark Walton continuing to see more action, Drake's owners can only hope that he's traded to a better situation. Until that happens, he remains a low-end RB3/flex in deep leagues only.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Preston Williams was briefly trending up in the fantasy community after receiving 12 targets in a Week 3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but his arrow has since pointed right back down. Blanketed by cornerback Josh Norman for much of last week's 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins, Williams finished with just 31 yards receiving, catching two of his six targets. Williams and the Dolphins travel to Buffalo on Sunday to face a Bills Defense that has allowed a league-low 71 points to opposing wide receivers in 2019. That mark is almost 20 points better than the 90 points allowed by the Chicago Bears, who sit in second place in the category. Like most of his Dolphin teammates, Williams is nothing but a desperate flex play and should remain on the waiver wire until Miami's offense proves it can be anything but awful.
He may have scored touchdowns in his past two games but Miami Dolphins wide receiver Devante Parker still isn't trending up and still doesn't belong on your fantasy roster. Even in a favorable matchup last week against the previously winless Washington Redskins, and with teammate Preston Wilson drawing most of cornerback Josh Norman's attention, Parker still only finished with 28 yards on three receptions, with his touchdown not coming until Miami's final drive. Heading into a Week 7 matchup with a Buffalo defense that's allowing the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers on the season, Parker should only be a dart thrown at the flex position by desperate owners in deep leagues.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense should continue their dominant run in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. Entering the contest as the second-best defense by DVOA, the Niners should wreak havoc against quarterback Case Keenum and the woeful Skins. Operating as heavy favorites, the defense should steer Washington away from its stagnant run game and put constant pressure on an offensive line thats allowed 15 sacks. Facing one of the sloppier teams in the NFL, the 49ers make for a premium defensive unit this Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo enters Week 7 against the Washington Redskins with seven turnovers through five games (five picks, two fumbles). While he draws a cake matchup against the one-win Skins, Garoppolo is just an upside QB2 facing a weak pass defense. To climb the ranks of fantasy relevance, Garoppolo needs to stop committing mistakes and opposing teams must force the Niners away from their dominant rushing attack. That probably wont happen in Week 7 with the 49ers heavy favorites. While the run-heavy game plan partially offsets the juicy matchup, Garoppolo could finish the week a top-15 quarterback.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was able to haul in a few receptions after a dud last week. Robinson didn't catch anything in the loss to the Colts during Week 6, but got back on the board in this one. He caught three of his five targets for 31 yards in the Week 7 victory over the Broncos. However, losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) is a big concern for the Chiefs offense. Robinson would only be a desperation flex option with veteran Matt Moore at quarterback in Week 8. Fantasy owners will have to wait and see what happens with Mahomes.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce continues to remain a strong and reliable fantasy option each and every week. He caught six of his eight targets for 44 yards in the Week 7 win over Denver. Kelce only has one touchdown this season, but continues to see a high volume of targets. It's unclear if quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) will suit up in Week 8 versus the Packers. However, Kelce is probably the only player on the Chiefs' offense that shouldn't lose value with Matt Moore at quarterback. Fantasy owners should continue to trust Kelce as a top five tight end.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was having a slow game in the Thursday night matchup versus the Broncos, until one play changed it all. Hill caught a 57-yard touchdown from quarterback Matt Moore late in the third quarter. He finished with three receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown in the Week 7 victory. Patrick Mahomes (knee) going down will hurt the Chiefs offense, assuming he misses time. Hill would be downgraded to a high-end WR2 for Week 8, assuming Mahomes sits out at least one week.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman was able to save his fantasy value with a touchdown in the Week 7 victory over the Denver Broncos. He caught two of his three targets for 28 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) going down did hurt the Chiefs offense a bit in this one. However, losing Mahomes for multiple games could kill Hardman's fantasy value. Veteran Matt Moore didn't look his way often after he replaced Mahomes in the second quarter. Hardman would have some shaky flex value, assuming Mahomes misses Week 8 versus the Packers.
Kansas City Chiefs running game Damien Williams has been basically a ghost on the field since Week 2. He finished with six total rushing yards during Week 6, but manages to have a worse fantasy game the following week. Williams rushed nine times for seven yards in the Week 7 victory over the Broncos. Williams got negative yards in the passing game, so he can't even be trusted there. Fantasy owners in standard leagues should probably be benching Williams at this point. He'll have low-end flex appeal versus the Green Bay Packers in Week 8. LeSean McCoy is looking like the better running back in KC right now.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Moore played surprisingly well after being thrown into the fire during Thursday's Week 7 matchup versus the Denver Broncos. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) exited in the second quarter after suffering a right knee injury. The veteran Moore was asked to take over and run the offense for the rest of the game. Moore completed 10 of 19 passing attempts for 117 yards and one touchdown in the victory. It's unclear if Mahomes is going to miss time yet, but Moore could carry some fantasy value, assuming Mahomes is out at least one week. Moore might have limited fantasy value for QB needy fantasy teams since he's surrounded by such a great offense. Don't expect him to light it up like Mahomes, but Moore looked decent on Thursday.
Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy was strong in the running game for the team during their Week 7 victory over the Denver Broncos. McCoy rushed 12 times for 64 yards and caught two passes through the air for 12 extra yards on Thursday. McCoy has been clearly rushing better than lead back Damien Williams over the last few weeks. The Chiefs seem to be leaning more on McCoy than Williams at this point in the season. However, losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) could hurt the offense, assuming he misses time. McCoy is on the radar as a flex option for Week 8 versus the Packers.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (knee) was playing well in Thursday's Week 7 matchup against the Denver Broncos. He completed 10 of 11 passing attempts for 76 yards and a touchdown. However, Mahomes was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after suffering a right knee injury. Mahomes was able to walk into the locker room under his own power, so that's a good sign. He reportedly avoided a fracture, but it's unclear if there is any ligament damage. More information should be known in a day or two. Fantasy owners will just have to wait and hope for the best.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (groin) was limited in practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. Kittle is perfectly fine to play in Week 7 against the Redskins. Against one of the weaker defenses in the NFL in Washington, Kittle is an easy top-three fantasy tight end this weekend, although the Niners probably won't have to throw a ton to win this game easily.
San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) and running back Raheem Mostert (knee) both missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Samuel and Mostert are on the wrong side of questionable to play in Week 7 against the Redskins. On a run-first team, Samuel just hasn't seen enough targets to be fantasy relevant in most redraft leagues in his rookie season. If he sits, it's good news for Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis. Mostert's fantasy value took a huge hit once Tevin Coleman came back from his injury two weeks ago. He belongs on the waiver wire unless you own one of Coleman or Matt Breida.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) was limited in practice on Thursday. Thomas should be fine to play on Monday night against the Patriots. The 31-year-old is a little bit more attractive to fantasy owners with quarterback Sam Darnold back under center. Thomas has eight catches for 109 scoreless yards the last two weeks, but he's still third on the receiving depth chart behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. The Jets have a tough matchup in the Patriots on Monday night, making Thomas more of a WR5 in fantasy.