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FFL: Week 7 | NFL: Week 7

Watson, Watt lead way as Texans outlast Chargers, 27-20

Sun Sep 22 8:00pm ET
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

Players: Philip Rivers, Darren Fells, Virgil Green, Carlos Hyde, Keenan Allen, Ka'imi Fairbairn, Deshaun Watson, Michael Badgley, Jordan Akins

Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Brandon Facyson breaks up a pass intended for Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (15) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins (88) scores against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson, left, breaks away from Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Brandon Facyson during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Houston Texans defensive end D.J. Reader celebrates after sacking Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt runs a play against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, right, catches a touchdown pass in front of Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


CARSON, Calif. (AP) Deshaun Watson threw for 351 yards and hit Jordan Akins with two of his three touchdown passes, and J.J. Watt had two of the Texans' five sacks of Philip Rivers in their 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Akins made the first two TD catches of his career and fellow tight end Darren Fells also caught a TD pass for the Texans (2-1), who rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit with 20 consecutive points on the way to their franchise's second-ever win over the Chargers (1-2).

Keenan Allen caught 13 passes for a career-high 183 yards and two touchdowns from Rivers, who passed for 318 yards in the Bolts' second straight loss.

The Chargers have a losing record after three games for the fifth consecutive season. Los Angeles also started 1-2 last season before reeling off six straight wins during an 11-2 finish.

Houston went up 27-17 with 9:40 to play on a typically magical effort by Watson , whose escape abilities usually kept him one step ahead of the Chargers' tough pass rush. The quarterback barely eluded a sack by Melvin Ingram and converted a broken play, hitting Akins for a 53-yard catch-and-run TD.

The Chargers trimmed the lead to seven points and then drove into Houston territory in the final minute, converting two fourth downs along the way.

But a completion that would have put the Chargers inside the Houston 10 was wiped out by a holding penalty on left tackle Trent Scott with 24 seconds to play, and Rivers threw two final incompletions.

D.J. Reader had 1 1/2 sacks while the Texans constantly hounded Rivers. Watt also forced a fumble in the third quarter by the Chargers' veteran quarterback.

Houston's offense was inert until Watson hit Stills on a 38-yard flea-flicker in the second quarter, followed by a 16-yard TD pass to Fells two plays later.

Rivers led an 89-yard TD drive shortly before halftime culminating in Allen's second TD on a 12-yard grab, which included a nimble juke past Houston safety Justin Reid to put the Chargers up 17-7.

But Carlos Hyde scored his first touchdown for Houston on a 3-yard run midway through the third quarter, and the Texans' defense promptly created a turnover for its 16th consecutive game.

After Rivers' fumble ended Los Angeles' next drive deep in Texans territory, Watson hit a wide-open Akins for a 15-yard TD to put Houston ahead late in the third.

Ka'imi Fairbairn missed the extra point, but Houston's defense made sure it didn't matter.

SLAYER'S DAY

Allen has asserted himself as one of the NFL's best receivers since the Chargers' move to Los Angeles, but he hadn't had a multi-TD receiving game since Nov. 19, 2017. He got two in the first half against Houston, and he surpassed his career high in yardage on a 15-yard catch on fourth down with two minutes to play.

OLDER MAN RIVERS

Rivers made his 209th consecutive start, tying Eli Manning for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Brett Favre started 297 straight games, meaning the 37-year-old Rivers would have to play five more seasons after this one to catch him.

INJURIES

Texans: DE Charles Omenihu left the field with a knee injury shortly before halftime. He returned in the second half. ... TE Virgil Green was sidelined with a groin injury in the second half. ... Reid went to the locker room during the fourth quarter.

Chargers: Three untested defensive backs started in their injury-filled secondary when CB Michael Davis was unable to play. ... K Michael Badgley missed his third straight game, but Ty Long was solid in relief.

UP NEXT

Texans: Return home to host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Chargers: Travel to Miami to face the winless Dolphins on Sunday.

Player Notes
O.J. Howard Oct 16 10:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard will not be traded at the deadline, according to a source. The organization can also have him under control for two to three more years depending on franchise or transition tags, too.

Fantasy Spin: Howard is having a down year statistically, as head coach Bruce Arians has relied upon the tight end more for his blocking ability. At this point he has devolved into a TE2 in most fantasy formats, but at least it appears he won't be changing organizations anytime soon.

From TheHuddle

Ibraheim Campbell Oct 16 10:03pm ET

Green Bay Packers SS Ibraheim Campbell (knee) and TE Jace Sternberger (ankle) were able to practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. The team has 21 days to let them practice to decide upon activating them and having the players count against the 53-man roster.

From TheHuddle

Robert Nkemdiche Oct 16 10:03pm ET

Miami Dolphins DE Robert Nkemdiche (undisclosed) and CB Cordrea Tankersley (undisclosed) returned to practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. Both players started on the Physically Unable to Practice (PUP) list. The two players can practice up to 21 days before the team has to decide to activate them and count against the 53-man roster.

From TheHuddle

Dre Kirkpatrick Oct 16 9:43pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (knee) was able to practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. He remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and he can practice up to 21 days without counting against the 53-man roster. The hope is that he can return as soon as Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars with CBs Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and William Jackson III (shoulder) out.

From TheHuddle

Josh Jacobs Oct 16 9:10pm ET

Coming out of a bye week, Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is in prime position to pick up where he left off after a dominating Week 5 performance. After trouncing the Bears Defense for 143 total yards and two rushing scores two weeks ago, the 21-year-old will be leaned on heavily once again versus a susceptible Packers run defense in Week 7. Green Bay has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season, which includes six rushing touchdowns allowed over their past four games. Look for the Raiders to keep the ball on the ground and in the hands of Jacobs, who owns a dominant 72% carry share over his backups Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington. He's also improved as a pass-catcher over his last two games, putting him a step closer to becoming a true bell-cow back. The first-round rookie is a firm RB2 ahead of Sunday's game with the potential to finish as an RB1 if he continues to get more involved in the passing game.

From RotoBaller

Todd Gurley Oct 16 9:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (quadriceps) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Fantasy Spin: Gurley was not able to play last week but appears to have a chance to be active for Week 7. He should be a starting option if he plays, but fantasy players should have other options available in case Gurley misses another game.

From TheHuddle

Clay Matthews Oct 16 9:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams LB Clay Matthews (jaw) and CB Jalen Ramsey (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.

From TheHuddle

Los Angeles Rams Oct 16 9:00pm ET

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said the goal is to have newly acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey (back) ready to play in Week 7 against the Falcons. Ramsey missed the last three games with the Jaguars before being dealt to the Rams this week to help shore up their secondary issues. If he makes his debut with LA this Sunday, he'd be tasked with shadowing and slowing down Falcons stud receiver Julio Jones. That'd be a downgrade to Jones' matchup, but he's still a must-start for fantasy purposes after going over 100 yards in a bounce-back game in Week 6. Against Atlanta's explosive offense, the Rams are off the streaming radar this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Grant Oct 16 8:33pm ET

Free-agent WR Ryan Grant (Raiders) signed with the Green Bay Packers Wednesday, Oct. 16. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also released RB Tra Carson.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Rodgers Oct 16 8:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Fantasy Spin: Rodgers is in no danger of missing the Week 7 game but may be without some of his pass catchers because of injuries. He can still be considered a starting option in all leagues.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Jones Oct 16 8:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (shoulder) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Fantasy Spin: Jones had his four-game touchdown streak snapped last week and received only 11 carries during the game. He is still the main option in the running game and can be a No. 2 running back or flex option because of his touchdown potential.

From TheHuddle

Za'Darius Smith Oct 16 8:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers S Darnell Savage (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. CB Tony M. Brown (hamstring) and TE Robert Tonyan (hip) were limited during practice. OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), LB Oren Burks (chest), DT Kenny Clark (calf), CB Kevin King (groin, knee), S Will Redmond (ankle, shoulder) and LB Za'Darius Smith (knee) fully participated in practice.

From TheHuddle

Travis Kelce Oct 16 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been arguably the best tight end in fantasy football since last season. He's continuing his strong play this season and should put together another solid game in Week 7. Kelce has a matchup against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Kelce has been heavily involved in the offense basically every single week. Fantasy owners can feel safe about Kelce being a top tier TE1 for Week 7 in Denver.

From RotoBaller

Darren Waller Oct 16 8:20pm ET

Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller will once again have a prominent role in the offense in Sunday's matchup versus the Green Bay Packers. He has far and away led the team through five games with 37 receptions and 359 yards, proving to be a reliable receiving option for quarterback Derek Carr who has largely favored his tight ends over the last two seasons. With Tyrell Williams questionable ahead of this weekend's contest, the air attack will funnel through Waller with the team likely playing from behind as seven-point underdogs. The 28-year-old has displayed a reliable floor and can be fired up as a TE1 for Week 7 as he's well past due to secure his first touchdown of the season.

From RotoBaller

Geronimo Allison Oct 16 8:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (chest, concussion) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Fantasy Spin: Allison will need to pass all of the concussion tests before he is cleared to play, so his status will not be known until later in the week. He has been more involved over the last few weeks but probably can be avoided in most leagues even if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Oct 16 8:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to check later in the week to see if Valdes-Scantling is in any danger of missing the Week 7 game. He has been held to under 50 yards in each of the last three games but still be a flex option in some leagues if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Jimmy Graham Oct 16 8:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Fantasy Spin: Graham was held to only 17 yards last week but could have a solid role in the passing game if he plays since the Packers have multiple injuries at receiver. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 tight end if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Byron Pringle Oct 16 8:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle had a huge Week 5 performance where he caught six passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. He saw eight targets during his huge Week 5 game, but then he was targeted just three times during the Week 6 loss to the Texans. It seems like that performance might have just been a fluke. Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson are all above Pringle on the depth chart. It's unlikely Pringle will get more than two or three targets with all those receivers healthy. He could be a desperation flex in deep leagues, but most fantasy owners should bench or drop Pringle. Most fantasy owners shouldn't bother with Pringle for the Week 7 matchup versus the Denver Broncos.

From RotoBaller

Derek Carr Oct 16 8:10pm ET

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will have his work cut out for him this Sunday when his team travels to Green Bay to face the Packers. The veteran has done a commendable job managing games so far this season, proving to be a better real-life quarterback than in the fantasy game. Carr has surprisingly led his team to a 3-2 record on the season, but has yet to surpass 17 fantasy points in a single contest. His task will be even tougher this weekend if Tyrell Williams foot injury doesn't heal in time to face a Packers Defense that's currently giving up the seventh-fewest FPPG to the QB position. Carr can be safely ignored in all formats for Week 7 and for the foreseeable future.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Golladay Oct 16 8:10pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay is coming off a very solid performance against the Green Back Packers on Monday Night Football in Week 6, but fantasy owners may want to temper expectations with the Minnesota Vikings coming to town in Week 7. The Vikings have allowed just one 100-yard receiver through the first six weeks of the season, and while fantasy owners will point to the 10 touchdowns allowed to wide receivers over that same time frame, a good chunk of those scores came in garbage time. The Lions haven't won in two weeks but have been playing very good football nonetheless, so extended garbage time looks may not be in store in this game. Slot Golladay in as a mid-range WR2 in this matchup.

From RotoBaller