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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
Giovani Bernard Oct 19 6:10am ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard hasn't done much in 2019, with that trend expected to continue in Week 7. The veteran has rushed for just 49 yards off of 23 attempts while racking up a subpar 108 receiving yards on 14 receptions so far this season. Joe Mixon continues to retain a firm grasp as the No. 1 option out of the backfield, so Bernard likely won't produce in all aspects until that changes, even with the team down A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (shoulder). For those fantasy managers who have Bernard on their roster for some reason, keep him benched against the Jaguars on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Auden Tate Oct 19 5:50am ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate will remain as the team's No. 2 option for Sunday's matchup against Jacksonville. With A.J. Green (ankle) still not ready to return, Tate will continue to receive a favorable amount of looks from quarterback Andy Dalton in Week 7. The 22-year-old was targeted 11 times against the Ravens in Week 6, and despite Dalton playing behind a horrendous offensive line, expect Boyd to produce something against a Jaguars Defense that no longer has Jalen Ramsey. The upside is there, especially in deeper formats.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Eifert Oct 19 5:20am ET

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has had a disappointing 2019. With just 15 receptions for 108 yards and a score, many were expecting the veteran to regain some traction this season after injuries plagued the team on the offensive end. However, Eifert remains a bust despite remaining healthy this season after spending a massive amount of time on injured reserve throughout the years. The upside is there against the Jaguars, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect much on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Oct 19 5:10am ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd will remain the No. 1 option on Sunday against the Jaguars. With A.J. Green (ankle) still not ready to return, Boyd should continue to get his looks from quarterback Andy Dalton. The 24-year-old has played relatively well, considering that the team has arguably the worst offensive line in football, and without Jalen Ramsey in the mix for Jacksonville after he was traded, the door is open for some solid production from Boyd. The upside is there for those plagued with injuries or looking to get through a bye.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Oct 19 5:00am ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Week 7 against the Jaguars. The 23-year-old has been a colossal disappointment this season, rushing for only 252 yards on 74 attempts in addition to 97 yards off of 14 catches, with his only touchdown of the season coming through the air during the Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. With a weak offensive line along with limited options on the receiving end, opposing defenses continue to keep Mixon in check. Don't expect anything different on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Oct 19 3:30am ET

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will have his hands full against Jacksonville. After throwing for 262 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals in Week 5, Dalton took a few steps back against Baltimore by logging a subpar 53.8 completion percentage to go along with an interception. With the Jaguars Defense getting to the quarterback often this season, expect Dalton to feel the pressure on Sunday behind arguably the worst offensive line in the league. Keep the veteran benched on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

New York Jets Oct 18 11:00pm ET

The New York Jets Defense is getting star middle linebacker C.J. Mosley back for a tough Monday night matchup vs the Patriots. Mosley was a monster in the one game he played this season forcing two turnovers and scoring a touchdown in a Week 1 loss to Buffalo. The Jets defense hasn't looked the same without him so adding Mosley to a defense that already has safety Jamal Adams gives the Jets defense sleeper appeal in the second half against a soft schedule. Despite the good news, the Jets defense shouldn't be started this week against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Oct 18 10:50pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has a rough matchup Monday against a Patriots Defense that allows the fewest fantasy points against to opposing wide receivers. Thomas got five targets last week, so he's been getting more involved in the offense, but is still not seeing the type of target share to warrant consideration in standard-size fantasy leagues. Thomas got five targets last week but is the clear third option behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder and won't carry much fantasy appeal as long as those other two are healthy.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Oct 18 10:40pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder will face a tough test Monday when the Patriots No. 1 ranked pass defense comes to town. New England allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and shut down Crowder in Week 3 when they held him to only 25 yards on two catches. Third-string quarterback Luke Falk started that game, so Crowder should have more success with Sam Darnold back under center. In two games with Darnold, Crowder has 20 catches for 197 yards, so he has major fantasy upside moving forward, especially as the Jets' schedule gets softer. In Week 7, however, Crowder is only a borderline WR3 who has more appeal in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Le'Veon Bell Oct 18 10:30pm ET

New York Jets Le'Veon Bell will face a tough matchup Monday night when the Patriots elite defense heads to MetLife Stadium. New England allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so it's a tough matchup for Bell, but he should put up RB2 numbers based on volume. Bell has played 92.2 percent of the team's offensive snaps so far and has the second-most targets on the team. Bell should see his usual 20-25 touches and fantasy owners should start him with confidence he can put up a decent day even if he doesn't score a touchdown.

From RotoBaller

Samaje Perine Oct 18 9:53pm ET

Free-agent RB Samaje Perine (Bengals) passed through waivers and was re-signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and assigned to their practice squad Friday, Oct. 18.

From TheHuddle

Robby Anderson Oct 18 9:50pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson will look to change his fortunes against the Patriots in a tough matchup Monday. In seven career games against New England, Anderson hasn't scored a touchdown and his 39.5 percent catch rate is by far his lowest mark against any team he's faced more than once. This season, the Patriots are as daunting a matchup as there is in the NFL allowing the fewest fantasy points against to wide receivers. There is always the chance Anderson grabs a long touchdown, like the 92-yard score he had last week, so he has some appeal as a flex in deeper leagues. However, where possible, owners should look to steer clear of Anderson in this matchup.

From RotoBaller

Wendell Smallwood Oct 18 9:43pm ET

Washington Redskins WR Wendell Smallwood has the ability to handle RB Chris Thompson's (toe) duties on passing downs against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, according to offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell.

Fantasy Spin: With Thompson sidelined, Smallwood could be headed for the handful of catches and 50-plus total yards typically reserved for Thompson, but he's still just a DFS lottery ticket for fantasy purposes.

From TheHuddle

Sam Darnold Oct 18 9:40pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold will face a tough challenge Monday night against the Patriots, the team that has given up the fewest fantasy points this season to opposing quarterbacks. Darnold, who missed three games with mono, had a strong showing in his return to the field Sunday when he put up 338 yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect that type of performance Monday against arguably the best defense in the NFL, especially with two starters on the offensive line unlikely to play. Darnold is best left on the bench this week, however, the Jets schedule gets very soft after the game vs New England so Darnold is a good bench stash for those matchups.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Oct 18 9:33pm ET

New Orleans Saints RB Dwayne Washington will be 'invited into the offensive mix' against the Chicago Bears in Week 7 with RB Alvin Kamara (ankle) ruled out, according to Larry Holder of The Athletic.

Fantasy Spin: While Washington will likely see some touches, Latavius Murray is the back to target if you are looking for a replacement for Kamara. However, a matchup with a tough Chicago defense limits Murray to flex consideration.

From TheHuddle

Trevor Davis Oct 18 9:23pm ET

Oakland Raiders WR Trevor Davis is expected to see an expanded role in the passing attack against the Green Bay Packers in Week 7 because of the injury to WR Tyrell Williams (foot), according to Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fantasy Spin: Davis caught four passes for 42 yards against Chicago in Week 5 in his second game with Oakland after being acquired from Green Bay. He could be worth a flier in DFS contests when faces off against his former team.

From TheHuddle

Jakeem Grant Oct 18 8:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant (hamstring) and cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) were limited in practice this week and are questionable for Week 7 against the Bills. Even if Grant plays this weekend, he's nowhere close to being fantasy relevant behind Devante Parker, Preston Williams and Albert Wilson on the depth chart. Grant has only nine catches (19 targets) for 52 scoreless yards in four games this year. Howard is the team's best cornerback, but the Dolphins Defense/special teams is also well off the fantasy radar. If Howard sits, it'll be good news for Bills wideout John Brown.

From RotoBaller

Josh Oliver Oct 18 8:50pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring) practiced in full the last two days and isn't on the Week 7 injury report against the Bengals. Oliver has yet to play in his rookie season, but this weekend would be good timing for him to make his debut with Geoff Swaim out and James O'Shaughnessy on Injured Reserve. There's no guarantee that Oliver is heavily involved in the offense in his first game, but he's one to watch for those that are desperate at the position.

From RotoBaller

Nick Foles Oct 18 8:43pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Nick Foles (collarbone) is expected to return to practice next week. He is currently on the Reserve/Injured list.

Fantasy Spin: Foles probably is a few weeks away from returning to the lineup, so Gardner Minshew will continue to be the starting quarterback for now. Minshew should have a favorable matchup this week and can be a low-end No. 1 quarterback in deeper leagues.

From TheHuddle