Sat Aug 24 4:52pm ET
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018 file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs against the Detroit Lions during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Detroit. With rookie Alexander Mattison at the top of the candidate list and Ameer Abdullah returning after a late-season arrival last year, the Minnesota Vikings are looking for another running back to emerge as a reliable complement to Dalvin Cook. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez, File)
Arizona Cardinals defensive end Zach Allen (97) pressures Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, right, during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) runs from Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck, right, after making a reception during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (95) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Arizona Cardinals place kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) kicks a 32-yard field goal in front of Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes, left, during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook celebrates with teammate CJ Ham (30) after scoring on an 85-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs from Arizona Cardinals defenders Tramaine Brock (20) and D.J. Swearinger (36) during an 85-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins runs off the field during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Dalvin Cook had an 85-yard touchdown run for Minnesota, the highlight of an otherwise rough first half by the first-team offense during a 20-9 victory by the Vikings over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.
Cook scored early and Mike Boone crossed the goal line late, as the Vikings totaled 190 yards on 29 carries. The ground game was by far the best development of an afternoon when Kirk Cousins went just 3 for 13 for 35 yards while taking two sacks and Kaare Vedvik missed field goals from 43 and 54 yards.
Rookie Kyler Murray, the first overall pick in the draft to whom new coach Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals have turned to lead the reconstruction project, was relatively sharp while going 14 for 21 for 137 yards over the five possessions against a Vikings defense that was almost at full strength. Three of the drives ended with a successful field goal by Zane Gonzalez, a result that surely made the Vikings envious.
Vedvik, who has been given an extended evaluation as both a kicker and a punter, made both of his extra point attempts, at least, while incumbent Dan Bailey took the afternoon off. Matt Wile punted six times for an average of 47.3 yards, leaving no more clarity about the specialists than when the month began.
Cousins was under frequent pressure and had multiple passes knocked down at the line, including one deflection by rookie Zach Allen, who had a half-sack. Another Cardinals draft pick, KeeSean Johnson, stood out on the other side of the ball with seven receptions for 85 yards on seven targets.
One of the most discouraging aspects of the performance for Kingsbury and his staff were the 14 penalties for 111 yards, including two false starts called on backup quarterback Brett Hundley in a three-snap stretch late in the second quarter for apparently lifting his leg to signal a receiver to start his motion.
THE LONG RUN
The Cardinals were last in the league last season in rushing defense, allowing an average of nearly 155 yards per game that was bumped up by the Vikings here last Oct. 14 in a 27-17 victory fueled by a career-high 155 rushing yards from Latavius Murray.
Cook made the Cardinals look bad again, when he took a handoff to the left and veered right behind a key seal block by new right guard Josh Kline. The new zone blocking scheme directed by offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, senior offensive adviser Gary Kubiak and offensive line coach Rick Dennison ought to be a good fit for Cook with his keen cutback ability. The touchdown run was the longest in a preseason game in Vikings history, topping a 76-yarder by Jordan Todman in 2012.
Cardinals: New WR Michael Crabtree, the 11th-year veteran who signed with the team earlier this week, did not suit up. Neither did CB Patrick Peterson, the eight-time Pro Bowl pick facing a six-game suspension to start the regular season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancers.
Vikings: DT Linval Joseph, who joined the team for practice this week for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery, was held out of the starting lineup, as was SS Harrison Smith. On offense, WR Adam Thielen rested, and RT Brian O'Neill stayed on the sideline again, after returning to the field this week following a three-week absence because of a right arm injury.
Cardinals: Play at Denver on Thursday night in their final exhibition game. The regular-season opener is Sept. 8 against Detroit.
Vikings: Play at Tennessee on Thursday night in their final exhibition game. The regular-season opener is Sept. 8 against Atlanta.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside made his first NFL catch on Sunday night, gaining four yards. It was his only catch on a night where top wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson were forced to leave in the first half along with tight end Dallas Goedert. Despite all of the preseason hype, Arcega-Whiteside's usage in this one showed how far away he is from fantasy relevance in redraft leagues this season.
Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott made both of his field goal attempts in Week 2. His kicks came from 34 and 41 yards out. Elliott did not attempt any extra points, as the Eagles were playing from behind and decided to go for a two-point conversion after their touchdowns. Elliott should continue to be one of the better and more consistent fantasy kickers, but he can't control the game script.
The Philadelphia Eagles Defense had an up-and-down Week 2. They allowed 24 points to the Atlanta Falcons, but they also recorded three interceptions and a sack. It was a performance that showed what the Eagles defense could do, but also how they might struggle. Still, they performed somewhat better than expected, as this game was thought to be a total shootout and ended up with a rather moderate 24-20 final score. The Eagles defense will take on the Lions at home in Week 3.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow seen a team-high eight targets versus the Chiefs in Week 2 as he continues to build more chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr. He was only able to haul in four of these balls for 30 scoreless yards, but his growing involvement in the passing game is encouraging. Renfrow is a reliable receiver for Carr to target underneath the coverage, so his big-play ability is capped, but he could provide value in PPR formats as the season progresses. Darren Waller and Tyrell Williams will continue to get the bulk of the opportunities, but managers should keep an eye on the rookie and his involvement in the coming weeks.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz caught eight passes in Week 2, gaining 72 yards. Ertz watched wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery leave the game in the first half due to injury, but Nelson Agholor ended up drawing most of Carson Wentz's targets in the second half. Still, Ertz's weekly TE1 outlook will be even better if the Eagles are forced to leave their two best wide receivers on the sidelines for Week 3.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins showed up in Week 2 with five catches for 50 yards. Hollins was thrust into a bigger role after Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson were both forced to leave the game in the first half. Hollins could have some WR3/FLEX appeal in Week 3 if the top two wide receivers on the Eagles roster are forced to miss time.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles got just two offensive touches in Week 2. He didn't record a carry, but caught two passes for five yards. Fantasy owners who misinterpreted the role Sproles played in Week 1 were left with what was basically a hole in their lineup in Week 2. Sproles is the Eagles punt returner and will have more games on offense this season like Week 2 than he will like Week 1. He's rosterable in only the deepest standard leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz found a way to make two touchdowns happen on Sunday night despite losing his two top receivers to injuries. With DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery both leaving due to injuries in the first half, Wentz was left with a preseason-like supporting cast for most of the game. Still, he threw for 231 yards, completing 25 of his 43 passes. His touchdown through the air was on a four-yard pass to Nelson Agholor. His other touchdown was on a one-yard QB sneak. Wentz missed some time due to an injury as well, but he was able to return shortly afterwards. Despite coming up short in the end, Wentz showed an immense amount of talent in this game, but his fantasy outlook would still take a hit if his two top wide receivers are not able to return next week.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders couldn't get much going in Week 2. He ran the ball 10 times, gaining just 28 scoreless yards. He added three catches for nine more yards. Overall, it was a tough game for the Eagles on the ground, but Sanders did out-touch Jordan Howard by four. Sanders is clearly the lead back on the Eagles, but this is shaping up to be much more of a passing offense, at least for now.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard couldn't get anything going with the ball in Week 2. He gained 18 yards on eight carries, adding eight yards on his lone catch of the game. Howard and rookie Miles Sanders both struggled with the ball even though plenty of Eagles offensive playmakers missed time due to injury. Howard will likely only have fantasy value this season in weeks that he scores a touchdown.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr got his team off to a hot start against the Chiefs Sunday, but failed to do much after the teams first two drives of the game. He marched the team down the field for a field goal and a touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams to open the contest, but went on to throw two disastrous interceptions the rest of the way while failing to score another point. Carr finished the night completing 23-of-38 passes for 198 yards in a game where we expected him to do much more against a susceptible defense. Hell be off the fantasy start list next week when the Raiders travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor took advantage of injuries on Sunday, catching eight passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Agholor's score came on a four-yard pass from Carson Wentz in the third quarter. With DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery both forced to leave the game due to injury, Agholor took over as the top wide receiver for the entire second half. He flashed a bit, making a couple of great catches. If either of the receivers ahead of him on the depth chart are forced to miss more time, Agholor could suddenly become a WR2/3 option for a limited time.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods caught two passes on two targets for 23 yards in the teams 27-9 victory over the New Orleans Saints. While Woods had a few plays called back due to penalties, his performance on Sunday afternoon was disappointing as Woods was the clear WR1 for the team during Week 1. However, Woods should be able to rebound for the teams Week 3 contest. Expect the slot wide receiver to continue to be a WR2 option across all formats.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp caught five passes on nine targets for 120 yards in the teams 27-9 victory over the New Orleans Saints. After a strong Week 1 performance, Kupp continues to be quarterback Jared Goffs favorite target. The third-year receiver led the team in targets, receptions and yards, and he also almost capped off his afternoon with a TD on an incredible 66-yard reception where the wide receiver tore through tackles by Saints defenders. Lock Kupp as a high-end WR2 across all leagues, as his rapport with Goff should ensure a safe floor.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught three passes on four targets for 74 yards and a TD in the teams 27-9 victory over the New Orleans Saints. After a poor performance during Week 1, Cooks rebounded and caught quarterback Jared Goffs only TD pass of the afternoon. While the veteran impressed during Week 2, his floor remains relatively volatile on a week-to-week basis. Cooks continues to be a WR2 in all formats, but be aware that the star wideout appears to be behind in targets to teammate Cooper Kupp.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw 19 passes on 28 attempts for 283 yards and one touchdown in the teams 27-9 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Goff rebounded from his Week 1 struggles, picking apart the Saints Defense in the second half on an afternoon where both offenses started slowly. The quarterback remains has QB1 upside but has looked a little shaky in the early going in 2019. Goff will be on the QB1/2 borderline next Sunday night against the Browns on the road.
Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs had another terrific outing in the teams 28-10 loss to Kansas City Sunday. He gained 99 yards on only 12 carries aided by an outstanding 51-yard run. Game script hurt the rookie's ability to get more touches, but he certainly fared well with the opportunities he did get with the football. Jacobs failed to get involved in the passing game which caps his ceiling as an RB2, but he remains to get the lions share of carries over Deandre Washington and Jalen Richard. He faces a more difficult task against the Vikings in Week 3, but he should be inserted into lineups regardless with his high volume of work.
Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller had another excellent showing in Week 2 versus the Chiefs. He caught 6-of-7 targets for 63 yards once again showing terrific athletic ability for his position. The former college receiver has yet to find the end zone through two games, but its only a matter of time before he hits pay dirt as one of Derek Carrs more reliable weapons. Waller will continue to receive the majority of targets for the Silver and Black, making him a viable every week starter. He gets the Vikings in next weeks matchup and will be a low-end TE1 as he continues to build a good rapport with his QB.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams caught 5-of-7 targets and a touchdown in Sundays loss to the Chiefs. The veteran picked up 46 yards in the contest once again proving to be the clear-cut WR1 in the offense. Williams got one other red zone look that got intercepted as the offense as a whole faded in the second half. Hell remain to see a high volume of work, making him a weekly WR3. Williams Week 3 matchup against the Vikings, however, is on the unfavorable side so owners may want to fade him in lineups.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman played well during the Week 2 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Hardman has quickly moved up on the depth chart after Tyreek Hill (shoulder) went down last week. Hardman caught four of his six targets for 61 yards and a touchdown. Demarcus Robinson had a huge game, catching two touchdowns and going for over 170 yards. Hardman still played well and should be reliable again versus the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. The Ravens Defense just gave up 349 passing yards in Week 2, so the Chiefs shouldn't have any issues.