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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
Adam Thielen Oct 21 1:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) is unlikely to suit up for Thursday Night Football against the Washington Redskins in Week 8. The 29-year-old seems to think he is capable of playing, but the Vikings will likely rest their ailing star against a mediocre opponent on a short week. In his absence, rookie Olabisi Johnson will likely serve as the WR2. Johnson, who had 40 yards and a touchdown in Week 7, is a viable streaming option for fantasy managers that are desperate for a receiver in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Oct 21 1:20pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller is expected to miss several weeks with a significant hamstring strain, per Ian Rapoport. Fuller suffered the injury against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. With Fuller sidelined, Kenny Stills becomes a must-add asset in almost all formats. The 27-year-old produced 105 yards on four catches against the Colts after Fuller exited the game. Stills can be considered a mid-tier WR3 against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Bradley McDougald Oct 21 1:13pm ET

Seattle Seahawks S Bradley McDougald (back) sat out of practice all week after suffering from back spasms and was unable to play in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, but head coach Pete Carroll told reporters during his postgame press conference that he believes McDougald will be able to make it back for Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons.

From TheHuddle

Keenan Allen Oct 21 1:10pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen only hauled in 4-of-11 targets for 61 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Despite having a positive pass-catching game script, Allen and Philip Rivers failed to connect on several deep balls. Luckily, due to the Chargers' uninspiring defensive unit, the game script is almost always positive for the passing attack. Allen remains a mid-tier WR1 against the Chicago Bears in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Eli Apple Oct 21 1:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints CB Eli Apple (knee) likely suffered a hyperextended knee late in the team's Week 7 game versus the Chicago Bears, although more tests are scheduled to determine the extent of his injury Monday, Oct. 21.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Oct 21 12:53pm ET

Updating previous reports, Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss 'several weeks' after suffering 'a rather significant hamstring pull,' according to a source via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Fantasy Spin: Fuller hasn't come close to playing a full season in four years in the NFL, so fantasy owners can't exactly be shocked by this development. While the Texans will miss his ability to stretch the field, Fuller's lack of durability was probably one of the biggest reasons Houston made sure to land Kenny Stills in the Laremy Tunsil trade this summer. Stills should be able to fill in nicely and serve as a high-upside WR3 for however long Fuller is sidelined.

From TheHuddle

Montae Nicholson Oct 21 12:43pm ET

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins S Montae Nicholson (ankle) was seen walking around in a boot Monday, Oct. 21, after injuring his right ankle in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.

From TheHuddle

Kayvon Webster Oct 21 12:43pm ET

Free-agent CB Kayvon Webster (Saints) worked out for the New Orleans Saints on Monday, Oct. 21.

From TheHuddle

Hunter Henry Oct 21 12:40pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry caught six passes for 97 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. The 24-year-old has seen 17 targets over his past two games. Now fully healthy, Henry is unquestionably a top-tier tight end for the remainder of the season. He has a tougher matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 8, but he is still an undisputed TE1 for the contest.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Eifert Oct 21 12:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert pulled in just two receptions for 10 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. The veteran has been a huge fantasy disappointment this season, and with rumblings of a trade before the deadline, Eifert's days in Cincy may be over soon. He has the potential to produce, and if you're able, he is worth a stash in deeper formats, at least for now.

From RotoBaller

Kareem Hunt Oct 21 12:33pm ET

Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt (abdomen) has been cleared by the NFL to rejoin the team and begin practicing with them Monday, Oct. 21.

Fantasy Spin: Hunt has been sidelined all season recovering from sports hernia surgery and serving an eight-game suspension for domestic abuse for an incident that occurred during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former rushing champion is not eligible to return to game action until Week 10, so Nick Chubb will serve as a team's featured back for at least two more weeks. It's expected Hunt will serve as the change-of-pace back when he returns.

From TheHuddle

Austin Ekeler Oct 21 12:30pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler only produced seven rushing yards on five carries in Week 7, but he salvaged the day by catching seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Melvin Gordon had 16 carries in the contest despite being outplayed by Ekeler, but the Chargers continue to let Gordon dominate the ground game. Nevertheless, Ekeler's ability as a receiver continues to give him value as a fantasy asset. He is an above-average flex option against the dominant Chicago Bears' defense in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Auden Tate Oct 21 12:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate finished with three catches (six targets) for 65 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. After getting 11 looks from quarterback Andy Dalton against the Ravens in Week 6, Tate's production was yielded by Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight receptions for 137 yards on the day. With A.J. Green (ankle) expected to return soon, Tate will likely be relegated to backing up Green and Tyler Boyd moving forward. Keep an eye on Green's status for Week 8 and plan accordingly.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Oct 21 12:23pm ET

Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, Oct. 21, but he faces the 'real possibility' of not playing in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.

Fantasy Spin: While everyone around the team believes the injury is not serious, the Vikings play on Thursday, making it an almost impossible turnaround for Thielen. In theory, Minnesota should not need him against the Redskins, but the Vikings' passing attack is not so deep and talented that it can just assume it will thrive without Kirk Cousins' favorite receiver. If Thielen sits, it will be the first game he's missed in his NFL career. Fantasy owners should feel free to bump up Stefon Diggs in their weekly rankings as well.

From TheHuddle

Melvin Gordon Oct 21 12:20pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon produced 32 yards on 16 carries during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. While he caught a one-yard touchdown pass, he also lost a fumble at the goal line in the final seconds of the game to drop the Chargers to 2-4 on the season. The 26-year-old continues to be outplayed by Austin Ekeler, but Gordon continues to get the majority of the touches. As long as he remains the workhorse in the offense, he is a worthy RB2 in fantasy formats. Unfortunately, he has a tough matchup in Week 8 against the daunting Chicago Bears Defense, which likely makes him a flex play at best.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Oct 21 12:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished with five receptions for 55 yards against Jacksonville on Sunday. With 14 targets on the day, which was tied with Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight catches for 137 yards, Boyd wasn't able to get anything going against a Jaguars Defense that was all over quarterback Andy Dalton. A.J. Green (ankle) is expected to return within the next week or so, and while it may decrease Boyd's looks, Green's presence back in the lineup may open things up for 24-year-old moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Philip Rivers Oct 21 12:10pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 24 of his 38 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Rivers has now thrown for over 300 yards in a game five times this season and has also had five games with multiple passing touchdowns. Despite the notable production, Rivers is a tough fantasy asset to trust in Week 8 against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. He is only an option in two-quarterback leagues for that contest.

From RotoBaller

Spencer Ware Oct 21 12:03pm ET

Free-agent RB Spencer Ware (Colts) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.

From TheHuddle

Eli Rogers Oct 21 12:03pm ET

Free-agent WR Eli Rogers (Steelers) is working out for the Houston Texans Monday, Oct. 21.

From TheHuddle

Jay Ajayi Oct 21 11:53am ET

Free-agent RB Jay Ajayi (Eagles) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.

Fantasy Spin: Ajayi has been training and preparing to sign with a team for a few weeks. He's definitely worth stashing in deeper leagues and would be a flex option in the right situation.

From TheHuddle