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FFL: Week 8 | NFL: Week 8

Texans-Chargers Preview

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Players: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Lamar Miller, Carlos Hyde, Melvin Gordon, Duke Johnson, Deshaun Watson, Michael Badgley, Daniel Jones

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)


Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) signals after Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) was held short of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


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)


CARSON, Calif. (AP) In a week in which one of his 2004 draft classmates suffered a season-ending elbow injury and the other was benched, Philip Rivers continues to be old reliable for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Rivers will make his 209th consecutive start on Sunday when the Chargers host the Houston Texans in a key early season matchup. That ties him with Eli Manning for the second-longest QB starting streak in NFL history.

Manning, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft, was benched this week by the Giants for rookie Daniel Jones and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the No. 11 overall selection, will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury.

''I don't think you ever take it for granted, no question. I think even more-so now, you just realize that it doesn't last forever,'' Rivers said.

Longevity though is not what Rivers is focusing on this week. It is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 13-10 loss at Detroit where the Chargers' hope for a comeback ended when he threw an interception in the end zone late in the fourth quarter.

The pick capped a day that saw the Chargers have two touchdowns called back because of penalties, two missed field goals and a turnover in the red zone. The loss leaves LA at 1-1 and facing a fellow playoff participant from last season.

''I think that we've shown the ability to bounce back over the years when we've lost some tough ones,'' Rivers said. ''Usually, you never take any satisfaction in losing, obviously, but most of our losses are going to be tough ones - at least I hope.''

Rivers is very much a pocket passer who is not fleet of foot, Deshaun Watson is the opposite. The third-year quarterback is two touchdown passes away from 50 in his career and needs 35 rushing yards to become the seventh QB in NFL history with 900 yards or more in his first 26 games.

While the Chargers are coming off a close loss, the Texans survived a missed 2-point conversion to beat Jacksonville 13-12.

''Everyone is making sure that as far as I go, the offense goes and the whole team goes,'' Watson said. ''It just kind of grows on itself and the more I play, the more reps I get, the more games I start as a quarterback here, the more it grows.''

Here is what else to watch for during Sunday's game:

STILL RUNNING WELL

There hasn't been any decline in the Chargers' running game despite Melvin Gordon's holdout. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson have combined to average 5.7 yards per carry.

Ekeler leads the AFC in scrimmage yards (287) and is tied for sixth in the league in offensive touches (46). However, he did fumble near the goal line in last Sunday's 13-10 loss to Detroit.

Jackson has been a nice change-of-pace back with seven of his 13 carries going for 10 yards or more.

WITHOUT MERCY

Houston outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week this week after he had two sacks, forced two fumbles and had two quarterback hits in a win over the Jaguars last Sunday. His second strip sack was recovered by J.J. Watt and the Texans scored their only touchdown of the game four plays later. Mercilus is the only player in the NFL to force more than one fumble this season.

It was his second straight big game this season after he had a sack, an interception, five tackles, including one for a loss and a quarterback hit in Houston's opener.

''Whitney has been a very productive player for us over the years,'' coach Bill O'Brien said. ''He's been a guy that really is just known for doing his job. He just does a good job of setting the edge in the running game and then rushing the passer.''

FILLING IN

Running backs Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson have filled in nicely in the first two games after Lamar Miller, who was Houston's featured back for the past three seasons, sustained a season-ending knee injury in a preseason game. The duo has helped the Texans average 153 yards rushing a game, which ranks fifth in the NFL. Hyde has carried a bigger load than Johnson so far and he is fifth in the league with 173 yards rushing.

Their success is impressive considering that neither player started camp with the team. Johnson came to Houston in a trade with Cleveland on Aug. 9 and Hyde joined the Texans on Aug. 31 in a deal with Kansas City.

PASS RUSHERS ON PARADE

The game will feature three of the top pass rushers in the AFC. Houston's J.J. Watt is still looking for his first sack this season and has never taken down Rivers.

Los Angeles' Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have combined for two sacks, both coming in the opener against Indianapolis.

KICKING WOES

The Chargers are hoping to get placekicker Michael Badgley back after he has missed two games because of a groin injury. Ty Long has handled both kicking and punting duties, but missed a pair of field-goal attempts last week.

The Texans have brought back punter Bryan Anger after Trevor Daniel struggled.

Player Notes
David Johnson Oct 23 2:10pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (ankle) won't practice Wednesday, but the team wants to see where he's at by the end of the week. The team signed running backs Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris for depth, but Johnson still has a chance to play. The breakout of running back Chase Edmonds doesn't give them any urgency to run Johnson out there. Edmonds is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and he went off last week with 27 carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns against a weaker opponent. The New Orleans Saints are a tougher matchup. If Johnson is able to play, he'll be a high-end RB2, and Edmonds would fall to flex status. Conversely, if Johnson is out, Edmonds is the high-end RB2.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Oct 23 1:53pm ET

Updating an earlier report, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) will throw the ball today at practice, and they'll see if he can make it through the individual period.

Fantasy Spin: We'll need to see more to believe he's going to play this weekend. Obviously, he should be in your lineups if he goes.

From TheHuddle

David Johnson Oct 23 1:43pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (ankle) is out of practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Fantasy Spin: The team signed Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris to shore up their depleted backfield, but Johnson has a chance to play. However, it's trending toward Chase Edmonds being an RB2 against the New Orleans Saints.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Mahomes Oct 23 1:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) will practice Wednesday, Oct. 23, but QB Matt Moore will take the majority of team repetitions. Head coach Andy Reid didn't rule out Mahomes playing in Week 8.

Fantasy Spin: We'd put Mahomes on the wrong side of questionable this week and look toward other options. Moore isn't worth consideration unless you play two quarterbacks.

From TheHuddle

Jake Elliott Oct 23 1:00pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott has made every single kick so far this season, but his fantasy value has suffered due to an all-around struggling offense. Elliott has only attempted eight field goals and 17 extra points, and while he's made all of them, he currently ranks as just the 20th best kicker in standard scoring leagues. Most waiver wires will have a kicker who, while perhaps less consistent himself, will have more consistent scoring opportunities. Elliott's fantasy owners may need to consider moving on.

From RotoBaller

Philadelphia Eagles Oct 23 1:00pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles Defense is not a strong fantasy option for a Week 8 road matchup against the Buffalo Bills. While the 5-1 Bills have mostly been winning games thanks to their defense, they have an offensive unit with the potential to put up big numbers at times. The Eagles are coming off a rough 37-10 loss to the Cowboys, and the offense has not been able to do the defense any favors. Despite getting a bit healthier in the secondary, the Eagles defense is not even on the streaming radar this week.

From RotoBaller

Paul Perkins Oct 23 12:53pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Paul Perkins was added to the 53-man roster Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Fantasy Spin: Perkins is worth the deeper-league pickup with Kerryon Johnson (knee) hitting IR. Ty Johnson takes over as the lead back, and Perkins could become a factor quickly.

From TheHuddle

A.J. Green Oct 23 12:53pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (ankle) is unlikely to suit up in Week 8.

Fantasy Spin: Continue to stash Green, but at 0-7, there is little reason to rush him back. Auden Tate continues to show flashes on the awful team, and he's a flex option against the Los Angeles Rams.

From TheHuddle

Zach Ertz Oct 23 12:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is looking at another tough matchup in Week 8. The Eagles will be in Buffalo to take on the Bills and their difficult defense. Ertz is coming off a disappointing two-catch, 38 yard performance in Week 7 and could put up a similar performance this week. With the Eagles offense struggling to move the ball in general and especially struggling to stretch the field, opposing defenses have been able to zone in on Ertz and remove him from a lot of plays. He's still a TE1 this week, but that speaks more to the lack of depth at the position.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Oct 23 12:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert is not a good bet to put up big numbers in Week 8. The Eagles travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills and their tough defense. Goedert led the team in receiving in Week 7 and scored a touchdown, but that's unlikely to happen again this week. Goedert is a middling option in two-tight end leagues at best and should not be started in single tight end formats.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Oct 23 12:40pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor is not a good idea in fantasy starting lineups for Week 8. The Eagles will be on the road going up against the Buffalo Bills and their stingy defense. Agholor has made just seven catches since Week 3, and appeared to completely give up on a very catchable pass last week. He's got NFL speed, but severely lacks NFL hands and is only an average route runner. Even if DeSean Jackson (abdomen) misses another game, Agholor is just a zero-floor WR5 dart throw.

From RotoBaller

Mack Hollins Oct 23 12:40pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins is completely off the fantasy radar for Week 8. The Eagles will be in Buffalo to take on the Bills, and Hollins has not made a catch since Week 4 despite starting in three-wide sets in place of the injured DeSean Jackson (abdomen). He's droppable in all but the deepest fantasy formats.

From RotoBaller

JJ Arcega-Whiteside Oct 23 12:40pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside came into the season with plenty of hype, but he has not even seen a pass thrown his way since Week 3. Arcega-Whiteside remains an intriguing dynasty/keeper player, but doesn't belong on a redraft league roster and shouldn't be anywhere close to a starting lineup. Almost all waiver wires will have more useful wide receivers for Week 8, even in the deepest leagues.

From RotoBaller

Miles Sanders Oct 23 12:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders is not a particularly eye-opening option in a Week 8 fantasy lineup. With the Eagles on the road taking on a tough Buffalo Bills Defense, Sanders and the whole Eagles offense could struggle on Sunday. Last week against the Cowboys, Sanders ran for just 21 yards and caught three passes for 11 yards. He's looking at a potentially similar stat line this week, making him no better than a mid-range RB3.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Oct 23 12:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will be in a rough spot in Week 8. The Eagles will be on the road in Buffalo to battle their tough defense. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) possibly looking at another missed game, Jeffery will receive top wideout attention from the Bills secondary. He's coming off a two-catch, 38 yard performance against the Cowboys, and more of the same can be expected in this one. Jeffery is a moderate-upside, low-floor WR2/3 this week.

From RotoBaller

Cam Newton Oct 23 12:23pm ET

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (foot) is out of practice Wednesday, Oct. 23, as expected.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Howard Oct 23 12:20pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard might only play a fantasy relevant role in Week 8 if he is able to score a touchdown. Howard and the Eagles travel to Buffalo to take on a tough Bills Defense. While Howard has handled almost all early-down and goal line work lately, he has not put together many yards and is a complete non-factor in the passing game. He's looking at another game that could possibly be similar to his 50-yard performance in Week 7. Howard is a risky RB3 with a concerning floor this week.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Oct 23 11:53am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (quadriceps) is expected to play in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Fantasy Spin: Conner is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry, but he has scored touchdowns in two games straight. The Chargers are a good matchup for the RB2.

From TheHuddle

Carson Wentz Oct 23 11:50am ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could have a hard time in Week 8 on the road against the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles offense looked like a mess in Week 7 against the Cowboys, with Wentz throwing for just 191 yards on 16 completed passes. The Bills Defense poses another threat to Wentz and the whole Philly offense. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) still not a sure thing to suit up, it looks like a week to fade every fantasy-relevant Eagle a bit. Wentz is more of a high-end QB2 this week.

From RotoBaller

Kerryon Johnson Oct 23 11:50am ET

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) underwent a procedure on Tuesday morning and will miss at least eight weeks while on injured reserve. After many had hoped that the 22-year-old would be in store for a breakout season, Johnson disappointed by compiling just 308 yards and three total touchdowns while averaging a subpar 3.3 yards per carry throughout six games. With his season potentially over, Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic will take over, with Johnson potentially getting the bulk of the carries on the ground and McKissic being involved catching passes out of the backfield. How exactly the time will be split is unknown at the moment in addition to the team also rumored to make a deal before the trade deadline.

From RotoBaller