Sun Sep 22 7:41pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis (18) celebrates after scoring against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson catches a touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson scores against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. reacts after scoring against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) cannot catch a pass in front of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) passes as he is pressured by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens is honored during a ceremony as he is inducted into the team's Hall of Fame during halftime of an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis with 1:15 remaining and the San Francisco 49ers overcame five turnovers to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 on Sunday for their first 3-0 start in 21 years.
The Niners gave the ball away four times in the first half and then lost a fumble again in the fourth quarter, but still managed to pull out the victory and spoil Mason Rudolph's first career start in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers (0-3).
Rudolph threw two long touchdown passes in the second half, connecting on a 76-yarder to JuJu Smith-Schuster and a 39-yarder to Diontae Johnson that gave the Steelers a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Niners answered the first strike with a 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a 4-yard run by Jeff Wilson Jr. and appeared poised to do the same when they drove inside the 10 following the second score.
But on third down from the 7, a shotgun snap hit receiver Richie James Jr. as he went in motion and T.J. Watt recovered the fumble for Pittsburgh on San Francisco's third red-zone turnover of the game.
The Steelers then gave it right back when James Conner was stripped by Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner recovered at the 24. After a third-down holding penalty on Mark Barron extended the drive, Garoppolo found Pettis for the go-ahead score.
Pittsburgh was unable to generate a first down on the ensuing drive with Rudolph taking a sack on third down and throwing an incompletion on fourth to send the Steelers to their second 0-3 start since 2000.
Garoppolo finished 22 for 32 for 277 yards. He threw two interceptions on the first three drives on passes that hit his receivers' hands and also lost a fumble on a bad snap from center by Weston Richburg with the Niners inside the Pittsburgh 10.
Rudolph finished 14 for 27 for 174 yards, throwing an interception to K'Waun Williams on the opening drive of the second half to set up Wilson's first touchdown.
Steelers: TE Vance McDonald left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury.
49ers: CB Ahkello Witherspoon left in the second half with a foot injury.
Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick made a big impact in his first game since being acquired from Miami this past week in a deal that sent a first-round pick to the Dolphins. He intercepted a pass in the first quarter and then forced a fumble by Raheem Mostert in the red zone in the second quarter that Devin Bush recovered. He became the first Steelers player with an interception and forced fumble in the opening half since James Harrison did it against the Chargers on Nov. 16, 2008.
Cornerback Jason Verrett made his debut for the 49ers and was picked on after Witherspoon left with the injury. He committed a 32-yard pass interference penalty and then was beaten deep by Johnson on a 39-yard score the following play to give the Steelers a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
The first two turnovers by San Francisco gave the Steelers the ball in scoring position but they were unable to generate a first down on either drive and settled for field goals. Rudolph completed three passes for only 5 yards the first possession, leading to a 46-yard field goal by Chris Boswell. Rudolph then threw an incomplete pass on third-and-5 following two runs by James Conner, leading to a 26-yard field goal.
Steelers: Host Cincinnati on Monday night.
49ers: After a week off, the Niners host Cleveland on Oct. 7.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins did nothing in Week 6, making no catches on two targets. Hollins was on the field in three-wide sets but only saw two balls go his way and did nothing with them. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) targeting a Week 7 return, Hollins should return to his special teams role soon.
Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells had six receptions for 69 yards in the win over the Chiefs on Sunday. Fells was fresh off of a two-touchdown performance against the Falcons coming into this one and continued to get looks from quarterback Deshaun Watson. If he is available in deeper formats, snag him up before it's too late.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown has been quiet over the last two games after a two touchdown performance in Week 4. Brown caught two of his four targets in the 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 6. The Titans continue to have struggles on offense and that has hurt Brown's value. Fantasy owners can't expect much at this point, so Brown should be considered a low-end flex option for next week versus the Chargers.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was not even targeted in Week 6. The hyped-up rookie now has two games in a row where he's drawn no targets. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) on his way back to the field soon, Arcega-Whiteside will continue to have zero value in redraft formats.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas made four catches for 62 yards in a win over the Cowboys Sunday. The 62 yards are the most Thomas has gained in three games played this season, and he has been getting more involved in the offense overall. On the Jets second drive, the first goal-to-go snap they ran was a quick slant to Thomas for what would have been an easy touchdown, had it not been for pass interference. Despite the Jets trying to get Thomas more involved, it'll be hard for them to support three fantasy-relevant wide receivers and Thomas has been the third guy behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. As long as Anderson, Crowder and running back Le'Veon Bell are healthy, Thomas likely won't see enough targets to be relevant in standard-size fantasy leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz caught four passes in Week 6, gaining 54 scoreless yards and losing a fumble. Ertz was targeted nine times, but has now scored just one touchdown through six weeks of the season. He hasn't gone over 72 yards receiving yet either. In a position as shallow as tight end, Ertz is very much still a weekly TE1, but he seems to be working with much less upside than in previous seasons. We'll see if the Eagles start getting Ertz more involved going forward.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery caught 10 passes in Week 6, gaining 76 yards and scoring a touchdown. Jeffery was faded in many rankings this week as he was taking on the Minnesota Vikings secondary, but he picked up several quick short passes and came down with a three-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Jeffery should be able to maintain his value as a WR2/3 even when DeSean Jackson (abdomen) returns to the starting lineup.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller hauled in five receptions for 44 yards during the win over the Chiefs on Sunday. While he was nowhere near the level of efficiency that we saw in Week 5, it was still a semi-decent performance for those who had him in PPR lineups. With nine targets on the night, Fuller should continue to be involved moving ahead despite the potential return of Kenny Stills (hamstring), who is expected back soon.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder made six catches for 98 yards in a win over the Cowboys Sunday. Crowder was excited to have starting quarterback Sam Darnold back under center as Crowder had his biggest game since Week 1, the last game Darnold played before being ruled out with mono. In two games with Darnold, Crowder has 20 catches for 197 yards as opposed to the 75 yards total he had in three games with backups starting for New York. Having Darnold back makes Crowder a startable WR3 in fantasy, even with a tough matchup with New England looming next Monday night.
The Cleveland Browns Defense struggled in a 32-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6. Cleveland's offense jumped out to a 20-6 lead early in the second quarter but the defense was unable to hold on for the win, allowing 26 points in the final three quarters. The defense didn't get much help as the Cleveland offense committed four turnovers in the loss. Seattle also got excellent field position after blocking a punt. On the plus side, Cleveland's defense continues to sack the quarterback at a high rate, notching another three in the contest while also forcing one turnover. The Browns defense has plenty of talent but they have played a tough schedule thus far. Things won't let up after their Week 7 bye as they draw a brutal road matchup against the undefeated New England Patriots in Week 8. At least fantasy owners have two weeks to make plans to secure a proper replacement defense in their fantasy leagues before that matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor caught four passes in Week 6, gaining 42 scoreless yards. He had one catch in his last two games combined, so while it was nice to see him come down with the four catches, he didn't really do much to inspire confidence in his play going forward. He simply does not have NFL-caliber hands. Agholor will be a desperation-only play going forward, especially when DeSean Jackson (abdomen) is back on the field.
Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee had four catches for 39 yards during the win over the Chiefs on Sunday. While DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Darren Fells accounted for 28 looks from quarterback Deshaun Watson, Coutee was still semi-involved to the delight of those who had him in fantasy lineups to provide some injury relief. With Kenny Stills (hamstring) potentially returning against the Colts in Week 7, Coutee may not be as involved moving forward.
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker has been unable to do much over the last three games, but it's not all his fault. Walker hauled in three of his five targets for 43 yards in the Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos. Both incompletions were bad passes by the quarterback, so difficult to blame Walker there. Walker might have better fantasy value in another system as the Titans really struggle to get him the ball. He'll have low-end TE1 upside against the Chargers in Week 7.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins hauled in nine receptions for 55 yards during the win over the Chiefs. While his 12 targets were a season-high, his lack of scores on the year has severely diminished his fantasy value outside of non-PPR formats. Nonetheless, Hopkins remains a must-start moving forward and hopefully can find the end zone against the Colts in Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders made the most of his touches in Week 6. Sanders carried the ball just three times, gaining six yards. All of his damage came through the air though, where he caught three passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. The rookie's score came on a 32-yard pass from Carson Wentz in the second quarter. Sanders getting only six touches is a bit concerning, but if he can do this much with that little, he'll continue to at least have RB3/4 appeal.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 14 times for 50 yards and scored his first touchdown since a receiving score in Week 1 vs Buffalo. Bell has been the centerpiece of the Jets offense so far playing a 94.3 percent snap share coming into the game, and head coach Adam Gase seemed determined to get his workhorse into the end zone. After a pass interference call in the end zone, the Jets gave Bell the ball not once but twice to score the first touchdown of the afternoon. Bell was limited in the passing game today with only a three-yard catch on one target, but was still the primary back used by New York as no other running back had more than three touches. Bell is a must-start running back despite a tough matchup vs New England in Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott carried the ball four times in Week 6, gaining 30 yards. Scott was just elevated to the active roster from the practice squad this week, to take the place of Corey Clement (shoulder) on the running back depth chart. Scott will serve mostly in a complementary role on offense while spending most of his time on special teams, but if Miles Sanders keeps showing nothing in the running game, Scott could suddenly see himself elevated even further in the game plan.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis was quiet once again in the 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 6. Davis caught three of his five targets for 36 yards on Sunday. Davis has put together one good game all season and is making it difficult on fantasy owners to even trust him. The Titans have struggled to get their receivers the ball and that will likely continue. Fantasy owners should consider Davis a low-end flex option for Week 7 versus the Chargers.
Cleveland Browns tight end Ricky Seals-Jones caught three of his six targets for 47 yards and a touchdown in a 32-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6. Seals-Jones connected with Baker Mayfield for a 31-yard touchdown in the first quarter, his second score in his past three contests. Seals-Jones has been up-and-down of late, totaling six catches for 129 yards and two scores over his past three games, despite getting shut out on one target in Week 5. The Browns will enjoy their bye in Week 7 before they head on the road to take on the New England Patriots in Week 8. Seals-Jones has become interesting as a bench option in deep leagues but he isn't fully trustworthy just yet.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Adam Humphries was the lone bright spot for the team on offense in the Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos. Humphries hauled in all six of his targets for 47 yards in this one. The Titans had issues on offense, so it's surprising they were even able to hit Humphries six times. He'll have some value in deeper leagues, but that's all for right now. Humphries doesn't get enough chances to be used in most formats.