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FFL: Week 6 | NFL: Week 6

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
Dallas Goedert Oct 13 9:10pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert caught five passes in Week 6, gaining 48 yards. He was targeted eight times, and was much more involved than he'd been in previous games, with Zach Ertz seeing just one more target. Goedert is about due for a "blow up" game, but his usage remains too inconsistent to be anything more than a TE2, even with how weak the position has been in fantasy this year.

From RotoBaller

Jake Elliott Oct 13 9:10pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott made all of his kicks in Week 6. Elliott split the uprights on his two extra point attempts and also made field goals from 53 and 40 yards out. It was a solid performance for Elliott, who should continue to be one of the more consistent fantasy kickers going forward.

From RotoBaller

Mack Hollins Oct 13 9:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Darren Fells Oct 13 9:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Brown Oct 13 9:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

JJ Arcega-Whiteside Oct 13 9:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Oct 13 9:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Zach Ertz Oct 13 9:00pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Oct 13 8:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Oct 13 8:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Oct 13 8:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Cleveland Browns Oct 13 8:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Oct 13 8:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Keke Coutee Oct 13 8:50pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Delanie Walker Oct 13 8:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Oct 13 8:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Miles Sanders Oct 13 8:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Le'Veon Bell Oct 13 8:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Boston Scott Oct 13 8:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller

Corey Davis Oct 13 8:40pm ET

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.

From RotoBaller