Sun Sep 15 5:31pm ET
By KEITH JENKINS
AP Sports Writer
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers throws as he's hit by Minnesota Vikings' Everson Griffen during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers celebrates after an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 21-16. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Minnesota Vikings' Trae Waynes breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Minnesota Vikings' Anthony Harris stops Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones after a first down run during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 21-16. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Minnesota Vikings' Kirk Cousins runs past Green Bay Packers' Kenny Clark during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Green Bay Packers' Kevin King intercepts a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings' Stefon Diggs during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Minnesota Vikings' Trae Waynes breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers threw two early touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers held on for a 21-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
On a day when the Packers honored late Hall of Famer Bart Starr at halftime, Rodgers put on quite a show - particularly early. Rodgers completed nine of his first 10 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and had a perfect 158.3 rating through the first quarter. He finished 22 of 34 for 209 yards.
The Packers improved to 2-0 under new coach Matt LaFleur after opening the NFL's 100th season with a victory at rival Chicago. They also beat the Vikings (1-1) for the fifth time in the past seven games at Lambeau Field.
Kevin King intercepted Cousins late in the end zone to preserve the win.
Minnesota's Dalvin Cook had a career-high 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. It was the third-year back's second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing.
After throwing the ball just 10 times in the season opener, Kirk Cousins finished 14 of 32 with 230 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Rodgers and Davante Adams connected on a 39-yard completion on the Packers' first offensive play and LaFleur's offense was off and running. Rodgers found running back Jamaal Williams for a 15-yard touchdown to cap a four-play, 75-yard opening drive.
Minnesota had a chance to answer with at least a field goal, but Dan Bailey missed wide left on a 47-yard attempt with about 9 minutes to go in the opening quarter.
It took Green Bay's offense all of 12 minutes to score more points (14) than it did in the season opener at Chicago (10).
After not seeing a single ball against the Bears, receiver Geronimo Allison gave the Packers a two-score advantage on a 12-yard strike from Rodgers.
Green Bay got the ball right back after defensive lineman Kenny Clark sacked Cousins, forcing a fumble. Dean Lowry recovered the ball and the Packers took over at the Vikings 33.
The Packers took a commanding 21-0 lead with 2 minutes to play in the first half on 2-yard run by Aaron Jones. Green Bay never scored again.
After rushing for 111 yards and two touchdowns in a win last week against the Falcons, Cook broke out for a 75-yard score following a missed tackle by rookie safety Darnell Savage.
Stefan Diggs scored the Vikings' other touchdown with 45-yard grab from Cousins with 9:12 to play in the third.
Packers safety Raven Greene was carted off the field with an ankle injury following the first play of the second half. He did not return.
The Packers honored Starr during a celebration that included a video tribute, words from Starr's wife, Cherry, and an appearance by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Starr, who died in May at 85, was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls and won the league MVP award in 1966 with the Packers. Starr has the highest postseason passer rating (104.8) of any QB in NFL history and a postseason record of 9-1. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Packers Hall of Fame in 1977.
Vikings: Host Raiders on Sept. 22.
Packers: Host Broncos on Sept. 22.
The Washington Redskins Defense will head to Minnesota on Thursday night to take on a Vikings team that has averaged 36 points a game over the last three weeks. Minnesota's recent offensive success directly coincides with its newly established willingness to air the ball out from the arm of Kirk Cousins, who has averaged 325 yards per game and thrown 10 total touchdowns in this span. Adding fuel to the grease fire that is Washington's fantasy outlook for Week 8, the Vikings also have a running back by the name of Dalvin Cook who just so happens to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game at 103.6. Even with Adam Thielen in danger of missing this game for the Vikings, there is no conceivable reason to deploy the Redskins defense in fantasy lineups this week.
Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will presumably start for the fourth consecutive week on Thursday night against the Vikings, but that starting role has yet to yield any positive fantasy results. Vernon Davis has missed Washington's last three games, a time frame in which Sprinkle has caught a total of six passes for 54 yards. Even a visit to the endzone can't necessarily save him from a usage rate that low. The Vikings are allowing double-digit PPR production on average to tight ends, but the last thing you want to do is needlessly roll the dice on a risky Thursday night player and have it go up in flames. Whether Davis (who is currently listed as doubtful) unexpectedly suits up or not, there are safer and more proven options at tight end than Sprinkle for Week 8.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson has a relatively favorable matchup on his hands Thursday, but has done nothing this season to convince fantasy owners he can capitalize. The Vikings are allowing an average of 15 receptions and 159 yards per game to opposing receivers, along with 11 total touchdowns. Richardson hasn't caught a pass for two straight weeks, and Terry McLaurin is a productive target vacuum in Washington's offense, so the reliability scale tips in the latter's direction. As much as the Redskins would probably like to involve someone other than McLaurin and diversify their attack, Richardson simply cannot be trusted as a fantasy play in any format based on his output to this point in the season.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn has totaled seven catches for 56 yards in his last three games. His only double-digit PPR outing came all the way back in Week 1 when he happened to score a garbage-time touchdown. With a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game and a Redskins offense that hasn't looked any good for pretty much the entire season, Quinn's outlook remains grim even against a Vikings Defense that has been somewhat friendly to wide receivers. If he miraculously has a productive night against Minnesota after catching three or fewer passes in four consecutive weeks, it unfortunately needs to happen on the waiver wire.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin should be in line for a ton of targets in Thursday night's game at Minnesota, making him the only reasonably safe fantasy option among his teammates. The Vikings have allowed the most receptions to wide receivers of any team in the league, for 1,116 total yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns. McLaurin's well-established rapport with Case Keenum through the first half of the season suggests he should be the pass-catcher tasked with exploiting Minnesota's secondary. Game flow figures to work in his favor as well, as the Vikings could reasonably be expected to jump out to an early lead. McLaurin's volume keeps him in flex territory for WR-needy fantasy teams.
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum will look to bounce back from Sunday's 9-0 loss in which he threw for under 100 yards, but a date with Minnesota doesn't provide him with much more fantasy appeal. This should be interpreted more as a lack of faith in Washington's offense than a vote of confidence in the Vikings' relatively exploitable pass defense, but the point remains. The Redskins are averaging 12.9 points per game on offense, and they could be without both of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson in the backfield. The hope here from a fantasy perspective is that Minnesota's suddenly explosive offense puts the Redskins up against a massive early deficit, thus forcing Keenum to air it out. Even if the Thursday night game unfolds as such, fantasy owners would be putting a ton of misguided faith in pass-catchers like Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn by starting Keenum in fantasy lineups. The reward does not outweigh the risk.
Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood might be the starter by default in Thursday night's game at Minnesota. Adrian Peterson is questionable with a high ankle sprain, while Chris Thompson continues to nurse a toe injury that held him out of last week's contest. Considering the short week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Redskins err on the side of caution regarding Peterson and Thompson. They don't have much to play for, and it wouldn't be worth risking further injury to either if one or both are not at 100% health. If Smallwood does have the backfield to himself, volume doesn't outweigh the unfavorable matchup. The Vikings are giving up 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs, and have surrendered just one rushing touchdown to the position. Smallwood will have to turn in his fantasy value in the receiving game, which is not worth banking on. He is best avoided unless you find yourself in desperate need of a PPR flex.
Houston Texans CB Phillip Gaines (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injury list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
New York Giants LB Keion Adams (knee) was released from the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 21.
Baltimore Ravens LB Pernell McPhee (triceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Chicago Bears DE Jonathan Harris was released Tuesday, Oct. 22; the move cleared a spot for the signing of DL Brent Urban.
Cleveland Browns RB Elijah McGuire was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was listed as the No. 2 receiver on the version of the Falcons' depth chart released following the trade of WR Mohamed Sanu Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley was already Atlanta's second-most productive receiver behind Julio Jones, but he stands to gain at least a few extra targets per game without much depth behind the top two wideouts for the Falcons.
Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson out-snapped RB Carlos Hyde 39-to-26 in the Week 7 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson received a total of nine touches and racked up 56 yards. It was his first start of the season but Carlos Hyde still had more carries. Johnson has the higher ceiling in PPR formats, but Hyde is the safer option in standard leagues.
New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) said Tuesday, Oct. 22, he's confident he'll return to the field soon. 'Oh, I'll be back out on the field,' Shepard said. 'It's just whether it's gonna be this week or next week.'
Fantasy Spin: Shepard has been limited to four games this season, but he has been able to rack up 25 receptions on 34 targets for 267 yards and a touchdown. The more experience QB Daniel Jones acquires while Shepard is out of the lineup will only boost the receiver's production upon his eventual return. He's a solid buy-low candidate.
Free-agent DE Kasim Edebali (Eagles) signed an undisclosed contract with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent LB Nate Orchard (Dolphins) worked out for the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with free-agent DL Shane Ray (Ravens) and DE Quinton Bell (Raiders).
Free-agent DT Willie Henry (Ravens) worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Buccaneers) worked out for the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with fellow free agents S Marcus Gilchrist (Raiders) and DE Joel Heath (Texans).