Sun Sep 15 4:33pm ET
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) celebrates after he recovered a ball fumbled by Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) fumbles as he is hit by Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) and defensive end D.J. Reader (98) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) is wrapped up by Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Myles Jack (44) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) makes a catch in front of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) is pressured by Houston Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
HOUSTON (AP) Justin Reid stopped Leonard Fournette on a 2-point conversion attempt with 36 seconds left, and the Houston Texans held on to edge the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-12 on Sunday.
Houston led by 7 in the fourth quarter when Jacksonville rookie Gardner Minshew led a long drive that included an 18-yard run on fourth-and-10, and he capped it with a 4-yard TD pass to D.J. Chark.
Instead of trying to tie it with an extra point, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone opted to go for the potential win by having Fournette attempt to run it in for the 2-point conversion. But the big running back was stopped by Reid. The play was upheld by video review, giving the Texans (1-1) the victory.
Early in the fourth quarter, Whitney Mercilus used a nice spin move to evade a blocker and sacked Minshew to force a fumble, which was recovered by J.J. Watt on the 11-yard line. Carlos Hyde had an 8-yard run on second down, but was stopped short of a first down on the next play to bring up fourth-and-1. Deshaun Watson then scrambled in from 2 yards out for the touchdown to make it 13-3.
Watson threw for 159 yards, and Hyde had 90 yards rushing for the Texans.
Minshew, a sixth-round pick, threw for 213 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (1-1) in his first NFL start filling in for Nick Foles, who broke his collarbone last week.
After being sacked six times in a loss to New Orleans last week, Watson was sacked four times Sunday - marking the eighth straight game in which he has been sacked at least four times. That ties him with Blake Bortles (2014-15) and Jeff George (1997-98) for the longest streak of games with at least four sacks since it became an official statistic in 1982.
The Jaguars got to Watson on Sunday after failing to sack Patrick Mahomes in loss to Kansas City last week.
Houston acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil in a trade with Miami on Aug. 31 after Watson was sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season, but so far he hasn't helped the quarterback take fewer blows.
Watt had a nice game a week after not getting a tackle or quarterback hit for the first time in 105 career games, and finished with two tackles, a hit on Minshew and the fumble recovery.
Along with Foles, the Jaguars were without four other starters as cornerback A.J. Bouye, receiver Marqise Lee, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and left tackle Cam Robinson were all out with injuries.
Jacksonville star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was seen arguing with Marrone early in the first quarter and missed what looked sure to be an interception in the third quarter. Houston was up by 3 when Ramsey got his hands on a pass from Watson, but couldn't hold onto it. But the Texans couldn't keep the drive going and had to punt three plays later.
The Texans led 3-0 after a field goal with about two minutes left in the first quarter. Ramsey was apparently upset that Marrone didn't challenge a catch by DeAndre Hopkins on third-and-2 earlier in that drive and the two were seen yelling at each other on the sideline after that drive.
The Jaguars tied it with a field goal with about three minutes left in the first half.
Houston took a 6-3 lead into halftime thanks to another field goal as time expired in the second quarter. Kenny Stills had a 31-yard reception to get the Texans to the 4 with 16 seconds left. But they only got one play off after that before the field goal as coach Bill O'Brien didn't call a timeout despite having two.
Jaguars: Visit Titans Thursday night.
Texans: Visit Chargers next Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher (hernia) and defensive tackle Chris Jones (groin) both were limited in practice on Wednesday. Fisher has been out the last five game, while Jones has missed two straight. Fisher's return would be a positive development, as he might be blocking the blind side of backup Matt Moore if the Chiefs hold Patrick Mahomes (knee) out for another week. Jones' return would also be a welcomed addition with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers coming into town on Sunday night. The 25-year-old has 11 total tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery in five games after setting a career high with 15.5 QB takedowns a year ago.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is leading the league with 725 rushing yards, a 5.5 yards per carry average, and eight rushing touchdowns. He's RB2 in half-ppr scoring (Christian McCaffrey). You're starting him without hesitation in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins, who are allowing 134.4 yards per game on the ground. Cook could easily finish as the top running back of the week with the Vikings favored by 16 points at home (and with McCaffrey facing the 49ers Defense). The Vikings still run at the second-highest rate in the NFL and could lean on Cook even more in the absence of stud receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring). Cook remains an RB1 and he should be a priority play in daily formats as well.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron saw his stock rise last week when he caught four of his five targets for 70 yards and one touchdown. He had 49 more yards than fellow tight end Jack Doyle, and he's been out-playing him all year. The Denver Broncos have some good safeties, but Ebron is better than he's been this year. As quarterback Jacoby Brissett continues to look his way, he maintains some value every week. Consistency is key for tight ends, and you can have some faith in Ebron this week.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle had high hopes coming into the season. Heading into Week 8, it's becoming more clear that he won't be having the bounce-back season he was hoping for. Doyle has 25 targets on the year, but he has just 17 catches for 149 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett looks his way on a regular basis, but it's not down the field. It's also not in the red zone. Doyle gives you a safe option to score more than zero every week, but he's not going to light it up, especially in a bad matchup with the Denver Broncos. Teammate Eric Ebron has been the better option at the position. Doyle should be avoided this week.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Olabisi Johnson had a productive game stepping in for Adam Thielen (hamstring) in Week 7, catching 4-of-8 targets for 40 yards and a touchdown in the win. The rookie out of Colorado State is now in line for a spot-start as the second receiver in Week 8 as Thielen has been ruled out against the Washington Redskins and their forgiving defense. It's not crazy to project a usable target share again in an advantageous matchup at home, especially considering Johnson has received at least four targets in three of his last four games played. It's also worth noting that Kirk Cousins and the Vikings passing game has been on fire for three games straight. Johnson can be considered a WR3/WR4 and should be in consideration for deep leagues this week.
New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas is on the verge of being streamable this week against the Lions. The former Pro Bowler hasn't had much success this year and has yet to make more than one field goal in a game all season. However, he's in a good matchup. The Giants figure to move the ball against a banged-up Lions Defense, and they will need to push the tempo to keep up with quarterbackMatthew Stafford and the Lions offense. Rosas still isn't a recommended option, but he can be considered in deep leagues.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal has seen his stock consistently grow over the past few weeks. He's still not a player that you can have a ton of confidence in starting, but he does have some flex consideration this week. His size allows him to be a mismatch against most corners, and the Denver Broncos don't have a guy that can match up with him consistently in that regard if cornerback Chris Harris Jr. shadows wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. If you're missing wideouts due to injuries or bye weeks, Pascal gives you upside thanks to his touchdown production and big-play ability.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett went off on the Houston Texans in Week 7. In Week 8, his matchup gets more difficult against the Denver Broncos. Through seven games, Denver has yet to allow a player to clear 300 passing yards, and no quarterback has thrown for more than two touchdowns against them. The Colts have a lot of pieces on offense, especially with the emergence of wide receiver Zach Pascal, but expectations for Brissett should be tempered this week. He's still a starter in two-quarterback leagues, but you have better options at QB in standard formats.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has a bad matchup this week, but you have to start him anyway. He's scored five touchdowns in the five games that he's played, and he's averaging an impressive 17.2 PPR points per game this season. He has 15 more targets than any other Indianapolis pass-catcher, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett looks his way whenever he needs a reliable receiver. He's gotten at least nine targets in three out of his five games, and those looks will continue to be there for him against the Denver Broncos.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack got shut down in Week 7, but he has a good bounce-back spot in Week 8. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars have beaten the Denver Broncos by running the ball at them all game to control the clock. Mack does his best work when he gets a ton of volume, and that's how the Colts like to win games. If the passing game struggles, which is possible against a solid passing defense, they could lean on Mack throughout the game, especially down in the red zone.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is in line for an increased workload on Thursday night with target-hog Adam Thielen (hamstring) sitting out for the first time in his career. Week 8's matchup against the Washington Redskins is a favorable one as Diggs should be able to take advantage of coverage by either Quinton Dunbar or a struggling Josh Norman. Cousins and the play-action passing game have been on point as of late, as has Diggs with 14 catches for 310 yards and three touchdowns over his last two games. They remain a run-first team and are likely to lean on Dalvin Cook as they're favored by over 15 points at home, but Diggs needs to be started as a WR1/WR2 with upside considering Thielen's absence.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford absolutely feasted on the Vikings secondary in Week 7, and the feast may not be over with the New York Giants coming to town in Week 8. The Giants currently allow 8.92 yards per attempt, which trails only the Dolphins, so fantasy owners could be in for another huge performance from the 31-year-old signal-caller. The Giants don't present much in the way of run defense either, but with Kerryon Johnson recently being placed on IR a more pass-heavy approach can be expected. With top quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott on byes this week, and with Matt Ryan still yet to practice, Stafford vaults up the charts as one of the top quarterback options in Week 8 no matter the fantasy format. Get him in your lineups.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Wilson threw his first interception last week but still has posted 15 passing touchdowns in seven games. He should have success against the Atlanta Falcons this week and can be a No. 1 quarterback in all fantasy leagues.
Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (non-injury) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Lockett has posted at least 50 yards in each of the last six games and has been targeted 12 times over the last two weeks. He should have a favorable matchup in Week 8 and can be a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in all leagues.
Seattle Seahawks S Lano Hill (elbow), DE Quinton Jefferson (oblique) and S Bradley McDougald (back) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. OT Duane Brown (biceps), OT George Fant (shoulder), CB Tre Flowers (neck), DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle) and S Quandre Diggs (hamstring) were limited during practice. OG D.J. Fluker (hamstring) fully participated in practice.
Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (non-injury) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Carson has received at least 20 carries in each of the last four games and has posted three 100-yard games in that span. He will continue to be the focal point in the running game for the Seahawks and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Detroit Lions running back Ty Johnson, arguably this week's hottest waiver wire pickup after Kerryon Johnson was put on IR Tuesday, has a real chance to establish himself as the Lions lead back against a porous New York Giants squad in Week 8. Johnson should see most of the action out of the Lions backfield Sunday and can be expected to be involved in the passing game even with J.D. McKissic likely suiting up as the Lions passing-down back. Johnson's small stature does put into question whether he can be an every-down back, but with the Giants nonexistent run defense standing in his way this week fantasy owners should get some clarity as to whether Johnson can truly take over this backfield. Johnson will be considered a mid-range RB2 this week in a matchup where the game script should work to his benefit.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Mostert appears to have a chance to play in Week 8, but fantasy players will know more about his status later in the week. He will see a handful of touches if he is active for the game but can be avoided in most leagues.
San Francisco 49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee), OT Mike McGlinchey (knee) and CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 23. DE Dee Ford (quadriceps), DT D.J. Jones (hamstring) and OT Joe Staley (leg) were limited during practice.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Fantasy Spin: Kirk has been limited during practice over the last two weeks but has also been inactive for the last two games, so his status for Week 8 is uncertain. Fantasy players may want to look at other options since he would have a tough matchup if he plays in the game.