Sun Aug 25 1:16am ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, left, scores past Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Nick Dzubnar during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Andre Patton, left, scores past Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jamar Taylor during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Sean Culkin, right, is tackled by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jamar Taylor during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passes against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Seattle Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny scores against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is tackled by Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
CARSON, Calif. (AP) Russell Wilson directed a pair of first-half touchdown drives, and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Chargers 23-15 on Saturday night.
Wilson was 6 of 9 for 73 yards. He has directed the Seahawks to a pair of TDs and a field goal in five possessions in two preseason games.
The Seahawks (2-1) were at their own 38 to start the second quarter when Wilson connected for 20- and 30-yard completions to Tyler Lockett. On fourth-and-1 from the Los Angeles 3, Rashaad Penny barreled into the end zone to put Seattle up 7-3 with 11:30 remaining.
Wilson, who had 31 yards rushing on three carries, took advantage of a short field on the next possession after the Chargers turned it over on downs. He threw an 18-yard pass to Jaron Brown on second-and-18 to move Seattle to the Los Angeles 31. Four plays later, C.J. Prosise went up the middle from a yard out to extend the lead to 13-3.
Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen did not suit up for a third straight game, with Chargers coach Anthony Lynn sticking to his pre-training camp plan of resting his veterans. With Melvin Gordon continuing to hold out, the running game struggled as Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson combined for 23 yards on nine carries.
The offensive line also continued to have its difficulties. Tyrod Taylor was on the run most of the time, finishing 6 of 9 for 61 yards in three possessions. Taylor also was the Chargers' leading rusher with 34 yards on six carries.
Easton Stick led the Chargers to a pair of scores in the fourth quarter to get them within eight. Los Angeles (0-3) had the ball late in the fourth but the drive stalled on its 48 when a wide-open Justice Liggins slipped on a pass on fourth-and-10.
BACKUP QB BATTLES
Former Charger Geno Smith was 11 for 18 for 117 yards as he battles Paxton Lynch for the Seahawks' backup spot. Smith also ran for a 9-yard TD during the third quarter to put Seattle up 23-3.
Cardale Jones and Stick are competing for the Chargers' third spot. Jones, who was 4 of 5 for 50 yards, has played well the last two games while Stick bounced back after struggling last week against New Orleans.
The fifth-round pick accounted for Los Angeles' only touchdown with an 8-yard strike to Andre Patton with 9:26 remaining. Stick then ran around right end from 4 yards out on the next drive to get the Chargers within 23-15.
The teams combined for three missed extra points. Los Angeles' Ty Long was 0 for 2, going wide left and having another blocked.
Lynn has tried to give his beleaguered offensive line some confidence by going for it on short yardage on fourth down in two preseason games, but it has backfired. The Chargers went for it twice against the Seahawks and came up empty as Seattle converted the missed opportunities into nine points.
''I'm really disappointed in the fourth-and-1s. Those are `gotta have it' situations,'' Lynn said at halftime. ''We were No. 1 in the league last year in that category. We're a little behind right now.''
Seahawks: Conclude the preseason by hosting Oakland on Thursday night.
Chargers: Travel to San Francisco on Thursday night for their preseason finale.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling should be considered as a flex option with upside this week. Valdes-Scantling had some boom plays in the opening matchup against the Chicago Bears but struggled to make the same impact against the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Denver Broncos have only given up an average of 15.6 points to the position, but haven't faced a quarterback of significant talent yet this season. Given that Davante Adams is due to face a tough personal battle in the matchup, Valdes-Scantling has a great opportunity to bounce back with a few big plays this week.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison has had a wildly inconsistent start to the season, making him a difficult player to trust in lineups this week. Allison wasn't given a single target in the Packers opening matchup and while he had four receptions last week, it was the touchdown that saved his fantasy value. Allison has been used primarily as a large slot player so far this season, but at the moment seems to be a touchdown-or-bust option. While that might change later in the season, fantasy owners should look elsewhere for wide receiver production this week, especially since the Denver Broncos have given up just 15.6 points to the position.
The Green Bay Packers Defenseis a good option for fantasy owners this week. In previous seasons, the defense has struggled to have a consistent impact. However, after multiple additions in the offseason, the Packers have been an effective fantasy option this season. The've only allowed 19 points so far this season, as well as totaling six sacks and five turnovers. The Denver Broncos have struggled to get their offense firing consistently and are on the road in a tough environment, making the Packers worth a start this week.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Buffalo on Sunday. After injuring his ankle during the Week 1 encounter with the 49ers, Mixon has undoubtedly not been at his best, racking up just 27 yards on 17 rushing attempts to go along with just five receptions. Things won't be easy for the 23-year-old, however, as he will be going up against an efficient Bills Defense that has allowed 23.05 fantasy points to opposing backs while allowing opponents to accumulate just 296.5 total yards this season. Nonetheless, Mixon is still a must-start in most fantasy leagues despite his dismal play this season.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will hit the road for a potentially rough Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. The Bills Defense has been one of the most effective units in the league this season, allowing opponents to net just 296.5 yards through the first two games of the season. Dalton has played well, however, throwing four touchdowns with only one interception to go along with a 65.6 completion percentage. With the veteran signal-caller getting some steady production from the likes of John Ross, Tyler Boyd, and Tyler Eifert, Dalton could be a decent streamer in all formats for those in need of a quarterback despite the tough matchup on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers probably didn't expect to be rolling into Week 3 with a field goal record of 0-for-1. Seattle made 22 field goals in 27 attempts last season, but after two weeks of 2019, they've attempted just one shot for three points. Even that attempt was a serious long shot as Myers was forced to kick at the end of the first half against Pittsburgh from 58 yards out. That would have tied his career-long, and no one is really upset that he missed that bomb. The good news is that he is 7-for-7 on extra points so far, and eventually, he'll get his chances on field goals.
New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (thigh) was limited during practice Thursday, Sept. 19..
Fantasy Spin: Ginn likely will lose some fantasy value because of the change at quarterback but is still a big play threat. He could be a flex option in some leagues but could be benched if better options are available.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (thumb) and WR Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. FB Zach Line (knee), OG Andrus Peat (ankle) and DT Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) were limited during practice.
When the Seattle Seahawks drafted wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round of this year's draft, there was a ton of criticism about how Metcalf was nothing but a workout warrior. However, head coach Pete Carroll was enthralled by Metcalf's size and speed combination. He's been searching for that type of receiver for years, trying out the likes of Sidney Rice, Brandon Marshall, and others. None have been the right fit for long, but so far, Metcalf has been fantastic. Metcalf will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong when he faces a soft Saints secondary on Sunday. He should have no problem racking up some more points.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has made a mark in the team's offense, leading the team with eight targets in Week 2. He'll look to follow that up this week as the squad travels to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in a game that will likely force more pass attempts from Derek Carr. With Tyrell Williams drawing coverage from All-Pro Xavier Rhodes, the field could open up more for Renfrow who's starting to become a weapon underneath the secondary. He's too risky to start in DFS and redraft leagues, but with another solid showing, he could be a sneaky option in PPR formats.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly caught his first touchdown of the season last Sunday, and it was quite the relief for him. Dissly doubted that he'd ever play in the NFL again after he tore his patellar tendon last September, and the concern jumped up again when he left the team's Week 1 game early due to banging knees with a teammate. Now, it looks like he might be able to find a regular spot in the rotation of the offense. Dissly ended up hauling in two touchdowns in the win against Pittsburgh, and suddenly, teams are going to have to start scheming for him. With Seattle looking like they'll have no problem reaching the red zone regularly, expect Dissly to be a big, attractive target for Russell Wilson.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (ankle), DE Dee Ford (quadricep), WR Jalen Hurd (back), OT Joe Staley (fibula) and WR Trent Taylor (foot) didn't practice Thursday, Sept. 19. DE Nick Bosa (ankle), S Jaquiski Tartt (toe) and S Jimmie Ward (hand) got in limited practices.
Seattle Seahawks OG Ethan Pocic (neck) and CB Neiko Thorpe (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. WR Jaron Brown (toe), DE Quinton Jefferson (hip), DT Poona Ford (calf), C Joey Hunt (ankle), S Tedric Thompson (hamstring), OG D.J. Fluker (ankle) and CB Tre Flowers (ankle) were limited during practice. DE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), OG Mike Iupati (foot) and WR David Moore (shoulder) fully participated in practice.
Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard is firmly planted as a distant backup to Josh Jacobs this season after dominating touches for the offense in 2018. He's picked up just five touches through two games so far for a total of eight measly yards after leading the team with 68 receptions a year ago. Richard was a valuable pass-catcher last season, but with more weapons added to the passing game, it appears Richard is starting to fade away in this offense. Jacobs is dealing with a hip issue as well as an illness so he may see a few more touches this week versus the Vikings, but he carries no standalone value in any format. Unless Jacobs misses significant time, Richard can be ignored for fantasy purposes.
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny led the team in rushing last week, but it was really because of one big run that he got fortunate on. Penny lumbered 37 yards for a touchdown on a broken play where he cut back to the other side of the field and used lead blocker Russell Wilson to make way for him. Outside of that single run, Penny has carried the ball 15 times for 43 yards in the first two weeks, averaging less than 3.0 YPC. While starter Chris Carson has been catching some passes, Penny has caught just one for three yards. At this point, Penny needs to hit a huge run to matter. Outside of that, he continues to be a disappointment.
Coming off a big week where he snagged 10 passes for 79 yards, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett gets to face another one of the softest secondaries in the league. So far, wide receivers have scored the sixth-most fantasy points against the Saints Defense this season, and Lockett's quickness and route running should keep the passes headed his way. Lockett has received a surprising amount of support from teammate D.K. Metcalf after many thought Metcalf wouldn't be useful, and Metcalf's presence has freed up Lockett to juke and slide his way through coverage with ease. Seattle's offense is always one where the ball can go anywhere, so he's not a lock, but it looks like it should be another good week for Lockett owners.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson told the media on Wednesday that he's sad that Drew Brees won't be out there on the field on Sunday. Wilson mentioned that he's close friends with Brees, who he also said is one of his favorite players of all time. Wilson will instead be facing off against Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill, though it will likely be the New Orleans defense that he's paying more attention to. The Saints Defense has struggled so far, and Wilson has been lights out up to this point. Completing 78% of his passes and racking up five touchdowns through the first two games, owners should expect another consistent performance by Wilson in Week 3.
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson will be facing the best run defense he's seen this year when he welcomes the Saints to Seattle on Sunday. That said, the biggest thing that may help pad Carson's stats is the lack of Drew Brees in the New Orleans huddle. Without Brees, the Saints enter the game as a four-point underdog, and if Seattle can get out to a fast start, Carson could see a considerable amount of ground work later in the game. The coaching staff has made good on their promise that Carson would see more work through the air too, and he's already racked up nine catches for 61 yards and a score over the first two weeks. Expect to see a lot of opportunities again on Sunday, and he should be able to put up solid numbers.
Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton (ribs) didn't practice Thursday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Sutton has 11 receptions for 160 yards but no scores through two games. He remains a viable FLEX option as long as he's in the lineup.
Denver Broncos OT Ja'Wuan James (knee) and G Ronald Leary (not injury related) didn't practice Thursday, Sept. 19. CB Bryce Callahan (foot), FB Andy Janovich (pectoral) and LB Joseph Jones (triceps) were limited. LB Todd Davis (calf) was a full participant.