Sat Aug 17 11:36pm ET
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
Houston Texans quarterback Joe Webb III (5) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive back C.J. Moore (49) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Detroit Lions quarterback Josh Johnson (4) avoids Houston Texans linebacker Davin Bellamy during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Detroit Lions quarterback Josh Johnson (4) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. The Lions recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive back Tracy Walker (47) as outside linebacker Christian Jones (52) covers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a pass against the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
HOUSTON (AP) Deshaun Watson took advantage of one series in his preseason debut looking sharp in directing a 75-yard drive capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins to help the Houston Texans to a 30-23 win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday night.
Watson, who sat out in a loss to Green Bay last week, was 5 of 7 for 60 yards and scrambled once for 7 yards. After being sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season, the third-year player had plenty of time to throw while facing a Lions defense which opened the game with the bulk of its starters.
Hopkins, also making his preseason debut, had two receptions for 17 yards and shook off Detroit's Quandre Diggs to get open and make the TD catch that put Houston up 7-0.
Hopkins, who had a career-high 1,572 yards receiving last season, was the only one of Houston's top receivers to play. Will Fuller, who is healthy after tearing a knee ligament last season, sat out and the Texans were without Keke Coutee, who injured his ankle last week.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford didn't play for the second straight week, with the Lions instead starting Josh Johnson. Johnson was signed a week ago after backup Tom Savage suffered a head injury in the team's preseason opener against the Patriots. Johnson was 9 of 18 for 85 yards with an interception.
The Lions had a chance to tie it on the last play of the game, but a pass by David Fales was knocked down in the end zone.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson, the eighth overall pick in this year's draft, had one reception for 22 yards, but also received a penalty for a crackback block. Running back Kerryon Johnson started and had three carries for 16 yards in a little more than a quarter of work.
Several of Houston's defensive starters also played briefly, including linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who sacked Johnson and caused a fumble on Detroit's first series. Defensive end J.J. Watt did not play for the second straight game despite practicing all week after recovering from tightness in his groin.
Detroit cornerback Darius Slay broke up two passes in the first quarter and Jalen Reeves-Maybin had five tackles, including one for a loss, and defended a pass.
Veteran backup Joe Webb came in after the series by Watson and was 14 of 25 for 186 yards with a touchdown and an interception after throwing for 286 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions last week.
The Texans were up 10-3 in the second quarter when Steven Mitchell fumbled after a 4-yard reception and Will Harris scooped it up and returned it 19 yards to tie it.
Webb connected with Vyncint Smith on a 31-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to put Houston on top 17-10.
Fales took over at quarterback for the Lions on the second series of the third quarter and threw a 5-yard touchdown to Zach Zenner, but the 2-point conversion failed to leave Detroit down 20-16.
Buddy Howell's 1-yard touchdown run extended Houston's lead to 27-16 with about 8 1/2 minutes left and the Lions got within 27-23 on a TD run by Mark Thompson a couple of minutes later.
Fales was 12 of 19 for 226 yards and a touchdown.
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Houston tight end Jordan Thomas caught what appeared to be a touchdown pass from Webb in the second quarter and ran off the field and halfway up the tunnel with teammates chasing him. Thomas had to hustle back after his celebration jog when an offensive holding penalty nullified his score and the Texans had to run another play.
Lions: Host the Bills on Friday.
Texans: Visit Cowboys next Saturday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (foot) appeared as a full participant on the injury report Wednesday, Sept. 18, but will start in Week 3 against the New York Giants.
Fantasy Spin: Winston would be a high-end QB2 under standard circumstances with a nice matchup in Week 3, but he could be the best available option for fantasy managers who've already lost a quarterback early in the season.
Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein was perfect during the teams 29-7 Week 2 victory over the New Orleans Saints with two field goals and three extra points. Zuerlein was able to show his range in Week 1 with a 56-yard kick against the Carolina Panthers, quieting any health concerns after the veteran had suffered a leg injury during the latter half of last year. Lock in Zuerlein as a top option in all leagues thanks to the explosiveness of the Rams offense.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quad) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton played 90% of snaps and caught four of six targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. There isn't yet any concern this early in the week, and he should stay locked in as a WR1.
Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett (knee) was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Brissett has been held below 200 yards passing in each of the first two games of the season. He has thrown five touchdowns against one interception. He's a low-end QB2.
Carolina Panthers S Rashaan Gaulden (groin), OT Brandon Greene (neck), LB Bruce Irvin (hamstring) and DT Kawann Short (shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard (concussion) didn't practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. CB Pierre Desir (knee), DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (shoulder), DE Jabaal Sheard (knee), DE Kemoko Turay (neck) and RB Jonathan Williams (rib) were all limited.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp appears to be the WR1 in Los Angeles two weeks into the season thanks to his rapport with quarterback Jared Goff. Kupp enters Week 3 leading the team in receptions, yards and targets, an impressive feat considering he had torn his ACL just one year ago. In Week 3, Kupp will be matched up against the Cleveland Browns, a team with a young but talented defense that could apply heavy pressure on the Rams offensive line. If the O-line collapses, expect Goff to continue to look Kupps way when under pressure, as the wide receivers average depth of target has been just 5.9 yards (84th in the NFL). Lock Kupp in as a high-end WR2, as his chemistry with Goff will keep his floor stable and his ceiling sky-high.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods struggled in the teams Week 2 29-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints. After all, he only had two receptions on two targets for 33 yards. However, fantasy owners should treat Week 2 as an anomaly; Woods had multiple plays called back due to holding penalties and the game script aligned with a run-focused offensive scheme with the Rams leading for the majority of the contest. With a Week 3 matchup against the Cleveland Browns on the horizon, he should see a larger target share in what could end up being a high-scoring, offensive duel thanks to a potent Browns offense. Woods remains a mid-tier WR2 across all formats.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks rebounded in the teams Week 2 29-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints with three receptions on four targets for 74 yards and a TD. However, his five receptions through two games remains extremely concerning and indicates that the veteran could very well be the WR3 on the Rams depth chart. Still, Cooks should be a WR2, as he is the teams best deep threat and faces a Browns secondary that gave up chunk-yardage plays during Week 1 to rookie wideout A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans. Be wary, though, that Cooks could be behind both teammates Cooper Kupp and Robert Woodsin target share.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff saw some success in the teams 29-7 Week 2 victory over the New Orleans Saints, completing 19 passes on 28 attempts for 283 yards and two TDs (one passing, one rushing). While Week 2 was a definite improvement over his subpar Week 1 performance, unfortunately Goff remains plagued by issues with accuracy. Entering a Week 3 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, the quarterback will most likely face heavy pressure from a strong defensive front led by Myles Garrett and Sheldon Richardson. As long as Goff remains composed in the pocket, the upside of the Rams offense should keep his ceiling as a high-end QB2.
Miami Dolphins S Reshad Jones (ankle) and WR Albert Wilson (hip/calf) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. LB Trent Harris (foot), S Bobby McCain (shoulder) and CB Ken Webster (illness) were all limited. DE Charles Harris (wrist) was a full participant.
Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen (knee) participated in full in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Rosen has replaced starter Ryan Fitzpatrick in each of the Dolphins' first two games of the season. He's still listed as the backup, but it seems to be only a matter of time until the sophomore is handed the starting job. He's worth stashing in dynasty leagues.
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Newton is questionable for Week 3, so fantasy players should monitor the situation during the week. Players will need other options available in case Newton is ruled out.
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (back) was limited during practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Olsen was able to play last week despite the injury and posted 110 yards in the game. He may be playing with a new quarterback this week but has a chance to still be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) didn't participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Mack played 68% of the Colts' offensive snaps in Week 2 and rushed for 51 yards on 20 attempts after going for 174 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. It won't be surprising to see him rest early in the week at practice in order to keep him ready for such heavy workloads on Sundays.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey will play on Thursday against the Titans, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Ramsey is unhappy with his contract situation in Jacksonville and requested a trade Monday night. He's expected to get dealt as early as this Friday for a pair of first-round picks, so Thursday's game is shaping up to be his last in a Jaguars uniform. The shutdown corner will likely shut down Titans receiver Corey Davis on the outside. Against a slow-paced, run-first Titans offense led by inconsistent quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Jaguars Defense is in play as a low-end starting option in Week 3.
Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) will start on Thursday against the Titans. It's an upgrade for rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew's blind-side protection in Week 3, but Jacksonville's offense is still likely to struggle to move the ball consistently without Nick Foles (collarbone) under center. You should only be looking to start Minshew if you're desperate in deep two-QB leagues.
Buffalo Bills TE Tyler Kroft (foot) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept 18.
Fantasy Spin: Kroft appears to be on track to play in Week 3 and could take over the starting tight end job. He should not be a starting fantasy option this week, but fantasy players could keep an eye on him because he could be a waiver wire option down the road.
Buffalo Bills WR John Brown (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Fantasy Spin: Brown has become the team's main target in the passing game and should continue to see plenty of target during games. He can be at least a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues this week.
Buffalo Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury), CB Taron Johnson (hamstring) and OT Ty Nsekhe (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. WR Andre Roberts (quadriceps) and CB Tre'Davious White (neck) were limited during practice.