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FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Watson poised to lead Texans offense with Hopkins in Arizona

Fri Aug 14 6:10pm ET
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) With DeAndre Hopkins dealt to Arizona during the offseason, Deshaun Watson is the undisputed star of the Texans' offense.

The quarterback will be leading a team intent on atoning for last year's playoff collapse against Kansas City. But rather than seeing that responsibility as a burden, the 24-year-old Watson sees it as an opportunity.

''I know it's a lot of pressure to play quarterback, especially for this organization, we want to achieve things that this organization hasn't done, and I feel like I have the mindset and I have the work ethic and the pieces around me to be able to do that,'' Watson said. ''If I just (take) it one day at a time, if I can just focus on that and not put too much unnecessary pressure on myself, I think things will just go as they should.''

Coach Bill O'Brien has been impressed with Watson since the moment he met him, and his admiration has only grown as he has gotten to know him better.

''Deshaun is really focused,'' O'Brien said. ''He's locked in during practice. And as long as he keeps doing that, he will definitely take the next step and then the next step and, like he always has, he'll be a great player for our team.''

The Texans are intent on reaching their first Super Bowl this season, but for that to happen they'll have to reach a lesser goal that the franchise has never attained by getting to the AFC title game. It looked as though they were finally heading there last season early against the Chiefs, but they squandered a 24-point lead in a 51-31 loss in the divisional round to the eventual Super Bowl champions.

O'Brien, who is also the team's general manager, then sent Hopkins to the Cardinals in a stunning deal that changed the complexion of this team and thrust Watson even further into the spotlight. Many have questioned how Houston's offense will run without Hopkins, who piled up 4,115 yards receiving in Watson's first three seasons.

Last season, Watson was asked what his favorite play was, and he answered without hesitation.

''Go route to Hop for 6,'' Watson said.

So, with Hopkins gone, what will be the quarterback's go-to now? The simple answer is that there isn't just one answer. The Texans know that no one player can replace Hopkins and they'll instead rely on a bevy of receivers, including Will Fuller and Kenny Stills, to pick up the slack.

''Just spreading the ball around,'' Watson said. ''Being able to find the open man. Take my game to another level and just spread the wealth.''

For years, a revolving door at quarterback seemed to be the main hurdle keeping the Texans from becoming an elite team. After watching his growth in his first three NFL seasons, they're confident that Watson is the franchise quarterback they've been waiting for and the man that will finally get them to that next level.

Coaches and teammates alike have noticed his growth as a player and leader, and marvel at how he's always looking to do more.

''He's come in every day willing to learn and willing to get better at simple things that we think can elevate his game,'' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Kelly said. ''It's been a joy to coach him. He comes in with a great mindset. He's a great example to the other players in the locker room.''

Watson often shrugs off such compliments. And when asked to explain how he developed into such a strong leader, the quarterback said it's a quality he has always had.

''That's just in my DNA,'' he said. ''Leadership comes with responsibility and putting the work first and people just follow. That's how I lead.''

Player Notes
Teddy Bridgewater Sep 23 7:00pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is best left on the bench for Week 3's tough road bout against the Chargers. The QB has opened up the season with a decent 636 passing yards, but only has one touchdown and two picks. Even though the Chargers have been a favorable matchup for opposing QBs, Bridgewater has not proved he is a weekly starter and doesn't offer much upside in terms of touchdowns and rushing.

From RotoBaller

Mike Davis Sep 23 7:00pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis should only be considered a flex piece for this week's matchup against the Chargers. With Christian McCaffrey on injured reserve for the next month or so, the journeyman RB Davis will take lead rusher duties. Right off the bat, he faces a tough matchup as the Chargers have allowed the third-fewest points to opposing RBs to start the season. Davis is only a mere flex play in deeper leagues this week considering he hasn't played much at all in the past couple seasons, making it hard to trust him.

From RotoBaller

Mike Gesicki Sep 23 6:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki is coming off a fantastic game versus the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. He was able to haul in eight of his 11 targets for 130 yards and one touchdown last week. It was a strong showing from Gesicki who was coming off a dud during the season opener. He'll get a favorable matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. The same team that allowed tight end Jonnu Smith to score two touchdowns on them last week. Gesicki should be considered a top tight end candidate for his Thursday night matchup with Jacksonville.

From RotoBaller

DeVante Parker Sep 23 6:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring) has been removed from the injury report heading into Week 3 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was limited during Monday and Tuesday's practices, but was upgraded to full on Wednesday. Parker is coming off a Week 2 performance where he hauled in five receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown in the loss to the Buffalo Bills. He'll get a matchup against the Jaguars Defense that allowed four passing touchdowns last week. Parker should have high-end WR3 upside for this matchup.

From RotoBaller

Preston Williams Sep 23 6:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Preston Williams has been held to just three receptions through the first two weeks of the regular season. He was only able to haul in one of his five targets versus the Buffalo Bills last week. However, he'll get a more favorable matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. Williams hasn't shown much promise this season, but fantasy owners should be able to trust him as a WR3 here. Another bust week might turn him into a possible cut-candidate in some formats.

From RotoBaller

Matt Breida Sep 23 6:00pm ET

Miami Dolphins running back Matt Breida is not looking like a trustworthy option this season. He has had trouble getting anything going through the first two games of the season. Breida rushed seven times for 37 yards in the loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. He's in a three-back committee, which is going to limit his value even more. He'll get a more favorable matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. However, there is no need to even consider starting Breida unless it's a 14-team deep league.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Howard Sep 23 6:00pm ET

Miami Dolphins running back Jordan Howard has been unable to find much room to run during the first two games of the regular season. However, Howard has found his way into the end zone during both contests. Sadly, Howard only has 11 total rushing yards on the season through two games. He's part of a three-back committee, which is going to somewhat limit his value. He does appear to get a majority of the work on the goal line. Fantasy owners should consider him a touchdown-dependent RB3 for his matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Fitzpatrick Sep 23 5:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has an intriguing matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. Fitzpatrick is coming off a performance where he completed 31 of 47 passing attempts for 328 passing yards and two touchdowns. Sadly, the Dolphins weren't able to get the win during that Week 2 matchup. However, Fitzpatrick bounced back nicely after his Week 1 dud. He'll now get a favorable matchup against the Jaguars on Thursday night. Fitzpatrick is not a recommended option in most formats, but could be a streaming choice for quarterback-needy teams in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Myles Gaskin Sep 23 5:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin has quickly created fantasy value for himself this season. He's coming off a Week 2 performance where he rushed seven times for 46 yards and caught six passes for 36 yards through the air. However, his value is somewhat limited due to the fact he's in a three-back committee, but he's outperformed both other backs on the roster. Gaskin has promising upside in PPR leagues during his Week 3 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team is likely going to continue to involve him heavily in the rushing and passing attack.

From RotoBaller

Dalton Schultz Sep 23 5:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz is suddenly a viable fantasy starting tight end in 12-team leagues. Schultz led the Cowboys in targets in Week 2 with 10, catching nine passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. With that kind of usage and with another potentially high-scoring game on tap for Week 3, Schultz could see another TE1 finish. With Blake Jarwin (knee) done for the season, Schultz will remain the top receiving tight end for the high-octane Cowboys offense.

From RotoBaller

Greg Zuerlein Sep 23 5:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein is a strong fantasy kicking option for Week 3 lineups. Zuerlein has made three of his four field goal tries and all six of his extra points so far this season. The Cowboys will be taking on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, making for another possibly high-scoring game which should lead to kicking opportunities for Zuerlein. He's a starting kicker in 12-team leagues.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Sep 23 5:20pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys Defense is not a recommended start in Week 3 fantasy lineups. Despite the team coming back to win in Week 2, it's no secret that the Cowboys defense struggled quite a bit against the Falcons, allowing 39 points. This week, they'll take on a red-hot Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in what should be another high-scoring contest. The Cowboys defense hasn't been able to put any pressure on opposing quarterbacks so far this season, and Wilson and the Seahawks shouldn't have too much trouble putting up points. Most fantasy leagues will have far better DST options on the waiver wire this week.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper has been an effective fantasy wide receiver through two games despite not coming down with a touchdown yet. Cooper has totaled 16 catches for 181 yards on 23 targets. Facing the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, the Cowboys should have another high-scoring offensive performance and Cooper is about as good a bet as anyone to score his first touchdown of 2020. Cooper is a mid-tier WR1 for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. It's not a great start to the week, but Adams still has two more days to get back on the field heading into Week 3 against the Saints in what could be a high-scoring affair. The 27-year-old went off for 14 catches, 156 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opener, but he had just three receptions for 36 yards in the Week 2 win over Detroit while he battled his injury. Adams is a must-start, high-end WR1 whenever he's playing. Keep a close eye on his practice status the rest of the week. If for some reason he can't play, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling would both become intriguing flex plays.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup has been mostly disappointing through the first two weeks of the season, but he's a solid fantasy bet for a Week 3 potentially high-scoring affair with the Seattle Seahawks. So far, Gallup has turned 10 targets into five catches for 108 yards. He's been on the field for almost every offensive play, however, seeing the field on 96% of Week 1's offensive snaps and 91% of Week 2's. In a game sure to feature some high scores, Gallup is a solid WR2 option with touchdown upside.

From RotoBaller

Michael Thomas Sep 23 5:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday while he tries to recover from a high ankle sprain. Thomas missed the Monday night loss to the Raiders and could miss several more weeks. Fantasy managers shouldn't be expecting to get the All-Pro receiver back in Week 3 against the Packers. As we witnessed against Las Vegas, you can't really count on New Orleans' other receivers in Emmanuel Sanders or Tre'Quan Smith in the absence of Thomas. This game has the potential to be a high-scoring affair, but Sanders remains a boom/bust WR4/flex for much deeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

CeeDee Lamb Sep 23 5:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb comes in right on the WR2/3 turn for a good Week 3 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Lamb somewhat surprisingly tied for the team lead in wide receiver targets with nine in Week 2. Week 3 draws another potentially high-scoring contest, with Lamb sure to see many targets for a second consecutive week. He's playing behind Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in terms of offensive snaps, but he's being targeted heavily when he in on the field. In Week 1, Lamb was in on 82% of the team's offensive snaps, with a similar 83% number in Week 2. He's certainly made the most of his snaps, turning 15 targets into 11 catches for 165 yards so far this season.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Sep 23 5:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he'd be surprised if quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is ready to play in Week 3 against the Giants. Shanahan expects Nick Mullens to get the start. Garoppolo is dealing with a minor high ankle sprain and is week-to-week for now. The Niners have a favorable matchup against New York this week, but it seems as if their entire offense is injured at the moment. The return of tight end George Kittle (knee) would be much welcomed, but regardless, Mullens is a desperation fantasy streamer as a QB2 in superflex leagues if Jimmy G sits out this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Sep 23 5:00pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring), who aggravated his injury in the Week 2 loss to the Cowboys, did not practice on Wednesday. While the veteran Jones often misses practice and plays through nagging injuries, this is one to keep a close eye on the rest of the week leading up to Week 3 against the Bears. The All-Pro pass-catcher had just two receptions last week and will be facing a stingy Bears Defense if he plays, and he would likely be at less than 100 percent. Jones is a must-start WR1 each and every week, but he's become riskier. If he is forced to rest, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage would see more targets from quarterback Matt Ryan.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Sep 23 4:50pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (back, chest) is listed as questionable for the Thursday night game against the Dolphins. Chark was limited in practice this week, so he should have a good shot at playing in Week 3. The 24-year-old has 109 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven catches through two weeks, so he'll remain a fine WR2 for Thursday night's game if he's active. If he is forced to sit out, rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. and Keelan Cole would become much more attractive as flex options in a good matchup against a Miami secondary that will be missing safety Byron Jones.

From RotoBaller