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FFL: Week 6 | NFL: Week 6

Chargers' Lynn stands behind Taylor despite Herbert's debut

Mon Sep 21 6:51pm ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)


Anthony Lynn did a good job throughout the offseason and training camp of installing Tyrod Taylor as the Los Angeles Chargers' starting quarterback - even after Justin Herbert was taken with the sixth overall pick in April's draft.

But after Herbert came on as a last-minute starter and threw for 311 yards in Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to Kansas City, Lynn has the makings of a quarterback controversy on his hands.

The coach is trying to squelch any sense of a competition by saying: ''Tyrod Taylor 100% is our quarterback.'' Lynn said Taylor was in the team's building Monday, but didn't have any update on his status for the upcoming week.

''The veteran QB gives us the best chance to win. I know what to expect from him and know what we are going to get done,'' Lynn said. ''Justin stepped up and gave us a chance. I'm really excited about Justin, but I want to put him out there when he's ready. He's a rookie and has a lot to learn about.''

Herbert found out less than a minute before kickoff that he was going to get his first NFL start after Taylor couldn't play due to complications from a chest injury. Instead of being fazed, Herbert became the ninth quarterback since the merger to post a 300-yard game in his debut and was the first in 66 years to rush and pass for a touchdown in the first half of his first game.

Taylor led the Chargers to a 16-13 win in the Sept. 13 opener at Cincinnati, but struggled at times in throwing for 208 yards. The offense had four three-and-out drives and didn't gain consistency until the second half.

Herbert finished 22 of 33 with a touchdown and interception. The offense had only two three-and-outs, but one was on the opening possession of overtime.

Herbert showed tremendous accuracy on a TD pass to Jalen Guyton and a 25-yard throw to Keenan Allen in the third quarter between two defenders that had a 22.9% completion probability according to the NFL's Next Gen Stats. But he also made a costly error in the third quarter with an ill-advised throw downfield that was picked off by L'Jarius Snead instead of scrambling and taking the first-down yardage.

''I think Tyrod did a great job in Week 1 and had stuff to build on,'' running back Austin Ekeler said. ''I still think he's probably in the starting role. But going forward, you know, he's gonna have to prove just like all of us that, `Hey, I deserve to be in this spot.' I feel comfortable with both of them. I think it just comes down to the performance.''

Herbert and Ekeler had similar numbers in downfield throws, but Herbert did a better job of getting Ekeler and Joshua Kelley involved on screens. Herbert was 6 of 6 for 73 yards, while Taylor had only two screens in the opener.

WHAT'S WORKING

Lynn's goal of making this a run-first team has been accomplished through the first two games. The Chargers lead the league with 83 rushing attempts and their 55.3% rush percentage leads the AFC and is second in the NFL.

Ekeler has gone over 80 rushing yards in consecutive games for the first time in his four-year career, while Kelley has provided a nice balance as a between-the-tackles type back.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Keeping someone to spy on the quarterback so they don't scramble for huge yards. The Chargers have already allowed four quarterback scrambles of over 10 yards, with two going for 20 yards or more. Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes had a 21-yard scramble on third-and-20 late in regulation to get the Chiefs into field goal range.

''I'll just say we just have to stay locked in,'' linebacker Kyzir White said. ''We just have to know that's how teams are going to try to attack when they've got a quarterback that can run.''

STOCK UP

DT Jerry Tillery has had a strong start after having a disappointing rookie season. Last year's first-round pick blocked an extra point and had a pair of quarterback hits.

STOCK DOWN

Desmond King played 44 of the 77 defensive snaps, but the fourth-year defensive back thinks he should be on the field more. When safety Derwin James was lost for the season due to a knee injury, many thought that would open up more opportunities for him to get more plays because of his versatility in the secondary.

King took to social media after Sunday's game and tweeted: ''I'll continue to do my job but I'm going to need answers real soon.''

Lynn responded to King's tweets on Monday by saying, ''I think everyone knows where to get those answers. They may not like the answers, but they know where to get it.''

INJURED

Lynn had no updates on offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee), defensive tackle Justin Jones (shoulder) and safety Rayshawn Jenkins (groin), who left Sunday's game and did not return.

KEY NUMBER

7 - Consecutive losses in division games with six decided by seven points or fewer. This is the Chargers' second losing streak of at least six games in AFC West contests since 2010.

NEXT STEPS

The Chargers face NFC South teams the next three weeks, beginning next Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers. Los Angeles is 8-4 against NFC teams under Lynn, but Los Angeles has dropped three straight and five of six to Carolina.

Player Notes
Dak Prescott Oct 19 11:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin (concussion) left the Monday night game against the Cardinals in the first quarter after suffering a concussion. Martin was ruled out to begin the second half with the team trailing 21-3. The Cowboys above-average offensive line has been decimated by injuries this year. Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick retired in the offseason. Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith had season-ending neck surgery last week, while right tackle La'el Collins is on Injured Reserve after having hip surgery. Joe Looney, who replaced Frederick at center, is on Injured Reserve as well. With quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) also out for the year, the offense struggled against Arizona. The injuries to the offensive line have been more bad news for the offense, especially for running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Andy Dalton.

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John Brown Oct 19 9:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown returned after a one game absence, but it looks like he took this game off as well. Brown failed to haul in all of his four targets during the Week 6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Josh Allen had a tough time connecting with his receivers in this one. However, both Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley found the end zone. Brown should have WR4 upside against the New York Jets next week.

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Gabriel Davis Oct 19 9:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis was not able to do much damage against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He finished with one reception on his lone target of the game for seven yards in the loss. Quarterback Josh Allen did not have a good game throwing the ball, so that was part of the problem as well. Davis is likely going to get lost in the shuffle with the Bills receivers healthy at the moment. He might have desperation deep league appeal against the awful New York Jets Defense in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Oct 19 9:30pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been reliable all season long and that continued against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He hauled in four of his seven targets for 45 yards and one touchdown. The Bills weren't able to get the air attack going well in this game. However, that should change next week against the horrendous New York Jets Defense. Beasley continues to be a reliable PPR option and that should be the case next week as well.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Oct 19 9:20pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a fairly quiet game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He hauled in six of his eight targets for 46 yards and one touchdown in the loss. He led the Bills in all receiving categories, but quarterback Josh Allen finished with a total of 122 passing yards in this game. Diggs salvaged his fantasy value with the touchdown, but he should rebound nicely next week. He'll get a favorable matchup against the New York Jets in Week 7. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on him as a WR1 for that game.

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Mecole Hardman Oct 19 9:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman only received one target on Monday and recorded zero yards against the Buffalo Bills. Hardman is a weekly boom or bust candidate and he had some potential in Week 6 with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) sidelined, but it was Demarcus Robinson who took advantage on Monday. Due to inconsistent performances, Hardman is only WR4/WR5 with upside most weeks. Hardman will look to pick up some stats against the Denver Broncos in a Week 7 matchup.

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Devin Singletary Oct 19 9:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary was the lead back once again, but failed to do much damage on the ground. He rushed 10 times for 32 yards on the ground in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Singletary also hauled in one of two targets for 13 yards through the air. Rookie Zack Moss did return in this game, but Singletary still managed to get double digit carries. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on Singletary as a low-end RB2 against the New York Jets next week.

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Zack Moss Oct 19 9:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss (toe) was able to suit up for the Week 6 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. He missed each of the last three games due to a toe issue, but honestly he could've missed this one too and it wouldn't have changed anything. Moss finished with 10 yards on five carries in the loss to the Chiefs. Devin Singletary remained the lead back and that will probably be the case going forward. Moss should have increased value against the New York Jets next week. He could be worth a stash for that matchup.

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Josh Allen Oct 19 9:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen had arguably his worst game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He completed 14 of 27 passing attempts for 122 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the loss. He also added 42 yards on the ground with eight rushing attempts. Allen started off red-hot to begin the season, but hasn't looked the same over the last two weeks. He should be a top tier QB1 for the Week 7 matchup against the New York Jets.

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Darrel Williams Oct 19 9:00pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams rushed six times for 26 yards and a touchdown on Monday against the Buffalo Bills. Williams also snagged one reception for 15 yards. The Chiefs ran the ball 46 times and part of that could be because of the bad forecast throughout the game. Despite the nice night, Williams is likely to be demoted to the third running back on the roster with the recent addition of LeVeon Bell. Williams should be avoided in all formats and should only have value if Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Bell were to get hurt.

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Patrick Mahomes Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went 20-for-25 for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills. He also rushed eight times for 38 yards. It wasnt the most impressive game for the former MVP, but with rainy weather, the Chiefs elected to favor the run in this matchup versus the pass. The former MVP still put together a solid performance overall and will look to keep it going against an underrated Denver Broncos Defense in Week 7. Mahomes remains a QB1 every week.

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Clyde Edwards-Helaire Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire put together his most dominant performance of the season on Monday versus the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs fed their rookie all night long and CEH responded by rushing for 161 yards on 26 carries. The rookie had his longest run of the season for 31 yards and also chipped in with four catches for eight yards. The rookie has looked strong all season and has become a big threat in the Chiefs powerful offense, but the Chiefs recent signing of LeVeon Bell is expected to put a dent in his workload. Even with Bell in the picture, Edwards-Helaire should be considered a high-end RB2 the rest of the year. The rookie will look to keep the momentum going against the Denver Broncos in Week 7.

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Travis Kelce Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce made fantasy managers proud on Monday by scoring touchdowns on five receptions for 65 yards. Kelce did have a fumble, but that was his only error for the night. Kelce continues to operate as a top option for quarterback Patrick Mahomes as part of a 1a/1b option alongside wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The tight end is the best at his position and managers have to be happy with their early investment in him. Kelce should be started every week and will be a TE1 versus the Denver Broncos heading into Week 7.

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Demarcus Robinson Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson put together his best performance of the season on Monday against the Buffalo Bills. Robinson has fallen victim to being on a Chiefs offense with plenty of options, but with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) out, Robinson took advantage by hauling in five catches for 69 yards. Robinson is the model for a boom or bust player and shouldnt be considered more than a WR4/WR5 with upside as long as Watkins is sidelined. Robinson will face the Broncos in Week 7.

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KJ Hamler Oct 19 8:20pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and wide receiver K.J. Hamler (hamstring) could both potentially return to play in Sundays contest versus Kansas City after missing last Sundays outing due to respective injuries, per head coach Vic Fangio. Fant is the more fantasy relevant of the two, having established a considerable rapport with Drew Lock last season. Fant has hauled in five receptions in three of his four appearances this year, combining for 219 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Hamlers first two contests saw him receive 12 targets, which bodes well for his fantasy upside should he ultimately suit up. Check back throughout the week for updates on both players, whose return would knock Jerry Jeudys appeal down a notch.

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David Njoku Oct 19 8:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku is hoping to have a new home prior to the NFL Trade Deadline on Nov. 3 after once again reportedly asking to be traded. Njoku has been lightly used in the passing game this season by the Browns, hauling in five receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown. Back in 2018, Njoku was a staple of the passing game, amassing 639 receiving yards while starting 14 contests; this season, the presence of Austin Hooper has knocked Njokus fantasy outlook out of consideration. What could spark that intrigue again would be a new situation, with teams such as the Eagles and Patriots presumably having openings heading into the second half of the season.

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Tyreek Hill Oct 19 8:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hills five game touchdown streak ended on Monday against the Buffalo Bills. Hill had a rough night overall and was pretty much non-existent in Week 6. The star receiver rushed one time for five yards and caught all three of targets for a season low 20 yards. Hill was outshined by tight end Travis Kelce and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in this matchup, but managers should just chalk this matchup up as a bad game. Hill remains a WR1 and should be treated that way going into a Week 7 matchup versus the Broncos.

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Sam Darnold Oct 19 8:00pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) is trending toward a third consecutive absence Sunday when his team takes on the Bills, as head coach Adam Gase was not optimistic Monday that his signal caller would clear the necessary stages to get him back on the field. It seems likely that New York will stick with veteran Joe Flacco for the game in the event that Darnold is unavailable, even as the Jets were shut out Sunday by Miami. So long as Flacco is under center, New Yorks offense can be targeted by fantasy managers attempting to nab opposing defenses. Even upon his activation, Darnold will be in a rough spot from a fantasy perspective due to the Jets offensive line woes and general downturn in production from skill position players.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Oct 19 7:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (foot) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) were both listed as limited practice participants Monday ahead of Thursdays contest versus the Giants. Both receivers were out of the equation Sunday against Baltimore, with Jackson already expected to suit up come Thursday. As for Jeffery, he would be making his season debut after working his way back from a Lisfranc injury. Having either back in the mix would be a boon for Carson Wentz, who will be without Zach Ertz (ankle) for the foreseeable future. Travis Fulgham has become a breakout fantasy sensation over the past three weeks, and while his stock would take a dip with Jeffery or Jackson back, any of the three are season-long options against a shaky Giants secondary.

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Darius Slayton Oct 19 7:40pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (foot) was a limited participant in Mondays practice after having sustained a foot injury during Sundays contest versus Washington. Slayton hauled in his first touchdown since Week 1 in the game, but came down awkwardly on his foot after the grab. With little time to recover before Thursdays outing against the Eagles, the fact that he was able to practice in any capacity bodes well for his odds of suiting up. Fantasy managers interested in Slayton will want to keep an eye on Sterling Shepards (toe) status as well, as the latter returning to the mix would zap some of Slaytons intrigue, even if he were fully healthy.

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