Sun Aug 18 1:36am ET
By KALANI TAKASE
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver JoJo Natson (19) is congratulated by center Aaron Neary (72), offensive guard Jamil Demby (64), and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver JoJo Natson kneels after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Blake Bortles throws a pass during the first quarter of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, center, celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
HONOLULU (AP) Dak Prescott appears ready for the regular season, with or without Ezekiel Elliott.
The Dallas quarterback completed all five of his pass attempts in his only series of work as the Cowboys came away with a 14-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night.
Prescott dropped back to pass seven times, completed passes to five different receivers, had one short completion negated by an ineligible lineman downfield penalty and was sacked once.
Prescott's only drive covered 97 yards in 12 plays, took more than six minutes and culminated with Tony Pollard's 14-yard touchdown run.
It marked the first Dallas touchdown in a preseason game since Aug. 18, 2018. Dallas was held to three field goals in last week's 17-9 loss at San Francisco to open the preseason.
With starting quarterback Jared Goff among the large number of Rams' starters that did not make the trip to Hawaii, Blake Bortles got the start and finished 7 of 11 for 62 yards. His 7-yard scoring pass to JoJo Natson capped Los Angeles' second drive - which was extended by a fumbled punt return by Dallas return man Reggie Davis and recovered by rookie Jake Gervase.
Los Angeles (0-2) took its only lead on Greg Zuerlein's 29-yard field goal in the second quarter. Zuerlein attempted a 56-yard field goal just before halftime, but missed wide left.
Dallas (1-1) pulled back ahead late in the third quarter, when third-string quarterback Cooper Rush found Devin Smith for an 8-yard touchdown.
Pollard, who started in place of Elliott, finished with five rushes for 42 yards. Elliott, a two-time league rushing champion, missed his second preseason game while he continues his holdout. Alfred Morris, who signed with the team during training camp, saw his first action of the preseason and carried three times for 6 yards, all before halftime.
The teams met in the NFC Divisional round of last year's playoffs. The Rams won 30-22 en route to an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Veteran tight end Jason Witten made his preseason debut Saturday after coming out of retirement - and the broadcast booth - last year. Witten was targeted just once - on a third-down pass from Prescott - on the penultimate play of the first Dallas possession. Witten's 10-yard reception moved the chains and set up Pollard's 14-yard TD run for the game's first points.
''It felt really good. I was very anxious to get out there and play,'' said Witten, a 16-year veteran and 11-time Pro Bowler. ''It is just the next step in the comeback. I worked really hard to get back in shape.
''I hold myself to a high standard, so I can say it was not perfect. I got a little antsy early but had a big third-down conversion on an option route.''
Witten retired following the 2017-18 season and served as color commentator on ''Monday Night Football'' last year.
Cowboys second-year linebacker Chris Covington went down with an undisclosed injury while covering the opening kickoff. He was attended to by Dallas' training staff for a few minutes, but was able to walk off on his own.
Cowboys: Return home to face the Houston Texans on Saturday on Aug. 24.
Rams: Host Denver in their next-to-last preseason game on Aug. 24.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had eight receptions (nine targets) for 128 yards and a touchdown against the Colts in Week 3. After catching 11 passes and racking up three trips to the end zone coming into this one, Jones caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Matt Ryan late in the game for his fourth score of the year. He will look to keep it going against the Titans in Week 4. Obviously, keep him starting in all fantasy formats.
New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios made two catches for 29 yards in a loss to the Patriots Sunday. Berrios led the Jets with six targets but couldn't get much done against a stout Patriots Defense. Berrios served as the team's third wide receiver today, but would see his role decrease if Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) gets healthy and joins the active roster after a bye in Week 4. Despite leading the team in targets, Berrios doesn't need to be owned in fantasy.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper had six receptions for 66 yards and two scores during the loss to the Colts on Sunday. After failing to score a touchdown through the first two weeks of the year, Hooper finally came to life against Indianapolis. His absence in the end zone up to this point has been somewhat troubling, but his ability to haul in passes gives him some PPR appeal moving ahead.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson made three catches for 11 yards in a loss to the Patriots Sunday. Anderson was targeted five times but could get nothing done as the Jets had just 105 yards of total offense with third-string QB Luke Falk making his first career start. Of all the Jets offensive weapons, Anderson has suffered the most with starting QB Sam Darnold (mono) out of action as Anderson has always been a receiver reliant on big plays and the Jets simply can't throw the ball downfield given their current QB situation. The Jets have a bye in Week 4 but will face another tough matchup in Week 5 at Philadelphia. If Darnold plays, Anderson is a boom-or-bust WR3 but he should be avoided as long as Darnold is out.
Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard was on the field for a season-high 29 snaps in the team's Week 3 loss to the Vikings. It helped that Josh Jacobs was dealing with an illness and a hip injury earlier this week, not to mention the team trailed by three scores for most of the game. Richard didn't do much with his playing time, however, picking up 29 scrimmage yards on two rushes and three catches as his involvement in the passing game has faded this year. Owners of Jacobs shouldn't worry about the rookie losing his bell-cow status, as Richard is no threat to his workload. The 25-year-old doesn't carry any standalone value and will be off the fantasy radar as long as Jacobs is active.
New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk was dreadful Sunday in New England completing 12 of 22 passes for 98 yards. Falk didn't lead a touchdown drive and threw an interception in the ugly loss. Falk was serviceable in Week 2 when he was forced into action, but the Patriots Defense completely dominated today sacking Falk five times and giving up only 105 total yards. The Jets have a much-needed bye next week before another tough matchup at Philadelphia in Week 5. The team hopes starting QB Sam Darnold (mono) will be healthy enough to play, but if not all the Jets fantasy options need to be downgraded with Falk under center.
The New England Patriots Defense stifled an opponent once again as the team cruised to a 30-14 win over the Jets. The Jets were never in this game as the Patriots pass rush racked up five sacks while allowing only 35 rushing yards. The defense, technically, still has not allowed a touchdown all season as the Jets scored on a special teams fumble and a pick-six from backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham. The Patriots defense has risen quickly to become an elite unit in fantasy moving forward.
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman ran for a season-high 88 yards on 16 carries in addition to three receptions for seven yards against Indianapolis on Sunday. Freeman was productive despite failing to find the end zone against the Colts, but it was a step in the right direction after amassing just 41 yards on the ground through the first two weeks of the year. He remains a must-start in most fantasy leagues, however, but he will have to do more to keep that tag moving forward, including scoring a touchdown.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 18 times for 35 yards and hauled in all four of his targets for 28 yards against the Patriots on Sunday. A 63-yard day is disappointing for fantasy owners, but considering the Jets only gained 105 yards of offense total things could have been worse for Bell. The Jets offense could get nothing going with third-string quarterback Luke Falk making his first career start on the road against a defense that is yet to allow a touchdown this season. If nothing else, fantasy owners can be satisfied Bell out-touched Ty Montgomery 22-2 and he is still the centerpiece of New York's offense. The Jets will be on bye in Week 4, but Bell will continue to be a must-start running back in fantasy moving forward.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns on 29-for-34 passing in the narrow loss to the Colts in Week 3. After throwing five picks during the first two games of the year, his lone interception in this one was a step in the right direction. Despite Ryan's inaccuracies in the passing game, he remains one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks in 2019, however, and should continue to have a place in starting lineups in a majority of formats. He will look to keep it going in Week 4 against the Titans.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers caught two passes for 38 yards in the team's 30-14 win over the Jets. Meyers was the star of the Patriots training camp but took a backseat after Antonio Brown signed with the team. Now with Brown out of the fold, Meyers is looking at an expanded opportunity moving forward. This performance was a small step in the right direction and his snaps should be on the rise in the coming weeks.
New England Patriots wide receiver caught six passes for a team-high 83 receiving yards in the Patriots 30-14 win over the Jets. Gordon got off to a slow start but finished the game with 11 targets and some big-time catches. The talented receiver appeared to injure his hand in the second half but came back and immediately made some plays. Gordon's ability to win one-on-one matchups with his size makes him a force outside the numbers. A huge fantasy performance is on the horizon for Gordon moving forward.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw for 242 yards and a touchdown in the team's 34-14 loss to the Vikings Sunday. He also threw one ugly interception, but he managed to save face with a 75-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes of garbage time. Carr's 27-for-34 completion rate (79.4%) was decent, but his early-season mediocre results aren't moving the needle much for his fantasy appeal. He'll get an easier matchup in Week 4 at Indianapolis versus a banged-up Colts secondary, but managers should look elsewhere for a potential streamer.
New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett caught six passes for 53 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown catch in the team's 30-14 win over the Jets in Week 3. With Antonio Brown out of the fold, Dorsett's snaps were on the rise and he delivered. Dorsett ran crisp routes as quarterback Tom Brady targeted him seven times. Moving forward, fantasy owners can expect Dorsett to play a bigger role in the offense but will have to fight for targets with teammates Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 28-of-42 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots convincing 30-14 win over the Jets. Brady now has multiple touchdown passes in each of his first three games this season after another sharp performance. The Patriots built an early lead but that did not prevent their offense from throwing the football and posted only 68 rushing yards the entire game. Brady now has seven touchdown passes this season with zero interceptions as the Patriots offense currently is a force to be reckoned with.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel carried the ball nine times for only 11 yards with one touchdown in the team's 30-14 win over the Jets in Week 3. Fantasy owners certainly became excited when Michel scored on the Patriots first possession but mostly disappeared from the game plan after that. Michel remains the starter and more talented back but slowly is losing snaps to Rex Burkhead. Michel's limited ability in the passing game is costing him opportunities at this point. The second-year back will try and bounce back next week.
New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead led the team with 11 carries for 47 yards and one touchdown in the team's 30-14 victory over the Jets. Burkhead also added six catches for 22 yards and is earning more snaps by the week. The Patriots offense has leaned heavily on the arm of Tom Brady to begin the season and Burkhead has value in the backfield as well as the passing game. Running back Sony Michel is a more talented player but Burkhead is earning plenty of touches in the backfield. Burkhead will be a streamer to watch heading into Week 4.
Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller dominated targets once again in the team's Week 3 loss to the Vikings. He caught a team-high 13-of-14 targets for 134 scoreless yards, proving to have one of the safest floors among tight ends so far this season. Waller's role has grown every week since a six catch 63-yard performance in Week 1, and his early-season success is only looking like the tip of the iceberg. With the offense likely playing from behind in the majority of games this season, Waller is shaping up to be an every-week starter in all fantasy formats. He'll look to get his first TD of the season in another plus matchup in Week 4 at Indianapolis, who most recently gave up two scores to Falcons tight end Austin Hooper.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams failed to make an impact against a tough Vikings Defense for the majority of the team's Week 3 contest, but his late-game TD saved his fantasy day. He picked up three catches for an unimpressive 29 yards as he hauled in an 11-yard TD on a slant in garbage time. There will undoubtedly be better days for the 28-year-old who came into this game leading the team with 151 receiving yards and two scores. Williams will re-enter WR3 status in Week 4 when the team travels to Indianapolis to take on a banged-up Colts Defense.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver J.J. Nelson had a nice welcome back game after dealing with an ankle injury throughout the first few weeks of the season. He hauled in a 29-yard touchdown in the second quarter on a flea-flicker from quarterback Derek Carr, finishing the day with four catches for 36 yards. Nelson is a boom or bust option in fantasy and is better off left alone on waiver wires. His big-play ability is admirable, but he's never shown much consistency over his career and won't develop into a primary target in this offense.