September 10, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy vs. Reality Chargers/Browns

Coming into week 8 against the Browns, the Chargers have 2 fantasy players of note that are ranked in top 5 in weekly fantasy rankings. The rankings can be found here.

Those 2 players are Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates.

So which is right, the Fantasy or the Reality? Let’s find out!

Ryan Mathews – Ranked overall as the 5th best fantasy RB this week.

Fantasy

  • Browns rushing defense is awful. Ranking 24th in NFL allowing 133.7ypg
  • Mathews coming off season high 26 touches 2 weeks ago and seems to have regained most of the trust from the coaches back
  • Chargers have said over the bye week they will look to balance offense more which means more consistent work for 24.

Reality

  • Since the “benching” he took in KC game he ass 34att/154yds/4.53avg
  • Browns allowed 148 rushing yards to Colts last week, who started a rookie 2nd string RB!
  • Mathews in his career has a gaudy 4.93ypc on the road
  • If game is blowout, Bolts may sit Mathews to rest him late in game.

Winner – Both.  A more balanced offense means Mathews should get somewhere between 20-25 touches.  This is a good opportunity to have his first 100 yard game this year and for fantasy owners should produce ~15 points. Solid RB2 play.

Antonio Gates – Ranked overall tied as 4th best TE this week.

Fantasy

  • Look healthy and coming off of 6 catch 2 TD game last MNF.
  • Last visit to Cleveland he caught 8 passes for 167 yards.
  • Cleveland has 26th ranked pass defense in NFL giving up 276.9ypg

Reality

  • Gates in his 3 career games against Cleveland has 11rec for 261 yards 23.73avg!
  • Has at least 7 targets a game in 4 of 5 games this season
  • Cleveland tough on opposing TE’s this season giving up only 1 touchdown

Winner – Reality. Fantasy experts are little high on Gates given how tough Cleveland defense has been on opposing tight ends this season (allowing 2.83rec to TE per game). Rivers may look his way more often seeing as how Chargers want to limit risk is passing offense. Could see 10+ targets this game, but may have trouble finding end zone. Low-end TE option, solid Flex play.

Predictions

Mathews – 21att, 103 yards, 1 TD, 4rec, 24 yards. 18 points in standard scoring league

Gates – 5rec, 62 yards, 1 TD. 12 points in standard scoring league

 

Also, if you hven’t heard, myself and BoogaP meeting up in Cleveland for this game. I’m sure we will both be having some good articles that will come from this experience. Make sure you follow both of us on Twitter for photos and the such. @BoogaP and @DLocke619

Free24 and BoltUp!

Dan Locke

Will Ryan Mathews rush over 100 yards against Browns?

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