The Los Angeles Chargers are looking to bounce back from a Week 5 loss to the Denver Broncos while fantasy players are looking for more from Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen.
Since the Chargers couldn’t find the pay dirt on offense in Week 5 vs. Denver, fantasy options on the team struggled. Austin Ekeler in PPR leagues was probably the best performer on the team. This week, the Chargers should get into the end zone more often vs. the Steelers. With Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon looking to rebound, as well as quarterback Philip Rivers, who should team owners go with this week? Let’s get into this Week 6 fantasy preview.
The running game
Last week, the dynamic in the rushing attack started to change vs. Denver. Gordon got more carries in his first game back with 12 carries and four receptions. Ekeler on the other hand only had three carries but finished with 15 receptions for a fairly good day. Ultimately, the problem in the game vs. Denver was that the Chargers went down 17-0 fairly quickly, making it harder to run the ball at a certain point. Considering the opponent in the Devlin Hodges-led Steelers, there should be more time of possession for the offense and as a consequence, more carries for the running backs.
Until Gordon returns to form and starts ripping off touchdowns or big chunk plays with more touches, both Ekeler and Gordon should be starting running backs in your league. When Gordon asserts himself as the No. 1 running back, it may be time to consider Ekeler a very high flex option as opposed to a starter. Continue to roll with both as starters in your leagues for the moment.
Hodges seems to be the wild card in this situation. The Pittsburgh offense will go as far as he takes them in this game. It’s worth pointing out that he actually played pretty well last week in limited time vs. Baltimore, almost rallying the team to a win. However, the first start for a quarterback is a completely different environment, especially for one that was a third-stringer coming into the year.
Will Hodges’ start result in the fantasy payoff that the infamous Nathan Peterman game provided for the defense? Probably not quite that level. It may not matter though considering that the Steelers are ranked 29th in total offense before Hodges even starts. The Chargers will limit the Steelers’ offense and control the clock. Start them if they’re on your team already or available.