The Los Angeles Chargers finally got a win vs. the Bears, but need to extend the winning streak vs. the Green Bay Packers. Are there fantasy options capable of giving the Packers trouble?
Unless your team had the Chargers’ defense, it likely disappointed in Week 9 in terms of Chargers options. The team did get two touchdowns courtesy of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, but struggled to string offensive drives together in Chicago. The team managed 201 receiving yards in addition to 36 rushing yards.
Philip Rivers had a subpar football performance by his standard. The game was also Ken Whisenhunt’s last with team, following an offensively disastrous 2019 campaign up till this point. Will the promotion of Shane Steichen to offensive coordinator have a big fantasy impact vs. the Packers? Let’s get into the Week 9 Fantasy Preview.
The Running Game
The Chargers will have an easier time running the ball this week as opposed to when they faced the Bears, as the Packers rank 24th in run defense in the league. However, there are big questions surrounding Steichen post-Whisenhunt: What’s the split in carries between Gordon and Ekeler? Are there more designed screens? Any reverses or pitches? The play calling might revitalize the rushing attack for the Chargers, or it could be just as bad.
Gordon and Ekeler both keep finding the end zone and they’re going against a worse rush defense than the last few teams they played. It feels like fantasy teams still have to start both, despite the obvious shortcomings of the running game in the past month. There’s reason for cautious optimism with the Chargers finally changing up play calling duties, but fantasy players will have to see how it finally works in practice. For now, start Gordon and Ekeler this week.
The Chargers’ defensive stars have been amazing. Joey Bosa is having a defensive player of the year type of season, and Casey Hayward is playing well too. All of this being said, don’t start a defense against Aaron Rodgers. Just don’t. It was a nice fantasy week vs. Mitchell Trubisky last week. There’s just a few quarterbacks in the league like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, or Deshaun Watson that fantasy players shouldn’t start a defense against. MVP-form Rodgers is one of those as well. Avoid it at all costs.