LA Chargers News

Chargers Week 10 fantasy preview: Philip Rivers looks to air it out vs. Raiders

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers signals against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 11, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers signals against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 11, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs for a 66-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 11, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs for a 66-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 11, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

After two straight wins, the Los Angeles Chargers head into Oakland on a Thursday night for a crucial divisional showdown. Which fantasy options can do damage vs. the Raiders?

The Chargers’ offensive attack finally looked cohesive and potent against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Almost all offensive options looked better, including two touchdowns from Melvin Gordon and 111 yards for Mike Williams.

The offense cracked 442 yards and scored over 20 points for the first time since Week 1. The defense even showed up big time for fantasy players, only allowing 11 points and 184 yards to an explosive Packers offense.

Shane Steichen will look to carry his momentum into the Thursday night showdown with the Raiders. Philip Rivers will also look to let the ball fly against one of the league’s worst pass defenses. With the offense resurgent, let’s see if they can carry that into Oakland with a Week 10 fantasy preview.

The running game

Gordon finally got back to his 2018 form vs. the Packers, having better vision and direction while running and even making his force felt in the receiving game. His 80 rushing yards, 29 receiving yards, and two touchdowns felt like a routine performance last season. Is he back to being a top-tier fantasy option for good? Let’s wait a few weeks before that discussion. But Week 9 was certainly a good start.

The other crucial point– a good Gordon game didn’t come at the expense of Austin Ekeler. Ekeler still had 93 combined yards with four receptions.  Both running backs will be startable, and the Chargers will need both to beat the Raiders.

Gordon will get more carries than Ekeler, but it won’t be by much. And the effects of that will be mostly offset by the presence of Ekeler in the receiving game. With the new offense and the struggles of the Raiders’ defense, especially in the passing game, both are pretty good options for Week 10.

The defense

In last week’s preview, it felt like it was impossible to start the Chargers’ defense. Sure, they had been playing well, but it’s Aaron Rodgers. Well, Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and the whole unit had other plans. The Green Bay offense barely scored double digits and had less than 200 total yards for the first time this year.

However, even with that awesome performance against one of the best offenses in the league, it feels wrong to recommend the defense for fantasy players this week. Thursday Night Football is tough, particularly on road defenses. The defense may play well, but even if it does, Thursday night tends to be sloppier and leads to higher levels of offensive play than defensive. Avoid it.

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