Following a dismal effort vs. the Minnesota Vikings, the Los Angeles Chargers look to try to rebound vs. the Oakland Raiders. Are there any Chargers you can trust in championship week for most fantasy leagues?
While the Chargers had at least been competitive all year in terms of staying in games, the wheels completely fell off against Minnesota. Philip Rivers had three interceptions and a fumble, Melvin Gordon had two fumbles, and even Hunter Henry got in on the turnover party. The offense all-around had a terrible day, and the defense couldn’t keep up with the constant turnovers in a 29-point blowout.
The lone fantasy positives were Keenan Allen going for nine catches and nearly 100 yards, as well as Mike Williams getting 70 yards and finding the end zone for a second straight week. Those may be important to consider going into championship week for most fantasy leagues.
With the Chargers trying to finish the season strong vs. the Raiders, are there fantasy options for your potential championship team? Let’s get into the Week 16 fantasy preview.
The running game
It’s hard to even tell what to expect from the running game anymore. Gordon has been relegated to a touchdown-dependent option in 2019. Austin Ekeler has been a safer option most of this season, mostly because of his amazing season in catching passes.
Ekeler is just 157 receiving yards away from breaking the receiving yards record by a running back over a season, currently held by Marshall Faulk.
The Raiders’ run defense hasn’t been nearly as bad as it was last year. This year they are giving up 105 yards per game on the ground, compared to the 140 per game they were giving up last year.
Ultimately, this feels like a bounce-back game for the rushing attack though, especially considering that both Ekeler and Gordon might be playing for contracts. Both have decent odds at finding the end zone this week in what could be a shootout with the Raiders. Ekeler seems like a slightly better start, but neither is a really bad option.
The offense really put the defense in poor positions last week. Anytime an offense turns it over seven times and allows a defensive touchdown, it’s not going to end up to well for the fantasy D/ST unit.
Cautiously, there are reasons to be optimistic with the defense from a matchup standpoint though. It’s unlikely (sadly, not impossible) the Chargers are turning it over seven times with a fumble returned to the end zone.
In addition to the Chargers not likely having as bad a week as they did in Week 15, the Raiders offense has really struggled the last four weeks. They average 12.25 points per game over the last four games, going against the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.
While there are some decent teams in there, it’s not a murderers row defensively. The Raiders offense has really tanked in the back half of the season, and unless the Chargers turn it over a lot, the Los Angeles defense may be a decent start.