Austin Ekeler and the running back plays
Justin Jackson is out for this game with a quad injury he suffered in Week 1 vs. the Bengals. Austin Ekeler’s starting role should stay about the same, but Joshua Kelley’s stock is most certainly on the rise with Jackson’s absence. He made quite the impression in his season debut with 12 carries, 60 yards, and one touchdown.
Ekeler mostly stayed on the ground last week with 19 rushes and 84 yards. Only having one reception was pretty unexpected. Anthony Lynn has stressed the importance of getting Ekeler more touches in the next few games. At the same time, he also mentioned that the Chargers aren’t making a distinction between rushing and passing touches for him, which might lessen value in PPR leagues.
Still, Ekeler is an RB1 and Kelley has to be considered a pretty solid RB2. The Chiefs were 26th in rush defense DVOA last season, so the Chargers will look to establish the ground game early.
Hunter Henry tight end plays
Taylor really liked going to Hunter Henry last week as he finished with five receptions for 73 yards. In general, Taylor loves throwing to his tight ends when he can. There will be a focus on getting Allen and Ekeler involved, but not at the expense of Henry.
Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson haven’t played well in the last few seasons. They certainly had poor outings in Week 1 vs. Houston. If they have to cover Henry for most of the game, the Chargers’ tight end could certainly rack up points. Willie Gay Jr. might play more snaps in this one, but there’s risk in playing a young rookie in coverage a lot.
Other than Henry, no other plays make sense here. Virgil Green is a blocking tight end for the most part. Stephen Anderson and Donald Parham simply aren’t going to get many snaps, if any at all.