One of the oldest rivalries in NFL history, this Sunday’s matchup will mark the 118th matchup between the two organizations. And with both teams in need of a win, this will likely be another classic between two teams looking to bounce back from lackluster seasons. But instead of focusing on the actual game (for now), let’s take a look at which Fantasy stars will either excel or struggle in the AFC West showdown.
Philip Rivers – Playing some of the best football of his career, Philip Rivers has been on a fantasy tear to start the season. Averaging over 22 points per game, including a 29 point performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, Rivers has been even more consistent than years past. And now playing against a Raiders team that sports one of the leagues worst secondaries, fantasy owners can expect Rivers to feast using the numerous talents the Chargers offense features.
Melvin Gordon – Also having the best fantasy season of his career, Melvin Gordon ranks fourth among all running backs in fantasy points, doing most of his damage out of the backfield. And now facing a Raiders defense that has struggled mightily while trying to contain running backs, Oakland has given up at least 100 rushing yards per game, even giving up 200 yards against the Browns. Barring any sort of injury, if Gordon can stay active and involved in the Chargers offense, there is no reason he won’t end with 20+ points.
Keenan Allen- One of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Keenan Allen has been off to a very slow start this season. However, obviously attracting a lot more attention than an average wide receiver, I think Allen is due for a big day against a weak Raiders secondary.
Jared Cook – Obviously tight ends aren’t the most productive fantasy players, however, Jared Cook currently ranks first among fantasy tight ends including a 23 point performance against the Browns last week. One of the main targets within the Raiders offense, Cook is likely the most reliable option you’re going to find at the tight end position and could have a big day against a Chargers secondary that has struggled to contain opposing receivers.
Both Defenses – An inner-division rivalry featuring two high-powered offenses, this game has a very good possibility of turning into an old-fashioned shootout. I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams reached 30+ points. However, if you are thinking about starting one of these defenses, a shootout usually features numerous turnovers.
Amari Cooper – I understand Amari Cooper is coming off a great fantasy week, but at this point in his career, it seems irresponsible to put week-to-week confidence in Cooper to produce more than three points. However, if you’ve already made the mistake of drafting Cooper, you’re basically forced to ride with him throughout the entire season, and eventually, develop a deep hatred for Cooper buried somewhere in your heart.
Mike Williams – Currently the Amari Cooper of the Chargers, it is impossible to tell when Mike Williams is going to have a big game. Probably the Chargers second best receiver, Williams points fully depend on the number of targets and snaps he receives. He’s definitely a boom or bust player for any league.
Austin Ekeler – Very much similar to Mike Williams situation, Ekelers fantasy production solely relies on the number of touches he receives. Because when given the ball, Ekeler is as productive as any other running back. And currently producing the 14th most fantasy points out of all running backs, Ekeler would produce top-tier stats if given more touches.
Derek Carr – Although Carr struggled to start the season, he is coming off a 31 point performance versus the Browns and is still a former MVP candidate. However, lacking the weapons of many other quarterbacks, he is at a visible disadvantage. to put it simply, if Carr had a great wide receiver, he would be a fantasy monster. But at this point, he is a wildcard player who could either win your team the game or put up six points, costing you a playoff spot.
– Travis Baker is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @SportsFollower0