Kickoff: Sunday, December 18th at 4:25 PM ET
Location: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA
Betting Odds: LAC -3, 47.5 Total on Oddsshark
Writer: Justin Herrera (@semtexmex93 on Twitter)
Ryan Tannehill (Sit)
Ryan Tannehill played well last week with 254 passing yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Tannehill only has five top-12 performances this year and has underperformed most of this season. This week the Titans are visiting the Chargers, who allow 16.6 fantasy points to quarterbacks on average in 2022. Tannehill has thrown for under 200 yards in five games this season and six games under 15 fantasy points. This is not the guy you want leading your team into the fantasy playoffs; sit him this week.
Derrick Henry (Start, RB1)
Derrick Henry had 121 rushing yards, 34 receiving yards, and a touchdown last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Henry looked strong in a bad showing for the Tennessee Titans, and this week he gets a shot against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers have allowed the fifth most fantasy points on average to the RB position with 21.9. The last two big performances against the Chargers were from James Conner and Josh Jacobs, who both ran the ball 25 times. There’s a good chance that Henry gets 25 or more carries this week, and it should be an easy start against a team that can’t stop the run game.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Treylon Burks (Start, High-End-FLex), Robert Woods (Sit), Chig Okonkwo (Start, TE1), Austin Hooper (Sit)
Chig Okonkwo had his best game last week, catching six passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Okonkwo was targeted twice in the red zone and had risen for the past two weeks. He might be the most athletic tight end they have and has averaged five targets a game for the last three weeks. Look for Chig to once again be an essential asset to the Titans’ offense; start him as a TE1 this week.
Austin Hooper is the other tight end on the Titans, but last week he was the team’s leading receiver with 68 yards. Sadly this was good enough for a TE11 finish in full PPR. Even with that said, Hooper wasn’t targeted once in the red zone, which indicates how they feel about Okonkwo. I’d sit Hooper this week with no byes.
Treylon Burks is still in concussion protocol as of Wednesday, and this week the Titans will be hoping they have him against the Chargers, who allow 21 fantasy points on average to wide receivers. Burks was on an upward trajectory with back-to-back top-24 performances in Weeks 11 and 12, only to get knocked out of Week 13 after making a great catch for a touchdown. I think Burks can be good enough for a high-end flex if he plays.
Don’t trust Robert Woods in the postseason. He’s only had three games with over ten fantasy points this year. It’s just not worth the hassle, don’t consider starting him.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert (Start, QB1)
Since Keenan Allen‘s return, Justin Herbert has been on a tear as of late, putting up four straight top-10 performances. During that span Herbert has thrown seven TDs and only one interception while passing for over 300 yards in two of those games. Herbert is number two in pass attempts (561), red zone attempts (87), and passing yards (3,706), while some have called this a down year for the stud QB. Others say he’s just starting in the latter half of the season. The Titans have allowed the second most fantasy points to the quarterback position (21.4). That sounds like an excellent matchup for an ascending QB in your fantasy lineup; the matchup makes him a top-5-esque play in Week 15.
Austin Ekeler (Start, RB1)
Austin Ekeler has been a key cog to this Chargers offense, catching eight passes on average throughout the past three weeks. Last week Ekeler put up 104 yards and a touchdown on 23 touches. This week he’ll have a tough matchup with the Titans, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points on average to running backs (13.4). They have been susceptible to receiving backs, allowing 534 receiving yards to RBs. So while Ekeler may find it harder to rush for 100 yards, he may still have an RB1 day with his combined yardage.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Keenan Allen (Start, WR1), Mike Williams (Start, WR2), Joshua Palmer (Sit), Gerald Everett (Start, TE1)
Keenan Allen has put together back-to-back WR1 performances, averaging 21 points in the past two weeks. Since coming back in Week 11, Allen has averaged 17.5 points. The Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this year, averaging 27.6 a game—lookout for Allen down the stretch as a league winner and an obvious start this week.
Mike Williams came back last week, catching all six of his targets for 116 yards and a touchdown. This was a big validation for the people who thought Williams couldn’t be viable with Allen in the rotation. Williams has had four top-10 performances this year and was clicking with Herbert last week. Look for him to be a strong start this week as a WR2.
Joshua Palmer took a backseat in the offense last week, playing 75% of the snaps last week and seeing his targets cut almost in half. I don’t expect Palmer’s target share to see an uptick unless there’s an injury to either Allen or Williams. Sit Palmer this week.
Gerald Everett is an interesting play this week. He had a top-12 performance against the Dolphins but only caught six passes for 28 yards. Everett got three chances last week in the red zone, and I can see Herbert giving him another chance this week against the Titans, who have allowed the fourth most points per game to tight ends (8.7). It’s the playoffs, and it’s okay to take a chance on a good matchup; start Everett.