Kickoff: Sunday, January 2, 2022
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Betting Odds: LAC -6, 45 Total on Vegas Insider
Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock (Sit, QB3)
Quietly, in the place of the injured Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock earned an 88.5 PFF grade, in addition to an 8.3% big-time throw rate. However, it’s likely the team reverts back to Bridgewater, based on head coach Vic Fangio’s previous assessment of the quarterback position. Either way, in a run-heavy, struggling offense, neither quarterback offers much value, even in SuperFlex leagues.
Javonte Williams (Start, RB2), Melvin Gordon (Start, RB2)
As per usual, Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon were used in a 50/50 split, though the duo combined for just eight rushing yards on Sunday against a poor Raiders run defense. Luckily, they’re in a massive bounce-back spot against the run-funnel Chargers defense that is allowing the fifth-most rush attempts this year. This duo has served as both low-end RB2s this season, and that will continue to be the case this season.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Jerry Jeudy (Sit, Low-End WR4), Courtland Sutton (Sit, WR5), Tim Patrick (Sit, WR5), Noah Fant (Sit, TE2), Albert Okwuegbunam (Sit, TE3)
Coming into the season, the major question was: which Broncos receiver to target, Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton. In reality, the answer was neither. No player in this passing game has had any sort of high-ceiling performance game since Jeudy returned from injury, and the involvement of the tight ends also makes the situation tougher. In other words, too many mouths to feed without enough volume or efficiency.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert (Start, QB1)
Justin Herbert was ranked as the QB1 by many analysts ahead of an intriguing matchup to the Texans, but, instead, he scored 16.9 fantasy points in a very surprising loss as 13-point favorites. I don’t expect that to happen again. In the five weeks previously, Herbert had finished as a top-six quarterback in each of them. That’s the beauty of being one of the league’s best quarterbacks in the offense attempting the fifth-most pass attempts per game. I know things didn’t go as planned the first time these two teams faced, but here’s to better fortunes this time around.
Austin Ekeler (Start, RB1), Justin Jackson (Sit, RB4)
Assuming he comes off the COVID-19 list, Austin Ekeler should back to being the bell-cow running back for the Chargers. With 17.5 PFF expected fantasy points per game over his past eight outings, Ekeler has been the definition of a stable RB1. That’s what you expect when you’re receiving around six targets a game during that stretch and receiving all the goal-line work for one of the best offenses in the NFL. Here’s to him being a consensus top-five pick in 2022 drafts.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Keenan Allen (Start, WR1), Josh Palmer (Start if You Must, Low-End WR3), Jalen Guyton (Sit, Low-End WR5/High-End WR6), Jared Cook (Sit, TE2)
Mike Williams tested positive for COVID-19 and is not vaccinated, so he is out for this game. That opens up the opportunity for Josh Palmer, who has received 13 targets in the two games where he has been a starting receiver. I’d feel comfortable starting him (WR15 and WR21 in those two games) if I needed to, while Keenan Allen remains locked in as a WR1 despite a disappointing outing this past week. With every week Palmer shines, it becomes more likely he replaces Williams, who is a pending free agent, next year. If you’re in a dynasty league, you better hope that you a) already had him on your team or b) acquired him; the time to get him while his value was low is over.
All Stats via Pro Football Focus
Curious if you take weather into account (GB vs. Minnesota)?