Kickoff: Sunday, September 19th at 4:25 PM ET
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Betting Odds: LAC-3 , 55 Total on Vegas Insider
Dak Prescott (Start, QB1)
Please tell me you didn’t sit Dak Prescott last week? Despite facing the vaunted Bucs defense, he finished as the “QB6” last week, and led the league with 34.8 expected fantasy points. That’s what 58 pass attempts will do for you, and the high game total means that we’ll likely see him having to drop back a lot again. Think about how tremendous of a year he could be in store for as his shoulder (and ankle) each continue to get healthier.
Ezekiel Elliot (Start, RB1), Tony Pollard (Sit)
Twitter had a good laugh with Ezekiel Elliot finishing with 4.9 fantasy points, but let’s take a step back for a second. He played in 83.33% of the team’s snaps, was in pass protection less than previous years, and ran a route on more of the team’s passing plays than in years past. You drafted him to be a true three-down back in an elite offense, and that’s what you’ll get this week. Whereas the Bucs see the fewest rush attempts against them thanks to their potent rush defense, the Chargers, led by head coach Brandon Staley runs a defensive scheme that incentivizes teams to run the ball. The Cowboys may be better simply airing it out, but for this week, look for them to “FEED ZEKE”. I can sense those with Elliot on their teams already excited! As for Tony Pollard, he can co-exist with Elliot, yet still remained the clear second running back based on his usage. He remains an intriguing handcuff worth keeping on your bench, though.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Amari Cooper (Start, WR1), CeeDee Lamb (Start, WR1), Cedrick Wilson (Sit), Dalton Schultz (Sit), Blake Jarwin (Sit)
Michael Gallup will be sidelined for the next 3 to 5 weeks with a calf injury, which means one thing: even more targets for Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Both flourished last week with over 100 receiving yards and at least a touchdown, in addition to each totaling 25.9 expected fantasy points. In a high-scoring affair, they’re top-ten receivers this week, and there isn’t any other way about it. I wouldn’t be rushing to waiver wire to expect Cedrick Wilson to take over Gallup’s role, while Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin continue to split time at tight end. This offense appears to be completely concentrated passing-wise to Cooper and Lamb, and when that’s the case, we all win!
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert (Start, QB1)
Here’s a weird stat for you: Justin Herbert did not attempt a single scramble in last week’s win against Washington. I wouldn’t anticipate that continuing and am very intrigued by this Chargers offense. With a new coaching staff in place, they appear to be adopting a pass-heavy mindset, which means more offensive effectiveness, and more fantasy value for all members of this passing game. The volume will be there based on the play-calling and the shootout they’ll be in with Dallas, who don’t exactly have a well-regarded pass defense. Yes, please.
Austin Ekeler (Start, RB1), Larry Rountree III (Sit)
Do not focus on Austin Ekeler’s 11.7 fantasy points last week and zero targets. Rather, remember that he was limited in Washington due to an injury, and, most importantly, saw two carries inside the five-yard line. If he’s receiving the goal-line work, his upside is through the roof, and he isn’t overly impacted by being in a pass-heavy offense; he’s one of the league’s premier receiving backs for a reason. Remember, you get a full point per reception, regardless of its overall difficulty, and there should plenty of those for Ekeler moving forward, especially this week. I’d expect the gap between him and Larry Rountree III to widen with improved health, even if it’s nice to know that Rountree III is the clear top option should Ekeler miss any time due to an injury.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Keenan Allen (Start, WR1), Mike Williams (Start, Flex), Jalen Guyton (Sit), Jared Cook (Sit, TE2)
Another year, another 12 targets for Keenan Allen. He is averaging 11.58 targets in full games played with Herbert and has one of the highest fantasy floors of any receiver out there. The game script, the connection between him and Herbert, and the offense all point to him thriving against a subpar Cowboys pass defense. Why can’t the same be true for Mike Williams? The 26-year-old has been a productive player when healthy and commanded 12 targets in Week 1. As the team’s main option in the red zone, I could easily see him finishing as a top-24 receiver this week, and it looks like, based on the offense, his fantasy value will be even higher than first anticipated. Take note now. Also take note of Jared Cook, who is in a favorable role as the team’s clear top tight end and with eight targets in Week 1. You probably have a better option to start, yet I’d be fine considering him a top-15 player for this week.