Kickoff: Sunday, October 23rd, 4:25 PM ET
Location: SoFI Stadium, Inglewood
Betting Odds: LAC -6.0, 51.0 total via PFF.com
Writer: Estevão Maximo (@estevao_maximo on Twitter)
Geno Smith (Start, QB2)
There are four quarterbacks in all of football with a rating above 100 through six weeks in the NFL season. They are Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Allen, Geno Smith, and Patrick Mahomes.
If anyone showed you the numbers of the Broncos and Seahawks’ offense in 2022, no one would believe that Russell Wilson was actually traded to Denver and that Geno Smith is carrying a top-ten offense in Seattle.
Although the Seahawks put up their lowest passing yards mark against Arizona this past week with 160 through the air and won the game mostly because of its defense and special teams, Geno remains an interesting QB2 play, especially against a Chargers defense that should have its hands full trying to stop the Seahawks rushing attack, currently averaging over 5 yards per carry.
Kenneth Walker (Start, FLEX)
The Chargers’ defense is fourth in all of football in points allowed to opposing running backs, and despite all of its star names, it has failed to correct a problem that has plagued this franchise for a few years now.
Even with an active Rashaad Penny against the Saints in what turned out to be one of the most fun shootouts of the year, Kenneth Walker split carries with the veteran starter and broke off a 69-yard run for a score. Last week with no Penny, Walker got the bell-cow treatment with 21 carries, nearly 100 yards, and a score.
Don’t be fooled by a run defense that showed some improvement against a Broncos attack that no longer has Javonte Williams. Limiting Latavius Murray to 66 yards on 15 carries says more about the ineptitude of the Broncos’ attack than anything else.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DK Metcalf (Start, WR2), Tyler Lockett (Start WR3), Noah Fant(Sit), Will Dissly (Sit)
DK Metcalf certainly didn’t get off to the most promising starts, but he was also facing the Niners and Broncos’ defense in those first two weeks, two of the best in the sport. Since then, the former Ole Miss wideout has averaged nine targets per game, and outside of catching two of seven targets in a low-scoring divisional battle against the Cards last week, has been a pretty solid option.
Much like Metcalf, Tyler Lockett was flourishing up until last week, when the Seahawks run into trouble offensively. Lockett has caught 34 of 45 targets on the year, and will likely see better volume this week against a Chargers’ defense that’s middle of the pack in points allowed to opposing wide receivers.
Noah Fant and Will Dissly have split work pretty evenly, making it hard to rely on one as a streaming option. While the former Bronco has more targets with 23, Dissly has three touchdown catches to Fant’s one.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert (Start QB1)
Justin Hebert notoriously went without a passing TD in the last Monday Night Football, but the Denver Broncos have had such a stout defense, and such an inept offense, that it has made them an unstoppable force in ugly-ing up every single game they play, regardless of the quality of competition. So you shouldn’t read too much into that performance.
Herbert is currently fourth in passing yards with 1716, and sixth in passing touchdowns with ten, and although Ekeler is a very good running back, the Chargers’ rushing attack is 26th in yards per carry. The offense has basically gone as Justin Herbert has gone. The former Oregon QB is poised to light up a Seahawks’ D that has allowed 6.2 yards per play
Austin Ekeler (Start, RB1)
Austin Ekeler hasn’t cracked 40 rushing yards in two-thirds of his games, and nearly half of his total on the ground came in that matchup against the Browns, where neither defense could stop the run. Ekeler rushed for 173 yards, a career-high.
However, the Chargers’ back remains a solid RB1 because of his receiving work. Ekeler is one target shy of team leader Mike Williams, having caught 41 out of 49 out of the backfield, and adding a couple of scores to his four rushing ones.
The Seahawks’ defense is seventh in points allowed to opposing running backs. Ekeler should have a big game on Sunday.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Mike Williams(Start WR3), Joshua Palmer (ruled out), DeAndre Carter (Sit), Gerald Everett (Start, TE2)
update: Joshua Palmer was ruled out with a concussion
Mike Williams is probably the biggest boom-or-bust wide receiver in the sport, and you knew what you were signing up for when you drafted him. And that’s regardless of Keenan Allen’s status. This is simply the type of player that Williams is, and you’re best served riding it out through the whole year.
Pat Surtain and the Broncos D did a great job of shutting him down for most of the game on Monday, but he still almost managed to pull off a miraculous catch late in the fourth quarter.
Through six weeks, in half of them, Williams has over 100 receiving yards, and in the other half, he hasn’t cracked 20. You play him, and just see if this is the week he breaks off a couple of long highlight-reel catches.
Joshua Palmer is seeing an increased role as the team’s second wide receiver and saw a season-high in targets with 12 last time out, but he is out with a concussion and the Chargers don’t really have a reliable option to step in as a possible streamer with two of the team’s top three wide receivers out in Allen and Palmer. However, it makes the streaming play of tight end Gerald Everett all the more exciting, as Pete Carroll’s D has struggled to defend the position.
The Seahawks’ D is the worst in the league allowing fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and it’s not particularly close. They are on a tier of their own.