Sit these players
Malcom Floyd: Floyd will be returning from a scary knee injury that has kept him out of most of the San Diego Chargers preseason games this year. Also, the Houston Texans' pass rush and safety help will make it very difficult for Floyd to get any balls thrown his way downfield.
Danny Woodhead: As much as I wanted to but Danny in the "start" part of this post, because the Texans have struggled in the past with pass-catching RBs, it's impossible to know how much rust he has after missing most of the preseason. We're always waiting to see exactly how big of a part he'll play in this offense.
Ryan Mathews: Sorry, I'm excited for Ryan to potentially breakout this season too, but this offensive line still needs to gel and they'll be going up against one of the best run-stopping defensive lines in the entire league. Mathews is a big risk this week.
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Start these players
Antonio Gates: Facing the Texans' ferocious pass rush means that Philip Rivers will be looking for lots of short-passes, and he'll need to throw before his receivers are open. Who runs short routes and is trusted by the San Diego QB? Antonio Gates. He'll get work against Houston.
Defense: I wouldn't normally recommend starting the Chargers defense against the Texans offense, but it doesn't look like Arian Foster is going to play in this game. That could be just the thing that makes Houston one-dimensional and helps the Chargers to keep the score low.
Philip Rivers: Mike McCoy knows a thing or two about perception. He proved that in his first press conference as Head Coach in San Diego. He knows that the Chargers are playing their first game of the regular season on national television, and that all eyes will be on Philip Rivers. I expect the gameplan to be one that ensures that Rivers comes out looking good. I'd actually be shocked if he ended up taking any chances or turned the ball over at all, and I don't expect the pass rush to get to him either.