In all honesty, you probably shouldn’t be starting Rivers every week anyways, considering he has reverted to his turnover-prone self from the end of the Norv Turner era over the last 4 weeks, throwing 8 TDs to 8 INTs, with only one game over an 87 passer rating. After a hot start, he’s been increasingly frustrating, and despite the “easy” schedule, probably shouldn’t be trusted to take your team far into the postseason. If you have another QB in the top 15, start them. Bench Rivers for the rest of the season, because all he’ll bring you is hair loss, and something much more painful than a W in the fantasy playoffs.
Melvin Gordon has been on fire this season from a fantasy perspective and has surpassed 120 all-purpose yards every week since week 6 when the Chargers beat the Broncos. He adds a ton of value in PPR leagues, as he has averaged between 4-5 receptions a game, and has averaged just under 60 receiving yards a game in the last 4 weeks. When you extrapolate what he’s done thus far to a full season, he’s on pace for 347 rushes for 1,341 yards and 14 TDs, and 52 receptions for 553 yards, and 3 receiving TDs. I don’t care who you are, or what you do... that’s pretty damn good. I also don’t care that he’s only averaging 3.9 yards a carry. He’s running with conviction and is a threat to take the ball and make a huge play every time he touches the ball. Oh, and he’s only fumbled twice this season (T-12th), despite having the most carries this season, which is the same amount of fumbles as the arguably elite David Johnson of the Cardinals. He’s a must start every week (except for this one obviously, due to the bye).
Tyrell Williams is on pace for 1,152 yards receiving this season, to go along with 6 TDs. While these are by no means elite numbers, they’re solid WR2 numbers. He’s currently ranked #14 on NFL.com for points by a WR, and I expect all of his stats to be higher than what he’s pacing because Philip Rivers has been targeting him a lot, with his 34 targets being two shy of future Hall of Fame Tight End Antonio Gates. I’d expect closer to 1200 yards and 7 TDs. He’s a WR2 for the duration of the season.
Travis Benjamin has surpassed 50 yards only once in his last 4 games. I don’t expect that to change with the surplus of weapons Rivers has (especially with the reemergence of Antonio Gates as a credible target). He’s a bench rider at best for the rest of the year barring injury.
Antonio Gates has been a bit of a puzzle this season. He looked incredibly out of shape in the beginning of the season and was most definitely showing his age. Over the last 4 weeks, however, Rivers has forced him the ball, and he’s received for 209 yards and has caught a TD every week for the last 3 weeks. While he won’t kill teams with his speed, Rivers still loves him, and they are trying their best to break Tony Gonzalez’s record of 111 receiving TDs by a TE. Gates is only two behind and has the motivation to grab a TD every week until he retires. It’s hard not to start him, especially if he continues his streak of TDs.
Hunter Henry... I’m sorry bud, it’s not your year. Despite having a fantastic 4-week stretch starting week 3, he hasn’t broken the 20-yard mark once in his last 3 games. His targets have decreased substantially, and he’ll have to wait for next year to make his mark. He’ll most likely be a sleeper, but I have no problem saying he’ll be a top 10 TE next year, (probably top 5) and draft accordingly based on that projection.
Josh Lambo has been phenomenal this season from a fantasy perspective. Ranked #32 out of Kickers to start the season by NFL.com, Lambo has really proved his worth as he’s currently the 3rd highest scoring kicker in leagues. Despite this, he’s only owned in just under 23% of leagues on NFL.com and 30% on Yahoo. Pick him up if you haven’t yet. I don’t understand why he’s not owned in more leagues. This is madness.
The Chargers have actually had a solid DST in fantasy this season. They’re currently ranked #8 on NFL.com, which is a far cry from where they were projected to be at the beginning of the season. It helps when they’re tied for 2nd in INTs, 5th in sacks, and tied for 1st in TDs. On the negative side, only 3 teams have given up more points than the Chargers. Despite their awesome point total, they’ve been pretty inconsistent. I would start them against Houston and Cleveland, and bench the hell out of them against Tampa Bay (have you seen Mike Evans??), Carolina (because reigning MVP who is very mobile), and Oakland (because Derek Carr looks like a legitimately elite quarterback).
If you have any questions about who to start, feel free to ask in the comments or tweet me @aaronwoolley1.