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Chargers at Panthers: Fantasy Breakdown

It is time for fantasy playoffs! Here’s who you should be starting this week.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, fellow fantasy football players! This week, for most leagues, is the start of fantasy football playoffs! Hopefully, your fantasy team can do what the Chargers won’t do, which is win a championship! Despite the Chargers’ struggles, they are still fighting for the slim chance of a playoff berth, and that makes a few players attractive fantasy prospects over the next few weeks.

Melvin Gordon

In PPR leagues, Melvin Gordon ranks as the 7th highest fantasy scorer this season. He has 1482 all-purpose yards, to go along with 12 TDs and he has added about 20 points in receptions too, for a total of 250.10 fantasy points. Last season, he scored 108.3. Huge, huge difference if you ask me. I’m not reading too much into his 3.9 ypc average. His line is not very good, and he has proved he can carry the load and is constantly breaking tackles and fighting for extra yards, just to get to that 3.9 ypc average. Either way, this is not supposed to be me telling you how much I think Melvin Gordon is awesome. This is me telling you that the Panthers are pretty middle of the pack when it comes to giving up points to running backs, but Melvin Gordon has been on fire no matter the matchup and has scored less than 18.2 points just once in the last 5 weeks. He has been absolutely phenomenal, and there’s no reason to believe that will stop now. I don’t believe the Panthers have really faced a good back beside Devonta Freeman (Falcons), who they limited to 57 yards, but only because Matt Ryan went off for over 500 yards and Julio Jones had his 300-yard day. Freeman still had over 4 ypc. David Johnson (Cardinals) didn’t exactly have a good game rushing either, but with only 10 attempts, what do you expect? He still led the team with 84 yards receiving that game. Anyways, what I’m saying is that the Carolina Panthers look okay on paper at stopping the run, but it’s a fluke. Expect Melvin Gordon to be around 80 yards rushing, 50 yards receiving, and a TD. MELVIN GORDON IS A MUST START.

Philip Rivers

The 13th ranked fantasy football quarterback, but 22nd highest scorer in the league is going against the team that has allowed the 8th most fantasy points to QBs this season. Why? Because they have to throw a lot to keep up. Rivers has been mainly solid this season for fantasy owners but has put up two 11 point stinkers. The last 6 weeks, however, he has scored no less than 15.6 points a game, which is not incredible, but you could do a lot worse. The Panthers have given up the 3rd most passing yards per game, tied for 6th most TDs, but have picked off opposing QBs 5th most. QBs have the 10th highest rating against the Panthers. So either way, Rivers will have a very... Rivers game. Expect close to 300 yards, 3 TDs, and a pick or two. PHILIP RIVERS COULD EITHER BE VERY BAD OR VERY GOOD. START/SIT BASED ON YOUR OTHER QUARTERBACK.

Tyrell Williams

The Panthers give up the 3rd most points to opposing WRs, but that number is skewed by Julio Jones’ 300-yard, 1 TD day. Only two other receivers (Michael Crabtree and Brandin Cooks) have surpassed 100 yards against them. The Panthers force QBs to spread the ball around. Tyrell Williams had a down week last week, but expect him to rebound with 80 yards and a TD. He’s a #3 WR this week.

Gates and Henry

Good luck trying to pick if Antonio Gates or Hunter Henry will have a good week. Gates has been the hotter hand recently, but Hunter Henry has received a steady stream of targets, and it could go either way. Generally, only one of them will have a solid game this week, and it’s too scary for me to start either of them. If you have to, I would put my money behind Antonio Gates. He only has a few games left in his career, and he wants that record. He’s going to get it.

Josh Lambo

He’s been absolutely abysmal the last two weeks, scoring only 3 points each week. He hasn’t broken the 10 point mark since week 9, but Carolina gives up the 9th most points to kickers, and he’s a pretty darn good one. I’d start him this week.

Chargers DST

The 10th ranked DST in all the land, the Chargers lead the league in interceptions but give up the 8th most points in the league. They’re pretty hot and cold too, as they’ve scored above 10 points 5 times, and scored below 5 points five times as well. Apparently, Carolina gives up the 6th most points to DSTs, but I can’t bring myself to trust the Chargers DST ever, even with Jatavis Brown back in the lineup. Their best day is not worth the risk of their worst.

If you have any questions about who you should start and sit (even non-Chargers), feel free to tweet me, reply in the comments, or yell them at your computer screen, and I’ll do my best to answer them.