The Chargers look to rebound this week as they host a desperate New Orleans Saints team. Defense will be optional this Sunday as these two prolific offenses square off. The only options that should be avoided for this game are the team defenses, as both offenses will most likely push the ball up and down the field. However, if you have a player that is on a bye or you are deciding between a player in this game, and someone on your bench, then it might be smart to look below to see who you should sit and start.
THE TIGHT ENDS:
Look for both tight ends to flourish this week. Coby Fleener will be going against inexperienced safeties and backup inside linebackers all game long. Look for him to get plenty of targets over the middle and dominate a weak Chargers defense as he finds the end zone for the second week in a row. Fleener projects to have 6 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Not to be outdone, San Diego’s rookie tight end, Hunter Henry also makes an interesting option this week. Antonio Gates is still sidelined with a hamstring injury, so look for Henry to fill in nicely for the future Hall of Famer. Last week, Henry caught 5 passes for 76 yards on 5 targets. He and Rivers have formed a quick rapport early this season and he will be Rivers’ check down option, a void left by Woodhead. Look for Henry to put up similar numbers as last week, and also come away with his first receiving touchdown of his career.
This one is simple, it’s Drew Brees. Were you really going to sit Brees for his San Diego homecoming?
Williams has quickly become Rivers favorite target in lieu of the injured Keenan Allen. The 6’4, 205 lb wide receiver had a career-high 9 targets in last week's game against the Colts and was on the field for more snaps than Travis Benjamin. He secured 6 passes for 69 yards and keeps on improving every week. He has the size and speed to give the Saints secondary fits. Somehow you need to get Williams in your lineup. My prediction, Williams catches 7 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
The Chargers gave up over 80 rushing yards and a touchdown to Frank Gore last week. Not only is Mark Ingram currently better than Gore, but the Saints offensive line is better as well. Ingram struggled his first 2 games but looks to have figured it out last week. Ingram is good for 120 total yards and a touchdown and will be even more useful in PPR formats.
Two words, rebound game. Want another two words, TY Hilton. Cooks, a speedster like Hilton, will give the Chargers secondary problems. San Diego’s safeties are bad, and Flowers could miss Sunday’s game due to a concussion. Cooks will have a much better game this week as he grabs 8 passes for 105 yards.
Melvin Gordon has been a touchdown machine this year. Unfortunately, as San Diego keeps on losing more playmakers to injuries; teams are going to concentrate on stopping Gordon. That is exactly what happened last week when Gordon faced a leaky Colts defense. Fantasy owners could have been real disappointed last week if Gordon didn’t find the end zone against Indianapolis. What also makes me nervous is if this game turns into a shootout, the Chargers will abandon the run like they did last week against the Colts which would have a negative impact on Gordon’s production. Prediction, Gordon fails to gain over 100 total yards and does not find the end zone.
THE SAINTS WIDE RECEIVER TWO:
While Jason Verrett has been assigned to lock down a team’s number one wide receiver, Casey Hayward has been in charge of the opposing team’s number two wide receiver. Hayward has been playing phenomenal this year which could mean trouble for Willie Snead or Michael Thomas. Snead is still nursing a toe injury, so he will not even be 100% for Sunday’s game. If he does play, that hurts the value of Michael Thomas. Neither, Snead, nor Thomas gain over 100 yards and they both fail to get a touchdown.
Last week, Melvin Gordon was the only running back to receive a carry for the Chargers. Look for San Diego to implement more of McCluster as a change of pace back. The Chargers brought in McCluster to help fill the void left by Danny Woodhead. Last Sunday he didn’t receive a carry and only had 2 catches for 9 yards on 3 targets. However, McCluster should be a little more familiar with the playbook in week 2 with the Chargers and will be asked to do more. And if this game turns out to be a high scoring game, McCluster will have plenty of opportunities to contribute in the passing game. If you are in a pinch for a running back then take a stab at McCluster. Look for McCluster to have 20 rushing yards, and 5 catches for 50 yards which would help out fantasy owners in a PPR format.