Los Angeles Chargers Vs Oakland Raiders: TNF Breakdown
Believe it or not, we are now entering week 10 of the regular season and boy has this season flown by. With that being said, I haven't been this excited for a TNF game since week 5 where the Seahawks beat the Rams 30-29. Tonight's game is going to be must-watch television. Whether you're a Chargers/Raiders fan, or you have players on the fantasy squad, or that your playing the single-game slate on Fanduel/Draftkings, this game has plenty of implications. With that being said, I'm going to cover all the basis whether you're just a fan of the game or a fantasy player. Without further ado, let's get straight to it.
Phillip Rivers- Did you know that Rivers is currently leading the NFL in passing yards? He's now thrown over 290 yards in 7 of 9 games this year. I expect it to be 8 of 10 after this week's game against the Oakland Raiders. They are currently allowing 297. passing yards per game, which is the most allowed in the league. From a fantasy perspective, it's hard not to like Rivers this week as the Raiders are giving up the 2nd most fantasy points per game to the QB position. They've allowed 5 of 8 QB's played to finish as QB1's on the week. I think the stat that sticks out to me is that the Raiders defense has allowed 43 plays that went for 20+ yards (3 QB's have thrown for 400+ yards against the Raiders this year). You factor that stat and with the fact that Rivers loves taking shots downfield, this seems like a match made in heaven for Rivers and company.
Derek Carr- I've never really been a big fan of Derek Carr but he's slowly (snail-slow) coming around for me. He's never going to be a top-10 QB in fantasy, but he's a better QB in real life than in fantasy (if that even makes sense). Even though he's at home in this matchup, the Chargers defense has been stout against the QB position this year. They've only allowed one QB1 performance this year and that was against Deshaun Watson in week 3. So after we here that, then realize that Carr has zero 290+ passing yard games this year, I barely have interest in a 2QB fantasy league. (Spoiler Alert, I still think the Raiders win this game).
Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler- Melvin Gordon has been back for 5 weeks now. In that span, he has 64 carries, 14 receptions, and 3 touchdowns. The other piece of this tandem Austin Ekeler has 30 carries, 32 receptions, and 2 touchdowns in that span. When you look at it that way, both RB's are being involved. Gordon is the primary rusher with some receptions, while Ekeler is the main receiving back with some carries. While the first 3 weeks of them sharing snaps was a bit of a slow start, they caught fire over the past 2 weeks, combining for 258 total yards and 4 touchdowns. This matchup isn't the easiest because the Raiders have been pretty good against the run. The Raiders defense has only allowed one RB to rush for over 90 yards and that was Dalvin Cook back in week 3. Only Dalvin Cook and Carlos Hyde are the only RB's to rush for over 60 yards against the Raiders this year. With the way this front-7 is holding the rushers in check, Gordon and Ekeler are going to need some targets to have fantasy relevance this week.
Josh Jacobs- When given carries this season, Josh Jacobs has simply looked amazing. He has 4 games this year where he's seen 18+ carries and in those games, he averages 118 rushing yards and 1.5 touchdowns. For what it's worth, he has 6 rushing touchdowns on the year and they've all come in 3 games, meaning when he scores, it's in bunches! The Chargers rush d is not something to be afraid of. This unit has allowed 7 different running backs in the first 9 weeks to finish as an RB2 or better. So you saw above where I said when Jacobs gets 18+ touches he goes off right? Well, running backs that get's volume is the Chargers weakness. 4 different RB's have seen 15+ touches against the Chargers this season (Marlon Mack, Phillip Lindsay, Benny Snell, and Derrick Henry). Those RB's averaged 114 rushing yards and 1 TD a game. So it seems as if Josh Jacobs has a pretty stable floor heading into the TNF matchup.
Keenan Allen- After being the best WR over the first 3 weeks of the season, it appears that Keenan Allen has fallen off of a cliff. Over the last 6 weeks, Keenan has failed to record a 70-yard receiving game or a TD. From the span of that 6-week drought, Allen is currently the WR50 Overall. WR's like Diontae Johnson, Alex Erickson, and Chris Conley has more fantasy points than him during that span. Although he's been unproductive, the Raiders secondary is the perfect "get-right" spot for Allen. They've allowed 10 different WR's to finish as a WR2 or better. If you have Allen in fantasy, you're starting him, but I'm avoiding in DFS this week simply for the fact that he hasn't gotten involved.
Mike Williams- Fun fact for ya, Mike Williams has been in the league since 2017 right? Tell me how last week, he recorded his FIRST 100-yard receiving game. That's insane to me! It's also quite alarming that after coming off a 10 TD season in 2018, Williams has ZERO touchdowns through the first 9 weeks of the season. After all that being said, Williams is scoring against the Raiders on TNF. The Keenan Allen section shows they continue to give up big games to WR's but I'm more interested in the Phillip Rivers section of this writing where I mentioned the Raiders have allowed 43 passing plays go for over 20 yards. That's where Mike Williams comes in as the deep threat for the Chargers offense. He's recorded 69+ yards in 4 of the last 5 games. 4/80/1 is what I'm thinking.
Tyrell Williams- I love revenge narratives and I get that some people don't care but you can't tell me that these athletes don't try a little harder in situations like this! Did knowing he got to play his old team, the Los Angeles Chargers twice a year, have a factor in signing with the Raiders? I'm sure it did! Tyrell "The Gazelle" Williams is in the midst of a breakout season. He's currently averaging 4 receptions, 60 receiving yards, and .83 TD a game. The volume as far as receptions hasn't been there, but his floor has been safe with touchdowns, scoring 5 TD's in 6 games played this year. As far as fantasy football, he almost reminds me of Tyler Lockett. Speedy, deep threat, low target floor, but only needs one TD to hit value for the week. He's going to ball out against his old team as the Chargers have zero corners on the team that can keep up with him.
Hunter Renfrow- " To the Renfrowwwwwww, to the wall!" After having 2 good games back-to-back, Renfrow gets a spot in this article. The "old" rookie came alive in week 8 with a 4/88/1 stat line and then kept the momentum going in week 9 with a 6/54/1 stat line. He's the clear number two WR on this Raiders offense which could have a sneaky fantasy floor, as a potential check-down option for Derek Carr. He's worth a flier in seasonal leagues (PPR), where you need a 7-10 game out of someone since the majority of your squad is on a bye week.
Hunter Henry- He has now played 5 games this year and he's been quite productive in those games. His 5 game stat lines are 4/60, 8/100/2, 6/97, 4/47, and 7/84. Despite only playing in 5 games this season, Henry is currently the TE9 on the year. For what it's worth, the 8 TE's ranked above him, have all played 8+ games this season. I think this is a game where Henry gets in the end zone as it seems like the Raiders have forgotten to guard the TE position lately. They've now allowed 3 touchdowns in the last 3 games and Henry is the most talented TE that they've matched up against since Travis Kelce in Week 2.
Darren Waller- Currently the TE3 overall on the year, I love everything about this guy. He's essentially a WR lining up as a TE. I haven't seen a defense figure out how to guard him yet. It may sound weird but his biggest enemy is Derek Carr. Waller only saw 2 targets last week (resulted in 52 yards), but Carr has to make sure he targets Waller 7+ times a game to make this offense that much better. In terms of fantasy points, Waller is averaging 14.6 points in .5 scoring when he gets 7+ targets. I know it sounds simple, but target the man and I promise he will dismantle anyone the Chargers try and use to guard him.