Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! My goal with this weekly column is to get you actionable information as quickly as possible, regardless if you're playing season-long fantasy, DFS, or are grinding player props. If you're just looking for fantasy football rankings and only have 10 minutes to skim through for your sit/start decisions, then head over to the "Forecast" sections below where I project each player's PPR finish based on a 12-team league. But if you want to get your research on, then I have full player breakdowns. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions.
Chargers (25 projected points, -1 point spread) @ OAK
Going into 2019, Philip Rivers’ career touchdown rate was 5.3. This season, Rivers is at 3.6. Either he’s totally washed (I think a little washed is more accurate) or he’s just been unlucky so far. If there was a week to get back on track, it’s this week. The Raiders have allowed the most passing touchdowns per game (2.75) in 2019, and Rivers has all of his primary weapons right now. Rivers is a bounceback QB1/2. … Melvin Gordon set season highs in snaps (45) and carries (20) last week while Austin Ekeler set season lows in snaps (24) and routes run (10). The early-game lead played into this committee split, but I believe we are seeing a shift towards Gordon after his early struggles. Gordon will be the primary rusher and see almost all of the goal-line carries, plus receive 2-5 receptions depending on game script. Ekeler will primary make his money as a receiver, but he needs the Bolts to be trailing to reach upside. With the Chargers sitting as 1-point favorites, Gordon is an upside RB2 while Ekeler is an RB3.
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An early-game lead limited Chargers pass-catchers in Week 9, but we’ve seen a minor change in Keenan Allen’s workload with Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry healthy. He’s still averaging 7.75 targets over the last four games, but he’s not the every-week WR1 he was earlier in the season. Against Oakland’s No. 27 pass coverage defense (PFF) and with the Chargers projected for 25 points, Allen is a rebound candidate as a WR1/2. … Mike Williams has been a buy low for most of the season, so it’s fitting that he has his first 100-yard game of his career in a game when he had fewer than 50 air yards and just four targets. Williams is still due for positive touchdown regression -- he has 530 receiving yards and 11 red-zone targets with zero TDs -- and the Raiders have allowed the most passing touchdowns and 20+ yard pass plays per game this season. Last week against Oakland, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones (receivers who win in similar ways as Mike Will) combined for 258 yards and two touchdowns. Williams is an upside WR3. … Hunter Henry is averaging 8.25 targets in his four games back from his knee injury, operating as a safety net and intermediate target for Rivers. Henry is leading tight ends in PPR points, targets, air yards, receptions, and receiving yards during that span. Henry is a top-three TE against a Raiders Defense that is 31st against fantasy tight ends.
Raiders (24, +1) vs. LAC
Derek Carr is currently playing the best football of his career, setting new career highs in YPA and QBR. This week should be a moderately challenging test despite being at home because Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are studs on the defensive line and because the Chargers defense has allowed the second-fewest pass attempts per game (28). Carr is a high-end QB2 streamer against a defense that keeps plays in front of them. … Josh Jacobs is PFF’s No. 1 graded running back. He’s been phenomenal as a runner, and he’s seeing a bunch of high-value touches -- Jacobs is second in carries inside-the-10 (18). Jacobs is still not seeing receiving work (he dropped both of his targets last week), but the rushing volume (21.4 carries over the last five games) and goal-line role make him a strong RB1/2 option with the Raiders’ 24-point team total.
Tyrell Williams is mid-volume (5.6 targets per game) deep threat (15.5 average depth of target), which makes him very boom-or-bust in fantasy. This week, he’ll face off against elite CB Casey Hayward in a revenge game. I don’t like his chances of a high-scoring game because the Chargers are in the top 20th percentile at preventing 20+ yard passing plays. Williams is a boom-or-bust WR3/4. … Rookie slot WR Hunter Renfrow has posted back-to-back usable fantasy games, but he’s not a player to get overly confident about. Renfrow hasn’t even been clearing 50 air yards in games this season, and he’s a 16th percentile SPARQ athlete. With total passing volume already a concern, Renfrow is a low-ceiling WR4, one I’m going to be fading in DFS Showdown tournaments. … Zay Jones actually led the team in routes run last week, but he’s seen two and four targets in his two games with the Raiders. Jones might be worth a dart throw in DFS Showdown tournaments because he’s at least on the field and mostly avoiding Hayward, but he has a career 5.4 yards per target and is projected for 2-5 targets. … Darren Waller set a season-low in air yards and targets last week, but I’m viewing that as an outlier, not a trend that will continue. Waller is simply too good not to be utilized in an offense that lacks a true No. 1 receiver. If the Chargers with Bosa and Ingram can put pressure on Carr this week (that hasn’t often this season), then I’m expecting Waller to see extra targets as a low-aDOT (6.7) pass-catcher for Carr. Waller is a mid-range TE1.
The rest of the Week 10 Fantasy Football Forecast will be posted Friday morning. In the meantime, I'll be on Twitter @HaydenWinks posting things like this: