The San Diego Chargers travel to Cleveland to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in a matchup that could prove to be sneaky tough. The Chargers are in a dogfight in the AFC West, while the Browns are likely looking ahead to next April's NFL Draft. Nonetheless, the Browns have played teams tough each week. In order to prepare you for fantasy football each week, we are adding game-by-game projections courtesy of numberFire.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been a wildly inconsistent team this year. Philip Rivers has some solid weapons at his disposal, but he has struggled to make much happen. He faces the No. 25 pass defense in Cleveland and will look to bounce back from last week's pedestrian effort against the Broncos. numberFire projects close to 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns.
Ryan Mathews is another player who has struggled, although it has been a mix of his return from injury and fumble issues. He faces a poor Browns rush defense and numberFire likes but does not love his opportunities, projecting 64 yards and half a touchdown. The half touchdown obviously can't happen, but basically they are given him a 50-50 chance at striking pay dirt.
The Cleveland Browns are sitting at 1-6, but have shown some signs of life this season, bringing fantasy relevance with them. Running back Trent Richardson is listed at questionable this week, but did get in some practice work all week. numberFire does not see huge numbers for him, and the injuries keep us from fully endorsing the rookie running back. He is a solid choice if you have bye week concerns, but in a vacuum, he is not an ideal candidate against a solid Chargers rush defense.
The Brandon Weeden-Josh Gordon connection has been quite impressive, as they have connected for at least one touchdown each of the last three weeks. Gordon is looking like more and more of a must-start in all but the smallest leagues, while Weeden is turning himself into a decent quarterback. Weeden has intriguing upside value this weekend as a bye week fill-in against a struggling Chargers pass defense.