Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 16: Raiders vs. Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams are looking up at Denver and Kansas City in the division. The Raiders are just looking from a much greater distance.

The San Diego Chargers are the height of NFL mediocrity -- a 7-7 record; 3-3 at home, 4-4 on the road. A 2-2 split in the AFC West. They've been 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4 en route to this point. Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders would be ecstatic to be mediocre, as they have won five or fewer games in nine of 11 seasons, and have a 53-105 record since their Super Bowl appearance in 2002. Sunday, the mediocre hosts the awful in a 4:25 p.m. ET game in San Diego, and the fantasy-relevant players will mostly be wearing the home team's jerseys:


Start in every league: Rashad Jennings

Start if you're desperate: ...

Bench: Matt McGloin, Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Sebastian Janikowski, Defense/special teams

With tremendous production for six out of seven weeks -- and injury, not ineffectiveness, keeping it from being seven of seven, Jennings certainly appears to have supplanted McFadden as the team's top running back option, and should continue to carry the load even if McFadden makes his expected return to action in Week 16.

After that, it's a lot of yawn. McGloin has been held to single-digit scoring twice in his last three games, and is averaging only 13 points in his five starts. ... McFadden is injury-plagued and now fighting for time. You can't trust him, and his return should keep Reece's production well in check as well. ... The Chargers struggle against wide receivers, but which of Oakland's corps do you trust? Moore is the most talented, Streater has been the most productive this year, and Holmes has been the hottest of late. Best to avoid the lot. ... Janikowski is having his worst season. ... The Raiders' defense is just bad.


Start in every league: Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Keenan Allen, Nick Novak

Start if you're desperate: Antonio Gates

Bench: Danny Woodhead, Eddie Royal, Vincent Brown, Defense/special teams

While he's still a top-five quarterback, Rivers' overall numbers are buoyed by his very hot start; he has only topped 20 points once since Week 4. That said, he hasn't fallen below double digits all season. The Raiders allow the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks; Rivers will be fine. ... Mathews has reached double-digits five times in six games, and scored nine the other time. He's firmly in starting territory. ... What started the season as a three-headed wide receiver monster has become Allen and the Pips; he's dominating the team's receiving offense and is a sure start. ... Novak has been the eighth-best fantasy kicker on the season, and he's shown no signs of slowing.

Gates is still getting plenty of targets, and has high upside, but he's scored exactly two points in three of his last four, and has jus tstruggled to get traction since his hot start to the season.

Woodhead had at least five receptions in six of his first eight games of the season; he hasn't topped four since. He's just fallen out of the team's passing offense, and if he's not getting catches, his value is lower. ... As stated above, Allen has left Royal and Brown behind, and they aren't really usable anymore. ... The Chargers' defense can at least be trusted to score in the positives; it hasn't fallen below zero since Week 3. But that's about it,a s the unit lacks upside.

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