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The Denver Broncos will get a taste of life without their head coach, as Gary Kubiak will not travel with the team to San Diego after suffering a migraine. The Chargers, meanwhile, may soon permanently be without head coach Mike McCoy altogether, unless they can find a way to win games, and fast.
In what has quickly turned into a must-win game for the Chargers in Week 6, several fantasy implications present themselves for fantasy owners who have players on both sides of the field on Thursday night.
San Diego Chargers
All Melvin Gordon does is score touchdowns, which is remarkable to say after the second-year back never crossed the goal line in his rookie season. Gordon currently leads the NFL with six rushing touchdowns, although he has a menacing Broncos defense in store for him in Week 6. Gordon isn’t likely to run wild, but with the Chargers’ receiving game in flux and no one else in the backfield to threaten him for touches, he remains a focal point in the offense and deserves RB1 consideration.
As for the rest of the Chargers’ pass catchers, Travis Benjamin remains atop the totem pole for capably skilled Philip Rivers, but draws a Broncos defense that ranks third-best in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game. Benjamin has big-play ability, but will likely bank most of his fantasy points due to volume on Thursday night. He makes for a flex play with upside, while Rivers is more of a fringe QB1/QB2.
It’s too bold to expect fantasy wealth to be distributed throughout the Chargers’ lineup in this tough matchup. Fantasy owners of Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, Hunter Henry, and Antonio Gates are better off leaving them benched.
C.J. Anderson stormed out of the gate, but hasn’t topped more than 62 total yards in any of his last three outings. Now, Anderson draws a Chargers defense that is surrendering the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game and also the eighth-fewest yards per carry. He will have his work cut out for him, but his usage has still given him the 13th-most fantasy points per game among running backs so far in the season. Anderson remains a solid RB2.
Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders salvaged fantasy value in Week 5 despite a subpar performance from rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch. Between Sanders’ 80 yards and Thomas finding the end zone, this duo of receivers showed it can still produce even in poor circumstances. Thursday night should present better circumstances for both receivers against the Chargers, a defense that has allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game. Each are firmly in WR2 territory.
With it being evident that teams are attacking the Chargers through the air so far this season, Trevor Siemian presents intriguing flex value. But coming off of a shoulder injury, and with only two teams on a bye, fantasy owners likely aren’t this desperate at the quarterback position. Siemian is worth having on rosters as a backup, but isn’t likely needed this week.
Virgil Green and Devontae Booker can also remain out of lineups across the board.