San Diego Chargers
Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon demonstrated that there’s enough room for fantasy production in the Chargers’ backfield for two backs in Week 1. With Keenan Allen out for the remainder of the season, it’s likely that the duo will assume larger roles in order to compensate for this. Both can be considered RB2/flex options in standard leagues, and Woodhead is a borderline RB1 in PPR formats.
While Allen’s absence can provide a positive fantasy fallout for the Chargers’ backfield, Philip Rivers will get the brunt of the consequences. But even without his No. 1 receiver, Rivers is capable enough of lighting up a Jaguars defense that, while ascending, remains exploitable. Rivers has QB1 potential, but he’s on the fringe with Allen out of commission.
Travis Benjamin and Antonio Gates stand to gain plenty of opportunities, as Benjamin led the Chargers with seven targets once Allen left the field. He can be considered a volatile flex option with upside, and Gates is a touchdown-dependable TE1/TE2. Gates found the end zone twice when these teams met in 2015.
Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman figure to eat up more snaps, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be desperate enough to play either of them at this early stage of the season.
Chris Ivory has been ruled out for Week 2, paving the way for another heavy dose of T.J. Yeldon. Though Yeldon was woefully inefficient with the ball in his hands, he did manage 21 carries and five targets while finding the end zone. He leaves much to be desired for a back slated for so much usage, but that usage alone puts him firmly in RB2 territory against a weak Chargers defensive front.
The tandem of Allen Robinson and Blake Bortles figures to return to form at the top of their respective positions as well after being somewhat stymied by the Packers’ defense. Robinson’s production wasn’t for lack of trying, however, as he led all receivers with 15 targets in Week 1. Expect those targets to connect more frequently on Sunday than they did in the prior week, and both can be started in leagues of all formats.
Though Julius Thomas alarmed his owners with an ankle injury, there’s no indication he will be limited after practicing all three sessions during the week. He is a TE1.
Allen Hurns, despite being a capable receiver, may be hindered by Thomas emerging and also a regression from 2015’s total of 10 touchdowns. His five targets in Week 1 put him at a tie for third in the offense, leaving fantasy owners rightfully wondering if he will have as extensive of a role in 2016. Hurns remains a capable flex option due to a plus matchup at hand, but there’s a downside here.
Marqise Lee and Rashad Greene are too far down Bortles’ list of options to warrant fantasy consideration yet.