The Week 1 matchup between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs features two offenses with different styles. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
San Diego Chargers
Many people will debate whether quarterback Philip Rivers belongs among the league’s elite. He’s never led the Chargers to any real playoff success and never been close to a Super Bowl. From a fantasy perspective, however, he’s been a high-volume passer for quite a while and at the end of the season will rack up the yards and touchdowns. But playing on the road against the Chiefs is tough, and with safety Eric Berry recently re-signed by the team, Rivers might be in for a tough start to 2016.
The good news is that Rivers should have a healthy No. 1 receiver in the lineup in Keenan Allen. Allen was limited to just eight games last year after suffering a season-ending injury. He was on pace for a career year before getting hurt and needed just 11 catches to reach a new career high. He will be watched closely in Kansas City but the Chargers showed last year that they don’t have much of a running game. Add that to the fact tight end Antonio Gates is getting older and Ladarius Green moved on to Pittsburgh, and nobody in San Diego will come close to challenging Allen for targets this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
Will running back Jamaal Charles be able to bounce back from the major knee injury he suffered last year? That’s a question a lot of fantasy owners will be itching to answer going into this new season. Coach Andy Reid recently called Charles a stretch to play in the season opener, which means fantasy owners may have to look to backup Spencer Ware, who will play a big role against the Chargers should Charles indeed sit out.
Should the running game struggle on Sunday, quarterback Alex Smith will look to Jeremy Maclin to advance the ball down the field through the air. As most people expected, Maclin’s numbers declined slightly last season. It was his first in Kansas City playing in a more conservative offense than the one he was blessed with in Philadelphia. That said, Maclin still gets targeted nearly six times per game, according to last year’s numbers, and he should be productive to start the season.