The Week 3 matchup between the San Diego Chargers and the Indianapolis Colts features two teams trying to overcome significant injuries. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
San Diego Chargers
As if it wasn’t bad enough to see wide receiver Keenan Allen tear his ACL in Week 1, the Chargers lost running back Danny Woodhead to the same injury in Week 2. Having your two best offensive options go down is tough to swallow for any team. For the Chargers it means an increased reliance on running back Melvin Gordon. A heavy workload for him against the Colts, a historically soft run defense, could mean he is the best running back in the league in Week 3. Unlike last year, which saw him fail to find the end zone, it doesn’t seem that’s going to be a problem for Gordon in 2016. He is a solid bet to score this week and thus should post some big, juicy numbers for his owners.
When he needs a break from carrying the football, quarterback Philip Rivers will take over. Tight end Antonio Gates is doubtful with a hamstring injury, so Rivers will rely on wide receiver Tyrell Williams to make things happen. Rookie Hunter Henry is expected replace Gates, but Williams would likely be the more reliable target.
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief is expected to miss between four and six weeks with a fractured scapula suffered in last week’s loss to the Denver Broncos. That means number three receiver Phillip Dorsett will see an increased number of targets moving forward. He caught only one 30-yard pass last week but the week before that flirted with the 100-yard mark. The Colts haven’t exactly played up to par to start the season, but facing a depleted Chargers line up may be just what the doctor ordered for a team still searching for its first win of the season. Dorsett might be a sneaky sleeper play in deeper leagues this week as the fantasy world gets to see what he’s made of.
His success will depend on the arm of quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts quarterback was bounced around enough by Denver’s defense last week that he had no choice but to take a loss. A late interception returned for a touchdown sealed the deal. He will need to take better care of the football moving forward. The good news is the Chargers defense isn’t nearly as good as Denver’s. The challenge now is whether Luck can keep the ball moving down the field without Moncrief in the lineup. The 197 yards, touchdown, and interception he posted last week was hard on fantasy owners. Luck should bounce back with a big game against San Diego however. That’s especially true as the team faces the prospect of falling to 0-3 and being two games back of the Houston Texans in the AFC South.