Fantasy Football 2014: Chargers at Cardinals 9/8/14 Week 1 Preview
San Diego Chargers (0-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-0)
Monday, September 8, 2014 10:20 PM ET
The second game of the doubleheader debut of “Monday Night Football” in Week 1 will feature the San Diego Chargers heading to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. Both these teams have a lot to prove in 2014, so it should make for a fitting finale to the weekend’s action.
As usual, there will be plenty of noteworthy fantasy contributors out on the field, and their actions could make or break your first game of the season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the big-name players out there and see what we should be expecting.
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Unless you’re in a deep league, there’s a good chance you’re not starting Rivers this week. That said, he’s a top-end backup so we’ll check out his prospects. He looked great in his last preseason game, tossing 9-of-10 for 85 and a score. That bodes well for his rhythm heading into the season. Rivers might not quite equal the 69.5 completion percentage and 32 scores from last year, but he should fill in nicely whenever you need him.
USA TODAY Sports
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Rankings-wise, Palmer is right around the same neighborhood as Rivers: not necessarily a starter, but a high-end backup fantasy QB all the same. His Achilles heel last season was his interception number (22), but overall his completion percentage (63.3) and yardage (4,274) were solid. We see a bit of a step forward for him this season, so if you get a good matchup he’s a great fill-in QB.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers: We’re not as high on Mathews this year as we have been in seasons past. With both Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown in the picture, he simply won’t get as much work as we’d like to see. Sure, Mathews will see the bulk of the touches, but with Woodhead working in the passing game and Brown serving as a jack-of-all-trades, we rank him a little lower than most. He should still have a respectable season, though.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: On the other hand, we’re exceedingly high on the Cardinals’ Andre Ellington. He was criminally underutilized last season in an effort to keep him fresh, but that should be remedied in 2014. Look for Ellington to get around 20 touches per game, which should be more than enough for him to do significant damage.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: There’s a healthy buzz surrounding Allen this season, and he’s all the rage in fantasy. In his rookie season he logged 71 grabs for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns; Odds are he’ll at least equal that in 2014. Though he’ll see increased defensive attention, Allen should overcome those difficulties now that he’s over his knee issues. High value here.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald still has plenty of name recognition in fantasy, and that’s part of the reason why he’s always a top-end pick at the WR slot. He’s looked pretty good in preseason, and will be looking to get near last year’s impressive stats (82 grabs; 954 yards; 10 scores). Every year, we write Fitzgerald off, and every year he proves us wrong.
For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.