Fantasy Football 2015: Chargers at Raiders Week 16 Preview
San Diego Chargers (4-10) at Oakland Raiders (6-8)
Thursday, December 24, 2015; 8:25 PM ET
TV: NFL Network
Coming up on the Christmas Eve edition of “Thursday Night Football,” we’ve got an AFC matchup between the Chargers and the Raiders. San Diego (4-10) clobbered the Dolphins in their last appearance, while Oakland (6-8) dropped a game to the Packers in Week 15.
There will be several notable fantasy football players on the field for this one, which will mark the start of the championship round in many league playoffs. Let’s check out a few of the notable names so we can determine what we might be expecting.
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Rivers ended up with a pretty decent game this past week against the Dolphins. He was 26-of-36 through the air with 311 yards and two touchdowns. The one real blemish on the afternoon was his two interceptions.
Prior to the Week 15 game, Rivers had zero touchdowns in three of four. He’d been playing pretty well before the bye, but has since gone downhill. He’s a lower-end play in fantasy circumstances.
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Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Carr has had quite a few statistical bright spots this year, and Week 15 was definitely a pretty good one. He logged a 23-of-47 line for 276 yards with a pair of touchdowns and two picks. The 42 rush yards help to soften that blow, however.
Carr is rolling right now, statistically speaking. He’s got nine pass touchdowns in his last three games alone, and figures to bag a couple more here. He’s a nice lower-end start in fantasy.
Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Gordon got 15 rush attempts in Week 15, but he was outshined by Donald Brown, who got 12. Brown would finish with 90 yards compared to Gordon’s 41.
Outshining both was Danny Woodhead, who notched three touchdowns and 50 yards on six catches. Woodhead gets some extra consideration in PPR formats, but other than that you’re really rolling the dice with this backfield.
Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders: Murray got every carry against the Packers, turning 21 totes into 78 yards. He also had one catch for two yards.
It wasn’t quite the breakout that the Murray faithful had hoped for, but we’ll take it. The mark is certainly better than his 27 yards against Denver. Call him a dicey RB3/flex play in fantasy, as this is something of a risk-reward situation.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: Gates led all receivers in the Dolphins game, putting up six receptions for 88 yards. He failed to get into the end zone, however, for the third straight week.
Gates has only scored in two games--two touchdowns each in Weeks 1 and 12. He also hasn’t broken 100 yards yet. The good news is that he has six receptions for three weeks in a row.
Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper went off in Week 15. He blew the rest of the receivers on both sides out of the water with six grabs for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Cooper was shut down in Denver, posting zero catches for the first time this year. The touchdowns were also his first trips into the end zone since Week 9. That said, he’s a strong WR2 and should not be on your fantasy bench.
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