Chargers have plenty of weapons on offense
Our weekly look at the Redskins' matchup from a fantasy football perspective.
After starting the season as a Pierre Garcon solo act, this unit is now a two-man pass-catching band with Jordan Reed almost at the point of receiving shared billing. In PPR formats over the past three weeks the rookie has scored 45 fantasy points. The next tight end, Cleveland's Jordan Cameron, has 30. That's also 24 more points than Garcon. As for targets, 23 for Reed, Garcon has 19 and everyone else is a distant third, fourth and fifth. San Diego hasn't allowed a TD grab to a TE since Week1, but the Chargers have faced mostly fantasy backups or non-factors since the opener.
Even though Garcon hasn't scored since the bye week or topped 70 receiving yards since Week 3, he remains a must start due to both talent and opportunity. He ranks fifth in the NFL with 78 targets and the Chargers are allowing the third most points and receptions (15.3) to fantasy receivers. As for Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss and Josh Morgan, all remain inadvisable starts and only Hankerson is worth even rostering as a flyer.
This Alfred Morris take via Rotoworld's Evan Silva: "Morris was re-confirmed as Shanahan & Son's bellcow against Denver, tallying a game-high 17 carries for 93 yards and a score. Morris' lack of passing-game usage demotes him from RB1 to high-end RB2, but he's an every-week fantasy starter regardless. Morris has 525 rushing yards on his last 97 runs (5.41 YPC). I've written it in this space before and will again: Alf is playing better than he did as a rookie, even if the fantasy production hasn't fully caught up. The Bolts' defense is silver plattering 4.79 yards per carry, the third highest clip in the league. This is a great week to start Morris."
Agree on the Morris equals a must start, but let's note that the Chargers have allowed the third fewest fantasy points to running backs this season and zero touchdowns. That's as a runner or receiver.
As for Roy Helu, no doubt his minimal production against Denver let trusting owners down. Still, we can't ignore the fantasy goodness the pass-catching threat provided in the three prior games. Consider Helu as a low-end Flex option versus San Diego. All Morris owners should own Helu as backup insurance wherever possible.
We're just going to pretend last week's stay-in-the-pocket debacle didn't happen and that the on-the-move version of Robert Griffin III returns in Week 9. In fact, RG3 is no less than a top-8 QB this week in my rankings and that's factoring in that what I said in the first sentence doesn't come true. Though the Chargers have not allowed a TDP over their last two games including Jacksonville in Week 7, San Diego allows the sixth most points to fantasy QBs.
The defense and kicker
At this point, we all understand it's a mortal lock that the Redskins defense or special teams unit will score a touchdown unless you care to dismiss the five scores in seven weeks trend. Beyond that, San Diego hasn't allowed more two sacks in any game and Philip Rivers has gone two games without throwing an interception. Ideally owners should look elsewhere, but come on, touchdowns. ...No field goal attempts for Kai Forbath last week but he made four of five combined over the previous two games. This should be a high-scoring game so expect more chance for the Redskins kicker this week.
On the other side...
Starting multiple running backs from the same NFL team is high-risk maneuver, but one owners of both Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead could easily justify. Mathews has rushed for 100 yards in two straight games and Woodhead is a weekly threat in PPR formats. Factor in the Redskins have allowed the third most points to fantasy running backs plus the numerous sketchy RB scenarios elsewhere and both Bolts backs are top 20 plays this week.
In addition to CSNwashington duties covering the Wizards, Hoyas and the college basketball scene, Ben writes about and ranks fantasy football players for FFToolbox.com, rated the most accurate site for the 2012 season.