Last week, my fantasy predictions were pretty accurate. Starters Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Ronnie Hillman, Julius Thomas, Denver Defense and Darren McFadden totaled 32, 11, 19, 2, 18, 7, and 4 points. Sleeper Mychal Rivera delivered with a solid 12-point performance.
Rivers scored less than one point last week against the Dolphins after injuring his hand. He was eventually pulled in the third quarter after the Chargers were down 37-0. But I expect Rivers to have a massive performance against the Raiders. Earlier this season Rivers scored 26 against the Raiders. With Oakland's secondary nicked up, expect the Pro Bowl quarterback to come out firing on all cylinders.
While many "fantasy experts" thought that the torch had passed in San Diego between Gates and LaDarius Green, that has not been the case. Gates has once again emerged as a perennial fantasy tight end. While he only scored 3 points last week, the entire Chargers offense struggled. The week before, he had 17 points. Gates is a safe bet to score at least 11 against the Silver and Black.
I am going to go out on a limb here and start the Carr. My starting quarterback in my main league is Tony Romo. Romo is on a buy, so I picked up Carr. Jason Verrett is not practicing with a shoulder injury. And while he will likely start this week, Brandon Flowers has missed several weeks from a concussion. This is a risky one with Melvin Ingram, Jeremiah Attaochu and Manti Te'o returning, but I am going to trust my gut and start the rookie.
Chargers running backs
With the return of Ryan Matthews and Donald Brown, it seems that San Diego's backfield may rotate this game unless Matthews is one-hundred percent healthy. Even if he is, Matthews has missed a lot of time and it may take a couple weeks for him to get the rust off. The Raiders run defense has also improved lately and they have given up just 3.6 YPC (yards per carry) over the last five games.
1% of leagues is starting them, enough said. Many better options out there.
As the Raiders rushing attack continually has proved unsuccessful, DMAC has received less touches. After a solid fantasy season, he has scored just 15 points the last three weeks. And the return of Manti Te'o, Melvin Ingram, and Jeremiah Attaochu should help bolster San Diego's run defense.
San Diego Defense
Jason Verrett is not practicing, and while Brandon Flowers is expected to play, he could be rusty. That being said, Manti Te'o, Melvin Ingram, and Jeremiah Attaochu are all returning this week. Depending on who your starting defense is, it may be worth starting the Chargers defense against the Raiders lackluster offense.
After scoring 26 points over the past three weeks, he would be a starter but the Chargers defense has given up the 4th fewest points to opposing tight ends. The Bolts also have many of their starting linebackers back.