The NFL kicks off Week 10 on Thursday Night Football with the Oakland Raiders at the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers are 1-point favorites on DraftKings Sportbook, and the game has been given a total points of 49, one of the higher point totals for a Thursday game this season and third highest among all Week 10 games. With the game expected to be on the higher-scoring side, fantasy options are more plentiful and there are many worthy start options from this game.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen, who ranks in the top five in target volume, is an obvious start against a poor Raiders pass defense. Here are some other players that fantasy owners can consider starting or sitting in their seasonal leagues:
Start: QB Philip Rivers
Rivers has an excellent matchup against a Raiders defense that has been torched through the air. Oakland has allowed the second most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs on the back of the most passing yards allowed per game. The Raiders have also allowed opposing QBs to generate a QB rating of 114.8, third highest and significantly worse than the league average QB rating of 92.7.
Variable: QB Derek Carr
Carr’s start or sit status is heavily dependent on the landscape of an individual fantasy league. The poor part of this matchup is that the Chargers have held opposing QBs to the sixth fewest fantasy points per game, fifth fewest passing yards per game and rank in the top 10 in points allowed per game. However, part of the Chargers’ point prevention to opposing QBs is due to facing below average passing volume, as opposing teams have chosen to attack them on the ground. The Chargers have allowed opposing QBs to post the eighth highest QB rating at 100.7, worse than the league average of 92.7. If forced into expanded volume as part of a higher scoring contest, Carr could be a worthy start in deeper leagues. In shallower leagues, he’s more of a sit candidate.
Start: RB Josh Jacobs
The Chargers’ run defense has been mediocre on a per carry basis and has allowed more fantasy points to RBs than average. Jacobs ranks in the top 10 in touches among RBs and has been heavily used in the red zone, getting the fourth most red zone carries, including third most inside the 10-yard line. Jacobs has TD upside given his plus touch and red zone volume.
Start: Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler
Melvin Gordon is coming off his best performance of the season under new offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, getting a strong 23 touches, including five touches inside the red zone. Three of those touches were inside the 10-yard line, and Gordon converted two into TDs. Austin Ekeler also had 16 touches. While some of that could be related to the score of last week’s game, it’s possible the coaching change brings more touch volume to Gordon and Ekeler. Oakland’s rush defense has been strong on a per carry basis, ranking fifth best, but Gordon and Ekeler can make an impact in what looks like one of the higher scoring games in Week 10. The Raiders’ defense has also allowed more catches and more receiving yards than average to RBs.
Start: TE Hunter Henry
Since returning from injury, Henry is averaging a solid eight targets per game and has seen consistent red zone targets, getting four red zone targets in four games, including two inside the 10-yard line. Henry is in a strong spot against a poor pass defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points to tight ends.
Start: TE Darren Waller
Waller’s 60 targets leads all Oakland players by a wide margin, with Hunter Renfrow a distant second with 37 targets. Waller’s matchup isn’t great against a Chargers defense that has been better than average against the pass and has allowed less fantasy points than average to tight ends, but Waller is one of the top tight ends across the board. Waller ranks in the top five at TE in fantasy points per game, targets, receiving yards per game, and TDs.
Start: WR Mike Williams
The Raiders have given up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing WR. Keenan Allen in the top target in the Chargers’ passing game, but Williams ranks second at WR in targets on the team and has a great matchup.