From a fantasy perspective, there are two great things about Week 10. No teams are off, and it starts early.
Oddsmakers set the total for Oakland-San Diego at 47.5, third-highest on the board. So it should be a good start for fantasy owners.
Entering Thursday’s game, QB Philip Rivers ranks 10th in weekly scoring on CBSSports.com. He’s thrown 11 TDs against 14 INTs.
Quite a disappointment for a player chosen in the top few rounds, way ahead of more productive QBs such as Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton.
Rivers is something of a mystery right now. He insists he’s not hurt, and he did throw for nearly 400 yards and four TDs against the Packers on Sunday. But he also tossed a pair of pick-sixes and made some inexplicable throws, especially his third INT. It was nowhere close to intended target Vincent Jackson. Two Packers had a much better shot at the ball.
PFF’s Sam Monson Rivers notes that Rivers’ O-line is failing him. Jeromey Clary (-3.5) was beaten for a sack and four more pressures on the right side, and Marcus McNeil (-2.0) allowed a hit and five pressures from the left side. Remember how McNeil flailed futiley against K.C.’s Tamba Hali? Rivers’ blindside protector is a below-average LT right now.
Monson suggests the Chargers start “employing the services of a more conventional blocking tight end in addition to the wide-out play of Antonio Gates (-1.2).”
Rivers also has been hurt by wideout injuries, which continue with Malcom Floyd slated to miss his second straight. But Jackson is back in full force. And deep sleeper Vincent Brown showed up with four catches for 79 yards Sunday.
Look for Rivers to put up a lot of yards and at least two TDs, and make fewer mistakes against the Raiders. While Oakland was gashed by Denver’s read-option run game, the Raiders still own PFF’s fourth-best run defense (+47.7). They rank 25th in pass coverage (-17.7).
Ryan Mathews (groin) appears on track to play. Even if he returns, Mike Tolbert still figures to get plenty of snaps and all the goal-line opportunities.
Michael Bush has run for 195 yards in the last two games and even snagged an 11-yard TD catch from Carson Palmer on Sunday. He’s better than one-third of the NFL’s starting RBs.
Starting any Oakland wideout is risky, as coach Hue Jackson continues to shuffle the hierarchy. Jacoby Ford (5 catches, 105 yards, TD vs. Broncos) is the best bet, followed by Denarius Moore (12 targets).
No teams are off this weekend, so it’s doubtful anyone is considering starting Palmer.
But he showed good arm strength in his 332-yard, 3-TD effort against Denver. If Palmer can cut down on his INTs – he’s thrown six in six quarters – he could be a matchup play down the stretch for owners with a low-end QB1.