Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Location: Raymond James Stadium (Away)
A quarterback who’s always had talent but is often criticised for never fully utilising it, Philip Rivers has always been a somewhat dodgy choice as a fantasy quarterback. This week against the Buccaneers isn’t much different. The Bucs are now without the recently traded Aqib Talib but the rest of their defense has performed well this year, making Rivers a low end fantasy starter at best. Look for other options.
Ryan Mathews may be a former first round pick but constant injuries and an inability to perform consistently at a high NFL standard have made him tough to trust. This week he comes up against the stout but underrated Buccaneers defense. Mathews is no better than a low RB2 given the tough matchup. Aside from him, the only other runner I would play this week is Ronnie Brown and only in PPR formats as a flex option.
It’s been difficult to have much faith in the Chargers wide receivers this year as their production has been sporadic at best. The team’s leading receiver Malcom Floyd is a pretty good option this week but there’s no guarantee he puts up good numbers – he only averages four receptions per game and despite being targetted the most by far only averages 6 targets per game. I would avoid all Chargers wide receivers simply because there’s no real indication of who will get the most work and whether that work will be productive – although if you have to gamble in deeper leagues try Seji Ajirotutu who returned to the team recently after playing for Carolina and may be able to take advantage of his chemistry with Philip Rivers from a couple of years ago.
He’s been around for what seems like forever and he’s always getting hurt but Antonio Gates is still one of the best tight ends around and you can guarantee that while the wide receiver situation is fluid that Gates position as Rivers #1 favorite pass catcher is rock solid. Start him with confidence.