2012 Fantasy Football, Monday Night Football Week 6 Preview: Broncos vs. Chargers
This week Monday Night Football takes us to San Diego as the Chargers host Peyton Manning and the Broncos. This game should be one of the more offense-friendly games of Week 6 as the two teams rank 13th and ninth, respectively, in points per game. Both teams are capable of putting up 30+ points in any game, and with the playmakers this game will feature, this MNF matchup promises to be fantasy-friendly.
Peyton Manning has been quite excellent in his return season after multiple neck surgeries. He ranks fifth among quarterbacks in standard fantasy scoring, and his 11 passing touchdowns are good for fourth overall. The Chargers defense has been the 10th-friendliest to quarterbacks fantasy-scoring wise as it has allowed 11 touchdowns through the air. Its 260 passing yards allowed per game ranks 20th in the NFL, and in the last three games the Chargers D has given up at least 251 yards passing in each game and a total of nine touchdowns. Manning is a top option this week.
Philip Rivers hasn’t been very good this year so far. He ranks only 17th in fantasy points by quarterbacks, but he’s thrown four touchdowns the past two weeks and threw for 354 yards last week. But that was against the Saints’ porous defense. Denver’s giving up 68 fewer yards a game passing than New Orleans, even though they've allowed at least 15 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks four times this season. But Denver excels at rushing the passer, and Rivers will be without his starting left tackle, Jared Gaither. The Chargers will be starting an undrafted free agent at left tackle in his place. They did the same thing Week 1, and Rivers only scored 15 points. I recommend benching Rivers this week if you have any slightly appealing alternative option.
Willis McGahee had a rough Week 5, publicly apologizing for his poor play on Twitter. But even when someone plays poorly in real life, that doesn’t mean he’s done poorly fantasy-wise. McGahee’s 60 standard points rank him 12th at the running back position. McGahee’s played very well recently against San Diego, who ranks fifth in rush yards per game allowed. McGahee rushed for 125 and 117 yards, respectively, in last year’s two meetings against the Chargers. McGahee’s caught 11 passes for over 70 yards the past two games, so even if San Diego limits him on the ground, he can still score points through the air. He’s a good RB2 this week.
The Broncos, the 15th-friendliest fantasy defense against opposing running backs, gave up 253 rushing yards and two touchdowns to running backs last week against New England. Ryan Mathews and his owners should be salivating. Mathews had his best game of his shortened season last week, totaling 139 yards and a touchdown, as well as six catches. He should be in line for his largest workload of the season Monday, and should easily put up well over 100 total yards as well as a touchdown. Start him no questions asked.
Both teams have been in the bottom-half of fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, so I recommend starting – obviously – Demaryius Thomas as well as Eric Decker. Thomas is third in the NFL in receiving yards, and Decker has caught at least four passes in every game, has at least 50 receiving yards in four of five games, and has scored a touchdown in two straight. Decker should be a good WR3 or flex play this week. A little more unclear than the Denver receiving corps is San Diego’s. Malcom Floyd has produced three good weeks, including a five-catch, 108-yard performance last week, but he was limited in practice Friday due to a groin injury. Monitor his status and if he’s set to play he’s good to be a WR3 or flex play this week. If Floyd can’t go, I’d recommend starting Robert Meachem. But if Floyd does go I’d sit Meachem. Meachem had his best game of the season last week, scoring two touchdowns against his former team, the Saints. But he’s been shut-out in two games, and only once has he been targeted more than four times in one game. If Floyd doesn’t play, Meachem can be a high risk-reward flex play.
Jacob Tamme has been solid, but the lack of touchdowns (1) and his low yards per reception (8.3) make him only a bye-week fill-in for now. Joel Dreessen is scoring the touchdown’s Tamme isn’t, but the lack of other catches and yardage makes him even less appealing than Tamme. Antonio Gates has been rather, well, bustful this year. He’s been outscored by Kellen Davis and Jeff Cumberland this year. Who? Exactly. You drafted Gates to be your starting tight end all 16 games, but I understand if he’s irritating you. If you picked up a Kyle Rudolph or Jermaine Gresham early in the season, I have no problem with you starting either of those guys. But don’t over-react to a bad five-game stretch; Gates’ points will come.
Written by Andrew Miller exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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