Broncos vs Chargers Fantasy Football Worksheet, Week 5

The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 5 Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers Sunday afternoon game on October 6, 2019 at 4:05 pm ET.
DenverRank@LA ChargersRank
19Implied Total25.5
23.217Points All./Gm18.59
59.55Opp. Plays/Gm55.51
49.6%30Opp. Rush %44.1%25
50.4%3Opp. Pass %55.9%8
  • The Broncos have lost eight consecutive games dating back to last season, the longest ongoing streak in the league.
  • Opponents have scored on 48.7% of their possessions versus the Broncos, the highest rate outside of the Dolphins (64.1%).
  • Austin Ekeler’s 69.0 receiving points would make him the WR11 on the season. 
  • With Melvin Gordon active last season, Ekeler averaged 8.5 touches for 68.4 yards from scrimmage per game.
  • Opposing teams average 9.0 possessions per game against the Chargers, the fewest in the league.

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Austin Ekeler: Even with Gordon returning to the lineup and actually expected to get on the field this week, Ekeler still holds RB2 value since the split may be more even in Gordon’s first game. Ekeler should also remain involved in the passing game since the Chargers have been so banged up on offense. 
  • Melvin Gordon: If we knew Gordon was the workhorse, he’d be a top-5 option this week. Gordon doesn’t have an average to judge off of, but it’s hard to expect him to have a full workload right out of the box. Even if he gets to even split, he should get scoring opportunities and the matchup is strong against a Denver defense that just lost Bradley Chubb and has been steamrolled for 20.6 rushing points per game (30th).
  • Courtland Sutton: Sutton has made a large step forward to start his second season. After catching just 50% of his targets for 44.0 yards per game, Sutton has reeled in 77.3% of his targets (22-of-31) for 77.3 yards per game. He’s been a top-30 scorer in three of the opening four games. In straight up coverage, Sutton would only draw Casey Hayward on 30% of his routes while the Chargers may just choose to let Hayward trail Sanders while the taller and longer Brandon Facyson sticks on Sutton.
  • Mike Williams: Assuming he was held out last week as precautionary given the matchup, the last time that Williams was on the field he played 93% of the team snaps, had a season-high seven targets (15.2%), and 133 air yards. With Allen busy with Harris, the Broncos have allowed secondary options such as Dede Westbrook (5-66) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (6-99-1) to have production. 

Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Philip Rivers: He’s thrown for 293 or more yards in all four games and sits sixth in yards per pass attempt (8.6). This is a matchup that has given him trouble in the past as Rivers has been a QB1 option in just two of his past 14 games against the Broncos. Denver also hasn’t allowed a QB1 scoring week yet this season while ranking sixth in passing points allowed per game (12.3). You don’t have to run from Rivers, but he’s more of a high-end QB2 this week.
  • Keenan Allen: He had a season-low six targets (19.6%) last week in a blowout while also costing himself a 69-yard touchdown on a self-inflicted offensive pass interference. Allen should be shadowed by Chris Harris this week and the two have history given their long tenures in this rivalry and Harris’s long-standing slot coverage prior to this season. Allen has been held to 89 yards or fewer in all eight of his regular-season matchups with the Broncos over his career, but does have five touchdowns in those games. The two have locked up three times over the past two seasons, with Allen posting lines of 6-69-1, 2-22-0, and 1-5-1 in the coverage of Harris in those games. Over the past three weeks, Harris has held Allen Robinson (4-41), Davante Adams (4-56), and D.J. Chark (4-44) all to WR43 or lower scoring weeks.
  • Joe Flacco: Flacco has actually played fairly solidly in terms of keeping the Denver skill players relevant each week, but that has resulted in just one week higher than QB16 for his own fantasy purposes. His two best starts have also come at home. On the road so far, Flacco has been the QB20 and QB31 with one passing touchdown.
  • Emmanuel Sanders: The Chargers may not choose to have Casey Hayward trail Sanders, but even in straight-up coverage, Sanders would draw Hayward or Desmond King for 80% of his routes. The Chargers have had Sanders’s number recently, with Sanders posting lines of 4-56, 3-26, 4-68, and 4-40 in the past four meetings between these teams.
  • Denver RBs: This near 50/50 split between Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay has slightly favored Freeman in two of the past three games. Last week, Freeman played a season-high 61.8% of the snaps, but each back had exactly 10 touches in the game. The weird part of this split is the usage is almost backward from expectations. Freeman has more pass routes than Lindsay in each of the past two games while Lindsay has all of the backfield opportunities this season from inside of the 5-yard line. The Chargers are 11th in points allowed to opposing backs (20.1 points), which is not strong enough to split as road dogs, keeping both as FLEX only options.


More Week 5 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

LAR at SEA | CHI at OAK | BAL at PIT | NE at WAS | NYJ at PHI | ARI at CIN | JAX at CAR | TB at NO | ATL at HOU | BUF at TEN | MIN at NYG | DEN at LAC | GB at DAL | IND at KC | CLE at SF