The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 18 Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Sunday Night Football game.
|LA Chargers||Rank||@||Las Vegas||Rank|
|46.16%||27||Opp. Rush %||43.45%||22|
|53.84%||6||Opp. Pass %||56.55%||11|
Motivation or Rest Alert
This game was moved to Sunday Night Football for a reason. It is a win-and-in game for both teams. The Raiders also can get in with a loss if the Colts also lose to the Jaguars.
Justin Herbert: Herbert has reeled off seven straight QB1 scoring weeks after four over his opening nine games. One of those was against the Raiders back in Week 4 (21.3 points) despite Herbert throwing for 5.8 yards per pass attempt. The Raiders enter Week 18 ranking 22nd in passing points allowed per game (15.2). Keep firing up Herbert as a top fantasy option to close the season.
Derek Carr: Closing last week as the QB24 (10.2 points), Carr has now been the QB18 or lower in seven of his past nine games with one or fewer touchdown passes in all of those games but one. Carr has been the QB23 or lower in each of his past four starts. Carr was the QB25 (14.4 points) when these teams met in Week 4, passing for a season-low 196 yards. The Chargers are not a defense to hide from, ranking 22nd in yards allowed per attempt (7.3 Y/A) and 19th in passing points allowed per game (14.8), but Carr resides in QB2 territory over the back half of the season.
Austin Ekeler: After missing Week 16 due to COVID, Ekeler picked up where he left off returning to action last week, turning 20 touches into 112 yards and his 18th touchdown of the season. The Raiders have allowed 15.2 rushing points (25th) and 11.9 receiving points (28th) per game to backfields, including 145 yards and three touchdowns to Ekeler back in Week 4. Fire up Ekeler as a top-end fantasy play.
Josh Jacobs: Jacobs handled 20 touches for 80 yards and his eighth touchdown against a Colts defense that has been stingy to opposing backfields. Jacobs has now averaged 21.0 touches per game over the past six games after 14.6 per game prior. The Raiders have not been a good running team all season, but that type of volume provides a safe floor as Jacobs has been an RB2 or better in 11-of-14 games this season. The matchup gets lighter here against a sporadic Chargers run defense. The Chargers have allowed 18.4 rushing points per game (30th) to backs but have also allowed fewer than 100 yards rushing to total teams in three of their past five games.
Keenan Allen: Allen has posted 191 receiving yards over his past four games with 44 or fewer in three of those four, but he has flipped his touchdown fortune by getting used near the end zone, scoring four touchdowns over that span after two touchdowns over his opening 11 games. No matter how he is being used, Allen has been a fringe WR1 despite very few games where he stacks yardage and touchdowns. The Raiders have been an interesting defense this year through the air, really being a solid unit against opposing wide receivers. The Raiders have allowed 7.5 yards per target (11th) and a 3.6% touchdown rate (sixth), but also have allowed a 66.7% catch rate (28th) to wideouts.
Hunter Renfrow: After eight targets the previous two weeks, Renfrow caught 7-of-9 targets for 76 yards and his seventh touchdown of the season last week against the Colts.
With Darren Waller inactive or exiting seven games this season, Renfrow has 23.8% of the team targets with 17.4 PPR points per game compared to a 20.0% target share and 13.3 points per game with a fully active Waller on the field. The latter does include him posting a 6-45-1 line on eight targets against the Chargers in Week 4, however. The Chargers have been worse against interior wide receivers (14th) as opposed to boundary wideouts (fourth) to give Renfrow an edge as a WR2.
Mike Williams: Williams caught 3-of-4 targets for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 17, his first trip to the end zone since Week 11 and second touchdown over his past 10 games. The Raiders have been one of the league’s best defenses against the deep ball (aside from running into each other), allowing a 31.1% completion rate (third) on throws 15 yards or further downfield, leaving Williams as a volatile WR3. Williams caught 1-of-4 targets for 11 yards when these teams met in Week 4.
Zay Jones: In the year of fantasy zombies, Jones has now seen 27 targets over the past three games, with 25.0%, 32.0%, and 31.3% of the team targets, positing games of 6-67-0, 6-50-0, and 8-120-0. With Waller expected to return, the target shares here should shrink and move Jones back to WR5 status and better single-game DFS play, but if Waller has a setback, Jones can get back in play as a WR3/FLEX in full-PPR formats.
Darren Waller: Waller is attempting to return from back and knee injuries that have kept him out since Thanksgiving and also missed last week on the COVID list. We will have to watch this situation throughout the week to see if we finally get Waller back in lineups, but the early word was that he was expecting to play on Sunday night. Waller had seen 23.7% of the team targets over his six games prior to injury.
Waller caught 4-of-7 targets for 50 yards and a touchdown when these played in Week 4 while the Chargers have been a matchup target for us all season against tight ends. The Chargers are allowing 8.8 yards per target (31st) and a league-high 10.4% touchdown rate to opposing tight ends this season. If Waller comes back, he finds himself back in play as a TE1.
Jared Cook: Cook missed last week due to COVID protocols, but even with all of the players out for the Chargers in Week 16, Cook did not see a real change in playing time and opportunity. Cook ran a pass route on 67.5% of the team dropbacks, which was 21st among all tight ends in Week 16. Cook ended up catching 3-of-5 targets for 44 yards and a two-point conversion.
Cook has cleared 48 yards just twice this season, but he did have a season-high 70 yards and a touchdown on six catches when these teams met earlier in the season. The Raiders have also struggled in letting tight ends reach the end zone, allowing a 7.9% touchdown rate (29th) to the position. Cook is a fringe TE1 based on the matchup.
More Week 18 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet: