The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 6 Pittsburgh Steelers vs Los Angeles Chargers Sunday Night Football game on October 13, 2019 at 8:20 pm ET.
|46.1%||27||Opp. Rush %||46.9%||29|
|53.9%||6||Opp. Pass %||53.1%||4|
- Under Mike Tomlin, the Steelers are 1-6 straight up and 2-5 against the spread on the West Coast.
- The Steelers offense is averaging just 40.8 offensive touches per game for skill players, ahead of only the Jets (40.5) and Dolphins (34.8).
- Pittsburgh is averaging 3.7 fewer yards per pass play than their opponent, which ranks 30th in the league ahead of only the Dolphins (-3.8) and Jets (-5.0).
- The Chargers are allowing opponents to reach the red zone just 1.8 times per game, trailing only the Patriots (0.8).
- Melvin Gordon played 32 snaps (45.7%) and ran 18 pass routes in his 2019 debut while Austin Ekeler played 46 snaps (65.7%).
- Philip Rivers’s 4.4 yards per pass attempt last week were his fewest in game since Week 10, 2007.
Trust (spike production for that player)
- Keenan Allen: Allen had just 66 yards on nine catches the past two weeks, but he should bounce back here. The Steelers are the worst defense against opposing slot wideouts through five weeks this season. They know Allen firsthand, as Allen had 14 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown when these teams met a year ago.
On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)
- Philip Rivers: Coming off one of the worst games of his career, Rivers has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of his past four games against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has limited Andy Dalton (171 yards) and Lamar Jackson (161) the past two weeks at home, but had previously allowed 277 yards passing or more in each of their first three games. The downside is that with Pittsburgh down to their third quarterback, the ceiling potential for the game is limited.
- Austin Ekeler: Ekeler had just three of the 15 rushing attempts in Gordon’s return, but did run 33 pass routes to 18 for Gordon. We can’t count on that type of passing volume given the anticipated game script, but the Steelers are 20th in receiving points allowed to backfields (11.4).
- Melvin Gordon: Knocking off the rust, he had just 2.4 yards per touch in his return. The positives were that he was targeted on six of his 18 pass routes and the entire offense looked horrendous, so it wasn’t just him. Building off his 16 touches, the Steelers are 21st in points allowed to opposing backfields (25.7).
- Mike Williams: He played 89% of the snaps in his return last week and had 13 targets. Williams also plays in the slot a good amount (41% of his routes) and runs 75% of his routes from the slot or LWR, where he’ll avoid Joe Haden.
- James Conner: Conner is coming off a season-high 80% of the snaps last week after his previous high in a game this season was 68%. With Jaylen Samuels now injured and out, Conner should be on the field much more to keep him in the RB2 mix. The Chargers were shredded on the ground last week for 175 yards on 28 carries to Denver backs, but Conner has yet to surpass 55 yards on the ground in a game this season. Volume potential keeps him in the floor RB2 area, but production to date and the quarterback situation could limit his upside.
Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster: He had a season-high seven receptions last week, but still has yet to be jammed with opportunity. He has eight or fewer targets in every game this season. He’s also on his third quarterback of the season and in a terrible matchup. Smith-Schuster is set to run 81% of his routes against Desmond King and Casey Hayward.
- Delvin Hodges: I’m actually excited for Hodges, but this is not objectively a good spot to chase intrigue only. At Samford, Hodges set the NCAA career record for passing yards (14,584) and ran for 1,017 yards over his four college seasons. But he’s on the road across the country against a defense that has allowed the QB17 or lower in four of their five games is a tall order for fantasy production.
- Other Steelers: Outside of Conner and Smith-Schuster, there’s not much to latch onto here with Hodges in his first career start from Vance McDonald or Diontae Johnson.
If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play)
- Hunter Henry: Henry is expected to play Sunday Night for the first time since Week 1, but is expected to only return on a limited basis. The Steelers have been 22nd in receptions allowed to opposing tight ends to open the season with three touchdowns.