So here we are, week four into the season and it hasn’t exactly occurred as hoped. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert has been asked to start before some would have liked. The 1-2 record is one loss more than was expected. And the injuries keep piling up.
QB, TYROD TAYLOR
WR, MIKE WILLIAMS
T, BRYAN BULAGA
G, TRAI TURNER
CB, CHRIS HARRIS JR.
The game will be played. The Chargers are coming off a surprising loss to the previously winless Carolina Panthers. The Buccaneers are finding their stride after a win over the injury-plagued Denver Broncos.
68% Chance of Showers, MID 70s
QUARTERBACK, JUSTIN HERBERT: Herbert has thrown for 641 yards in two games. Last week he was 35-of-49 for 330 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. It is unfortunate that he will travel to meet a Buccaneers defense that has sacked the quarterback 12 times, while also having the seventh-lowest quarterback rating (83) to opposing QBs.
It is also a real possibility that the Chargers will be playing from behind so Herbert will be forced to air the ball out. This doesn’t look good for a quarterback who had 49 pass attempts last week.
Herbert has been pressured on 38.5 percent of his dropbacks. The Panthers pressured Herbert 41.5 percent (while in their first two games they pressured their opponents 12 percent).
Through three games, the Bucs have a sack on 9.7 percent of their opponent’s dropbacks. This is the sixth-highest rate in the league.
SIT Herbert OUT for this one and if Bulaga is out, worry for his safety too!
WIDE RECEIVER, MIKE WILLIAMS: Likely out, but even if not, SIT.
WIDE RECEIVER, KEENAN ALLEN: Allen appears to be Herbert’s man. Allen has 37 targets, 23 receptions for 265 yards. He is tied with DeAndre Hopkins for the most targets through three weeks.
The game script dictates that the Herbert-Allen connection remains strong. Last week, having to come from behind, Allen was on the receiving end of 19 targets. This week should be no different.
Allen is a must-start every week.
RUNNING BACK, JOSHUA KELLEY: In a week where the Chargers played one of the porous defenses against the run, you would think that Kelley would dominate. Unfortunately for Kelley, the game did not go as planned. Kelley was on the field for 30 percent of the offensive snaps. This tells you that Kelley is not the running back when the Chargers are forced to play from behind. (Week two when the Chargers played with the lead he was on the field for 51 percent of the offensive snaps).
Kelley saw eight touches for 43 yards. His two targets were nine less than Austin Ekeler‘s and his nine yards were 75 yards less. This week the Chargers will most likely once again be playing from behind.
SIT Kelley as he appears to be game script dependent.
RUNNING BACK, AUSTIN EKELER: Last week Ekeler rushed for 59 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. He was also targeted 11 times and had 11 receptions for 84 yards.
This game will necessitate Ekeler making good through the air. The Buccaneers are allowing the second-lowest yards per carry, but have allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPR points through the air. In two weeks, Herbert has targeted Ekeler 15 times.
There is always the chance that Kelley is on the field if the Chargers get in the red zone, further lowering, Ekeler’s fantasy ceiling.
START Ekeler, but lower your fantasy expectations.
TIGHT END, HUNTER HENRY: Let’s just say it, only Travis Kelce has more tight end receiving yards than Henry. So far this season Henry has 23 targets, 16 receptions, and 206 receiving yards. His targets share has been consistent and he is averaging 12.88 yards per reception.
The Bucs have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to the tight end position so far this season. Henry’s consistent target share coupled with a game they will most likely be playing from behind, you can’t sit him.
START Henry but with tempered expectations.
Chargers Defensive Stats For Three Weeks
- The Chargers are the 11th ranked rushing defense.
- The Chargers defense has given up 4.6 yards per carry.
- The Chargers defense ranks ninth against the pass but has only one interception. The interception rate of 0.09% is the fifth-worst in the league.
- The Chargers 22.2% red zone touchdown rate allowed is the best in the league where the league average is 62.1%.
- Casey Hayward may be shadowing Mike Evans (if Chris Godwin is out).