This a snippet of Adam Pfeifer’s NFL matchups column, previewing the Los Angeles Chargers & the Miami Dolphins for Fantasy Football Lineups. Fantasy rosters needed protective spray because players were bit hard by the injury bug in Week 3. Multiple backup quarterbacks made starts, and running backs and wide receivers all suffered injuries this past weekend, with a handful of key offensive linemen also going down. As a result, we missed on plenty in this article, but we hit on plenty, as well. Back on the horse. With that in mind, let’s dig into some NFL matchups and NFL game breakdowns for your Week 4 Fantasy Football Lineups. What do to do with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler?
To read the FULL column, click HERE.
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Don’t have time to read the whole thing? Wanna hit up the gym and study some football? We’ve got you covered. New this week, Adam Pfeifer has turned his matchups column into a podcast. He reads the entire 15,000 word column. Out every Friday at Awesemo.com.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Miami Dolphins
Line: LAC -15.5
Chargers passing game
Wheels up this week for the Chargers offense. Sure, they can play down to their opponent and are traveling to Miami. But their offense should be able to do whatever they want here. Philip Rivers obviously profiles well against an awful Dolphins defense that is surrendering a league-worst 3.61 points per drive. They are also allowing nearly 0.90 fantasy points per pass attempt. It is possible that the Chargers running game just dominates this contest, limiting Rivers’ upside.
But it is also possible that he connects with his receivers for four touchdowns on 25 pass attempts because the Dolphins are just that bad. They are allowing the most passing touchdowns per game (3.3), while opponents are completing 72 percent of their passes against the Dolphins, the fifth-highest rate in football. Rivers is essentially a lock to have a good game but how good the running game is will impact his ceiling.
Is there a player in all of fantasy football that you feel better about each week than Keenan Allen? Through three weeks, Allen leads all wide receivers in fantasy points (87.7), targets (42), yards (404), receptions (29), air yards (495) and market share of air yards (46%). There is no bigger lock for double-digit targets in the league right now and as I’ve talked about before, his uptick in end zone usage has been awesome. Allen saw just seven end zone targets all of last year but has already seen four such looks here in 2019. Perhaps the Dolphins use Xavien Howard to shadow him across the field in this game but it doesn’t matter. Allen is one of the best players in fantasy and is still too cheap at $7,600.
Mike Williams hasn’t found the end zone yet this season, though that could easily change this weekend. Miami is allowing a league-leading 5.3 red zone scoring attempts per game this season, while teams are scoring touchdowns on 75 percent of their red zone trips against the Dolphins. And because Williams lines up as the left wide receiver for the Chargers, he will likely see coverage from Eric Rowe, who has allowed 11 catches for 142 yards and a pair of touchdowns in coverage. He is a high-upside WR3 who always has multiple touchdown upside, especially with tight end Hunter Henry still sidelined.
Chargers running game
Not many running backs should be ranked ahead of Austin Ekeler this week, as he gets the prime matchup. Miami has already allowed five running back touchdowns this season to go along with an other-worldly 208 rushing yards per game. Just nine percent of all runs against the Dolphins have been stuffed at the line of scrimmage this season, tied for the lowest rate in football. Ekeler only had nine carries last game but continue to see that massive receiving floor. He has at least six receptions and 45 yards in all three games, while averaging 6.6 targets per game.
It is worth noting that the Chargers were using Justin Jackson more last week, who finished the game with a season high in snaps (32). Still, there should be enough for both of these guys to produce, as opposing offenses are averaging 38.3 rushing attempts per game against the Dolphins, easily the most in the league. Ekeler is obviously a top-five running back play but Jackson is a viable FLEX option, especially for those who need to replace the 49ers backs, Le’Veon Bell or Barkley. This guy has been very efficient this season, averaging 6.5 yards per touch. He also leads the league in yards after contact per attempt (4.78) and we saw Dallas’ backup Tony Pollard get his with the Cowboys up big last week.
Dolphins passing game
Not much has changed in a week.
The Dolphins may be starting Josh Rosen but that doesn’t mean you have to. Los Angeles may be missing a few key pieces from their secondary, but it isn’t enough to warrant using Rosen for fantasy purposes. I mean, I guess he is insanely cheap on DK ($4,500), so you wouldn’t need him to do much at that price.
I will say, however, that I really don’t hate Preston Williams as a punt this weekend. He is coming off a game where he saw 12 targets and although the efficiency wasn’t there, that volume is fantastic and likely won’t go away with the Dolphins always chasing points. Williams gets the best matchup of the Miami receivers. DeVante Parker will likely be shutdown by Hayward, while Jakeem Grant matches up with Desmond King, who is arguably the best slot corner in all of football. I think we could see a lot of the targets funnel to Williams again and at just $3,900, I truly do have some interest.
Dolphins running game
Kenyan Drake quietly had 15 touches last week, totaling 72 yards. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. The Dolphins are still giving Kalen Ballage work for some reason but if Drake continues to get more and more work, he wouldn’t be the worst cheap option with Miami once again chasing points. Of course, you are never, ever excited about it. Ever.
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