Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview 10/13/19: Analysis, Depth Charts, Daily Fantasy

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Both these teams may be the most disappointing teams in the AFC this season. They both had Super Bowl expectations before the year started but now have losing records. The Chargers are currently favored to win this game by 6.5 points. It is likely that the Chargers win this game because the Steelers are starting their third string quarterback, Devlin Hodges. Without an experienced quarterback, the Steelers have a difficult challenge against the Chargers in Los Angeles. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers matchup page.

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 13th, 2019
Time: 8:20 ET
Location: ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park – Carson, CA
Coverage: NBC

Injury Report

Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Mason Rudolph (O) – Concussion, RB Jaylen Samuels (O) – Knee, WR James Washington (O) – Shoulder, CB Steven Nelson (Q) – Groin, LB Mark Barron (O) – Hamstring, CB Justin Layne (Q) – Illness, TE Vance McDonald (Q) – Shoulder, FB Roosevelt Nix (O) – Knee
Los Angeles Chargers: S Nasir Adderley (D) – Hamstring, K Michael Badgley (D) – Groin, DE Melvin Ingram (Q) – Hamstring, RB Justin Jackson (D) – Calf, CB Casey Hayward (Q) – Back, TE Hunter Henry (Q) – Knee, P Ty Long (Q) – Foot, C Mike Pouncey (IR) – Neck, WR Dontrelle Inman (IR) – Quads

Pittsburgh Steelers Analysis

Pittsburgh SteelersThe Steelers offense is a big question mark coming into this week because of uncertainty at the quarterback position. Third string quarterback Delvin Hodges played 26 snaps last week in wake of Mason Rudolph’s injury. He completed 7 of 9 attempts for 68 yards. From his limited time playing, it is nearly impossible to see whether he will play well this week. However, it is safer to assume that Hodges will not have a good game, so it is not a good idea to start any Steelers players this week. It is better to wait and see how Hodges does and wait for Mason Rudolph to return. Rudolph should return to action in a week or two, and the offense did quite well with him at quarterback.

Another player to watch this week is Vance McDonald. He returned from injury last week, but split snaps with backup tight end Nick Vannett. It will be important to note how much he factors into this offense and how well he is recovering from injury. The only player who may be startable on the Steelers this week in James Conner. He has had 11+ points in all but two games, and those two games were against the Patriots and 49ers–they rank 1st and 2nd against running backs. When Conner has played average defensive teams, he has put up solid stalines. The Chargers rank 16th in points allowed to running backs, so Conner may still have a decent game.

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Devlin Hodges
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Benny Snell
WR1: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR2: Donte Moncrief
WR3: James Washington
TE: Vance McDonald


Los Angeles Chargers Analysis

Los Angeles ChargersKeenan Allen should have a great game against the Steelers this week. After two poor performances in the last two weeks, he is in a good position to do well against a Steelers defense that ranks 18th in points allowed to opposing receivers. Allen has shown that he can have consistently productive performances. In the first three weeks, Allen had 29 receptions for 404 yards and 3 touchdowns. He may be able to return to peak form this week. Mike Williams is a decent fantasy option for this week after last week’s good performance. He had 13 targets and 6 receptions for 74 yards. As the WR2 for the Chargers high powered offense, he could also have a big game this week. The Steelers pass defense has not been especially good, so both Chargers receivers could have great games.

The running back situation for the Chargers is more interesting. Last week, Ekeler was on the field for 66% of snaps while Melvin Gordon was on the field for 46% of snaps. It appears that the Chargers are using Ekeler for passing plays and are using Gordon for running plays. Ekeler only tallied 3 rushing attempts but had 15 receptions for 86 yards. The Chargers were forced to pass the ball more against the Broncos defense since the running game was not working. If the running game is working, they would likely stick to Gordon as the lead back. The Steelers have the 21st ranked rush defense, so the Chargers will probably have more success running with Gordon this week. This means that Gordon will probably have a better game than Ekeler.

Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart

QB: Philip Rivers
RB1: Austin Ekeler
RB2: Justin Jackson
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR2: Mike Williams
WR3: Travis Benjamin
TE: Virgil Green

Daily Fantasy: Melvin Gordon Returns

Keenan Allen (DK: $7,000, FD: $7,300) is an amazing pick for this week. He could easily be the top fantasy receiver this week, and his salary is definitely below his value on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Melvin Gordon (DK: $6,300, FD: $6,600) is another great pick because this will be his first game against a bad rushing defense. His salary is extremely low and he should get a lot of carries against the Steelers. Austin Ekeler (DK: $6,400, FD: $6,800) is not as good of a play this week because the Chargers will likely rely more on the running game, which means they will rely on Gordon more than Ekeler. Lastly, the Chargers D/ST (DK: $3,300, FD: $5,000) is a sneaky play this week. The Steelers are starting an inexperienced quarterback, and that usually leads to great fantasy performances from defenses.

Rohil Bajaj is a student at the University of California–Santa Barbara and is from Maryland. He is a devoted Washington Redskins fan and has a passion for fantasy football. As a statistics major, Rohil enjoys using data and analytics to gain an edge in his won fantasy football leagues.

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