The good news is that it can’t get much worse than what happened on Thursday night. Russell Wilson finished as the QB26 on the week and looked lost for most of the night. Courtland Sutton and Melvin Gordon posted respectable numbers, but not a single Bronco crossed the goal line.
Will we see a repeat on Monday night, or will the Denver offense kick it into gear for week 6?
Let’s look at who you should be starting and sitting.
Sit QB Russell Wilson
A matchup with the Chargers always lends itself to the potential of a shootout, leaving the door slightly cracked for a possibility that Russ cooks on Monday night. More likely, however, he will prepare something in the microwave that we will be forced to watch in primetime. Again. The Chargers are giving up 21.4 points to opposing passers, the 12th most in the league. Their defense carries some start power but has generally been a disappointment so far this season. However, if you watched Russ on Thursday night, you know he’s throwing a substantial amount of inaccurate passes and struggling to see the field. Combine that with a shoulder strain that required an injection over the weekend, and he can’t be trusted in our lineups.
Start RB Melvin Gordon
Russell Wilson is struggling mightily and the Chargers defense is allowing 6.2 yards per carry, the most in the NFL, so it makes sense for Denver to lean on Melvin Gordon. He posted a productive outing on Thursday with 15 carries for 54 yards and three catches for 49 yards. The Colts boast a much stronger front than the Chargers, so Gordon should find more running lanes if the Broncos weakened offensive line can hold up. Being a threat to catch passes out of the backfield helps Gordon’s case and we get the revenge game against his former team.
Sit RB Mike Boone
Admittedly, Mike Boone offers some intriguing upside. He’s averaging 5.8 yards per carry and 11.6 yards per reception and looks explosive out of the backfield. It’s possible he sees an increased workload after a good showing last week, but the team seems more likely to lean on Melvin Gordon. We need to see more targets or goal line work for Boone to be a fantasy option.
Start WR Courtland Sutton
The Chargers prized offseason acquisition in the secondary, JC Jackson, has received a 32.1 coverage grade from PFF through five weeks. He’s obviously capable of much more than that, but he’s had a tough start to the season. The Chargers secondary is exploitable if Wilson can deliver the ball on time and on target. Despite the Broncos struggles on offense, Sutton has remained consistent with double digit fantasy points in every game this season. He’s the WR12 with only one touchdown on the season and maxing out with a weekly high of 19.7 points. He’s consistent enough to be in your lineup every week, but let’s hope we get a blow-up game soon.
Sit Jerry Jeudy
Since Jeudy tallied 20.2 fantasy points in week 1, thanks in large part to a long touchdown reception, he’s been relatively quiet. He suffered a shoulder injury that held him back in weeks two and three while a touchdown saved his day in week four, but he has topped out at 53 yards the last two weeks. He has a propensity for dropping passes as well, keeping him in the WR4 range and nothing more than a desperation flex play.
Sit TE Albert Okwuegbunam
Albert O played just 21% of the Broncos offensive snaps on Thursday, recording one target and one catch for five yards. It’s his only target in the last two weeks as blocking tight end Eric Saubert is leading the tight end room in snaps. Greg Dulcich may be activated off IR for this matchup, putting a bigger dent in Okwuegbunam’s fantasy stock. Hopefully Dulcich will work his way into fantasy relevance when he is inserted into the lineup, but he’s not worth playing if activated this week.
Sit Broncos D/ST
The Broncos defense has looked stout, week in and week out no matter who has suffered the latest injury. Justin Herbert and the Chargers, however, are the toughest offense they’ve faced yet and it’s possible the injuries catch up with them. Los Angeles is allowing just 3.8 points to opposing defenses, the fourth fewest in the league.
In addition to contributing as a writer for Mile High Report, Chad Workman is a contributor at FantasyPros and co-manages a fantasy football Patreon page, Filmalytics. Follow Chad @tweetsbychad and Filmalytics @filmalytics_ on twitter.