L.A. Chargers @ New England
Team Totals: Chargers 23, Patriots 17
In a projected low-scoring affair with potential weather concerns, Justin Herbert warrants low-end QB1 valuation in Foxboro facing a Patriots defense yielding the NFL’s sixth-fewest fantasy quarterback points. Los Angeles is playing a 1:00 p.m. ET East Coast game on a somewhat short week after losing to Baltimore last Sunday night, while go-to receiver Keenan Allen (quad) is banged up, first-round WR Quentin Johnston continues to give the Bolts less than nothing, and Austin Ekeler looks all out of gas. … Now 28.5 years old with a broadcasting career on the horizon, Ekeler seemingly never got over his early-year high ankle sprain. In seven games since, his combined rushing line is 96/311/3 (3.2 YPC) with just one additional receiving score. Next Gen Stats has consistently clocked Ekeler as one of the slowest backs in football. Ekeler still out-snapped Josh Kelley 53 to 13 and out-touched Kelley 15 to 5 against the Ravens but has regressed into a questionable-ceiling RB2. The Patriots have posed a middling matchup for enemy backs.
Herbert’s 2023 targets: Allen 129; Ekeler 44; Johnston 37; Gerald Everett 31; Donald Parham 29; Jalen Guyton and Derius Davis 13; Stone Smartt 11; Kelley 8; Alex Erickson 4. … Despite his injury scare, Allen seems likely to suit up against a decimated Patriots secondary that’s yielded the NFL’s 11th-most catches to wide receivers (153).
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