Fantasy Football: Wes Welker Among Starts, Sits For Broncos-Chargers Game

Wes WelkerDust off that cowboy hat and head down to your local saloon. It’s time for a Wild West shootout.

Week 8’s installment of Thursday Night Football might be the best one yet. And while that’s not saying much, the San Diego Chargers at the Denver Broncos should prove to be a doozy, especially for fantasy owners.

Both teams enter the game with top 10 offenses. Denver’s offensive juggernaut leads the NFL with an absurd 31.5 points per game. But while Peyton Manning and Co. might get all of the attention, don’t sleep on San Diego.

Believe it or not, Philip Rivers actually has outscored Manning in fantasy this season — by less than a point, but still — while running back Branden Oliver has racked up more points in the last four weeks than all NFL running backs not named Matt Forte, DeMarco Murray or Arian Foster.

All of these top guns should be locks in your lineup, but as crazy as it sounds, there are players worth avoiding in this game. Let’s take a look at who to start and sit in this high-powered matchup.

Antonio Gates, Tight End, Chargers: How’s this for a stat? Rivers has thrown for eight touchdowns in the last three weeks, and Gates has caught half of them. The tight end has long been Rivers’ trusted goal-line target, and while the Broncos are stingy at home, chances are high that Gates will sniff the end zone for the fourth straight week.

Ronnie Hillman, Running Back, Broncos: Hillman did his best Knowshon Moreno impression last weekend, and that was against the San Francisco 49ers. San Diego likely will do everything it can to try to slow down the passing attack, which should leave plenty of running room for Hillman. Unless you have two studs at running back, Hillman should be in your lineup.

Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Chargers: Unlike Gates, Allen has been allergic to the end zone this season and has yet to find pay dirt. It’s hard to imagine that will change if the second-year wideout is lined up across from Aqib Talib or Chris Harris Jr. Save yourself a headache and steer clear of Allen this week.

Wes Welker, Wide Receiver, Broncos: Welker caught Peyton Manning’s 508th career touchdown pass last weekend, but he didn’t do much else. There are plenty of weapons to go around in Denver, and the 33-year-old seems to be at the bottom of that list. Thursday night games also can be unpredictable, so you can do better than Welker here.

Have a fantasy/NFL question for Darren? Send it to him via Twitter at @darren_hartwell

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