Cover Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Chargers' stock is on the rise after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15. They've clinched a playoff spot and are now not only in position for a possible AFC West division title but also the No. 1 seed in the conference, if things break right for them over the last two weeks of the season.
What makes the Chargers so dangerous is the fact that they've managed to be so dominant -- 11-3 record along with a four straight wins, the longest current streak in the NFL --- without a few of their best offensive players.
But the way things are looking, all or most of those players -- RBs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler and WR Keenan Allen -- should be back for the team's big Saturday night matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
Chargers believe there’s a legitimate chance that three key injured players - WR Keenan Allen (hip), RBs Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck) - all will be ready for Saturday night’s game vs. Ravens, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2018
Allen went down mid-way through the game against the Chiefs with a right hip pointer and never returned. Ekeler missed the Chiefs game with a stinger and Gordon has been out since Week 12 with an sprained MCL. However, the Chargers are 3-0 with two improbable come-from-behind wins over current playoff teams in primetime during that span.
The amount of production they'll be getting back isn't anything to sneeze at either, Allen has 121 targets and 88 receptions for 1,074 yards and 6 touchdowns. Ekeler has 900 yards from scrimmage and 5 touchdowns while Gordon has 1255 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns.
In total, those players combine for 233 targets, 171 receptions for 1,931 receiving yards, and 260 rushes for 1,373 yards and 24 touchdowns. There's no way this won't help the Chargers and it didn't exactly look like they needed that much additional help against the Chiefs.
They also got some good news about tight end Hunter Henry, who has been on the PUP all season. He could resume participating in individual drills this week, which would be another boost for the already high-powered offense.
If everyone is healthy, the Chargers might just end up being the favorite in the AFC.
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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.