Would You Rather: Start Travis Benjamin or Dontrelle Inman in Week 2 Against the Lions

Dan Israeli
San Diego Chargers v Indianapolis Colts
San Diego Chargers v Indianapolis Colts / Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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Heading into a Week 2 road matchup against the Detroit Lions, the Los Angeles Chargers will be missing some key bodies on offense. Already without starting running back Melvin Gordon due to his contract holdout, the Chargers will also likely be missing two of their top pass-catching options.

Hunter Henry, the team's oft-injured tight end, suffered a left tibia fracture that will reportedly keep him out for 4-6 weeks. In addition, wide receiver Mike Williams is looking questionable at best to suit up in Week 2, as he battles his own knee injury.

Their absences should free up more looks for Keenan Allen, who will likely see shadow coverage from Detroit's top cornerback Darius Slay. Austin Ekeler is going to rack up targets out of the backfield as well, but there is clearly room for at least one more viable pass-catching option against the Lions in Week 2, for fantasy football purposes.

The two most likely guys to fill the void left from Henry and Williams absence are Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman. Both players were sparsely used in Week 1's win over the Colts, as Benjamin finished with two catches (on three targets) for 12 yards, while Inman netted one reception (one target) for five yards.

Both players have multiple years of experience in the Chargers' offense, but have always acted as ancillary options in the passing game. Benjamin, who is in his fourth year on the team, has thrived as a deep threat in his career, averaging a healthy 15.3 yards per reception. Inman, meanwhile, who rejoins the Chargers after a season with the Colts, is more of a possession receiver type.

Due to their roughly even snap counts in Week 1 (Benjamin played 48 percent of the snaps, while Inman played 42 percent), it will be hard to determine who benefits most in fantasy for Week 2. Benjamin should line up strictly on the outside, while Inman may cycle in and out of the slot with Allen.

For those chasing upside, however, Benjamin is probably the preferred play. With Slay focused on Allen, Benjamin should get some beatable one-on-one matchups on the outside against either Justin Coleman or Rashaan Melvin. The game is also being played on turf, which benefits a speedster like Benjamin.

Inman has been a favorite target of Philip Rivers in the past, but he offers less upside than Benjamin and a floor that is hard to rely on.


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