Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Chargers-Raiders Thursday Night Football

2TCFT82 Las Vegas Raiders running back Zamir White (35) warms up before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

• The Las Vegas Raiders dominate: Aidan O’Connell doubled his career touchdown total by throwing four passing touchdowns tonight. Zamir White, Brandon Bolden, Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Tre Tucker, Michael Mayer and multiple defenders found the end zone.

Joshua Palmer scores in his return: There were questions about whether Palmer would return this season after suffering a knee injury in Week 8. He scored on the only highlight play for the Los Angeles Chargers tonight.

• The Chargers might need a new running back: Austin Ekeler posted his worst numbers of the season as the team turned more toward Isaiah Spiller.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders

  • Davante Adams: 8 receptions, 101 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Tre Tucker: 3 receptions, 59 yards, 2 touchdowns; 1 carry, -2 rushing yards

The Raiders are fine without Josh Jacobs: The Raiders’ run game was perfectly fine without Jacobs, who sat out with a quad injury.

  • Zamir White started the game for the Raiders and took Jacobs’ role. He consistently gained a few yards at a time and had plenty of volume, thanks to the game script. He scored on the first drive from the goal line.
  • White was a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Before tonight, he had never gotten more than five touches or played more than 14 offensive snaps in a game because of how much Jacobs has dominated playing time and how healthy Jacobs had stayed. 
  • The only time it didn’t seem like he had Jacobs’ job was on the first drive when Ameer Abdullah took four snaps in a row and Brandon Bolden also played a snap.
  • Bolden took another snap later in the first half from a wildcat formation and scored a touchdown.
  • If Jacobs misses another game, it’s unlikely White has as good a game. Next week, they play a Kansas City Chiefs defense that has played better against running backs, and the game script could be very different.

Joshua Palmer returns to Los Angeles: Palmer was activated from injured reserve after missing the last six weeks with a knee injury.

  • This coincided with Keenan Allen (heel) missing his first game of the season. Allen leads the league in receptions this season with 108, 11 more than anyone else. That is also a career-high for him.
  • The Chargers typically used Palmer with Quentin Johnston and Alex Erickson in 11 personnel, while Johnston and Jalen Guyton took the 12 personnel snaps.
  • Palmer and Erickson split Allen’s usual role in the slot.
  • Palmer didn’t see a single target in the first half but caught a relatively easy 79-yard touchdown early in the second half. He ended up with four receptions for 113 yards.
  • The chances are Allen will push both Erickson and Guyton back to the bench when he returns. The only question is whether Palmer will overtake Johnston in 12 personnel.
  • Given the state of the Chargers offense with Easton Stick at quarterback instead of Justin Herbert, we might not get to a point where Palmer can be relied on for fantasy purposes this season.

Isaiah Spiller leads the Chargers' backfield: For the second straight week, Spiller was more involved in the Chargers offense.

  • There were reports before Week 14 that the Chargers might go with more of a committee or hot hand, with Ekeler averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on the season.
  • Spiller was active for the first time in several weeks and received more snaps than Joshua Kelley from the second quarter on.
  • Over the first three drives tonight, Ekeler took five snaps to three by Kelley. Kelley fumbled at the end of the third drive and didn’t see the field on offense again until the middle of the third quarter.
  • Spiller took over as the primary backup after that point. He ran 16 times for 50 yards, leading the backfield in attempts and yards.
  • Ekeler was held to five carries for 9 yards and four receptions for 29 yards. There were two other games in the last four years where he was healthy and had five or fewer carries, but he had eight or more receptions in those games.
  • Ekeler’s contract is up at the end of the season. He will be 29 by next year, and given his age, position and recent quality of play, he did not make our top 50 free agents for 2024.

Add Gerald Everett: The Chargers tight end has been Easton Stick‘s favorite target.

  • Stick threw to Keenan Allen eight times in the second half last week, but Everett was targeted more than any of their other wide receivers or tight ends in the second half of that game.
  • Everett led the team in targets tonight, with seven. He brought in five of those passes for 41 yards. He would have led the Chargers in receiving yards had it not been for Joshua Palmer’s 79-yard touchdown catch.
  • He played much more than usual because Donald Parham Jr. was inactive due to a shoulder injury.
  • Everett and Parham usually split duties in passing situations. The game script also contributed to Everett’s high snap total.
  • The Chargers have a rough matchup against the Buffalo Bills next week but then play the Denver Broncos. Denver has allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends all season.
  • Everett is worth considering for anyone who thinks they might need a tight end for that game.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • While Tre Tucker was a surprise star for the team and Hunter Renfrow didn’t see a target, the two were still rotating in and out throughout the game.
  • Second-round rookie Michael Mayer caught four passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. This was his best fantasy performance of his young career.
  • First-round rookie Quentin Johnston put up the two highest receiving totals of his career over the last two weeks. He was held to two receptions tonight but scored once in garbage time.


Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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