- Melvin Gordon’s benched: The Denver Broncos‘ former starter was phased out of the offense in favor of Latavius Murray on early downs.
- Greg Dulcich’s Debut: The rookie tight end received plenty of playing time and scored the first touchdown of the game in his NFL debut.
- Donald Parham’s first catch of the season: Parham made his first catch after he was taken to the hospital in Week 15 of last year.
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PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2022.
- Austin Ekeler: 14 carries, 36 yards, 1 touchdown, 10 receptions, 47 receiving yards
- Greg Dulcich: 2 receptions, 44 yards, 1 touchdown
The Broncos' three-man backfield: The Broncos added Latavius Murray over a week ago, and he made his debut to complicate the backfield.
- Melvin Gordon III started the game, but the Broncos used a rotation by drive in the first half with Murray entering the game on the second drive.
- Mike Boone remained the receiving down back but garnered less work than in previous games on early downs.
- The Broncos decided to have a pass-heavy drive in the first half, which included Murray, and a long two-minute drive, which led to more playing time by Boone than usual.
- Murray took over the backfield in the second half, receiving all of the early-down snaps while Gordon didn’t see the field.
- They relied on the run game more as the game progressed. Murray finished with 66 rushing yards on 15 carries.
- This backfield could shake out similarly to the beginning of the season with Murray in Javonte Williams’ role, just without as much upside.
- This makes Murray a clear waiver wire target and arguably, the best running back option of the week among widely available players.
- Gordon should be kept on fantasy rosters one more week in case something happened that we don’t know about, but he can be cut in a week if this kind of split continues.
Greg Dulcich’s NFL Debut: The rookie tight end missed the preseason and first five weeks of the regular season but had an exciting first game.
- The Broncos made Albert Okwuegbunam a healthy inactive. His playing time was already declining, and Denver had no need for five active tight ends/fullbacks.
- Dulcich slipped right into Okwuegbunam's role from earlier in the season. He played nearly every 11 personnel snap but rarely in any other personnel grouping.
- This led to a 39-yard touchdown catch early in the game to the delight of fantasy managers who picked him up.
- A tight end who doesn’t play in two-tight-end sets on a team that uses 12 personnel frequently is typically not a safe bet in fantasy football.
- It’s fine to add Dulcich to fantasy rosters in hopes that he gains more of a full-time role, but that’s not how the team has used its tight ends this year.
- He will basically be Robert Tonyan but in a less good offense.
Monitor Joshua Kelley‘s injury: Kelley suffered a knee injury in the first half and didn’t return to the game.
- The Chargers were largely a two-back committee last week, with Sony Michel’s role getting reduced to short-yardage only.
- Michel was the clear beneficiary, as his playing time saw a significant jump.
- Austin Ekeler only saw a slight increase in snaps compared to the last few weeks.
- If Kelley's injury is serious, Michel would become the new handcuff in Los Angeles.
- Rookie Isaiah Spiller has constantly been inactive as the team’s fourth running back, but he would likely become active and potentially see some playing time if Kelley misses action.
Chargers tight end committee: Donald Parham received a boost in playing time in his second game back, leading to fewer snaps by the Chargers' other two tight ends.
- Parham finished second the team in receiving yards (53), catching all three passes thrown his way.
- Los Angeles was playing from behind, which meant fewer two-tight-end sets than usual.
- Both Tre’ McKitty and Gerald Everett played fewer snaps in this game than usual.
- Everett will typically lead the tight end room in receiving yards, but he can no longer be trusted in starting lineups. He can be cut in leagues with lighter benches.
• 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.