Chargers vs. Raiders Fantasy Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 15: Should you start Zamir White, Josh Palmer on TNF?

When the Chargers and Raiders meet in Las Vegas to open Week 15 of the 2023 NFL regular season on “Thursday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime Video), fantasy football owners need to consider that because of injuries and other factors, there may be fewer viable options than usual from both teams.

Here’s looking at who to start and sit and some DFS lineups for the latest edition of TNF:

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Chargers: Who to start, sit in fantasy football on TNF

Sit: QB Easton Stick

A lot of unheralded backup QBs, including Josh Dobbs, Tyson Bagent, Tommy DeVito, and Jake Browning, have had more fantasy relevance than expected this season, either as producers or facilitators. Stick, however, is dealing with a sputtering offense with a broken-down line and constant injuries to the receiving corps. The Raiders also have been a good sneaky good pass defense, from pressure to coverage. “Stick” with starting someone else, even in superflex.

Start: RB Austin Ekeler

Ekeler got back on track with 17 touches (10 carries, seven catches) for 100 scrimmage yards and a TD in a sweet spot vs. the Broncos last week. He gets a terrible Raiders run defense and faces a team he’s burned for massive days and nights in the past. Las Vegas also isn’t great at covering backs in the passing game. With all the injury issues and an unproven QB, look for the Chargers to lean much on Ekeler’s quick running and outlet receiving.

WEEK 15 FANTASY ADVICE:
Sleepers | Busts | Projections | Start-sit

Start: WR Keenan Allen (if he plays)

Allen has played like the future Hall-of-Famer he is for much of the season, also staying mostly healthy through his age-31 season. However, he’s iffy for this short-week action with a heel injury. He’a also hurt by the pivot at QB from Justin Herbert (finger) to Stick. That said, he is always in the lineup based on his target volume should he suit up.

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Sit: WR Josh Palmer

Palmer (knee) is set to suit up for the first time since Week 8. He’s needed in this offense to help on the outside, but the Raiders have one decent corner to contain him in Amik Robertson and a bad one in former Patriot Jack Jones. If you’re really hurting at the position, you could go here, but don’t expect too much, as coach Brandon Staley has already said Palmer won’t play his usual complement of snaps.

WEEK 15 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Sit: WR Quentin Johnston

It’s too early to call the latest first-round product from TCU another “bust” (see Jalen Reagor, Josh Doctson), as he wasn’t expected to be forced into a key role this quickly. Still, he hasn’t been ready to take advantage with Mike Williams (knee) being down long-term again.

Sit: TE Gerald Everett

The Raiders are one of the better teams in tight end coverage, and in truth, it’s a committee with him and Donald Parham Jr. Both are a little banged up, with Everett battling a hip injury and Parham dealing with a sore shoulder. Everett also was meh in the best tight end matchup last week with just 39 yards on five catches against the Broncos.

WEEK 15 STANDARD RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Start: Chargers D/ST

They came through in the first game between these two teams this year against a green Aidan O’Connell with former Raider Khalil Mack leading the way, so they are playable vs. a still-struggling rookie.

Sit: K Cameron Dicker

Dicker is pretty money when he gets scoring chances, but with Stick under center and the Chargers going for it on a lot of fourth downs in scoring position, Dicker isn’t a safe field-goal play this week.

WEEK 15 DFS:
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Raiders: Who to start, sit in fantasy football on TNF

Sit: QB Aidan O’Connell

There was some talk about turning the position back over to Jimmy Garoppolo or Brian Hoyer, but it didn’t materialize despite AOC leading the Raiders to zero points at home last week vs. the Vikings. That zero is all you need to know about how fantasy-irrelevant he’s been.

Sit: RB Zamir White

Josh Jacobs is set to miss his first game of the season with a quadriceps injury ahead of a short week. In last season’s elite rushing attack, White would have had more appeal, but in 2023, with the offensive line hurting and a potential ugly committee with Ameer Abdullah, don’t try to force White into the lineup.

Sit: RB Ameer Abdullah

Hey, his first name rhymes with Zamir! Unfortunately, with his experience and passing game work as a receiver and blocker, he could cut well into the touches of White in a low-offense game. 

Start: WR Davante Adams

Here we go. At least there’s something to believe in from all this fantasy “poison” (immediate apologies to Bret Michaels). Adams would be playable just for having a Taco Bell in his house, but he can school Asante Samuel Jr. and Michael Davis for another strong day with O’Connell, but consider D.A. more of a WR2.

Sit: WRs Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Renfrow

The Chargers are weak on the outside and used to be terrible in the slot, but Essang Bassey is making it a little better inside. Meyers just hasn’t done much without Jimmy G. and Renfrow was resurrected only for a random big play last week that won’t happen again this week.

Sit: TE Michael Mayer

If John Mayer was playing a residency in Las Vegas, we would totally be there. But we keep on waiting (waiting) for the Raiders to change and actually throw the ball often to this talented rookie. Just wait until next year.

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Start: Raiders D/ST

Maxx Crosby is dealing with a knee injury, but this dude has played hurt before and always goes 100 miles an hour. He alone can disrupt Stick enough to make the Raiders a viable play.

Sit: K Daniel Carlson

Like Dicker, Carlson’s offense going into the tank has killed him as a field-goal asset.

Chargers vs. Raiders: DraftKings Showdown lineup

  • Captain (1.5X): Chargers RB Austin Ekeler $16,500
  • FLEX: Raiders WR Davante Adams $11,200
  • FLEX: Chargers RB Joshua Kelley $6,800
  • FLEX: Chargers WR Josh Palmer $6,200
  • FLEX: Chargers D/ST $4,400
  • FLEX: Raiders D/ST $4,200

Here’s leaning a ton on a correlated backfield-heavy approach with the Chargers and getting the one standout passing-game Raider in the mix. Playing both defenses made sense at their price points, and Palmer is just a big-play flier rounding things out.

Chargers vs. Raiders: FanDuel single-game lineup

  • MVP (1.5X): Chargers RB Austin Ekeler $14,000
  • AnyFLEX: Raiders QB Aidan O’Connell $13,000
  • AnyFLEX: Raiders WR Davante Adams $12,500
  • AnyFLEX: Raiders D/ST $9,000
  • AnyFLEX: Chargers D/ST $8,500

The same construction comes into play with the defenses, Ekeler, and Adams. The pivot is attaching Adams to his QB and hoping O’Connell can somehow squeeze out a couple of TDs with no Jacobs.

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