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WR Travis Benjamin - San Diego Chargers

5-10, 172Born: 12-29-1989College: Miami (FL)Drafted: Round 4

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Week 13: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All WR vs TB

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Philip Rivers has thrown three TDs in two straight games, and multiple TDs in four of his last four contests - last week he also cut down on interceptions and wound up with 22/30 for 242 yards passing, three TDs and one interception thrown at Houston (and took home a 'W', 21-13). Unfortunately Tyrell Williams left the game early with a shoulder injury, and he's said to be sore still this week (head coach Mike McCoy said on Tuesday, November 29 'He's good. He's a little sore. He's a little sore when he came down on it.') The Chargers hope Williams can go for Week 13, but fantasy owners will want to monitor his practice participation later in the week as current reports are that Williams' labrum is damaged and the extent of the damage isn't known as of midweek. Williams had 14 targets for 8/70/1 receiving before departing last week - Dontrelle Inman (six for 6/119/1) and Hunter Henry (three for 2/20/1) also snagged TDs from Rivers. If Williams is out this week, Inman and Travis Benjamin (two targets for 1/8/0 receiving last week) would need to pick up the slack. The Buccaneers stopped Seattle 14-5 last week, limiting Russell Wilson to 17/33 for 118 net yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions, with six sacks for -33 yards. Tampa now has 27 sacks on the season (10th in the NFL), with nine interceptions (tied for ninth) while averaging 253.5 net passing yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL) with 20 passing scores given out to date. From Week Nine to Week 12 of the 2016 season (over the last four weeks, but includes 14 teams on bye during that time span - each team has at least three games played in the last four weeks), Tampa has averaged 20.4 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (14th-least in the NFL); and 20.2 fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers (ninth-least); with 10.3 fantasy points given up per game to tight ends (seventh-most). This looks like a neutral matchup for the home-team Chargers.

Recent Stats and Projections

9 vs TEN 7 0 0 0 1 1 5 0 0 0.5
12 at HOU 38 0 0 0 2 1 8 0 0 0.8
13 vs TB PROJ-Dodds * 0 * * 3 * * * *
13 vs TB PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 3 * * * *
13 vs TB PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 3 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 12 vs HOU (2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Benjamin returned from injury, but was way down the pecking order in terms of being a focal point of the offense. Everything ran through Tyrell Williams, and even the one deep shot the Chargers connected on went to Dontrelle Inman rather than Benjamin. They did target Benjamin down the field once, but the coverage was good and it never really had a chance. The one catch he did have was a designed screen early on. His acceleration looked pretty good from a standstill to top speed, but he was caught from behind by a defender who had a full head of steam behind him.

2016 Week 9 vs TEN (1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Benjamin wasn't even a lock to play in this game, and it showed. He had one catch early for a minimal gain, and the majority of the passing game ran through Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, and Antonio Gates the rest of the way after that as Benjamin was gone from the offense.

2016 Week 8 vs DEN (9 / 3 / 44 / 1 rec)

Benjamin was having a pretty quiet game, not doing much of note through the first 2+ quarters. He had a couple of short catches, and one long target down the seam that was well overthrown as well as well-covered, but nothing really memorable. But with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Benjamin turned in one of the most spectacular touchdown grabs of the 2016 season. The ball was thrown a bit behind him, so he leapt and contorted his body to deflect the pass with his outstretched arm. As his body twisted to the ground, he somehow managed to knock it off his hand and then shoulder pad before corralling it against his body. Just as incredibly, he somehow got both feet down inbounds and maintained possession as he fell to the ground for the score. It will surely show up on many highlight reels.

2016 Week 7 vs ATL (5 / 4 / 54 / 0 rec)

Despite seemingly ceding the top receiving option mantle to Tyrell Williams, Benjamin has continued to produce as a solid second option in the team's passing game. At times, Benjamin seems like the fastest guy on the field and no defender is capable of staying with him. Rather than attacking teams down the field with this straight line speed, the Chargers have opted to utilize him on a multitude of crossing routes. On nearly all of his receptions, there were defenders trailing in his wake. He was only targeted once in the end zone, as Rivers attempted to squeeze a pass in there with multiple defenders surrounding him. His speed enabled him to get a finger on the pass, but nothing more. The Charger coaches tried a bit of trickery early in the first half, when Benjamin took an end-around and dropped back to pass. He had loads of time, and double clutched before eventually firing a bullet pass to the sideline for Tyrell Williams. It was initially ruled a catch, but replays showed that Williams clearly had one foot out of bounds when he caught it.

2016 Week 6 vs DEN (5 / 3 / 17 / 0 rec)

Benjamin was almost invisible for stretches of the game, though if it hadn't been for a pass interference against him he might have salvaged his fantasy performance for his owners. He had a handful of short receptions early on, and came close to bringing in a tough target deep down the left sideline that featured some excellent defense. But it was the play late in the game when he beat Aqib Talib for a deep stop and go double move on a third down and long. As he ran by Talib, the star cornerback reached out and grabbed Benjamin so that he couldn't complete the pass. It was an obvious penalty and did produce a first down, but if Benjamin hadn't been grabbed and instead managed to make the catch, it likely would have gone for a long touchdown. The major blemish on Benjamin's night was late in the first half when he waved everyone away from a punt return. He failed to take his own advice, however, as he got too close to the ball and allowed it to bounce off of his leg for a muff/Broncos recovery. That led to a field goal, and Dexter McCluster replaced Benjamin on the ensuing punt return.

2016 Week 5 vs OAK (11 / 7 / 117 / 0 rec)

Benjamin teamed up with Tyrell Williams in this game as sort of a tag-team duo to pick apart the Oakland secondary all afternoon. He started off the game with a beautiful catch and run up the right sideline, showing an incredible speed burst that nobody was able to cut off despite multiple players seemingly having the angle on him. He was targeted on another deep ball down the seam and had a chance to bring it in actually, but the defense was very tight and it may have been deflected just before the ball reached his hands. Opening the second half, he was again targeted down the seam with multiple defenders in the area. This one bounced off his hands at the last moment too, again with defenders all over the area. He showed incredible speed though because watching live, it didn't seem like he had a chance to run it down at all. He added a catch late in the game on a little bit of a trick play where Melvin Gordon flipped it back to Rivers, who was going to go deep down the field. But he checked it down to Benjamin, who had come all the way across the field to pick up 23 yards. Clearly, the Chargers made a concerted effort to connect on some deep attempts in this game, which bodes well for Benjamin's playing style moving forward.

2016 Week 4 vs NO (7 / 4 / 48 / 0 rec)

Some observers felt that the injury to Keenan Allen would open up Benjamin as the team's go-to wide receiver, but that hasn't quite materialized. His targets are there, but they are kind of infrequent thus far. He had a nice 25-yard catch up the right side after crossing the middle as his defender trailed him horribly. His speed allows him to get by the defense, but there aren't many other known weapons in the passing game to take a lot of pressure off of him. He was a big deep threat with the Browns a year ago, but hasn't seen a lot of deep looks to this point. On one such pass in this game, Rivers tried to hit him with a deep bomb down the right sideline, but the coverage was very tight and there wasn't much chance of completing the pass. Late in the fourth quarter with the Chargers just trying to run out the clock, Benjamin made a short catch over the middle. He tried to turn upfield and simply dropped the ball untouched for a fumble, which was recovered by the Saints. It was the Chargers' second straight fumble in as many plays, and helped contribute to yet another fourth quarter collapse and loss - the third time they've lost a game this season that they led at the 2:00 mark of the fourth quarter.

2016 Week 3 vs IND (7 / 4 / 82 / 0 rec)

With the Week 1 injury to Keenan Allen, Benjamin was in line to see some more work. With the Week 2 injury to Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates missing from the Week 3 lineup, Benjamin stood to gain a lot as really the only experienced receiver in the San Diego stable. Instead of a big game, however, he didn't see his first reception until about three minutes remained in the first half. They had tried to get him the ball earlier on a fade pattern in the end zone, but offensive holding would have negated it even if he had managed to bring in the pass. In the second half, Benjamin dropped a would-be first down on a pass that should have gone for an easy first down. He got past the defender, but was unable to look the ball all the way in as it went almost directly over his head. Soon after, he muffed a punt return that nearly cost them the game on the spot. A 43-yard bomb reception down the sideline to set up a first and goal salvaged his fantasy afternoon, but there was a lot more negative than positive (including fellow wide receiver Tyrell Williams out-targeting him 9-7). Lastly, Benjamin allowed a huge third down pass bounce off his fingertips on a crossing route late in the contest. He'll need to play with a bit more consistency and urgency if he wants to hold off Williams as the team's de facto number one option in the passing game.

2016 Week 2 vs JAX (6 / 6 / 115 / 2 rec, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)

Benjamin took the torch as the Chargers key passing target after Allen and Woodhead were lost. He was used as both a deep threat (where he torched the Jags), an intermediate threat (where he torched the Jags), and as a player the Chargers designed space for in the red zone, resulting in a TD. The Chargers utilization of him in so many ways, and his perfect execution in these roles, should make many optimistic for his future.

2016 Week 1 vs KC (8 / 7 / 32 / 0 rec)

Benjamin looks to absorb some of the targets left with the Allen injury and brought in 7 catches for 32 yards on the day. Benjamin possesses breakaway speed, but was used mainly in short and quick hit plays this afternoon. Benjamin led the team in targets with 8 and will need to step up for the Chargers going forward.


Latest News

Chargers | Just one grab for Travis Benjamin (Mon Nov 28, 12:21 AM) - San Diego Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (knee) was active for the Week 12 game against the Houston Texans, but he was limited to one grab for eight yards on two targets.

link to story   

Chargers | Travis Benjamin will play Sunday (Sun Nov 27, 10:27 AM) - San Diego Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (knee) will play in Week 12's game against the Houston Texans, according to a source.

link to story   

Chargers | Questionable tag for Travis Benjamin (Fri Nov 25, 07:16 PM) - San Diego Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (knee) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 25, and is listed as questionable for Week 12.

Our View: Benjamin should be back in Week 12 and give Philip Rivers and the Chargers passing game a boost against the tough Texans pass defense. Consider Benjamin a boom/bust WR3/Flex with his deep speed and big play possibilities.

Chargers | Travis Benjamin fully practices (Thu Nov 24, 06:18 PM) - San Diego Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (knee) participated fully in practice Thursday, Nov. 24.

Our View: We are sure Philip Rivers is happy he is back, but we think his production will be limited due to rust, pressure on Rivers and a solid secondary by Houston, so consider him no more than a WR4.
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Chargers | Travis Benjamin has full practice (Wed Nov 23, 04:21 PM) - San Diego Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (knee) was a full participant in practice Wednesday Nov. 23.

Our View: The Chargers should fill the air with footballs against the Texans on Sunday. With Benjamin practicing fully, he's on track to play quite a bit and could post WR4 numbers (with upside) in Week 12.
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More News

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13vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14@ Carolina Panthers
15vs Oakland Raiders
16@ Cleveland Browns
17vs Kansas City Chiefs