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TE Antonio Gates - Los Angeles Chargers

6-4, 260Born: 6-18-1980College: Kent StateDrafted: ---

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Week 7: vs Denver Broncos

All TE vs DEN

FBG says: Tough matchup. Philip Rivers and the Chargers passing game has been up-and-down in 2017, with the ups and downs mostly correlated to the quality of the opposing defense. Rivers has shredded the shaky secondaries of Miami (31 of 39 for 331 yards) and Philadelphia (347 and 2 touchdowns), but been limited in efficiency by the Broncos and Giants (just 5.84 yards per attempt). If we can project this trend along, Rivers should struggle noticeably in this rematch - and his three touchdowns from the season opener don't seem particularly repeatable. Rivers has surprisingly been among the league's least effective passers in the red zone. There's definitely hope, though, if the tight ends can get going. The Broncos have struggled against the position, and Rivers has always been able to put his tight ends in position to score touchdowns. It's hard to overstate the devastating impact we tend to see from this Broncos pass defense. No 2017 opponent has yet topped 250 yards against them, and in fact, only 3 of their last 21 opponents have hit the modest mark. All-world cornerbacks Chris Harris and Aqib Talib have smothered opposing receivers as usual - no wideout has managed more than 64 yards in a game, and the top guys they've faced have been thoroughly neutralized. Dez Bryant, Keenan Allen, and Amari Cooper combined for a staggeringly low 103 yards across 34 targets. You could quibble with their tight end defense, which has indeed been worked over by opposing starters for an average of 5.2 catches and 56.2 yards (and 3 touchdowns). That will happen when a secondary like this pinches a passing game inside and erases boundary receivers. All told, it's hard to get excited, or even care at all, about any quarterback or wideout matched against Harris and Talib. It's a dominant coverage unit only made stronger by the occasionally suffocating pass rush.

Recent Stats and Projections

3 vs KC 40 2 30 0 0 3
4 vs PHI 36 3 18 0 0 1.8
5 at NYG 41 2 23 0 0 2.3
6 at OAK 37 1 16 0 0 1.6
7 vs DEN 18 1 4 0 0 0.4
7 vs DEN PROJ-Dodds * 2 * * * *
7 vs DEN PROJ-Tremblay * 1 * * * *
7 vs DEN PROJ-Bloom * 2 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 6 vs OAK (1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)

As Hunter Henry was running wild and having his way with the Oakland defense, Gates wasn't getting very much action whatsoever. He got open off a play action fake for 16 yards up the right side, as the defender slipped allowing him to get wide open (although to his credit, Gates did run a nice route).

2017 Week 5 vs NYG (3 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)

Gates' three targets marked the lowest total of the season as the grizzled veteran has yet to surpass 30 yards in a game. One of Gates' receptions came well short of the sticks on third-and-long. Gates' biggest possible impact comes near the goal line, but he did not see any short-range end zone targets against the Giants.

2017 Week 4 vs PHI (5 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)

The tight end usage has been very sporadic in the offense through the season's quarter-pole, and that continued in this game. Neither Gates nor fellow tight end Hunter Henry really lit up the stat sheet, with Gates' involvement really not picking up until the fourth quarter. His back to back easy receptions over the middle went for minimal gains, and was the only way to remember he was even active since his name was rarely called prior to that. He did get open earlier towards the sideline for what could have been a nice gain, but Philip Rivers was under some pressure and put it a little too far over Gates' head.

2017 Week 3 vs KC (5 / 2 / 30 / 0 rec)

The big tight end wasn't heavily involved, but unlike counterpart Hunter Henry, Gates was at least seeing regular targets from Philip Rivers throughout the game. He was the target on the first interception, although he didn't appear to even know where the ball was. He hadn't gotten his head fully turned around by the time it was picked off, so perhaps there was some miscommunication. And he did drop a third down target on a quick out to his left. He kind of pushed off a bit, but left the defender a bit too close to his body so the football was in traffic by the time it got to him. In terms of positive plays, there weren't many. He did haul in a floater over his head as he was running a cross to the right. He looked like he was lumbering a bit, but it got the job done. There were no plays of significance in the red zone, which is where the majority of Gates' production is likely to come from this season.

2017 Week 2 vs MIA (4 / 2 / 11 / 1 rec)

Gates had just two receptions in the game, but they were both extremely memorable. The first was a nice leaping snag over the middle, which was the 900th reception of Gates' career. His next catch was even more noteworthy. The third quarter touchdown reception was the 112th of his career, passing Tony Gonzalez for the most touchdown receptions in history by a tight end. Also noteworthy is that Gates got to 112 touchdowns in 64 fewer games than Gonzalez. Rivers had actually targeted Gates on the previous play, but the pass was way off-target and nearly intercepted in the back of the end zone. The touchdown itself was vintage Gates, as he shook the defender off the line, found the soft spot, and leapt for the score as he was being dragged to the ground. There was a brief moment where the team celebrated together on the field, and it was the final catch of the game for Gates. Also noteworthy is that Hunter Henry had a whopping seven receptions in the game, and was clearly Rivers' first option in the passing game from the tight end spot when the Chargers weren't in the red zone.

2017 Week 1 vs DEN (3 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)

Gates was nearly invisible for the majority of the game, with just one target through the first three quarters. He finally hauled in his first catch on an 11-yard grab early in the fourth quarter. On one of the late fourth quarter drives, he caught a short pass over the middle to set up a third and short situation. But the majority of the offense ran through the wide receivers and Melvin Gordon in this game.


Latest News

Chargers | Antonio Gates limited to four yards (Sun Oct 22, 11:23 PM) - Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates posted just one grab for four yards on his only target in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos.

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Chargers | Hunter Henry emerging as top TE (Sat Oct 21, 12:32 AM) - Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry has seen 15 targets over the last two games compared to four targets for TE Antonio Gates. Gates was targeted 17 times and Henry 10 times over the first four games.

Our View: Henry only played 23 snaps in Week 1 against the Broncos. This week they take on Denver again, and we think Henry could play twice that many snaps. As the season has gone on, Henry has been the better fantasy asset.
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Chargers | Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates nearing history (Tue Oct 17, 11:55 PM) - Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers' next touchdown pass to TE Antonio Gates will be their 86th as a pair, breaking their tie with former San Francisco 49ers greats and Hall-of-Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice for second-place on the all-time list.

Our View: The Chargers duo could get another touchdown this Sunday against the Broncos. We've seen more of Hunter Henry in recent weeks, but the Broncos struggle to cover the TE position historically and there could be enough opportunity there for both of the Chargers TEs to have a good day.
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Los Angeles Chargers Team Links

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7vs Denver Broncos
8@ New England Patriots
9--- BYE WEEK ---
10@ Jacksonville Jaguars
11vs Buffalo Bills
12@ Dallas Cowboys
13vs Cleveland Browns
14vs Washington Redskins
15@ Kansas City Chiefs
16@ New York Jets
17vs Oakland Raiders