One player to watch

September, 22, 2011
9/22/11
12:00
PM ET
One player to watch from each AFC West team in Week 3:

Denver Broncos, Willis McGahee, running back: McGahee took the role of the workhorse for Denver as he carried the ball 28 times for 101 yards. The Broncos, ideally would like McGahee to carry the ball 12-15 times. But with Knowshon Moreno out with a hamstring injury, McGahee had to take the lead role. He did well. Expect him to get the chance to carry the ball often at Tennessee on Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs, Dexter McCluster, running back: The second-year player has become more of a running back this season after playing receiver as well last year. With star Jamaal Charles out for the year with a torn ACL, McCluster will get more carries. He is a shifty runner who can help this offense. Let’s see what he can do against the San Diego Chargers.

Oakland Raiders, Denarius Moore, receiver: The preseason star has shown he can make a difference in the regular season. I think the Raiders should make the kid a starter and just stick with it. The fifth-round pick from Tennessee can be special. He can run, he can catch and he can jump. I’m really excited to see what this guy can do against the New York Jets after he tore up the Buffalo Bills.

San Diego, Antonio Gates, tight end: Lost in Vincent Jackson's huge game (he had 10 catches for 172 yards) at New England was the lack of action Gates got. He didn’t have a chance. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers hardly looked for Gates because the New England Patriots keyed on him. I don’t think it is an indication that the Chargers are going away from Gates. It just shows how many weapons the Chargers have. Last week, Jackson was barely involved and Gates had eight catches. I expect the Chargers to try to take advantage of the Chiefs’ safeties and involve Gates a lot Sunday.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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