Chargers Fantasy News
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:28am
Before his season-ending knee injury in Week 7, Rams QB Sam Bradford appeared headed for his best year, with 14 touchdown passes as opposed to four interceptions.
The Rams were 3-4 with Bradford and it could be argued he might have made enough impact to turn the tide in narrow home losses the next two weeks against the Seahawks and Tennessee Titans. The Rams went to a ground-oriented offense under journeyman backup Kellen Clemens and finished with seven victories for the second straight season.
“Sam Bradford gets hurt, you change your entire game plan,” Rams general manager Les Snead said.
Once again, this is considered a make-or-break season for Bradford who is a former number-one overall pick. For as good as Bradford was playing, last year, he was #11 QB in that span which made him a borderline starter in slightly deeper leagues. This year, Bradford is out of our top-20 at the moment and isn't getting drafted, but certainly has the potential get back on the fantasy radar once the season starts.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 5:59pm
Against newcomer DB Brandon Flowers, Chargers WR Malcom Floyd caught two fades for scores. Flowers, 28, doubts Floyd will be 33 in September.
“He doesn’t lose a step. He’s in year 10 and he’s moving like he’s in year 3. We’re making each other better. ‘’
Good to see Floyd back after last year's terrible injury... Floyd is ranked just 55th but we feel he's trending up our rankings. He isn't getting drafted in a lot of typical leagues.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 2:24pm
Tevin Reese, drafted in the seventh round, is improved from the five spring practices open to the media. He's more assertive, better at double moves and more apt to pluck the ball. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder confirmed his blocking needs much work. "Kid can smoke," quarterback Kellen Clemens said. Talking about the slender Reese, receiver Malcom Floyd invoked a well-known undersized pass-catcher. "That's how DeSean Jackson was -- little and fast," Floyd said. "He shocked the NFL."
Reese is a name to remember if Malcom Floyd isn't his usual self. The Chargers have proved that they are not afraid to work a rookie (Keenan Allen) in immediately if the need and talent is there.
Trent Richardson is expected to get the first shot at starting because not doing so would be a sign of admission of the trade not working in the Colts’ favor. Don't expect the Colts to stick with Richardson in the starting lineup for as long as they did last season if he struggles like he did last season. He’ll be pushed by Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard for playing time. “I think through the course of camp it’s all going to take care of itself, shake itself out,” Pagano said. “You’d like to have a bell cow. We’ll see if that happens…We’ll do a good job of getting the guys the necessary reps to make evaluations. If someone separates himself and becomes that guy then that’s your bell cow.”
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
The San Diego Chargers agreed on a two-year contract extension with running back Danny Woodhead, the team announced today. Woodhead originally signed a two-year contract when he joined the Chargers as an unrestricted free agent from New England in March 2013. His new contract runs through the 2016 season.
Woodhead finished #19 in standard formats and #12 in PPR, but the arrival of Donald Brown has seemingly put a dent in Woody’s stock heading into the 2014 season. It’s fair to think that he’s a stretch to finish in the top 20 again, but that doesn’t explain why he’s the #41 RB off the board in early drafts. He’s a capable RB3, especially in PPR formats.
Changes continue at Winter Park and that includes Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph, who has yet to have a 100-yard receiving game in the NFL. Though he's been voted to a Pro Bowl, Rudolph has mostly been known for his effective run blocking. That should change under Turner, who has championed some of the NFL's best pass-catching tight ends in his stops across the league. Coming off a broken foot and in a contract year, Rudolph shed 15 pounds to prepare for this season as he figures to run more routes and become a focal point of the Vikings' pass attack.
Rudolph was the #13 TE through Week 9 prior to a season-ending fracture in his foot. He was 15th in targets per game during that span, so there’s some opportunity in the workload department, especially with new OC Norv Turner in town. Turner isn’t necessarily as TE-friendly as his old boss Rob Chudzinski, but he featured Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron heavily while with the Chargers and Browns. Rudolph is just 24 and could make a nice leap if the Vikings can get good play out of the quarterback position. He should continue to be a force in the redzone.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:43pm
Jaguars beat writer Michael DiRocco on the potential impact of WRs Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson: They'll be significant parts of the rotation early in the season, but it's hard for rookie receivers to make a big impact. It has happened -- look at San Diego's Keenan Allen last season -- and the Jaguars do need help at receiver, but it's more realistic to believe Lee and Robinson will finish their first seasons with somewhere around 40 catches.
Both rookies missed OTAs with injuries, but Lee was running as the “Z” receiver opposite starter Cecil Shorts prior to turning his ankle, so I think he has the inside track to start. The Jaguars don’t have a great passing game, but I’m betting Lee (or Robinson, if he wins the job) will be fantasy relevant (top 60) in 2014.
Titans TE Delanie Walker hauled in 60 catches for 583 yards and team-high six touchdowns – all career marks -- in his first season in Tennessee. Walker has publicly stated his desire to catch 80 passes in 2014 and is confident that a healthy Jake Locker can make that happen. He may well be on his way to the desired milestone after becoming the team’s first tight end to grab 60 passes in a season since Frank Wycheck in 2001. Walker is excited to work with Whisenhunt, a former NFL tight end who understands how to get the most out of the position. In 2013, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates posted his best receiving numbers in four years (77 catches for 872 yards) with Whisenhunt as his offensive coordinator. The combination of Whisenhunt’s tight end-friendly system and having Locker at 100 percent makes adding another 20 catches a feasible goal.
He was targeted much more heavily in games where Ryan Fitzpatrick was under center (6.8 vs. 4.2 T/G), but Jake Locker did throw three TDs to Walker while he was still the starter. From Week 10 to Week 15, Walker had the 6th-highest PPG (8.7), so he’s capable of playing at a TE1 level. Moreover, new HC Ken Whisenhunt had this to say about Walker: "Working with Antonio Gates got me excited about the position, and I think there's a lot of elements to what Delanie does that are similar in that capacity.” This bodes well for Walker’s usage in Whisenhunt’s offense.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:45pm
The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt on Titans RB Bishop Sankey: "Don't expect (Chris Johnson) in his heyday. Sankey will be the team's most productive running back, but others will cut into his stats. Dexter McCluster will get playing time, carries and catches. Shonn Greene should get a bunch of goal-line attempts unless he flames out in training camp; then Sankey's stock could really rise."
We’re projecting Sankey to be the clear RB1 in Tennessee after the Titans took him as the first back in the draft. He’s a versatile back who doesn’t have much competition for touches. The last 13 rookies who were the top drafted RB in their class and joined a backfield with a lackluster incumbent averaged 18.2 touches for 83.1 yards and 0.55 TD, or 11.6 fantasy points per game. That’s about what Ryan Mathews averaged as the #12 RB in 2013.
While it’s clear Chargers QB Phillip Rivers flourished in last year’s system, HC Mike McCoy feels the promotion of Frank Reich will benefit the Chargers’ signal caller for 2014. “With Frank as offensive coordinator, we will be able to maintain continuity on offense and help maximize the production by Philip and the entire unit,” McCoy said. “He has a great feel for the offense we have created and he has been a valuable asset to Philip.”
Rivers was written off by many after a substandard 2012 campaign, but he bounced back in a big way with a #5 finish in 2013. In fact, he has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six seasons. Malcom Floyd has been cleared to play, so the receiving corps will get a boost. The only concern is the loss of OC Ken Whisenhunt, who assisted Rivers in his bounce back season. He should be a good value in the later rounds for owners who want to wait on the position.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 6:11pm
Tennessee's players and coaches are won over, with receivers aide Shawn Jefferson talking up Justin Hunter as the one who could carry the Titans into the playoffs, while fellow wideout Michael Preston turned heads this offseason by calling Hunter a young Randy Moss -- a claim he didn't back away from Monday. "I know how great a player Randy Moss was, and in my mind, there's no reason Justin can't be the next greatest player," Preston told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "... I just want to be there to support him. I know he's going to grow, make a great leap this year, and impress the city and fans with his talent." With Kenny Britt out of the way, Hunter owns a legitimate chance to make an impact come September. NFL Films guru Greg Cosell called him "the most intriguing" and "physically talented" wideout in last year's draft -- and his game tape is speckled with flashes of brilliance -- but comparisons to a rock-solid future Hall of Famer are wildly premature.
As a rookie, Hunter checked in with the #18 FP/T (1.41), which is encouraging, especially if he’s able to beat out Nate Washington and get on the field as more than a just a passing-down specialist. He only played 36% of the team’s snaps, while Washington played 82%. The good news is that under then-OC Ken Whisenhunt, Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal all played at least 67% of the Chargers’ snaps. So with Whiz calling the plays in Tennessee, there may be room for both Washington and Hunter in the lineup.
Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego labeled the 32-year-old wide receiver the MVP of the team's spring sessions after Floyd was the "most-targeted" pass-catcher on the roster. Floyd was "tested repeatedly" in the passing game and "won more than he lost" against San Diego's rash of defensive backs, according to Krasovic. "I don't have any doubts in my mind right now," Floyd said last month of his status for this month's training camp.
From 2010 to 2012, Floyd finished #36, #32 and #36 as the second or third option in San Diego. He returns from a neck injury at the age of 32 (turning 33 in September) and will compete with Vincent Brown to be the team’s WR2 opposite Keenan Allen. Brown flopped in a starting role (scoring just 0.06 FP per snap) last year, so the job is Floyd’s for the taking. If he’s starting and can stay healthy (a rather big “if”), he should be fantasy-relevant once again in 2014, making him a nice value in the final rounds.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 11:19am
The Chargers tested WR Malcom Floyd, even though they've employed him since 2004. In all five practices open to the media, the first pass from Philip Rivers went to Floyd. He was typically the most-targeted pass-catcher, and won more than he lost. No one tackled him, but Chargers defenders went hard at the 6-foot-5 receiver, who was practicing for the first time since the neck injury suffered last September in Philadelphia.
Floyd can't wait for the season to start to make catches that count. He's ranked 55th, but he's climbing our charts and will battle with Vincent Brown for the WR2 spot across from Keenan Allen. Brown wasn't impressive last year so we think Floyd has a chance to win this job.
Colts RB Trent Richardson will likely get the first shot at starting over Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard because the latter two are coming off injuries that cost them almost all of the 2013 season. But Richardson will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going if Bradshaw and Ballard are producing when given the opportunity.
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #22 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
NFL.com's Gil Brandt on Chargers TE Ladarius Green: "The 24-year-old is very, very athletic, a long-striding guy who seems to gain about 5 yards with every step he takes (see: his yards-per-catch mark of 22.1 in 2013). Considering his upward trajectory and Philip Rivers' history of success with the more famous of San Diego's dynamic tight ends -- Antonio Gates -- I expect Green to explode in 2014. He has true Pro Bowl potential."
Green has a ton of upside, but owners drafting him as their TE1 may be in for a rude awakening if he doesn't get much playing time. Green only played 33% of the snaps in 2013, and only broke the 50% mark twice all season (though both happened in the final five games). Green's breakout potential relies on his playing time.
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