Chargers Fantasy News

Thursday, June 26, 2014, 4:33pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

One of the more impressive things during offseason workouts for the San Diego Chargers was watching how efficient quarterback Philip Rivers ran the offense.

Rivers seemed to pick up where he left off last season. Few balls hit the ground during two-minute drills, as Ladarius Green, Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal made catches all over the field.

Add to that a diverse group of running backs in Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown playing behind an experienced offensive line, and the Chargers should have one of the best offenses in the NFL for a second straight season.

“I think they did a nice job,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. “For a majority of the guys it’s their second year in the system, so that’s going to come with time. The more you’re in a system, the more comfortable you are. And if you have a quarterback like Philip Rivers, good things are going to happen.

Fantasy Impact:

The Chargers lost OC Ken Whisenhunt to Tennessee but will enjoy the return of WR Malcom Floyd. Rivers looks like a good value given his current ADP.


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Dexter McCluster's versatility will get him on the field
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:38am

Titans Online - [Full Article]

Titans beat writer Mike Keith was asked which offseason acquisition is the greatest asset on offense. If draft picks were included, he would have said Bishop Sankey, but since they aren't technically acquisition, he named free agent RB Dexter McCluster:

"He can run the ball. He can catch the ball. He will block. He can run back kicks and punts. He can line up at tailback, at slot receiver or at wide receiver. McCluster’s versatility makes him a weapon. He worries the other team the moment that he steps onto the field, meaning that other Titans on offense will benefit from his presence.

"And McCluster gives you roster-flexibility on Sunday’s for your 46 active players. Down a running back due to injury? You got McCluster. Short a wideout? You got McCluster. Need an extra defensive lineman for a particular game? Because McCluster plays multiple positions and runs back kicks, you can go without an extra offensive player and keep an extra defensive lineman active. "

Fantasy Impact:

McCluster could play the Danny Woodhead role in Ken Whisenhunt's offense, giving him spot starter potential, especially in PPR leagues.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:18am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss was asked to compare WR Aaron Dobson to other NFL receivers: "...two players who come to mind a little bit from an athletic and outside-receiver perspective are San Diego's Malcom Floyd and Chicago's Alshon Jeffery. There's a gap there between the two -- Jeffery is the better player -- and that's the range in which I peg Dobson's potential."

Fantasy Impact:

As a rookie, Dobson caught a respectable 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns, but he flashed some big play ability in his 5-130-2 outing against the Steelers in early November. His FP/T (1.05) was average, but if he can beat out Brandon LaFell and Kenbrell Thompkins for a starting job, he should produce with Tom Brady throwing the ball. He only played 63% of the snaps as a rookie.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 12:43am - [Full Article]

After visiting San Diego last week, CB Brandon Flowers has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Chargers, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Tuesday, per a team source.

Monday, June 23, 2014, 10:44am

San Diego Union-Tribune - [Full Article]

Tight end Antonio Gates, who has led the Chargers in receptions eight of the past 10 seasons, was absent all offseason tending to a serious family issue. In his absence, Ladarius Green was given enhanced preparation for his third NFL season, which is expected to see him get the ball more than ever. There are plays Green makes, with his height, hands and speed, no one else on the roster can make. That’s not to say we didn’t see him running Gates’ routes a few times and not making plays Gates would have made. They’re different players, and Green should not have the pressure of a comparison. But, especially as he should increasingly be on the field at the same time as Gates, look for this kid to at least double last year’s 17 receptions for 367 yards and three touchdowns.

Fantasy Impact:

Green has tremendous upside as a player, but his fantasy upside is capped in the short term by the presence of Gates. Green won't see starter's snaps in 2014 as long as Gates is healthy.

Ryan Mathews bulking up
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 12:06am

San Diego Union-Tribune - [Full Article]

Chargers RB Ryan Mathews made quick cuts in consecutive bursts to the end zone. He looks to have gained muscle and weighs 222 pounds, up seven from last August.

Fantasy Impact:

From Week 6 on, Ryan Mathews was the #10 RB in fantasy. He averaged 21.5 touches for 104 yards and 0.55 TD over the remainder of the regular season, but petered out in the playoffs after suffering a high ankle sprain. Heading into 2014 fantasy drafts, his stock will be interesting to watch given how many owners he has burned in the past, and Danny Woodhead’s presence doesn’t help matters — he will continue to limit Mathews’ involvement in the passing game. Still, he has finished as a RB1 in two of the last three seasons and GM Tom Telesco confirmed that he is still the team’s “bell cow” RB despite adding Donald Brown to the mix.

Beat: Bishop Sankey will be 'busiest' of Titans' RBs
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:52pm

The Tennessean - [Full Article]

Dave Climer of the Tennessean predicts that RB Bishop Sankey will lead the Titans' RBBC in 2014:

"Personally, I expect it to fall into place quickly and for Sankey to emerge as the busiest of the Titans' running backs three or four games into the season. You don't spend a second-round pick on a running back — and make him the first running back drafted — to turn him into a spectator.

"Let's be clear: I'm not saying Sankey will be an every-down back or that his touches will come close to the 21 per game Chris Johnson averaged in his six seasons with the Titans. With a new coaching staff and a different vision for the offense, the Titans will use multiple backs, fitting the player to the situation."

Fantasy Impact:

HC Ken Whisenhunt did split RB duties between Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead as the Chargers' OC last year, so we could see Sankey and Dexter McCluster filling those roles in Tennessee. Sankey is probably going to be better in the passing game than Mathews, so he has a bit more upside as a three-down back. 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.

Delanie Walker says he'll play more in-line tight end
Monday, June 16, 2014, 1:33pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Said Titans TE Delanie Walker: "We’re going to be very physical, we’re going to play until the whistle blows, we’re going to be very tough in the run game and when the passing game comes to us, we’re going to make plays. ...I see the tight end position being of big impact in this offense."

But in terms of creative use, the Titans' top tight end doesn’t necessarily expect to line up all over the place.

“We’re going to move around, but I think you’re going to see more of Dexter McCluster in that spot,” Walker said. “He’s the Swiss Army knife now for this team. He can play multiple positions, and I think you’re going to see Dexter moving around making great plays for us.

“I see myself as that guy as well, but you’re going to see me on the end of the line more too as well.”

Fantasy Impact:

Walker is an interesting tight end to monitor this offseason. He finished as the #12 TE on the year, posting 60 catches for 571 yards and six TDs. 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.

Monday, June 16, 2014, 11:12am

ESPN - [Full Article]

After a year dealing with a nagging toe injury that would not allow him to practice during the regular season, San Diego Chargers receiver Eddie Royal is pleased to be back on the practice field on a regular basis.

"It's very important," Royal said. "I'm seeing that now. Just the little improvements I've made with my footwork, and other little things that I wasn't able to do last year -- the ins and outs of running routes based on different coverages -- it's been big for me so far."

Kendall Wright working to break more tackles
Monday, June 16, 2014, 10:34am

The Tennessean - [Full Article]

"I am not satisfied," Titans WR Kendall Wright said. "I know I am a better football player and I have room to get better. I can easily do a whole lot better."

Specifically, he wants to break a lot more tackles. He feels like if he'd been more slippery, his yardage total could have been even more staggering on his 94 catches, which ranked seventh in the NFL.

"Some of the short passes that I caught, I maybe let the first person tackle me," Wright said. "I have to break that tackle and get way more yards than I did. And that is what I am working on — my explosiveness. It is great to get 1,000 yards. But I want to do a whole lot more after the catch. I need to make more guys miss."

Fantasy Impact:

Wright caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards, but only found the endzone twice. He’s not likely to become a major force in the redzone, though new HC Ken Whisenhunt had success around the goal line with a similar player (Eddie Royal) in San Diego. Royal scored six of his eight TDs from inside the 15-yard line (typically on quick screens), so Whisenhunt may elect to use Wright in the same way.

Justin Hunter should be on the field a 'majority of the time'
Friday, June 13, 2014, 11:50am

The Tennessean - [Full Article]

Titans WR Justin Hunter let us in on a little secret the other day.

Asked about the difference between the Titans' new offense and the one they ran last year, Hunter said: "We're throwing it downfield a little more."

A couple of thoughts:

Maybe the Titans plan to throw the ball downfield with greater regularity because that's HC Ken Whisenhunt's philosophy.

Or maybe they'll throw downfield more because Hunter, now a second-year pro, gives them another serious playmaking option in the passing game.

Most likely, it's a combination of the two. The offense is evolving. Hunter is developing. It's a good match.

Whisenhunt's preference for three-wide receiver formations (that was the primary alignment in San Diego last season when Whisenhunt was offensive coordinator), Hunter should be on the field with Wright and Nate Washington a majority of the time.

Fantasy Impact:

As a rookie, Hunter checked in with the #18 FP/T (1.41), which is encouraging. 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.

Bishop Sankey returns to practice
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 5:44pm

The Tennessean - [Full Article]

Titans RB Bishop Sankey, a second-round pick out of Washington, missed the first nine days of organized team activities because NFL rules prohibited him from practicing as he finished his school commitments.

"Mentally he is in good shape, but physically when he gets on the field, the speed, he is not there yet. So that is going to take some time to adjust to, and you can see it," HC Ken Whisenhunt said. "You can talk to him and he can tell you what he is doing, but when those guys are moving around. …

"I think one thing that is very evident is you are pleased with his movement skills and the way he is coming in here. He looks good. You can tell he has natural vision, runs the ball really well and you like that. I am excited to see what he can do in minicamp and (training) camp."

Fantasy Impact:

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.

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 11:06am

Philly Mag - [Full Article]

On the hype surrounding Eagles WR Jordan Matthews...

In the past decade, four rookie wide receivers - Michael Clayton, A.J. Green, Keenan Allen and Marques Colston - have had 1,000-yard seasons. Five - Eddie Royal, Clayton, Allen, Dwayne Bowe and Colston - have had 70+ catches.

And there's this one from Brent Cohen of Eagles Rewind: 49 receivers have been taken in the second round since 2000 and played at least 10 games as rookies. Average receiving yards for that group has been 437.

All of those numbers are meant for context, and players buck trends all the time. But a really good season for Matthews would be replicating what Riley Cooper did last season, not DeSean Jackson.

Fantasy Impact:

Matthews will likely see snaps in the slot (at least) this season. Jeremy Maclin is working his way back from an ACL injury and Riley Cooper is solid, but unspectacular. There is opportunity in this offense if Matthews has a great summer, and by most accounts he has.

Hamilton: Trent Richardson faced 'tough looks' in 2013
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 10:42am

Indianapolis Colts - [Full Article]

“(Trent Richardson is) one of the guys who has benefited tremendously from the classroom time,” said Colts OC Pep Hamilton. “It was ambitious to think he could come in in week three last year, pick it up and hit the ground running.

“It was one of those situations where the defense knew when we put him in the game, more than likely we were running the ball. They were packing the box, and he was faced with some tremendously tough looks.”

Hamilton speaks from experience for the need to have multiple backs. A pecking order and delineation of duty is not something for the moment.

“The guys we have are very capable of making the big plays. Trent is plenty explosive enough, as well as (Ahmad Bradshaw) and (Vick Ballard),” said Hamilton. “Those guys are versatile enough to play on first, second and third down.

“We know how long the season is. We’re going to need all our guys at some point during the season. We’re not at the point where we have to decide on a rotation or a specific role for anybody in our offense. We’re just working to make sure we continue to grow and put a winning product on the field.”

Fantasy Impact:

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 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 working his way back from a knee injury.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 10:23am

Titans Online - [Full Article]

Titans HC Ken Whisenhunt was asked how much can be expected of Bishop Sankey on his first day back since a rookie minicamp in May. (He has been finishing up his school requirements at the University of Washington.)

“Would I like to think he’s ready? Yes,” Whisenhunt said. “Do I think he’s ready? No, but hopefully he’s been looking at the video and staying up with the scripts. I know he’s talked to (running backs coach Sylvester) Croom a few times, so hopefully it will help him with the adjustment. He’ll get some good reps here Thursday and hopefully with the minicamp.”

Whisenhunt said training camp is the target return for Shonn Greene.

Fantasy Impact:

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.