Chargers Fantasy News

Ryan Mathews should continue to get goal line carries

Friday, August 8, 2014, 1:35pm

Alex Flanagan on Twitter - [Full Article]

Mike McCoy said right after Ryan Mathews fumbled on the goal line he told his RB he's going to keep feeding him the ball.

Fantasy Impact:

Mathews was so good last year, especially in the second half, but through his career has been victimized by injuries and costly fumbles. While it looks like he'll still get carries in deep, Donald Brown lurks as a potential candidate if fumbling becomes an issue again for Mathews.

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Friday, August 8, 2014, 12:21pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Dallas Cowboys have talked about building their success around the offensive line, which means running the ball more.

Thursday’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers was a good start.

The final numbers look only pedestrian -- 23 carries, 92 yards -- but the first drive offered a bit of hope that what the line has done so far in training camp can carry over to when the games start for real Sept. 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Cowboys ran the ball six times for 29 yards with the first-team offensive line on the field for one series, and that included a no gain on the first carry. Joseph Randle, who was starting while DeMarco Murray and backup Lance Dunbar rested, gained 50 yards on 13 carries.

Friday, August 8, 2014, 9:54am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Chargers undrafted rookie free agent running back Branden Oliver looked like the real deal.

A 5-8 and 208 pound runner who starred at Buffalo, Oliver likely reminds you of another fan favorite -- former Chargers' running back Darren Sproles. He even wears the same No. 43 jersey. Oliver finished with 64 yards on seven carries, including a 16-yard touchdown.

Fantasy Impact:

Oliver showed quickness through the hole, the speed to get outside and an ability to finish runs, the story said. Unfortunately for him, he's at least behind Ryan Mathews, Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead who should get a bulk, if not all, of the the snaps as long as they are healthy.

Sorting out the Chargers' TE situation

Thursday, August 7, 2014, 10:20am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Chargers tight end Ladarius Green appears to have taken another step in his development after showing the ability to create big plays last season.

While Green will be featured more in the offense, veteran Antonio Gates will remain the most targeted tight end on San Diego’s roster. Gates has been the most targeted receiver for the Chargers two of the last three seasons. While NFL observers believe he has lost a step, the 34-year-old Gates can still beat one-on-one coverage in the middle of the field, particularly in the red zone.

Fantasy Impact:

Green played 33% of snaps on the season, but played 40%+ in the final six games, indicating that the team likes what he brings to the table. He's still playing behind Antonio Gates, so it's surprising to see him going ahead of Gates in early fantasy drafts. He does have upside, but it's hard to see him posting TE1 numbers without an injury to Gates.

Chargers WR Malcom Floyd flashing 'sure hands' and 'playmaking ability' in camp

Thursday, August 7, 2014, 10:17am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The unexpected return of Malcom Floyd from a serious neck injury gives the Chargers a receiver who can stretch the field vertically opposite Keenan Allen. Floyd has flashed sure hands and playmaking ability in training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

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 likely start as the team’s WR2 opposite Keenan Allen. If he’s starting and can stay healthy (a rather big “if”), he should be fantasy-relevant once again in 2014.

Titans RB Bishop Sankey doing well in pass protection

Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 11:21am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Titans RB Bishop Sankey is learning quickly how to be a pro, and he has shown a bit of everything the Titans said they expected when they made him the first running back selected in the draft. His first day in pads he looked like an experienced NFL-caliber pass protector. He has good vision and makes good decisions on when to go and when to cut. He also catches the ball well, can run inside and outside.

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.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 1:15pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Asked if he thinks he can gain 1,000 yards this year, Colts RB Trent Richardson scoffed that his goals are a lot higher than that.

“A thousand is not the goal. For me, it’s personal. I’m going to keep it to myself. But a thousand is not it for me. It’s higher,” Richardson said, via the Indianapolis Star.

This year Richardson believes his greater understanding of the offense will allow him to play a greater role on the team.

“I can’t wait to be involved in the passing game, even if it’s just pass blocking,” Richardson said. “I’m trying to be a three-down back. It would be four if they let me play special teams.”

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 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.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 10:12am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Chargers RB Donald Brown hasn't worked as a kick returner since his rookie season with the Colts, totaling one return for 21 yards. Before that, Brown served for a short time as a kick returner in college, averaging 23.3 yards a return on nine attempts at Connecticut in 2006. But Brown sits atop San Diego's depth chart, listed as the team's top kick returner heading into Thursday's game. In a crowded backfield with Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead, serving as San Diego's kick returner offers Brown another opportunity to get a few more touches during the game. "Whenever you're number is called you just try to make the most of it and roll with it," Brown said. "I just look forward to the challenge."

Fantasy Impact:

This is something for owners who play in return leagues to file away. Brown will have a complementary role in the offense backing up both Mathews and Woodhead and proved last season (for the Colts) that he can be a very productive player when given touches.

Monday, August 4, 2014, 9:50am

CBS Sports - [Full Article]

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who underwent back surgery in December but has been participating in training camp, won't play in Thursday's preseason opener against the Chargers.

“We've talked about it a little bit, and we're going to be smart,” Romo said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Charean Williams. “… Most likely I'll probably sit out the San Diego game and play in Game 2 and go from there.”

Last week, owner and general manager Jerry Jones announced that Romo was "100 percent" recovered from the surgery, but Jones also said the team was "that close" to drafting Johnny Manziel, a revelation that may or may not be true. Either way, Romo, 34, won't be on the field when the Cowboys face the Chargers, which means we'll get our first look at backups Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie.

Sunday, August 3, 2014, 4:59pm

Union-Tribune - [Full Article]

San Diego first-team receivers won the day, whether it was Malcom Floyd hauling in a deep pass in the two-minute offense or fellow starters Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal snagging short and medium passes. Royal praised Chargers defensive backs for “feisty” play.

Fantasy Impact:

Perhaps most encouraging here is the that Floyd had a nice day. He's coming back after a terrible injury early last season. Allen is still the guy to own, but Floyd looks like he can be the WR2 the Chargers didn't really have last year.

Marvin Jones (ankle) not practicing, will be 'ready' for Week 1

Friday, August 1, 2014, 1:03pm

Cincinnati - [Full Article]

Bengals WR Marvin Jones is yet to practice due to an ankle injury he suffered in a non-football-related activity.

Watching the rest of his team compete and run around has challenged his patience, but he's stayed confident in his progress working on the side field.

"In due time I will be out there," Jones said.

The most important question in regard to Jones' status is if he's concerned about possibly missing the start of the regular season. He wasn't having that.

"No, I'll be ready," Jones said.

Fantasy Impact:

He injured the ankle in an offseason workout with QB Andy Dalton. He isn't worried about his status for Week 1 and neither are we. He finished strong down the stretch, including an 8-130 outing against the Chargers in the playoffs.

Titans WR Kendall Wright has lost weight, gained discipline

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 1:33pm

Total Titans - [Full Article]

Tom Gower of Total Titans discusses WR Kendall Wright:

There are a couple specific areas of Wright’s game to pay attention to in 2014. First, can Jake Locker find him downfield? As I noted in the comments section of Rivers’ column, Locker has gone just 4-for-23 when targeting Wright more than 10 yards downfield. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Hasselbeck have had more success finding Wright down the field, though even so he hasn’t been the vertical seam threat we saw at Baylor and expected him to be in the NFL.

The second thing to watch for Wright is his continued work on reshaping his body. He dropped 14 pounds last offseason to get to 187, which seemed to lead to better movement on the field. He noted earlier this week (video link) the new coaching staff had asked him to drop a little additional weight to improve his speed and his endurance and ability to stay on the field. He noted he’s now at 184 pounds and his belly is gone.

The other thing to come from that interview, beyond his weight, is his role in the offense is likely to change. He noted he’s learning every wide receiver position, which is something Dowell Loggains talked about about every receiver doing last season. More importantly, though, he noted the new coaching staff (though position coach Shawn Jefferson is a holdover) is asking him to be more disciplined in his routes instead of giving him the opportunity to freelance and adjust his route like he had from the old regime last year. It’s interesting to get confirmation of that, which I wondered about at times watching them, and will be interesting to see if Wright can be as productive in a more disciplined system. I’m confident that unless he gets hurt Wright will play a lot and catch a lot of balls in 2014. I don’t know if that will end up meaning 70 catches (the low end) or over 100 (the higher end). My guess is that however many catches he ends up with he’s more likely to be closer to 12.0 yards per catch than the 15.4 in Jim Wyatt’s projections.

Fantasy Impact:

Wright's downfield numbers with Locker are worrisome, but with Ken Whisenhunt running the offense, we have confidence that the unit will be improved and that he'll put Locker and Wright in the best position to make plays. As for Wright's lack of involvement in the red zone, don't be surprised if Whisenhunt dials up WR screens around the 10-yard line with regularity -- he coaxed eight touchdowns out of slot receiver Eddie Royal last season.

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 12:56pm

San Diego Union Tribune - [Full Article]

Chargers first-team receivers won the day, whether it was Malcom Floyd hauling in a deep pass in the two-minute offense or fellow starters Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal snagging short and medium passes.

Coming off the team’s first off day of camp, Vincent Brown (calf) sat out his fourth practice. “He had a great offseason and is still in all the meetings,” McCoy said.

Fantasy Impact:

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 likely start as the team’s WR2 opposite Keenan Allen. If he’s starting and can stay healthy (a rather big “if”), he should be fantasy-relevant once again in 2014.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:18pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The star of the day at Chargers camp was Malcom Floyd. The 6-foot-5 receiver returning from a serious neck injury made several plays in the passing game, including a deep reception during the two-minute drill that set up a score and a touchdown in the red zone on a skinny post against Brandon Flowers toward the end of practice.

Fantasy Impact:

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 likely start as the team’s WR2 opposite Keenan Allen. If he’s starting and can stay healthy (a rather big “if”), he should be fantasy-relevant once again in 2014.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:14pm

WGR 550 - [Full Article]

Bills WR Robert Woods took over during the 7-on-7 goal line drill to end practice on Wednesday. Woods ran his routes correctly, didn’t come back to the ball when he was near the goal line and displayed outstanding hands during his few reps. Woods first took a well-placed over the shoulder throw from EJ Manuel while a defender was draped all over the wide receiver. Woods simply reached out with his right arm, still getting his left arm dragged from behind and corralled the pass in for a touchdown. It was a gorgeous play.

Fantasy Impact:

Woods averaged 2.9-42-.21 in 14 games as a rookie, which translates to 46-671-3.4 if extrapolated to a full season. As it stands, he had the 5th-most receiving yards of any rookie in 2013. (His extrapolated total would have finished 4th, behind Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins and Terrance Williams.) He should see starter’s snaps opposite rookie Sammy Watkins, but in a run-heavy offense with a mediocre (at best) quarterback, Woods isn’t a sure thing to be fantasy relevant (top 60) in 2014.