As the dog days of summer roll along, players, coaches and rookies report to workouts and OTA’s. In a similar aspect, but a much less athletic way, men, women and kids alike fill out their first of many Fantasy football rankings.
So with the hopes of providing you with some fantasy knowledge that will lead you to victory, let us begin the way too San Diego Chargers fantasy breakdown!
Watch List/Free Agents
These are going to be the guys that won’t make it on your fantasy roster, but you will want to have an eye on them in case any injuries (please no Charger injuries, please no Charger injuries) occur. These guys could have value in real life but you don’t want to take up precious roster space when they aren’t going to help you rack up fantasy points.
Branden Oliver, RB
The Rookie from Buffalo broke out in a huge way in 2014. After getting his chance to play because of injury, Oliver finished the year with 853 total yards and four TD’s.
We all know Melvin Gordon will get the majority of carries and Danny Woodhead will be the primary ball catcher out of the backfield. But look for Mike McCoy to continue to give Oliver looks throughout the season. Any injuries in the Chargers backfield and Oliver will again be a force on the fantasy field.
Ladarius Green, TE
Everyone, and I mean everyone picked this guy to be the sleeper of the 2014 season. The hype train was in full effect and then -ol’ reliable- Antonio Gates put an end to that. Gates was supposed to be “declining” but continues to ignore his age and play some beautiful football. (More on Gates later)
I’m thinking Green gets on the field a lot more this season and for good reason. The 6’6″ 240 lb. tight end was limited because of player personnel formations. But Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Frank Reich are going to want to see what this guy can do after two seasons of seeing the very tip of the iceberg of his potential.
Steven Johnson, WR (#61 WR, #171 overall)
The Chargers signed yet another wideout this offseason. Johnson comes over from the SF Giants where he had a down year in a 49er offense that fell apart. He’ll look to get back on track in what should be a dangerous offense.
Look for Johnson to work the slot when Allen and Floyd are on the outsides. He can be a playmaking receiver and could put up similar stats like Eddie Royal did last season. Royal had seven TD’s and over 700 yards for the Chargers.
Johnson has never had a QB as great as Rivers so it will be very exciting to see the two pick apart opposing defenses.
Malcolm Floyd, WR (#60 WR, #154 overall)
One of the fan favorites for the Bolts, Floyd has stated his 11th season will also be his last. He’s bounced back from a scary neck injury to post a great season last year. He had over 800 yards and six TD’s.
While the Chargers brought in more talent at the WR position, I believe Floyd could be a sneaky play during the fantasy season and a player you have to keep on your radar.
These guys are the bread and butter of your fantasy lineup.
Danny Woodhead, RB (#49 RB, #147 overall)
Recoving from a broken leg, Woodhead will take over as the receiving back for Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense. He appeared in just three games before suffering the injury but has had plenty of time to recover.
If you’re in a PPR league, Woodhead gets a huge bump and is being taken around the 4th or 5th round. The 5′ 8″ RB will give you a steady dose of catches out of the background to rack up points but can still hit the hole on occasion and be a change-of-pace back.
Philip Rivers, QB (#14 QB, #87 overall)
Rivers always seems to be underrated come draft time. He finished last year as the #9 QB in standard scoring, with over 4,000 yards and 31 TD’s even with the O-line issues and going through five centers!
The Chargers have focused their efforts improving the O-line, they got Rivers a nice running back through the draft and even more weapons on the outside through free-agency.
I think he’s way underrated going into the summer and you could get a real steal in the 9th round for a QB1 if the offense can stay healthy around Rivers.
Antonio Gates, TE (#6 TE, #78 overall)
After everyone thought Gates would have a down last year, all he did was finish as the #2 Tight end in fantasy putting up over 800 yards and 12 TD’s. With more weapons on offense I think his TD’s drop but he’ll still prove the doubters wrong again. Look for him in rounds 6-7 in PPR and 7-8 in standard scoring.
Keenan Allen, WR (#22 WR, #56 overall)
After busting onto the scene in his Rookie season, Allen took a step back in last years campaign. Allen finished second in AFC Rookie of the Year voting but last year had just 783 yards and his TD’s cut in half from 8 to 4.
Allen has a ton of talent and is a hard worker. I think last year will leave a bad taste in some fantasy players mouths dropping his ADP (Average Draft Position) which means there’s value to be had! Huge bounce back year for Allen.
Melvin Gordon, RB (#16 RB, #34 overall)
Now, it all comes down to the new man in town. Gordon has been going as early as the third round in drafts. The value of fantasy running backs are so high because A) Not as many studs than wideouts and B) timeshares are running rabid in the NFL. While Gordon will still share carries with Woodhead and even Oliver, he will be the guy the offense will count on to make plays.
Revamped offensive line will give him some holes to run through and I’m getting really excited to see what he can do in the passing game with Rivers and co.
Fantasy wise I think you look for him in the fourth round as your RB2, high RB3 player.
Projections have him going for just over 1,000 rushing 200 yards receiving and 6 total TD’s. I think he’s going the Charger’s player to own in a great offense. Maybe I’m being too much of a homer but I think there’s big things to come for Gordon!
Stay tuned for more fantasy articles throughout the summer as we get closer to the season.
Keep coming back to East Village Times for more updates, opinions and notes on the Chargers.