The Chargers have long been a team loaded with top fantasy football players, and this year appears no different. BOLTHYPE's newest writer Mychal Edelman takes a look at the 2011 San Diego Chargers through the eyes of fantasy football guru.
Projections Courtesy of ESPN.COM
1. Phillip Rivers QB - Passing Yards 4734 TDs: 29
So many weapons, a solidified offensive line, Rivers has a legitimate chance to be fantasy’s number one scoring quarterback along with Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning if healthy.
2. Vincent Jackson WR - Receiving Yards 1081 TDs: 9
Coming in cold and bitter from suspension, Jackson averaged 82 yards and just less than 1 touchdown for the season’s final four games. Expect Larger averages over a full season in a huge contract year for Jackson. Like Rivers, has a legitimate chance to compete for the number one fantasy spot at his position in 2011
3. Antonio Gates TE - Receiving Yards 1000 TDs: 11
Injury concerns may thwart some draft gurus from the perennial playmaker. The return of the other play makers in this offense should dip into his numbers a bit, but as a red zone target Gates remains a top option at his position. Keep an eye on his foot, but draft with high expectations.
4. Ryan Mathews RB - Rushing Yards 941 TDs: 7
Like Gates, health plays a big factor. He will be given the opportunity to be the factor back, but needs to prove early and often that he has fixed fumbling problems, and stamina issues. That being said, he has the skills and power to be a supreme fantasy running back, but still deals with Tolbert as a goal line threat to steal touchdowns. Expect a much improved statistical year.
5. Malcolm Floyd WR - Receiving Yards 795 TDs: 5/ Patrick Crayton Receiving Yards 500 TDs: 2
Three Chargers receivers are draftable? This seems to be the case. With Rivers playing at such a high level, both Crayton and Floyd should be able to produce numerous hundred yard games especially with a healthy Jackson and Gates forcing single coverage. Don’t overlook either of these players who both have value after other top options are off the board.
* Chargers Defense/Special Teams - Yards Against: 4838, Points Against: 342
Improved all around, Bob Sanders and 1st Round Pick Corey Liuget should inspire more turnovers. Remember, the unit was rated number one overall last year, and a repeat of special teams disasters of 2010 are unlikely.
* Mike Tolbert RB - Rushing Yards 677 TDs: 10
Not just a goal line back, who will get touches early an often. With Mathews fragility issues, expect a solid season with potential for even better.
* Vincent Brown WR
If the rookie can overtake Crayton at some point in the season for the slot position, he could quickly gain value as a week to week fantasy player. Any injuries to the receiving core could also open the door to this former Aztec to sneak in some catches. Rivers seems to like him as a target.
* Kory Sperry TE -
Massive Frame, solid NFL experience, will most likely be a split option in the red zone for some easy dump touchdowns. Gates foot injury, should allow for more playing time even as the third tight end.
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