2012 Team Outlook: San Diego
QB Philip Rivers, LAC - Solid/Safe Pick
Rivers has A-game potential, but there were plenty of B and C level performances during last season's turnover-heavy campaign. As both the quarterback and veteran Chargers look to rebound, look for Rivers to throw early and often. His major objectives will be to move the ball quickly and accurately. Accuracy has been an issue and Rivers and his team have been working on eliminating turnovers. Rivers has a solid running game behind him and he should have every opportunity to make it a great season.
QB Charlie Whitehurst, --- - Not Draft Worthy
Whitehurst is back to back-up Philp Rivers this season after one away in Seattle. He has the ability to make your standard plays and get the team moving, but is this enough if Rivers falls to injury? Eh, the jury is out, way out.
Whitehurst has been out for a brief period and it appears one to two more weeks while his knee heals.
RB Jackie Battle, --- - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Battle now becomes a super sleeper on my list. With Mathews out 4-6 weeks and Brown and Brinkley working for carries, Battle should factor into the RBBC approach too. Battle can run the ball and be productive under the right set of circumstances, so we will have to wait and see.
RB Curtis Brinkley, --- - Sleeper (undervalued)
It appeared that Brinkley was getting his chance to be a solid back-up, then Ronnie Brown arrived. Brinkley will likely lose quite a bit of work to Brown as long as Brown stays healthy and can produce. If there is an injury to Mathews or Brown, Brinkley will see some carries. If not, we will have to see how things play out game to game.
Brinkley moves into a sleeper category at this stage with the injury to Mathews. If Ronnie Brown cannot deliver, we might see much more of Mr. Brinkley than anticipated.
RB Ronnie Brown, --- - Sleeper (undervalued)
Brown joins the San Diego squad after a poor season in 2011 in Philly. Does the ex-Dolphin still have any magic left? Perhaps, but how much is the good question. Ryan Mathews tops the Rb depth chart, but Brown will see some carries. In theory, this will be good for both backs; Brown can have an opportunity to show he still has it and the not-so durable Mathews can catch a breather. If he impresses enough during camp, Brown could emerge as decent flex play - especially if he truly inherits Mike Tolbert's role. Not counting it, but someone else will get work here.
Update (8/10): Ryan Mathews suffered a broken collarbone in the Chargers preseason opener and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Brown figures to receive the majority of the workload, though he's hardly been productive in recent campaigns. At least fantasy owners will have a few weeks before having to make a call as to the when and where the backs should be selected.
Update 8/26/12: Brown will be the premiere back in SD's offense until the return of Ryan Mathews. It appears we will see Mathews around Week 3 or 4 of the season as long as his recovery goes as planned.
RB Jacob Hester, --- - Low Potential
Hester should see some action, but he will likely be the FB fill-in for McClain. Both of these guys will open lanes for the likes of Bown, Brinkley, Battle and Mathews when he returns, but be unappreciated fantasy-wise. I say Hester has low potential in the fantasy world this season.