Running back Darren Sproles spent five seasons with the Chargers. In those final two seasons, Sproles caught 45 and 59 passes, respectively. Of course, he has become an even more productive in New Orleans, but the Chargers will feel just fine if Danny Woodhead can put up numbers similar to what Sproles did for them in 2009 and 2010. And according to U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken, that's the expectation.
"Woodhead figures to be active in the third-down and two-minute offense this season," Gehlken wrote. "The Chargers can line him up in the slot. Considered a more natural rusher than Sproles, he can motion back into the backfield and pose a threat as a runner, even on early downs."
Gehlken adds that the Chargers' third-down backs from 2010-12 -- Sproles, Mike Tolbert and Ronnie Brown -- each caught between 49 and 59 passes. Gehlken writes that it "seems realistic" that Woodhead could also approach 60 catches this season. He caught a career-high 40 with the Patriots last year.
Woodhead missed San Diego's first two preseason games due to an undisclosed injury, but he is expected to play tonight. It's clear that he will be on the field often when the Chargers look to throw it, not only because of his receiving skills but also because of his prowess as a blocker. Woodhead is a rising flex option in PPR leagues. Meanwhile, Ryan Mathews is falling and is a low-end RB2 at most.