San Diego Chargers
|By Jeb Gorham, Friday, September 12, 2014|
QB Philip Rivers - Solid/Safe Pick
Philip Rivers was last season's Comeback Player of the Year as named by the Associated Press. His turnaround was assisted by new head coach Mike McCoy and the pair should fare well into the future. Rivers is a reliable option who rebounded statistically after what appeared to be a gradual decline. In 2013, he threw for nearly 4,500 yards with 32 TDs and 11 INTs. This year Rivers will be counting on second-year standout Keenan Allen, a tentatively healthy Malcom Floyd, tight ends Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates, as well as some additional support from a great backfield. Rivers has the potential to surprise fantasy owners once again.
Editor's note: Rivers has passed for at least 4,000 yards in five of his last six seasons. For those owners opting to wait for a quarterback, Rivers is certainly one to target. According to our data, Rivers is the 15th QB off the board with an ADP of 125.55. This really illustrates the depth of the quarterback position. Considering Rivers could be drafted as a backup, there should be no pressing need to reach at the position in 10- or 12-team leagues.
RB Ryan Mathews - Solid/Safe Pick
Ryan Mathews is one of many safe picks to choose from San Diego's offense. After failing to meet the expectations of fantasy owners early in his career, mostly due to injury woes and periods of non-productivity, the former Fresno State back rebounded with a healthy and useful 16-game contribution. Mathews rushed for 100-plus yards six times after Week 5. From Weeks 10 to 17, he averaged about 15 fantasy points per game in standard scoring leagues. That's a really strong push from a guy typically drafted as RB2 or flex. He has shown a burst of explosiveness up to this point, although some of that might be zapped due to him adding nearly 10 lbs. of muscle during the offseason. He claims his weight gain is meant to provide him with durability, a sore subject among fantasy owners, no pun intended. Mathews would benefit from contributing more as a receiver; however, RBs Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown will share that responsibility. After finishing last season as fantasy's 12th-best scoring RB in standard, Mathews' ADP places him at RB21 or more specifically, early in Round 6. The concerns of a fluke season from the Chargers coupled with injury concerns make Mathews an excellent value selection.
RB Donald Brown - Bye Week Fill-in
Since San Diego is calling Ryan Mathews their bell cow, that would make Donald Brown an opportunistic handcuff if he can overtake Woodhead as the Chargers' No. 2 back. If not, he will have to wait for Mathews to miss his annual game or two. Brown's move to San Diego is smart for the franchise, considering Mathews' injury issues from years past. Brown can also contribute some value in the passing game. Last season in Indianapolis, he had 27 grabs for 214 yards and two TDs. Brown should earn about five to eight carries per game plus some extra work on passing downs. He will spell Mathews as needed and if he goes down to injury for a game or two (which is likely), Brown can make a fantasy impact in most league formats.