Fantasy Value: San Diego Chargers 2011


STUDS:Philip Rivers – QUARTERBACKRivers has been one of the most consistent fantasy producers in the past few years. With a 66% completion percentage last season (while not having consistent targets to throw to), he is one of the smarter quarterbacks in the game. Now that Vincent Jackson is back and Antonio Gates appears to be “healthy”, Rivers could post up another 4,500 yard passing season with another 30 td’s.

Vincent Jackson – WIDE RECEIVERAt 6’3″, Jackson is the perfect fantasy deep threat. He has a unreal ability to go up and reel the ball in, and barring no off-field issues I see him rising back to and NFL top 5 fantasy producing WR once again.DUDS:Ryan Mathews – RUNNING BACKFor some reason, Ryan Mathews cannot seem to get traction going into his 2nd season. Coming into camp, it was brought to our attention that he has not taken the proper steps to be conditioned for the upcoming season. Now, 2 weeks into practices he is out with a muscle strain and will not be seeing action in the preseason opener when the Chargers host the Seahawks. When Mathews is at full health and can take his conditioning seriously he will be a major contributor and threat, but until then lets be safe and not throw all of our eggs in that basket.

Special Teams – If you are looking to reel in some stats from Special Teams, this might not be the safest bet. Earlier this week I attended the Fan Fest scrimmage practice and noticed one thing. When Mike Scifres dropped back to punt, there were undrafted rookies coming very close to having their hands on him and the ball. He did not appear to be comfortable back there and I do not blame him after a season like 2010. The Chargers have made statements proposing that the Special Teams unit is on the uprise, but Lil man Sproles (the lone bright spot) is now gone and return duties will be handed off to Cason, Crayton, and Gilchrist more than likely.

Sleepers:Jordan Todman – RUNNING BACKIf for some reason Ryan Mathews cannot pull it together and stay healthy in 2011, look for the Chargers to utilize the speed, explosiveness, and versatility of Jordan Todman. He has solid hands and could be a replacement/upgrade from former back Darren Sproles.

Seyi Ajirotutu – WIDE RECEIVERSeyi has one of the best work ethics on the team. Being an undrafted free agent he had to overcome a few more hurdles than the average player. “Tutu” showed flashes of brilliance last season and made his name known in several games. Look for him to seal up a starting position along with Crayton, Vjax, V.Brown, and M80. After watching him at Fan Fest I was very excited to see how clean his routes and hands were. He made a few great sideline catches in coverage and could be a solid contributor to our high octane pass offense this season.

Keep An Eye Out For:Vincent Brown – WIDE RECEIVERIt’s not too often that veterans make claims about a mid round Rookie Wide Receiver. When running drills during the lockout it was stated that Hall Of Fame Wide Receiver Charlie Joiner was very impressed with Brown and feels that the Bolts hit a gold mine with him! He is a smaller receiver for out typical scheme but he should be able to contribute right away. If our coaching staff can figure out a way to utilize his play making skill-set he could be a great pickup especially in PPR leagues.

Kory Sperry – TIGHT END –This guy is one of the most impressive depth chart players at camp right now. He possesses great hands and knows how to get open. During the 2 minute drills in camp he made several sideline catches in coverage and appears to have a serious knowledge and talent foundation to succeed in the NFL. If Gates can’t stay healthy, he could be one heck of a pickup!

But wait.. Where is..?Antonio Gates – TIGHT ENDUntil I can see a healthy Gates running and cutting at full speed I would not trust him. When he is healthy he is the best receiving Tight Ends to ever play the game. He puts up the same kind of fantasy numbers that starting Wide Receivers do. If he could prove to be back to full strength and healthy, he is the most solid Tight End pick out there, but if he attempts to play through the plantar fasciitis, this could be a LONG season for him, Chargers fans, and fantasy owners.