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Los Angeles Chargers 2017 fantasy football report card

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 31: Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers, Derek Watt #34, and Spencer Pulley #73 celebrate after a touchdown during the first half of the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on December 31, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 31: Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers, Derek Watt #34, and Spencer Pulley #73 celebrate after a touchdown during the first half of the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on December 31, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Although the Los Angeles Chargers were able to pull out the victory against the Oakland Raiders, they unfortunately missed the playoffs due to a lack of help from other teams.

While I’m sure the Chargers wished they had a shot in the postseason, they still have to feel slightly optimistic finishing the season 9-7 after an 0-4 start. In fantasy, the Chargers had a very good season, with many of their players being top producers. Today, I will discuss the performance of each offensive player this season in fantasy, and therefore their value going into next season.

Quarterback

Philip Rivers

With the exception of a couple poor performances, Philip Rivers was rather consistent for the rest of the season. He proved that he isn’t done in the league just yet, and he can still play at a top level as well.

Grade: A

Running backs

Melvin Gordon

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Melvin Gordon
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon, who has now had back-to-back career years, seems to be finding his stride and role as a premier back in the league. If Gordon can get some more help up front, he could become a top-5 runner in the league, increasing his already first-round fantasy value to that of a top pick.

Grade: A-

Austin Ekeler

CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 10: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers breaks the tackle of Junior Galette #58 of the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at StubHub Center on December 10, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 10: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers breaks the tackle of Junior Galette #58 of the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at StubHub Center on December 10, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Austin Ekeler, who was a long shot to even make the team during training camp, was a very effective backup for Gordon this season. Although he had some issues fumbling the ball and with clock management, he was still an effective player overall, so it will be interesting to see how he will do in his sophomore season.

Grade: B

Branden Oliver

Branden Oliver, who spent a lot of the season injured, played decently when called upon. His fantasy value remained limited, especially with the heavy usage of Gordon and Ekeler.

Grade: C

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Keenan Allen
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Keenan Allen

Keenan Allen quickly became one of the top receivers in the league this season, as he set a record for being the first player in NFL history to post three consecutive 100-yard, 10 reception games with a touchdown reception. In fantasy, he really blew up starting with the Bolts’ game against Buffalo. He will likely be selected among the top five wide receivers in many fantasy leagues next season.

Grade: A

Tyrell Williams

CARSON, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Tyrell Williams
CARSON, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Tyrell Williams

After Tyrell was thrust into a starting role last season following Allen’s Week 1 injury,,  he had the opportunity to be a starting WR2 this season for the Bolts. Despite some issues with dropping the ball, Tyrell had a pretty decent season considering his role.

Grade: B+

Travis Benjamin

CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Travis Benjamin
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Travis Benjamin

Travis Benjamin, who had a rather disappointing first season with the Chargers, churned out a better performance in the Chargers’ most recent campaign. Benjamin even had a punt return touchdown this season, something he had yet to do with the team. As a receiver, he made significant progress with Rivers this year, and hopefully he will be able to further develop that relationship next season

Grade: B

Mike Williams

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Buster Skrine
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Buster Skrine

The Chargers’ first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft missed the majority of the offseason and a big chunk of the regular season, so he has not yet really had a chance to develop or create a relationship with Rivers. Hopefully, with a full offseason ahead of him, he will be able to make more of an impact in his second year.

Grade: C-

Tight Ends

Hunter Henry

CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Hunter Henry
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Hunter Henry

In his second year, Henry was nothing short of sensational. He blocked and received well all year (except the first couple games where he did not see many targets) and was a major key to the Chargers’ success in the passing game. Henry has become an elite tight end, and should be a major fantasy asset next season.

Grade: A+

Antonio Gates

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Antonio Gates
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Antonio Gates

While many thought that this was likely Gates’ last season, it seems that he may not be done just yet. Gates did not see too many targets when Henry was starting, but after Hunter’s injury, Gates stepped up and performed when the Chargers needed him. While his fantasy value is slightly diminished by his status as a backup tight end, Gates still remains someone to watch whenever he is in the game.

Grade: B

Kickers

DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 11: Kicker Younghoe Koo #9 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts to missing a game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter to lose the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 11: Kicker Younghoe Koo #9 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts to missing a game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter to lose the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Yeah, this was an issue this year. Enough said.

Grade: F

Defense

CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Trevor Williams
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Trevor Williams

More from Bolt Beat

While this was a rather maligned unit in 2016, the hiring of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley seems to have turned the unit around. With the best red zone defense in the league, the combination of a strong pass rush and a great secondary has allowed the Chargers defense to stand out compared to the rest of the league.

In fantasy, the Bolts’ defense was a pretty good value start, as they created a fair amount of turnovers and even some defensive scores.

Grade: A-

How do you think the Chargers performed this season in fantasy? Did any of them lead you to a fantasy title? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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