The Chargers said adios to San Diego and headed to Los Angeles to be the second team to call La La Land their home. The Chargers are a team that has some youth sitting on their roster, but could be looking at their leaders leaving the team soon, causing a potential issue for Fantasy Football owners. For now, the team is looking like there could be some significant assets for owners.
Must Draft Players
- Melvin Gordon – Running Back
- Keenan Allen – Wide Receiver
- Antonio Gates – Tight End
Melvin Gordon sucked in his rookie year. He barely had 800 total yards and scored ZERO touchdowns. Owners were obviously very turned off to him last season, and that bit them hard! He finished with 997 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in 13 games. He also added 41 receptions for 419 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. The team had to rely on him in the passing game when Danny Woodhead went out for the year, and now the team knows he can be a true 3-down running back. I expect that Gordon will have over 1,000 rushing yards and will also eclipse 500 receiving yards this season. I also think his reception and touchdown totals will remain what they were last year.
You either love Keenan Allen for his potential, or you hate him because he “always gets hurt.” In 2015, Allen was on pace for 134 receptions for 1,450 yards and 8 touchdowns exactly half of those numbers in 8 games before he was put on IR. Last year, he played a half of one game, and had 6 receptions for 63 yards before he tore his ACL. All signs are that he is fully healed and should be good to go for the regular season. I would anticipate not seeing him in any pre-season games.
You probably thought another Chargers tight end would be listed in the “must draft” category, right? WRONG! Until he retires, or Philip Rivers is not the quarterback, Gates is the tight end to own. In the last 5 seasons, he has averaged 61 receptions for 682 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has averaged 14 games per season in the last 5 years, which means his points per game average is 12.2 points per game. The most important stat is that Philip Rivers has thrown 314 touchdowns in his career, and Antonio Gates has caught 109 (or 35%) of them.
Players You Should Probably Be Drafting
- Philip Rivers – Quarterback
- Tyrell Williams – Wide Receiver
- Hunter Henry – Tight End
Speaking of Philip Rivers, he is a quarterback that you can draft late that you will like having on your team. Since becoming the starter in 2006, he has averaged 4,153 passing yards and 28 passing touchdowns. That’s good enough for 21 points per week. Sign me up when I have already filled out the majority of my bench before I take my quarterback. He also has arguably his best receiving group he has ever had, which can only mean more yards and more touchdowns.
In the wake of Keenan Allen’s injury, Tyrell Williams emerged as Rivers’ favorite target. He finished the season with 69 receptions for 1,059 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. I believe that the Chargers will run a lot of two tight end sets, which means that only Allen and Tyrell Williams will be out on the field in those situations.
And the reason they will run two tight end sets is because Gates and Hunter Henry are going to be heavily targeted during the season. As a rookie, Hunter Henry started his career off great with 36 receptions for 478 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was very inconsistent throughout the season, which is something I would imagine the Chargers want to change this year. They know that Gates’ days are numbered and they need to bring Henry up to his level.
Players You Could Draft If Your Rosters are Deep
- Travis Benjamin – Wide Receiver
- Dontrelle Inman – Wide Receiver
Travis Benjamin and Dontrell Inman both had productive seasons. They combined for 105 receptions for 1,487 yards and 8 touchdowns. I believe the Chargers will run a lot of two tight end sets, so their upside is capped. If Allen or Williams is out, one of them is going to have a lot of relevance.
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