NFL training camps are open, and for millions of people worldwide their fantasy football preparation has begun in earnest. Here at Sports World News we will break down all 32 NFL teams in terms of their fantasy value. Readers will find the must-own players in every format, the sleepers in specific formats, and hidden gems only necessary for those in very deep leagues.
Today’s preview will be on the San Diego Chargers.
Keenan Allen, WR: The rookie breakout of 2013 is getting drafted in Round 3 this year-so owners need to hope Allen can repeat that production. Owners would probably like to see a rise in receptions-even though 71 isn’t that bad-but his eight touchdowns could be tough to replicate. Even still, if owners can get Allen as a WR2 they’re in great shape.
Ryan Mathews, RB: Mathews stayed healthy in 2013 and had a pretty big year-1,255 yards, six touchdowns, and solid contributions in the passing game. This year his ADP (Round 4, Pick 5) is too high for me because of a crowded backfield, but he should be a fairly steady, if unspectacular presence.
Donald Brown, RB: Brown was brought in this offseason because…well, I’m not sure why he was brought in after Mathews’ nice year. He’s in San Diego though, and Mathews has a lengthy injury history so expect him to get carries. He’s a must-own for Mathews owners in particular, and should have value for all owners.
Nick Novak, K: Novak nailed 92 percent of his kicks last season, and will get plenty of opportunities again in a very solid offense.
Sleepers (Best Format):
Philip Rivers, QB: Rivers exploded early in 2013, then settled in as a competent fantasy QB. They became very balanced last year, something that should continue seeing as how San Diego loaded its backfield. All three running backs can catch though, so Rivers could finish up the year in the Top 10 at his position.
Malcom Floyd, WR (Standard): Floyd‘s 32 now and coming off serious injury, but from 2010 to 2012 he was a fairly consistent red zone target for Philip Rivers, and should be again this year provided he stays healthy.
Ladarius Green, TE: (Standard): Green won’t have big target numbers as long as Antonio Gates is in the picture, but the former fantasy stud (Gates) is on the decline in a big way. Green’s role will increase as the season goes on, and could be a nice TE1 at some point. Drafting both players isn’t an awful concept.
Danny Woodhead, RB (PPR): Woodhead‘s kind of not a sleeper, since most owners are aware he was good in 2013, but he’s not to be relied upon as more than a FLEX. His role is set, he’s going to get his catches, and might even score a few TDs. The bulk of the touches/touchdowns will be split by Mathews and Brown though, leaving you with a frustrating player.
Deep Finds (Best Format)
Vincent Brown, WR (PPR): Brown was a hot sleeper last year, but after he disappointed he’s mostly off fantasy owners’ radars. Malcom Floyd is listed as the No. 2 though, and at 25, Brown’s talent shouldn’t be completely dismissed. He will get an opportunity at some point to shine, and if he grabs it this is a possible WR2.