Fantasy Capsule: San Diego Chargers

We’re only a few weeks from the start of training camps across the NFL, and there are going to be a number of position battles to keep an eye on.  Here at KC Chiefs Blog, we’re going to take team-by-team looks around the league and focus on some of the key players each club has to offer.  We’re going to start in the AFC West with the division’s most fantasy-fertile team, the Chargers.

QB – Philip Rivers – In his third full season as a starting quarterback, Rivera ascended to fantasy stardom, throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 34 touchdowns.  With all the key skill players around him back, there’s no reason to think similar numbers can’t be posted, though I would expect closer to 3,500 yards and maybe 25 TDs.  Rivers should be at the head of the second tier QB list after Manning, Brees, and in my opinion, Brady.

RB – LaDanian Tomlinson – Take it to the bank: LT will be arguably THE most polarizing name on draft day.  Do you believe he’s still a first rounder?  Do you think the decline is upon him as he has hit the not-so-magical age marker of 30?  There’s alot of tread on the tires, and he’s going to lose some touches to Darren Sproles, but 1,100 yards and 11 TDs in a down year still sounds like a first rounder to me, albeit a late one.  He shouldn’t fall any later than the middle of round two.

RB – Darren Sproles – After signing a one-year contract for the season, the 26-year-old will be ready to earn a long term deal next offseason.  His touches will be tempered by the presence of Tomlinson, especially if he’s healthy, but he can turn that into paydirt.  He’s a must-own handcuff for LT owners, but he’s not an automatic start to begin the year.  We must wait to see how he’s utilized early.

WR – Vincent Jackson – It was a breakout year that flew under the radar, but it qualifies as one indeed.  Jackson hauled in close to 1,100 yards and 7 TDs, providing a great return on the little fantasy investment he cost last year, unless you traded him for Bo Scaife like I did.  This could be the season he leaps into the NFL’sTop 10-15.  Anytime after the mid-4th round should be adequate.  It looks like he’s put it together.

TE – Antonio Gates – A nagging ankle injury was a factor in Gates’ lowest receiving yardage output since 2003, but he still found the end zone 8 times and remains the team’s best red zone target.  With a year to heal himself up, Gates should once again approach 1,000 yards with double digit touchdowns a real possibility.  He should be the first tight end off the board, and could realistically go as early as the mid-4th round.  Penciling in his production to your TE spot should be a pleasure.  If healthy, he’s better than alot of WR1s.

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