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Fantasy Football: San Diego Chargers 2016 Season Preview

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How will our Chargers do in fantasy this year?

Keenan Allen
Keenan Allen Tearing It Up
timesofsandiego

For this week, I thought about doing another article on how the Chargers played, but that’s been done so much over the past few days that I’ve decided against making the whole article about it.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think Clemens was as bad as people have been saying around here. I really wanted to see Mettenberger do well, but on his first play when he used a shovel pass to get the ball to Farrow and moved upfield as if he was about to block, and then just stood there and watched as his assignment tackled Farrow. At that point, I gave up. He looks like he’s afraid to throw and even more afraid to get hit. When he says he’s learning from Rivers, he’s definitely not learning the toughness quality. I also saw him roll his eyes while a member of the coaching staff was making a correction. Prima Donna Mettenberger needs to go. Berk looked slightly better but didn’t do enough to take the backup job from Clemens.

In a slightly unrelated note, nice photobomb, Barksdale. If you didn’t see it, he stands in the background of and interviews Te’o was taking... the whole time.

Alright, on to the good stuff. Football is back, so that means Fantasy Football is back. I mainly wait until after preseason week 3 to draft my fantasy team, but it’s never too early to get started on preparation. I’m going to take a look at all of the projected offensive starters for the Chargers.

Philip Rivers

Rivers was solid last year, as the 12th best QB in fantasyland, so a low-end QB1, but for a five-week stretch from week 4-8, he scored no less than 20 points, and scored less than 24 only once. After that stretch, he went back to inconsistency, as he lost his #1 receiver and his line wasn’t giving him a clean pocket to throw out of. Expect him to throw for fewer yards this year, but more TD’s. Our running game will help us get down the field and give the Chargers more opportunities to score.

He is owned in 98% of leagues on NFL.com, and they project him to throw for 4400 yards, 32 TD’s and 16 INTs. I wouldn’t be surprised if he throws about 13 again this year. He will be better and more efficient under Whiz, and in 2013 he threw 32 TD’s to 11 INT’s, the year Whiz was the offensive coordinator.

Melvin Gordon III

Melvin Gordon is not projected to be the #1 RB on the Chargers from a fantasy perspective, and it’s hard to argue with that as long as Danny Woodhead is healthy and on the roster. He looked better in this preseason game, and it was great to see Rivers under center instead of in the shotgun handing off to MGIII.

He is owned in 95.4% of NFL.com fantasy leagues, and they project him to run for 880 yards and 6 TDs, adding 180 yards and a TD through the air as well. He’s an RB3 with upside and is being drafted in the 7th round. Not a bad place to pick up your 3rd RB.

Danny Woodhead

The 11th best RB in the league in fantasy a year ago, Danny Woodhead accounted for over 1000 yards from scrimmage, and nine total TDs. If MGIII emerges like we think he will, and the return of BO from injury, I just don’t see him reaching those numbers once again this year. NFL.com disagrees with me and is predicting almost identical numbers for the back this year. He’s being picked in the middle of the 5th round on average but is projected to be the 28th best back in fantasy this year. He is owned in 97.8% of fantasy leagues. I’m a huge fan of Danny on the field, but I’ve never been a huge fan of drafting scat backs high. They are never constant fantasy producers, and his numbers from last year show that as well, as he scored less than 5 points on six occasions, three of which were during fantasy playoffs. Draft at your own risk in standard leagues. PPR leagues give him a whole lot more value.

Keenan Allen

Has there been a WR who has been so tantalizing, but so frustrating at the same time over the last three years? Injuries haven’t allowed him to truly reach his full potential, and hopefully, this will be his first year to start a full 16 games. Last year he was on a blistering pace, for 1450 yards and 8 TD’s, and would have broke LT’s single-season franchise catch record. He’s a definite early pick in PPR leagues, and is projected to be a WR1 in fantasy, but is being drafted as a high WR2. He’s currently getting drafted in the late end of the 2nd round, and if he plays all 16 games, he could even be considered a steal at pick no. 18. NFL.com is projecting him to catch for almost 1400 yards and 8 TD’s, and it’s hard to disagree with that. If he’s there in the middle of the 2nd round, do it. He’s owned in 99.5% of leagues. The other .5% are wrong.

Travis Benjamin

Most readers on BFTB who have read my articles know I am scared of free agent WRs, and even more afraid of small WRs. Travis Benjamin is both of those things. Yes, he has a great QB throwing to him this year, but I can’t really see him beating out James Jones or Tyrell Moss on the DC. Tyrell seems to have the speed to take the top off the defenses as shown later in the season last year, and James Jones brings the nuance to his routes like Gates does. We’re stacked at receiver and TE, and past Keenan Allen, Gates, and Henry, I just don’t see much more to take. NFL.com is projecting just shy of 1000 yards and 5 TDs, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stevie Johnson-esque numbers in the 500-yard range with 3 TDs. He hasn’t even been running with the 1s in camp, and his injury is not helping his case. He’s being drafted in the mid 11th round, and is owned in 76.6% of leagues.

Antonio Gates

Despite his four game suspension, Gates ended up as the 11th best TE in fantasy football last season. With the emergence of Hunter Henry as a reliable target, and Gates’ alleged request for less playing time, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him catch for about 600 yards and 6-7 TDs, which is under the 719 yards, but over the 5TD’s NFL.com is predicting. He is still easily one of River’s top 2 targets and is his first look in the red zone. He’s being drafted in the 9th round and is owned in 98% of leagues.

Hunter Henry

To us Charger fans, Hunter Henry is a rising star. To the rest of the NFL, he’s being drafted as 292nd, behind 36 other TEs. He’s owned in 1% of leagues and has an average draft position of 150. Projected to catch just over 300 yards and 1 TD, we as Charger fans know he’ll do better. This year, it’s hard to draft him very high, but come next year when Gates will be retired (As he alluded to this training camp), we’ll know to draft him as a top 10 TE. For this year? No harm in having him as your sleeper/backup TE.

Josh Lambo

Last year, the 18th best K in the game, Lambo had a solid start to his NFL career. Expect him to crack the top 12 this year, as he’ll have more opportunities to kick with our Offense cranking. He had the 22nd most PAT attempts in the league last year. That ranking will go up as well. NFL.com projects him as the 31st kicker in the league, which is a crime. Owned in 1.9% of leagues, you could potentially hit a home run with Lambo as your last pick.

Chargers D/ST

I really like our defense this year, but not enough to draft them. Keep an eye on them on the waiver wire throughout the season because they’re only owned in 1.1% of leagues. With three very good Corners, expect to see more INT’s, and with Mebane soaking up blocks in the middle, don’t be surprised to see more sacks as well. That being said, D/ST is not usually a position you carry two of throughout the season. I would not draft, but if they go on a hot streak, pick them up immediately.

That’s it for today guys! If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Any recommendations for what you’d like for me to address in an article, also feel free to comment!