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Los Angeles Chargers Daily Links: How important is Russell Okung?

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Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers have built their roster to succeed in today’s NFL - Ben Linsey
The Chargers have one of the most talented rosters in the league, and they’re loaded in the right areas — areas that impact the passing game. They have above-average to elite units at quarterback, receiver (including tight end and running back), pass rush and coverage. The only thing holding them back is an offensive line that projects to be one of the worst in the league, which is something that needs to improve if they have their eyes set on a Super Bowl. With simply average offensive line play, they should be one of the favorites to still be standing come February. The roster that Tom Telesco and company have put together is primed for another run at the Lombardi.

PFF ranks the top-10 safeties ahead of the 2019 NFL season - PFF Analysis Team
Like Barkley, James only needed one season in the NFL to prove he’s worth a spot on the 2019 PFF50. The do-it-all Chargers safety could do no wrong as a rookie, earning high grades against the run, in coverage and rushing the passer all from an array of pre-snap alignments. His 88.3 overall grade a year ago ranks third among all qualifying rookie Safeties in the PFF era (2006-18), which made him a no-brainer decision for PFF Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2018.

The importance of LT Russell Okung to the Chargers' offensive line - William Moy
As a run-blocker, Okung has earned a positive grade on 9.8% of his run blocks over the past two seasons (tied for the 10th-best rate among qualified left tackles) to go with a 13.0% negatively graded run-block rate (11th-highest rate among qualified tackles), giving him a difference of -3.2% that ranks 23rd among qualifying left tackles over the past two seasons.

Fantasy football busts: Quarterbacks who could fall based on ADP - Daniel Kelley
As the quarterback position just gets deeper and deeper, guys like Rivers become less valuable. Case in point: He just put up between 280 and 305 fantasy points for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, which is amazing consistency. But in doing so, he finished as the No. 14 fantasy quarterback, tying his worst finish with those point totals and six spots lower than he finished in 2017 or 2016. With the rest of the position rising up to meet or surpass Rivers’ baseline, if he slips even a little (remember, he’s 37 now), his floor could fall far.

Exploiting the gaps between PFF grades and fantasy football ADP - Scott Barrett
Rivers was phenomenal last season, ranking fourth-best in PFF grade and seventh-best in fantasy points per dropback. Despite the good efficiency, Rivers’ volume wasn’t anywhere near as good, ranking just 29th in dropbacks per game (34.0). Across his previous four seasons, he ranked ninth of 37 qualifying quarterbacks in dropbacks per game (39.9). If he kept up with that sort of pace last year, he would have finished seventh in fantasy points per game. He’s a glaring regression candidate heading into 2019.

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