Chargers Fantasy News

Kyle Rudolph shed 15 lbs for larger role in passing game
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:03am

1500 ESPN - [Full Article]

Changes continue at Winter Park and that includes Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph, who has yet to have a 100-yard receiving game in the NFL. Though he's been voted to a Pro Bowl, Rudolph has mostly been known for his effective run blocking. That should change under Turner, who has championed some of the NFL's best pass-catching tight ends in his stops across the league. Coming off a broken foot and in a contract year, Rudolph shed 15 pounds to prepare for this season as he figures to run more routes and become a focal point of the Vikings' pass attack.

Fantasy Impact:

Rudolph was the #13 TE through Week 9 prior to a season-ending fracture in his foot. He was 15th in targets per game during that span, so there’s some opportunity in the workload department, especially with new OC Norv Turner in town. Turner isn’t necessarily as TE-friendly as his old boss Rob Chudzinski, but he featured Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron heavily while with the Chargers and Browns. Rudolph is just 24 and could make a nice leap if the Vikings can get good play out of the quarterback position. He should continue to be a force in the redzone.

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Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:43pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Jaguars beat writer Michael DiRocco on the potential impact of WRs Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson: They'll be significant parts of the rotation early in the season, but it's hard for rookie receivers to make a big impact. It has happened -- look at San Diego's Keenan Allen last season -- and the Jaguars do need help at receiver, but it's more realistic to believe Lee and Robinson will finish their first seasons with somewhere around 40 catches.

Fantasy Impact:

Both rookies missed OTAs with injuries, but Lee was running as the “Z” receiver opposite starter Cecil Shorts prior to turning his ankle, so I think he has the inside track to start. The Jaguars don’t have a great passing game, but I’m betting Lee (or Robinson, if he wins the job) will be fantasy relevant (top 60) in 2014.

'Feasible' for Titans TE Delanie Walker to catch 80 passes
Sunday, July 20, 2014, 11:07am

Titans Online - [Full Article]

Titans TE Delanie Walker hauled in 60 catches for 583 yards and team-high six touchdowns – all career marks -- in his first season in Tennessee.

Walker has publicly stated his desire to catch 80 passes in 2014 and is confident that a healthy Jake Locker can make that happen. He may well be on his way to the desired milestone after becoming the team’s first tight end to grab 60 passes in a season since Frank Wycheck in 2001.

Walker is excited to work with Whisenhunt, a former NFL tight end who understands how to get the most out of the position. In 2013, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates posted his best receiving numbers in four years (77 catches for 872 yards) with Whisenhunt as his offensive coordinator. The combination of Whisenhunt’s tight end-friendly system and having Locker at 100 percent makes adding another 20 catches a feasible goal.

Fantasy Impact:

He was targeted much more heavily in games where Ryan Fitzpatrick was under center (6.8 vs. 4.2 T/G), but Jake Locker did throw three TDs to Walker while he was still the starter. From Week 10 to Week 15, Walker had the 6th-highest PPG (8.7), so he’s capable of playing at a TE1 level. Moreover, new HC Ken Whisenhunt had this to say about Walker: "Working with Antonio Gates got me excited about the position, and I think there's a lot of elements to what Delanie does that are similar in that capacity.” This bodes well for Walker’s usage in Whisenhunt’s offense.

Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:45pm

The Tennessean - [Full Article]

The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt on Titans RB Bishop Sankey: "Don't expect (Chris Johnson) in his heyday. Sankey will be the team's most productive running back, but others will cut into his stats. Dexter McCluster will get playing time, carries and catches. Shonn Greene should get a bunch of goal-line attempts unless he flames out in training camp; then Sankey's stock could really rise."

Fantasy Impact:

We’re projecting Sankey to be the clear RB1 in Tennessee after the Titans took him as the first back in the draft. He’s a versatile back who doesn’t have much competition for touches. The last 13 rookies who were the top drafted RB in their class and joined a backfield with a lackluster incumbent averaged 18.2 touches for 83.1 yards and 0.55 TD, or 11.6 fantasy points per game. That’s about what Ryan Mathews averaged as the #12 RB in 2013.

McCoy: Philip Rivers will 'benefit' from new OC
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:33pm

Chargers.com - [Full Article]

While it’s clear Chargers QB Phillip Rivers flourished in last year’s system, HC Mike McCoy feels the promotion of Frank Reich will benefit the Chargers’ signal caller for 2014.

“With Frank as offensive coordinator, we will be able to maintain continuity on offense and help maximize the production by Philip and the entire unit,” McCoy said. “He has a great feel for the offense we have created and he has been a valuable asset to Philip.”

Fantasy Impact:

Rivers was written off by many after a substandard 2012 campaign, but he bounced back in a big way with a #5 finish in 2013. In fact, he has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six seasons. Malcom Floyd has been cleared to play, so the receiving corps will get a boost. The only concern is the loss of OC Ken Whisenhunt, who assisted Rivers in his bounce back season. He should be a good value in the later rounds for owners who want to wait on the position.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 6:11pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Tennessee's players and coaches are won over, with receivers aide Shawn Jefferson talking up Justin Hunter as the one who could carry the Titans into the playoffs, while fellow wideout Michael Preston turned heads this offseason by calling Hunter a young Randy Moss -- a claim he didn't back away from Monday.

"I know how great a player Randy Moss was, and in my mind, there's no reason Justin can't be the next greatest player," Preston told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "... I just want to be there to support him. I know he's going to grow, make a great leap this year, and impress the city and fans with his talent."

With Kenny Britt out of the way, Hunter owns a legitimate chance to make an impact come September. NFL Films guru Greg Cosell called him "the most intriguing" and "physically talented" wideout in last year's draft -- and his game tape is speckled with flashes of brilliance -- but comparisons to a rock-solid future Hall of Famer are wildly premature.

Fantasy Impact:

As a rookie, Hunter checked in with the #18 FP/T (1.41), which is encouraging, especially if he’s able to beat out Nate Washington and get on the field as more than a just a passing-down specialist. He only played 36% of the team’s snaps, while Washington played 82%. The good news is that under then-OC Ken Whisenhunt, Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal all played at least 67% of the Chargers’ snaps. So with Whiz calling the plays in Tennessee, there may be room for both Washington and Hunter in the lineup.

Chargers WR Malcom Floyd was the MVP of OTAs
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 5:18pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego labeled the 32-year-old wide receiver the MVP of the team's spring sessions after Floyd was the "most-targeted" pass-catcher on the roster.

Floyd was "tested repeatedly" in the passing game and "won more than he lost" against San Diego's rash of defensive backs, according to Krasovic.

"I don't have any doubts in my mind right now," Floyd said last month of his status for this month's training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

From 2010 to 2012, Floyd finished #36, #32 and #36 as the second or third option in San Diego. He returns from a neck injury at the age of 32 (turning 33 in September) and will compete with Vincent Brown to be the team’s WR2 opposite Keenan Allen. Brown flopped in a starting role (scoring just 0.06 FP per snap) last year, so the job is Floyd’s for the taking. If he’s starting and can stay healthy (a rather big “if”), he should be fantasy-relevant once again in 2014, making him a nice value in the final rounds.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 11:19am

Union-Tribune San Diego - [Full Article]

The Chargers tested WR Malcom Floyd, even though they've employed him since 2004. In all five practices open to the media, the first pass from Philip Rivers went to Floyd. He was typically the most-targeted pass-catcher, and won more than he lost.

No one tackled him, but Chargers defenders went hard at the 6-foot-5 receiver, who was practicing for the first time since the neck injury suffered last September in Philadelphia.

Fantasy Impact:

Floyd can't wait for the season to start to make catches that count. He's ranked 55th, but he's climbing our charts and will battle with Vincent Brown for the WR2 spot across from Keenan Allen. Brown wasn't impressive last year so we think Floyd has a chance to win this job.

Trent Richardson will have to 'produce right away'
Friday, July 11, 2014, 9:46pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Colts RB Trent Richardson will likely get the first shot at starting over Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard because the latter two are coming off injuries that cost them almost all of the 2013 season. But Richardson will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going if Bradshaw and Ballard are producing when given the opportunity.

Fantasy Impact:

Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #22 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.

Ladarius Green will 'explode,' has 'true Pro Bowl potential'
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 1:17pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

NFL.com's Gil Brandt on Chargers TE Ladarius Green: "The 24-year-old is very, very athletic, a long-striding guy who seems to gain about 5 yards with every step he takes (see: his yards-per-catch mark of 22.1 in 2013). Considering his upward trajectory and Philip Rivers' history of success with the more famous of San Diego's dynamic tight ends -- Antonio Gates -- I expect Green to explode in 2014. He has true Pro Bowl potential."

Fantasy Impact:

Green has a ton of upside, but owners drafting him as their TE1 may be in for a rude awakening if he doesn't get much playing time. Green only played 33% of the snaps in 2013, and only broke the 50% mark twice all season (though both happened in the final five games). Green's breakout potential relies on his playing time.

Beat: 'Don't sleep on' Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Saturday, July 5, 2014, 8:20pm

Mike Wells, ESPN - [Full Article]

Colts RB Trent Richardson will get the first shot at starting, but don't sleep on Ahmad Bradshaw. It only took one game for Bradshaw to be the Colts' most productive running back last season when he rushed for 95 yards against San Francisco in Week 3. Richardson had production issues last season, but Bradshaw (neck) and Vick Ballard (knee) have health questions.

Fantasy Impact:

Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #22 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.

Friday, July 4, 2014, 5:00pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

With Ken Whisenhunt taking the head coaching job with the Tennessee Titans and former Chargers quarterbacks coach Frank Reich assuming the role of offensive coordinator, don't expect much to change offensively. In fact, Reich will give Philip Rivers even more leeway to make calls at the line of scrimmage in order to get his team into the right play. The Chargers will also continue to lean on one of the most effective running attacks in the league, led by the three-headed monster of Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and newly acquired Donald Brown.

Titans view Bishop Sankey as an 'every down' player
Friday, July 4, 2014, 4:36pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Asked about worrisome outside scouting reports of RB Bishop Sankey, Titans beat writer Paul Kuharsky said this:

"They aren't worried about outside scouting reports. They scout him for themselves and they like him and thought he was the best back for them out of all the backs available in the draft. They think he's capable of playing every down, can run inside and out, has good vision, can catch well and will pick up blocking quickly."

Fantasy Impact:

We’re projecting Sankey to be the clear RB1 in Tennessee after the Titans took him as the first back in the draft. He’s a versatile back who doesn’t have much competition for touches. The last 13 rookies who were the top drafted RB in their class and joined a backfield with a lackluster incumbent averaged 18.2 touches for 83.1 yards and 0.55 TD, or 11.6 fantasy points per game. That’s about what Ryan Mathews averaged as the #12 RB in 2013.

Thursday, June 26, 2014, 4:33pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

One of the more impressive things during offseason workouts for the San Diego Chargers was watching how efficient quarterback Philip Rivers ran the offense.

Rivers seemed to pick up where he left off last season. Few balls hit the ground during two-minute drills, as Ladarius Green, Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal made catches all over the field.

Add to that a diverse group of running backs in Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown playing behind an experienced offensive line, and the Chargers should have one of the best offenses in the NFL for a second straight season.

“I think they did a nice job,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. “For a majority of the guys it’s their second year in the system, so that’s going to come with time. The more you’re in a system, the more comfortable you are. And if you have a quarterback like Philip Rivers, good things are going to happen.

Fantasy Impact:

The Chargers lost OC Ken Whisenhunt to Tennessee but will enjoy the return of WR Malcom Floyd. Rivers looks like a good value given his current ADP.

Dexter McCluster's versatility will get him on the field
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:38am

Titans Online - [Full Article]

Titans beat writer Mike Keith was asked which offseason acquisition is the greatest asset on offense. If draft picks were included, he would have said Bishop Sankey, but since they aren't technically acquisition, he named free agent RB Dexter McCluster:

"He can run the ball. He can catch the ball. He will block. He can run back kicks and punts. He can line up at tailback, at slot receiver or at wide receiver. McCluster’s versatility makes him a weapon. He worries the other team the moment that he steps onto the field, meaning that other Titans on offense will benefit from his presence.

"And McCluster gives you roster-flexibility on Sunday’s for your 46 active players. Down a running back due to injury? You got McCluster. Short a wideout? You got McCluster. Need an extra defensive lineman for a particular game? Because McCluster plays multiple positions and runs back kicks, you can go without an extra offensive player and keep an extra defensive lineman active. "

Fantasy Impact:

McCluster could play the Danny Woodhead role in Ken Whisenhunt's offense, giving him spot starter potential, especially in PPR leagues.