2013 Team Outlook: San Diego Chargers
The Chargers imploded last season with a 7-9 record, leading to a coaching change. San Diego canned longtime head coach Norv Turner and went with Mike McCoy, who brings his offensive game plan from Denver. Though the new guy brings solid coaching credentials, what the Chargers really need is a personnel overhaul, especially offensively. If Philip Rivers is to find his previous top-10 fantasy form, he'll need a revitalized Antonio Gates, an assertive (and healthy) Ryan Mathews and legitimate help from his wide receivers corps. Actually, the offensive line stands as San Diego's biggest concern, which is why first round D.J. Fluker should enter the lineup quickly at offensive tackle. Fellow rookie ILB Manti Te'o and pass rusher Dwight Freeney join a defensive unit that finished ninth overall last season. Don't expect any bolt sightings in the postseason.
Update 8/23/13 - Running back situation Woodhead vs. Mathews
San Diego's preseason was a mess. The protection schemes were so far off that a new strategy needs to be developed and implemented immediately or else Philip Rivers will spend more time on his back this season than standing. In terms of the running game, Ryan Mathews has looked good. However, many still believe his durability and the short passing game will also force the team to feature Danny Woodhead. With his current ADP, Woodhead is worth a look. His keeper league value is $0 and a steal. The wideout corps looks to feature Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen. Allen might move up on your draft radar, but if you need big yardage for points stay away.
Update 9/12/13 - San Diego lost their match-up, but looked better than anticipated in Week 1.
This week's match-up is not appealing considering the way we saw Philadelphia storm out of the gates last week during their season opener. Ronnie Brown surprised most fantasy owners with his workload that surpassed Danny Woodhead and Eddie Royal was the bright spot in terms of receiving. Keenan Allen, who was solid in the preseason, did not even see a target. Allen should still be on the fanatsy radar in very deep leagues, but might fall from this position soon if he does not get into the action. For me, Ronnie Brown is the one to watch - he might not be over the hill as many thought prior to Week 1.
Update 10/5/13 - check out Ben and Scott's Strategy Session article this week - Danny Woodhead featured - http://www.fftoolbox.com/football/article.cfm?article_id=1637
QB Philip Rivers, SD - Quality Backup
Rivers is a solid QB pick for your draft. His 3,600 yard plus season in 2012 was 1,000 yards shy of his 2011 mark, but he threw about the same number of TDs and less INTs. Rivers has weapons at his disposal, but the team needs to get in sync to be effective. Hopefully Mike McCoy's leadership can add a spark. I think Rivers should boost his yardage numbers this season and throw his consistent 25-28TDs.
QB Charlie Whitehurst, TEN - Not Draft Worthy
Charlie Whitehurst will be the guy to play if Rivers gets injured. He is not draft worthy in fantasy formats.
RB Ryan Mathews, SD - Solid/Safe Pick
In my opinion, Mathews is a stud running back, but he falls signifcantly down the draft sheets this season. At this point he should be considered a solid'safe pick at RB. He might not have had the expected output last season, but I think he will be ready to go this year. His ability to catch the ball as well as run adds to his value. The addition of Danny Woodhead to the running back mix should be interesting, but not severely cut into Mathews' workload. Mathews is the starter here and he should show increased fantasy performance in 2013.
Update 8/23/13 - Mathews has looked good in preseason and continues to be a safe RB pick. His value has slid down most drafts and you might grab him as a steal. He still has to work with Danny Woodhead sharing some of the load. We will have to see how much.
RB Danny Woodhead, SD - Sleeper (undervalued)
Woodhead is an interesting addition to San Diego's rushing core. Mathews will take the lead, but Woodhead, Brown and McClain can all change pace and add value to this running game. Woodhead should be categorized as a sleeper considering his new team and undefined role. I think he has great potential to perform in this scenario, so keep your eyes on him in your draft. You might be able to steal him.
Update 8/23/13 - Woodhead could be a draft day steal or a great keeper wonder this season. His ADP keeps him eligible later in drafts and if you have him in a keeper league, his value of $0 is wonderful. Woodhead looks to be the beneficiary of a short-focused passing game. His PPR value could be solid.
RB Ronnie Brown, FA - Over the Hill (decreased production)
Ronnie Brown is past his prime. He does show a spark of the past every now and again, but he is not a guy to draft too early or in my opinion at all. I think Danny Woodhead will be the change of pace back this season and that leaves Brown out in the cold. He might get some carries here and there.
RB Le'Ron McClain, FA - Not Draft Worthy
Personally, I do not think McClain is draft worthy. He might see more action than Brown, but he is not going to push Woodhead out of the second back position. McClain is a fullback and will be used to block for Mathews and Woodhead. He will have little to no fantasy value.