Los Angeles Chargers Team Outlook
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Chargers Offense Outlook
Last season the Chargers ran the ball 43.8 percent of the time, which was helped by playing from the lead in many games. Los Angeles has the talent to pass the ball if game score dictates.
Over 13 seasons as the starting QB for the Chargers, Philip hasn’t missed a game in the regular season leading to a 118-90 record. He’s averaged 4,403 passing yards over the last three seasons with 93 TDs and 43 Ints. Rivers attempted over 600 passes only once in his career (2015 – 661), which led the league in addition to his career-best 437 completions.
In 2018, Philip passed for 4,308 yards with 32 TDs and 12 Ints. His offensive line allowed 34 sacks, which was 16 more than 2017 (18). He has talent and depth at WR, a TE, and RB with passing catching ability. The Chargers would love to run the ball more to take the pressure off the passing game and create a ball control offense. Overall, his floor should be 4,000+ yards with 30+ TDs with much more upside if Hunter Henry and Mike Williams turn into impactful players.
Other Options: Tyrod Taylor, Cardale Jones, Easton Stick
After a great 2017 season (1,581 combined yards with 12 TDs and 58 catches), Gordon played better in 2018 (1,375 combined yards with 14 TDs and 50 catches) except four missed games. At times, Melvin had a Todd Gurley feel, but the Chargers only gave him 18.75 touches per game compared to 23.75 in 2017. He averaged a career-high 5.1 yards per carry. Over his final games played in the regular season, Gordon gained only 186 combined yards with three TDs and eight catches while averaging 13.3 touches.
His missed time came from a right knee injury followed up by a left knee issue in the playoffs. Over a five-game stretch midseason, he gained 717 combined yards with seven TDs and 19 catches. I’d love to see more catches by Melvin, but the Chargers want to manage his touches to keep him healthy. In his career, Gordon has nine missed games in his 64 possible starts. There’s a beast back here plus a priced in injury risk. The talent to reach 2,000 combined yards with 20+ TDs and 75 catches if the stars aligned.
The injury to Melvin Gordon gave Ekeler a chance to prove that he was a viable starting option at RB for the Chargers. In the end, Austin failed as a starter (205 combined yards with one TD and 12 catches). His season started with three productive games (295 combined yards with one TD and 11 catches on 31 touches) as the second RB for LA. He averaged 8.15 yards per rush and 12.00 yards per carry over this span. He missed a couple of games with a groin injury. Passing catching back with change of pace ability. I don’t expect him to be the lead back if given with multiple week opportunity. Possible 125+ touches for 750+ yards with a handful of TDs and 35+ catches.
Other Options: Detrez Newsome, Troymaine Pope, Jeremy Cox
Over last two seasons, Allen caught 199 passes for 2,589 yards and 12 TDs on 295 targets. His catch rate (71.3) was exceptional in 2018, but his targets by almost 15 percent due to the fewest attempted passes by Philip Rivers (508) since 2009. Keenan only had four games with over 20 Fantasy points in PPR leagues (8/108/1, 9/89/1, 7/72/1, and 14/148/1) plus one other contest with over 100 yards receiving (6/124). He posted a zero in Week 15 after leaving the game early with a hip issue. Allen struggled to make an impact in his last four games (5/58, 4/64, 4/37, and 2/75/1) after his injury. His skill set would give him a chance at a league-high in catches if LA needed to throw more to win games. A floor of 100 catches for 1,300+ yards and underlying upside in TDs.
The Chargers didn’t give Williams many chances (66 targets) to make an impact in 2018, but they did look for him in the end zone when they reached the 20-yard line. Mike finished with 43 catches for 664 yards and ten TDs while drawing five starts on the year. He caught 65.2 percent of his chances. Williams had three games with two TDs and only one game with more than five catches. The loss of Tyrell Williams gives Mike a bump in opportunity. We know he can score. Now Fantasy owner just need him to see 130+ targets per year.
In 2018, Los Angeles’ WR caught 193 passes for 2,699 yards and 22 TDs on 288 targets. With Keenan Allen sucking up half of the WR targets, Williams needs LA to throw more to log a WR2 type season. Talent-wise, it’s a natural, “yes.” I’m going into 2019 with the idea of 65+ catches for 1,000+ yards and 12+ TDs, which adds up to 235+ Fantasy points in a PPR league or a mid-tier WR2.
A Week 1 injury led to a poor season by Benjamin. Over the first ten games of the year, he caught only three passes for 16 yards while posting three zeros and missing four contests. Travis barely had a pulse in his three best games (3/47, 2/44/1, and 2/57).
In 2017, Travis saw his stats (34/567/4 on 65 targets) regress for the second straight season after posting the best year of his career in 2015 (68/966/5). His catch rate (53.5) was unimpressive with the Chargers over the last two seasons, but he did add more length to his catches (1647 yards). Over the previous four seasons, Benjamin has 37 catches over 20 yards and 15 catches of 40 yards or longer.
Benjamin will compete for the WR3 for LA, but his game is trending in the wrong direction. Big play type WR with minimal targets in most weeks.
Other Options: Geremy Davis, Artavis Scott, Justice Liggins, Andre Patton, Jason Moore
After missing all of 2018 with a torn ACL in his right knee, Henry will draw plenty interested in the Fantasy market after showing upside in his first two years in the NFL (36/478/8 and 45/579/4). In 2017, his finals stats were acceptable for his 14 games played, but Hunter did have a better of emptiness and upside. He scored no Fantasy points in two of his first three games plus three other shallow outings (2/11, 1/7, and 3/28). Henry finished with four games of value (7/80, 5/90, 6/76/1, and 7/81). Last year the Chargers’ TEs caught 48 passes for 567 yards and three TDs on 68 targets. Philip Rivers will throw to the TE, and the upgrade in talent will command a big jump in looks. Hunter’s natural progression puts him on a path for 65 catches for 750+ yards and six to eight TDs.
Here’s an interesting tweet: Hunter Henry and OJ Howard lead all TEs in PPR points per target and trail only Gronk, Kelce, & Kittle in yards gained per route over the last three years. TB (4th-most) and LAC (16th) have plenty of targets available, too. Can’t wait to see these two fully breakout in 2019.
Badgley failed to win a starting kicking job last summer, which left him on the sidelines when the season began in 2018. The Chargers added him to the roster for their sixth game. Michael made 15 of his 16 field goals with his one miss coming form over 50 yards. He had one failed extra point chance in 28 tries. Last season the Chargers scored 51 TDs while creating 29 field goal chances. His lack of resume will lead to him being overlooked on draft day, but Badgley does have a top ten opportunity if LA creates a few more field goal chances.
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