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Mining your way to fantasy gold - Chargers Edition

The stress from doing these fantasy forecasts are beginning to take a toll on the big fella (me).  Quite simply put, I cannot wait for the season to begin, especially after participating in one fantasy draft already.  A reminder to the folks here at NN, that the "Official Niners Nation Flea Flicker League" needs your help determiningg when the draft should be and what the scoring format should be.  If you are a part of the league, head over to the message board and donate your two cents.  Today I take a look at the San Diego Chargers and the numerous fantasy options they have to offer. 

Super Chargers getting drafted:

  • LaDainian Tomlinson RB - Avg. Selection* 7.4; 100% drafted
  • Philip Rivers QB - Avg. Selection 37; 100% drafted
  • Antonio Gates TE - Avg. Selection 40; 100% drafted
  • Vincent Jackson WR - Avg. Selection 48; 100% drafted
  • Chris Chambers WR - Avg. Selection 123; 100% drafted
  • San Diego Team DEF - Avg. Selection 131; 100% drafted
  • Darren Sproles RB - Avg. Selection 111; 53% drafted

*-100th selection = 10th pick round 10 (10 man); 6th pick round 9 (12 man); 3rd pick round 8 (14 man)

After the jump, let's walk together down LT memory lane shall we?  Ask the Nation is back as well...

Yeah, I'd take these guys too

LaDainian Tomlinson

I'm not sure I care that Tomlinson is getting older, and was dinged up in 2008.  What I do care about is that the Chargers remain focused on LT as their primary running threat, which means he stands to put up impressive numbers.  Will Tomlinson put up numbers like he has in the past?  I doubt it, unless you want to look at 2008's results (LT finished 6th in RB scoring, and had just 12 total TDs).  In 2008, LT managed 2 100-yard games, and just 3 multi-TD games.  However, LT had 8 games with 20+ carries and 7 games with at least 70 yards rushing.  Professor Bigelow took Tomlinson with the 10th overall selection in the "Unofficial NN" Yahoo! league, and I commended him for it.  I fully expect Tomlinson to put up reliable numbers, regardless of Darren Sproles and his shiftiness.  Take LT, and for the first time ever (ok, a long time), it won't have to be in the top 2.  Fantasy Forecast: 1700 total yards, 13 total TDs

Philip Rivers

Rivers have a monster 2008 season, finishing 4th in QB fantasy scoring throwing for 4009 yards and 34 PaTDs with just 11 INTs.  San Diego's defense struggled most of last season, and Rivers' arm was the catalyst of the offense all the way to the playoffs.  The former Wolfpack student had 6 games with 3 PaTDs, 5 games with 2 PaTDs and 1 game with 4 PaTDs.  Let me also mention that Rivers had 5 300-yard games and had 8 contests in which he did not throw an INT.  To put it frankly, Rivers is a [site decoruming] beast.  I'm not sure how much better San Diego's defense will be in 2009, but it should be a bit more productive with Shawne Merriman returning.  With that said, Rivers may not reach 4000 pass yards, but he's still a very good fantasy QB week after week.  Bolts HoD selected Rivers 16th overall in our Yahoo! draft, and I can't blame him.  Fantasy Forecast: 3800 pass yards, 30 PaTDs, 9 INTs

Antonio Gates

Gates struggled a bit with injuries in 2008 (he didn't miss any games FTR), but still had a good season finishing 4th in TE scoring.  The former basketball player also had 8 TDs to go along with 704 yards, his lowest totals since his rookie season.  There is no doubt in my mind that Gates is still one of the top TEs in the league, and certainly one of the top TEs in fantasy football.  The Chargers TE went 48th in the Yahoo! league (to Bolts HoD, surprise surprise), and is worth his weight in fantasy gold.  I am convinced Gates will improve upon his 2008 numbers and be a stud all season long.  Fantasy Forecast: 900 total yards, 9 TDs      

Vincent Jackson

Jackson made huge strides in 2008, setting career highs in receptions, receiving yards, and TDs while averaging a sick 18.6 ypr.  The WR finished 11th at his position in fantasy scoring, recording at least 2 receptions in every game but one.  Jackson also had 11 games with 50 or more receiving yards (3 - 100+; 4 - 70+) but did not have any multi-TD games.  To see Jackson reproduce his 2008 numbers isn't asking for a miracle by any stretch as I fully expect Jackson to be worth his ADP of 48.  Carrier Pigeons got a very good bargain in the Yahoo! league, landing Jackson at 61st overall (in a 16-man league no less!).  If you're worried about Jackson, end the doubt now - he's solid.  Fantasy Forecast: 1000 total yards, 9 TDs

Darren Sproles

The only reason I suggest taking Sproles is the age and health of LaDainian Tomlinson.  While I stated earlier I believe LT has plenty left for a good season, that's not to say he won't get Steve Atwatered at some point in the season.  It also doesn't mean that Sproles won't get looks in an effort to keep LT fresh.  I don't expect Sproles to set the world on fire, but his speed and elusive running is man crush-like.  At any given moment, when the ball is in Sproles' hands, 6 points can happen (rush, return, receiving).  I also do not recommend drafting Sproles with the expectations of a weekly start; he's a rotational guy, and will be very valuable if LT goes down.  The K-State alumnus (sp?) is certainly worth hand-cuffing to LT, or as a little reminder to LT's owner that you've got his insurance.  Fantasy Forecast:  600 total yards, 8 total TDs

Play the Waiting Game

San Diego Team DEF

San Diego is, of course, German for "A Whale's Vagina", and they produced like it in 2008.  The unit finished 19th in fantasy scoring and produced just 28 sacks.  The year prior, San Diego was the number one fantasy producer amongst Team DEFs (42 sacks, 30 INTs).  San Diego has the pleasure of feasting on the AFC West, and the defense should be better with the return of Lights Out.  However, at this given time, I recommend playing the wait and see approach if you plan to use San Diego as your team's primary defensive unit.  It won't hurt you to draft the team, but maybe have a back-up plan just in case.  Fantasy Forecast: 36 sacks, 17 INTs, 10 FR, 4 TDs

Chris Chambers

Chambers got off to a hot start in 2008, scoring 5 TDs in the first 5 games to go along with 226 receiving yards.  I'll allow you a minute to guess what his season totals were.   [approximated minute]  The San Diego WR finished the season with 5 TDs (yep, 5) and 462 yards (that's 236 yards over 11 games, get a vomit bag).  Furthermore, Chambers had 4 contests in which he did not appear on the stat sheet at all, one of which occuring in week 14 (ouch).  The five game stretch was nice at the beginning of the season, but Chambers pratically vanished afterwards.  Avoid him, and if he gets hot, keep in mind he'll get cold just as easily.  Fantasy Forecast: 600 total yards, 5 TDs                

Ask the Nation

Did I forecast too many TDs for San Diego players in 2009? 

* all fantasy stats are based on 2007-2008 Yahoo! Standard Public league scoring