2018 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Chargers Preview

by John LaPresto
2018 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Chargers Preview

Next up in our team previews is the Los Angeles Chargers. Enjoy!

Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers finished 9-7 in 2017. While this caught some people off guard, the Chargers have widely been considered to be one of the more talented rosters in the NFL for some time. They needed a year of productive play at offensive line and a little bit of luck in the health department in order to (somewhat) live up to their potential.

There is some turnover at offensive line but the defense could be outstanding, the wide receivers could be healthy and dynamic, and the running game will be more efficient, assuming the coaching staff reviews video, information, and statistics.

2018 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Chargers Preview

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  • Philip Rivers
  • Geno Smith

Philip Rivers is 36 years old and while there was a time not so long ago where that meant hands off in Fantasy Football, that rule no longer applies.

Rivers finished 2nd in the NFL last season in passing yards and in fact, out of the top 5, only Matthew Stafford (29) is younger than 35. That’s right, Tom Brady, Rivers, Stafford, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger were the leagues passing yardage leaders last season so age concerns are a thing of the past.

There are concerns about the Chargers offensive line, but there were concerns last season too. Even with those concerns, Philip Rivers was sacked just 18 times, resulting in a league-best rate. There is likely some regression in this area for the Chargers but assuming it’s not a complete 180, their play should be strong enough to enable Rivers to once again have a top 10 yardage campaign.

Running Backs

  • Melvin Gordon
  • Austin Ekeler
  • Justin Jackson

Melvin Gordon’s Fantasy Football owners were well rewarded last season. Gordon was 7th in the NFL in rushing, was 7th amongst RBs with 58 receptions, and 5th amongst RBs in receiving with 476 yards. Standard Scoring league owners were rewarded as well as Gordon scored 12 Tds. He was the true definition of an RB1 in Fantasy.

Last year’s numbers clearly indicate Gordon is a sure-fire bet at the RB position, right? Wrong. Gordon was productive yes, but also inefficient.

The argument can be made that Gordon was a product of elite volume rather than elite talent. Gordon was 4th in the NFL in touches in 2017 with 342. Word of the wise to Melvin Gordon owners, eventually the coaching staff will realize that Austin Ekeler, and possibly even Justin Jackson (who very well may be better than Ekeler), are effective and that it may behoove them to take advantage of that fact. Yes, I feel so strongly about this that I used the word behoove.

Wide Receivers

  • LWR: Keenan Allen
  • RWR: Mike Williams
  • SWR: Tyrell Williams

The most interesting of all the positional groups for LA is the wide receivers.

Keenan Allen finally did it, living up to the hype that has surrounded him since his rookie season. Allen played all 16 games for the first time in his career and delivered a monster Fantasy season, especially for PPR owners.

There are two schools of thought on Allen. One, Allen just had his career year and will be drafted as a top-6 WR, which is too high for someone with his injury history. Two, Allen's injury history was a series of flukes and is just now entering the prime of his career.

Allen's volume may be dependant on the health of the talent surrounding him. Tight End Hunter Henry is already out for the season with a torn ACL. Henry figured to be Allen's main competition for targets and TDs.

Enter season two of Mike Williams' career. It's easy to forget at this time last year Williams was arguably the top WR in his draft class and was thought to possibly take over for the injury-prone Allen. We enter 2018 and Williams is almost an afterthought after essentially being rendered irrelevant last season due to a back injury.

Speaking of afterthoughts, Tyrell Williams returns as the number three WR of this bunch. You may remember Tyrell Williams from such seasons as 2016, where he put up over 1,000 yards receiving for the Chargers and looked to be a budding star at the WR position. Williams regressed last season, in volume, not efficiency, however.

Bobby Sheperd explains why you should draft Tyrell Williams

There's no such thing as a sleeper in Fantasy Football but depending on how you view Keenan Allen, there might be two WRs on Los Angeles who nearly fit the description.

Tight Ends

  • Virgil Green
  • Braedon Bowman

There will be different outlets that suggest Virgil Green is this year's TE sleeper. The fact of the matter is Green has been a Fantasy sleeper since 2011 and hasn't taken advantage of the opportunity. Green is someone you can grab off the wire and stream depending on his weekly matchup, that's about it.

Final Verdict

The Chargers are loaded. They have talent across the board on offense and have an even better defense, if everything comes together they way they envision. Melvin Gordon is considered a bust candidate due to his inefficiency. He's also the bell cow back on a team who may be ahead in the 4th quarter in the majority of their games in 2018.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.

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