The 2016 season was tough on the Chargers, who then hailed from San Diego where they played for 56 years. The season looked promising with the return of Keenan Allen and a deep running game with both Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead. But the season ended with multiple injuries on both sides of the ball and a disappointing 5-11 record.
The off-season brought about some changes, most notably the team being moved to Los Angeles. They also hired Anthony Lynn as the new head coach. This article provides a look at the wide receivers for the Los Angeles Chargers, and the fantasy expectations.
Los Angeles Chargers Receivers Fantasy Outlook
The wide receiver line-up is as loaded as the Chargers have ever seen it. Philip Rivers loves to throw the ball, and he does it well. With the emergence of a solid run game after Melvin Gordon’s 2016 season, the Chargers look poised to capitalize on a weapon-heavy offense.
Keenan Allen is a talented receiver and he had an electric run at the start of 2015, catching 67 passes in only eight games before a lacerated kidney ended his season. In 2016 he tore his ACL which ended his season. Allen has missed 23 games in the last two years. His upside, if healthy, is obvious. Allen can put up numbers and he has averaged 8.5 targets per game. This translates to him having appeal in standard and PPR formats. KA13 is a high-risk-high-reward draft option for fantasy purposes. Allen’s current ADP is 4.01.
Tyrell Williams had a break-out season in 2016, leading the team in receptions and yards and finishing second on the team in touchdown receptions. He’s a big play threat and he ended 2016 with six catches of at least 40 yards. Williams’ current ADP is 9.04, which puts him in the value section of drafts. He’s a WR2 with upside for fantasy play, DFS, and best-ball leagues.
Travis Benjamin also caught six passes of at least 40 yards in 2016. Benjamin is lightning fast and he has the ability to turn a short pass into a big play. He battled nagging injuries throughout the 2016 season, but appears to be healthy thus far into the preseason. Benjamin does have some injury risk and he can be inconsistent. He ended the 2016 season with 677 yards and four touchdowns. Look for him in deeper leagues and the occasional bye-week flier.
Dontrelle Inman became a reliable weapon for Rivers in 2016. Inman started all 16 games and finished with 58 receptions for 810 yards and four touchdowns, all of which are career highs. While it’s hard to predict anything other than a regression with a healthy line-up of receivers, he’s still be someone worth keeping an eye on should injuries occur.
With the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft the Chargers selected Mike Williams. At 6-4 and 217 pounds Williams is a beast. He’s a redzone, jump-ball type of target that should thrive in the Charges offense, provided he’s healthy enough to take the field. The former Clemson standout has been struggling with back issues during the off-season. He’s also an excellent run blocker, which will help a thriving ground game. Williams could potentially put up big fantasy numbers, but, through the preseason, monitor his health prior to pulling the trigger on draft day.
It’s almost impossible to alk about the talented pass catchers in LA without mentioning both Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry. At the tight end position, both Gates and Henry excel at pass catching and ended 2016 with seven and eight touchdowns respectively. Gates is one touchdown away from holding the record for the most by a tight-end, so look for River’s and company to go to him early on.
This wide receiver group is stacked for the upcoming 2017 season. There has been speculation about useage with so many available weapons. But Philip Rivers isn’t afraid to throw the football. He’s had 578, 661, and 570 passing attempts over the last three seasons. It’s hard to foresee any kind of regression from at least that 570 attempt mark.