Editor’s note: To help you prepare for your fantasy football draft, NESN.com will profile each NFL team and analyze which players are worth picking and which players aren’t worth your time. Today, we look at the Chargers.
The San Diego Chargers weren’t a very good team last season, but they’ve got a few players who certainly can help you contend in your fantasy football leagues.
In advance of the upcoming fantasy season, we took a closer look at the Chargers players you should draft, avoid and peg as sleepers.
Philip Rivers, Quarterback: He finished as the 11th-highest scoring QB in fantasy last season, all while missing several of his best targets (we’re looking at you, Keenan Allen) due to injury. He’s a borderline QB1 and a good player to have on your team, even if it’s just as a backup. He’s going in the 11th round as the 12th QB off the board. That’s good value.
Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver: Health is key here, as a scary lacerated kidney and other injuries completely derailed Allen’s 2015 season. He’s supposed to make a complete recovery after going on injured reserve in Week 8 last season, so unless you hear otherwise, draft Allen with confidence. He’s going in the fourth round as the 15th wide receiver but, if healthy, can be a top-seven receiver (or better).
Antonio Gates, Tight End: The days of this future Hall of Famer being an elite option every week are gone, but in a league still trying to optimize the tight end position like the New England Patriots have done with Rob Gronkowski, Gates finished as the 11th-highest scoring TE in fantasy. He’s not a bad backup, especially in Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans for owners who have Gronkowski or Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed out on byes. He’s going in the 12th round.
Chargers Running Backs: Do you really trust Melvin Gordon? He’s going in the ninth round but was terrible last season. Danny Woodhead is going a few picks later, and while he’s a beloved cult hero, he’s also a boom-or-bust option whose best games come in bunches (his nine touchdowns came in four games last season) in PPR leagues. If you want them on your bench as backups, pick your spots wisely, but don’t count on them for much.
Travis Benjamin, Wide Receiver: Benjamin burst onto the scene last season with the Cleveland Browns, putting up career-highs — 68 catches, 966 yards and five touchdowns — without a competent quarterback throwing him the ball. He’ll probably be the No. 2 wide receiver in San Diego from Day 1, and those targets could increase should Allen’s health falter again. He’s going around the 13th round, on average, and could provide some terrific value at that spot. We like Benjamin this season.
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