The San Diego Chargers were able to still have a potent offense last season despite a ton of injuries at the receiver position and inconsistency in the running game. Philip Rivers continues to be one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the league and that will continue for years to come barring injury. The running game was suppose to get a big boost last year but Ryan Mathews was not able to live up to the hype in his rookie season. Mathews battled fumbling issues and a lack of trust by the coaches to handle passing situations so his playing time was not what fantasy owners had hoped. Mike Tolbert filled in nicely as a surprise but Mathews is still the future in the running game. The receiving core was setback continually by injuries but it was proven that just about any able body on the outside could be successful even without Antonio Gates in the lineup. The offense in general will hope to find some more late round finds as the defense needs some real improvement. I will breakdown the 2011 NFL Draft for the San Diego Chargers in this fantasy recap.
Round 3 (82nd Overall) - Vincent Brown - WR
Brown is one of the most polished receivers in the draft in route running and blocking ability. He does not have a ton of speed but will do a nice job out of the slot finding open holes in the defense. The system is San Diego does not require a ton of speed just the ability to get open so depending on who returns in the receiving core he could be a possible sleeper.
Round 6 (183rd Overall) - Jordan Todman - RB
Todman slid much later in the draft than I expected. He is could take over the role of Darren Sprolesbut has a little more size to handle more touches than the diminutive Sproles. Todman can find the openings and the speed to take it to the house. He does lack experience in passing situations so he will need to prove he can handle them as that is what Mathews struggled with it last season. Todman is a possible sleeper to keep an eye if Mathews is not able to finally gain the trust of the coaches.
Round 6 (201st Overall) - Steve Schilling - OL
Schilling is a hard worker out of Michigan. He does a nice job in pass protection but plays to high to handle defenders in the running game at times. Schilling needs to bulk a little with his strength but should start off as a reliable back-up while he learns the system. He does have starter potential at the guard position as he did slide a bit in the draft.
The San Diego Chargers got some nice value in the their later round picks with some guys who will ada instant depth. The Chargers love to throw the ball so Schilling fits nicely if needed and Todman gives them a fall back plan if things do not work out with Mathews. Brown is a local school kid out of San Diego St who will provide a reliable weapon in the slot. The key to the Chargers improving over last season's offense is Mathews getting 15+ carries and Gates returning healthy. The defense will continue to struggle with new players and the loss of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera which is continued good news for the passing game of San Diego as the will need plenty of offense to win games. Rivers and Gates are going to be Top 5 at their respective positions and the hope is that Mathews can emerge as a Top 10 at his. There are still plenty of players to target from San Diego as usual in your fantasy league along with some late round sleepers.
Grade = B
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