Last season was a roller coaster ride for the Chargers. They started 5-1 then lost three straight, including 37-0 loss against the Dolphins. The Chargers followed up with three straight wins to improve to 8-4. They then dropped three out of their last four to fall to 9-7 and failed to make the playoffs. The 2015 season shouldn’t be any easier for the Bolts as 8-time Pro Bowl tight end, Antonio Gates, will be suspended for the first four games. On the bright side, the Chargers drafted running back, Melvin Gordon, with the 15th pick in the draft and Peyton Manning didn’t exactly look like himself toward the end of last season. With some good luck and good performances from Rivers and Gordon, the Chargers could make a push for the division.
Philip Rivers – Rivers had a pretty average year for his standards in 2014. He threw for 31 touchdowns but also 18 interceptions. He eclipsed 4,000 yards passing for the sixth time in his career. With targets Keenan Allen, Malcolm Floyd, and Antonio Gates, there’s little reason to think Rivers’ drop year will be 2015. Rivers is still a top 10 fantasy football quarterback and could benefit from an effective running game. “The Machine” projects Rivers to be selected in the sixth round.
Melvin Gordon – Melvin Gordon is one of the more highly touted running backs in recent years and can definitely earn relevancy in fantasy news this season. In his senior season, Gordon ran for 2,587 yards with 29 touchdowns with the Wisconsin Badgers. In a game against Nebraska, Gordon ran the ball 25 times racking up 408 rushing yards and four touchdowns. His 408 yard performance set the FBS single game rushing record, previously held by LaDainian Tomlinson… If Gordon can live up or come close to what Tomlinson accomplished in San Diego, Chargers fans will be much pleased. Don’t expect Gordon to achieve much in the passing game, as the Chargers will use Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver. “The Machine” projects Gordon as a sixth round selection.
Danny Woodhead – Woodhead suffered a broken fibula that ended his season in week three of 2014. The season prior, Woodhead was an effective pass catcher out of the backfield. He was targeted 86 times catching 76 balls accumulating 605 yards and six touchdowns. Woodhead also ran the ball 106 times for 429 yards and two touchdowns. Woodhead makes for an interesting FLEX play, especially against defenses that struggle against the pass -- and assuming Branden Oliver doesn't chip away at his potential touches. With other weapons drawing attention, Woodhead could achieve his 2013 totals and more. “The Machine” projects Danny Woodhead as a 12th round pick.
Keenan Allen – In 2013, Allen was a breakout star who turned his 71 receptions into 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. Last season, Allen’s numbers regressed to just 783 yards and four touchdowns. Allen broke his collarbone in week 15 against the Broncos. Allen is the most intriguing fantasy option the Chargers have. He’s young and has proven he can be a viable first option. Assuming Allen stays healthy throughout the season, expect him to achieve more than 1,000 yards and five touchdowns. If the run game is consistent that may open up opportunities for Allen. Expect him to fall in round three.
Malcolm Floyd – Last season was good to Malcolm Floyd. Unlike 2013, Floyd played in all 16 games and tied career-highs in receiving yards with 856 and touchdowns with six. Despite that, Floyd still ranked fourth on the team in targets and even with Eddie Royal’s departure, Stevie Johnson should step into that role nicely. If Floyd is having an exceptional year, look for him, otherwise there’s no reason to get excited. “The Machine” expects Floyd to be chosen in round 10.
Stevie Johnson – Johnson is looking to take the role of WR3 for the Chargers. Last season, Johnson achieved career lows in both yards and touchdowns, albeit the 49ers were miserable. Expect Johnson’s numbers to increase with a better offense but not drastically enough to start him as a fantasy receiver. If you’re passionate about him, “The Machine” has projected him to be a 15th round pick.
Antonio Gates – In sporting news, Gates will be suspended for the first four games of the new season for violating the NFL’s rules on PED’s. Last year, Gates scored 12 touchdowns and ranked second on the team in receptions and targets. If you can get Gates in a reasonable round, take him. Otherwise, you can find another viable tight end who will end up with more total points than Gates.
Ladarius Green – Here’s his shot. The six-foot-six-inch tight end will look to make a great enough impact to stay on the field even when Gates can return. Last season, Green put up pathetic numbers. He caught just 19 passes for 222 yards and failed to reach the end zone. If you think Green has the potential to do big things, go for it. Personally, I’ll pass.