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AFC West Preview - Los Angeles Chargers

Let's head from the Mile High city to the bustling metropolis that is Los Angeles. But we aren’t heading their for the fame, the night life or to catch a celebrity out and about. We talkin’ football, and specifically, Los Angeles Chargers Football and how it relates to your fantasy team.

Besides the best uniforms in the NFL (Powder Blue’s), the Chargers have a lot going for them in 2019. Their defense is great, potentially even elite. They have a quarterback who, when not changing a diaper or tending to a child, is a vastly underrated thrower of the pigskin. They have an up-and-coming coach in Anthony Lynn and a bevy of offensive weapons.

Here is a fantasy outlook for three of those aforementioned weapons:

Philip Rivers-QB

While Rivers is aging (currently 37 years old), he still finds a way to remain relevant in the industry of fantasy football, and it isn’t hard to see why. Over the last five years, his average year-end statline is right around 4,400 yds/31 TDs/12 INTs.

Breaking the above statline down on a game-by-game basis, that comes out to an average of 275 yards per game to go along with just under 2 touchdowns per game. While that may not blow you away, depending on how your league scores QB’s, that is an average of anywhere from 18-22 points (calculated using completion yards, TD’s and INT averages). If you can have a QB that averages in the range of 18-22 points every week, that’s pretty good, especially considering he will probably still be on the board in the middle rounds of your draft (current ADP is 8.04)

Because he won’t contribute much of anything on the ground, his fantasy ceiling is a bit limited compared to the likes of Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz, Cam Newton etc. However, he always finds a way to finish near the top 10 of fantasy QB’s every year. Based off of his long career and the offense talent around him, there’s nothing that suggests he will see a major regression. He’s my QB14 heading into training camp.

Melvin Gordon-RB

Much like his quarterback, Gordon always finds a way to produce really solid stats without having the most god-given talent. He’ll never be as talented as the likes of Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott, but he still finds a way to help his team win.

Over the last three years, Gordon has averaged 1,457 total yards to go along with 12.6 touchdowns. He also has eclipsed 50 receptions in each of the last three years. Those numbers genuinely surprised me when I did my research because Gordon often seems to be forgotten in the running back landscape, but he shouldn’t be based on those numbers.

The major knock on Gordon is his health as he always seems to miss at least a little bit of time every year with a nagging injury. If you don’t mind seeing your RB1 on the injury report often, don’t be scared to pick him up late in round 1 or early round 2 (he often plays through injury). He’s my RB9 heading into 2019 and I’m really excited to watch him in this offense.

Hunter Henry-TE

The big-bodied target out Arkansas is entering his fourth year as a pro, and I expect him to break out. Antonio Gates really hindered any possibility of major production over Henry’s first two seasons and he was hurt for pretty much all of last year, but the stars are aligning for him to finally come into his own this year.

Henry’s big frame makes him an ideal red zone target and a guy who can successfully work the middle of the field and pick up those tough catches for first downs. Looking back to his first two years in the league, he posted 36 (‘16) and 45 (‘17) catches. Also, over those two years, he added a total of 12 touchdowns, which is really impressive for a guy splitting time with Gates.

With Gates now out of the picture and Henry firmly entrenched as a viable weapon in Rivers arsenal, I look for Henry to have a year end stat line of 70+ rec./850 yds./8 TDs. That has him good enough to be my TE4. If you miss out on one of the top three guys at tight end, make sure to prioritize Henry, especially if he starts to slip.