San Diego Chargers (Base: 3-4)
Much like last week’s team, the Kansas City Chiefs, a new page has been turned in the story of the San Diego “Super” Chargers; Mike Mccoy enters the fray , Danny Woodhead joins the backfield, and the much-maligned but very talented rookie Manti Te’o looks to prove himself on the biggest stage. But with all that change, it’s nice to know that there will be at least one thing that doesn’t: Ryan Matthews on an injury report.
As far as the defense goes, the Chargers come off a year in which they were very stout against the run and about average against the pass. There’s talent at every level of that defense that you’ll no doubt want to keep tabs on for your IDP league, so let’s get started….
Cory Liuget: In just his second season, Liuget emerged as one of the top 3-4 defensive ends in the game. And as a 3-4 end, naturally he needs to be solid against the run (and he is), but as a bonus he’s also a very good pass rusher (7 sacks last year). He won’t post elite sack totals, but the combination of 7-10 sacks and the number of tackles he’ll get will keep his value high. If he can continue to progress there should be nothing stopping him from reaching high-end DL2/low-end DL1 territory.
Donald Butler: If Butler can stay on the field for 16 games, his upside is that of one of the top LB’s in football. However, thus far in his career that’s proved to be difficult. The good thing is, you can probably draft him as your LB2 knowing full well that he’ll produce like an LB1. And we’ll just cross our fingers in hopes that he plays a full year.
Manti Te’o: All reports thus far out of camp have been positive for the polarizing linebacker; the team has even said they’re penciling him in as a 3-down player. Obviously we’re unlikely to hear anything BUT good news until the season starts, but it appears that Te’o will be in position to be a valuable IDP asset in his first season. He lacks high-end athleticism, but his instincts on the field are hard to match. He’ll no doubt have his struggles, but if these early reports prove true then I’d say he has solid LB2 upside this season.
Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend:
Dwight Freeney: Long gone are the dominant seasons from the long-time Indianapolis Colt, but the Chargers have the talent up front that might allow Freeney to wreak havoc off the edge from time to time. At this point, he’s at best a late round flyer and only a situational play, but there could be a game now and then where he lights it up.
Eric Weddle: If you were to look up “stud” under the defensive back section in the IDP dictionary (if such a thing existed), you’d see a picture of one Eric Weddle. For a position wrought with inconsistency, Weddle has been a stone. He’s always around the ball, and is a very good tackler. Additionally, he’s usually always good for some big plays. Expect over 80 total tackles, 1-2 sacks, and 3-5 INT’s. It goes without saying at this point, but he’s a surefire DB1.
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