Anthony Lynn, the new Head Coach of the Los Angeles Charges moved to an entirely different coast to get out of the shadow of Rex Ryan. In the sunshine, he is going to make your fantasy fortunes a ray of sunshine.
Lynn takes over a team that was 5-11 last season. The Chargers have won only nine games over the past two seasons. They have missed the playoffs six times in the last seven seasons. But it is also a team that is loaded with talent. Their record was more a product of last minute meltdowns than offensive incompetence. And lets not forget the injuries, upon injuries…upon injuries.
Lynn has retained the services of offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, while getting his man of the defensive side. Getting Jacksonville Jaguars ex-head coach, Gus Bradley as his defensive coordinator is a bonus for him and for our fantasy teams. Along with the talent on the field, this team bodes a ton of talent along the coaching ranks. This can only be good news for your fantasy football prospects, on both sides of the ball.
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9th in points per game average with 25.4
8th in passing yards with 4198 passing yards
26th in rushing yards with 1510 rushing yards averaging 3.8 rushing yards per game
That included injuries to number one wide receiver Keenan Allen that had him miss the entire season. And mid-season injury to running back Danny Woodhead didn’t help your fantasy prospects. And then, of course running back Melvin Gordon went down with an injury. Seriously, that they were able to field a team is just a remarkable feat.
Now they have offensive continuity and a head coach whose previous stint as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills had his team leading the NFL as the top ranked rushing attack.
Are you giddy yet? More stats then:
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Quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 33 touchdowns last season. He also threw in 21 interceptions and was sacked 36 times. Rivers leading receiver was Tyrell Williams with 69 receptions and six drops. He accumulated 1059 yards with seven touchdowns. That was without the services of Allen who will return this season. First year tight-end Hunter Henry led all NFL tight ends with eight touchdown receptions. That was with veteran tight-end Antonio Gates collecting seven touchdown receptions. So while you may be slightly reticent to pick-up Rivers as your quarterback, his weapons should make it on your fantasy draft board.
Speaking of…Melvin Gordon, if he isn’t in your top five running backs for fantasy football…you ain’t playing. Gordon ran for 997 yards last season. He averaged 3.9 yards a carry with 10 rushing touchdowns. He also was on the receiving end of 419 passing yards and two receiving touchdowns. And now he is under the thumb of Lynn and Whisenhunt? Come on, it’s almost not fair. You know like Moonlight winning the Oscars for best picture but La La Land being announced? Okay nothing like that, because you my friend are going to be prepared and announce the correct players for your team.
Say what you will about Gus Bradley, he has this defensive thing down. Sure, he failed miserably at being the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but as a defensive coordinator he was money baby. He took a unit that was ranked 30th in the league and led them three times to top 10 finishes. And his defense in Jacksonville, though underachievers, there was no doubt about their talent. So we know he can evaluate talent. And we know when allowed to concentrate only on the defense he is good, nay great.
Now he will move the Chargers from the 3-4 to the 4-3. That will allow Joey Bosa to move to his natural position as defensive end. He was in an unnatural position last season and collected 10.5 sacks and 41 tackles in 12 games? Mama Mia (oh yeah, its movie musical post). So the question is, will Bosa and Melvin Ingram be the most dynamic edge rushers for the 2017 season? Ingram collected 60 tackles and 8.0 sacks last season. Now he and Bosa have a year together and Bradley coaching them up. They are about to be the best edge rushers in the league.
IDP fantasy players should have both on their radar. Don’t be led astray with Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane. They will both be good. But for your IDP needs, focus on Bosa and Ingram. Never settle for second best.
Speaking of which, the secondary is of some concern. Jason Verrett when healthy is worthy of consideration, when healthy. And although the Chargers organization showed faith in safety Jahleel Addae, your faith should be put elsewhere.
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