Description: The Chargers have signed tackle Max Starks to a one-year deal.
Insight: Starks can't help but make the San Diego offensive line better. That in turn should help quarterback Philip Rivers stay upright more often, a necessary ingredient to improving the Chargers offense.
Description: Chargers rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen should begin camp as the team's No. 3 receiver and could win a job opposite Danario Alexander if he's completely recovered from his 2012 knee injury.
Insight: With a solid quarterback in Philip Rivers, winning a starting role would immediately make Allen a viable fantasy starter.
Description: A Yahoo Sports report said the San Diego Chargers asked LaDainian Tomlinson is he was interested in playing this season.
Insight: Though Tomlinson never seriously considered the offer, it is a glimpse into how the Chargers view running back Ryan Mathews. The oft-injured tailback rushed for 707 yards last season and caught 39 balls for 252 yards. The team also signed Danny Woodhead during the offseason. Any hopes that Mathews would finally develop into the workhorse role he was drafted for should be gone from fantasy owners' thoughts.
Description: The Chargers traded up to pick Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o with the 38th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Insight: Te'o was a Heisman Trophy finalist last year at South Bend while leading the Irish to the BCS title game. Te'o fell to the second round because of a bizarre off the field incident he encountered back in January but he should still be a solid contributor at the professional level.
Description: The Chargers re-signed restricted free agent receiver Danario Alexander to a one-year contract Thursday. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: The Bolts found their No. 1 receiver in the middle of the season, and fantasy owners also found a reliable WR3 down the stretch in the oft-injured 24-year-old. While owners may remember his goose egg in Week 15, Alexander ended up catching 37 balls for 658 yards and seven scores in his final nine games, numbers that translate to 65 catches, 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns in a 16-game season. He'll be a starter next year as long as he stays healthy.
Description: The Chargers have re-signed running back Ronnie Brown.
Insight: Brown served as San Diego's third-down back last season and had 49 catches but San Diego also signed Danny Woodhead Friday. Both players will have limited value outside of deep PPR leagues but they also will prevent Ryan Mathews from being more than a two-down back.
Description: Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has signed a two-year deal with the Chargers.
Insight: Woodhead had 747 yards from scrimmage, seven touchdowns and 40 receptions last season. He'll serve as San Diego's third-down back and could provide decent value in PPR leagues considering Ronnie Brown had 49 catches in that role last season.
Description: There is "some doubt" within the Chargers organization that running back Ryan Mathews will ever become the player the team envisioned when he was drafted 12th overall three years ago. SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: Mathews broke his clavicle twice last season and missed four games. When he was healthy, he was replaced at times by Ronnie Brown on passing downs and lost carries to Jackie Battle after an early-season fumbling problem. With GM A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner no longer with the organization, Mathews will have to prove his worth to the new regime in 2013.
Description: Chargers receiver Danario Alexander snagged his seventh touchdown of the season Sunday against the Raiders.
Insight: The Bolts found their No. 1 receiver in the middle of the season, and fantasy owners also found a reliable WR3 down the stretch. While owners may remember his goose egg in Week 15, Alexander ended up catching 37 balls for 658 yards and seven scores in his final nine games, numbers that translate to 65 catches, 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns in a 16-game season.
Description: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 13-of-17 for 151 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Raiders.
Insight: Rivers had a decent finish to the season, throwing for eight touchdowns with zero picks in the final four games but he failed to throw for more than 165 yards in three of them. His 3,606 yards are his lowest since 2007. Rivers has turned the ball over 47 times over the past two season and will certainly be drafted outside the top-15 quarterbacks in 2013.
Description: Chargers receiver Malcom Floyd (ankle) has been placed on injured reserve.
Insight: Floyd (56-814-5) apparently suffered an ankle injury in Week 15 against the Panthers. Without Floyd, Philip Rivers becomes even less appealing in Week 16 against the New York Jets and their No. 2 ranked pass defense. Danario Alexander will likely see more targets but he'll be difficult to trust against Antonio Cromartie after putting up a goose egg Sunday.
Description: Chargers' starting running back Ryan Mathews is expected to be placed on injured reserve after breaking his left collarbone in Week 15. He broke the right collarbone in preseason.
Insight: Thus ends another disappointing fantasy season for Mathews. He rushed for 707 yards (3.8 ypc) and caught 39 balls for 252 yards, but had just one touchdown. It's time to lower our expectations, he's never going to be the "next LaDainian Tomlinson."
Description: With Ronnie Brown expected to miss Sunday's game, the Chargers want to get Ryan Mathews heavily involved in the offense. SOURCE: Michael Gehlken, San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: Gehlken expects Mathews to approach his career-high in touches (28) Sunday against the Panthers. Mathews has been largely disappointing this season, rushing for zero 100-yard games and just one touchdown while catching 36 balls for 244 yards, but Brown's absence should mean more playing time for Mathews on passing downs this week. Go ahead and start him as a RB2.
Description: Chargers receiver Danario Alexander caught seven balls for 88 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Insight: Alexander has quickly become Philip Rivers' favorite target. In his last six games, Alexander has accumulated 555 yards and five touchdowns. He's a must-start regardless of opponent or the lousy state of San Diego's offensive line.
Description: San Diego tailback Ryan Mathews carried the ball a season-high 25 times but only churned out 65 yards Sunday against the Steelers. He also failed to pick up a catch for the first time this season.
Insight: With zero 100-yard games and one touchdown, it's safe to say Mathews is one of fantasy's biggest busts this season.
Description: San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Donald Butler is doubtful for Sunday's game against Cincinnati . He's dealing with a groin injry.
Insight: Butler and the Chargers defense took a beating in the Ravens' game with as many as seven players leaving the game for treatment before the final whistle in overtime. The Bengals, the Chargers' next opponent, should be given an extra look this week.
Description: Chargers tackle Jared Gaither has been placed on the IR and will miss the remainder of the season.
Insight: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers plays much better when Gaither is protecting his blind side as we saw last Sunday when the Broncos continuously knocked Rivers to the ground while Gaither watched from the sidelines. It could be a long six weeks for Rivers.
Description: Chargers tackle Jared Gaither is questionable for Sunday's game against Baltimore.
Insight: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers plays much better when Gaither is protecting his blind side as we saw last Sunday when the Broncos continuously knocked Rivers to the ground while Gaither watched from the sidelines.
Description: Chargers coach Norv Turner didn't sound optimistic Thursday after running back Ryan Mathews (neck) missed a second straight practice. Turner said Mathews hasn't improved enough where he can practice and added missing a Wednesday and Thursday sets a player back. SOURCE: Michael Gehlken, San Diego Union Tribune
Insight: If Mathews doesn't practice Friday we'll be staring directly at a game-time decision Sunday. San Diego plays at Denver at 4:25 p.m. ET and nine of the 14 Week 11 games will be over by then.
Description: San Diego running back Ryan Mathews sat out Wednesday's practice because of a stiff neck.
Insight: Despite the injury, the Chargers are hopeful Mathews will be fine to play Sunday against Denver. He's averaging 67.9 rushing yards per game since his return from a broken collarbone in Week 3.
Description: Chargers receiver Malcom Floyd left Sunday's game with Tampa Bay after taking a shot to the jaw while making a reception.
Insight: It was Floyd's first catch of the day, but fantasy owners will be unhappy if he doesn't return because it appears that Philip Rivers and the passing game can do whatever they want against the Bucs' pass defense.
Description: Chargers receiver Danario Alexander is starting over Robert Meachem Sunday but both are expected to see "sufficient snaps." SOURCE: Michael Gehlken, San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: We like Alexander's talent but we're going to have to see him produce before we can recommend him as a fantasy option. So far, only Malcom Floyd has been worth owning among San Diego receivers.
Description: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will be without left tackle Jared Gaither for the fifth time this season due to a groin injury.
Insight: Rivers is coming off one of his top performances this season, throwing for 220 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 18-of-20 passing in Week 9 against the Chiefs. He has another favorable matchup in Week 10 against the Buccaneers but might not be able to take advantage of it with his left tackle out.
Description: Chargers coach Norv Turner said receiver Danario Alexander is "going to be a big part of what we do," according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Alexander was signed last week and was forced into action Thursday with Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal both inactive. He finished with three catches for 61 yards. While he might be a part of the receiver rotation going forward we don't recommend owning any Chargers receiver other than Malcom Floyd (and tight end Antonio Gates).
Description: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was rendered ineffective Sunday versus the Browns but he came out and caught a touchdown as part of a three-catch, 43-yard game Thursday against the Chiefs.
Insight: All three of Gates' touchdowns this season have come in the last three games.
Description: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was nearly perfect Thursday versus Kansas City, completing 18-of-20 for 220 yards with two touchdowns and a pick.
Insight: Rivers threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles two weeks ago against the Broncos and threw just 154 yards on 18-of-34 passing in slippery conditions Sunday against the Browns but he returned to form Thursday against the sad sack Chiefs. He has another favorable matchup next week at Tampa Bay.
Description: Chargers receivers Robert Meachem (hamstring) and Eddie Royal (hamstring) are inactive for Thursday night's game versus Kansas City.
Insight: Meachem might as well be inactive for a lack of hands. The receiver just hasn't clicked with Philip Rivers this season and he dropped a wide-open catch that would have resulted in a long touchdown Sunday against the Browns.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews' fumbling problems resurfaced Sunday against the Browns but he still rushed for 95 yards on 24 carries.
Insight: Perhaps Chargers coach Norv Turner gave Mathews a pass for the fumble because of the slippery conditions in Cleveland Sunday. The running back still doesn't have a 100-yard game this season but he's arguably San Diego's best player.
Description: San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding (groin) is expected to be placed on the injured reserve, ending his season, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Kaeding played three games this season, hitting all seven of his field goal attempts and going 6-for-6 on extra points. The Chargers will continue to use Nick Novak who has been the team's place kicker for the last three games.
Description: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had 242 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-41 passing Monday night against the Broncos but he also turned it over six times as San Diego blew a 24-0 lead.
Insight: Rivers threw four INTs and lost two fumbles in the game. The quarterback turned it over a career-high 25 times last season; he's on pace for 32 turnovers this season after Monday's debacle.
Description: Chargers receiver Vincent Brown is expected to return from his ankle injury Week 9 against the Chiefs according to Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego.
Insight: Brown absorbed 19 catches for 329 yards as a rookie last season. Robert Meachem hasn't developed into the go-to guy San Diego was hoping for in the absence of Vincent Jackson, so Brown should see a good amount of targets when he's healthy enough to return.
Description: Chargers receiver Robert Meachem finally broke out Sunday night, catching three passes for 67 yards and two touchdown passes against his former team, the New Orleans Saints.
Insight: We're still not sold on Meachem as a viable fantasy receiver. He only has nine receptions in five games, going catchless in two of them. And if anyone should know how to beat the Saints' coverage down the field, it should be Meachem, who practiced against that defense and watched them play on Sundays from 2007-11.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews turned in his best performance of the season against the Saints on Sunday, rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and catching six passes for 59 yards.
Insight: Mathews had 1,546 yards from scrimmage on 272 touches last season, so he can certainly contribute in multiple phases of the game. While Jackie Battle has taken away some of Mathews' work due to the latter back's fumbling issues, Mathews is simply the more talented back and is the player to own in fantasy. Battle only had four carries on Sunday.
Description: San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding has missed every practice this week and is expected to miss his second straight game.
Insight: Fantasy kickers are a dime a dozen so this shouldn't be a big problem. His replacement, Nick Novak was 3-for-3 in Week 4 against Kansas City and figures to see plenty of opportunities in what should be a high-scoring affair against New Orleans.
Description: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers coach Norv Turner told running back Ryan Mathews that he wouldn't start in Week 4 but it was kept quiet.
Insight: That explains why Jackie Battle said he didn't expect to get such a heavy workload. Turner took some of the blame for Mathews fumbling in his first game of the season, saying he shouldn't have run him so much in the first quarter of his first game after missing six weeks. It sounds like San Diego is ready to give back the No. 1 running back job to Mathews in Week 5.
Description: According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers coach Norv Turner said not starting Ryan Mathews wasn't about sending a message but that he thought Jackie Battle gave the team its best chance to win.
Insight: Sure, whatever you say Norv. Battle said he didn't expect to receive the bulk of San Diego's workload, meaning the Chargers didn't indicate during practice that they were going to give him so much work. This was all about sending a message to Mathews that the team will have no problem replacing him if he doesn't solve his fumbling problem. Mathews didn't fumble on 16 touches Sunday, so look for him to get most of the carries in a favorable matchup against the Saints in Week 5.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews didn't play at all on the team's first series Sunday. Jackie Battle started and Ronnie Brown handled third down work. Mathews returned for the second series.
Insight: San Diego's coaching staff alluded to a decreased role for Mathews if he can't stop fumbling the football. Coach Norv Turner clearly wanted to send the message that San Diego is serious about that by sitting Mathews early in Sunday's game.
Description: The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Chargers K Nate Kaeding is questionable for Week 4 with groin soreness.
Insight: Kaeding left Friday's practice. "Tomorrow is the key day to see if he's just sore or he strained something," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "We've got to have a good plan for if Nate can kick and a plan if he can't kick." Kickers are a dime a dozen so don't wait around to find out Kaeding's status.
Description: Wideout Malcom Floyd and the Chargers have agreed on a new three-year contract extension.
Insight: Floyd is 21st in the NFL in receiving with 227 yards in his first three games. With Antonio Gates nearing the end of his career, Floyd should be the featured receiver in this offense for many years to come.
Description: Chargers coach Norv Turner said the team may decrease running back Ryan Mathews' touches due to the back's fumbling problems. "There are certain situations where we will limit his exposure," Turner said Monday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Mathews lost a fumble inside the Falcons' 10-yard line in his season debut Sunday, his sixth giveaway in 27 NFL games. He should still be counted on as a top fantasy back since he's far-and-away the team's best player at the position. Aside from the fumble, Mathews had 76 yards on 15 touches Sunday.
Description: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is active for Sunday's matchup against the Falcons.
Insight: Gates reeled in four catches for 43 yards in Week 1 before a rib injury sidelined him for Week 2's win against Tennessee. Dante Rosario's fantasy value should take a big hit now that Gates is healthy again.
Description: Despite turning in three full practices this week, Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (clavicle) is listed as questionable on the team's injury report for Week 3.
Insight: We expected Mathews to start and handle close to a full workload in Week 3 after practicing this week but the questionable tag makes it difficult to predict what San Diego will do. It's probably safe to start Mathews but be sure you have another running back on your roster playing late on Sunday or in the Monday night game in case Mathews is ruled out at the final hour like Antonio Gates last week.
Description: According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers coach Norv Turner is confident that Ryan Mathews will be able to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Falcons. Mathews has missed the first two weeks while recovering from a broken collarbone.
Insight: We expect Mathews to handle close to a full workload this week. He was physically ready to go last week and was only held out so he could mentally prepare after missing so much time. Start him as you normally would.
Description: San Diego tight end Antonio Gates (ribs) practiced Thursday for the second straight day, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Gates was a surprise inactive late Sunday afternoon, leaving many fantasy owners without another tight end option, so it's difficult to trust his availability for Week 3. Gates owners should add Dante Rosario (3 TDs in Week 2) so they at least have someone to play if Gates is ruled out again prior to San Diego's 4:15 p.m. ET tilt with Atlanta.
Description: Chargers RB Curtis Brinkley saw the most carries (six) after starter Ryan Mathews went down with a season-ending injury.
Insight: We're not sure which of the Chargers running backs will take over for Mathews. Ronnie Brown is likely the top choice, but he is dealing with a hamstring issue. Jackie Battle might play more in running situations with Brinkley in passing situations, but it is too soon to know if one of them can take over the majority of the work and be fantasy worthy.
Description: According to the Union-Tribune, the reason San Diego running back Ryan Mathews didn't play in Week 2 was practice time, not the broken collarbone.
Insight: Expect a full week of practice from Mathews and a starting assignment in Week 3 against Atlanta. The Chargers averaged just 3.1 ypc in the first two games while Mathews averaged 4.9 ypg last season.
Description: Chargers RB Curtis Brinkley is starting Sunday's game in favor of Ronnie Brown.
Insight: Brown is on his last legs. Brinkley handled more carries than the veteran in Week 1 but neither did much against the Raiders. Oakland is getting shredded by Reggie Bush Sunday so it's more likely Brown and Brinkley just aren't very good. Only start Brinkley if you're desperate.
Description: San Diego halfback Ryan Mathews has been officially ruled out for Week 2's matchup against Tennessee. Mathews hasn't appeared in a game for the Chargers since breaking his clavicle early in the preseason.
Insight: We figured this would be the case. Ronnie Brown (five carries, five yards) was largely ineffective in Week 1, so if you're looking to start a Chargers running back on Sunday, Curtis Brinkley is probably your best option (10 carries, 12 yards).
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (clavicle) is unlikely to play Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Insight: Mathews practiced in pads this week for the first time since breaking his clavicle in the team's first preseason game. We're hoping the Chargers just hold him out another week as a precaution.
Description: According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, "it appears" that running back Ryan Mathews (clavicle) will play Sunday.
Insight: Frankly, we'd rather Mathews just sit out another week instead of playing in a limited capacity since it's unlikely his broken clavicle is 100 percent healed five weeks after suffering the injury.
Description: San Diego running back Ryan Mathews (clavicle) returned to practice in pads Thursday for the first time since breaking his collarbone in the teams first preseason game more than a month ago, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Mathews has officially been cleared for contact, and although he's still unlikely to play in Week 2 this could be a positive sign that he'll be ready for Week 3.
Description: According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (ribs) did not practice Wednesday.
Insight: Gates caught four passes for 43 yards in the team's opener Monday night, but he injured his ribs during the game. That's disappointing news to those who were expecting an injury-free season from the oft-injured tight end. Gates should be fine Sunday but we'd prefer him not to have to play with any limitations.
Description: San Diego running back Ryan Mathews (clavicle) could be cleared for contact on Wednesday. It's the next step towards playing in Week 2.
Insight: Despite his continued improvement, Mathews is more likely to return in Week 3 than this Sunday. Beat writer Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune San Diego does not believe he'll suit up against Tennessee in Week 2. You should make plans to be without Mathews for one more week.
Description: Chargers halfback Ryan Mathews (clavicle) is targeting Week 2 for his return, finally admitting Friday that he won't meet his goal of returning for Week 1, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: We admire Mathews' resolve, but as we've said all along there's nothing he can do to speed up his collarbone's healing process.
Description: San Diego halfback Ryan Mathews (clavicle) participated in individual drills Wednesday, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: San Diego will hold it's first official practice Thursday. Mathews has insisted he'll be ready Week 1, but we doubt the Chargers will play him. Week 2 is an option but we don't expect him to handle a full workload until Week 3 at the earliest.
Description: Chargers receiver Vincent Brown (ankle) has been placed on injured reserve, but he was given the "designated to return" tag, meaning he can come back after six weeks.
Insight: The "designated to return" tag is a new element to injured reserve this season. Brown broke his ankle on Aug. 18 and is projected to miss eight weeks after having surgery. Brown was reportedly the most impressive Chargers receiver in training camp, so he's worth a stash if you have a roster spot.
Description: San Diego halfback Ryan Mathews returned to practice on Monday, though he still hasn't been cleared for contact.
Insight: It's a step in the right direction for Mathews, who broke his collarbone just minutes into his first game of the preseason. We're still not counting on Mathews to be available for Sunday's game in Oakland, meaning Ronnie Brown could be worth a look in fantasy leagues this week.
Description: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ryan Mathews (broken clavicle) is not expected to play at all in Week 1.
Insight: Mathews has insisted he'll be ready for Week 1, but he can't do anything to speed up the healing process of his broken collarbone. Fantasy owners should consider themselves lucky if he can return before October.
Description: San Diego cut wide receiver and return specialist Roscoe Parrish on Monday.
Insight: Parrish has never held much value in fantasy. His career-high for receiving yards in a season is only 400 and he has only found the end zone seven times in seven years in the league. Don't expect Parrish to emerge as a legitimate fantasy option any time soon.
Description: According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers running back Ryan Mathews said his shoulder is "a lot more mobile."
Insight: Mathews thinks he'll be ready for Week 1 but he is still projected to miss all of September. The running back said the athletic trainer has to tell him every day to slow down his workouts. Unfortunately, vigorous daily workouts aren't going to make his collarbone heal faster.
Description: San Diego Union-Tribune writer Kevin Acee confirmed that Chargers wide receiver Vincent Brown suffered a broken ankle during Saturday's game.
Insight: According to reports Brown has been the team's most impressive receiver this preseason, but he'll miss at least eight weeks after having surgery Monday. Malcom Floyd and Robert Meachem get a bump in value due to Brown's injury.
Description: According to NFL.com, Dr. Neil Ghodadra said Chargers running back Ryan Mathews is likely out until October with a broken clavicle.
Insight: Mathews said he'll be ready for Week 1 after breaking his collarbone on his first carry of the preseason, but Ghodadra, who is a former team doctor for the Chicago White Sox and Bulls, said the bone takes six weeks to heal and that studies have shown it takes eight weeks for NFL players to return from clavicle fractures.
Description: Sports Illustrated's Peter King said he anticipated running back Ryan Mathews (fractured collarbone) missing "at least a week or two" of regular season action.
Insight: Mathews broke his clavicle on his first carry of the preseason last week but he insisted he would be ready for Week 1 despite being ruled out for 4-6 weeks. Mathews ADP has fallen into the second round since the injury, and he could turn out to be a bargain if he stays healthy after he returns from his current injury.
Description: Chargers wide receiver Vincent Brown caught four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in the team's first preseason game, and San Diego coach Norv Turner spoke very highly of the second-year receiver Monday.
Insight: Turner said Brown is "a guy that's going to figure real strongly in what we do," according to Chargers.com. San Diego has Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal in addition to Brown, but it sounds like the second-year player is going to see a lot of targets from QB Philip Rivers.
Description: According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers coach Norv Turner said the team will "probably" use a mix between Ronnie Brown, Le'Ron McClain and Curtis Brinkley to replace running back Ryan Mathews (broken collarbone).
Insight: None of those three (or the unmentioned Jackie Battle) will make for good fantasy options in place of Mathews.
Description: Running back Ryan Mathews says he thinks he'll be back for the season opener, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Mathews broke his clavicle on his first carry of the preseason. The running back has been going in the first round of drafts, but he'll undoubtedly drop now that he's projected to be out 4-6 weeks. It's doubtful that he returns for the start of the regular season, even if he insists that he'll be able to suit up.
Description: Former Dolphins and Eagles running back Ronnie Brown, who signed with the Chargers in the offseason, will be the team's starter in Ryan Mathews' absence according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: The bad news for Chargers fans is that Brown hasn't averaged four yards-per-carry in either of the past two seasons. He's a decent receiver out of the backfield which fits with the San Diego offense, but don't be surprised if the Chargers are looking for backfield help.
Description: Running back Ryan Mathews suffered a broken clavicle in the opening quarter of his team's first preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, will have surgery on Friday and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks,.
Insight: This is a blow to Mathews' fantasy owners. The complaint against selecting Mathews high was his lack of durability during his first two seasons as he's started just 22 of 32 games. You must lower your expectations significantly due to this injury.
Description: Running back Ryan Mathews came out of the game after making just one carry Thursday in the Chargers' exhibition opener versus the Packers. Apparently the star halfback suffered a shoulder injury.
Insight: There's no reason to risk injury in a meaningless preseason game so San Diego probably just took Mathews out as a precaution. The Chargers are expecting big things from Mathews this season, so it's no surprise that they're using the "better safe than sorry" approach with the 24-year-old.
Description: According to the North County Times, returning Chargers receivers Vincent Brown and Malcom Floyd continue to be the primary targets for quarterback Philip Rivers.
Insight: Rivers is still improving on his chemistry with free agent signee Robert Meachem. We expect Meachem to seize one of the starting jobs on the outside along with Floyd eventually, but Brown is a lingering threat as is slot receiver Eddie Royal.
Description: Chargers wideout Eddie Royal was not at practice due to personal reasons.
Insight: Royal was a fantasy non-factor last year with a career-low 19 receptions and only 155 receiving yards. He's got a much better quarterback for 2012 in Philip Rivers, but will probably need an injury to Robert Meachem to be a fantasy starter. The latest knee problem suffered by Meachem at practice on Wednesday doesn't appear too serious.
Description: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune writer Michael Gehlken, Chargers wide receiver Robert Meachem left Wednesday's practice with a knee injury.
Insight: Though not expected to be serious, any time away from learning a new offense will hurt his productivity. Meachem joins Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown and aging, but still elite tight end Antonio Gates. Unless we hear that the injury will keep him out of practice for a significant amount of time we won't make any changes to his fantasy value.
Description: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers head coach Norv Turner said Antonio Gates had his best minicamp since the coach arrived in 2007.
Insight: With Gates, its all about health, particularly his multiple foot problems. With Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham getting all the attention, you might be able to steal Gates a little later than in past seasons.
Description: LaDainian Tomlinson will sign a one-day contract so he can retire as a member of the San Diego Chargers. Tomlinson will hold a press conference to officially announce his retirement on Monday.
Insight: Tomlinson's last two seasons with the Jets were forgettable but he was a beast for the Chargers and seems like a lock for the Hall of Fame. His 13,684 career rushing yards is the fifth-highest total in NFL history.
Description: Management was quick to point out that Chargers second-year wideout Vincent Brown had a good OTA and "consistently stood out."
Insight: Brown received a lot of attention last season after a big game on national television against Oakland, but never backed it up with another fantasy-worthy effort. He's battling Eddie Royal for the No. 3 receiver spot behind Robert Meachem and Malcom Floyd.
Description: Former Dolphins and Eagles running back Ronnie Brown has signed a one-year deal with the Chargers.
Insight: San Diego needed a backup running back to Ryan Mathews now that Mike Tolbert has moved on to Carolina. Fullback Mathews isn't the most durable player, having missed six games in his first two NFL seasons, and Le'Ron McClain and seventh-round pick Edwin Baker are the only other options at running back besides Brown, so the seven-year pro could prove to be a solid handcuff back.
Description: According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ryan Mathews is expected to handle the Chargers' third-down duties this season.
Insight: With Mike Tolbert gone to Carolina, Mathews is the man in San Diego. However, keep in mind he's missed six games combined in his two pro seasons, so a heavier workload also gives him more chances to get banged up. If he can stay healthy for at least 14 games again, he's a near lock to surpass last season's 1,546 yards from scrimmage and 50 catches.