Description: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring) practiced Wednesday, according to Michael Gehlken of the Union-Tribune.
Insight: Gates is ahead of last week's schedule, when he missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday before playing in Week 13 against the Bengals. He's been targeted 18 times the last two games but caught just eight of them for 62 yards. Philip Rivers has had a better connection lately with backup tight end Ladarius Green, hitting him nine times for 206 yards and two touchdowns on 16 targets the last three games.
Description: Chargers tight end Ladarius Green caught two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Bengals.
Insight: It was Green's second straight game with a touchdown and third straight game with at least five targets. Despite the presence of Antonio Gates, Green could be a top-15 tight end for the rest of the season.
Description: San Diego wideout Keenan Allen hit the 100-yard receiving bonus for the second straight game Sunday against the Bengals.
Insight: Allen had 106 yards on eight catches one week after grabbing nine balls for 124 yards. Philip Rivers' top target has 58 receptions, 843 yards and three touchdowns this season. Allen was the eighth receiver taken in the 2013 NFL Draft, but he leads all rookies in receiving yardage by a wide margin.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (hamstring) will play Sunday against the Bengals.
Insight: Mathews left Week 12 against the Chiefs due to a hamstring injury, but not before producing double-digit fantasy points for the fifth time in his last six games. He's a decent flex play but is also at risk of aggravating his injury so proceed with caution. Danny Woodhead is the better option in San Diego's backfield.
Description: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring) is active for Sunday's game against the Bengals.
Insight: ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that Gates is unsure of how much he'll be able to play through the injury. Ladarius Green has posted two straight 80-yard games and is a solid TE2 this week even with Gates active. Gates owners likely don't have better options available at this time so they have to roll with him.
Description: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring) missed Thursday's practice, but returned to the field on Friday and is expected to play against Cincinnati on Sunday.
Insight: Coach Mike McCoy recently said that Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates can complete passes "with a blindfold," meaning Gates can play without practicing at all. The tight end has already surpassed last years reception and tardage total.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (hamstring) practiced Thursday, according to Michael Gehlken of the Union-Tribune.
Insight: Mathews left Week 12 against the Chiefs due to a hamstring injury, but not before producing double-digit fantasy points for the fifth time in his last six games. He'll be a decent flex play if he is active Sunday, but he is also at risk of aggravating the injury so proceed with caution.
Description: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring) missed Thursday's practice, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Gates hasn't practiced all week, but he is expected to play Sunday against the Bengals. Coach Mike McCoy recently said that Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates can complete passes "with a blindfold," meaning Gates can play without practicing at all. If he has to miss the game, however, Ladarius Green would be a TE1. Green has produced seven catches for 161 yards and a touchdown over the last two games.
Description: According to Eric D. Williams of espn.com, Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (hamstring) "should be fine and ready" to play Sunday against the Bengals.
Insight: Mathews left Week 12 against the Chiefs due to a hamstring injury, but not before producing double-digit fantasy points for the fifth time in his last six games. He'll be a decent flex play if he is active Sunday, but he is also at risk of aggravating the injury so proceed with caution.
Description: Chargers halfback Ryan Mathews didn't practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Michael Gehlken, San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: Mathews sat out with a hamstring injury. Head coach Mike McCoy is hoping to have Mathews back for Sunday's game but if he can't go, scat back Danny Woodhead will have a chance to see a big workload against the Bengals.
Description: San Diego halfback Ryan Mathews hasn't been ruled out for Sunday's game against Cincinnati. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Mathews aggravated a hamstring injury in Sunday's come-from-behind win over Kansas City. He's getting closer to his second career 1,000-yard season (721 yards with five games to go). If Mathews is inactive or limited at all on Sunday, Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown will handle most of the carries.
Description: San Diego wideout Keenan Allen exploded for 124 yards on nine catches Sunday in a win over Kansas City.
Insight: It would have been even sweeter if he had managed to find the end zone. Still, Allen is having one heck of a rookie season. He's currently on pace for 1,072 yards, which would be the most by a rookie wideout since Anquan Boldin in 2003 (1,377 yards in 16 games).
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews left Sunday's game against Kansas City with a hamstring injury.
Insight: He's questionable to return. Mathews has been a much better fantasy option of late and had already accumulated 65 yards and a rushing touchdown before leaving. Danny Woodhead should get most of the work the rest of the way with Ronnie Brown as his backup.
Description: Chargers receiver Eddie Royal (foot) is active for Week 12.
Insight: Royal has been held down by the injury, catching just four balls for 56 yards over the past two weeks. His fantasy value has dropped to its lowest level of the season and many fantasy owners are rightfully not starting him.
Description: Chargers receiver Keenan Allen suffered a knee injury in Week 11 but it won't keep him from playing Sunday against Kansas City.
Insight: Allen has cooled off a bit after logging three 100-yard outings in a four-game stretch last month but he's still the most dangerous weapon San Diego has in the passing game outside of tight end Antonio Gates. Even against a solid Chiefs secondary, Allen is worthy of flex/WR2 consideration.
Description: Chargers coach Mike McCoy said Monday that receiver Keenan Allen (knee) will play Sunday against the Chiefs, according to ESPN.com.
Insight: "He's fine," McCoy said. "He'll be playing, which is great." Allen was spotted on the sideline with his knee iced and wrapped late in Sunday's game against Miami while San Diego attempted to stage a comeback. Allen has had under 50 yards in each of the last two games but remains one of Philip Rivers' favorite targets. He's a WR3 in Week 12.
Description: Chargers receiver Eddie Royal (foot) is questionable for Week 10.
Insight: Royal has been questionable for each of the last two games but played both and had at least 56 yards and a touchdown in both. His fantasy value is entirely dependent on whether or not he scores.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews has quietly turned into a reliable option for San Diego.
Insight: Mathews has carried the ball at least 16 times in five of the last six games, and the one game he didn't he left early with a concussion. He's had 43 carries for 212 yards and a touchdown the last two games as the Chargers have found a way to keep both Mathews and Danny Woodhead involved.
Description: Chargers rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen has produced 20 receptions for 302 yards and two touchdowns on 27 targets the last three weeks.
Insight: He had nine catches for 107 yards and a score Monday night against the Colts and appears to be Philip Rivers' go-to wideout. Allen can be trusted as a WR2 in Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Description: Chargers offensive lineman Chad Rinehart will miss Monday's game against Indianapolis due to a foot injury.
Insight: The Chargers' offensive line has been hit with injuries with Rinehart out, Mike Harris placed on injured reserve, Jeromy Clary dealing with an injured collarbone, D.J. Fluker with a calf and King Dunlap with a concussion. Fortunately, Fluker, Clary and Dunlap are expected to be active for the game.
Description: Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o is probable for Monday's game against Indianapolis.
Insight: Te'o sprained his foot early in early August and only returned to the lineup two games ago. He's splitting time at inside linebacker with Reggie Walker and has eight tackles over the last two contests.
Description: Ryan Mathews practiced again Saturday and is now listed as probable for Monday's game against the Colts.
Insight: Mathews has recovered fully from the concussion he suffered last week against the Raiders. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1 and rarely plays on passing downs thanks to the emergence of Danny Woodhead. Only start Mathews if you're desperate to fill a flex position.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (concussion) returned to practice Friday.
Insight: The Chargers play Monday night against the Colts so he has an extra to get ready for the game, but fantasy owners can avoid him. Danny Woodhead has been stealing snaps and putting up better fantasy numbers and Mathews' status likely won't be decided until Sunday night or Monday morning.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (concussion) hasn't been cleared to practice, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: Mathews suffered a concussion Sunday night at Oakland. The Chargers play Monday night against the Colts so he has an extra to get ready for the game, but we don't expect him to play. Danny Woodhead has been stealing snaps and putting up better numbers than Mathews anyway.
Description: Halfback Ryan Mathews was a late addition to the Chargers' injury report on Friday.
Insight: That's unsettling news for fantasy owners as San Diego doesn't play until 11:30 on Sunday night (they have the A's and Tigers to thank for that). If Matthews is out or limited, backup Danny Woodhead will be a must-start in all fantasy formats.
Description: The Chargers have placed receiver Malcom Floyd on injured reserve.
Insight: Floyd took a hit to the head in Week 2 against the Eagles and was taken off the field on a stretcher. He'll miss the rest of the season with a neck injury. Despite Philip Rivers' resurgence, no Chargers receiver has emerged as a reliable fantasy option as Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead are Rivers' top two targets.
Description: Chargers DE/LB Dwight Freeney suffered a torn quadriceps in Sunday's victory over Dallas.
Insight: Freeney was injured in the second quarter and did not return. We await the decision on whether this will require a trip to the injured reserve. Larry English is the most likely candidate to take his spot in the lineup.
Description: San Diego QB Philip Rivers exploded for over 400 yards Sunday against Dallas.
Insight: After falling off the map in 2012, Rivers has come back strong with 11 TD and just two interceptions in his first four games this season. Sunday was the veteran's second 400-yard performance in the last three weeks. He'll try to keep it going next week against Oakland.
Description: Chargers receiver Vincent Brown has played a higher percentage of snaps than any other San Diego receiver at 93 percent, but he has just eight catches on 14 targets for 50 yards and a touchdown. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, coach Mike McCoy said that Brown's touches "will come."
Insight: "There may be something where Vincent may be number one in the progression, but a coverage changes so you do not get it to him," McCoy said. "It’s not like we’re not trying to get him the ball. It’s just Philip taking what the defense is giving him. All the receivers have done a great job of having the flexibility to move them around. In some of the no-huddle we have run, whether they are an X receiver or a Z receiver, they have done everything we've asked them to do." Brown was expected to be the Chargers most targeted receiver this season but that hasn't happened yet. Fantasy owners should not even think about using him until we see something positive on the field.
Description: Chargers receiver Eddie Royal caught two passes for 34 yards against the Titans in Week 3.
Insight: Welcome back to Earth. After grabbing five touchdowns over the first two games, Royal was only targeted twice Sunday. It's tougher to produce when the defense keys in on you. Royal actually led Chargers wideouts but was fourth on the team in yards . Running back Danny Woodhead and tight ends Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green combined for 158 yards.
Description: Chargers tackle King Dunlap suffered a concussion in Week 3.
Insight: The injury left the San Diego offensive line short-handed because Chad Rinehart also went down in the game and they started the contest withouttackle D.J. Fluker. The multiple injuries could be what caused a drop in Philip Rivers' productivity.
Description: Chargers second-round pick, linebacker Manti Te'o, was back at practice for the first time since getting injured in the preseason opener.
Insight: Te'o sprained his foot early in early August and will need some time before returning to the lineup, but the Chargers need all the defenders they can get after yielding 960 total yards over the first two games.
Description: Chargers receiver Malcom Floyd will be in a neck brace for at least a week, according to NFL.com Ian Rapoport.
Insight: Floyd took a hit to the head Sunday against the Eagles and was taken off the field on a stretcher. However, his tests revealed nothing major and the receiver traveled home with the team. Label him "out indefinitely" and add Eddie Royal to your waive claim list.
Description: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has seven touchdowns after two weeks.
Insight: He threw three scores and had 419 yards on 36-of-47 passing Sunday at Philadelphia. After two straight disappointing seasons, Rivers appears to be back on the fantasy radar now that Mike McCoy is heading up this operation instead of Norv Turner.
Description: With three more touchdowns Sunday at Philadelphia, Chargers receiver Eddie Royal tied his career high for a season.
Insight: Royal shockingly has five touchdowns in the first two games this season. He scored that many combined in his previous four NFL seasons after grabbing five as a rookie. While Royal isn't likely to keep this up, he clearly has the favor of quarterback Philip Rivers.
Description: Chargers wideout Malcom Floyd (knee) is probable to play Week 1.
Insight: Floyd suffered a knee sprain in the second week of August. With Danario Alexander out, he'll be the top deep threat for Philip Rivers, but Vincent Brown is better fit for coach Mike McCoy's short passing offense and could draw the most targets.
Description: Chargers second-round pick, linebacker Manti Te'o, has been ruled out of Monday's versus Houston. SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: Te'o sprained his foot early in early August and hasn't practiced with the team in almost a month. He's likely to miss more than one week as he'll need to work his way back into playing shape.
Description: Chargers wideout Malcom Floyd's knee has improved enough that he was back at practice on Monday.
Insight: With Danario Alexander out for the season, Floyd will be a huge part of the Chargers' passing game along with an untested Vincent Brown and an aging Antonio Gates and a mediocre Eddir Royal. He's expected to be ready for Week 1.
Description: San Diego wideout Eddie Royal suffered a concussion as well as a bruised lung Saturday at practice.
Insight: Chargers receivers are dropping like flies this summer. First it was Danario Alexander (torn ACL), then it was Malcom Floyd (sprained knee) and now Royal is the latest Chargers wideout to go down. Philip Rivers' job as quarterback just got a whole lot tougher.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews had nine carries for 45 yards Thursday against the Bears in San Diego's second preseason game. "The way that (he) ran the ball was outstanding," coach Mike McCoy said. "We ran the ball efficiently tonight. I think the way he's running the football (is) what we're looking for in our back." SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: Third-down back Danny Woodhead hasn't made his preseason debut yet due to an undisclosed injury, so the team isn't working with its full personnel, but it's still good to see Mathews making a positive impression on the new coaching staff. He could end up as a steal at his current fantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP of 53.2.
Description: A second opinion on Chargers wideout Malcom Floyd's knee revealed no structural damage, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Insight: Floyd was carted off the field Monday but has avoided a major injury. According to Schefter, the amount of time Floyd misses will depend on how he feels. With Danario Alexander out for the season, Floyd nursing an injury and Antonio Gates on the decline, Vincent Brown could be a legitimate WR3 this season, especially in PPR leagues.
Description: Chargers wideout Malcom Floyd is getting a second opinion on his right knee, according to ESPN.com. Even if the initial diagnosis of a strained knee is correct, the earliest he'll return is Week 1.
Insight: Floyd had to be carted off the field Monday, but he said his MRI revealed a strained knee and no tears. "I thought I did something really bad to it," Floyd said. "But it's just a strain. No tears. I'm day to day." He hopes to be ready for Week 1. The Chargers already lost receiver Danario Alexander to a torn ACL last week, so losing Floyd too would leave the team in a major hole. Fantasy owners should be targeting Vincent Brown in the middle rounds.
Description: Chargers wideout Malcom Floyd injured his right knee Monday and had to be carted off the practice field. SOURCE: Michael Gehlken, San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: We're afraid this injury could be of the season-ending variety. Losing Floyd would leave the Chargers' receiving corps in shambles, especially after Danario Alexander went down with a torn ACL last week. Floyd reeled in 814 receiving yards for the Bolts in 2012.
Description: Newly signed running back Curtis Brinkley will have a chance to win the No. 3 spot behind Matt Forte and Michael Bush.
Insight: Brinkley will have to beat out Armando Allen, but Allen is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury. Brinkley did nothing in his opportunities with the Chargers over the past two seasons to make any fantasy contribution likely unless the Bears backfield takes multiple major hits this season.
Description: San Diego rookie Manti Te'o sprained his foot during Thursday's preseason loss to the Seahawks. SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: Te'o lasted only nine snaps before coming out of the game. He'll be sidelined for at least a week. If the 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist recovers quickly enough, he should be one of the Chargers' starting inside linebackers Week 1 against the Texans.
Description: Chargers wideout Vincent Brown should win the starting spot opposite Malcom Floyd. SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune
Insight: A spot opened up when Danario Alexander injured his right knee on Tuesday. A hamstring injury has caused San Diego receiver Vincent Brown to miss the team's last seven practices, but he is still the most likely starter in front of rookie Keenan Allen or veterans Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem.
Description: According to Chargers.com, Danario Alexander suffered a torn right ACL during Tuesday's practice and is likely done for the season.
Insight: Alexander has already had surgery on his left knee five times in the past, and now he'll have to rehab his right one. The oft-injured receiver made a splash with the Chargers last season, catching 37 passes for 658 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 games after the team took a chance on him in late October. Fantasy owners should bump Vincent Brown and Malcom Floyd up the draft board.
Description: Chargers receiver Danario Alexander injured his right knee in practice, according to beat writer Michael Gehlken.
Insight: The knee was iced and wrapped, but he stayed on the sidelines. Keeping healthy is Alexander's No. 1 problem and the only good news here is that it wasn't the left knee which has already dealt with five surgeries. He's never played more than 10 games in a season.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews is going to have to learn to share this season and his fantasy value might be the lowest since joinging the league in 2010.
Insight: Danny Woodhead's prowess as a receiver and pass protector makes it impossible to keep him off the field in pass situations. After rushing for a career low 3.8 ypc, Mathews will likely share rushing duties with Ronnie Brown and Woodhead as well. Mathews' current fantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP of 52 seems high given these mitigating factors.
Description: As expected, Chargers running back Danny Woodhead has become quarterback Philip Rivers' primary target out of the backfield, according to a Chris Jenkins of the Union-Tribune San Diego.
Insight: Starter Ryan Mathews caught 111 passes over his first three seasons, but that number is likely to take a significant hit in 2013-14. The image of Darren Sproles catching passes and running behind Rivers comes to mind and Woodhead could be a solid fantasy value this season.
Description: Chargers beat writer Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune thinks there is "no doubt" San Diego will use a rotation at running back this season.
Insight: Gehlken said Danny Woodhead's prowess as a receiver and pass protector makes it impossible to keep him off the field. New coach Mike McCoy has been rotating Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown early in training camp.
Description: According to FOXSports.com, new Chargers coach Mike McCoy has been using running back Ryan Mathews in rotation with Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown early in training camp.
Insight: "I’ve been raised with (Denver coach) John Fox in this league," said McCoy. "We always played with a couple of backs. It doesn’t matter who’s in there. Keep them fresh. That’s the big thing. Play the hot hand while you roll. If youve got to tap out for a play or two, we’ll put the next guy in." Mathews' fantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP is 52.3, 27th among running backs, but even that might be too high if the team is planning on using all three backs heavily this season.
Description: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers receiver Vincent Brown has stood out this spring.
Insight: "He’s not quite 6 feet tall, not quite 200 pounds, not a guy who would win a foot race against almost any cornerback," according to Union-Tribune beat writers. "But he plays tall, plays big, plays fast." Brown was impressive last preseason before breaking his ankle and missing the entire year. He could have a big year in coach Mike McCoy's short-passing offense.
Description: Chargers receiver Malcom Floyd has been running new routes to adapt to San Diego's new passing offense, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: "I’m running different routes," Floyd said. "These coaches are really working on my lateral ability, a lot of these drills this offseason, getting in and out of my breaks. It’s details like foot placement on curl routes, reprogramming my brain. ... I’m 10 years old in this league, but I feel a lot better than last year. I’m very excited about this upcoming year." The Chargers have tossed the vertical-passing offense of the past 5-7 years in favor of a short-passing offense designed to get the ball out of Philip Rivers' hand quicker than last season.
Description: The Chargers are expected to scrap the vertical-oriented attack of the past few years in favor of a short-passing scheme, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Insight: New Chargers coach Mike McCoy, who was the offensive coordinator in Denverl last season, wants to get the ball out of Philip Rivers' hand quicker. Rivers has been one of the NFL's top deep passers since 2008, but he was sacked 49 times last season and has turned the ball over 47 times over the last two years. Change is necessary to cope with San Diego's terrible offensive line.
Description: Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune said he'd be "shocked" if running back Danny Woodhead doesn't play the "vast majority" of third downs for the Chargers this season.
Insight: This comes after ESPN's AFC West blogger Bill Williamson said he expected Woodhead to be involved in a variety of offensive packages. The team does not trust Ryan Mathews as a pass blocker, which explains why Ronnie Brown received so much playing time last season. Woodhead is one of the best pass-blocking backs in the NFL, and also has good hands. He could be a nice flex player in PPR leagues.
Description: ESPN.com's AFC West blogger Bill Williamson expected running back Danny Woodhead to be involved in a lot of offensive packages this season.
Insight: Woodhead rushed for 301 yards and caught 40 passes for 446 yards with seven total touchdowns for the Patriots last season. Given Ryan Mathews' injury-plagued history, Woodhead could find himself with more opportunities with the Chargers. Matthews barely played on third down last season.
Description: Tight end Dante Rosario has been signed by the Dallas Cowboys.
Insight: All-Pro Jason Witten sees the majority of the targets. Second round pick Gavin Escobar and James Hanna will also start ahead of Rosario on the depth chart. He hasn't been a fantasy option in Carolina or Denver and won't be in Dallas.
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.