San Diego Chargers

AFC West

2014 Schedule

  • Week 1

    SD @ ARI

    09/08/14

    10:15 pm

  • Week 2

    SEA @ SD

    09/14/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 3

    SD @ BUF

    09/21/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 4

    JAC @ SD

    09/28/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 5

    NYJ @ SD

    10/05/14

    4:30 pm

  • Week 6

    SD @ OAK

    10/12/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 7

    KC @ SD

    10/19/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 8

    SD @ DEN

    10/23/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 9

    SD @ MIA

    11/02/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 10

    bye

  • Week 11

    OAK @ SD

    11/16/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 12

    STL @ SD

    11/23/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 13

    SD @ BAL

    11/30/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 14

    NE @ SD

    12/07/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 15

    DEN @ SD

    12/14/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 16

    SD @ SF

    12/20/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 17

    SD @ KC

    12/28/14

    1:00 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

San Diego Chargers - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

Chargers


 


 


San Diego is famous for several well known staples: Ocean Beach, Taco Stand #49, and Ron Burgandy.


 







 


Surprisingly, did you know that Mr. Ron Burgandy’s fame has gone beyond the west coast metropolis of San Diego? In fact, he is now an internationally renowned broadcaster. Check out his Australian debut.


 







 


 


Another unexpected treat to come out of San Diego last year was the return to fantasy notoriety of several players. To begin with, Philip Rivers had quite the resurgence in 2013. Through the first five games of the season, Rivers was rated as the 4th best fantasy quarterback for total points scored in that time span. In fact, he was just 9 points out of 2nd place. However, defenses were quick to adjust. In weeks 8 – 16, he was 9th in total fantasy points and 15th in fantasy points per game. Again, you want to identify trends, not just look at seasonal statistics, in which case, Rivers came in at #5 on the year. The fact that he had a tremendous down turn half way through the season is the main reason Pyro pegs him as a bust candidate for 2014. In his first 8 games in 2013, he passed for over 400 yards three different times. He went for over 300 yards in another game, and was under 200 yards only twice. In the last half of the season, he did not produce another 400 yard day, and only had one game over 300. Look, the guy still has Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead catching passes. But this year, Rivers is facing a 12th ranked passing strength of schedule, last year he faced #5. Rivers will still have some nice games, but he will not be a top 5 guy like last year. His current ADP as of mid-August is exactly where Pyro thinks he should be. As of our draft kit version 4, he is QB #15.


 


PhilipRiversasPopeye


 


 


Perhaps the biggest stunner in San Diego last year was the rookie, Keenan Allen. This could very well be the key to Rivers success. Keenan Allen became the 8th rookie in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards. Of the first seven to do it, only three did it again the following year- John Jefferson, Marques Colston, and Randy Moss. Joey Galloway was only 13 yards away his second season.  Two of the guys, Anquan Boldin and Terry Glenn were both injured the following year.  In fact there was only one of the seven that never got there again – Michael Clayton. So, as long as Allen remains healthy, the odds are in his favor to get to 1,000 yards again this season. Last year, the kid had 5 games where he went for at least 100 yards. This is unheard of for a rookie. He ended the season with 8 touch downs and averaged nearly 10 fantasy points a game. I am highest on Keenan Allen. Both Stagg and D-rx have him in the middle teens as of version 4 of the draft kit. Dawg is the lowest having him just outside the top 20 for WR. I understand the concern, especially when you look at the decline of Rivers over the second half of last season. But, while I agree about Rivers, because it is hard to argue with trends, I disagree with Allen. In his first 8 games (he did not play week 1), when Rivers was killing it, Allen ranked as WR #41 in fantasy. During that time, Allen averaged 8.7 fantasy points per game. He totaled 568 yards and 3 TDs. In his last 7 games, he was fantasy WR #12, he averaged 11 fantasy points per game. He had 478 yards (in 1 less game mind you), and a total of 5 touchdowns.  As of mid-August, his ADP shows him going in the 3rd round as the 11th WR off the board. To me, that sounds just about where he will finish.  He has a rough schedule right out of the gate, but then has some nice match ups the rest of the way. If you don’t land him in your draft, he is a guy to target in a trade after week 2 or 3.


 


Keenan Allen is so revered for his skills, other players have been known to bow in his presence.


 


Keenan Allen


 


 


If the Chargers could only have a second WR emerge, it would be fantastic for all involved, including Allen. Currently however, no one seems to be stepping up. Number 2 on the depth chart is Malcom Floyd. Floyd’s 2013 season was cut short due to injury. He has the talent, and has been the talk of the camp so far. However, since the guy came into the league, he has played a full 16 game season just once. In all that time, he has one 200+ yard game, and just nine 100+yard games. He is one of those guys that will not make my rosters.


 


The Chargers also have Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, Dontrelle Inman, Seyi Ajirotutu, and rookie Tevin Reese. There was some pre-draft talk last year about Brown, who was returning after an injury in 2012. Brown looked decent enough in 2011, his rookie year, to spur hopes for a productive 2013, it amounted to one game over 100 yards and one total touchdown. Of course we all know of the Eddie Royal super hype that burned some eager fantasy waiver wire bidders. It breaks down to this, in current ADPs, they rank the top 60+ wide receivers. As of mid-August, only Keenan Allen makes the list.


 


So, if the Chargers ranked 4th in the league for passing yards per game last year (270.5), who was catching those balls beside Keenan Allen? When all was said and done, only 52% of their passes went to wide receivers.


 


Without a doubt, Danny Woodhead saw the vast majority of those passes. In fact, if he would have had two more receptions, he would have led all RBs with receptions out of the backfield. As it is, he finished one behind Pierre Thomas with 76. Woodhead totaled 605 receiving yards and 6 receiving TDs. His receiving yards were second most in the league for running backs, behind Jamaal Charles. He had over 1,000 all purpose yards. He ran for 429 yards and an additional 2 TDs. This is a contract year for Woodhead. He is a PPR monster. In those leagues, he finished #12 in scoring, and going into 2014, Pyro likes him better than Ryan Mathews. Heck, in standard scoring he still finished at #19. Woodhead is going in the 8th round as of mid-August in 12 team leagues. He is going one round earlier in PPR formats. Even in standard scoring, he is going after guys like MJD and Darren Sproles. Pyro likes Woodhead better than both those cats. There is a very real possibility that Woodhead could lead all running backs with the most receptions this year. Personally, my money is on Shane Vereen for those honors.


 


Dawg has mentioned Woodhead’s video game like stats from college. And boy… he ain’t lying.


 


 


While Woodhead has an impressive NFL career so far, the guy just can’t get the recognition he deserves, literally. Check out this video from when he was a Patriot. He went undercover at a local sporting goods store trying to work the sales floor pushing his own jersey.









 


 


His counterpart in the back field is the divisive Ryan Mathews. Fantasy players either love him or hate him.  With Woodhead there, Mathews only caught 26 passes last year.2013 was the first time in his four year career he played all 16 games. He totaled 1,255 rushing yards on the season, scored 6 rushing TDs, and maintained a 4.4 average. Again, with Woodhead there, his role in the receiving game was reduced. He only caught 26 balls for 189 yards and one TD. Look, the guy had himself a year in 2013. He had six games with at least 100 rushing yards. But, that was something that did not happen once in just the previous season. He flat out scares me. He has real trouble staying on the field, and seems to be hot and cold when healthy. Woodhead goes in round 8 in standard formats (7 in PPR), and Mathews is going in round 4 in standard and round 5 in PPR. I still think Woodhead is a better value in a standard leagues and a flat out better player in PPR. Check out our latest PPR mock draft podcast.


 



 


 


In fact, I have moved Woodhead up since our PPR mock draft and would probably take him over Lamar Miller next time round. This is why mocks are so important. Especially when it is PPR, my tiers change considerably. In a standard league, I like Miller’s potential in B. Lazor’s offense this year, but you can’t argue with Woodhead’s value in PPR, it makes that much of a difference.


 


Ryan Mathews


 


If you buy into the handcuff philosophy, than you realize, Woodhead’s role would not change significantly if Mathews went down. Chances are, the work load increase would go to either Donald Brown, or Branden Oliver. Last year, when Ronnie Brown was in San Diego as the 3rd string guy, he only received 53 touches. Keep in mind, Mathews played in all 16 games in 2013. The team has said that Mathews will be their rushing back and the 3rd stringer will likely only receive 3-5 touches a game. They are paying Donald Brown a nice chunk of change for merely a backup role. This might mean they hope to get him more involved, but chances are this is just a high insurance policy in case the oft injured Mathews goes down. There is also rookie Branden Oliver. Man, you gotta love the preseason. It is far too easy to get excited about guys and think you have found a diamond in the rough. Oliver looked nice in the first preseason game. He had 64 yards on just 7 carries and scored a touch down. Going beyond the box score, the rookie looked good. He was decisive when he hit the holes and had a burst of speed when he got beyond the line of scrimmage. Then, there was the second preseason game. While he led all backs with 9 carries, he only had 14 yards. Look, if you are the brave soul that ends up drafting Mathews, chances are his handcuff will be on waivers… if you want him when the time comes.


 


For the first time in many a blue moon, Antonio Gates is not our favorite tight end in San Diego. Gates, although having a decent year in 2013 is rated in the early 20’s for version 4 of our draft kit




 


It has been a long, good run. Ladarius Green is ranked higher than old man Gates. Even most of the douche canoes sites are hip to this one. Now, some of the Pyro boys are still holding on and putting the two in the same tier. D-rx and Staggs are the highest on Gates, with Dawg the lowest. As of mid-August, in 12 team leagues, Green is being taken in round 10 and Gates in round 13.Green is entering his third year, which is generally when the light clicks for most NFL tight ends. Gates on the other hand has been in the league since 2003. Last year, Gates had 10 receptions once. That was his highest production in any game and that came early on in the season, week  #4. He broke 100 yards just twice (week #2 and week #4). In weeks #5 – #16, Gates ranked as the 20th best fantasy tight end. He averaged a mere 4.7 points per game in that span. That is not considered a trend at that point, that is writing on the wall.


 


Defensively, I am staying away. They do have a decent kicker. Nick Novak should finish just inside the top 10, but hey they are kickers, nobody really knows for sure with those guys. Generally, I like to go for kickers that are on high scoring teams. San Diego ranked 12th in offensive scoring last year with 24.8 points per game.


 


 


 


By Mo


 


 



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The Seven Bandits

The NFL has seen dominant defenses throughout its glorious history, but one of the most dominant defenses to ever play was one that you most likely have not heard of. In 1961 the NFL was spilt between the NFL and the AFL, six years before the first Super Bowl, and the Chargers defense was the class of the AFL. Their front four was the first Fearsome Foursome, predating the Rams, and the linebackers and defensive backs were known as The Seven Bandits. The Bandits still hold the single season interception record with 49 as a team, a record that will never be broken.

The Chargers Fearsome Foursome of Ron Nery, Ernie Ladd, Bill Hudson and Earl Faison were a constant source of pressure, which forced opposing quarterbacks to make poor decisions that usually ended up in the hands of one of the Bandits. This dominating defense led the Chargers to the AFL Championship game where they lost to the Houston Oilers 12-3, but it was no fault of the Bandits. The Bandits forced seven turnovers in the game, with six interceptions!!! The only problem was that the Chargers offense returned the favor with six turnovers of their own.

In 1961 teams only played 14 games on the season, which makes this interception mark so impressive. The Seven Bandits were responsible for 42 of the teams 49 interceptions of the season: Charlie McNeil – 9, Bob Zeman – 8, Dick Harris – 7, Claude Gibson – 5, Chuck Allen – 5, Bob Laraba – 5 and Emil Karas – 3. The sheer amount of interceptions is impressive enough, but the Bandits also took nine of them back for touchdowns.

The defense was so impressive, they forced five or more turnovers in eight games with their worst performance coming in week four against Buffalo only forcing two turnovers. The Chargers broke the previous record of 42 interceptions, set by the 1943 Green Bay Packers. This record will never come close to being broken.

The NFL is now considered a passing league, and with the fact that teams play 16 games you might think I am wrong, but let’s check the recent defensive challengers. Going back to 2002 thru 2013 there have only been five defenses that had 30 or more interceptions, with 31 interceptions being the highest season total. That is still 18 behind this ridiculous record. The Chargers averaged 3.5 interceptions per game!!! No team in recent vintage has been able to average more than 2 interceptions per game, and in order to break the Chargers record a team would have to average 3.13 picks per game.

The 1961 Chargers defense is the best defense you have never heard of, and the Seven Bandits with their remarkable record deserve more credit in the annals of the NFL. To think they had six players with at least five interceptions is just incredible. I tip my cap to the greatest bunch of thieves this great game has ever seen, and a season for the ages.


 







 


By Houdini

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Marty Schottenheimer

When Marty Schottenheimer was fired in February of 2007, he had just finished a year where he led the San Diego Chargers to a 14-2 record, an automatic bid into the divisional playoff round, and had many predicting a Super Bowl Championship. Unfortunately, the Chargers lost in the divisional round to the Patriots, and Schottenheimer was fired a month later. Team president Dean Spanos cited that the termination was based on a "dysfunctional situation" between Marty and general manager A.J. Smith.



Upon Marty Schottenheimer being fired, it became the second NFL termination after a coach had gone 14-2 in a season.  You have to go back 80 years to find the only head coach in NFL history to win 14 (or more) games in a season and not return to that team the next year. Hall of Famer Guy Chamberlin led the 1926 Frankford Yellow Jackets to a 14-1-2 record as a player-coach, then moved on to coach and play in 1927 for the Chicago Cardinals. When the news reached the public, about Schottenheimer being fired, many probably speculated that the reason was Schottenheimer's record in the playoffs.



There is no doubt that he has had little success when the post-season hits. For comparison, his win rate as a coach is 63% (200-126-1), but his playoff percentage is much lower 38% (5-13). His 5-13 playoff record has taken on a life of its own. The 2006 loss to the Patriots was his sixth straight in the postseason dating to 1993, and the ninth time a Schottenheimer-coached team lost its opening playoff game. His teams have failed four times to capitalize on the home-field advantage, and has been on the losing end on several "Historic playoff games."
John Elway's "The Drive" and Ernest Byner's "The Fumble" were all under Schottenheimer. He took the Browns into the playoffs in the 1985-86 season, and had a 21-3 lead over the Miami Dolphins part way through the third quarter, but Dan Marino led Miami back for a 24-21 victory. In 1986-87 season, featured "The Drive" and the 1987-88 season was Byner's fumble. The 1998-99 post-season, Marty Schottenheimer's Browns, lost in the opening round to the Houston Oilers, mostly due to the fact, that Mike Pagel, the third-string quarterback was in, after Bernie Kosar was ruled out prior to the game, and back-up Don Strock was injured early in the first quarter.



After the loss, Schottenheimer moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs, and after missing the playoffs in his first year there, he led them to a 11-5 record only to lose in the opening round. This time, the Chiefs were winning 16-3 going into the fourth quarter against Miami, and again Dan Marino brought them back to win 17-16. In 1993, The Chiefs got to the AFC Championship game, but loss in a blow-out to the Buffalo Bills. After losing in the first round of the 1994 season, the Chiefs returned back to the playoffs for the 1995 season, this time with the number one seed. Not only were they the number one seed, but also held the best record in football (13-3). Unfortunately, they ran into the fifth seeded Colts, in the divisional match-up, and lost 10-7. Lin Elliot's three-missed field goals, contributed heavily to the loss. After missing the playoffs in 1996, the Chiefs returned in 1997, with again a 13-3 record, and the number one seed in the AFC, but again lost in divisional round, this time to the Denver Broncos, in which they had the lead, going into the fourth quarter. Marty then took some time away from the NFL and returned in 2001 with the Washington Redskins. He was fired after only one season and a 8-8 record.



In 2002, he was hired by San Diego.  It wasn't an easy beginning as Schottenheimer compiled a 12-20 record in his first two seasons there. However, in 2004, the Chargers went 12-4 and made the playoffs, but lost in the wild card round to the New York Jets in overtime 20-17. San Diego missed the 2005 playoffs, but in 2006, the Chargers went 14-2, but lost to New England. Again, it was an ugly loss for Schottenheimer and San Diego. The Chargers had a 21-13 lead late into the fourth quarter, when Marlon McCree intercepted a Tom Brady pass, which would have sealed the victory, instead, McCree fumbled and the ball was recovered by wide receiver Reche Caldwell. Brady, then threw a touchdown pass to Caldwell four plays later. New England then converted a two-point conversion to tie the game. The Patriots then forced the Chargers to punt, and with 1:10 left, Gostkowski connected for the game winning margin. Three days after the 24-21 playoff loss to New England, Schottenheimer declined the team's offer of a $4.5 million, one-year extension through 2008, which came with a club-option $1 million buyout. Spanos and Smith seemed visibly angry that the coach turned them down. A month later, Marty was fired.



"This decision was so hard because Marty has been both a friend and valued coach of our team," Spanos said in a statement. "But my first obligation is always to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire Charger organization. I must take whatever steps are necessary to deliver a Super Bowl trophy to San Diego. Events of the last month have now convinced me that it is not possible for our organization to function at a championship level under the current structure. On the contrary, and in the plainest possible language, we have a dysfunctional situation here. Today I am resolving that situation once and for all." For Schottenheimer's relationship with Smith, Schottenheimer said: "I don't know why it was so bad. Every time I tried to get an explanation of why there was such a bad reaction, he always had the same rebuttal ... he didn't want to talk about it."

By Vaaal-Verde



http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2763552
http://www.esb.com/

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Kellen Winslow

In what could easily be the greatest NFL game ever played, the Chargers outlasted the Miami Dolphins 41-38 in a humid early January post-season game. The Dolphins were the AFC East division winner with a 11-4-1 record, while the Chargers finished with a 10-6 record and winners of the AFC West. It was meant to be an offense versus defense style of game, where the Chargers offense was explosive, and the Dolphins were rated fifth on the defense side of the ball.

It started ugly for Miami, as the Chargers showed every bit of their offense capability, scoring 24 points in the first quarter, while Miami couldn't get anything going, putting up a goose-egg. In the second quarter the game became quite the reverse. Miami scored 17 points, and held the Chargers to a goose-egg of their own. The Dolphins biggest score came on a hook-and-lateral play. Don Strock hit wide receiver Duriel Harris at the 20 yard line, and Harris pitched the ball to Tony Nathan who was trailing on the play. Nathan took the ball 25 yards for the score with no time remaining in the half. In the third quarter, Strock hit Joe Rose with a 15 yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 24. This time, Dan Fouts drove the Chargers down-field and connected with Kellen Winslow for a 25 yard touchdown. Strock returned the favor and hit Bruce Hardy for 50 yards to tie the score at 31. Miami then scored again to take their first lead in the game, but San Diego fired back quickly, and a pass attended for Kellen Winslow, the ball was overthrown but caught by James Brooks in the back of the end zone. At the end of the fourth quarter, Von Schamann attempted to kick the game winning field goal, however, with a 6'5 frame, Kellen Winslow blocked the game winning kick.

When overtime started both teams were entirely dehydrated, and it didn't take long for the Chargers to drive down to the 10 yard line and attempt a game winning field goal, but Rolf Benirschke had his kick go wide left. Miami then took the ball down the field for Von Schamann and his winning kick was again blocked, this time by Leroy Jones. Fouts then took San Diego 74 yards down field, and this time the Benirschke kick was good.

Both teams had great performances by great players, but the MVP most likely belonged to Kellen Winslow. In addition to his blocked field goal, he recorded an NFL playoff record 13 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown, despite suffering numerous injuries. During the contest, he was treated for a pinched nerve in his shoulder, dehydration, severe cramps, and a gash in his lower lip that required three stitches. A picture of an exhausted Winslow being helped off the field by two teammates after the game is an enduring image in NFL lore and has been replayed constantly ever since.


 


Kellen Winslow career stats


 


By Vaaal-Verde

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Another Injury for Mathews

The Chargers running back was carted off the field with a right knee injury. The early prognosis is he suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament, a source said following a 30-21 win over Seattle. It is unclear how much time he will miss. Coach Mike McCoy said following the game that he'd be further examined.

The degree of an MCL sprain, which by definition is a tear, can range between first, second and third. If an MCL tear alone proves to be the final assessment, Mathews could miss anywhere from minimal time to eight weeks.

Pyro's take: Just another injury in the road of Ryan Mathews. It sounds like he is going to miss 4-6 weeks leaving Donald Brown to pick up most of the slack while Danny Woodhead retains his role in the offense. Donald will be a hot pick up this week, if he wasn't already handcuffed to Mathews in your league. San Diego upcoming rush schedule is also much easier then the first two games they have had so far this season.

09/15/14, 02:10 PM CDT by Stagg Party
Source: www.utsandiego.com

Carted

Ryan Mathews was carted off the field this afternoon. Mathews was injured while recovering his own fumble, teammate Eddie Royal landing on his extended leg.

Pyro's take: Not much is known at the time, but the Chargers brought in Donald Brown in emergency situations, and this one. If Brown is available, grab the former first rounder for security of Mathews.

09/14/14, 06:10 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.utsandiego.com

Not avoiding Sherminator

After the week one game, where the Packers didn't even look to Richard Sherman's side, not even once, Philip Rivers plans to do no such thing. How they will game plan this risky maneuver, is one thing Rivers must handle, he goes to say:"We're not going with the approach that we're not going to throw to (Sherman's) side," Rivers said. "At the same time, I'm not going to be careless. It would be silly to say, 'We're going to go after him.' You've got to be smart. You respect the defense as a whole. You don't try to get cute with their best players.

"But I think while you respect Richard Sherman, you understand, too, that Maxwell on the other side is no slouch. I mean, he's a heck of a corner. He just gets more opportunities, so you're bound to complete something at some point. We're not going to say, 'Never throw to that side,' but we'll be smart when we do."

Pyro's take: Richard Sherman can be beat. Andrew Luck hit TY Hilton, and Hilton blew past him for a long touchdown in last season's match-up, and the Chargers have the personnel to do so as well. The oddity is that Aaron Rodgers didn't even try.

Philip Rivers will take his chances there, will he be successful, probably not, but they wont shy away. Either case, Rivers is not in for a big day passing, as they will try to win the ground game. so bench him for now.

09/13/14, 10:41 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.utsandiego.com

Rivers looking good

Philip Rivers never looks too much into preseason success or lack of it, though he certainly appreciates finding a nice August rhythm to carry into the regular season.

San Diego’s quarterback appears to have found that, completing his first five passes and 9 of 10 overall in the Chargers’ 21-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

“We got first downs, finished with a touchdown and you like to get in that flow,” he said. “The other two games we only got one series, so getting to go through series, going back out there over and over is how you get into that flow, which is important this close to the opener.”

An illegal block nullified Rivers’ 25-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Mathews in the final minute of the first quarter, but Rivers connected on a 10-yard TD pass to Antonio Gates on the next play.

Pyro's take: Rivers is still being drafted late in fantasy drafts, as many believe last season was a fluke, but he continues to look sharp in the preseason. Keenan Allen continues to show development, and he and Rivers have displayed a nice chemistry on the field. Rivers is a savvy veteran who is a nice fantasy backup for your team.

08/26/14, 08:32 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.desertsun.com

Mathews fumbles could cost him

Mathews talked about his fumble at the goal line in San Diego’s exhibition opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

“The guy made a good play. He put his helmet right on the ball and it popped out,” Mathews said. “I’ve done what I’ve had to do to help myself in the long run of taking care of the ball. And like I said, it’s like another practice game in breaking off all of the rust.

“You go back and you watch film, and you see little cuts where last year I was making cuts and the ball wasn’t away from my body. And then coming into this preseason game where you’re making cuts and the ball is away from my body. So you see stuff like that, you start to prepare yourself for the games that really count, and all you have to do is fix it.”

Pyro's take: Mathews is saying all the right things about getting better with his ball security, although talk is cheap. Fumbling has been an issue for Mathews since he entered the league. In his first two seasons Ryan fumbled 10 times, five each season. He only had two fumbles each of the last two seasons, but the fact he is still having to remind himself is an issue.

Mathews is being drafted high once again in fantasy, but it could be another high draft disappointment. The Chargers have a crowded backfield with Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown. If #24 reverts to his old ways and starts to fumble he will lose his starting job. The other risk for Mathews, as always is injury. Last season was the first in his career that he was able to play all 16 games.

08/17/14, 05:58 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: espn.go.com

The three-headed monster

In an interview with Rick Henne for chargers.com, Donald Brown spoke about how the Chargers are going to be a three-headed monster. “We’re going to be a three-headed monster,” he said proudly. “That’s what we’re going to be. They are great backs and I respect the heck out of both of them. I’m excited to work with them and complement them the best that I can.”

Brown then proceeded to break-down both of his new teammates in Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead. “Ryan is a very, very powerful runner,” he said. “He runs with a great head of steam and is a very physical runner. Danny, I was having this conversation with my old running backs coach, and I said he’s probably one of the most underrated running backs in the game. I think he’s one of the best all-around backs running the ball and catching the ball. I’m happy to be in a great room (with them) because it’s going to help elevate my game and in part help this team.”

Pyro's take: The trend of RBBC continues, and in San Diego it looks more like a RBBBC. To find value in this mess, look for Ryan Mathews to be more the main ball carrier, Danny Woodhead the three-down back, and Donald Brown to be the change-of-pace goal line runner. The Chargers are going to take a long look at Brown, he is a former first round pick, and had his best season last year.

I would break it down this way. In PPR, draft Ryan Mathews-handcuff-Woodhead, and in standard leagues, grab Mathews-handcuff-Donald Brown.

08/04/14, 10:22 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.chargers.com

Allen "I'm a deep threat now"

Allen will look to continue his dominance and avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump,” and it already looks like he turned what might be his only weakness into a strength.

Wright recently shadowed Allen on a go route. Allen, whose quickness off the line is among his strengths, earned initial separation. That was fine; Wright had seen it from the wide receiver before. The cornerback applied his countermeasure, superior top-end speed, only to learn what others at Chargers Park have about the second-year NFL pro. He is moving at a different speed – Michael Gehlken of UT San Diego, on Allen’s training camp progression

More brownie points for Allen. Increasing his speed gives him the ability to add another dimension to his game, opening up the playbook for bigger–and better–things.

“I’m a deep threat now,” a smiling Allen said to Gehlken.

Pyro's take: Allen had an amazing rookie season, and will be targeted by defenses in 2014. Keenan is preparing for this by adding more speed to his repertoire. His longest catch last season was a 43-yard touchdown catch. Since he is not seen as a deep threat receiver, he may be able to take advantage of cheating safeties early in the season. Watch out for #13 this season, he will be the most valuable Bolt to have.

08/02/14, 10:46 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: boltbeat.com

Green learning from Gates all the time

Tight end Ladarius Green is looking to capitalize on his sophomore season with the Bolts.

Within the first few days of training camp, Green has shown why he’s quickly become a fan favorite in San Diego. With superior hands, he’s made some tremendous catches in 7-on-7 drills, yet trying to become more versatile, the tight end mentioned he’s been working on his blocking.

“It’s always good to have Gates back on the field and back in the locker room as well. He’s a great person in the locker room and on the field he’s a great player. He always comes and coaches me up, teaches me stuff I don’t know so it’s always good to have him back.”

“I had to work on route running, getting in and out of routes and trying to perfect that as much as I can, but I’ve got Gates in front of me so (it’s easy to) watch him and try to compare myself to him.”

Pyro's take: Green is an explosive talent, but he is also a very team oriented player. He just wants to help the Chargers win, and he works hard in practice, and his relationship with Antonio Gates is only going to help his growth.

Gates is one of the best tight ends of the past decade, and if Green is able to absorb any of that wisdom, with his amazing talent he will be a force this season. Last season he only had 17 catches, but they went for 376 yards and three touchdowns. He has big play written all over him, averaging 22.1 YPC last season. Ladarius is being drafted as a backup, but his one of the backups that has a very high ceiling, which is the kind of backup I like.

07/27/14, 10:54 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.chargers.com

Floyd Cleared

Chargers coach Mike McCoy has stated that Malcom Floyd looked like his usual self in OTA's. Floyd has also been cleared medically by doctors to resume contact.

Pyro's take: Floyd has shown some fantasy brilliance when healthy, but thats the thing... staying healthy. He has been in the league now nine seasons and is 32 years old. Malcom has only played in 90 games in a possible 144(63%). With the seasons that he has played in, he has done wonders. For instance,in 2010-2012 he scored 16 touchdowns with 136 receptions and 2,387 yards in 37 games. In the two games he played last year, he had 6 receptions for 149 yards. Unfortunately, with Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown in the mix, Floyd will probably be regulated to third on the depth chart, but thats just means he has tremendous value late in your draft.

05/29/14, 02:18 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.cbssports.com

Floyd will return in 2014

Malcom Floyd will play again this coming season, per Michael Gehlken.

Great news for the Chargers and for the offense. Floyd was on pace to have an excellent season before he went down with the scary injury. He will have to make that same type of impact again this season.

There were questions on if Floyd would be at more of a risk after that injury, but the doctors have cleared him of any risk and said that he has the same risk of injury as anyone else at the position:

“The doc said … I’m at risk just like anybody else,” Floyd said Monday. “There’s not really a worry. … I’m feeling good. I think I feel like my old self.”

Pyro's take: Not only is this good news for Floyd, as it looked as though his career might have been over, but it also great news for Keenan Allen. Allen had a fantastic rookie season, and did most of his damage without the benefit of someone opposite him to draw away coverage. With Floyd back, it should give Allen the chance to be more productive in his second season and avoid the sophomore slump.

05/20/14, 10:17 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: boltbeat.com

Green nearly outscored Gates from week 6 on

Ladarius Green might not be the hottest commodity at the tight end position right now, but come draft day I will be taking a shot at his skill set. In fact, starting in week 6 of last season Green nearly outscored Antonio Gates. Gates collected 53.4 standard fantasy points over the final 11 weeks of the season compared to Green's 50.8.

The former fourth round pick could be this season's Julius Thomas and well worth the late round flier you'd have to spend on him.

Pyro's take: What's not to like about Ladarius Green for next season? He is big (240 pounds and growing), tall (6'6"), and fast (Rivers called him the fastest player on the team last season). He also put up an insane 22.1 yards per catch in limited work last season. All he needs is a steady diet of targets and this guy will be a fantasy superstar. For a three week stretch during last season when he received 16 targets the guy was able to turn in 9 catches for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The talent is there now he just needs the opportunity, look out for Green come draft time and he could pay major dividends for your fantasy squad.

04/02/14, 11:09 AM CDT by Stagg Party
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Donald Brown bolts for the Bolts

The San Diego Chargers have agreed to terms with former Indianapolis Colts running back, Donald Brown, on a three-year, $10.5 million contact including $4 million in guaranteed money.

Pyro's take: There are two things I can see that are seriously wrong with this signing.

First, how in the world does a former first-round pick that seemed to turn the corner a bit last season end up signing the exact same deal as Toby Gerhart did with the Jaguars earlier in the day, yet with less guaranteed money?

And second, why in the world would the Chargers go out and sign "G-d Damnit Donald!" when they already have Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead - two guys who do what Brown does, only better - on their squad?

Unless they know something I don't know or are still worried about Mathews' injury-prone ways, then I just don't understand this move.

As for it's impact on the fantasy world, the only one of the four players mentioned above whose stock rose with this signing is Toby Gerhart... and he had nothing to do with it.

03/11/14, 10:49 PM CDT by Dawgmaticå
Source: forums.colts.com

Royal restructures contract

The veteran wide receiver has agreed to a contract restructure, sources said Monday, ensuring his place on the 2014 roster. Royal was previously set to earn $4.5 million in base salary with a $6 million cap number. Both numbers have been lowered. The salary was reduced to a fully guaranteed total, and performance incentives were added to help make up the difference.

Last season was the second in Royal's three-year deal.

The Chargers never wanted it to be his last.

He showed toughness, for months not practicing because of turf toe. While the brunt of his season was spent in a protective boot, he missed only one game all year. Royal caught 47 passes for 631 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns.

Pyro's take: Royal will retain his role in the offense in 2014 thanks to his restructure. It is obvious that he feels he can improve on his numbers from last season by going to an incentive laden contract.

Eddie will be healthy for the start of the season, and since he was able to post last season's numbers while spending his weeks in a protective boot I like his chances. Royal is not a starting receiver in fantasy, but he is worth a late round flier in 2014.

03/09/14, 01:56 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.utsandiego.com

Brown will test free agent waters

Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Brown led the team in rushing with 537 yards (5.3 per carry) and finished with eight total touchdowns.

A first round pick out of UConn in 2009, Brown had an up and down five years in Indianapolis.

The Colts bring back Vick Ballard and Trent Richardson on next year's roster. As far as Brown is concerned, it doesn't look likely that he'll back with the Colts.

On his Twitter account

Was an honor and privilege to play for the Colts. An organization made up of phenomenal people. Will always be indebted to the horseshoe.

Pyro's take: Brown had a nice season filling in for the injured Colts, Bradshaw and Ballard, and outperformed Trent Richardson. That being said if he were to resign with the Colts it would be as their third back. So Donald is off to greener pastures.

Where #31 ends up is still a mystery, but he has definitely earned himself a change of pace role with some team. He will look to be the Danny Woodhead for some team. There are plenty of teams out there that need help at running back like Oakland, Jacksonville, Giants, and the Browns to name a few. Brown should be able to sign where he will see carries next season.

02/18/14, 10:20 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.indystar.com

Ryan Mathews will be an interesting back in 2014

Mathews’ 1,255 yards rushing in the season was the most by a Charger since LaDainian Tomlinson’s 1,474 in 2007.

It wasn’t a breakout season, however. As an NFL sophomore in 2011, he topped 1,000 yards rushing while averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Also then, he caught 50 passes.

But he was never so dependable as he was this season, his fourth since the Chargers selected him 12th overall. He played all 18 games. From 2010-12, he missed 4, 2 and 4 games. He had 285 rushes in the regular season. Not only was the total fourth-most in the NFL, it exceeded his career-high by 63 attempts. His catch rate was 90.3 percent, beating his 2010-12 marks of 84.6, 86.2 and 75.

Pyro's take: Mathews surprised all of us with his stellar 2013 campaign. The most impressive part was the fact that he was a workhorse back with 20+ carries in six games, including the final four of the season.

In those final four games Mathews had 107 carries for 473 yards and three touchdowns. He also added nine catches for another 64 yards. Mathews was about as dependable as you could get for your fantasy playoffs, and he will be an interesting target in 2014. He still carries with him the risk of injury, which means that there should still be a lot of skepticism about what he will do. If that is the case he could still be a potential value in 2014.

02/17/14, 10:31 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.utsandiego.com

Keenan Allen named Pepsi Next Rookie of the Year

Chargers 2013 third round pick Keenan Allen was voted the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Year by fans nationwide. The dynamic 21-year old set team rookie records with 1,046 yards and 71 catches while leading all NFL rookies in receptions, yards and touchdown catches (eight). Allen became the first rookie to top the 1,000-yard plateau since 2011 and was only the fifth since 2000 to reach that mark. He was recognized repeatedly for his outstanding efforts and was voted the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week four times. In two postseason games, Allen notched eight catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

Pyro's take: Keenan had a great rookie season, and there is reason to believe he can bust out even more in his second year. Allen demonstrated precise chemistry with Philip Rivers, and he showed the ability to make the tough catch. The rookie was also the Chargers best receiver in the redzone with his eight touchdowns.

The game will slow down even more for #13 next season, and with another year in Mike McCoys offense he should be primed for another outstanding season. The Chargers should look to add some more help at receiver and with the development of Ladarius Green, Keenan will have more weapons around him, leading to more one on one coverages. The arrow points up for #13.

02/16/14, 04:29 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.chargers.com

Allen is playing like a seasoned vet

It seems after each game this year, there has been reason to sing the praises of Keenan Allen.
Sunday against the Giants was no different.The third-round pick out of Cal notched his 59th, 60th and 61stcatches of the season, setting a new Chargers record for a rookie, besting LaDainian Tomlinson’s mark of 59 set in 2001.

"Keenan was great again,” said Philip Rivers. "That's pretty impressive. (61) catches, that’s awesome when you think about all the receivers that have been through here."

Allen believes he can make any play out there in part due to the confidence his teammates have given him.

“It’s just the confidence I have and that the guys and coaches give me throughout practice,” he said. “You make those plays in practice and then you make them in the game and it’s just like practice.”

Allen broke the rookie record with a third down catch at the end of the first quarter in which he injured his shoulder. He went into the locker room for further evaluations, and when he came back out of the tunnel later in the second quarter, he did so to a raucous ovation from the crowd.

How did he respond to that show of support?

By catching his second touchdown of the game, this one in the back left corner of the end zone to make it 17-0.

Pyro's take: Allen has been on a steady maturation process since he was drafted by the Chargers. In training camp this season he fell behind early and was making a lot of mistakes. If it were not for injuries to Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander we may have missed out on this rookie's development.

Allen has established himself as the Chargers, and Rivers, number one option at receiver. He has shown a pension for making the big touchdown catch, but he also makes the important third down conversion catch.

Allen found the endzone twice on Sunday, and that was on the heels of back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. The rookie is not playing like one, and he should have some nice opportunities against the Broncos on Thursday.

12/09/13, 05:26 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.chargers.com

Keenan Allen blogged on the Chargers website this week

Being on a three game losing streak is tough, but me personally, I’m always going to come out and try to get better. I’ll never be satisfied, and I think that’s the mindset of the team as well. We’re going to keep on trying to build our bond and come through this losing streak. We still believe in ourselves, so we’re going to come out, play our best and hopefully we can go on a run.

I get a lot of questions about what my rookie year is like, and it’s been good. I think my knowledge of the game has gotten better and the speed of the game has slowed down. But I’m trying to get better with all aspects, and again I’ll never be satisfied. One thing I’m working on is to improve my technique in my route running. I learned a lot about technique from Danario Alexander. He was one of the best route runners in all of training camp, and Malcom Floyd helped me with being a go-getter.

Oh and one more thing, a lot of fans want to know why I wear number 13. I used to wear it in middle school and I liked it then, and I didn’t want a number in the 80’s so I went with 13.

Pyro's take: Allen has been impressive as a rookie this season. During a stretch of 4 games Allen had three 100-yard receiving games with 3 touchdowns. The rookie has been held under 50 yards and without a touchdown over the past two weeks.

#13 has a tough match-up ahead of him this week. The Chiefs are coming off their first loss of the season, and the Chargers will have their hands full in Arrowhead. Allen should see a lot of Brandon Flowers, which is bad news for fantasy point potential.

11/20/13, 08:17 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.chargers.com

One step forward and two steps back

A poor decision didn't cost the Chargers this time.

It could, coach Mike McCoy said Tuesday, the next.

Running back Ryan Mathews overall had a gritty, physical night Monday, his first 100-yard rushing game since December 2011. But just as positives can be taken from a loss, McCoy took issue with a negative in the fourth quarter of a 19-9 win over the Colts.

"I can't repeat what I said on the sideline yesterday," McCoy said. "It comes down to, that could have cost us the game."

The Chargers were in their four-minute offense, the goal to milk the clock and build on a 16-9 lead. The Colts had all three timeouts, and Mathews bounced a short run to the outside and out of bounds for a 4-yard gain.

That stopped the clock at 2:34.

Instead of Indianapolis using its first timeout, San Diego did. The drive ended with a 50-yard Nick Novak field goal.


Pyro's take: This type of mistake by Mathews is one that could cost him playing time in crucial situations. Mathews currently does not get redzone carries, and if he makes another mistake like this one, he will not be carrying the ball late in the game either.

It was nice to see him run effectively in this game, but Mathews continues to struggle to break the big run and really be a game changing back in the NFL or fantasy.

10/17/13, 07:39 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.utsandiego.com

Keenan Allen arrives late Sunday/Early Monday

It was a big day for the rookie.

Not that he’ll admit to patting himself on the back.

“I’m just out here trying to get a win,” Allen said.

Allen caught six passes for 115 yards (and a touchdown) in just his fifth NFL game.

Early in the third quarter, the rookie appeared to have caught a TD pass that would have cut the Raiders’ lead to 17-7. However, upon review, the officials reversed the call as it looked as though Allen never got his left foot down.

Allen would eventually find the end zone when he scored on a 7-yard pass from Rivers, which came just two plays after Brown’s touchdown was nullified.

Pyro's take: I am not sure how many of you actually stayed up to watch the Raiders versus the Chargers, but I did and I liked what I saw from the rookie. Allen was making full extension catches and displayed nice hands. He was also able to come back and score a touchdown after having one taken away as he just missed staying in bounds. The Chargers also lost Ryan Mathews to a concussion and he may not be back this week, which would mean Rivers will be looking to air it out against the Colts on Monday Night next week. Allen is a nice pickup, but you better do it before he does it on a Monday Night with everyone watching as opposed to the Monday morning game it was this week.

10/07/13, 10:25 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.utsandiego.com

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