September 01, 2015

San Diego Chargers

AFC West

2014 Schedule

  • Week 1

    SD @ ARI


    10:15 pm

  • Week 2

    SEA @ SD


    4:00 pm

  • Week 3

    SD @ BUF


    1:00 pm

  • Week 4

    JAC @ SD


    4:00 pm

  • Week 5

    NYJ @ SD


    4:30 pm

  • Week 6

    SD @ OAK


    4:00 pm

  • Week 7

    KC @ SD


    4:00 pm

  • Week 8

    SD @ DEN


    8:30 pm

  • Week 9

    SD @ MIA


    1:00 pm

  • Week 10


  • Week 11

    OAK @ SD


    4:00 pm

  • Week 12

    STL @ SD


    4:00 pm

  • Week 13

    SD @ BAL


    1:00 pm

  • Week 14

    NE @ SD


    8:30 pm

  • Week 15

    DEN @ SD


    4:00 pm

  • Week 16

    SD @ SF


    8:30 pm

  • Week 17

    SD @ KC


    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




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.





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

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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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Not Practicing

Keenan Allen is not practicing according to Mike Gehlken via Twitter. "Keenan Allen (shoulder)...not practicing today as expected."

Pyro's take: It may be a tough go for Allen to get back in a must-win game against the Chiefs. If he cannot go, expect Antonio Gates to get an increase in targets.

12/24/14, 01:44 PM CST by Vaaal-verde

Not Just the Ankle

Just yesterday the Chargers were concerned about the ankle injury that Allen had suffered, but when he started to mention he had pain in his collar bone another problem had emerged.

San Diego's leading wide receiver suffered and played through a broken right collarbone Sunday against the Broncos. "It came one play before a second-quarter ankle injury. Allen missed practice Tuesday and is not expected to play Saturday against the 49ers."

"To play through something like that," wide receiver Eddie Royal said, "that's a tough dude. You've got to give him a lot of credit for that. Not easy to do."

Pyro's take: Keenan Allen will be missed this weekend especially by the Chargers as they hang on to their slim playoff hopes. Look for Malcolm Floyd and Eddie Royal to get the majority of the looks and Antonio Gates to be targeted heavily as well.

12/16/14, 06:53 PM CST by Vaaal-verde

Walking Boot

"The Chargers wide receiver had his right ankle twisted awkwardly beneath a Broncos defender in the second quarter. He attempted three times to return before Seyi Ajirotutu ultimately replaced him for good, among the number of injuries incurred in a 22-10 loss."

So Keenan Allen is now in a walking boot, after trying several times to get back on to the field.

Pyro's take: Obviously Allen is a huge part of the Chargers offense, but not much will be known until the MRI reveals the damage. If he is a starter for your team, start glancing at the waiver wire

12/15/14, 12:09 PM CST by Vaaal-verde

Rib Injury

According to Michael Gehlken, beat writer for the Chargers, Antonio Gates stated on Philip Rivers,"for those who don't know, he's been dealing with a rib injury, a very severe rib injury." Said past few wks"

Pyro's take: This is an injury that has only been reported by Antonio Gates. Rivers has not been on an injury report, has not missed any time, and he is coming off a bye week.

If Antonio Gates wants to announce that Rivers got his ass-kicked by the Oakland Raiders defense, that I can follow.

If your starting Rivers, keep going with it, this sounds more like Gates explaining why Rivers had a bad-day against the Raiders than anything else

11/17/14, 11:00 AM CST by Vaaal-verde

Still Not Cleared

Michael Gehlken has reported through his twitter account that "RB Donald Brown and CB Brandon Flowers yet to be cleared from concussions."

Pyro's take: Donald Brown's recovery has become only important to his health, but in the fantasy world, it wont matter, as Branden Oliver, has usurped Brown's validity for the year.

10/24/14, 07:04 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Concussion Protocol

Donald Brown is still under concussion protocol, and probably will be out for Sunday's contest. Michael Gehlken reports: "RB Donald Brown (concussion) not yet practicing. On field, watching drills."

Pyro's take: Even when Donald Brown returns to field, he will be on the third team. Ryan Mathews and Branden Oliver are going to be one and two, or 1A and 1b. If you have Brown on the roster, the only thing to hope for out of this one-year wonder is injuries to the above.

10/15/14, 11:19 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Trying to Jacoby Jack

Jacoby Jones is struggling. On Sunday, against the Indianapolis Colts, Jones has dropped five passes this season and has just four catches for 50 yards, including a season-high 30-yard reception. But he also got caught up in a fumble on a punt. He moved toward the ball while it was in flight, then realized it should take the bounce. But, he waited too long to make his decision and got caught up with moving away and the ball bouncing. The football struck the ground, then bounced up and hit Jones, the Colts quickly recovered.

Pyro's take: Jones doesn't add much to the fantasy game, unless your league uses his returners. Jacoby Jones may get an opportunity if Torrey Smith keeps playing as poor as he is, but until then he should be avoided in most to all formats.

10/06/14, 09:54 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Oliver-Can I Have More Please

The Chargers probably would not have preferred it this way, but after injuries to Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead, and now Donald Brown, it opened the door for Branden Oliver.

Oliver did not disappoint, he rushed 19 times for 114 yards with one touchdown and caught four passes for 68 yards with another score in Sunday's Week 5 blowout of the Jets, the number one defense. He also added four receptions for 68 yards and one touchdown.

“It was a lot of fun just to get things rolling,” he said following his impressive performance. “I mean, (they’re) the number one rushing defense. You can’t ask for nothing else.”

Head coach Mike McCoy talked about Branden Oliver's performance “He’s bought in and works extremely hard….He made the most of his opportunities. He did a great job, and like I said, it all starts up front with receivers blocking and the players coming with a loaded box. Philip (Rivers) got us in some good plays and he made the most of his opportunities. He hit the crease when it was there. He did a great job.”

Pyro's take: Branden Oliver hit the waiver wire hard, and should either be a big black dot on your radar, or picked-up now. He is PPR gold for sure, and even when Ryan Mathews comes back, Oliver will move into the Danny Woodhead role.

Oliver will face the Raiders this week, and look for more explosion, as the Raiders couldn't stop a runaway pebble.

10/06/14, 05:05 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Dammit Donald!

The San Diego Chargers are resting their run game on the shoulders of "Dammit" Donald Brown, and it doesn't appear that dammit is a vulgar enough word to describe how this is going. Brown has carried the ball 51 times for 100 yards -- good for 1.96 yards per rush. "Not very good," said Brown when asked to evaluate his performance. "We need to improve. We need to take the pressure off of Rivers and the wide receivers. It's going to take patience and perseverance. We just have to keep grinding."

Pyro's take: Obviously Donald Brown is not the answer to this equation, the problem, he's the only answer. Without Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead, it doesnt look for the Chargers.

The coaching staff tried to get rookie Branden Oliver going, but he didnt fare much better, as he rushed for 23 yards on nine attempts. Worse yet, this all was against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If a team cant run against the Jaguars. how are they going to fare against any other team?

As of now I would avoid all Chargers running backs, and either store them or cut them lose if on your roster.

09/30/14, 06:45 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde


Keenan Allen is having a slow time getting going this year as has he has only caught 12 passes for 109 yards in three games.

Pyro's take: He will have a good opportunity this week to get things moving as he faces the Jaguars. If he struggles again, it might me time to move him before things get worse. I expect a solid game out him this week, but in most formats he should reside on your bench.

09/25/14, 01:48 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Gates closing?

Antonio Gates had a silent Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. With just one reception for eight yards was a far different distance than the three touchdowns, seven receptions for 96 yards game he had against Seattle in week two. He was bothered by hamstring issues leading up to the game against the Bills, so that may have had an effect on his play.

Pyro's take: Gates is not suffering any injuries this week, as he seems fine, and should dominate against the Jaguars, who allowed two touchdowns to the Colts tight ends, and a third was dropped by Coby Fleener. He can make an excellent number two and bye week replacement for your teams.

09/24/14, 07:38 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Green as grass

Ladarius Green finally got some good looks last week, after two weeks of being invisible. He played on 23-of-69 snaps. set season-highs with four catches and 64 yards on six targets. He also encouragingly saw two red-zone targets. What is frustrating is that he spent the same amount of time on the field as he did the previous two weeks.

Pyro's take: Green has just not been able to break the curse of Antonio Gates. The trend will continue until Gates is not on a field on a permanent basis. The Chargers do face a horrible defense in the Jaguars, so there may be a chance of something happening, but taking wild chances is not what fantasy football is about.

09/24/14, 07:26 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

Rivers Flow

Phillip Rivers had a solid night against a good defense in the Buffalo Bills. He was 18 of 25 for 256 yards and two touchdowns. On the season he has a six touchdown to one interception ratio, and will look to gain even more next week versus the Jaguars.

Pyro's take: A nice match-up that Andrew Luck exploited for four touchdowns. Even if Rivers doesn't reach that mark, he should have himself a nice game, and should be a starter in all formats.

09/23/14, 09:27 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde

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

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

Stevie needs to work on chemistry with Kap

From OC Greg Roman's press conference:

I know you made some comments the other day about WR Brandon Lloyd. What about WR Stevie Johnson? Have you seen enough from him to really know how he can fit into your offense?

"Yeah, I think we definitely understand how he can fit in. I really believe [CSN Bay Area reporter] Matt [Maiocco] that we just need to keep working to develop the level of chemistry that we want. And that's an ongoing process. That's not something that'll never stop. Hopefully it peaks the last day of the season. That's something we have to improve upon every day. That's really everything, every player and the unit as a whole. So, I think, really happy to have Stevie and I think he'll bring a lot to the table. Have a good feel for his skillset. I love his energy out there and just us as a unit need to continue to work every day to develop that chemistry."

Pyro's take: This is not the ringing endorsement that things are going well for Stevie in San Francisco. The 49ers are not a team that throws the ball a lot, and with Crabtree, Boldin and Davis being the main targets, that does not leave a lot for Johnson. Add to that Brandon Lloyd has looked much better, Stevie is not a viable fantasy option at this time.

08/21/14, 05:32 PM CDT by Houdini

The three-headed monster

In an interview with Rick Henne for, 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

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

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

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


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