Los Angeles Chargers Late August Scouting Report
While it’s "only preseason", the "Architect of Failure", Chargers owner Dean Spanos, appears to have gotten his team off to a not-so-fine Los Angeles debut, losing to the Seattle Seahawks by the embarrassing score of 48-17. Obviously, it’s important to generate buzz and enthusiasm when moving to a new city, and this was certainly not the way to do it. As a longtime season ticket holder here in San Diego, I was, of course, pretty disgusted by the move. So while I support the individual players, I must admit to a certain enjoyment of Mr. Spanos’ lack of success out of the gate. Now the bad news is that it was a horrific blowout loss. The good news is that the first team offense and defense was solid in very limited playing time. Let’s look at the current state of the team, by position:
QB: San Diego QB Phillip Rivers didn’t play much, but he was very sharp on his first and only drive, hitting on 5/6 passes for 56 yards, 1 TD and no INTs. Rivers is surrounded by a very talented receiving corps and should be primed for another fine year. Consider Rivers a fantasy QB1, or a very solid QB2 in small leagues.
RB: Melvin Gordon carried 6 times for 14 yards and no TDs. RB Branden Oliver carried 3 times for 7 yards and caught a pass for 14 yards. Running back-wise, there was really nothing much to see here. Your obvious starter is Gordon with Oliver your likely 3rd down scat back. Gordon is the player to target, although I wouldn’t be shocked to see a bit of a regression in terms of TDs. We’ll see.
WR: While the Chargers do indeed have many fine receivers, WR Travis Benjamin may be the biggest sleeper. Word is that he’s healthy and had an outstanding camp. He certainly looked healthy, burning the Seahawks secondary on a beautifully executed 74 yard bomb and finishing the day with 2 receptions for 89 yards and a TD. Other than that, no one expected to make a fantasy impact did much else worth discussing. Caution play: Don’t chase WR Mike Williams, who will begin the season on the PUP and is a rookie who will be facing a lot of veteran competition for looks once healthy.
TE: Don’t write off future Hall of Fame TE Antonio Gates jest yet. Gates only had 2 catches for 10 yards, but 1 was for a TD. I would expect Gates to get a lot of looks this year, most of them of the shorter variety. TE Hunter Henry caught 1 for 17 yards, but looked fast on the field.
PK: Chargers PK Josh Lambo kicked a sweet 53 yard FG and 1 extra points. While there is a competition at the position, I’m guessing it’s Lambo’s spot to lose. It was interesting to watch most of the Los Angeles Chargers fans sitting emotionless after Lambo’s long kick. In San Diego everyone would have been standing and cheering. See what happens when you abandon your 55 year fanbase, Dean?
DEF: The starting Chargers defense wasn’t bad, but their backups were horrendous. Nothing much positive to discuss so far. One bit of bad news; underrated LB Denzel Perryman injured his ankle, may need surgery, and is expected to miss at least 4 weeks, as of this writing.
The Definitive Fantasy Information Service