A popular fantasy sleeper for the 2012 NFL season, Vincent Brown, may have had his season end before it even started as Brown broke his ankle in last week’s preseason game. The Chargers are optimistic that he can play this season and will not put him on IR, but an 8 week prognosis (which would have him return around week 5 or 6) seems awfully optimistic for such a major injury. If he’s still unable to go by midseason, the Chargers may just cut their losses and put him on IR to free up the roster spot.
This leaves the Chargers with Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem, and Eddie Royal at wide receiver. Floyd, now heading into his age 31 season, has missed 9 games in the last 2 seasons and in the 23 games he has played, he’s been very inconsistent, catching 3 or fewer passes in 14 of them. He’s totaled 80 catches for 1573 yards and 11 touchdowns in the last 2 seasons, but he’s failed to establish himself as a #1 receiver in the past, when given the opportunity.
Meachem, meanwhile, has struggled in the preseason and training camp and did not deserve the 4 year, 25.9 million dollar deal he was given this offseason. The 2007 1st round pick never exceeded 45 catches in a season, despite having Drew Brees throwing him the football. It’s possible the Saints were underutilizing and or incorrectly utilizing him, but it’s really not like the Saints to do something like that.
Royal, meanwhile, also has an injury history and hasn’t done anything of note since 2008, his rookie year. In the last 3 seasons, he’s caught just 115 passes for 1127 yards and 4 touchdowns and is currently sidelined with a groin injury. Last year, he missed 4 games and was limited in countless others with injuries and managed to catch just 19 passes for 155 yards and a score. Brown, a 2011 3rd round pick, who was pushing Meachem for a starting job and Royal for the slot job, will definitely be missed.
As for Philip Rivers, he should be fine. Elite quarterbacks find a way to succeed in spite of poor supporting casts. Rivers threw for 4710 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2010 despite guys like Patrick Crayton, Legedu Naanee, Seyi Ajirotutu, Craig Davis, and Randy McMichael all seeing significant action in place of Floyd, Vincent Jackson, and Antonio Gates. Gates is healthier than he’s been in 2 years and should have one last great season in him and should lead the team in receiving.
As for Rivers’ down year in 2011, I’m not too worried. He was much better in the 2nd half, with 16 touchdowns to 6 interception, as opposed to 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions in the 1st half of the season, and his interception total of 20 should prove to be a fluke. Eli Manning threw 25 interceptions in 2010. He wasn’t too bad in 2011 from what I hear.
If you’re interested in doing a fantasy football league with me, here’s the link (no draft date set yet, currently standard, with the option to become PPR with group vote). http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/football/commissioner/Registration/Private.aspx?league=55086&password=FanSpot2