Breaking Down the San Diego Chargers Passing Game

Chargers Passing Game Break Down 2012

A lot has changed in San Diego for the 2012 season. Vincent Jackson, who has been the number one wide receiver for the Chargers for the last few years, is gone. He was a big target as well as a nice deep threat for Phillip Rivers. Mike Tolbert is also no longer with the team. He was fourth on the club in receptions as a backup to Ryan Mathews. Needless to say these two guys could be missed in this pass-happy offense. The big question is who will take their place, and how will the targets be distributed in 2012?

Robert Meachem will be taking on Vincent Jackson’s role for the Chargers this year. Much like Jackson, he is a deep threat that will be used to stretch the field. They paid him to come in and be the number one wide receiver, but don’t expect any more targets than what Jackson had the last few years.

Next is Malcom Floyd. He has always been viewed as the number two wide receiver in San Diego, but that may change this year. He has a great rapport with Philip Rivers and has been one of the more steady guys for the Chargers in the passing game. With all the new faces there this year, look for Floyd to be the familiar face that Rivers can count on, which should increase his targets slightly.

Two other receivers that will be in the mix are Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal, but don’t look for them get a ton of targets unless there are injuries. Royal comes to the Chargers from the division-rival Denver Broncos. He’ll spend some time in three and four receiver sets and is a very good kick returner. Brown came along strong at the tail-end of 2011 and should be the primary third receiver. He’s got some sleeper potential should injuries pave the way for extended playing time.The most likely candidate to continue to lead San Diego in receptions, targets and touchdowns is tight end Antonio Gates. He has been the biggest and best of Rivers’s targets over the years. Gates has had a rough couple of seasons because of injuries and missed games, but has still managed to lead the team in receptions and will probably get the most targets of anyone on the team this year.In Norv Turner‘s offense, the running backs will always play a key role, even in the passing game. Before his recent injury, Ryan Mathewswas primed to be the main benefactor of Mike Tolbert’s departure. Since both Tolbert and Mathews played a significant role as pass-catchers, a healthy Mathews is expected to see a huge increase in targets and receptions. Only time will tell if he can be ready by the September 10th opener, or if he can manage to avoid any other injuries.With Mathews’s less than stellar track-record for staying healthy, other running backs have the potential to put up good fantasy statistics in the prolific Chargers offense. Veteran Ronnie Brown in currently the number two running back and we will get a chance to see how he fits into the San Diego offense while Mathews heals over the next month.

Another runner to consider is fullback Le’Ron McClain. McClain left Baltimore in order to receive more carries, and he’s taylor-made to fill the role that Mike Tolbert has succeeded in for the last two years. McClain will do plenty of blocking as a fullback, but he’s also an excellent short-yardage runner and good receiver out of the backfield. Don’t sleep on LeRon McClain as a late-round fantasy sleeper as a receiver and red-zone option- a role in thrived at in 2008 with the Ravens.

 

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Zhan Mourning

Writer for Gridiron Experts. Die hard Buffalo Bills fan. I play in as many fantasy football leagues as time permits. I am also an avid collector of comics, vintage toys and vinyl.