Victims of the NFL playoff structure, the Chargers landed a 5 seed in 2018 despite tying for the best record in the AFC. Over the offseason they added to an already impressive array of defensive talent, and with Hunter Henry back to fill the hole left by Tyrell Williams' departure, the offense shouldn't miss a beat.
Record: 12 - 4 (3rd in NFL)
PPG: 26.8 (6)
YPG: 372.6 (11)
Pass YPG: 255.6 (10)
Rush YPG: 117.1 (15)
PAPG: 32 (24)
RAPG: 24.9 (19)
2018 Fantasy finishes
QB: Philip Rivers - QB10
RB: Melvin Gordon - RB8; Austin Ekeler - RB25; Justin Jackson - RB73
WR: Keenan Allen - WR12; Mike Williams - WR31; Tyrell Williams* - WR48
TE: Antonio Gates* - TE30; Virgil Green - TE44
*No longer with team
Number to know: 27.9%
The percentage of the Chargers' targets that went to running backs in 2018, the second highest in the league. It will be interesting to see if that carries over to 2019 or if Hunter Henry and Mike Williams cut into the number.
"Right now we expect him to be ready to go, and he looks good." - Anthony Lynn, on Hunter Henry
Head Coach: Anthony Lynn (3rd year)
Offensive Coordinator: Ken Whisenhunt (4th year)
Rankings and Projections
|Heath Cummings' projected offensive stats|
Will Hunter Henry be a hero or all hype?
"We barely saw Henry play in 2018 and he had just eight games with 70-plus yards in the two seasons prior. He has scored 12 times in 29 games and has been a better-than-average Fantasy tight end in terms of consistency (seven-plus non-PPR points in 55 percent of his starts). He'll be fine for your team so long as you don't reach, but competing for touchdowns with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams limits his upside." - Dave Richard
One sleeper, one breakout, and one bust
Sleeper: Philip Rivers
Oddly, it's probably Phillip Rivers again. Rivers doesn't crack my top 12 quarterbacks but in my projections he's less than a point per game behind top 10. The key will be whether the Chargers throw the ball more often than they did in 2019. If the volume goes up, Rivers will once again be a Draft Day steal.
Breakout: Hunter Henry
The Chargers have a pair of breakout candidates in Hunter Henry and Mike Williams. I'd prefer to bet on Henry, simply because the bar is so much lower for being a breakout tight end. Before 2018 the Chargers passing game was tight end heavy and there's a hope that returns with Henry healthy. He has top-four upside if he can stay healthy.
Bust: Mike Williams
Yes, Mike Williams is a breakout candidate, but it sure looks like people are going to draft him as if it already happened. The touchdown rate in 2018 was unsustainable and will likely be affected by Henry. With Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, and Henry, it may be tough for Williams to earn enough targets to be a true difference maker.