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Sleeper Spotlight: San Diego Chargers

As part of the premium content package, we’re not only releasing exclusive team capsules (complete with commentary), but also focusing on one sleeper from all 32 teams in the NFL.

These sleepers all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but all merit a little more talking about than we had room for in the dynasty capsules for each team. Some of these players are deep dynasty sleepers who could merit a spot on your bench in a deep league, while others are players who may contribute a little faster than the deep prospects, but deserve more attention than they may be getting. By definition, a sleeper could mean something a little different to everyone, but we’re simply doing the best job we can to unearth one player from each team who fits the category in some way, shape or form.

We’ll just never insult you with a comprehensive list of “sleepers” that includes such names as Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Mathews or even someone like Stevan Ridley. You’re all too good for that.

While many of these players will undoubtedly fizzle, we figure there’s value in looking more closely at these deeper prospects and players. We invite you to keep an open mind and even re-assess your value on those who may be rostered in your league. You may even consider adding a few of these deeper prospects we focus on this Summer who are free agents in your league – after all, some are destined to pan out, too.

Eddie Royal, WR SD
Age: 26 (5/21/1986) 

In 2008, Royal burst on to the fantasy scene by catching 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie for the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, his next three years produced a total of 115 catches, 1,127 yards and four touchdowns combined in 42 games. Much of his lack of production can be attributed to injuries, but there’s no doubt he was lost in the shuffle in Denver’s rebuilt receiving corps. In fact, he completely dropped off the map in most leagues.

Royal gets a second lease on life with the Chargers this year. He should be able to man the slot and return punts for San Diego this season, though he’ll need to obviously stay healthy – unfortunately, he’s already nursing a groin injury that raises some questions about his ability to do that. While all the talk that surrounds the Chargers receiving corps typically revolves around the newly signed Robert Meachem, Royal is a sneaky bet for production as well.

There’s little doubt that Royal has already made a positive impression on the coaching staff. In fact, Norv Turner was recently quoted as saying Royal could be compared to Charlie Joiner and Henry Ellard. While that type of praise is completely ridiculous, it’s worth noting nonetheless.

The Chargers receiving corps is full of question marks. Meachem has never been the most consistent receiver and only time will tell if he can truly ascend to true WR1 status. Malcom Floyd has been effective, but never dominant. Vincent Brown is still unproven, though he doesn’t lack potential. Point is, San Diego has a void to fill with Vincent Jackson gone and it’s likely that more than one receiver ends up filling it.

Royal is very underrated in dynasty leagues since his last great season was four years ago. However, the situation he finds himself in now is very desirable. With the question marks surround Ryan Mathews and his ability to stay healthy, it’s apparent the Chargers are going to be relying on the passing game quite a bit. With Philip Rivers at the helm, Royal has a puncher’s chance to become relevant again. After all, it’s really going to be up to Royal and Antonio Gates to keep defenses honest and help to allow Meachem to get over the top.

If you’re looking for a potential gem, especially in a PPR league, Royal is a player to track all preseason.

Ken Kelly
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Jimmy Graham Cracker
9 years ago

I prefer Vincent Brown by quite a wide margin.

rob estrada
9 years ago

I’m all-in on Vincent Brown as well. Watched him play in collegeknows how to ge
t open, sure handed……the kids legit.

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