Dynasty League Football


Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the regular season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.

Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”

The San Diego Los Angeles Chargers of Inglewood California United States North America Northern Hemisphere Earth Milky Way (SDLACICUSNANHEMW) had a rough season. Their offensive line lost about 16,000 games to injury, Melvin Gordon put up stats Trent Richardson would be embarrassed by, their defense was a pit of sewage and they lost Keenan Allen to a lacerated kidney. Other than that, things went great.

Despite the Chargers’ best efforts, there are a number of very relevant dynasty players moving to LA with the team. Donald Brown isn’t one of them, but I’ll talk about him too. Enjoy!


Philip Rivers

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Rivers has consistently been a very good, probably underrated, fantasy quarterback throughout his 12 year career. 2015 bore that out once again with a QB1 showing comprised of 4793 yards, 29 TD, 17 INTs, and a solid 17.8 fantasy PPG. That Rivers did this without the benefit of Allen for half the season and with zero support from the run game is rather remarkable.

At 34-years-old, Rivers isn’t a sexy guy to own in dynasty. With quarterbacks, I’m cool taking the old guy. As such, I have him as my QB11. His year-to-year consistency, even in seasons where he has nobody to throw to, is hard to match. If I can get three more productive years out of Frowny Phil, I’d be more than happy.

Running BackGordon

Melvin Gordon

When San Diego took a running back in the top half of the first round, I can promise you they didn’t expect the season they got. Gordon topped 4.0 YPC only five times on his way to a season average of 3.5. There were five games where the rookie didn’t even reach 2.9. Add in six fumbles, zero touchdowns and a season ending knee injury in week 15, and you have all the makings of a rookie year letdown.

One bright spot for the young’un was in the pass game, where he caught 33 balls. Considering pass protection was a huge concern coming into the season, most were surprised at how much he was used in this capacity. On caveat: with a tally of 192 receiving yards, Gordon’s 5.82 YPR ranked 30th out of the 32 running backs who caught 25 or more balls.

The film backs up the stats, as Gordon was routinely blown up before he got to even his second step. When holes did finally appear, he seemed apprehensive at best, and T-Rich-esque at worst. Whether this is because Gordon is bad or because he was shell-shocked is up for debate. What isn’t debatable is that 2015 wasn’t what it could have been for the former Wisconsin star.

My (very abbreviated) opinion on Gordon is this: Asking a rookie who comes from a system where the holes are vast and plentiful to adjust to the speed of the NFL while also figuring out how to deal with a historically poor run blocking line is probably a bit unfair. With that in mind, I’ve been looking to acquire him from bummed owners on the cheap.

Danny Woodhead

Woodhead was the third highest scoring running back in fantasy.


Sandwiched in between RB2 Adrian Peterson and RB4 Doug Martin, the wee little tyke managed to score nine touchdowns across 178 touches. The scores were sweet, but it was the 81 receptions that made Woodhead one of the most reliable week-to-week bets of the season. At 9.33 YPR, he bested Gordon by some 3.51, a whopping 60% difference.

Considering his season closely resembled his 2013 campaign, we shouldn’t be surprised by the explosion of output. Yet with an ADP jump from RB56 to RB39 between August and now as evidence, we clearly were. Even with that increase in value, I can’t help but feel we are still underestimating the scraggly coifed Woodhead. I have him all the way up at RB30 with the expectation he finishes 2016 as borderline RB1.

Donald Brown

With only 72 total touches, Brown found himself unable to secure any sort of real role behind the aforementioned backs for most of the season. That changed when Gordon went down late, with the third stringer being called on to start the final two games of the season. Amassing 40 touches in that span, Brown struggled his way to 2.8 YPC, bringing his season number down to 3.9.

Carrying a $3.5 million cap number on a totally unguaranteed contract, it would be an upset if Brown sticks for 2016. It may also be at least a minor upset if he finds his way back into the league as anything more than a camp body.

Branden Oliver

Not too dissimilar from Woodhead in terms of both stature and skill set, Oliver struggled to make an impact in his second NFL season. After his pleasant surprise 2014, 220 yards, zero touchdowns and 44 total touches is a bit of a downer.

As long as Woodhead is there, Oliver will have a difficult time getting on the field. A restricted free agent after the upcoming season, it isn’t out of the question that he steps in for the unrestricted Woodhead in 2017. But even with that possibility, it’s hard to recommend you to find a spot for him on your roster.

Keenan_Allen2Wide Receiver

Keenan Allen

While Allen’s 2015 deployment mirrored 2014, the added volume (11.1 targets per game versus 8.6) and efficiency (75.3% catch rate versus 63.6%) made for a spectacular first half. Through the eight games he played in this year, Allen was on a tear, posting a 16 game pace of 134/1450/8. Had he finished there, we’d be talking about the WR5 on the season. Unfortunately, a Week eight kidney injury put him in the hospital and his owners in the shower for a nice long cry.

Allen has been one of my pet players since he came into the league, so I find it a bit hard to be objective where he is concerned. With that in mind, I couldn’t be more excited for 2016. The third-year leap he made is reason enough for optimism, but with Malcom Floyd gone, I like Allen’s odds of improving on this season’s 10.8 YPR and finishing as a WR1.

Steve Johnson

Over the preceding two seasons, the most accurate word you could use to describe Johnson would be “disappointing.” After missing six games and dashing the hopes of the many who touted him as a 2015 sleeper, it is a fitting moniker yet again.

Giving Johnson the same 16 game pace treatment we did Allen shows that something of the 2010-2012 Stevie still exists. Sure, 80/884/5.3 isn’t exactly noteworthy, but considering he was severely hobbled by groin and hamstring injuries in many of the games in which he did play, it isn’t altogether awful. As it happened, this was perhaps the second worst year of Johnson’s career, topped only by a dismal 2014 in San Francisco. Hopefully this isn’t a trend.

Johnson should be back for 2016, as his cap number is fairly reasonable and the Chargers lack depth at the position. Assuming Allen is healthy and doing some of the things Floyd used to, Johnson could be a sneaky bet to better the pace he set in 2015.

Malcom Floyd

Floyd’s season was a fitting sendoff, as he did pretty much what he’s always done, catch deep balls and not much else. With a ghastly 43% catch rate (30 receptions on 69 targets), 561 yards, 18.7 YPR and three touchdowns, it wasn’t the lanky receiver’s best season. But at 34-years-old, nobody was expecting it to be either.

Dontrelle Inman

Coming off a promising final two games of 2014, Inman solidified his standing on the depth chart with a solid 35/486/1 season over 12 games. An exclusive rights free agent, I would imagine he will be back with the Chargers to compete for a role behind Allen and Johnson. Whether that makes him worthy of a roster spot in most dynasty leagues is questionable at best.

Tight End

Antonio Gates

Studs at the tight end position seem to age better than most. Gates is no exception. While 2015 didn’t provide his best ever stat line (56/630/5), the 35-year-old still finished as the TE12. Of course, this isn’t the entire story, as Gates played in only 11 games due to a four game suspension and a spate of lower body injuries. Yet despite playing hurt for most of the second half, the ageless wonder nearly matched his 2014 campaign with 13.5 PPG, which is his second best season since 2012.

It sounds very much like Gates will play next year. If he does, I can’t imagine that happening anywhere other than San Di…erhm, Los Angles. I still have him ranked inside my top-15 under the guise he is a legit TE1 as long as he chooses to lace ‘em up.

Ladarius Green

Green’s season should be looked as two different entities. The first, pre-Gates, was fantastic. The second, post-Gates, not so much.

When stepping in for the future Hall-of-Famer during three of the season’s first four games, Green had a per-game output of 14.5 fantasy points. Worked out over an entire season, that is top-five production. Unfortunately for the youngster, things we less exciting the rest of the season.

Injuries and being stuck behind Gates hampered Green from October on. Compared to the first three games where he posted an average of 4.7/58/.67, the last 10 saw his numbers more than cut in half (2.3/26/.2).

It bears mentioning Green missed week three due to his second concussion of the season and third since week 14 of 2014. By now we are all aware that the more of these things you have, the easier they are to get. In today’s smarter, better NFL, there are few things that scare me more than a history of head trauma.

Despite the lack of consistent production and copious number of concussions, the unrestricted free agent figures to be a fairly hot commodity. As with other players at the position, Green’s future value will be somewhat tied to the scheme he ends up in. Should the 25-year-old find himself on a tight end needy roster like Atlanta, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, or Minnesota, we could have ourselves the next big thing.


Dynasty Capsule: San Diego Chargers
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Lance McGannon
7 years ago

Nice article Jeff. I love this whole series…

Any thoughts on young SD WR Tyrell Williams? WR depth behind Keenan Allen is wide open and I’ve read that Williams has the metrics to succeed in the NFL.

Jeff Miller
Reply to  Lance McGannon
7 years ago

Hey, guys. Leaving Williams out was an intentional thing. There are a couple reasons:

1. The focus on this series is to touch on the year that was. While a guy like Floyd has literally zero dynasty value, he was a major part of the 2015 Bolts, so he made the cut. William’s wasn’t, and that is one reason he didn’t.

2. I honestly didn’t think he was worth mentioning. That was probably a mistake on my part. Just because I personally don’t see him as worth a roster spot even in deep leagues, doesn’t mean he isn’t germane to the subject.

To make it up to you, I just spent some time watching every pass play from Week 17 versus the Broncos. Here are my thoughts:

-Williams played 44 snaps (according to Football Outsiders). I didn’t see him on the field for a pass play until late in the first quarter or early in the second, but he nearly every three WR snap thereafter. The only time he didn’t was for 7-8 plays after a ball went through his hands and into those of a waiting Denver DB (more on this below).
-His 80 yard TD was on badly blown coverage. There was nobody within 10+ yards of him by the time he was 20 yards downfield. Owen Daniels woulda gone for 80 in that spot.
-Williams ran the 9 almost exclusively. As in, at least 85-90% of his routes (not including screen plays, designed quick slants to a different player, etc) were him running straight down the field.
-In situations he didn’t run the 9, Williams routinely rounded off his routes.
-I’ve not really seen this before, but he weirdly runs to contact mid-route. As in, he runs straight through the defender, or at least he tries to. Once a DB engages him, he is 100% out of the play. Williams showed no ability to get away from contact at any point on any play.
-Late in the 4th, Rivers threw a high pass to Williams over the middle. It wasn’t an easy catch, but it went right through his hands and to the defender.

Basically, Williams is super tall and super fast and showed good explosion at his pro day, but he is not a good football player. His route running is rudimentary at best and outright awful at worst. There are fundamental mistakes, an extremely limited route tree, and no subtlety to anything he does. With his 24th birthday coming in three weeks, I have little faith Williams will develop into anything more than a situational deep threat, if even that.

Sorry for not adding this in before, but better late than never. 🙂

mike h
Reply to  Jeff Miller
7 years ago

thanks, jeff. great insight and info.

7 years ago

I was gonna ask the same question…..Williams has high end metrics. His film was off the charts but be was a man amongst boys in college.

mike h
7 years ago

Tyrell Williams not mentioned, but a retiring floyd is?

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