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 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.”
PHILIP RIVERS (JAN ADP: 161, QB18)
He is a forever underrated QB1 in fantasy. Yes, he’s getting up there in age (37) and will be entering his 16th season in 2019 but you won’t find yourself a cheaper QB1 late in drafts than Rivers. If he’s your QB1 in dynasty leagues, there should be some level of concern with all the young players making noise in the league, but in superflex leagues, he’s a bargain.
Rivers finished 2018 as the QB12 and averaged close to 23 points per game. He threw for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. I imagine he has a few more seasons like this as long as the Chargers stay in contention and continue to put weapons around him. Rivers is the perfect late-round QB, so if you’re a contending team, he should be a target for you – especially in superflex leagues.
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MELVIN GORDON (JAN ADP: 9.50, RB6)
Gordon is an elite back but like many others, has injury concerns. He battled injuries towards the end of 2018 (missed four games) but still managed to finish at RB7. His target share and touchdowns help ease the injury frustrations so owners already know what they’re getting with Gordon.
He is 25 years old and well into his prime while entering a contract year in 2019. And we all know how players do in contract years, right? In terms of the bigger picture, we hope he stays a Charger for the long haul and they come up with an extension this off-season. Although Gordon just has one 1,000 yard rushing year so far, his contribution in the passing game is a boost. Over the last two seasons, he’s averaged 54 receptions and 483 yards.
The RB landscape in the NFL will definitely change within the next few years, so knowing you can get elite production out of Gordon, continue to ride the train while in contention in your leagues.
AUSTIN EKELER (JAN ADP: 105, RB40)
With a year left on his contract, Ekeler remains Gordon’s top backup and a great handcuff. Ekeler impressively finished 2018 as the RB23 in PPR leagues and did a decent job filling in for Gordon when he went down.
His main contribution is in the passing game or as the change-of-pace RB. He contributed 39 receptions, 404 yards, and three TDs. He averages about 11 touches a game and if his arrow is continuing to point up, he should outperform his current ADP once again in 2019. If you’re a Gordon owner, maybe make room to stash Ekeler if you’re able to.
JUSTIN JACKSON (JAN ADP: 160, RB70)
Jackson contributed last season with the Chargers being banged up at the position. His best game came against the Chiefs where he ran for 58 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. He also contributed in the passing game with three receptions for 27 yards.
There’s a small upside for the price you’d have to pay to get Jackson. Those in deeper leagues may afford to have him on the roster until we see what the Chargers do this off-season.
KEENAN ALLEN (JAN ADP: 21, WR:8)
Allen has put the injuries aside (missed one game in the last two seasons) and is showing why he’s an elite wideout or at least deserved to be mentioned among them. He quietly put together a 97-catch, 1,196-yard and 6-TD season in 2018, finishing at WR12.
Allen is right in his prime and as long as he remains Rivers’ top target, we should be getting a WR1 for years. He lines up in the slot as much as he does outside and is one of the better run blocking WRs as well. I feel many of us have Allen as a bargain WR2 but even if you build your roster around RBs, you’ll be just fine with him as your WR1. He gives you a solid floor to build around and would help you go after high-upside WRs later.
MIKE WILLIAMS (JAN ADP: 68, WR31)
Williams had himself a breakout year in 2018 after an injury-riddled, disappointing rookie year. He had 43 receptions, 664 yards and ten TDs on 66 targets. In PPR leagues, he finished as the WR33. He was hit or miss in weekly lineups, putting up double-digit points in eight of 16 regular season games. However, he did have three two-TD games under his belt and saw the bulk of his targets from weeks14 to the playoffs, receiving a total of 40 targets in six games and accomplishing his season high of 81 yards receiving twice.
Williams is on the rise. He may not rack up 100-yard games in bunches but should continue to be a TD target in the passing game. He saw a career-high 11 targets against the Patriots in the divisional matchup and if that’s a little sign of things to come, we could be in for an even bigger year in 2019. With his ADP at WR31, I feel confident he can outperform that and make his way into the top 20 in 2019. His arrow is pointing up.
TYRELL WILLIAMS (JAN ADP: 113, WR72)
Williams is an upcoming free agent and there’s a good chance he won’t be in a Charger uniform in 2019 so keep an eye on where he lands. He’s grown into a solid WR and although he had his breakout in 2016, he can definitely land in a situation that improves his numbers from 2018, where he saw just 64 targets. This deep threat WR is on the buy list this off-season. He won’t cost you much and if he lands in a perfect situation, then you have yourself a weekly starter.
TRAVIS BENJAMIN (JAN ADP: 238)
The Chargers speedster WR who has one year left on his contract should be left on waivers. He doesn’t garner enough targets to be a viable option in fantasy and only saw 24 targets in 2018. There’s a chance the Chargers part ways with Benjamin this off-season if one of their goals is to re-sign Tyrell Williams.
HUNTER HENRY (JAN ADP: 85, TE7)
It was a lost season for Henry in 2018 as he tore his ACL early in the off-season last year (May). Henry should be all systems go this off-season and I don’t mind his ADP at all, he has the upside to be a top-ten TE.
The Chargers and Rivers will be glad to have Henry back next season. He is one more weapon for Rivers and one more red zone problem for defenses to worry about. I would be targeting Henry. He may not get the receptions Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce get but he has a good chance to hit double-digit TDs at least.
ANTONIO GATES (JAN ADP: 220, TE46)
If 2018 was your last season in the NFL and as a Charger, I just want to say thank you, Antonio Gates. You were a once-elite TE who always seemed to be a the man the defense forgot to cover and had a connection with Philip Rivers like no other. You had a heck of a career.
Oh yeah, you can probably leave Gates on your waivers.