After hauling in just 3 receptions for 30 yards over his first two games, Chargers rookie WR Keenan Allen has gone off for 11 catches, 195 yards, and a TD in his last two. With Philip Rivers performing more like the Rivers from 2010 than 2012, Allen could develop a prominent role within a revamped offense. Since Eddie Royal’s blazing start, he hasn’t recorded more than 3 receptions or 42 yards in his last three games, which paves the way for Allen to get more targets.
A deep sleeper in fantasy drafts this year, Allen is a legitimate threat for back-end WR3 radars, as long as Rivers continues to prove his worth. Owned in just 1% of ESPN leagues and 7% of Yahoo! leagues, Allen is one of the best buys on the wire.
San Diego Chargers RBs had quite the average disparity in fantasy drafts. Ryan Mathews was most frequently drafted between rounds 5-6, whereas newcomer Danny Woodhead went in the late rounds, or undrafted altogether. After the first four weeks, the production doesn’t justify the draft positions. Woodhead has hauled in 22 receptions for 162 yards and 2 TDs, while adding 90 yards on the ground. Mathews has run for 226 yards and has totaled 66 receiving yards and a TD on 7 receptions. In Mike McCoy’s offense, it’s no secret that Woodhead has a legitimate role.
With Philip Rivers revamping his career through McCoy’s uptempo offense, Woodhead has been a direct beneficiary. Coming over from New England, Woodhead is no stranger to tempo. His aptitude to pick up the fast-paced offense makes it an easy decision to keep him on the field during hurry-up situations. As San Diego’s primary pass-catching back, Woodhead’s snaps aren’t likely to come down in McCoy’s pass-heavy scheme.
Alex Smith – One of the contentions for Dwayne Bowe to be regarded as an overrated Fantasy WR coming into this season was the presence of Alex Smith at the helm in Kansas City. During his time with the 49ers, Smith struggled with what Colin Kaepernick excelled at doing; making Michael Crabtree an elite WR. Many thought this would carry over to his involvement in the Chiefs aerial attack, alongside Bowe –I digress. Smith has been been highly effective, totaling 390 yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions through his first two starts with his new club. Smith’s immediate schedule suggests no signs of slowing down, as he has three plus matchups across the next four weeks. Owned across just 24% of Yahoo! leagues, Smith will face a lowly Eagles defense, a banged up Giants secondary, and a mistake-prone Raiders defense who just lost Tyvon Branch to a significant leg injury.
The Bottom Heist: Alex Smith, much like the next wire heist below, is a plug-and-play backup QB who can provide relief if your starting QB has a tough matchup (i.e. the Seahawks defense). Until he proves otherwise, Smith is worth a bench stash in standard 12+ team leagues.
Philip Rivers – Just three years ago, Rivers was in the mix of elite NFL QBs. Tallying the 2nd best QB rating behind only Tom Brady, Rivers finished 5th in TD passes, but recorded less INT’s than all of the QBs in front of him, except for Brady. With the broken record that was Norv Turner, spinning off its needle, it’s safe to say that Rivers is benefiting from a changing of the guard in San Diego. Through two games, Rivers has completed 65.8 % of his passes, amassing 614 yards and 7 touchdowns. Not too shabby for a player owned in just 48% of ESPN leagues, a mark that significantly increased after today’s waiver claim period.
The Bottom Heist: As Rivers proved this past Sunday vs. the Eagles, he can still sling it, especially vs. a highly susceptible defense. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Rivers could end up being a legitimate starting QB1 if your starter were to go down, or perform ineffectively for a stretch of time.