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Los Angeles Chargers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

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Speaking on the Move the Sticks Podcast, NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks said he believes rookie RB Isaiah Spiller is a “true #1” type of talent. “I would not be surprised to see him emerge as a star-quality player for the Chargers,” Brooks added. The long-time analyst pointed out Spiller’s size and pass-catching ability. (The 217-pounder caught 74 balls across 3 college seasons.) He’s the clear favorite for #2 duties entering the summer, but note that Austin Ekeler’s under contract for 2 more seasons.

Per Gilbert Manzano of the Los Angeles Daily News, Bolts WR Josh Palmer has “proved” he’s “destined to be a top playmaker for [Justin] Herbert in 2022.” We’d call that phrasing a bit aggressive. Still, Palmer came out of the draft as a winner, as L.A. opted against adding a WR. Following a 33-353-4 line as a rookie, the 22-year-old is an enticing late-round flier in deep formats.

The Chargers added Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He surprisingly ends up as the 9th RB off the board – likely because of his disappointing Combine. The 6’0, 217-pounder ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash and also bombed the vertical and broad jumps. Spiller led the Aggies backfield in all 3 years on campus, though, racking up 2,993 rushing yards, 25 rushing TDs and 74 catches. You can see Spiller’s underwhelming speed on tape, but he’s a smart back with good vision and contact balance. Spiller has a chance to immediately win the ‘big-back’ role in Los Angeles behind Austin Ekeler. Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree are underwhelming competitors.

Chargers TE Donald Parham has signed his exclusive-rights tender, meaning he'll be back with the team for the coming season. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that Parham is "healthy and expected to compete for the starting tight end job." Parham's 2021 season ended with the scary concussion against the Chiefs on Dec. 16. We'll be watching to see what role he's expected to fill this season, but it's tough to imagine he truly has a shot at the top job after the Chargers guaranteed $8 million of TE Gerald Everett's 2-year deal.

The Chargers signed TE Gerald Everett to a reported 2-year, $12 million deal. That contract makes him the favorite for starting duties in a top-notch passing game. Everett set career highs across the board in Seattle last season with 48 catches, 478 yards and 4 TDs in 15 games, finishing 20th among TEs in PPR points per game. That was 1 spot ahead of Jared Cook, who was the Chargers' lead TE last year. Everett might not reach TE1 territory in 2022 but should bring exciting weekly upside.

Former Rams DT Sebastian Joseph-Day is expected to sign a 3-year, $24 million deal ($15 million guaranteed) with the Chargers, according to Chris Carlin of ESPN New York. Joseph-Day lost 10 games to a chest injury that required surgery last season but otherwise played every game for the Rams over the past 2 years. He'll help rebuild a Chargers front that the team clearly believed needed attention after 2021. Joseph-Day delivered nice tackle production in 2021 before his injury but hasn't otherwise been a special IDP contributor. Don't expect to see him high in our 2022 IDP rankings.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that former Giants DT Austin Johnson is expected to sign with the Chargers. Johnson began his career a stronger run defender than pass rusher, but his Pro Football Focus grades point to that flipping in a breakthrough 2021 campaign. Johnson still doesn't look like a special performer, but he joins a Chargers front that struggled in 2021 -- especially against the run. Don't expect Johnson to be a high-impact IDP producer, but he cracked the top 30 last year in his 1st shot as a full-time player.

The Chargers have agreed to a 5-year, $82.5 million deal with CB J.C. Jackson, with $40 million of that guaranteed in the 1st 2 years, according to multiple reports. Arguably the top corner on the market, Jackson joins a Chargers defense that had already acquired EDGE Khalil Mack from the Bears this month. Jackson has grabbed 17 INTs over the past 2 seasons and 25 in his 4 years since arriving as an undrafted free agent. Both numbers lead the league over their respective spans.

The Bears have agreed to send EDGE Khalil Mack to the Chargers for 2nd- and 6th-round picks in the 2023 draft. Mack has 3 years left on the deal he signed with Chicago, which would run through his age-33 season. Mack missed 10 games last season with a foot injury that required surgery. He'll need to pass a physical for this trade to go through, so there should be no concern for the issue if it happens. The trade will reunite Mack with Chargers HC Brandon Staley, who served as LBs coach in Chicago before taking the DC post with the Rams in 2020. It will also position him opposite Joey Bosa in what will be 1 of the NFL's toughest pass rushes. Expect the Chargers' D to land high in our 2022 fantasy football rankings. Mack -- after posting 6 sacks in just 7 games last season -- should remain a good option in sack/pressure-friendly IDP leagues. As for Chicago, Trevis Gipson looks like the top incumbent candidate to replace Mack. Gipson got 9 starts in his 2nd season -- with Mack out -- and tallied 7 sacks.

According to multiple reports, WR Mike Williams is on the verge of signing a 3-year, $60 million deal with the Chargers that will include $40 million in guarantees. This news comes ahead of today's 4 p.m. ET deadline for team's to apply franchise tags. Williams stays with an ascending QB in a strong offense and should remain a high-ceiling fantasy wideout.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Chargers are expected to use the franchise tag on WR Mike Williams. The deadline for teams to do so is 4 p.m. today, so we'll know Williams' status soon. We'd guess the 2 sides are working toward a longer-term deal, but the Chargers rank among league leaders in projected 2022 salary-cap space. So they have some flexibility here. For fantasy football draft purposes, expect Williams to remain a Charger.

The Patriots are releasing LB Kyle Van Noy, according to multiple reports. It marks the 2nd straight year that Van Noy has been dumped in the middle of a multi-year contract. The Dolphins cut him last offseason. Van Noy will turn 31 later this month. He remains productive enough to get another shot elsewhere. Just don't expect Van Noy to become more than a sporadic fantasy producer.

Seahawks beat writer Adam Jude of the Seattle Times writes that the team’s TE situation might be in for a “significant overhaul.” The top 2 targets, Gerald Everett and Will Dissly, are slated for unrestricted free agency. Everett just finished a middling 20th in PPR points per game among TEs. And Jude wonders if Seattle — thin at several spots — could better spend the money elsewhere. Currently, the Seahawks only have 2 top-75 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Chargers K Dustin Hopkins was activated from the COVID list and will be available for Sunday's game vs. the Broncos.

Chargers S Derwin James carries no injury designation into Sunday's game against the Broncos and is expected to return to the starting lineup. James remained limited in practice this week, but the lack of a game status suggests we should expect full playing time. We'd roll with James in IDP lineups in most cases, chasing the upside over worrying about lingering risk with his hamstring issue.

Chargers WR Mike Williams has been activated from the COVID list, putting him on track to return for Sunday's game vs. the Broncos. Williams has scored as a WR3 since a hot start to the season and carries some extra risk this week in his first game back from COVID.

Chargers HC Brandon Staley said Wednesday that he's "hopeful" S Derwin James can play Sunday against the Broncos, according to Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. James did manage a limited practice Wednesday, something he didn't do until Friday last week. We'll watch for more on James' status heading into Sunday.

Chargers WR Jalen Guyton has been activated from the COVID list. He'll be back for Sunday's game vs. the Broncos. Guyton will only be a potential fantasy play if WR Mike Williams remains on the COVID list for that one.

Chargers K Dustin Hopkins has been placed on the COVID list. He joins K Tristan Vizcaino there, so we'll see what the Chargers do at kicker this week.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler has been activated from the COVID list. We'll keep an eye on the ankle injury that limited him back in Week 15, but the week off should have him healthier for Sunday's game vs. the Broncos.

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