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Los Angeles Chargers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

The Athletic's Daniel Popper believes RB Joshua Kelley has "taken the lead" in the battle for the #2 RB job after the preseason opener. Kelley started that game, finishing with 3 carries for 16 yards and 3 catches for 28 yards. "Kelley looks like a really confident player," Popper writes. "He was decisive and explosive in the run game, hitting holes with a north-south mentality." RB Larry Rountree rotated in with the starters, while RB Isaiah Spiller didn't hit the field until the 2nd quarter. We're still expecting Spiller to eventually emerge as the #2 RB, but that might not happen before the start of the season.

Chargers RB Isaiah Spiller has been the only RB other than Austin Ekeler taking 1st-team reps, according to NFL Network's Taylor Bisciotti. That's a pretty good signal that he's the favorite to emerge as the Chargers' #2 RB. And it doesn't hurt that former #2 Justin Jackson signed with the Lions on Monday. Spiller looks like a solid handcuff-level pick.

Update: Bisciotti later tweeted that RBs Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree also got 1st-team reps in Monday's practice. "They’re splitting reps and it’s an open competition," Bisciotta tweeted. "RB2 is up for grabs." We still consider Spiller the favorite to win this job.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler doesn’t expect his role to change significantly in 2022. “As far as my load, yeah, maybe it could be altered a little bit but I don’t think it’ll go down. I think it’ll just look a little different, if anything.” OC Joe Lombardi is on the same page. “I’m not expecting any kind of dip in usage with him,” the long-time coach said. “But, like any running back, unless you’re 250 pounds, sometimes there’s a pitch count on those guys. (Ekeler) isn’t someone you want to lose halfway through the season because you overused him. Just being smart with how many times he’s getting hit every game is something that you have to keep any eye on.” Ekeler saw a career-high 206 carries in 16 games last season. Perhaps that’s scaled back a bit, but there’s no reason to alter 2022 expectations here.

Daniel Popper of The Athletic says the Chargers have an "open competition" for the 2nd RB spot among Isaiah Spiller, Larry Rountree and Joshua Kelley. "We're not going to know about these backs until they get tackled," HC Brandon Staley said Friday. Fantasy football drafters are treating Spiller as the clear #2 back. We're betting on the rookie seizing that role, too, but it's worth noting the team isn't handing it to him just yet.

The Athletic's Daniel Popper expects a "big jump" from Chargers WR Josh Palmer this season. He's coming off a 33-353-4 line as a rookie last year, with 3 of those 4 scores coming over the final 5 games. "On top of solid hands and sharp route-running, Palmer has an outstanding work ethic," Popper writes. "He is regularly the last player on the practice field. He throws with [QB Justin] Herbert after practice more than any other receiver on the roster." Palmer is the favorite for #3 WR duties in Los Angeles this year -- although he'll probably need a Keenan Allen or Mike Williams injury to find reliable weekly fantasy production.

ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry considers Chargers RB Joshua Kelley to be on the roster bubble. He enters training camp as the 3rd or 4th RB behind Austin Ekeler, Isaiah Spiller and likely Larry Rountree. Kelley owns only 456 rushing yards through 2 seasons (3.2 per attempt). Even in deep formats, the 24-year-old isn’t a recommend late-round target.

Chargers HC Brandon Staley singled out WR Jalen Guyton for having a "fantastic" offseason. "This guy made a lot of big plays for us in the spring," Staley said. "He came in, physically, just in great shape. He's moving great. I thought that he was able to move around. He really did a nice job on special teams." That last sentence is notable. It's possible that Guyton's biggest contribution comes on special teams this season with Josh Palmer reportedly the favorite for the #3 WR job. But we're not counting Guyton out of that race just yet. He brings speed that Palmer, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams don't possess. It'll be a situation to monitor in training camp and preseason action.

The Chargers ran Josh Palmer as their 3rd WR in Tuesday's opening practice of mandatory minicamp, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic. That puts him ahead of Jalen Guyton, who spent 2021 beating the then-rookie in playing time. Guyton was also reportedly working as a punt-team gunner Tuesday for the 1st time since joining the team. That could be another signal of a lighter offensive role for Guyton. Palmer has stood well ahead of Guyton as the 3rd Chargers WR in ADP throughout draft season. He's a decent option at low-WR6 ADP -- and a good addition to Justin Herbert teams.

Chargers HC Brandon Staley revealed this week that S Derwin James had surgery on the labrum in his left shoulder in February, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic. The injury originally occurred in the 1st half of Week 3, but James didn't miss any games until weeks 14 and 16 (then for a hamstring issue). The safety has been sitting out of team drills this spring, but Staley calls that "precautionary." James is reportedly back to full health and will be good to go for training camp.

The Chargers return the same HC and OC from last season. Plus, 6 of last year's top 7 target-getters are back, with TE Gerald Everett replacing TE Jared Cook. “Everyone’s familiar with the terminology, so a lot less stress, at this time of the year anyway, because they’ve had a year to digest everything,” OC Joe Lombardi said. “Justin [Herbert]’s bandwidth is a lot wider for everything, so we can focus on some Football 202 type of stuff, rather than just getting in and out of the huddle. It’s real nice. First and foremost, it’s just familiarity with all of the play calls. Where last year at this time, it was just hearing the play, repeating it in the huddle and just kind of understanding what the play is — that was a lot of calories burnt last year. This year, he has that part down. He can focus on what the defense is doing a little bit more, get his timing down with the receivers and all of that.” The Chargers ranked top 6 in points, yards and yards per play last season and are a safe bet to be 1 of the top offenses in the league again in 2022.

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.

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