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Los Angeles Chargers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Chargers QB Justin Herbert picked up where he left off last season, tossing for 279 yards and 3 scores against the Raiders. He played mistake-free football while showing off his absolute cannon of an arm— especially on one pass to WR DeAndre Carter that went for 6. His other scores went to TE Gerald Everett and FB Zander Horvath. Herbert did lose Keenan Allen to a hamstring injury in the 2nd quarter, an injury that figures to sideline him for at least 1 game. The Chargers have a quick turnaround this week with a Thursday road game at Kansas City.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler registered a 49% snap rate and 18 opportunities (carries + targets) in the Week 1 win over the Raiders. He played 58+% of the offensive snaps in all 14 of his healthy games last season. Ekeler averaged 19.1 opportunities across those 14 games, dipping below 18 just 5 times. We'll continue to monitor Ekeler's usage going forward. He remains an obvious must-start but might not be the elite fantasy RB he was last year if the Chargers are serious about scaling back his snaps and touches.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen hurt his left hamstring in the 1st half of Sunday's game vs. the Raiders. He's officially questionable to return, but we'd be surprised if he did. We'll update his status when we know more.

Update: Allen has been ruled out.

Chargers RB Isaiah Spiller is a healthy scratch for today's opener vs. the Raiders. It'll be RBs Sony Michel and Joshua Kelley behind Austin Ekeler.

Chargers LB Drue Tranquill (back) is active for today's game against the Raiders. He remains a low-end IDP option, though.

The Chargers list LB Drue Tranquill as questionable for Sunday's game against the Raiders. He turned up on the injury report after hurting his back Friday, which doesn't bode well for his outlook in the opener. Tranquill is listed as a ILB starter on the team's "unofficial" depth chart, next to Kyle Van Noy. His absence would leave room for either Kenneth Murray or Troy Reeder, but we wouldn't plan on using either in Week 1 IDP lineups.

Chargers RB Isaiah Spiller (ankle) returned to practice on Tuesday. He ended up missing 9 days with the ankle injury. Spiller was still sitting 4th on the depth chart when he went down, so he's unlikely to be an early-season factor. But the rookie still has a shot to eventually emerge as the Chargers' #2 RB.

Chargers WR Josh Palmer has cleared the league’s concussion protocol. He took part in individual drills on Wednesday. Palmer, 23 next month, remains a WR5 to target in fantasy drafts.

Insider Jordan Schultz hears that the Chargers are "ecstatic" with WR Josh Palmer's progress and expects an "expanded role with more targets" for the 2nd-year wideout. “He’s got the complete route-tree and he’s hyper-competitive attacking balls," a team source told Schultz "Major worker: One of the best players in camp." Palmer appears locked into the Chargers' #3 WR job. He faces stiff target competition from WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams and RB Austin Ekeler. But QB Justin Herbert should elevate Palmer's per-target production. He's a nice bench stash on fantasy rosters.

Chargers CB J.C. Jackson had ankle surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks, according to multiple reports. Sounds like a relatively minor procedure, but this timeline obviously could spill over into missed regular-season games.

Chargers S Derwin James took part in team drills Monday for the 1st time in training camp. James had been "holding in" until signing his recent contract extension. It's nice to see his participation ramping up still well ahead of Week 1. James remains the clear top DB in our IDP rankings.

Chargers WR Josh Palmer sustained a concussion in Saturday's preseason game, HC Brandon Staley said. He should be cleared in plenty of time for Week 1, but we'll keep an eye on his progress through the league's protocol.

Chargers HC Brandon Staley labeled RB Isaiah Spiller "week to week" with the ankle injury he suffered in Saturday's preseason game. Spiller's availability for Week 1 is uncertain, Staley added. That kills any chance the rookie had of winning the #2 RB job to open the season. RB Joshua Kelley is the favorite for that spot, although he's still an underwhelming fantasy pick.

The Chargers on Monday activated LB Kenneth Murray from the PUP list. He opened training camp there after having surgery in April on the injured ankle that ended his 2021 season. The former 1st-round pick is no lock to reclaim a staring job this season after struggling through his 1st year under HC Brandon Staley. Kyle Van Noy and Drue Tranquill have looked like the top 2 non-edge LBs for the Chargers.

Chargers RB Isaiah Spiller left Saturday night's preseason game against the Cowboys with an ankle injury and was deemed questionable to return. That designation might indicate it's not serious, but we'll watch for a specific diagnosis. Spiller has been fighting Joshua Kelly and Larry Rountree for the #2 job behind Austin Ekeler.

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.

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