Shark Bites

Chargers K Michael Badgley is questionable for this weekend's game against the Colts after injuring his groin in Friday's practice, according to The Athletic's Daniel Popper. We'll see if L.A. adds a K over the next 24 hours, but look elsewhere for your Week 1 fantasy starter.

8:09am EDT 9/2/19

The Chargers on Sunday made the unsurprising move of placing S Derwin James on IR. By waiting until Sunday, they leave open the possibility of bringing him back late in the season. The timeline on James' receovery from his foot fracture has made late November the likely target all along.

NFL.com reports that the Chargers will place S Derwin James on IR as he recovers and rehabs following foot surgery. James had surgery Thursday in Wisconsin and is expected to miss about 3 months. We'll see if he can make it back in the 2nd half of the season.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen is already back at practice after injuring his ankle last week. "He’s in great shape, explosive and looks really good," HC Ken Whisenhunt said on Wednesday. "In practice today, he looked good again. He rolled his ankle a little bit last week and he was back out there today. I’m really excited about Keenan." Allen won't play in the final 2 preseason games but is clearly on track to be ready for Week 1. He remains a safe pick in the 3rd round of fantasy drafts.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that Chargers S Derwin James will have surgery on his right foot and is expected to miss "around 3 months." That timeline would return him in mid-to-late November. The Chargers play Kansas City in Mexico on Nov. 18 and then have their bye in Week 12. At this point, the Week 13 (Dec. 1) game at Denver looks like a hopeful return date for the star defender. All of this means that James doesn't belong in redraft fantasy football plans for this year. We'll see if he's a late-season waiver option. Adrian Phillips stepped in for James at Friday's practice and figures to hold down the starting job. Phillips cracked the top 30 fantasy DBs last year without a clear full-time role. He now carries top-12 upside into this season.

Chargers S Derwin James sustained a stress fracture in the 5th metatarsal of his right foot, the team announced Friday. James will "continue to be evaluated and the course of treatment is still to be determined," ESPN's Eric D. Williams reports. This is the Jones fracture that we've seen strike down several WRs and Greg Olsen in recent seasons. We'll see about the specific return timeline for James, but we have to expect him to miss some regular-season games at this point. Players regularly suffer setbacks when trying to return from the injury, too. This basically takes the top fantasy DB off most IDP draft boards for now. Adrian Phillips filled in for James in Friday's practice, according to Williams. Phillips immediately becomes an intriguing fantasy sleeper. He finished among the top 30 fantasy DBs last year as a S-LB hybrid.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen suffered an ankle injury at practice this week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Allen isn't expected to play in the 3 remaining preseason games but is expected to be ready for Week 1, per Schefter. We're not moving Allen in our WR rankings right now but will keep a close eye on him as we move toward the start of the season.

Saints TE Jared Cook has been better than the team expected, according to ESPN's Mike Triplett. HC Sean Payton has praised Cook's hands, catch radius, yards-after-catch ability and work ethic. “Anytime you’re in free agency, you gather as much information as you can. And then when the player arrives, there’s certain things you weren’t aware of that are good and maybe sometimes weren’t so good. In his case, it’s all positive,” Payton said. “He’s a tremendous worker, dedicated, I think someone who’s a true pro in every sense of the word. And I think he’s been a really good addition for us.” TEs coach Dan Campbell added that Cook and QB Drew Brees have quickly built a strong rapport. With question marks at WR behind Michael Thomas, there's room for Cook to finish 3rd on the 2019 Saints in targets (behind Thomas and RB Alvin Kamara).

Chargers HC Anthony Lynn told NFL Network's Michael Silver that he's "looking for big things" from Justin Jackson. Jackson has become a much bigger fantasy story with RB Melvin Gordon's holdout threat. As a 7th-round rookie last year, Jackson averaged 4.1 yards per carry on 50 attempts and 9.0 yards per catch on 15 grabs. In the 3 games Gordon missed and Austin Ekeler played in, Ekeler out-touched Jackson 52 to 21. But that split could shrink this season if Jackson takes a step forward. It'll be a situation to monitor, especially if Gordon's holdout extends deep into August.

"He looks awesome. He feels really good. He looks to be in great shape." That's what Chargers DC Gus Bradley had to say this week at OTAs about DE Joey Bosa, according to Joe Reedy of The Associated Press. But then the player conceded that he's still dealing with pain in the left foot that cost him 9 games last season. "It's not causing a limp or anything," Bosa said. "It's just there. It's just something I notice. It's been getting better all offseason, so I could definitely see by camp or maybe even next year where it kind of starts fading away. Once you get into season, it gets pretty intense. So we'll see." We don't want to worry too much about the foot right now, especially if Bosa's taking part in OTAs. But we certainly can't ignore the situation either. We'll be watching this as closely as any other IDP situation. Bosa sits near the top of our 2019 DL rankings at the moment.

The Chargers nabbed North Dakota State QB Easton Stick in Round 5 of the 2019 NFL Draft. Stick followed Carson Wentz as the Bisons' starter, completing 61% of his passes, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt and tossing 88 TDs vs. 28 INTs over the past 4 seasons. He ranked just 33rd in this year's QB class in adjusted completion rate last year, according to Pro Football Focus, but was 3rd best on throws of 20+ yards. Stick is also a plus athlete, totaling 2,523 yards and 41 TDs on the ground at North Dakota State. He recorded a 92nd percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. Stick will attempt to develop into QB Philip Rivers' success in Los Angeles.

The Chargers selected Delaware S Nasir Adderley in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. L.A. chose Derwin James in the middle of Round 1 last year and got a strong rookie year from him. But Jahleel Addae, the last season's other starter, is no longer on the roster. That presents opportunity for Adderley to start right away. Adderley grabbed 4 INTs and defensed 7 passes in 2018.

The Chargers grabbed Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery late in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Tillery put together some nice tape with the Irish, but he topped out at just 9 tackles for loss in 2017. Don't expect big fantasy numbers from Tillery, but there is upside.

The Saints are set to sign TE Jared Cook, according to NFL Network. No word yet on the terms of the deal. Cook is coming off the most productive season of his career, posting a 68-896-6 line in Oakland and finishing 5th among TEs in PPR points. He might not see another 101 targets this year behind target hog Michael Thomas in what's become a run-heavy Saints offense. But Cook could be even more efficient with his targets going from Derek Carr to Drew Brees. He looks like a rock-solid TE1 with top-5 upside.

LB Denzel Perryman has reached a new 2-year deal to remain with the Chargers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Perryman has lost 16 games to injury over the past 2 seasons. When on the field, he has generally been a less-than-full-time player. Last year, however, saw him grow to 75% to 87% in 5 of the 8 full games he played. Perryman carries LB3 potential for tackle-heavy IDP leagues.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (groin) is active for today's game against the Ravens. He was limited in practice all week and listed as questionable, so he comes with added risk in fantasy lineups -- beyond the difficult matchup.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (groin) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Ravens after a limited week of practice. This is a new injury for Ekeler. (He missed time late in the season with a neck injury and concussion.) If Ekeler is unable to play this weekend, the Chargers would turn back to rookie Justin Jackson as the change-of-pace back behind Melvin Gordon.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (neck) put in a full week of practice and will return for Sunday’s game against the Broncos. He figures to see a handful of touches behind Melvin Gordon and is just a DFS tournament flier.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen (hip) is active for tonight’s game vs. Baltimore. As expected, he'll give it a go following limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday. There’s certainly risk here, but Allen still resides in the top-20 of our Week 16 WR rankings.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen (hip) is listed as questionable for Saturday night's game against the Ravens. He got in limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to play in this one. We'll find out for sure around 7 pm ET on Saturday. As long as he's active, Allen will be a low-end WR1 vs. a Baltimore defense that's a neutral matchup for slot receivers.

 
 
 

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