That’s not entirely true. More than a few men have left San Diego pleased with the beach-side scenery, and the SoCal chillin’ city is warm all the time every time, has a world-famous zoo with really cool monkeys and tigers and lions and stuff, and it also hosts comic book heroes and the like for a massive nerd boy convention every year.
In so many ways, San Diego is a wondrous place where fantasies are born, live happily, and go out for hangover breakfasts together every morning. Just not football fantasies.
The Chargers are utterly maddening for any owner of any relevant — or formerly relevant — offensive player they employ who isn’t named Ryan Mathews, and even he’s quite maddening for a different reason (bones that break). Tonight after the NFL Network crew grunts and makes noises that generally sound like the engine of a Pinto igniting during their pregame show, the fantasy ineptitude of the Chargers will be showcased under the bright lights of Thursday night.
Mercifully, though, that might not happen, as most of their underachieving players should post solid numbers because their opponent — the Kansas City Chiefs — isn’t a professional football team. But that will likely be a mirage, mostly because Norv Turner and Philip Rivers hate you.
Let’s start with Rivers, the quarterback who seems to frequently indulge in masochism. Sure, he’s been a disappointment for over a year now, but at least last year his spike in interceptions (a career high 20, when his previous single-season high was 13) was kind of, sort of balanced by his continued chucking. Rivers averaged 289 passing yards per game last year (sixth in the league), a pace that’s now dropped to just 235.1.
We can partly blame that drop on his targets, and their inability to get deep. Specifically Robert Meachem, who was signed to replace Vincent Jackson, and he was touted as a sleeper in August with his first chance to be the unquestioned No. 1 deep target in an offense. He was drafted at 90th overall on average in ESPN leagues, barely behind Torrey Smith, and rather incredibly ahead of Reggie Wayne.
That’s led to nothing. Absolutely, completely nothing, and now Meachem isn’t even ownable. He had a glaring, incomprehensible drop last week when he was wide open for a touchdown, and he’s now had three games with zero catches. His early sleeper promise has long since faded, with Malcom Floyd taking over the top wideout job. And although Floyd’s shown some burst with two 100-yard games, overall he’s been a tick above pedestrian at best, averaging 65.9 yards weekly, with just one touchdown.
Then there’s Antonio Gates, who’s production is surely suffering because of the wide receivers and their inability to take attention elsewhere. He’s struggled to find separation at times, and struggled with his health at others, the latter of which is a common theme with his aging and slowly decaying body. He’s missed one game after missing three last year, and over his other six games he has only 238 receiving yards. Last year over that same stretch he had 414, dropping his per game receiving average from 59.8 yards last year to 39.7 now. That puts Gates on pace for 635 yards overall, his worst receiving season since his rookie year.
So enjoy this night, owners of any Charger. It could be the last time in a long time that respectful, productive numbers are posted by some of the formerly mega fantasy stars in San Diego who are now flirting with replacement-level status.
And now the links part of the links post…
- Now that my anti-Chargers rant/tale of depression is over, again please be aware that it likely won’t apply to tonight. Pick up every Charger you can, because the Chiefs would probably be steam rolled by the Charlestown Chiefs, and they don’t play football. [The Fake Football]
- We haven’t spent much time on the trade deadline this week, mostly because just like every year, it’s not worth much of our time. It remains highly unlikely that anything notable happens today (so now that I’ve written that Tim Tebow will be traded, and we’ll all just cry). [Patrick Daugherty]
- Danny Amendola will absolutely, definitely, no doubt, for sure be back after the Rams’ bye. [The Associated Press]
- No one’s telling you to do something stupid and bench Eli Manning this week. Just know that his matchup is less than ideal against the Steelers, and he’s already trending downward a bit while averaging just 10.5 fantasy points per week over his last three games. [Michael Fabiano]