NFL Today: Can the Los Angeles Chargers Get to Double-Digit Wins Again?
No one doubts Keenan Allen’s dominance… when healthy. (All-Pro Reels Photography)
Five-time Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker wants to be dealt from Arizona, but plans to attend training camp; the NFL has cracked down on players that bet on football, suspending Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, Demetrius Taylor and Nicholas Petit-Frere; and, still in the suspension department, Jacksonville LT Cam Robinson will have to sit four games thanks to violating the performance-enhancing drug policy.
Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver Depth Chart
The Los Angeles Chargers finally got back to the playoffs last year for the first time since 2018, and while the experience left something wanting (choke), it’s not going to be an easy road to get back there in 2023.
The Bolts face the league’s seventh-hardest schedule this season, so even duplicating last year’s 10-win campaign is no sure thing.
But the pass attack is definitely going to be a major strength. Justin Herbert will likely bounce back from a somewhat down year, and he’s going to have plenty of help in doing so. In fact, probably no other QB in the AFC West will be gifted with such a talented (and tall) group of wide receivers, including:
Keenan Allen: Limited to 10 games by injuries last season, Allen is still a major force when he’s healthy. He’s no spring chicken, but should remain a big-time player for the next year or two. Consider Allen a mid-range WR2.
Mike Williams: Williams has the tools, size and speed to usurp Allen as the team’s top threat, but it’s pretty much like splitting hairs. Williams is someone you can get in the fourth round who could deliver third or second round value. Consider him a high-end WR3 with WR2 upside, but note that he also struggles to get through a complete season without getting hurt.
Quentin Johnston: The team’s first round pick this year, Johnston should get a fair amount of volume as a rookie, with great upside considering the injury risks ahead of him on the depth chart. Consider him a WR4 with potential for much more.
Joshua Palmer: Coming off a breakout season, Palmer is poised to take a step back thanks to Johnston’s arrival. We saw Palmer’s usage plummet once Allen and Williams got healthy, and now there’s another mouth to feed, so Palmer is no better than a WR6 for Fantasy purposes at this point… unless injuries happen again (which isn’t unlikely).
Jalen Guyton: Heading into 2023, Guyton isn’t even a top 150 WR for Fantasy purposes, so you can safely ignore him. But as long as Allen and Williams keep having health issues, there’s always upside potential on the Charger WR depth chart. Of course, Guyton (one of Herbert’s deep-threat faves; see video below) is coming off a major injury himself, so needs to prove he’s healthy in order to fend off rookie Derius Davis for fear of falling further in the pecking order.
Miami Pass Rush in Good Hands
The Miami Dolphins finished 10-6 in 2020 and since then have recorded back-to-back 9-8 seasons with a projected win total this year of 9.5 and +2500 odds to win the Super Bowl as per FanDuel Sportsbook.
So what’s it going to take for the Fins to take the next step?
Well, the anticipated development of OLB Jaelan Phillips will sure help. All he did as a rookie was break the team sack record for first-year players and then upped his game as a sophomore.
These exploits helped Phillips land on the NFL’s list of the top 25 under 25, and assuming his upward trajectory continues, he’s going to strike some major fear into opposing quarterbacks this season.
Breakout watch, baby.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Believe it or not, Australian-American musician/actor Rick Springfield has been at it since 1962. In 1982, he released his sixth album, Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet, and the first single from this effort was “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” which hit No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.