Sure, the schedule is pretty good, but what about the cluster of options at Philip Rivers' disposal? Gates, well, isn't right - he's not cutting or playing with the same intensity as he did in years past, and he's the focus of opposing defenses just because of his name. Separation is becoming an issue. You hate to give up on someone this talented, but it might take a few weeks for him to show he's back. Regardless, he's currently more valuable as a decoy.
Will they still need Royal?
Capitalizing on Gates' underwhelming showing, Floyd is fulfilling the V-Jax role as the top outside snare and shouldn't lose many looks upon Brown's return.
That dubious warning instead goes to Meachem, a rising waiver wire addition who snared two touchdowns in the first half Sunday night but was held quiet the rest of the way. He'll need to prove that this performance wasn't a fluke before Brown returns, because before Week 5, Meachem wasn't in Rivers' good graces. It was a superb statistical matchup that Meachem abused.
Brown isn't just a go-route guy (a GRG, as I refer to them). As Bill Williamson noted in August, all but two of the receptions logged by the second-year snare in his first NFL go-round went for first downs, so there's a security factor here, too. He can also play every wideout position. This flexibility should strip some targets from slot man Eddie Royal. With Ryan Mathews kicking back into gear, Royal might not be needed as much anymore for his chain-moving approach.
Will Brown's health catch up to his skills in time to help owners for a significant chunk of 2012? San Diego could use Brown's field stretching, and the third-ranked receiver in this offense has palpable fake football value. Brown ranks as a valuable late-season speculation for those with stash room to act on now, before the hype gets louder.
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About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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