Vincent Brown's lightning will strike Bolts receivers

      October 10, 2012 @ 13:36:20 PDT

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Primed to pick up where first-name twin Vincent Jackson left off, wide receiver Vincent Brown had a stellar preseason and was lining up to "figure real strongly in what [the San Diego Chargers] do," per Norv Turner. Coach speak? Perhaps. But a full offseason after a lockout-shortened prep stint caused things to click.

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates
Gates closing?

This was one of those staff proclamations you believed. Though his size doesn't, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Brown's downfield prowess (17.3 yards per grab on 19 receptions last year) mirrors Jackson's. San Diego wasn't exactly spilling over with reliability besides Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd, with the erratic Robert Meachem and depth piece Eddie Royal filling the other gaps.

Talk about bad timing: Before the 2012 campaign started, Brown broke his left ankle and was placed on the new Injured Reserve, which required him to miss six weeks of practice (this'll be his last required absence) and eight weeks of games. This worked well for a team with a Week 7 bye. Since we're rapidly approaching Brown's eligible return date, it's time to tuck him away, especially since he's on schedule in his recovery.

Players coming back from ankle fractures are typically tenuous fantasy assets. The rehabber needs time to build up strength and increase the pressure he can put on the joint. Ergo, Brown might prove a bit weak in his first action back.

But if you need coverage for the late run of off-weeks, this is an optimal chance to take.

In Weeks 9 through 11, San Diego faces the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos.

KC ranks near the bottom in terms of WR matchup in the last month (6.75 catches, 96.0 receptions, 0.75 scores per game), but despite the improved pass rush Tamba Hali creates, this success comes more so from being abused on the ground instead of being a product of a sound pass D. Their DBs are steady but not this good, and sometimes they can be too aggressive.

Tampa, meanwhile, has been one of the position's best fantasy opportunities. Denver ranks in the middle of the pack, but outside of Champ Bailey, they're inconsistent. And even Bailey is showing more vulnerability recently.

Brown could have some use after we resume fully loaded weekends anyway. The Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers are iffy, but in Weeks 15 and 16, the Bolts face the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets, two teams likely to remain sketchy versus the passing game. For those whose championship takes place in Week 17, he gets the aerial sieves in the Oakland Raiders resistance.

What about the other Chargers?

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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, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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