McCoy hints at hot-hand approach for running backs
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/25/14) Chargers coach Mike McCoy indicated Tuesday during the NFL owners meetings that he plans to use a hot-hand approach with his running backs in 2014 following the addition of Donald Brown joining Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead.
McCoy said his background after working for John Fox in Carolina is using multiple running backs.
"You get in there, you get on a little bit of a roll and you’re going to stay in there," McCoy said. "Donald is a perfect fit for our system, and that’s why we went after him and got him. He understands what we want to do offensively, not only in the passing game but in the running game and pass protection. ... We'll let Donald come in there and show us what he can do, and we'll try to take advantage of what he does best and go with the flow of the game."
Chargers' GM addresses crowded backfield
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/20/14) Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said Wednesday on 1090AM that Ryan Mathews remains the "bell cow" despite the addition of Donald Brown as a free agent this offseason, reports ESPN.
"We know Ryan is our bell cow," Telesco said. "He's our No. 1 back. He had an excellent year last year. And we all know what Danny Woodhead can do in his role. We saw that for 16 games last year. And we think Donald can come in and add to that, too, and give us some different options. And a different style, too. The more weapons we can have for Philip Rivers, the better."
Making sense of the Chargers running back corps
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/12/14)Donald Brown saved the Colts' run game last year and became an example of a running back playing to some career-high standards whilst in a contract year. The payoff could have led to a starting job, but instead Brown finds himself in another running back mess with the Chargers.
The Chargers seemingly did this to secure depth at the position and to safeguard against not having a back in case Ryan Mathews and/or Danny Woodhead leave via free agency next offseason. They also picked up a back who can do anything Mathews or Woodhead does -- Brown is a good runner and receiver.
The feeling here is that Mathews will remain the primary rusher for the Chargers. The team went 6-0 in games he had at least 20 carries (8-2 in games where he had at least 16 carries), a stat the coaches will have a hard time ignoring. Brown could keep Mathews from 24-plus carry games like he had toward the end of last season but we'll still see Mathews dominate. Brown should also reduce Woodhead's touches, particularly after he faded down the stretch last season.
But even with this piecemeal workload from Mathews and Woodhead, it's tough to envision Brown getting enough work to be the same kind of helpful Fantasy rusher he was last year. I might take him with a mid-round pick.
Danny Woodhead can't generate much
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (1/12/14) Chargers running back Danny Woodhead ran nine times for 29 yards and caught all three of his targets for 10 yards in the playoff loss at Denver. He was shaken up in the fourth quarter and did not return.
Woodhead, who got more carries than usual due to Ryan Mathews' ankle injury, will return to the Chargers in 2014 as he's under contract for $1.75 million.
Ryan Mathews unclear about Sunday status
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com (1/10/14) Chargers running back Ryan Mathews said his "mindset" is to play Sunday against Denver despite missing all three practices this week, per the San Diego Union-Tribune, which reported that he looked gimpy on Friday.
His absence would give Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead work as the dual featured backs. Brown rushed for 77 yards on just eight carries in the Wild Card defeat of Cincinnati, but 59 of those yards were churned up on a touchdown run that clinched the victory.
Danny Woodhead played well in his first year in San Diego and we'd like to see him do it again this season. He was the perfect complement to Ryan Mathews, but now the Chargers added Donald Brown as a free agent, which should affect Woodhead. He had 106 carries for 429 yards and two touchdowns in 2013 with a career-high 76 catches for 605 yards and six touchdowns. His value is obviously higher in PPR leagues than standard formats, and we'd draft him with a mid-round pick in those leagues. In standard formats, Woodhead is only worth a late-round pick, and keep an eye on Brown's role in training camp. But if Woodhead remains the passing-down back then he will still post quality stats, especially for PPR owners.