Chargers Sign Donald Brown
Running back Donald Brown signed a three-year deal with the San Diego Chargers worth $10.5 million. He created a fantasy football nightmare in the process.
Lest we forget, the Chargers have Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead in the fold. Those two combined for 493 touches, 2,487 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, quite a nice tandem. Mathews averaged 4.4 yards per carry en route to a fine 1,255-yard season, and Woodhead was a force in the passing game. Both are under contract for 2014, with no reason to cut them. So why bring in a third wheel?
Brown did break out last season. Despite not having a huge year in terms of volume, the five-year veteran was his most efficient. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry — 2.5 average yards more than his counterpart, Trent Richardson — and 3.3 yards after contact per carry last season. The latter was a full yard after contact better than Mathews, which was a big reason why his Elusive Rating was a league-leading 73.8 last year.
From a fantasy football standpoint, however, San Diego has become a quagmire at running back — much like New Orleans and New England have been in the past. Both the Saints and Patriots have had good running backs in recent years, to be sure, but have you thought about taking Pierre Thomas in the top six rounds of a fantasy draft? Drafting Brown early this summer could have you yelling, “Dammit, Donald!”
Barring an unexpected cut or serious injury in that backfield, none of these three has particular fantasy value in redraft leagues. Mathews and Brown figure to split the regular work with Woodhead retaining his pass-catching role. Daily fantasy leagues are another story, though — paying close attention could garner plenty of value from San Diego’s backfield on a week-to-week basis, just like you could have with the aforementioned committees in New Orleans and New England.