San Diego Chargers - Who will Philip Rivers be throwing to this year?
We know that Antonio Gates will be a top target again, and Vincent Jackson should return whether via the franchise tag or a long-term deal (assuming he isn't given his unrestricted free agent status in the CBA settlement). After that, Malcom Floyd is a free agent and the rest of the wide receiver corps is a bit of a mess. Third-round pick Vincent Brown is a technician and could come on by year's end despite the brief offseason for rookies. Seyi Ajirotutu flashed in limited action last season and could surprise with a strong camp. The most exciting possibility has been rumored here and there - a trade of the Panthers Steve Smith to San Diego. Smith has asked for a trade, and the Carolina Panthers could use his seven million dollar salary coming off the books to sign some of their younger free agents. The Chargers #2 wideout hasn't been a productive fantasy position as of late, but they haven't had a player the caliber of Smith there, either. The addition of Smith could make the Chargers passing game and offense in general one of the most prolific in the league. Even the mere return of Floyd and Jackson should produce better results than 2010, which was very good by most measures.
Oakland Raiders - How much of an effort will Hue Jackson make to feature Jacoby Ford in the passing game?
If the Raiders new head coach is to be believed, you should just reserve a pick for Ford in the 8th or 9th round of your draft. Ford already showed DeSean Jackson-level "take any touch to the house" explosiveness in the second half of his rookie year. When asked whether he would expand Ford's role this season, Hue Jackson said "You better know I am. The guy is fast, and he scores touchdowns. So there's no question any time I can get the ball in his hands, I want to do that." Later on NFL Network, Jackson predicted Ford would "become a household name". We expect Ford's new prominence to be one of the biggest stories out of Raiders training camp, so seize the opportunity to make a lowball offer in dynasty leagues now, and be ready to take him a round or two earlier in your drafts once the rest of fantasy world catches wind of what Jackson plans to do with Ford.
Denver Broncos - How much fire is there to the smoke about the organization not seeing Knowshon Moreno as a feature back?
Even if you've tuned out NFL news during the lockout, it has been hard to avoid the steady stream of negative press about Knowshon Moreno. The Broncos only see Moreno as a situational back. The McDaniels regime knew early on that drafting Moreno in the first round was a mistake. The Broncos plan on bringing in a back to relegate Moreno to second fiddle. The Broncos #1 priority in free agency is to address their running back situation. At this point, it would be an upset if the Broncos did not sign DeAngelo Williams to reunite him with old coach John Fox. Moreno's ADP is plummeting and his worth in dynasty leagues is shrinking by the second. Maybe the Broncos only get a back like Jason Snelling or Ronnie Brown. Maybe Moreno takes all of this to heart and rises to the challenge with a breakout third year just like the back that is supposed to poach his job very soon. It's hard to advocate taking Moreno with anything higher than an 8th or 9th round pick until this sorts itself out, and once it does, that might seem like a reach. Buyer beware.
Kansas City Chiefs - How much will the loss of Charlie Weis affect the offense?
The Chiefs turnaround last season was a feelgood story, and it was led by a hyperefficient Matt Cassel - that is, until offensive coordinator Charlie Weis announced he was leaving for the University of Florida. Cassel was 20 for 51 for 185 yards and five interceptions in the Chiefs last regular season game and their playoff game vs. the Ravens - the two games after Weis's announcement. The team promoted offensive line coach Bill Muir to offensive coordinator, but we have no idea if Muir can get the O anywhere close to its previous level against a much tougher schedule in 2011. Anyone targeting Cassel or Dwayne Bowe should be scared of the putrid performances that marked the effective beginning of the post-Weis era. Jamaal Charles is probably bulletproof, as he'll get enough touches to contend for #1 overall RB, but things could get ugly in the passing game. We don't usually put much stock in preseason games, but we'd like to see the Chiefs pass offense click again before we touch any part of it in fantasy drafts.
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