WR Eddie Royal, Free agent
HT: 5-9, WT: 184, Born: 5-21-1986, College: Virginia Tech, Drafted: Round 2
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Return Projections (see all)
Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Rodgers (214), M Floyd (215), Eddie Royal (216), M Tolbert (217), J Grimes (218)
Position: B LaFell (213-WR70), M Floyd (215-WR71), Eddie Royal (216 - WR72), S Johnson (225-WR73), C Latimer (233-WR74)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: C Latimer (221), M Williams (222), Eddie Royal (223), B Bortles (225)
Position: C Latimer (221-WR73), M Williams (222-WR74), Eddie Royal (223 - WR75), D Thomas (231-WR76), J Cotchery (234-WR77)
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Eddie Royal is a quick receiver with good hands and open-field running ability that make him ideally suited to operate out of the slot. While he has some big-play ability and has proven that he can score touchdowns in bunches over short stretches, he is likely to remain hit-or-miss from week to week, and is therefore an unreliable fantasy option. Keenan Allen will get most of the looks from the wide receiver position in an offense that also features the tight ends and running backs heavily in the passing game. As a result, Royal will not be targeted consistently enough to merit consideration as a fantasy starter. Realistically, his best case scenario this season would be a repeat of last season, when he was a worthwhile (but rarely stellar) flex option. Because he lacks fantasy upside, he should merit consideration only in the latest rounds of most fantasy drafts.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Royal was the surprise top wide receiver option in the game for San Diego. He was targeted early and often, sneaking over the middle of the field to convert a big third down pass play early in the first quarter and never letting up from there. He converted another long third down pass play soon after, but the play was negated by a holding flag. Royal’s next pass play was a bit out of character for him, as the possession receiver was targeted on a deep ball down the sideline. It was curious why he was seeing so many targets, but he did have a step on his man and drew a long pass interference penalty on the play. On that same drive, QB Philip Rivers audibled out of the primary play call to a designed fade pattern to Royal in the back left corner of the end zone which resulted in a score. Royal saw two more end zone targets in the game, one of which led to no gain and one of which resulted in yet another touchdown. On the second score, WR Malcom Floyd was originally whistled for an illegal screen but the flag was picked up because the ball was tipped at the line prior to Royal catching it. Unfortunately, all did not go well for the diminutive Royal. He was wide open near the sideline on a 3rd and 10 pass play and the ball was perfectly thrown, but Royal failed to look the ball into his hands and dropped it near the sideline, costing the team a critical conversion.
Week 2 - After two weeks, Eddie Royal is one of the league’s biggest surprises. The man who has scored five touchdowns over the last four seasons combined, has got five touchdowns through the season’s first two weeks. His first catch of this game was a simple catch out in the flat. QB Philip Rivers dropped it in the flat, and Royal did the rest diving at the pylon and barely getting in for the score. Royal wasn’t nearly finished yet, adding two more touchdowns in the second half. The first was a strange play where the Eagles dropped ten men back into coverage. Despite that, Royal still managed to get completely wide open. Rivers found him near the 5-yard line, and Royal waltzed in the rest of the way for the easy score. The final touchdown was a designed screen pass for Royal, featuring excellent blocking up the field by his fellow receivers. Royal did a great job following his blockers into the end zone for another easy score. Sprinkled in amongst the scoring plays was a great third down grab early in the second half. Rivers floated one near the sideline over Royal’s head, but after beating his man off the line, Royal leaped and twisted to snatch the ball out of the air. He added another critical third down conversion later in the half, a play on which he nearly wriggled his way out of the wrap-up tackle for the score. He was then targeted down the seam in the end zone on the next pass, but it was overthrown and he was double covered on the play. Of course, he did eventually get touchdown number there anyway. If this was a case of Royal just being in the right place at the right time, or if Rivers was checking down through his progressions and dumping off to Royal, it could be called a fluke. But the team is designing plays specifically for Royal, suggesting that the productivity and activity may be here to stay for awhile.
Week 3 - The stat line is going to show that Royal regressed after his dynamic first two weeks. The game film will show that on one of the only times San Diego reached the red zone all game long, QB Philip Rivers looked in Royal’s direction on his very first opportunity. Royal hauled in a floater in the corner of the end zone for what appeared to be his sixth touchdown grab of the season. But an offensive pass interference penalty on WR Keenan Allen negated the play. Royal had just two other catches in the game, one picking up 15 on a crossing route early in the game (he went up high to snatch it out in front of his man) and the other a late sideline grab on the team’s last-gasp desperation drive.
Week 4 - Royal’s name wasn’t really called until late in the first half, then picked up 28 yards on a wide open crossing route near the sideline with San Diego in a hurry-up offense. The team made an attempt to get him involved with two more designed screen passes, one of which went nowhere and the other which turned into a nice gain thanks to some excellent downfield blocking. Royal hasn’t come close to the blistering pace he set through the first two games of the season, but the Chargers still appearing to be making a concerted effort to get him the ball.
Week 5 - It's pretty safe to assume Royal's early season touchdown outburst was something of a mirage. He is still being targeted, but the young receivers on the Chargers have begun staking their claims as the team's go-to wideouts. Both Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen went over 100 yards in this game; meanwhile, Royal caught just three relatively short passes. He was targeted on two deep balls in the game, but those resulted in two of Philip Rivers' three interceptions. On the first one, Royal appeared to have been bumped by a defender deep downfield, but nothing was called. Royal also had a bad miscue on special teams, fumbling away a punt that he probably should have fair caught. With gunners bearing down on him hard, he tried to make a move before securing the ball, coughing it up to Oakland. He did show some terrific athleticism in the second half, making a tough diving grab on a quick out. He showed outstanding hands by fully laying out for the short pass, but it was the lone bright spot in an otherwise forgettable game for Royal.
Week 6 - Thanks to the recent emergence of both Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown, Royal's opportunities have dwindled. Royal didn't catch a pass in this game, but he did draw a holding penalty down the field on an early route. Royal left the game late in the second quarter with a reported toe injury suffered on a reverse, but did return on the first possession of the second half. He didn't look any worse for wear than before the injury, but still, he didn't see much action.
Week 7 - After a several week absence, Royal found his way back into the end zone in this game. In doing so, he also ended up being the team leader in receiving yardage for the game. The Chargers focused more on the ground game than the air, with 40 rush attempts to just 26 passes, but Royal still got his work in. He showed great hands on a designed screen pass early in the game. The ball was thrown a bit out in front of him and he reached out to pick it out of the air. As he was being taken down, he was tackled forward for the first down. His next reception ended up being the aforementioned touchdown. Royal shook loose of his man deep near the sideline. He made the catch and then got free just long enough to lunge for the pylon. The play needed to be reviewed as it looked like he may have stepped out of bounds first, but the play was eventually ruled a score. Royal kept up his high level of play in the second half, turning a minimal screen pass into a big gain. He was about to get hit almost immediately, so he turned it back and cut it all the way across the formation before turning it upfield up the right side. He got a nice block to spring the big gain, and actually came close to scoring. As he was being taken down, he stretched his hand out trying to reach into the end zone. The ball was stripped and initially ruled a fumble, but upon review he was ruled to have been down.
Week 9 - After a several week hiatus, Royal finally got back in the scoring column in this game. Much like his early-season scores, this one was a designed WR screen right to him. QB Philip Rivers called an audible out of the original play, and the change involved Royal swapping spots with WR Vincent Brown in the formation. That swap would prove key, as Brown delivered one of the key blocks that sprang Royal for the score. It was a simple quick pass to the outside and Royal essentially ran a straight line for the end zone, but followed his excellent blocks all the way. In the second half, Royal maintained regular involvement. He made two big receptions, one bailing out a hurried Rivers, and the other a big gain on a crossing route with just over two minutes remaining in the game. The Chargers trailed by three at the time and were driving for the go-ahead score. On his last target, Royal nearly came up with an outstanding sliding/diving catch. He went to the ground and the ball actually hit him perfectly, but he couldn't hang on as he made contact with the ground.
Week 10 - Royal caught just two passes, one a short pass where he dove ahead into the pile to pick up a first down. And the next, a deep ball just to the right of the right hash mark downfield. It converted a crucial third down and long pass play, with Royal making the grab and getting knocked down at the eleven yard line.
Week 11 - Royal was used sparingly, as the Chargers spread out the receptions amongst nine different players. Even on Royal's first catch, he wasn't nearly the first option on the play. QB Philip Rivers checked down to him after a long look at several other players first. When Royal made the catch, he was wide open along the sideline and made the first defender miss, spinning out to pick up a few extra yards. Royal nearly made an amazing diving catch over the middle later in the second half. Fully extended, he fearlessly lunged for the football over the middle of the field, but the third down pass was thrown just out of reach.
Week 12 - Royal was questionable to even play in the game, but he made a huge impact with very minimal targets. He hauled in a deep ball for 54 yards early in the second half. QB Philip Rivers avoided the rush, stepped forward, and heaved one deep to Royal. After bringing the pass in, Royal tried to outrun multiple defenders by crossing the field but there were just too many there for him to weave his way into the end zone. Later he took an easy crossing route over the middle for 28 yards up the sideline, easily outrunning his defender on the play. Royal's bread-and-butter is typically relegated to screen passes and short routes underneath, but he was running a bit more free in this contest - and with excellent results.
Week 14 - Royal was involved in a handful of short passes over the middle, mostly to set up more manageable downs. But he wasn't an integral part of the gameplan at all.
Week 15 - No Charger receiver had a huge game considering they ran it 44 times and threw it just 20, but Royal was one of the few who put up pretty typical stats. He made two very nice sideline grabs on very similar routes. The first catch was a perfect timing pattern as he broke back to the ball, made a full extension to make the catch with his hands, and managed to hang on despite the hard hit from the defender in his back. The next was a sliding catch along the sideline for another nice first down. and the last was a well-designed screen pass that included some excellent blocking by the offensive lineman up the field to pick up 20 yards.
Week 16 - Royal is typically pretty far down the list of options in the passing game for San Diego, and this game was no different. The difference is, most of Philip Rivers' primary targets were being blanketed, so Royal actually saw a lot of checkdown option passes head his way. And as usual, he was his usual reliable self in converting third downs into first downs and keeping the chains moving. His first catch was a "free" play when Oakland jumped offsides, but the play stood when Royal converted the first down and slipped a couple of tackles to pick up 15 yards on the play. He added a couple of third down grabs in the second half that enabled San Diego to chip away at the clock. His second catch came after several running plays, and the sure-handed veteran broke free up the sideline for a big gain and another first down.
Week 17 - Royal was very active, catching three passes and seeing targets on several more that were close to being big plays. He ended up tacking on one more touchdown to his career-high total. He leaked out into the flat after criss-crossing with WR Keenan Allen and getting open. QB Philip Rivers put it right on his hands, and Royal did the rest by bursting to the end zone for the score. The two couldn't quite connect as well on the deep balls, as Royal twice beat double coverage deep down the field only to have Rivers put it just out of his reach. Royal's long gain of the day was a designed screen pass, and Royal darted in and out of his blocks and used them perfectly to pick up the extra yards. He does a fantastic job of reading blocks and is very quick and shifty with the ball in his hands. He also gets to top speed very quickly even though he isn't a burner, and that
Week 18 - Royal only had one reception, but it was a thing of beauty. He got physical with Dre Kirkpatrick at the line, soared past him, and hauled in a 33 yard bomb from Rivers taking the Chargers into scoring position. That was a very big play, as it led directly to the go-ahead TD for San Diego. Royal is small, and has been inconsistent, but he has always possessed innate instinctual moves that allow him to succeed despite his less than ideal frame.