If you’re in the market for a reliable fantasy football sleeper pick, look no further than the west coast shores of San Diego. Although his move has created a far less stir than former teammate, Wes Welker’s move to the Mile High Country, Danny Woodhead is an intriguing addition to the San Diego Chargers.
Quietly, Woodhead was in the top 25 of scoring fantasy football running backs last year with a combined yardage total of 746 yards and seven touchdowns, while being used primarily as a third down back in a crowded backfield for the New England Patriots.
The former Chadron State Eagle joins a Chargers team that ranked 27th in both yardage and attempts last season. San Diego has struggled finding a reliable ground game since the exit of future Hall of Fame running back, LaDainian Tomlinson.
The Chargers also brought in former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy this offseason. McCoy made his living through the creative ways he implemented, which was a game plan tooled to his playmaker’s abilities. As a Bronco, McCoy had Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning, three diverse NFL talents with completely different skill sets.
Despite the diversity, the one constant in a McCoy led offense was the importance of the ground game. McCoy’s offenses ranked in the top 10 in attempts and yardage consistently, including the top ranked NFL rushing offense in 2011. Woodhead should see more opportunities in the McCoy led San Diego offense acting as a change of pace compliment to incumbent starter Ryan Mathews.
Woodhead is a scrappy runner who posses a tool box of talents that should help the Chargers recent woeful rushing stats. He is a versatile back with dependable hands out of the backfield. Last season, he caught 40 balls for 446 yards and three scores in New England. Despite constant scrutiny for his size, the 5-8, 200 pound Woodhead is a durable back that has missed only two games in his four-year career. Even more impressive is the fact that Woodhead does not put the ball on the ground in games, having lost only one fumble in his career.
With more opportunities, it is realistic to expect even better production from Woodhead in 2013. Woodhead should be available fairly late in most fantasy drafts. He is a low risk (because of projected draft position) high reward running back that could be the late round sleeper pick that puts your team over the top this season.