2013 Fantasy Football Dark Horse: Eddie Royal

By Dustin Manko
Eddie Royal
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I know what you are thinking. Eddie Royal? Really? Is a San Diego Chargers wide receiver really on my dark horse list? I know what you must be thinking, truth be told, I’m sort of thinking it too. After all, I wrote this preseason how high risk, high reward the Chargers wide receivers can be.

However, Royal now has five touchdowns in the first two games of 2013. He has secured 10 of 16 targets for 114 receiving yards. He is both the kick and punt returner. The Chargers have already lost Danario Alexander for the season. Now with Malcom Floyd taking a nasty hit and sidelined for who knows how long, Royal suddenly finds himself atop the Chargers wide receivers depth chart.

A quick look at the Chargers schedule sure looks solid for the Chargers air attack, featuring teams like the Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, and Oakland Raiders along with some other very favorable matchups.

The coaching staff this season seems vertically inclined, with head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt calling the shots. When playing for McCoy in the past, Royal has had some very productive seasons including coming just short of an 1,100 yard season in 2010. He also finished 2008 with 1,089 all purpose yards.

The Chargers are also scoring now in volumes they haven’t for a while. Averaging nearly 30 points per game, this is a Charger team that almost beat the Houston Texans and outscored Chip Kelly’s high octane Philadelphia Eagles offense. Philip Rivers is looking like his old self again, making good throws with plenty of velocity.

Considering how nonexistent the running game has been, the only two real options the Chargers now have in the passing attack are Royal and Antonio Gates. While Gates still has good hands, his speed is gone. Royal should see an increase in targets as long as Floyd is out.

To review, Royal is now the primary receiving option on a team averaging close to 30 points per game, with a bevy of favorable matchups on the horizon, in a vertically schemed offense that has no running game. Go electric and scoop up this Bolt off your waiver wire, as he is currently owned in 18 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He may not finish the season as a top tier wide receiver, but Royal has the exact situation you want for a WR2, WR3 or Flex.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/2013/09/14/2013-fantasy-football-marcel-reece-gets-new-deal-chance-to-shine/

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