Fantasy Football 2012: The San Diego Chargers could be a decent second option on defense

By Kenny Gardner

The San Diego Chargers struggled on defense last season because they were tied for 23rd in sacks with the Cleveland Browns following a season in which San Diego was one sack away from being tied for the NFL lead in this category.  Although they ranked 13th against the pass in terms of yards allowed, only four teams allowed more yards per attempt and only five teams allowed a higher quarterback rating.  San Diego’s run defense was ranked 20th last season and only five teams allowed more rush attempts of at least 20 yards.

Sacks are a major category for defenses in fantasy football.  In yahoo fantasy football, owners can have two defenses.  San Diego chose Melvin Ingram in round one of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Ingram had nine sacks in 2010 and 10 sacks in 2011 at the University of South Carolina.  Shaun Phillips had at least seven sacks every season from 2005-2010.  Phillips battled an injury last season that made him miss four games and effected his play on the field.  Antwan Barnes was tied for 11th in the NFL with 11 sacks last season.  A healthy Phillips to go along with Barnes and the possibility of Ingram being effective should help San Diego improve in the sacks category.

San Diego was tied for 13th in interceptions with the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Chargers had 17 interceptions as a team in 2011, but this could be in jeopardy if Eric Weddle gets hurt.  Weddle’s seven interceptions were tied for the NFL lead and he had the second highest percentage of his team’s interceptions last season among all players.  Quentin Jammer has never been a big time interception guy in his 10 seasons as the most he had was four in 2003 and 2006.  Antoine Cason‘s high in  a season was four interceptions in 2010. However, better play by Jammer could make up for this as he allowed almost 11 yards per attempt when quarterbacks threw in his direction last season.  Jammer went through a divorce last season, so maybe a clearer head will help him return to form as he allowed about 7.2 yards per attempt from 2006-2010.

The run defense should improve with the addition of veterans Jarret Johnson and Atari Bigby.  The Lightning Bolts could be a decent second team to have for fantasy football on defense if your primary team has a bad match-up or does not have a game because of their bye week.


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