On March 17, the Indianapolis Colts agreed to a one-year contract with former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers for $25 million. After 16 successful seasons in LA/San Diego, Rivers leaves his former team in the hands of now likely Week 1 starter Tyrod Taylor. Taylor has bounced around the NFL, first backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore before picking up a 22-20 record as the starter in Buffalo. He would later start two games for the Browns before ceding the starting position to Baker Mayfield and leaving for the Chargers. The Bolts seem likely to draft a quarterback in this year’s class, although Taylor should at least get some run at the beginning of the season. What kind of numbers could he put up in LA?
|Pass YDs||Pass TDs||INTs||Rush YDs||Rush TDs||FF PTs||FF PPG|
Taylor only completed four passes in 2019, so I’m bouncing back to his last relatively full season as the starter, back when he was playing in Buffalo. These numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt, as the Bills ranked 31st in pass-protection in 2017, and the team’s leading receivers were none other than Charles Clay and Deonte Thompson – not surprising that nobody on the team had more than 600 receiving yards. The impressive part of these numbers is that even behind an offensive line giving him little time to evaluate his options, Taylor picked up almost 500 rushing yards and had a better than 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio.
|Pass YDs||Pass TDs||INTs||Rush YDs||Rush TDs||FF PTs||FF PPG|
I would give Tyrod Taylor about a 40% chance of starting all 16 games in LA this season, as I do think the team ends up with one of Tua or Herbert, and the team would likely want to give their young guy some run. I’m still projecting him for 16 games played in these stats, and Taylor has some tremendous potential for next season. These numbers would have had him rated as a borderline top-ten QB in fantasy last season, as rushing yards are so heavily weighted in fantasy scoring. His overall efficiency playing in this Chargers offense would allow him to produce substantial numbers across the board.
Tyrod Taylor – Perfect Bridge Quarterback for the LA Chargers and your Fantasy Team?
— Rich Causier (@FFMiz1) February 15, 2020
Auction Price: $3
Tyrod Taylor will probably go undrafted in a ton of leagues. Last year we saw Josh Allen produce big-time numbers for fantasy as an undrafted option due to his massive success on the ground. Taylor, while seven years older than Allen, could follow suit as a vastly underrated commodity in fantasy circles.
Taylor is considered as high-risk for an injury in 2020. He has a laundry list of past injuries – torn groin, MCL sprain, knee patella sprain, dislocated finger, and three concussions. As with all dual-threats, there is always an increased chance of injury as he makes plays in the open field and takes hits from linebackers and secondary defenders. If Taylor can stay on the field, his rushing ability should give him a solid floor overall due to how valuable rushing yards are for fantasy scoring. Quarterbacks get 1 point for every 25 passing yards and every ten rushing yards – there’s an inherent bias towards players with Taylor’s capabilities.
The Chargers have tons of offensive weapons, more on that in a moment, and if Taylor has developed more of a downfield passing element, he could put up impressive numbers in 2020. It’s unlikely he goes for over 25 touchdowns, but 600+ rush yards is a possibility, and his passing volume could go up if the Chargers are trailing in a lot of games this year (they had a 5-11 record last season). His ceiling could approach 3,500 passing yards, 600 rushing yards, and 25 total touchdowns would be about his cap for this season if he plays 16 games.
Best Fantasy Sleeper QB’s 2020
1. Tyrod Taylor
— Offical Tyrod Taylor Fan Club (@mikeshitwood) April 17, 2020
Los Angeles Chargers Offense
As I mentioned above, the Chargers’ offensive skill positions are littered with talent – Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler should all help make life easier on Taylor in 2020. It’s worth noting that Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn has some experience with Tyrod Taylor, serving as the Bills’ offensive coordinator and later interim head coach in 2015-16. The Chargers come into 2020 with a new offensive coordinator in Shane Steichen who has limited professional experience, but Ken Whisenhunt had grown stale as the OC. The Chargers scored three more points per game after making the switch halfway through last season, and with a full offseason for Steichen to implement his system, the impact should be even more significant this year. As of now, the Chargers don’t have a real workhorse back on the roster (after losing Melvin Gordon), so Taylor will likely be relied upon to make plays with both his legs and his arm.
Strength of Schedule
The Chargers play in the AFC West so that they will be taking on the Chiefs, Broncos, and Raiders each twice. The Raiders gave up the 6th-most points to quarterbacks in fantasy last season, and their pass defense is one of their biggest weaknesses with their inability to generate consistent pressure on the QB. The Chiefs were in the top ten for most rushing yards allowed to QBs last year, and their potent offense always supports a positive game script for higher octane offense from their opponents. The Broncos will present more of a challenge with what figures to be one of the better defenses in the league next year led by Vic Fangio. Outside of the AFC West, the Chargers will take on the NFC South who’s defenses won’t be scaring anybody. The Panthers and Falcons are not good on that side of the ball, while the Bucs and Saints have offenses that should support higher-tempo and higher-scoring games. The Patriots and Bills will present more of a challenge, but those are their only tough matchups on tap. Other games include the Bengals, Jets, Jaguars, and Dolphins, all of whom ranked in the bottom half of the league for fantasy points allowed by the quarterback position.
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