NFL.com Staff | Tags: Three and out, Antonio Gates, Brandon LaFell, Bryce Brown, Carolina Panthers, Danario Alexander, Dion Lewis, Domenik Hixon, LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, Steve Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Vincent Brown
Rivers needs to prove value: Once upon a time, Philip Rivers was one of the most dependable quarterbacks in fantasy football. That hasn’t been the case lately and it seems the San Diego Chargers are running out of patience. U-T San Diego columnist Kevin Acee appeared on NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft” and said he believes “2013 is the final audition of Philip Rivers.” If true, that could provide added motivation for Rivers to regain his past form.
It’s possible considering he has an intriguing cast of pass-catchers. True, Antonio Gates is past his prime, but Danario Alexander played well in the second half of the season and Vincent Brown (who missed all of last season with an injury) is a sleeper prospect. Right now, it’s all wishful thinking, certainly not enough to give Rivers a concrete boost in fantasy draft value. Consider the veteran QB a No. 2 fantasy option with potential sleeper value.
Hixon signs with Panthers: Former New York Giants receiver Domenik Hixon has found a new home with the Carolina Panthers. Carolina already has its top two receiver spots locked in with Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell. That leaves Hixon in a competition with former 49er Ted Ginn, Jr. for the No. 3 spot. Even if he wins the spot, it’s likely a downgrade for a player that was a No. 4 fantasy option at best. The Panthers don’t throw the ball as much — or as effectively — as the Giants. That means fewer targets and far less production in 2013.
Eagles’ Lewis on trading block: The Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly looking to deal running back Dion Lewis. Even in Chip Kelly’s run-first offense, there just aren’t enough touches to go around. If Lewis is in fact traded, it bodes well for Bryce Brown to tighten his grip on the No. 2 running back spot behind LeSean McCoy. Considering how Kelly likes to use his rushers, Brown would have value as a No. 3 or flex option in plenty of leagues.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG