Any thoughts from homers as to how this situation plays out? Seems like Gates will be a big beneficiary (like he was when VJax was holding out). It's hard for me to imagine that Rivers won't bounce back, even if he won't look as good as he did in 2010. If that happens, seems very likely that someone at the WR position is going to have to put fantasy start-able stats. Only trick will be figuring out who. Who do insiders have pegged to be the guy at wideout?
Me and a couple homer buddies of mine had an intense conversation about this (whether or not the passing O gets back on track) topic for hours last night.
Gates is without a doubt the biggest beneficiary; seems to have fully put his foot woes behind him, and has taken precautionary measures to stay healthy this off-season (i.e. lost weight to place less stress on his plantar fascia). He's got a chip on his shoulder, and he even played preseason Wk4 just to try and prove he's over it. He'll be the go-to safety valve.
As for which WR will step up, it's a hard one to decide. I had my $$ on Vincent Brown prior to his broken ankle. Most will jump on the Malcolm Floyd train after that, but I think Meachem is someone to keep an eye on. Floyd's had trouble staying healthy his entire career, and Meachem was totally underutilized in New Orleans spread attack.
I've watched every Chargers preseason game thus far, and I'll start with the disclaimer that Meachem and Rivers do NOT have their timing down yet. Rivers is used to playing with big lumbering WRs in the VJax/Floyd mold, never has had a solid speedster like Meachem. He actually did a great job in the preseason getting open downfield, 2x he was open for long TDs that Rivers grossly underthrew him on (one was intercepted). If they can get their timing down, it'll be a force to reckon w/.
Rivers had a 2011 to forget, but lets not forget the '08, '09, '10. With or w/o VJax (way overrated WR and a product of Rivers, not the other way around). I believe he'll bounce back, especially from a fantasy perspective. They don't have the resources to apply a heavy ground attack right now either, it'll come down to Philip remaining confident and following through in his throws (and with his ego, you better believe he will be
). As for his preseason performance, Wk2 he showed he's ready to play for the most part. He was awesome other than his 2 INTs; the Meachem underthrow Wk2 was on him, the other one however was a tipped ball fluke that got batted straight into the defenders hands, good ball that shoulda been caught.