If you drafted LaDainian Tomlinson as the number one overall pick, you may have been wrestling with an unthinkable dilemma this season – to trade L.T. or not trade L.T. (that is the question). If you are on the fence, the following 10 reasons may inspire you to take the leap and ship him off while you still have the chance for a generous return.
1. An Offensive Line That is Just Plain Offensive. San Diego Chargers offense minus fullback Lorenzo Neal = trouble For Tomlinson.
2. A Toe-tally Serious Injury – “Turf Toe” is one of the nastiest two words in a fantasy football aficionado’s lexicon. It’s a nagging injury that isn’t serious enough to sideline a player, but intrusive enough that, without sufficient rest, it will likely keep a player dragging his feet for weeks.
3. A Backup Who Is Moving Forward – Darren Sproles isn’t just an essential handcuff for L.T. owners. His respectable five yards per carry and impressive 23.2 yards per reception should be good enough to take away more action from Tomlinson.
4. L.T. Is Becoming Old News – He may still be eight months away from reaching the big 3-0, but he looks like he may have already started showing signs of aging. “Old Man Time” may finally be catching up to him.
5. Some Rest in The End Is No Stretch – The Chargers worked L.T. like a dog last season, and one wonders if a hyper-extended knee in the postseason could have been prevented. If a playoff position is secure, Tomlinson will likely get fewer carries down the stretch to ensure that he is fresh for the playoffs.
6. Stats All Folks! – Don’t let the numbers fool you. For L.T. standards, he has played rather poorly all season. Despite four touchdowns padding his fantasy stats, his yards per carry (3.7) are almost the lowest during his career, while his yards after the catch (5.3) are significantly worse when compared to any other season.
7. Softer than Buttah – I was incredulous when L.T. sat out for huge chunks of the playoffs last season with a sore hamstring. Weren’t you? It would probably take a bullet to the head and a shattered vertebrate for Brian Westbrook to sit out a regular season game, and it is doubtful he would sit out for a hammy injury in the postseason.
8. Their “D” is Playing like an “F” – A torn PCL and LCL put Chargers linebacker Sean Merriman on the shelf for the remainder of the 2008 season. The absence of this key cog has made the Chargers’ defensive machine absolutely dreadful. Fewer turnovers and more time on defense have resulted in fewer scoring chances for the entire Chargers’ offense, particularly L.T.
9. Banged Up, Up And Away – The Charger’s injury report is longer than my large intestine. Chris Chambers has an ankle sprain. Antonio Gates has a bum hip. Philip Rivers has bruised ribs. Until the Chargers can get healthy, they will make it easy for opposing teams to look dominant.
10. The Name’s The Thing – Name recognition has a powerful influence on the weak. Use this to your advantage before L.T. puts up another clunker and people start to catch on.