Jamal Williams Done, Ogemdi Nwagbuo to Start for Chargers | NFL Football Rankings
Today the San Diego Chargers announced they have placed their three time pro bowl nose tackle, Jamal Williams on injured reserve. Williams has been the staple of the Chargers run defense, and is now gone.
If Shawne Marriman is the most important player on the Chargers defense, Williams has to be the right behind him.
Not only is this a tremendous blow to their 3-4 style of attack, but the Chargers do not have great depth at defensive tackle. This situation reminds me of what the Panthers are going through as they lost their run stuffer in Maake Kemoeatu in August.
Fantasy Owners, We Have a Problem
Dick Lebeau said it best about the 3-4 defense, the most important part of this style of defense is your big men up front. Lebeau (Steelers defensive coordinator) probably understands this defensive style better than anyone.
Nwagbuo stands in at only 6’4 and 303 pounds. This is a big difference to Williams, who’s a massive 6’3 and 348 pound. If you don’t have a beast like Williams in the middle, a 3-4 defense is very susceptible to the run.
Without a stout line up front, the linebackers will have to take on opponent’s linemen and will be worn down in the second half of games. This is not good for Merriman and company.
Where to go from Here
I see two options for the Chargers at this point.
For starters, they can continue with the 3-4 and find someone next week that is better suited for the nose tackle position. Maybe they can move fourth round pick Vaughn Martin (6’4, 320) from defensive end back to defensive tackle. Use a rotation on the front line and keep the players fresh.
On the other hand, they could allow their defensive coordinator Ron Rivera to change things up a bit. Rivera has ties from the Eagles and Bears’ defenses and they may throw in more packages over time to fit a smaller defensive line scheme.
That move might be out of desperation, but if they can’t stop the run in the next few weeks than they may try it.
Fantasy Football Rankings for the Chargers Defense
This week the Chargers will be thrown right into the fire as they play the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore is one of the better running teams (great offensive line) in football.
If you have a respectable option for a backup defense than you might want to start them this week. Either way we will all see if the Rivera and the Chargers are up to stopping a very good running team, without Williams.
My early thoughts are that they will struggle and may not be worth owning in fantasy leagues. This week will be very interesting.
Fantasy Football Information writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com