Antonio Gates Poised for Big Year

9/1/12 in NFL   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

Over the last few seasons, the San Diego Chargers have been notorious underachievers. Even when it seemed they were the only legitimate threat to dethrone the New England Patriots in the mid-2000's, they would eventually fall short. For so long, LaDanian Tomlinson was the top back in the NFL and the Chargers entered each season with Super Bowl expectations. 

No one has set the bar higher than Antonio Gates. As the most dominant tight end in the league over the last eight years, he set lofty goals for himself to reach each and every season. However, over the last few seasons, Gates has been hampered by injuries to his lower legs and feet, which limited his abilities on the field. Antonio is an overachiever. And now that the he is joined by Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham as premiere tight ends in football, he has his sights set on proving himself all over again. 

August 30, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) carries the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE"I've got something to prove," gates reiterated. "It bothered me at one point because I couldn't show it because of my physical (injury).  People don't care at the end of the day.  This year I just want to come out and do what I'm capable of doing."

Most drafting in their respective fantasy leagues shy away from the oft injured tight end, opting for Gronkowski, Graham, Aaron Hernandez and Jermichael Finley. However, those who took the risk in snagging Gates will almost certainly be rewarded. With everything to prove and a quarterback who favors him in the red zone, Antonio will almost certainly bounce back in 2012. 

Add to the equation the lack of established wideouts to account for red zone targets, Gates will be using his post-up game to out muscle defensive backs in the end zone. With Ryan Matthews expected to miss at least Week 1, we should see Gates immediate impact on Monday Night Football. 
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9/1/12   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

agreed, mr. west, mr. west, mr. west....by his self he's so impressed. Rivers needs to be Rivers of old for the Chargers as a whole to succeed...meaning we need to see a hefty decrease in INT's YoY.

9/1/12   |   njwest9   |   5 respect

IMO Antonio's success hinges upon Philip having a comeback season. Rivers needs to prove that he is still an elite quarterback. I felt embarrassed for him nearly every time I watched the Chargers last season, there was too much bad energy and too many silly mistakes.