Antonio Gates was once one of if not the best tight ends in the league, but injuries have slowed him in the past 2 years, though 114 catches for 1560 yards and 17 touchdowns in 23 less than 100% games is not too shabby. Head Coach Norv Turner said today that Gates is back to his pre-injury form, though that should be taken with a grain of salt. Coaches often talk up their own players, sometimes even in somewhat of a delusional way.
Even if Gates is 100% right now, he is an injury prone player at this point and he turns 32 in June. We may never see the old version of Antonio Gates again, though this version still isn’t that bad. The Chargers lost Vincent Jackson this offseason and don’t have a proven true #1 receiver on the roster so Philip Rivers may rely heavily on Gates again this season as he did in 2010 when Vincent Jackson was holding out, especially in the red zone. He’s my pick to lead the team in receiving and a top 3 fantasy tight end barring a major injury.