Jun 23, 2012
Antonio Gates enters the 2012 season on the heels of an injury plagued 2011 campaign in which he posted just 64 catches for 788 and seven touchdowns. Seven touchdowns was the worst single season total in his excellent ten year career, and his 12.2 yards per catch was below his career average of 13.1.
Gates, a former basketball start at Kent State, started in 64 straight games from 2006 to 2009, while amassing hall of fame type numbers and earning the love of millions of fantasy football fans across the globe.
A severe case of plantar fasciitis has limited Gates to just 23 starts over the past two seasons, while removing him from the top rated tight end in fantasy football. According to a report on CBSsports.com, Gates may be past his issues with plantar fasciitis and could be primed for a nice bounce back season.
When asked about Gates’ health, Head Coach Norv Turner told reporters: “Gates has had the best offseason that he has had in three or four years.”
The emergence of Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Vernon Davis has relegated Gates to a likely fifth or sixth round pick in fantasy drafts this fall. If in fact he his healthy and his able to return to form for the Chargers, Gates could end up being an excellent value at his current ADP.
Keep in mind that Gates is only 32 years old, and he was able score ten touchdowns in just ten games in 2010. Graham and Gronk may be the new young studs in the league, however, there is no denying the fact that Phillip Rivers loves Gates in the Red Zone and the two may hook up for double digit TD’s again this season.