If you play fantasy football and you don’t live under a rock somewhere, you will have hear the name Eddie Royal a lot this week. After all, the diminutive San Diego Chargers wide receiver torched the Philadelphia Eagles for seven receptions, 90 yards and three touchdowns in a last second victory.
This three-touchdown performance from the former second round draft pick from Virginia Tech, comes on the heels of a two-touchdown performance in week 1 against the Houston Texans –And with five touchdown receptions in two games, a total of 51 fantasy points in PPR leagues (4th among WR’s) it’s easy to see why fantasy owners everywhere are hustling to their computers and cell phones to put in a waiver claim on Royal, hoping to add him to their rosters.
Yet, before you buy into the fact that Royal is some type of fantasy savior, let’s take a look at the facts, cause Royal like many others before him is likely just a flash in a pan, who won’t be able to sustain the incredible production he’s put up over the first two weeks.
See fantasy owners have a problem – when it comes to players like Royal we tend to do what I like to call chasing the points. This is referring to when you have a player on your bench that puts up a fluky 30 point game, then you start him the next week based off that performance which is not likely to be duplicated, then the guys becomes a bust for you that week.
To many times we are inserting players into our lineup because we don’t want to miss out on another big day, so we disregard all other important factors, like match ups and a consistent level of previous performances. Consistency is the name of the game in fantasy football, you want to find consistent producers, who can be relied upon each and every week. Royal is not one of those players, at least not yet.
Sure, he could become a consistent fantasy producer, especially with the injury to Malcolm Floyd and the inability of other targets such as Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen to emerge in the Chargers offense, as well as the apparent resurgence of Philip Rivers (something I’m not buying into quite yet).
However, the problem with a player like Royal is that he has most likely already had two of his best performances of the season. He’s already matched his career high for touchdown receptions in season with five, do you really think he is going to continue catching touchdowns at this pace? If you do, you shouldn’t. At this point, I would be extremely surprised if Royal catches five more touchdown passes the rest of the season. Even if we were talking about Calvin Johnson, I would still say that level of touchdown production is not sustainable.
The more promising thing to me was the fact that Royal actually hauled in seven passes for 90 yards to go along with his trifecta of touchdowns. This could mean that he is becoming a key cog in the Chargers passing game, which could produce receptions and yards, which is much more sustainable than his current rate of touchdown receptions.
I still have my doubts about Royal in part because he’s eclipsed 500 yards receiving just twice in his first five NFL seasons. He’s also been injury prone and hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2010. Furthermore, he put up his big numbers against a bad defense that was gassed because of its up-tempo offense, so it was an ideal situation for him to have a big game.
That’s not to say Royal won’t continue to catch passes and this article is not in anyway suggesting you shouldn’t add him to your roster because if you need help at receiver, you definitely should. All I’m saying, is you should be cautious before throwing him into your starting lineup right away, because it’s only been two weeks and he has a long way to go before proving he’s a trustworthy fantasy option.