AFC West Offensive Lines: The West Is Won At The Line Of Scrimmage

Corey KoehlerSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2008

Everybody wants the best running back in the league when fantasy football drafts kick off around the country, and San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson is clearly the top choice.

Not only is he the best running back in the league, but he benefits by playing behind the best offensive line in the league. When you can find strong skill players supported by strong line play, then you’ve got a formula for success.

Young quarterbacks like San Diego’s Philip Rivers and Denver’s Jay Cutler absolutely benefit from strong offensive line play in front of them. So bet big on skill players from San Diego and Denver on draft day as these teams are among the top lines in the conference.

San Diego Chargers (1st in AFC West, 1st in Conference)
The success of this unit over the last few years speaks for itself. McNeill, Dielman and Hardwick are a formidable trio, and remain a big part of LaDainian Tomlinson’s assault on the record books.

LT Marcus McNeill
LG Kris Dielman
C Nick Hardwick
RG Mike Goff
RT Jeromey Clary

Denver Broncos (2nd in AFC West, 5th in Conference)
Denver as a franchise takes great pride in the play of its offensive line, though with less talented linemen than the Broncos are used to, they land in the Top 5 based on their zone-blocking system and their commitment to run the ball. And first-round pick Ryan Clady should continue the team’s tradition of solid line play.

LT Ryan Clady (12th overall pick)
LG Ben Hamilton
C Casey Wiegmann
RG Montrae Holland
RT Erik Pears

Oakland Raiders (3rd in AFC West, 14th in Conference)
Former No. 2 overall pick Robert Gallery, who was supposed to be a mainstay at tackle after being drafted in 2004, has been moved inside to guard. Enough said.

LT Kwame Harris
LG Robert Gallery
C John Wade
RG Cooper Carlisle
RT Cornell Green

Kansas City Chiefs (4th in AFC West, 16th in Conference)
The Chiefs could’ve used Jack Long, but first-round pick Branden Albert should help their cause. This unit needs a lot of assistance after losing a few key veterans to retirement in the last year or so. Larry Johnson is praying for help.

LT Branden Albert (15th overall pick)
LG Brian Waters
C Rudy Niswanger
RG Adrian Jones
RT Damion McIntosh

This is another post in a series in which we go division by division looking at and ranking the most overlooked factor in the success of your fantasy football squad, the offensive line. So you might want to keep an eye out over the next few weeks - which by the way, I have made it easy for you to do because…

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