LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Justin Herbert: Justin Herbert finished the 2021 season as the QB2 overall in just his 2nd season as a pro. Herbert actually finished the 2nd half of the season as the QB1 overall, outproducing Josh Allen by almost 2 points per game. The Chargers enter 2022 with mostly the same receiving core, with an upgrade at tight end from Jared Cook to Gerald Everett. Everett, when healthy, played like a TE1. Herbert had 14 games of 35+ pass attempts last season. In his divisional games it’s likely to be shootouts, but the big concern for Herbert is the upgrades the Chargers made on defense. They’ll be challenging for one of the best defenses in the league, so we won’t see those large passing games as often. Herbert, despite the upgrades on defense should still challenge for the QB1 overall spot with a year of improvement and slight offensive upgrades.
Austin Ekeler: Ekeler finished last season as the RB2 overall averaging 21.5 ppg. He saw career highs in rush attempts, yardage and most importantly touchdowns. It was 9 more than his previous career high of 11. With a touchdown dependency of 34.9%, meaning it accounted for 34.9% of his total points, we should expect his touchdown totals to see a slight decrease. On the positive side though, he has such a secure role as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and primary red-zone threat for the chargers. Finishing with the 8th most total touches among running backs in 2021, we should expect another top-5 finish from Ekeler in 2022.
Isaiah Spiller: With Justin Jackson gone, Isaiah Spiller should be taking over as the primary backup to Ekeler for the 2022 season. With Josh Kelley likely to see yet another decrease in total touches, Larry Rountree is the only true competition for the No.2 RB role. As long as Spiller maintains his hold on that job, he should be the primary handcuff to Ekeler, who’s only played in one full season for his career.
Keenan Allen: The last time a healthy Keenan Allen didn’t finish as a top-12 receiver in points per game was 2014. Allen has had 95+ receptions and 1,000+ yards for 5 seasons in a row now. He's as consistent as they come and should yet again be Justin Herbert’s go-to option. The only downside to Allen comes in the touchdown department. He’s only hit 8 touchdowns twice in his career, but that hasn’t stopped him from finishing as a WR1. View the touchdowns as a bonus at this point. If his touchdowns increase you get a top 3 receiver. If they stay around 6 like usual, you get someone with weekly top 5 potential. Allen is as safe of a WR1 as they come.
Mike Williams: Mike Williams finished as a WR1 for the first time in his career. He was still a boom/bust type of player, but the boom games just happened a little more often. Through the first 3 weeks he was the WR2 overall averaging 25.8 points per game. He looked like a surefire league winner. However, 31.4% of his total fantasy points for the season came in those first 3 weeks. From weeks 4-18, he was the WR24 averaging 13 points per game.The latter is more so what we should expect from Williams. In the 16 games he played last season, he finished as the WR40 or worse 8 times. There’s a lot of risk with Williams, but those boom games have week-winning potential that some people may want to take a gamble on.
Joshua Palmer: Between Guyton and Palmer, Palmer had the higher snap share over the last 5 games the season (68% to 49%).Given that the Chargers play mainly 3-WR sets, he figures to have a more prominent role next season. He took on a good amount of snaps in the slot too at 34.6%, so there’s ppr upside with him. By no means does he need to be taken in drafts, but he’s a strong sleeper candidate that can be used as a fill-in during bye weeks.
Gerald Everett: Gerald Everett had an up and down season. He started out the season strong with 2 of his first 3 games with double digit points. He then gets hurt and returns at the same time his quarterback gets hurt. When Russell Wilson returned, Everett saw his fantasy numbers increase. He was the TE8 overall from weeks 10 through 18. This is on one of the least pass-heavy teams in the league. He now goes to an offense that ran the 5th most plays per game in a substantially more pass-heavy offense.