The Los Angeles Chargers were just one game away from being in the playoffs in the 2021 season. It came down to a game with their divisional foes, the Las Vegas Raiders. In the end, they failed to earn the victory and missed the playoffs for a third straight year.
Heading into 2022, the Chargers are looking to be a favorite in the AFC to earn a top seed with all the optimism surrounding the offense and a vastly improved defense. Justin Herbert is entering his third season and there’s MVP buzz surrounding him. It’s well earned, after throwing for the second most passing yards (5,014) and third-most passing touchdowns (38) last season. Austin Ekeler is still a dynamic piece in the offense out of the backfield and this receiving room features one of the best duos in the NFL now with Mike Williams breaking out last season and Keenan Allen being…well Keenan Allen.
So with all this positivity emanating from Chargers camp, you can definitely expect to find great fantasy football players on this offense. Take a look at this article to make sure you leave your fantasy football draft with the right players from this Los Angeles Chargers offense.
Leave Your Fantasy Football Draft With This Player
Mike Williams, WR
Williams had an interesting season in 2021. He started the year on fire by averaging 23.2 fantasy football points per game through the first five weeks of the season. Then, he followed that up by averaging 8.9 fantasy football points per game over the next five games. Finally, he closed the season out and averaged 14.4 fantasy football points per game over the final six games of the season. With all this fluctuation during the season, Williams still managed to finish as the 12th-ranked fantasy wide receiver.
Looking at his prospects for the 2022 season, you have to like the look of this new Chargers offense under offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi. Last season the Chargers were ranked third in passing attempts and Herbert was one of only two quarterbacks that had over 5,000 passing yards. While Williams shares a field with another great receiver in Allen, both of these receivers were able to put up excellent numbers. The big difference between the two receivers was that Allen racked up 30 more receptions but he also had 28 more targets as well.
One thing that should help Williams is that he’s worked on his route-running over the offseason and that should improve his catch rate. He only caught 58.9% of passes thrown his way last season compared to Allen catching 67.5% of his passes. That increase in catches will lead to more points in points per reception leagues and will lead to more potential yards and receiving touchdowns.
As we take a look at William’s fantasy football stock, he should be going somewhere around the fifth round. People are going to target him as a low-end WR1 and he holds that value because of the offense that he plays in. As mentioned earlier, Herbert is not afraid to air it out in this offense. That means Williams holds a lot of value even though Allen is going to earn his fair share of targets as well.
Grab Williams for your fantasy football roster because he should improve on the numbers he put up last season and become a more consistent producer for your team over the course of the season.
Old Face, New Place
Gerald Everett, TE
Gerald Everett has always been one of those tight ends that seem like they’re going to break out but it just hasn’t happened yet. There have always been flashes of talent that could lead to a huge season of production but it just never was consistently happening for Everett in his five-year career. It didn’t help that he was playing with another young tight end in Tyler Higbee to start his career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Last season, he finally got out of that situation by signing with the Seattle Seahawks but that offense had its own set of problems and Everett just couldn’t put anything together for the entire season. Now he moves on to the other Los Angeles team and his outlook is a little more promising with a young quarterback in Herbert that plays in a throw-first offense.
It’s already been brought up before but the Chargers ranked third in passing attempts last season and that means there are going to be plenty of targets to go around in this offense. Also if you look at the last two seasons with Herbert as the quarterback, the tight end ranked 13th in 2020 and 18th in 2021. In 2020, Herbert targeted tight end Hunter Henry 93 times in the offense, and in 2021, he targeted tight end, Jared Cook, 83 times.
So Everett should get a healthy amount of targets and he should be in a good spot to convert those targets into solid fantasy production.
Everett is trending towards not getting drafted in the majority of fantasy football drafts. The tight end position is so interesting every year and Everett may become a popular waiver wire tight end that would be picked up and dropped multiple times by several fantasy football managers through the season.
If you’re one of those managers that likes to have a backup tight end on your roster, you could really benefit from having Everett on your bench. While he may not get drafted, you’ll see his involvement in the offense and all your league-mates will clamor to get him off of the waiver wire.
So why not just snatch him up with your final bench spot and just prevent anyone else from benefiting from Everett’s production in the Chargers offense?
Potential Fantasy Football Breakout Player
Josh Palmer, WR
When you’re in an offense that likes to sling the ball all around the field, it’s good to have extra help in the receiving room. Allen and Williams are sensational pieces on the outside, but slated to be the number three receiver is Josh Palmer and he could be an excellent addition to the Chargers offense.
As a rookie last season, Palmer totaled 33 receptions, 353 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns. The nice thing for this Chargers offense is that Palmer racked up half of that production during the final six games of the season, where he earned five starts during that span as well.
This showed that he was more comfortable in the offense. Coming into his second season Palmer can increase his production with the second season of training camp and practice in the offseason. Now we shouldn’t expect a 1,000-yard season from Palmer in this offense, but you can easily expect Palmer to be a complementary piece in this passing offense. He has a good chance of going unnoticed in a game because of the extra attention that Allen and Williams, which could lead to good stat stuffing.
Now viewing Palmer in fantasy football leagues, he’s not going to get drafted by anyone. The reason being is that he’s going to have a great season in 2022, but there are great playmakers in Allen and Williams that will take the majority of the targets in this passing offense. Also, Everett at the tight end position is sure to earn his fair share of targets as well, which will combat Palmer in the Los Angeles offense.
Still, if we see a lot of passing attempts in this offense again, Palmer could be a valuable waiver wire pickup during the season. If you play in a league with three receivers, then he can definitely fill that WR3 role on your roster. Palmer could be a streaming option at the FLEX position of possibly WR2 if you play in a standard two-receiver league. Regardless, Palmer should see increased production in 2022, and monitoring his consistency can lead to him being a good contributor to your fantasy football roster.
Bold Fantasy Football Prediction
Every Chargers skill position player will have a top-10 finisher
Some people may say this is too bold, but this young core is going to put up some serious numbers. Last season, the Chargers were ranked top-five on offense in scoring, total yards, and yards per play. Nothing in this offense has changed and Herbert is going to be an MVP front runner in just his third season in the NFL.
Herbert and Ekeler both finished as the second-ranked fantasy football player at their respective positions but Williams, Allen, and Cook finished outside the top 10. Coming into this season, this offense is going to take a serious leap forward because they’ll need to pull out all the stops in order to keep pace in this competitive AFC West.
So with this firepower and the need to break a three-year playoff drought, you can expect that any Chargers starter that you add to your fantasy roster will be a consistent and dominant producer in 2022.