2022 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Chargers Preview

by Garrett Ball
2022 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Chargers Preview

Welcome to the 2022 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Chargers Preview!

Led by rookie head coach Brandon Staley and star second-year QB Justin Herbert, the Chargers barely missed the playoffs last year after losing a thrilling overtime game against the Las Vegas Raiders. It was quite the turnaround, LAC ranked 18th in points scored in 2020 and 5th in 2022.

Keenan Allen continued his consistent ways, and Mike Williams rose from an ADP of WR48 to finish as a WR1. Even though he was drafted highly, Austin Ekeler was still a league-winning type of player because he scored a ridiculous 20 TDs.

Turning the page to 2022, the Chargers are one of the top offenses for fantasy managers to target.

2022 Fantasy Football Los Angeles Chargers Preview

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It's scary to think about how good Justin Herbert is, and he's only been in the NFL for two years. He can still get better. Looking at stats from Pro Football Reference, in 2021, he was 2nd in the NFL in passing attempts and yards, 3rd in TD passes, and 3rd in QBR. Fantasy Data has him as a top-five deep passer in 2021. And did I mention he finished as the QB2 in fantasy last year?

In my mind, you're drafting Herbert as a top-3 QB in fantasy, no questions asked. I would take Josh Allen over him, but that's about it. You can make the argument for others, such as Patrick Mahomes, but he lost Tyreek Hill. Herbert still has his top three targets.

Running Backs

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Austin Ekeler is a top fantasy running back this year. I doubt he reaches his crazy 2021 scoring efficiency again, however. But, he's in the conversation as one of the top RBs off the board.

As far as who's behind him, Isaiah Spiller is the most intriguing. Justin Jackson is gone, Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree have not wowed anyone so far. As good as Ekeler is, the Chargers have been looking for a solid number two back to spell him and keep him fresh for the past couple of years. They're hoping Isaiah Spiller is that guy.

Regarded by many as the best running back behind Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker, Isaiah Spiller fell in the 2022 NFL Draft thanks to a poor combine. Jackson's departure opened up 93 opportunities in LA, in addition to any work Spiller may siphon from Kelley and Rountree. He's worth a late-round dart as a handcuff with flex appeal.

Wide Receivers

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Allen and Williams finished 2021 as the WR11 and 12 respectively. In redraft, I'm more comfortable with the predictable safety of Allen, but in best ball formats I give the edge to Williams. I won't fault you for whomever you decide to choose. They're both tied to one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

As far as the other Chargers receivers, it's a toss-up for me between Palmer and Guyton. Both had nearly the same targets and receptions in 2021, with Palmer having the touchdown edge and Guyton the YPR advantage. I'm not looking to target them in drafts. More than likely they'll be on waivers, so pick them up as a bye week fill-in.

Tight Ends

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Gerald Everett is one of my favorite late-round tight ends to target this season. Justin Herbert already supported a TE1 in Hunter Henry in 2020. Last year the Chargers' tight end wasn't as successful for fantasy, but Jared Cook is on his way down. Everett could very well be the best tight end Herbert has played with.

Saying that Everett finished 2021 as the TE21 in PPR formats doesn't sound appealing. Why be excited about him? Well, for starters, he's an extremely athletic tight end who had the best season of his career last year. After Russell Wilson returned from injury from week 10, Everett was the overall TE8.

He had the 13th most fantasy points-per-target and the 5th best catch rate among TEs in 2021 according to FantasyData. A top-12 TE season is well within reach with Herbert as his QB.

Final Thoughts

There's a lot to like about the Chargers in 2022. Most of their starters are all coming back, plus they added potential upgrades like Spiller and Everett to their roster.

However, finding fantasy draft values on the Chargers is tricky because most of their skill position players are at the top of draft boards. Having said that, it doesn't mean there aren't values here (like the aforementioned Spiller and Everett, plus Josh Palmer). Seek them out.

Check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football Team Previews!

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