2021 Fantasy Preview – Los Angeles Chargers

Team Overview

The Chargers have talent, but struggled with injuries at various times last season. However, the team have decided to go all-in on their rookie QB with additions in their offensive line. The team selected Slater in the first round, as well as adding long-time Packer Corey Linsley to their offensive line. That improved protection should enable this offense to really flow.

2021 Fantasy Preview Los Angeles Chargers- Projected Depth Chart

Individual Players

Studs

  • Keenan Allen: Allen is a top WR, especially in PPR leagues. The connection he established early with Justin Herbert paid dividends all season. There is no reason for that to change, and Allen should again be a top option for fantasy owners. Allen is a lock for over 100 targets, with only two seasons where he missed time not reaching that mark. Over the past four seasons, he is just short of 600 targets! The only thing that really stops him being considered in the top end of the position is the lack of TDs he has scored.
  • Austin Ekeler: Ekeler is the lead back for this offense, and should again be a primary receiver out of the backfield. There are certain outcomes where he doesn’t consistently score TDs, given the way the team uses their personnel at the goal line, but he should be a consistent scorer with the receptions that should come his way. This season he will be behind the best offensive line that he has ever played with.

Role Players

  • Justin Herbert: Herbert took the reigns of the offense earlier than many expected last season. But once he had them, he excelled. He immediately struck a rapport with Keenan Allen, and had a consistent volume of pass attempts. Since last season, the team added to their offensive line, which should help their overall offense take a step forward. 
  • Mike Williams: Williams might be a ‘keep an eye on’ but I thought he has a little more upside than that. Williams has been inconsistent since entering the league, with a season of over 1,000 yards and a separate one with double-digit TDs. If he finds a happy medium, with the expected pass volume, he could be an effective depth piece.
  • Jared Cook: Cook is going to have a role on the offense, given that the team moved quickly to secure him. The team don’t have many big bodies to target in the redzone, so Cook should fill that role. An effective streamer with weekly starting upside.

Keep an eye on

  • Joshua Kelley: Kelley was a hot pickup last season when Ekeler was forced to miss time. However, he didn’t step up into the role that people hoped. Despite that, he does have some flex appeal in PPR leagues. In a new offense, with an improved offensive line, he could take a step up and fill a valuable role as a depth piece on your roster.

Dynasty Stashes

  • Tre’ McKitty: The TE position is up for grabs, given the shake-up it had with Hunter Henry leaving in the offseason. McKitty is available on the waiver wire in alot of leagues. If you are in need of a TE in the medium-term, pick him up as a lottery ticket.
  • Larry Rountree: The RB position is always a prime one for a stash. Last season the team needed an RB to step up when Ekeler went down with injury. However, it didn’t really happen, with both Kelley and Justin Jackson struggling to make the role theirs. There isn’t alot of draft capital invested in him, but he should still have a role in the offense

***Note: All projections and discussions are assuming full PPR formats.***

2021 Fantasy Preview Los Angeles Chargers- Stat Projections

Passing

Player Name Pos Comp Att Yards TDs INTs
Justin Herbert
QB
379
550
4,440
31
12

Receiving

Player Name Pos Targets Rec Yards Yds/Rec TDs
Keenan Allen
WR
139
97
1,106
11.4
7
Austin Ekeler
RB
83
71
604
8.5
2
Mike Williams
WR
83
50
790
15.8
8
Jared Cook
TE
78
51
663
13.0
8
Jalen Guyton
WR
72
40
663
15.3
4

Rushing

Player Name Pos Att Yards Yds/Att TDs
Austin Ekeler
RB
182
817
4.5
4
Joshua Kelley
RB
114
443
3.9
2
Justin Herbert
QB
68
429
6.3
3

***Note Player Projections are only fantasy relevant players. Team totals may not add up as we left out players that may not have a significant impact on the season. Projections provided by Rich King and is based on 16 games.***

Team Projection

Record HC OC
9-8
Brandon Staley
Joe Lombardi
Rush Att Rush Yards Rush TDs Passing Att Passing Yards Passing TDs Total Yards Total TDs
455
2,807
11
556
4,485
31
6,572
42
10th
13th
31st
16th
11th
5th
6th
20th

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Image Credit: Darren Yamashita – USA TODAY Sports