This week we will be covering more of the late-round picks and flyers that might help you win your league.
Since most of these guys are going to be late-round flyers, we will focus more on a dynasty aspect of the fantasy football for the analysis, but we will still have some guys that can bring value in 2020.
Justin Herbert // QB
We discussed the selection of Justin Herbert in our first part of our draft overview article he was the Charger’s first QB taken in the Post-Rivers era, and the Chargers have stated that they will be patient with him and do not plan to rush him to start. As several Chargers fans and fantasy football players look forward to seeing Herbert start for the Chargers, we likely won’t see that until the 2021 season. However, there are a couple of scenarios where we could see him much sooner, barring an injury from Taylor or if Taylor struggles and the Chargers are out of playoff contention and they can give Herbert some stress-free reps and get him comfortable.
The strange offseason in the NFL due to the COVID-19 Pandemic will most likely play a big factor in the rookie class around the NFL. The Chargers just showed up for camp a few days ago, and this will most likely be their first live reps since quarantine started around the country.
The NFL also announced that there will be no preseason games this year, which hurts late-round and undrafted rookies that earn roster spots for preseason performances. Justin Herbert offers a special dual-threat option to the offense, but he still needs to work on his progressions and decision making, he should learn a lot from Taylor this year, and then take the helm in 2021 and hopefully helps the Chargers win their first Super Bowl.
Draft Range: QB36 in Redraft leagues, QB22 in Dynasty leagues.
Projections: 450 passing yards, 85 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 1 rushing TD. (Plays very late in the season, maybe 2-3 games).
Mike Williams // WR
Mike Williams brings a couple of different reactions from Chargers fans, on one hand, he has had a successful career so far even with all of his injury issues. The issue is that he was the Chargers 7th overall pick in the 2017 draft class, where he has selected 3 picks before defending Super Bowl Champion Patrick Mahomes, and 5 picks before young star quarterback Deshaun Watson. At the time the Chargers still had Rivers and he refused to train a new QB, so the Chargers passed on a QB and went after another offensive weapon for Rivers.
In 2018 Mike Williams had 10 receiving touchdowns, but his receiving yards weren’t quite there. In 2019 it was the exact opposite, he led the league in YPC (yards per catch) with 20.4 and had over 1,000 receiving yards, but he only had 2 receiving touchdowns.
If he can combine both of these aspects, he could be a potential WR1 in fantasy football leagues. We still have yet to see how this offense will look this year, and with no preseason to get a sneak peek, it’s hard to say where Williams should be valued in drafts. He played hurt most of last season and was still able to put up good numbers.
Draft Range: WR47 in Redraft leagues, WR39 in Dynasty
Projections: 1,200 yards, 6 TDs, 50 receptions. Finishes as WR19, and outperforms his ADP and becomes Taylors’ favorite deep threat target.
KJ Hill/Andre Patton // WR
We discussed the possibility of KJ Hill competing for the starting slot role, in our final draft recap article. Patton has a year under his belt but didn’t show us very much last year. At the end of the day, the Chargers are adapting a more run-based scheme, which will most likely use formations with two receivers and an added tight end for blocking. This would most likely make the slot role obsolete this year.
With the addition of Keenan playing a slot role and Ekeler going out and playing the same role, it would take even more snaps from the slot receivers. I could be wrong about the slot usage, but projecting to the season, these would be guys to target in 2021 after the roster shakeup.
Justin Jackson/Joshua Kelley // RB
The Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley combo are one of the most intriguing out of all of these fantasy targets. We know the Chargers are going towards a more run-based offense. While Ekeler is an extremely talented running back, he sometimes struggles with running between the tackles and is better as a receiver and on outside zone plays. This leads me to believe that one of these two running backs will have a huge role this year, and will help someone win their league if they take a late flyer on these guys. We know what Justin Jackson brings to the table, he is a very efficient running back since he was drafted in the 7th round in 2018. He stepped up in 2018 to fill in for Gordon and Ekeler, and he has shown flashes last season with 6.9 YPC (yards per carry) but was injured for most of the year.
With the departure of Gordon to Denver, there are 162 carries and 55 targets up for grabs. Kelley has a better build than Jackson and the Chargers invested a high pick on him this year. Another thing that Kelley has going for him is that his ADP is RB67 and Jackson’s RB55. Both still make great value for fantasy, where RB depth is king. The Chargers coaching staff has already said that Jackson will be on a “short leash” this year, which means that he is the current RB2, but Kelley will have plenty of chances to take that RB2 role in the offense.
If you are in a dynasty format, I highly suggest adding Joshua Kelley everywhere you can. For redraft leagues, I would wait and see if we get any reports from training camp or even add both and drop whichever one doesn’t get touches after week 1.
Draft Range: Justin Jackson / RB55 Redraft.
Draft Range: Joshua Kelley / RB67 Redraft & RB55 Dynasty
Projections: 850 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs. I think Kelley wins the job and plays a big role in the run game and finishes the season as RB17 and blows his ADP out of the water.
Derwin James // Saftey
There’s, not much to say on Derwin James, it was a shame that he was hurt for most of last season, the Chargers year would have most likely gone differently if he played all 17 games. People still somehow forget that he was an All-Pro in two different defensive positions as a rookie, and they say that Jamaal Adams and Minkah Fitzpatrick as better. Recency bias and one heck of a drug. If you play in an IDP league, just wait on the defensive players.
Linebackers tend to go higher due to tackle volume, but you can snag a stud like Derwin later in the draft. When healthy, he can provide points from sacks, forced fumbles, interceptions, and his high tackle volume. In 2020 he rallies the defense together for one last hurrah and earns another Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection.
Chargers // Defense
In line with the Derwin James analyst, the Chargers were ravaged by injuries last year. When healthy the Chargers have the best secondary in football and it’s not even close, they have the 2nd best pass-rushing duo in the NFL with Ingram and Bosa. They made a solid addition with an anchor DT in Linval Joseph, who helped take on the blocks for the first pass-rushing duo in the NFL (Danelle Hunter & Everson Griffen- Vikings).
The Chargers have an improved linebacking core and Kenneth Murray should start right away and make an impact in the run defense. The Chargers 3 CBs in Chris Harris Jr., Casey Hayward, and Desmond King will dominate the opposing teams passing game.
My main concern for the defense is the CB2 position and the development for Michael Davis, since Harris and King are slot and dime corners, along with the overall health of the defense. The Chargers defense has shown that they can slow down Mahomes and should finish as a top 3 defense in the NFL and fantasy football this year if everyone stays healthy.
Featured Image: ChargersSwap/Instagram