Is Justin Herbert A Top-Five QB For 2021 Fantasy?
Justin Herbert put together one of the best rookie seasons for a quarterback in NFL history. In 2020, Herbert threw for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. He was a bright spot on a disappointing Chargers team that finished the season with a record of 7-9. After Anthony Lynn was fired, the Chargers brought in former Rams DC Brandon Staley as their head coach and hired Joe Lombardi as their OC, only boosting Herbert’s fantasy value. With a couple of offensive pieces and a new coaching staff, is Justin Herbert a top-five quarterback for 2021 fantasy football?
The Chargers’ offensive personnel is imposing. Although the team lost Hunter Henry to the Patriots, Keenan Allen is an elite receiver, Mike Williams has become a solid deep threat and Austin Ekeler has proven to be effective in both the pass and run game. The biggest question mark I had on this offense was their offensive line, but the Chargers aggressively attacked this weakness, signing center Corey Linsley and drafting Rashawn Slater in the first round.
Herbert finished as QB #9 in fantasy after the 2020 season. I expect guys like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Aaron Rodgers to finished higher than Herbert in 2021, but he has a good chance to pass some of the other quarterbacks that produced more than him last season.
Some guys who I believe will take a step back in fantasy production are Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill. Wilson started 2020 scorching hot and looked like the clear MVP favorite, but in the last eight weeks, Wilson’s production took a hit as he averaged only 16.4 points a game. The Seahawks also upgraded their offensive line and should have some semblance of a running game, taking away some throws from Wilson. As for Tannehill, although he just got a gift in Julio Jones, the Titans lost Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith, and we cannot forget that the offense runs through Derrick Henry. Whether or not Deshaun Watson will even play in 2021 is up in the air, and I know it is stupid to doubt my guy Tom Brady, but he is going to be 44 in August. Kyler Murray is one exception who has a chance to finish above Herbert, as Murray has proven to be an accurate passer and poses a serious threat in the running game.
What is not to love about Justin Herbert? He is six-foot-six and has a rocket of an arm. I do not know if Brandon Staley is a good coach, but I refuse to believe he is worse than Lynn. Obviously, draft a Mahomes or a Josh Allen if you want a superstar quarterback, but Herbert might fall through the cracks and could be a mid-draft steal.
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