Where does Justin Herbert rank among QBs in dynasty?

Is the Chargers QB Justin Herbert an elite dynasty QB?

By: Jeremy Trottier

Oregon QB prospect Justin Herbert broke onto the NFL landscape in 2020, becoming the Pepsi Rookie of The Year as well as the NFL Offensive Rookie of The Year.  This was also a hugely welcome surprise, or even an expected surprise to dynasty owners of the rookie phenom, as he put up some fantastic stats and even broke the rookie passing TD record with 31 touchdowns.  Just as a refresher midway through the offseason, Herbert had a statline of the following:

  • 15 games played (15 started)
  • 595 passing attempts for 396 completions (66.6% completion rate)
  • 4336 passing yards, 31 passing TDs, 10 interceptions
  • 55 rushes for 234 yards and 5 touchdowns

Overall, an extremely viable statline for one of the youngest quarterbacks in the league last year.  With that in mind, should dynasty owners be expecting a sophomore slump?  Or should they expect him to continue this trajectory and put-up stat lines of epic proportions?  In this article, we will cover what should be expected from Herbert as well as why it should be the case, taking into consideration roster changes and scheduling for the season.

Roster Changes

Some of the biggest moves by the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason have been on the defensive side of the ball, such as drafting Asante Samuel Jr, bringing in Kemon Hall, and exercising the fifth-year option on Derwin James.  However the Chargers have definitely brought in some new offensive potential for Herbert to work with in 2021.  The first of which being previous Saints TE Jared Cook, who is a phenomenal receiving tight end and despite a fumble in the 2020 playoffs, has been relatively secure with the ball over the span of his career.  With the loss of Hunter Henry at the tight end spot, bringing in a veteran presence with solid hands and who knows a division rival (played for the Raiders previously to the Saints) inside and out is a solid choice.  

Another offensive addition of huge note is tackle Rashawn Slater, a starting OT since his freshman season who has the versatility to play either RT or LT successfully.  Protecting your franchise QB is a huge deal, as we saw with the Bengals and Joe Burrow last season, so investing in a premier offensive tackle such as Slater to likely protect Herbert’s blindside is a very smart decision.  Slater is one of the better O-line prospects in the 2021 class, as he has a very good frame that has solid fluidity both laterally and vertically into blocks, and is able to muscle his way into defenders, driving them back and away from the pocket.  

Division Strength/Strength of Schedule

One of the biggest things mentioned when looking towards team, and player, success is who they have to play during the season as well as how good those teams are.  In 2021, the Chargers strength of schedule is ranked 17th hardest, making it one below average.  The average record of all the teams they will play is 0.493 (49.3%), which means the average team they will play had more losses than wins last season.  

This also factors in their divisional opponent the Chiefs twice (as they play twice a year) which drags the average up, since they were 14-2 last season.  The Chargers having one of the easier schedules in the league while still having the outlier that is Kansas City twice on it means their schedule should be even easier outside those two games.  

Final Prediction 

Overall, Justin Herbert according to most things around him, should either perform at the level he did last season or better.  This means dynasty owners should either be keeping him on the roster if they have him, or looking to trade for him if possible, at the moment.  His value is probably the highest it will be as of this moment however, just due to age, so if you can trade him away for a huge return that you deem worth it after all this, then pull the trigger.

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