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Buy, Sell, or Keep: Los Angeles Chargers Offense

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We haven’t heard much out of the Los Angeles Chargers this off-season at all. Who are the Buy/Sell/Keep players on the Chargers’ offense?


What’s that old saying, beware of the quiet ones? The Chargers added a couple of dominant defensive pieces this off-season — J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack. On offense, just a journeyman tight end. So is there anyone you should actively buy, sell, or keep on this electric (see what I did there) offense?

Buy

Keenan Allen, WR

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Keenan Allen was drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Chargers. He is 29 years old with his 30th birthday around the corner. Allen has one of the best young quarterbacks in the league with Justin Herbert. Allen doesn’t have a lot of competition for receptions in the wide receiver room — Mike Williams will have some nice games but nothing like Allen.

Why are we buying a soon-to-be 30-year-old WR in dynasty fantasy football? Reason one — look at his last five years with the Chargers. Allen only had one year with less than 100 receptions — 2018 with 97 — and one year with less than 1,000 receiving yards — 2020 with 992.

In comparison, Williams has never had a 100 reception season in his five-year career, with his highest coming last year at 76 receptions.

Allen is the picture of consistency with Justin Herbert and the Chargers.

In Herbert’s first two years with the Chargers, he threw for 4,336 yards and 5,014 yards. Allen went with 992 yards and then 1,138 yards. He has had at least four receptions in 11 out of the 14 games he played with Herbert in 2020.

Allen followed that up by having at least four receptions in every single game of his 2021 season with Herbert. The relationship between the two is getting stronger.

Not only are the receptions and yardage consistent for Allen, but so are the TDs with at least six in each of the last five years. The price for Allen is not steep and I feel he has at least three more 100-catch-for-1,000-yard seasons in him. Because he will be 30, dynasty owners are selling at a bargain. Get him now.

Sell

Austin Ekeler, RB

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Austin Ekeler was not drafted in the 2017 NFL draft. He was signed as an unrestricted college free agent by the Chargers out of Western State College in the mountains of Colorado.

Ekeler was considered to have not played against the competition that most NFL general managers like to see one play against. He took that challenge and flourished with the receiving back roll in his rookie season with 27 receptions for 279 yards and 3 TDs. Ekeler added 47 carries for 260 yards and 2 more TDs.

He had made his mark on the Chargers’ lineup for seasons to come. Ekeler earned a bigger role on offense and produced 106 carries for 554 yards and 3 TDs. Add in the 39 receptions for 404 yards and 3 TDs, and you have a pretty successful second year in the league.

The Chargers decided they had a really good thing in Ekeler and boosted his receptions in his third year to an incredible 92 for 993 yards and 8 TDs. He also totaled 132 carries for 557 and another 3 TDs.

How did Ekeler respond after 224 touches in 2019?

In 2020, Ekeler missed six games due to various injuries from hamstring early in the season to hip soreness late in the season. The result was a disappointing 170 touches of the football for 116 carries for 530 yards and just 1 TD. Ekeler also added 54 receptions for 403 yards and 2 TDs. You have to wonder if the 2019 load had an effect on his slight 5′ 10″ and 200 lb body for the 2020 season.

Ekeler bounced back in 2021 with the highest carry total of his career at 206 carries for 911 yards and a whopping 12 TDs. Add in his 70 receptions for 647 yards and another 8 TDs, and you have an incredibly successful year in the NFL. What will his 276 touches mean for his 2022 season? Did Ekeler’s 224 touches in 2019 have a direct effect on his 2020 season?

Now, add in his age of 27 next month, and you get the near-death sentence of an NFL RB. Over 50% of NFL RBs see a decrease in production in their age 27 seasons. Even more players see a dramatic decrease in production of their age 28 seasons. Ekeler’s value is at its peak right now. Are you willing to chance his touch total from 2021 having a negative impact on his body? Are you willing to bet on one more year? It is better to sell one year too early than one year too late.

Keep

Gerald Everett, TE

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Gerald Everett was the Los Angeles Rams’ second-round draft choice in the 2017 NFL. In each of his four seasons in L.A., he has improved. Everett’s rookie season tallied 17 receptions for 248 yards and 2 TDs. He grew to 33 receptions in 2018, 37 receptions in 2019, and 41 receptions in 2020.

After four years with the Rams, Everett signed with the Seattle Seahawks for the 2021 season. In a Seahawks offense that nobody will confuse with a high-powered passing attack, Everett improved again with 48 receptions for 478 yards and 4 TDs. This was done with Russell Wilson breaking his finger in game five and never being the same again for the year.

The Seahawks obtained TE Noah Fant when they traded Wilson to Denver, so Everett went back to the Chargers. He signed a two-year contract worth $12 million dollars and has arguably the best QB yet to throw to him – Justin Herbert.

Everett has 35-year-old Jared Cook, second-year TE Tre’ McKitty, and third-year TE Donald Parham standing in his way to relevant snaps and receptions. I can see his sixth straight increase in stats with Herbert throwing to him. Herbert handed out 118 targets to his TEs in 2021, so how does 60 receptions for 650 yards and 6 TDs sound?

With all the TE premium dynasty fantasy football leagues out there, keep the soon-to-be 28-year-old TE on your roster. He will be a 12-18 ranked TE that will be a consistent starter for your team. You could not get that kind of value back in any trade. Everett stays on your roster for 2022.


Thank you for checking out the latest article in the Buy/Sell/Keep series! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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