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What should you do if you have Justin Herbert?


Justin Herbert is under question due to Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with a broken costal cartilage and is at risk of breaking a streak of 34 consecutive starts (seventh in the NFL). With Herbert’s status likely to remain unclear until games kick off at 1 pm ET, fantasy football managers are likely to have plenty of questions. Can backup Chase Daniel be trusted as a replacement for Herbert? How will this affect other Chargers like Austin Eckeler and Mike Williams? I will answer all of these questions and more to help you as you move into Week 3.

Herbert was QB4 in our current draft trends, so it’s safe to say that fantasy managers expected him to launch before the last week of the Chargers in week 8. If Herbert is out, fantasy managers should consider other streaming options, including Herbert’s backup. Daniel has started in five career games, averaging 220.6 passing yards and a fantastic 14 points per game. It is reasonable to expect such statistical output from him on Sunday.

If Herbert plays, it’s safe to assume it’s because the Chargers expect him to perform at a level that will help them win, but fantasy managers can’t count on Herbert’s usual statistical ceiling in the top 3 weeks. I recommend looking at other quarterbacks to broadcast based on your risk tolerance.

Jimmy Garoppolo (84.5%) and Marcus Mariota (79.8%) are available in a large percentage of Sportzshala leagues. Garoppolo averaged 16.0 fantasy points per game as the 49ers’ starting quarterback last season, while Mariota averaged 16.7 fantasy points per game. Garoppolo plays Sunday night in Denver while Marriott and the Falcons visit the Seahawks at 4:00 p.m., making both quarterbacks a good choice in terms of timing.

If you don’t want to wait and are looking for an option at 13:00, Jared Goff (71.6%) has averaged 20.7 fantasy points on an uptrend Lions team.

If Herbert is out, expect the offense to be heavily dependent on Austin Eckeler and ground play. Eckeler averaged 20.5 touches per game, but only 14.8 fantasy points. He has yet to score this year after leading the NFL with 20 touchdowns last season. This is largely because the Chargers’ fast-paced offense struggled to find rhythm early in the season, using a trio of rushers in the back of the field with Sony Michel and Joshua Kelly. Los Angeles only averaged 76 yards and 2.8 yards per carry in the first two weeks of the season.

Los Angeles also suffered in their offensive line. Starting center Corey Linsley is listed as questionable and right tackle Trey Pipkins III is listed as questionable due to a foot injury. Jaguars DT DaVon Hamilton should be able to fill the gap and be devastating as a pass rusher, forcing the Chargers to become one-dimensional on offense. I would consider Ekeler more like RB2 on Sunday.

The Chargers’ passing game will definitely suffer if Daniel is on the field. Keenan Allen is in question with a hamstring injury, but if he plays he should see a steady dose of goals from any QB. Allen is projecting a budget WR2 against the Jaguars, as much of his fantasy production is heavy-handed.

Williams remains in the spotlight regardless of Allen’s status, but he has a low ceiling with Daniel at the center. I don’t see a lot of touchdowns in this game because it’s only 42.5 points. I would also advise against running Josh Palmer or Gerald Everett in fantasy lineups.

Source: www.espn.com