Justin Herbert saw the postseason for the first time in his NFL career in 2022, helping the Los Angeles Chargers get to an AFC Wild Card bid where they narrowly lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite the team’s first trip to the postseason since 2018, it was a down year for the quarterback. This season, the Chargers and fantasy football managers alike, are counting on a bounceback from Herbert.
2023 Fantasy Football: Justin Herbert Profile
Recap of 2022 season
After two seasons with at least 31 touchdown passes, Herbert threw just 25 in 2022. He did post 4,739 yards, but even his 6.8 yards per attempt was a downgrade from his first two seasons. He wasn’t very productive on the ground, either, rushing for just 147 yards and no touchdowns after picking up 300+ the year before and eight rushing scores through his first two seasons.
Updated Chargers outlook
Better luck with team health would certainly help the Chargers this season. The addition of TCU wideout Quentin Johnson in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft could certainly help the offense put up more points. It may also help the intermittent injuries that plagued Mike Williams and an aging Keenan Allen. Another season with double-digit wins feels attainable.
The addition of Johnson gives the Chargers the ability to put out some killer three-receiver sets, which should boost Herbert’s passing totals. In an optimistic view, 40 touchdown passes aren’t outside the realm of possibility. If he can recapture some of his production on the ground, Herbert could crack the top-5 fantasy quarterbacks.
You’re not really supposed to factor injuries too much into predictions, but it’s fair to wonder just how many games the Chargers will have both Allen and Williams on the field for this year. And if his pass protection doesn’t improve after taking a career-high 38 sacks last year, Herbert’s production could flatline.
A reasonable expectation for Herbert is to get back to the production levels we saw in his first two seasons, throwing between 30-35 touchdowns and adding a couple more on the ground. It’s not enough to make him a game-breaker, but he would be a reliable fantasy football starter at least.