Going back to high school and even earlier, everyone dreams of what it would be like to start their first game in the NFL. As prospects get older and dreams get closer to reality, the scenarios get played repeatedly in their head like a movie on a loop. I’ll bet my paycheck that Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert never saw it happening like this. In one of the most bizarre turn of events, Herbert stepped into the spotlight with virtually no notice. Officially the Week 3 starter, is Herbert a streaming option for fantasy football?
On short notice, Justin Herbert performed as well as anyone could have asked
That is how long before kickoff Herbert found out he was going to be making his first-ever snap in the NFL. Oh, and you’ll be facing the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Good luck.
Not only did Herbert start, but he also looked good doing it. Herbert was 22-for-33 for 311 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. He also ran four yards for a score. On Sunday, Herbert became the first player since 1954 to throw and run for a TD in the first half of their NFL debut. Herbert’s 22.24 fantasy points landed him as QB13 on the week.
The downside is that he likely did this on your bench. There was no warning that he was going to be the starter. This is not me complaining; please don’t take it that way, just stating the facts. All that I ask is, don’t be the person who puts your fantasy team over an athlete’s well-being on social media.
I’ll get off my soapbox. If it were up to me, Herbert would be the starter moving forward. If he was the weekly starter, I think he is absolutely a streaming option based on the matchup. However, Anthony Lynn doesn’t see it the same way.
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn gave the rookie QB a less than glowing review
“There’s a lot we didn’t get done with Justin on the field,” Lynn said told reporters Monday. “He’s a backup for a reason. It’s not like we won the damn game … we lost. Last time I checked.”
Yes, he is correct; they lost, but I don’t think you can convince me that Tyrod Taylor gets that team into overtime against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The part that stood out to me is how the team looked from an effort standpoint. It came off as if the team seemed to rally around their new signal-caller and stepped it up a notch. One of the main takeaways was that Herbert starting helped to make players more relevant.
Both Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley put up their best games of the young season. Ekeler rushed 16 times for 93 yards and caught all four of his targets for an additional 55 yards. Kelley took a firm grasp on the “Melvin Gordon” role, rushing 23 times for 64 yards. However, he also saw work in the passing game with two catches on three targets for 49 yards. Ekeler is a high-end RB2, and Kelley is a solid RB3/high-end flex play.
Keenan Allen was targeted a season-high 10 times on Sunday, catching seven of his targets for 97 yards. His 97 yards is a 250% increase from Week 1! He also saw 40% of the team’s intended air yards. If this were to become the new constant, Allen is a solid WR2 with low-end WR1 upside if he scores a touchdown.
The only fantasy disappointment is Mike Williams, who would remain the second option with Herbert under center but could take advantage of his strong arm.
Despite all of this, Lynn doubled down that Tyrod will be that start when he is healthy. “If Tyrod is 100 percent, he’s our quarterback,” Lynn said
The circumstances that led to Justin Herbert starting the game are mindboggling
A Chargers team doctor accidentally punctured Taylor’s lung while trying to administer a pain-killing injection to his cracked ribs before kickoff Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday.
Lynn said he learned about Taylor’s chest pains after the coin toss.
When administering a local anesthetic into the ribs, there is a chance this can happen but rarely does it actually happen. The NFLPA has opened a case and is investigating the matter.
The Chargers were hoping Taylor would start this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, but doctors are against it and have advised Taylor not to play indefinitely. Until that day comes, whether Lynn likes it or not, Herbert will be the starter.
Once he comes back, we have a serious quarterback competition on our hands, which will be tricky to navigate from a fantasy perspective. As of now, Lynn doesn’t believe Taylor should lose his job because of this mishap, but he’ll have a tough decision if Herbert continues to flourish while Taylor recovers.
Lynn, and the rest of the world, has seen that Herbert can handle the spotlight. If Taylor were to struggle, the sounds of a disgruntled chorus inside the empty SoFi stadium would be defining. We need to remember that once rosters lock at kickoff, anytime we start either quarterback, we are less than a half of football away from them being benched for the other.
Justin Herbert is starting Week 3, but should he be starting on your fantasy team?
If I am playing the steaming game or am in a 2QB/Superflex fantasy league, I am starting Herbert and virtually every Charger. This week the Chargers are facing one of the worst defenses in the NFL in the Carolina Panthers. They allow, on average, 300 yards passing and 127 yards on the ground.
If you are streaming, you are looking for upside and the best matchup possible. Herbert gives you the best of both worlds in Week 3. Granted, the Panthers will have had a full week to prepare, but I don’t think they have the personnel to take advantage of the extra preparation time. Herbert has a massive arm, threats at all levels of the field, and, if needed, can take the ball himself and rush for 50 or more yards in a game.
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