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USATSI

Justin Herbertꦛ did not move in this month's Dynasty quarterback rankings update. He was QB9 a month ago and he is QB9 below. He was QB8 a year ago, so he hasn't actually moved that much since then either. That doesn't mean that I feel confident in his ranking, or his ability to produce top-10 Fantasy seasons any time soon.

In the past year the Chargers have lost Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and Kellen Moore. They have replaced them with Ladd McConkey, D.J. Chark, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwardsꦺ, Greg Roman, and Jim Harbaugh. Everything about that screams bad news for Herbert, from game script to offensive weapons.

Starting with the script, Herbert has averaged 39 pass attempts per game in his career, an astonishing amount. Roman's offenses have finished 28th or lower in team pass attempts in nine of his ten seasons as an NFL play caller. In Harbaugh's four seasons with the 49ers﷽, they ranked 29th or worse in pass attempts every single season. That's why I project Herbert for just 31.5 pass attempts per game this season. That would represent a career-low, but also a higher number than we have historically seen from these coaches.

ꦯStill, we are talking about arguably the most prolific passer the NFL has ever seen in Herbert's first four seasons in the league. As a 23-year-old he threw for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns. How do you rank a young quarterback with that type of production profile in this type of environment? Cautiously.

𝔍There is a chance that Harbaugh and Roman completely change their stripes or Herbert is wildly efficient, and the drop in pass volume doesn't actually matter that much. He could finish as a top-12 QB this season with a handful of rushing touchdowns, a career-high yards per attempt, and I wouldn't actually be that surprised. Just beware that the QB9 Dynasty ranking is factoring in that possibility. 

Herbert projects as my QB18 for the season, below 20 FPPG. If that's the reality the first month of the season, Herbert is going to fall in Dynasty. If Roman and Harbaugh have him handing off 30 times a game and we don't see a huge spike in a efficiency, it will be hard to rank him ahead of Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Brock Purdy, Tua Tagovailoa, and Trevor Lawrence. Jordan Love could pass him as well. Contenders will prefer Dak Prescott.

♛All of this is to say I do believe there is both a buy and a sell opportunity on Herbert this offseason, depending on which narrative you believe. If you expect talent to win out this season and Herbert to produce like a Fantasy starter, you can get him cheaper than he's been since his rookie year. But his current cost is not factoring in the plummet we'll see if the Chargers go run-heavy and win. If that's what you're expecting, you should be selling low, because this isn't as low as he's going to get.

Here are my updated Dynasty QB rankings: