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Justin Herbert: Buy Or Sell The Dip

Justin Herbert has seen the most dramatic shift in value of all the elite QBs. @ReflipeWThenuz breaks down whether you should be a buyer or a seller.

Justin Herbert has been one of the most discussed QBs in all of dynasty fantasy football. The former first-round pick has been a dynasty darling ever since he burst onto the scene in his rookie year when Tyrod Taylor suffered a punctured lung due to a medical mishap on the part of the Chargers training staff.

In subsequent years, Herbert has risen to the status of a first round startup pick. Then the 2024 offseason hit. The team brought in ultra-conservative head coach Jim Harbaugh. They also traded or cut their top two WRs on the staff. Many are now wondering if it is time to get out on Herbert or if they should jump on the discount and scoop up some shares of the dynasty darling. Without further ado, let us examine the former Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

The Player

Herbert came to the NFL as an extremely polarizing prospect. Some in the NFL and dynasty community scoffed at his college profile coming out of Oregon. Oregon had only just recently produced a draft bust of sorts with former Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. Numerous scouts believed that Oregon was a QB factory that was used only for their system. Despite some skepticism, Herbert was still seen by many as an elite prospect.

Herbert may have been given a pass on some of the questions had it not been for the class as a whole. He just happened to be coming into the NFL with a loaded QB class. Joe Burrow led the class, being selected first overall. Then came the long-time elite prospect Tua Tagovailoa as the fifth pick.

Despite all the questions about his school and his lack of huge numbers, the Chargers still selected Herbert in the top 10, snagging the future Rookie of the Year at sixth overall! This class would also see Jordan Love go in the first and Jalen Hurts latch on with the Eagles in the second. Look at Herbert’s college highlights below, and you will see what the Chargers did.

NFL Career

When Herbert arrived with the Chargers, the team initially planned to introduce him slowly. They already had veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor on the roster and hoped to introduce Herbert gradually into the starting offense. However, despite their best-laid plans, he was thrust into the starting lineup almost immediately as Taylor suffered a dangerous punctured lung while receiving a shot from team doctors.

Herbert entered the game and never gave back the starting job. He would go on to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year while accounting for over 4,500 yards of total offense and 36 total TDs. Since that rookie season, Herbert has been one of the best QBs in the entire NFL. You will find his career numbers below. 

Despite not enjoying playoff success, Herbert has established himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the entire league. His ability to play clean football, limit his turnovers, and put up elite offensive numbers has marked him out as one of the true young guns in the NFL. 

The Chargers eventually rewarded Herbert for all his efforts by making him one of the highest-paid players in the entire NFL. Justin Herbert has indeed taken hold of the Chargers and will be calling plays in the huddle for years on the heels of his massive extension. 

The Team

Despite all of his success, the Chargers are currently a team in flux. The biggest change for LA’s second team is the arrival of a new head coach, Jim Harbaugh. Many in the dynasty community have looked upon the arrival of the former University of Michigan and San Francisco 49ers head coach as a negative for Herbert. Harbaugh loves to run the football, which goes against the previous staff’s air-it-out methods.

Keenan Allen Photo Courtesy of Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire

When examining Herbert’s support structure, the biggest thing you will see is the departure of his previous top pass catchers. No team in the entire NFL has more vacated targets than the Chargers. Team legend Keenan Allen was traded to the Chicago Bears, while former first-round pick Mike Williams was released. The team also let go of starting TE Gerald Everett and pass-catching RB dynamo Austin Ekeler. 

As a result of all the departures discussed above, there have also been several key additions to the Chargers roster over the offseason. The team has looked to both the draft and free agency to help fill the void at WR. Harbaugh and Co. traded up in the early second round to draft Georgia standout Ladd McConkey. They also returned to the well later in the seventh by taking Brenden Rice and Cornelius Johnson. The team also signed former 1,000-yard receiver DJ Chark to help man the outside. They also have last year’s first-round pick Quentin Johnson and veteran Josh Palmer filling out the roster. 

As we mentioned before, Harbaugh loves to run the football. With that in mind, he moved on from the smaller pass-catching Ekeler and brought in the physical Gus Edwards from his brother’s Ravens squad. They have also taken a shot on former Ravens second-round pick JK Dobbins. At TE, the team brought in many new options to replace Everett. Hayden Hurst and Will Dissly were brought in to help the team as both pass catchers and run blockers. 

Dynasty Value

So now, the real question for us in this dynasty is, what is Justin Herbert worth? Few, if any, players have seen a bigger dip in value than Herbert. He has seen his ADP consistently slip following the team’s parting ways with Allen and Williams. You can see that despite remaining high in our Dynasty Nerds rankings, his ADP is lower than the next two QBs selected behind him.

Despite all of the skepticism, Herbert represents a screaming buy for me. People are glossing over the fact that the former Oregon Duck has succeeded with a lack of true elite help in the past. While I expect his attempts to take a hit for the next year or two, he still possesses elite upside for the position. He is only 26 years old and will surely look to build chemistry with his new teammate. 

Recently, I put Herbert’s value to the test. I took over a Superflex orphan with Trevor Lawrence as its QB1 this year. Lawrence’s value feels much less stable with the Jaguars than Herbert’s with the Chargers. I was able to pull off a 1-for-1 deal with these two, giving me a far more secure QB option. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I believe now is the time to move on Herbert. Take the discount while it lasts. Managers are bailing on the former first-round pick despite his long history of consistent production. He may well have a down year in 2024 as he adjusts to a new system and gets to know his new weapons. You can be sure that if this group of pass-catchers fails, the Chargers will seek to remedy the situation next year. 

Herbert is still an elite quarterback in the NFL. He is one of the reasons Harbaugh chose to take the Chargers job. He has specifically mentioned the former Oregon star as a deciding factor. If your league mates hit the panic button, help ease them along the way and acquire Herbert while you still can. 

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer @Dynastynerds.com. Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little, why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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