Fantasy Reaction to Chargers' Jim Harbaugh Hiring
Fire up the Chargers' offense.
The biggest news of today is that long-time Michigan Wolverines coach and former San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is has returned to the NFL to coach the L.A. Chargers. Harbaugh previously coached the 49ers from 2011-2014 and compiled a 44-19 record, including an NFC Championship in 2012.
Harbaugh’s defenses were amongst the best. In each of his four seasons, they finished in the top five for fewest yards allowed, and they finished in the top three for fewest points three times. His offenses, which were led by Colin Kaepernick from 2012-14, were average at best: they finished No. 11 in total yards once and No. 11 in scoring offense three times.
Harbaugh’s offenses were always run-heavy. They finished in the top ten in rushing attempts and rushing yards every year. Frank Gore was a solid RB2 in fantasy football in 2013 and 14. Now that Harbaugh has an excellent quarterback in Justin Herbert, he will probably build a more balanced or pass-heavy offense.
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The Chargers’ whole offense is on the up with Harbaugh in charge.
QB: Herbert is a top-six QB if Harbaugh can unleash him.
RB: The Chargers will probably let Austin Ekeler, who is coming off his worst season as a starter and will be 29 years old, walk and look for a new running back. RB2 Joshua Kelley was a fourth-round draft pick in 2020. Isaiah Spiller hasn’t worked out.
WR: Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are always good if healthy. Failed first-round pick Quentin Johnston’s primary problem seems to be his lack of talent, including a propensity to drop open passes, so it could be something Harbaugh can’t fix. But Johnston has enough athleticism, he may be worth a late-round gamble. Harbaugh would be more likely to turn him around than Brandon Staley, at least.