2. Austin Ekeler
As long as Austin Ekeler stays healthy he is going to get an ample amount of targets in the passing game. The only running backs that can say they are better receiving backs than Ekeler are Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey and even with Kamara, it is close.
Kamara was featured so prominently in the Saints’ passing game and it is likely a safe bet to assume that Ekeler will be as well. Ekeler is the bonafide featured back in this offense and while he will need to take breaks, he is also the only great passing threat in the backfield as well.
Whether it is on designed screens or on check and release routes, Ekeler is going to live underneath the opponent’s coverage and is going to be Herbert’s no. 1 outlet. There are going to be a lot of play designs on the Chargers this season where Allen is the first look with Ekeler being the designed second option if he does not get open early.
Then things will open up to the rest of the field and that is when we will see Herbert do what he does best and extend plays and make things happen. Not every play is going to be schemed this way to remove the worry of being repetitive, but chances are that Allen and Ekeler will account for half of the targets on the LA Chargers in 2021.
Projected targets: 135