Dynasty League Football


2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: Los Angeles Chargers

We identify a cheap Chargers option to target in your dynasty leagues.

In our annual 32-part Summer Sleeper series, DLF scribes identify a lightly-touted player on each NFL roster who may be worthy of your consideration. Our subjects all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but each merits a bit of in-depth discussion.

To help everybody along, we are going to be categorizing our sleepers under one of three headings:

Super Deep Sleepers – Players who aren’t roster-worthy in 12-team leagues, but are still worth keeping an eye on.

Deep Sleepers – An end-of-the-roster player who is more often than not on the waiver wire in 12-team leagues.

Sleeper – A likely rostered player who makes for a good trade target. Their startup ADP puts them out of the top 175 or so.

Because we aren’t going to give you the likes of mainstream sleepers, most of these players will undoubtedly fizzle. All we are asking is for you to keep an open mind and perhaps be willing to make room for one of these players on your bench. You never know when the next Adam Thielen or James Robinson is going to spring up. Feel free to add your own thoughts about our choice for the designated sleeper, or nominate one of your own in the comments below.

The long, arduous off-season is nearing its end, as we begin the slow crawl to training camp before we hit the frantic build-up to the regular season. We have spent enough time longingly looking out our window and waiting for football. We can finally start making preparations for the 2022 campaign.

As with every season, previously unheralded players will step up to contribute to fantasy managers in 2022. These players can help buttress rosters and in rare cases take the step to stardom as they become a fantasy cornerstone. When eyeballing the Los Angeles Chargers roster, one player stands out above all others.

Josh Palmer, WR

Category: Sleeper


Despite being a third-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Josh Palmer has never really generated a lot of buzz within the dynasty community. Much of this can be traced back to his career at Tennessee. Palmer never eclipsed 484 receiving yards in a single season on Rocky Top, largely proving to be a draft afterthought until a strong Senior Bowl started to generate a bit of hype.

Statistics from Sports Reference.

The numbers above do not exactly scream difference-maker. However, it is worth pointing out Palmer’s tenure overlapped with the disastrous Jeremy Pruitt era. Pruitt never figured out things on the offensive side of the football, and it is worth noting Palmer’s 475 yards in 2020 easily paced the team, one which included 2022 third-round pick Velus Jones and 2021’s SEC breakout receiver in Cedric Tillman. The raw numbers do not tell the tale in full.

Palmer contributed as a rookie, earning a target each and every week and finishing with a 33-353-4 line. Those are not video game numbers, but there is a reason Palmer is being discussed in the sleeper series. It is encouraging he was able to carve out a role despite operating behind target hog Keenan Allen and big play machine Mike Williams. It is no stretch to see promise in his rookie season.

Stats from Sports Reference.


The Chargers have one of the more settled receiver depth charts in football. Keenan Allen has obliterated corners out of the slot for years. Mike Williams offers downfield ability and had his route tree expanded in his first year under offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Palmer is not going to press either of these two for targets.

However, there is ample opportunity for a third target to step up in this high-octane passing offense, even with Austin Ekeler vacuuming up looks out of the backfield. We know Justin Herbert can post huge passing numbers and support plenty of receivers. Even if the plan for Palmer was to eventually supplant Allen in the slot, he has the skills and versatility to play inside or outside. If injury were to sideline Allen or Williams, Palmer would be a must-add.


The biggest hurdle for Palmer is the aforementioned depth chart. Even if you expect a bump in his opportunity, it is unlikely enough to make him a significant asset outside of the deepest of leagues. Fortunately, the overall strength of this passing game could keep ancillary options like Palmer on the map. His role throughout camp and the preseason will be an underrated storyline of August.


You are always tempering expectations for sleepers and breakouts. There is a reason they are widely discussed as undervalued assets; they are widely available. Palmer is certainly no different; you’re taking a swing on a player in an elite offense who has draft pedigree on his side.

Of course, it is easy to dream on the upside. Justin Herbert threw for over 5,000 yards in 2021 and there is little reason to expect the number to drop off to a large degree. Keenan Allen is 30 years old, and we have seen aging receivers decline precipitously. There is always a chance they scale back Austin Ekeler’s touches in an effort to keep him fresh over the course of 17 games, and it easy to envision some of his work in the short passing game going to Palmer.

At the cost of pick 174 overall (WR80) in DLF’s Dynasty ADP, the risk is essentially non-existent. The worst-case scenario is he disappears in 2022 and you can replace him with an immediate contributor without losing serious draft capital. The most likely outcome is he is takes a step forward and you have a potential starter attached to Justin Herbert moving forward, especially with Allen at the end of his prime. The upside scenario is Palmer takes a massive step in 2022 and slides into the top 100 picks of dynasty startups. I do not see the same upside from other names going in his range.

We dynasty managers are a fickle bunch. Had Palmer had more prospect juice, I imagine he would be going a lot higher as a former third-round pick attached to the one of the game’s top young quarterbacks. We love hanging on to priors, but there is no reason to be too attached to them when we can acquire a player with a friendly cost like Palmer. Snag him a round or two earlier than his ADP and reap the rewards.

2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: Los Angeles Chargers
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