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Optimisery: The Case for and Against Gerald Everett in Los Angeles

How will Gerald Everett fit in with the Los Angeles Chargers?

Gerald Everett

In this series, Jeremy Schwob and John Di Bari present the optimistic and pessimistic sides to significant changes in the dynasty landscape. Consider both sides, as the goal is to find somewhere in-between.

The old adage that there are two sides to every coin could never be more true than when circumstances change for a player. That is especially true when surprising information is thrust upon us. Psychological difficulty and distress can be encountered when individuals hold rigid views that are strictly one-sided (i.e., split) or alternate drastically from one to the other.

A therapeutic concept called integration is a healthier structure for holding both sides together and tolerating the benefits and flaws simultaneously. Relationally, this could involve being frustrated or angry with them while at the same time being able to maintain that you care about them. Such emotional difficulties can parallel our view of players on dynasty rosters amidst changing circumstances.

The goal of this series is not to have you pick a side or a winner of the argument. Rather, it is to consider both sides and not select one completely in the absence of the other.

Often, when a free agent fills a void as a pass catcher on one of the better offenses in the league, fantasy owners get all giddy. However, Gerald Everett filling the Chargers’ tight end vacancy seems to be overlooked by many. You’d think Everett’s ADP would be skyrocketing now on an offense that scored 474 points last season- the fifth most in the NFL. However, there is reason for pause as fantasy owners haven’t jumped on board just yet.

Will Everett be 2022’s breakout star at tight end, or will he once again disappoint dynasty GMs after an off-season of hype?

OPTIMISM

Everett has long been a sleeper, breakout, and/or upside selection to jump from inconsistency and potential to reliable back-end TE1 production. The upside has certainly been proven at various points during his career with the Rams and briefly with the Seahawks.

Now he returns to LA but wearing a different uniform than when he was previously there.

He is an intriguing missing piece from a top-tier Chargers offense, searching for a TE since letting Hunter Henry walk heading into last off-season. So, of course, it is exciting to be linking up with Justin Herbert and his rocket launcher of a right arm. However, joining the Chargers may present a similar issue he’s had throughout his career – opportunity. He consistently has received around 60 targets in each of the last three years, amounting to just over 400 yards in all instances. He is now surrounded by major target hogs Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Austin Ekeler, who present legitimate concerns for any consistent target volume for Everett.

The difference this season for Everett is that he is the only tight end of merit on the roster. The remainder of the Chargers tight end room involves former XFL darling Donald Parham Jr and 2021 late third-rounder Tre’ McKitty. Parham flashed awesome athleticism for a player his size backing up Jared Cook last year before a frightening, season-ending concussion during week 15. It appears Parham has returned from this injury but remains an intriguing role player, not likely to gain a significant share of snaps. McKitty barely played, receiving just eight targets in the entire season.

Everett seems to be the favorite for a significant share of snaps and has shown to be dynamic whenever he gets the ball in his hands. He should produce some consistency on 4-5 targets per game. Imagine the true breakout that would be in store for Everett if an injury were to happen to one of the big three of Allen, Williams, or Ekeler.

– Schwob

PESSIMISM

Over Justin Herbert’s two-year career, he’s been lucky enough to have decent options at tight end. During his rookie season, Hunter Henry was his leading tight end, and in his sophomore campaign, he had veteran Jared Cook. That duo averaged a 54-588-4 stat line. Those numbers would total 136 fantasy points, good enough for a TE17 finish last season. Considering Everett’s ADP of TE20, if he were to achieve those Herbert tight end average numbers, he would return some value from his draft slot. But is that enough to consider Everett a player to target around the 15th round?

A second-round pick in 2017, Everett has never really lived up to expectations in the NFL. After a four-season stint with the Rams, Everett had his best statistical season last year with Seattle. Even with Russell Wilson injured for the bulk of the season, Everett’s 48-478-4 line a season ago led him to a TE21 finish – the best of his career.

Chargers’ offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi has been an OC in the NFL before. In 2014 and 2015, while with the Lions, Lombardi had Eric Ebron at his disposal in the Lions’ passing game. During those two seasons, Ebron averaged 36 receptions, 392 yards, and three scores. It wasn’t necessarily on Ebron, as he eventually went on to catch more than 60 balls twice, top 700 yards twice, and had double-digit touchdowns once too.

At the end of the day, Everett has never done enough to be anything more than a low-end TE2 for fantasy. Additionally, in a small sample size, his new quarterback has yet to support anything more than a low-end TE2. And his new offensive coordinator has an abysmal record filtering work to his top tight end. As a result, Everett’s ADP looks to be right on point, and he might even be getting overdrafted at 175th overall.

– Di Bari

Ultimately, you must make decisions in dynasty but confront that which does not fit your desired perspective. As uncomfortable as it is, it’s essential to work diligently to integrate the alternative into your overall concept to make more informed decisions.

The story does remain somewhat the same for Everett – he could truly breakout into a consistently viewed TE1 if given the opportunity. He should have more opportunity to start the year than he’s ever had. However, that may not quite be enough. Though, if he proves himself, draws less defensive coverage due to the surrounding pieces, or survives some potential injuries around him, then look out. Will it finally be his time, or will it be another year where we only get glimpses of excitement resulting in the typical disappointment?

Optimisery: The Case for and Against Gerald Everett in Los Angeles
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