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Will Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver Joshua Palmer Get More or Less Than 75 Targets In 2022?

The Athletic’s Daniel Popper doesn’t see Chargers WR Josh Palmer “getting to 75-plus targets this season.” Here’s what I think…

Advice (NBCSportsEDGE.com): “Unless there’s an injury” was the caveat. “It’s not an ability issue … it comes down to opportunity,” Popper continued. Palmer has seen a rising ADP heading up to the last week of drafts, but this is a bit of a bucket of cold water on the idea that he’s got major upside. Of course, there very well could be injuries. Palmer had 49 targets last season while essentially splitting playing time with Jalen Guyton — Guyton outsnapped him 613 to 458. 75 might be a fair over/under if Palmer played the majority of those snaps.Β 

Comment

I’m taking the over on this one.

All reports on Joshua Palmer have been glowing; really, since training camp last year when Keenan Allen praised Palmer for being better than he was at that stage in his career.

It helps to learn a little something about the kind of person Joshua Palmer is — he’s very self-driven to be great. He’s not the biggest or the fastest, but the best usually aren’t. He has the physical abilities but what separates him from most is his work ethic and commitment to greatness through preparation. He has put in a lot of hours outside of practice with Justin Herbert, establishing what will likely be a long-time special relationship between the two on the field.

In 2021, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams played 972 and 896 offensive snaps, respectively, in 16 games each.

The Chargers ran a 3WR set on 714 snaps (64%) and a 2WR set on 330 snaps (29%).

Justin Herbert played 1191 offensive snaps. Alongside Herbert on those plays were Allen at 81%, Williams at 75%, Guyton at 51%, and Palmer at 38%.

With the Chargers openly stating that the plan is for Palmer to now have full-time WR3 duties and Guyton being more of an important player on special teams — I think snap counts in 2022 could look like Allen at 80%, Williams at 75%, and Palmer at 65%.

If they were to play 1200 snaps and he’s on the field for all 3WR set snaps Β that would equate to 768 snaps. If he’s on the field for 15% of the projected 2WR set snaps that would be an additional 180 snaps… bumping him up to 948 snaps. When all is said and done I think Palmer could end up logging somewhere between 750-850 offensive snaps in 2022.

If he logs 65% of 1200 offensive snaps he will log 780 in 2022. In looking at the numbers that seems conservative and I think, if all 3 WRs stay healthy, he could log as high as a 70% snap share, 840 snaps.

In 2021, Guyton absorbed 48 targets. If Palmer absorbs 80% of those targets that would put him at just under 90 targets (87.4).

In 2021, Palmer was targeted on nearly 11% of his snaps. In 2022, I expect that number to grow to perhaps as high as 15%. Based off of that those projected target shares he could receive between 88 and 120 targets (if he logs 800 snaps).

Assuming he stays healthy for all 17 games I think the minimum amount of targets Palmer will get is 80 (at 720 offensive snaps). There is a lot of upside there, however, if there is an injury to Allen or Williams.

I’m a proud Joshua Palmer owner in my dynasty league. I don’t expect to start him in 2022. But, all the signs have been positive for Palmer since 2021 training camp and the future looks very bright. Mike Williams signing his contract was definitely a dimmer for Palmer’s value in 2022. But, if all things remain equal and Palmer takes the next step in his development, the Chargers will both be UFAs in 2025 and the structure of their contracts makes Palmer’s ascension into the starting lineup highly probably in the next 2 years.

Following Palmer’s 3rd year in the league he’ll be 24 years old and eligible for contract extension. At that point, or in the following year at the latest, I expect the Chargers to reallocate their assets from Allen/Williams into locking up Palmer as Herbert’s most important target for the next 4 or 5 years.

In redraft leagues he is maybe worth rostering with a late round pick, depending on the scoring in your league. He’d most serve as a bye week stand in barring any injury to Allen or Williams — which is unlikely but possible. In such a case, Palmer would rise to a solid flex wide receiver, if not more.

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