AFC West Breakdown + Hopkins, Jacobs, and Saquon
Get notifications when new episodes are released
DeAndre Hopkins to the Titans! Plus, an AFC West preview on today’s fantasy football podcast! Lots of fantasy football studs among the Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders, and Broncos! How long will Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley holdout? Manage your redraft, keeper, and dynasty fantasy football teams with the #1 fantasy football podcast. — Fantasy Football Podcast for July 18th, 2023.
Dive into the 2023 Ultimate Draft Kit + Draft Analyzer! UltimateDraftKit.com
Connect with the Fantasy Footballers Podcast:
- Subscribe on YouTube
- Visit us on the Web
- Support the Show
- Follow on Twitter
- Follow on Instagram
- Join our Discord
- DeAndre Hopkins has signed a two-year $26 million contract with the Tennessee Titans.
- Hopkins turned 31 years old in June.
- The Fantasy Footballers have him ranked and included in their rankings and the ultimate draft kit.
- There was a simultaneous reaction to the news on Hopkins.
“We got some news on Hopkins. It’s still great, he’s a great player.”
Impact on Treylon Burks and Chigoziem Okonkwo
- Treylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo were the most talented receiving options for the Titans.
- Hopkins’ arrival means that Burks and Chigokankwo won’t have the opportunity to be the best receivers on the team.
- Hopkins will demand the most targets and cap the upside for both players.
“That really caps the upside case for Traylon Burks.”
Concerns for the Titans offense 06:36
- The Titans had the third fewest passing attempts in the league last year.
- There is a lack of confidence in Burks’ ability to be a consistent touchdown scorer.
- The running offense and Hopkins’ superiority could limit the production of Burks and Chigokankwo.
“I think this is obviously very helpful for Ryan Tannehill and the Titans.”
Impact on Ryan Tannehill 09:14
- Adding Hopkins to the Titans’ offense could benefit Ryan Tannehill.
- Tannehill could have a productive season in a winnable division.
- It’s worth considering Tannehill in two-quarterback or superflex leagues.
“Don’t forget to look his way at the end of those drafts.”
Hopkins’ Upside 10:42
- Hopkins had a strong season last year with almost a thousand yards and a high target share. 10:52
- Historically, Hopkins has performed well, posting wide receiver two or better seasons past his 10th year in the league. 11:04
- Although Hopkins faces challenges staying with the Arizona Cardinals in a more pass-friendly offense, he still has potential due to his previous target share. 11:17
“The upside for Hopkins is that he looked like he still had it last year.”
- Joe Mixon agreed to a restructure and will stay with the Cincinnati Bengals. 12:31
- This was expected, as the team didn’t have the pieces necessary to make a departure likely. 12:42
- Mixon’s pay was reduced by about $4.6 million, and he will be playing this season. 13:09
“I love this. You’ve had a great value on him… he’ll be a good value come draft season.”
Uncertainty with Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley 14:54
- Josh Jacobs is likely to hold out at training camp, and Saquon Barkley‘s availability in week one is in question. 15:12
- If there’s a chance Barkley could miss the opening week, it may affect draft decisions when comparing him to other options. 15:47
- Jacobs and Barkley are still young, talented players, but the teams have not locked them up with long-term contracts. 17:53
“We’ve got to wait and see what Jacobs does… maybe it’s infectious and he’s like, ‘well, I’m gonna miss week one if I’m not on a fridge.'”
DeVante Parker‘s Potential 18:40
- DeVante Parker could be a sleeper pick as New England doesn’t have Jacobi Meyers and Hopkins didn’t sign. 18:40
- Parker has shown promise in making big catches and touchdowns. 18:40
“I think there’s a decent chance, not guaranteed, that he’s their best receiver this year.”
AFC West Breakdown 21:16
- The AFC West division is full of fantasy football options.
- The Kansas City Chiefs are the defending champions and have a high win total.
- Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are the standout fantasy players on the Chiefs.
- The Chiefs’ offense is known for its high-scoring passing game.
“So I mean they are on the top of the mountain my homes Kelce you could stop after my homes really oh really why do I have to stop after my home that’s really respectful no no no I’m saying they’re on top of the world oh they have my homes that’s good enough you can do anything else on that roster and they will be one of the best teams in the NFL.” 22:08
Patrick Mahomes Fantasy Analysis 23:30
- Patrick Mahomes set a record last year as the QB1 for 15 weeks.
- He is being drafted at the beginning of the second round.
- Some fantasy managers may find his average draft position (ADP) too high.
- The optimal strategy may be to draft a quarterback in a later round.
“I think that’s it’s it’s too rich for me for an ADP of I think I can make up some ground at the quarterback position and bypass them there do you guys.” 24:04
Building a Lineup with Mahomes 26:13
- Drafting Mahomes in the early second round is not a bad choice.
- However, it may not be the most optimal way to build a lineup.
- Focusing on other positions earlier and drafting a quarterback later can yield a strong team.
- It’s a balancing act between securing a top quarterback and maximizing value in other positions.
“I think you’re both right that getting my homes in the second round is not going to burn you it’s not going to crush your team and cripple it but it’s also not the optimal way to build a lineup should a Herbert a Lamar Jackson a Justin Fields or or even worse all three of them leap up into elite production this year and now all of a sudden while there’s rosters that they drafted one of those guys and they got a second round running back there’s second round wide receiver so Patrick my homes you can still win with the other guys obviously is Patrick freaking my homes but your lineup wasn’t built as optimally as someone who got someone in the fifth round…” 25:55
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the starting running back for the Chiefs.
- Jerick McKinnon could be utilized as a weapon in the Chiefs’ offense.
- McKinnon has shown production in the receiving game and scored nine touchdowns.
- McKinnon’s ascension lined up with Edwards-Helaire missing games.
“Andy Reed’s going to use a guy that scored nine touchdowns in the receiving game yeah and it’s an 11th round I have no problem with it we’ve laid out the case of McKinnon’s ascension it lined up perfectly with Clyde Edwards a layer missing games…” 28:41
McKinnon’s potential in the AFC West 29:15
- McKinnon was on the field as much, if not more, than Clyde Edwards when both players were healthy.
- The emergence of Pacheco in the second year affected McKinnon’s performance.
- The potential risk of drafting McKinnon in the 11th round is considered minimal.
“McKinnon was on the field in the beginning of the season as much, if not more, than Clyde was when they were both healthy.” 29:27
Evaluating the wide receiver room 31:03
- The wide receiver room in the AFC West is crowded with players like Kaderius Tony, Marquess Valdes-Scantling, Rashi Rice, Richie James, and Justin Watson.
- It’s difficult to predict who will emerge as a superstar due to the number of options.
- Kaderius Tony has the potential to be the wide receiver one for the team with an offseason program and the opportunity to fill the void left by Juju’s departure.
“This is one of those nebulous wide receiver rooms that you have Mahomes. So we’ve got to try to at least identify who could emerge. Who could be special?” 31:28
Travis Kelce‘s dominance in fantasy football 34:02
- Travis Kelsey is considered a difference-maker in fantasy football.
- Despite the high cost, drafting Kelsey in the middle of the first round is justifiable due to his exceptional performance.
- Kelsey’s production has not shown signs of decline, making him a reliable option for fantasy teams.
“To me, Travis Kelsey will still be the difference-maker.” 34:53
Approaching the tight end position 36:02
- Identifying a late-round quarterback is easier than finding a top-two tight end.
- Drafting Mark Andrews or taking a chance on Kyle Pitts are strategies to consider at the tight end position.
- Punting the position and selecting less appealing options like Tyler Higbee is also a viable approach.
“I just don’t care, I’m gonna grab okay. I don’t give me Higbee I don’t care you’re just punting.” 36:49
Evaluating the Los Angeles Chargers 36:53
- The Chargers’ performance last year fell short of expectations, especially against teams with winning records.
- The projected wins for this year is 9.5, indicating some skepticism about their success.
“I feel like every bit of excitement that we had going into the season was metaphorically and maybe literally hit by a Mack truck.” 37:12
Injuries plagued the team 37:19
- The team dealt with numerous injuries throughout the season, including quarterback Justin Herbert playing injured and long stints of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missing time.
- The absence of key players like Jaylin Geithen and Joshua Palmer added additional pressure on the team.
- Last year, drafting any of these injured players was a disappointment, except maybe for Gerald Everett. It was a bust overall.
“Last year if you drafted any of those guys it was a bust.”
Uncertainty around Quentin Johnston 38:40
- The addition of Quinton Johnston to the wide receiver room adds some excitement for Justin Herbert, even though there are doubts about Johnston’s potential.
- Johnston is an unknown rookie with high draft capital, and there are reasons to take a chance on him, such as his talent and the offensive capabilities of the team.
- However, it’s a risky move since it relies on an injury occurring to either Mike Williams or Keenan Allen for Johnston to have a breakout season.
“Quinton Johnston is a bet on an injury and we don’t like doing it.”
Excitement for Justin Herbert 40:53
- Despite a disappointing fantasy performance last year, Justin Herbert has tremendous upside this year.
- If Herbert has his weapons, a more creative offense, and a first-round rookie weapon like Quinton Johnston, he could potentially throw 45 touchdowns and have a great season.
- With a better supporting cast and improved health, Herbert is expected to perform well and is currently ranked as a QB5.
“There’s a lot to be excited about, but they’re in a division where they’re not the best team.”
Austin Ekeler‘s contract year 42:54
- Austin Ekeler had an impressive season last year, finishing as RB2.
- He is a tried and true weapon for the team, being targeted on 27% of his routes and having 36 red zone touchdowns in the past two years.
- Ekeler is playing for a contract this year, and his motivation to prove himself and earn a better salary adds to his potential success.
“He’s out there and he’s feeling pretty spicy.”
Contracts and running backs 43:58
- The running back salary situation in the league is seen as unfair, with backup wide receivers making more money than star running backs.
- Paying running backs a high salary is not considered a good move for teams, as it is seen as a bad bet.
- Franchise tag values for running backs have decreased over the years, making it cheaper to franchise tag them compared to quarterbacks and wide receivers.
“The running back salary situation is not fair.”
Austin Ekeler‘s Dominance at Running Back 45:17
- Echler is expected to fill the running back position, following in the footsteps of Jacobs from last year.
- Echler had a stellar performance last year as he was playing for a new contract.
- The New York Times uncovered that the phrase “it is what it is” has been used as early as a 1949 article, describing frontier life in Nebraska.
- Echler and Jacobs will both earn $10 million this year.
- The hosts discuss the challenges and demands of being a running back.
“Comparing it to your peers and the difficult nature of the position makes it clear that being a running back is not easy.”
Josh Jacobs‘s Consistent Production 47:01
- Jacobs has been a dominant force for the past two years, particularly playing on a contract year.
- Despite concerns about his high scoring compared to averages, he is ranked as the RB2 for a reason.
- Jacobs is projected to be a great fantasy option, likely finishing as a top running back.
“If you catch a hundred plus balls, you’re going to end up top five. Jacobs caught 107 passes, so touchdowns thrown out the window.”
Jacobs’s Potential in the Upcoming Season 49:23
- Jacobs is expected to be the starter for the Raiders, given his impressive performance.
- He had the fifth-most rushing yards in the last decade and caught many passes.
- Jacobs’ combination of workload and skill makes him a desirable fantasy option.
“He will touch the ball 350 times, and if you touch the ball 350 times, you’re gonna be great. Your floor is extremely high.”
Davante Adams‘s Value and Potential Concerns 51:27
- Devonte Adams, despite being undervalued as the WR8, continues to excel.
- The hosts discuss concerns about the quarterback situation and the potential impact on Adams.
- Adams’ production may be affected by the downgrade from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo and a lack of deep ball passing.
“Repeating last year’s ceiling will be difficult due to the offensive changes. He’s still a fantastic player, but he’s not in that elite group at the top.”
Michael Mayer – rookie tight end 55:56
- Michael Mayor is a rookie tight end for the Broncos.
- Some people are intrigued by him but the hosts of the podcast are not convinced.
- The Broncos have other options at tight end like Austin Hooper and OJ Howard.
“I see you know people on Twitter talking about him frequently and I’m like I don’t get it at all.”
Denver Broncos‘ poor performance in 2022 57:02
- The Denver Broncos had a disappointing season in 2022, winning only four games.
- Adding Russell Wilson did not improve their offensive performance.
- The defense, however, was dominant in the first half of the season.
“Last year was a disaster…Russell Wilson was the most bet player preseason for the MVP award…I just don’t…bet on Sean Peyton fixing the calamity that we witnessed last year.”
Jerry Jeudy‘s potential in the Broncos’ offense 57:51
- Jerry Judy is expected to have a better season this year.
- Tim Patrick and Greg Dulsic are also potential targets in the Broncos’ offense.
- The hosts of the podcast have Jerry Judy ranked higher than his ADP.
“Jerry Judy is a very good player…so outside of Judy cast your lot with a Bronco pass catcher…the highest at the wide receiver position…we got a wide receiver 25…”
Tight End Situation in Los Angeles 01:02:15
- There are concerns about Donald Parham Jr.’s health and the discussions regarding his status. Gerald Everett has been productive but also doubted. Gerald Everett will likely be on the field ahead of Parham. 01:02:20
“I’m kind of moved off of him we didn’t talk about tight end in Los Angeles but just because of Parham’s health and the discussions around him I’m afraid. But Gerald Everett‘s always been doubted, Gerald Ever kind of accidentally productive. Gerald Ever will be on the field ahead of Parham so that’s why I bet that way.”
Javonte Williams‘ Health Concerns 01:02:32
- Javonte Williams is being drafted higher, but there are concerns about his knee injury. The injury was catastrophic and not a simple ACL injury. Despite the team’s positive statements, it is projected that Williams will miss at least a handful of games. Taking a wait and see approach is recommended. 01:02:37
“Givante is being drafted significantly higher. You know all the talk talk talk, talk talk is he’ll be back and ready. It was a catastrophic knee injury, it was not a simple ACL injury. And I know they’re saying all the right things, but you can book that, that’s what they do. They like guys get injured and then over the off season they’re ahead of schedule, they look great, they’re doing all this, doing all that and then it comes time to play football, and shocker the person with the devastating knee injury is not ready to play in the NFL.”
Varying Speculations on the Denver Broncos‘ Running Backs 01:03:30
- There is uncertainty surrounding the Denver Broncos‘ running back situation. If Givante Williams is healthy, he could be a steal, but this is doubtful. It is suggested to take a wait and see approach. The team also signed Samaje Perine as a potential band-aid solution. 01:03:30
“I’m pretty much just avoiding the situation. Not trying to pretend that I have secret inside information because it’s just health. I think if Givante is actually healthy, well man he’s a steal, I don’t think he’s going to be actually healthy, in which case if he misses time that’s a steal. Or does he just get there week one and he’s not that good yet and he doesn’t produce any? Some odd days not on the field, I’m taking a wait and see approach.”
Potential for Both Broncos Running Backs to Get Work 01:04:29
- There is a possibility that both Givante Williams and Perine could receive significant work throughout the year. The team paid Ryan to come in and play, and the running back room has historically been valuable for fantasy purposes. Taking shots on either player is a logical strategy. 01:04:29
“I mean that, that yeah, I’m paying system they paid Perine to come in and play. I mean this is a hand-picked by Sean Payton and he’s a capable third-down guy. They could both, they could alternate drives the whole year long. Payton’s running back room has always been very, very valuable for fantasy. So if you want to take your shots, it’s logical.”
AFC West Division Predictions 01:05:17
- The hosts order the AFC West division as follows: 1) Kansas City Chiefs, 2) Los Angeles Chargers, 3) Denver Broncos, 4) Las Vegas Raiders. There is discussion about the strength and potential of each team. 01:05:17
“Let’s order this division. Alright, I’m going to go Chiefs. What? I know, shocker. Chargers, okay. Broncos. Raiders. So, we are in sync.”
“I’m going Kansas City though. Whoa, okay. Yeah, then I’m going the Chargers. Broncos, alright. Raiders, fourth place. In the world is wrong.”