Starts of the Week + Brutal Start/Sit Decisions
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Set your lineups for Week 4! On today’s fantasy football podcast, Starts of the Week and Week 4 matchup previews! Plus, NFL News, injury updates, and Jason’s Boom Boom Kicker! Manage your redraft, keeper, and dynasty fantasy football teams with the #1 fantasy football podcast. — Fantasy Football Podcast for September 28th, 2023.
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Papa Josh and Ballers Discord 02:00
- Papa Josh is introduced as the person who helps with bugs and runs the Ballers Discord community.
“For those that don’t know, Papa Josh is the one that helps with the two or three bugs that we’ve ever had. He also runs the Discord, or as he calls it, the Discord.”
Number of Members in Ballers Discord 02:11
- Papa Josh is asked about the number of members in the Ballers Discord community.
“I can. It’s 44,800.”
Injury Updates: Aaron Jones & Christian Watson 02:53
- Aaron Jones and Christian Watson are expected to play in the Thursday Night Football game, but there are concerns about their limited snaps and hamstring issues.
“Aaron Jones, Christian Watson expected to play football tonight. However, it feels a little sketch with Christian Watson. They expect him to be on maybe a limited amount of snaps… if it was very limited, I would be trying not to play it.”
Approach to Aaron Jones and Damien Pierce 03:52
- There is a discussion about whether to start Aaron Jones despite his hamstring issues and the recommendation to bench both players if possible.
“I’d go upside. I’d play Aaron Jones. The matchup for running backs just isn’t good. So if I don’t have another starting option, I would prefer to bench both these guys.”
Debo Samuel’s Injury 06:32
- Debo Samuel’s availability for the game against Arizona is in doubt due to a knee injury.
“I don’t think he’s gonna be out there against Arizona. It’s not just a rib injury, Kyle Shanahan came out and said it’s a knee injury as well.”
“If you were deciding between starting somebody tonight and waiting on Debo, I am about 30% chance of him playing.”
George Kittle as Start of the Week 07:40
- George Kittle is recommended as the start of the week due to the uncertainty surrounding other players.
“So the real start of the week is George Kittle. He’s probably going to be the number one tight end this week.”
“There’s a high probability he is heavily targeted and involved, and if he gets in the end zone, he’d probably be number one.”
Updates on Other Players 06:25
- Updates are given on players like Austin Eckler, Jimmy Garoppolo, Brandon Ayuk, James Conner, and Cooper Kupp.
“As long as it’s a draw play where it’s right up the middle, I can’t imagine not playing him.”
McVay’s comments on Cooper Kupp‘s return from injury 08:18
- McVay is known for being truthful about injury timetables.
- He estimates that Kupp will be back within a week or two.
- If Kupp doesn’t return in Week 5, he will likely be out for a bit longer.
“He [McVay] is pretty truthful actually… if it’s not week five I would think Cooper Kupp‘s out there pretty soon.”
Cooper Kupp‘s potential impact when he returns 08:39
- Kupp is expected to dominate when he’s back on the field.
- Matthew Stafford has looked excellent, especially without his top target.
- Kupp has the potential to be a top-five wide receiver if he stays healthy.
Considerations for trading for or selling Puka 09:02
- If a team is struggling and needs a win, trading for Kupp now could be beneficial.
- However, there are concerns about the consistency of other Rams wide receivers.
- Selling high on Puka could be a smart move for long-term stability.
“I am fine trying to trade for [Cooper Kupp] right now… I think it might be time to dip out on Puka… consistency levels for Puka… is just something that I would be keeping in mind if I had Puka on my roster.”
Injury updates: Tyler Higbee and Van Jefferson 11:45
- Tyler Higbee and Van Jefferson didn’t practice on Wednesday due to Achilles issues.
- It’s relatively uncommon for players to miss practice due to an Achilles strain.
- Their absence, along with Cooper Kupp‘s absence, could give opportunities to Puka and Tutu.
Previewing the Falcons vs. Jaguars game in London 12:59
- The Falcons (2-1) will face the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) in London.
- The game will be at 2:30 PM local time in London.
- The Falcons defense has been performing well against running backs and wideouts.
“Falcons are 2-1… Jaguars 1-2… The game [is] at 2:30 PM in London.”
Concerns about Calvin Ridley‘s recent performance 15:02
- Calvin Ridley has been dropping passes and his target share has decreased.
- There are concerns about his lower floor and potential decrease in production.
- The Jaguars offense has not been completely in sync, which could affect Ridley’s performance.
“[Calvin Ridley] is leading the NFL in drops… do you have any wavering concerns about what you’ve seen the last couple of weeks?”
Challenges for Jaguars offensive players 15:30
- The Jaguars offense hasn’t been performing as expected.
- They’re facing a slow-paced, controlling team in the Atlanta Falcons.
- This could impact the performance of Jaguars offensive players.
“I do have worries in this game for Jaguars offensive players.”
Game details and animated broadcast 13:55
- The game is between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- It will be broadcasted in an animated format in collaboration with Disney and ESPN Plus.
- The game is scheduled for 6:30 AM ET.
“This is also the game… where Disney and ESPN Plus are putting the… fully animated [broadcast].”
Lawrence confidence level 16:22
- Lawrence has been underperforming with only three touchdown passes in three games.
- He was QB32 against Kansas City and QB18 against Houston.
- The upcoming matchup against Atlanta doesn’t look promising.
“I don’t think it gets better for him this week against Atlanta.”
Atlanta’s defense against quarterbacks 17:20
- Atlanta is currently ranked 12th against fantasy quarterbacks.
- Desmond Ritter, Atlanta’s quarterback, has hindered the fantasy performance of Drake London and Kyle Pitts.
Evaluating Drake London‘s fantasy value 17:51
- Drake London should not be benched in a plus matchup against Atlanta.
- While he has not performed consistently, London remains a talented wide receiver.
“Drake London is a talented wide receiver. You can’t catch balls that aren’t thrown your way.”
Tyler Alger’s value 20:02
- Tyler Alger’s fantasy value should be assessed based on whether Atlanta is expected to win the game.
- In games where Atlanta is trailing, Alger is not a recommended start.
“Tyler Alger is a player that you want to play only in games where you assume Atlanta will win the game.”
Miami vs Buffalo matchup preview 20:54
- This game is anticipated to be a high-scoring shootout.
- Both teams’ offenses have been performing well this season.
- Players like Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Allen, Jalen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Gabe Davis can be started with confidence.
“Both teams are on fire. The offenses have been performing well.”
Dalton Kincaid‘s performance and upcoming matchup 23:12
- Dalton Kincaid did not play well last week, but this week’s matchup is favorable.
- Last week, he only had 2 receptions for 11 yards.
- However, the previous matches between these teams have seen high-scoring games.
- Kincaid is expected to have a better performance in this matchup.
“Dalton Kincaid is a great play this week. He had a rough game last week, but let’s throw that away. This matchup is favorable.”
The Denver Broncos vs Chicago Bears matchup 23:42
- The Denver Broncos are 0-3 and the Chicago Bears are also 0-3.
- The over/under for this game is set at 45.5, which is high considering the poor performance of both defenses.
- The fantasy value in this game is potentially high.
- Russell Wilson is streamable this week against the weak Bears defense.
- Justin Fields is also streamable against the Broncos, who have been the worst defense in football.
- Both quarterbacks can be started over Jordan Love, Geno Smith, and Jared Goff.
Predictions for fired head coaches and surprise players 24:26
- According to the odds, Josh McDaniels is the most likely head coach to be fired.
- The Chicago Bears‘ head coach is second on the list of likely firings.
- Khalil Herbert could have more opportunities in this game.
- Herbert has only averaged 11 carries in the past two weeks, but that could change in this matchup.
- DJ Moore is a good play this week against the Denver defense.
- Cortland Sutton has been heavily targeted and is a flex play.
“I think Khalil Herbert could have more opportunities in this game. He hasn’t had many carries recently, but this matchup is favorable.”
Jerry Judy’s status and trade rumors 29:10
- Jerry Judy was limited in practice on Wednesday, but if he plays, he is a decent play.
- He had a good game in the previous week, despite some mistakes.
- There are trade whispers regarding Judy, but no destinations have been confirmed.
- The hosts jokingly mentioned sending him to the moon for all the cheese.
“If Jerry Judy plays, I’m comfortable starting him. There have been trade rumors, but nothing concrete yet.”
- Cincinnati Bengals are 1-2, Tennessee Titans are 1-2.
- Draftking Sportsbook line: Cincinnati favored by 2.5 points.
“Cincinnati Two and a Half Point Road favorites”
Joe Burrow‘s Matchup 38:16
- Burrow has not been performing well recently due to his calf issue.
- Normally, he would be on the bench, but the Tennessee Titans‘ defense is weak against the pass.
Start/Sit Decisions for Cincinnati Bengals Players 39:31
- Tee Higgins should be played confidently this week.
- Jamar Chase is heavily targeted and should be started.
“Higgins, Jamar Chase, Mixon – I think you can do it with confidence.”
DeAndre Hopkins and Arizona Cardinals Passing Game 41:02
- The Titans defense is strong against the passing game, making DeAndre Hopkins a risky start.
- The Cardinals’ offense is not ideal for fantasy purposes.
“I’m not starting Hopkins.”
Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Rams Matchup 41:13
- The Rams are favored to win in this matchup.
- Matthew Stafford is a viable streaming option for Week 4.
- Anthony Richardson‘s return could potentially affect the Colts’ offense.
“Stafford is a streamable option this week.”
Anthony Richardson‘s Impact on the Colts Offense 43:06
- If Richardson returns, he should be started as he will have a significant impact.
- Michael Pittman Jr. is the main wide receiver option for the Colts.
“I don’t like it. This is an easy matchup because Richardson is immediately into my lineup.”
Josh Downs and the Carolina Panthers Offense 44:51
- Anthony Richardson‘s presence may impact Josh Downs‘ targets, but Downs is unlikely to be a reliable option.
“I’m probably not putting him in my lineup unless I’m desperate.”
“This could be a bigger game than we thought. This is the surprising over. This is the one that’s like, ‘Oh man, I didn’t see this game being a high-flying 55-point game.'”
- This game is not projected to be a high-scoring affair.
- The New Orleans Saints are favored by three points according to the DK Sportsbook line.
- Jameis Winston may struggle to put together consistent drives against the Tampa Bay defense.
“I just don’t have the confidence that Jameis Winston will string enough consistent drives together to compete with Tampa Bay.”
Fantasy Outlook for Tampa Bay 46:21
- Mike Evans is a must-start in your lineup.
- Rashad White is an RB2/flex option and has been productive, averaging 19 opportunities per game.
- The Chris Godwin question is a challenge. He is currently a flex play and has not performed as well as expected.
“Chris Godwin is just a flex play right now. He’s one of the toughest players to bench because the name has so many years of history. But he’s not the first read. That was what made Chris Godwin good.”
Alvin Kamara‘s Return 50:17
- Alvin Kamara is back and is the only running back worth starting for the New Orleans Saints.
- Latavius Murray and Tony Jones Jr. may also have a role, but it is uncertain who will handle the majority of the carries.
Christian Olave’s Performance 49:05
- Christian Olave has been fantastic with no top 12 finishes but averaging 100 yards per game.
- Olave has a strong connection with quarterback Jameis Winston.
“Christian Olave has been fantastic. He’s averaging 100 yards a game, and he’s over 300 yards in three games without a touchdown.”
Rashad White’s Flex Value 50:56
- Rashad White’s matchup and production have been challenging.
- In certain situations, he may be a viable RB2/flex option for teams in need of running back depth.
“We have running back needy teams like my team. I would be very happy to start Rashad White.”
“There are league-winning players on your waiver wire right now, and one of them might be Rashad White.”
Sam Howell‘s struggles 52:14
- Sam Howell has been a disappointment.
- He has shown a tendency to hold the football too long.
- He has already been sacked 107 times.
Washington Football Team’s offensive issues 52:34
- Washington’s offensive line has been struggling to protect Sam Howell.
- They have talented pass-catching weapons but are not utilizing them effectively.
- Jahan Dotson, despite running the most routes on the team, is not getting enough targets.
“Washington needs to get the ball down the field or get it into the hands of their playmakers. Jahan Dotson would make plays if he could just get more targets.”
Washington vs. Philadelphia matchup analysis 54:27
- Washington has struggled against quarterbacks and wide receivers.
- However, their defensive struggles may not reflect the reality.
- Philadelphia’s offense has room for improvement but has been efficient in scoring points.
“I don’t see a path for Washington to compete. This should be a pretty one-sided affair. Philadelphia’s offense has room to get better with the new offensive coordinator.”
Breakdown of Philadelphia’s fantasy options 55:26
- DeAndre Swift, the Eagles’ running back, should be started without hesitation.
- Their two wide receivers, Devonta Smith and Jalen Reagor, are also good starts.
- Tight end Dallas Goedert should not be benched.
DeAndre Swift’s and Jalen Hurts‘ productivity 55:28
- DeAndre Swift has been performing well, averaging 6.8 yards per rush.
- Jalen Hurts has been solid as a quarterback, ranking eighth in the league.
- Despite some struggles, the Eagles’ offense has shown room for improvement.
“DeAndre Swift’s yards per rush this year is 6.8, while Jalen Hurts‘ yards per pass is 6.9. It feels like the games have looked like a struggle on offense for Jalen Hurts, but they always hit on one or two big plays.”
Debo is out, George Kittle is going to eat like he’s as long as he has two of his guys 59:15
- George Kittle is expected to have a strong performance with Debo Samuel out.
- The absence of Debo Samuel means that George Kittle will have more opportunities to receive passes.
- This is a favorable situation for George Kittle and fantasy football managers should consider starting him.
“George Kittle is going to eat like he’s as long as he has two of his guys.”
James Cook is my start of the week at the running back position 59:31
- James Cook has been performing exceptionally well at the running back position.
- He is averaging 6.1 yards per carry, which is impressive.
- Despite not scoring a touchdown, James Cook is currently ranked as the RB 14.
- The Miami matchup has a high over-under, making it a favorable situation for James Cook.
“James Cook is my start of the week. It’s unbelievable how he is dominating at the running back position.”
James Connor is matchup proof and should be started 01:00:23
- James Connor may be facing a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
- However, his consistency and opportunities per game make him matchup proof.
- He has produced solid numbers even in challenging matchups in the past.
- Fantasy football managers should not bench James Connor due to a difficult matchup.
“James Connor is matchup proof. It doesn’t matter if we’re going to win or lose, his opportunities per game are good enough to have him in your lineup.”
Javonte Williams is expected to get going against the Chicago Bears 01:02:14
- Javonte Williams‘ utilization has been promising, despite a slow start.
- He is averaging an opportunity on 57% of his snaps, which is the third best among running backs.
- The Chicago Bears have struggled against running backs, making it a favorable matchup for Javonte Williams.
- Fantasy football managers should have confidence in starting him this week.
Adam Thielen is a reliable option and expected to have a big game 01:03:27
- Adam Thielen has been consistently targeted and has been the primary target for the Minnesota Vikings.
- He has been getting open regularly and is a reliable option for Kirk Cousins.
- The matchup against his former team, the Las Vegas Raiders, presents a favorable opportunity for Adam Thielen.
- He has been producing impressive numbers in recent weeks and should continue to do so.
“Adam Thielen is getting piles and piles of volume. He’s the one getting open on a regular basis.”
Gabe Davis is a promising option with explosive potential 01:04:20
- Gabe Davis has been performing well, with back-to-back weeks of scoring touchdowns.
- He has a strong connection with Josh Allen, who has been completing a career-high 73% of his passes.
- The matchup against the Houston Texans has a high over-under, indicating potential for a high-scoring game.
- Fantasy football managers should consider starting Gabe Davis to capitalize on his explosive potential.
“Gabe Davis has back-to-back weeks with a touchdown. This game has the highest over-under of the week.”
Jacoby Myers is a reliable target and should be started 01:05:15
- Jacoby Myers is consistently targeted by the New England Patriots.
- He has a high target share of 31%, second only to Devonta Adams.
- Despite not scoring a touchdown yet this season, Jacoby Myers has been consistently involved in the offense.
- The matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, who have struggled against wide receivers, presents a favorable opportunity for Jacoby Myers.
“Jacoby Myers is absolutely being utilized, looking the part every week.”
Luke Musgrave is a tight end start of the week 01:06:05
- Luke Musgrave is a promising option at the tight end position.
- He is playing against the Detroit Lions, who have struggled against tight ends this season.
- Luke Musgrave has the potential to produce a strong performance in this favorable matchup.
“Luke Musgrave tonight against the Lions.”
Kyle Pitts and Johnny Smith as Start/Sit Candidates 01:06:13
- Kyle Pitts and Johnny Smith both had a significant number of targets in Week 3.
- They combined for 17 targets, with Pitts receiving 8 and Smith receiving 9.
“The lions are terrible against tight ends and you saw Johnny Smith and Kyle Pitts combine for 17 targets.”
Start of the Week: Luke Musgrave 01:06:44
- Luke Musgrave is a rookie tight end for the Green Bay Packers.
- Musgrave is currently the tight end two on the season, with the most receptions by a rookie tight end through the first three weeks.
- In Week 3, Musgrave had a 37% target share, which is the third highest ever in a game for a rookie tight end.
“Luke Musgrave is my start of the week. He’s the tight end two right now on the season, most receptions ever for a rookie tight end through three weeks. His 37% target share last week was the third highest ever in a game for a rookie tight end.”
Playing Sam Laporta over Other Tight Ends 01:07:24
- Laporta can be played over most tight ends, but there are a few exceptions.
- Laporta should not be played over Travis Kelsey, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, or T.J. Hockenson.
- However, Laporta can be played ahead of Waller and is the fifth best option at the tight end position.
“If he’s the start of the week here, he’s tight end two of the week. Waller, Andrews, Kittle, I’m not playing him over them. Hockenson would be ahead of him and then it’s Laporta, so I would play him ahead of Waller.”
Start of the Week: Evan Engram 01:07:47
- Evan Engram is back as a viable start after a slow start to the season.
- Engram is currently the tight end five without a touchdown.
- He ranks third in targets, receptions, and receiving yards among tight ends.
- With Zay Jones likely to miss another game, Engram is expected to see more targets.
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“Evan Engram is back. He’s the tight end five without a touchdown. He’s tied for third in Titan targets, receptions, and receiving yards. The Falcons were laported this past week. Evan Engram, it looked Zay Jones likely to miss again. That’s more targets for Evan Engram. Keep playing him.”