9 November 2023 • by Bryan Oldham
Welcome to Sizzle or Fizzle! Every week, we’ll look at some fantasy trends and NFL storylines to discuss if they’ll continue (sizzle) or taper off and change direction (fizzle).
Keep in mind, we aren’t going to inundate you with stats, nor are we going to do deep dives into these topics. We’re keeping things bite-sized on purpose, so you can get the quick hits and make decisions accordingly. Let’s dive in ahead of Week 10.
Is it a Justin Herbert problem? Is the offensive line that bad? Or is it Brandon Staley showing he’s in over his head?
We thought that Kellen Moore would be the remedy for what looked like a stale offense in 2022. Granted, the Chargers had to deal with Justin Herbert playing through a rib injury nearly all of last year, but this year the QB looks like he can’t find any breathing room to make plays. He’s excellent at rolling out of the pocket, but nowadays the only viable option downfield has been Keenan Allen.
We’re still waiting on the Quentin Johnston breakout, and we’ve been more than disappointed by Gerald Everett and Donald Parham’s performances most weeks. This doesn’t seem like a Justin Herbert problem, but something in the Chargers’ offense is broken. The win against the Jets was a nice pallet cleanser, but they aren’t good enough to compete in the AFC West, much less the conference.
This team needs to do something going into 2024 to give their franchise play caller more reliable weapons – Keenan Allen can’t do it forever.
Sitting at a comfortable 7-2 after 9 games, the Baltimore Ravens are playing old-school football. With four solid runners on their team, which includes QB Lamar Jackson, the Ravens are leading the NFL with 1,443 team rushing yards, which is more than 100 more than the next closest team, the Miami Dolphins.
While it’s frustrating not only to see Lamar not throwing touchdowns (especially to Mark Andrews), the Ravens have won 4 games in a row and have a two-game lead in the AFC North. The Bengals will likely continue their ascension so long as Joe Burrow stays healthy, but the Ravens are in control, and this shows no signs of slowing down.
Not only did Keaton Mitchell have a huge breakout performance in Week 9, but Gus Edwards keeps finding his way into the end zone, and Justice Hill has been a reliable runner and pass catcher. Picking one of these guys for your fantasy lineup each week is often going to be a guessing game, but we’ve seen enough here to assume that the trend of the Ravens running the heck out of the ball will continue, and you can take a shot on any of the RBs in Baltimore if you need a guy to fill a lineup spot
Lots of pundits, analysts, and fans thought that Kyler Murray’s ACL injury could mean a changing of the guard in Arizona. Murray missed the first 9 games of 2023, a new coaching staff and front office were brought in ahead of this season, and the team has a 1-8 record through 9 games.
Naturally, you’d think that a tanking season would be in order to obtain the first overall pick. However, the Cardinals announced that Kyler Murray will indeed start in Week 10, giving their offense some semblance of hope for the first time in a while. That’s not to say Josh Dobbs effort wasn’t valiant, but Kyler is a different type of player. He’s a sparkplug that makes plays happen and has top 5 fantasy QB upside every time he’s on the field.
That said, the Cards are still in prime position for the 1st overall spot. However, the Giants, Patriots, and Bears are all sitting at 2-7 currently, and the 1-7 Panthers traded their 1st rounder to the Bears last year to draft Bryce Young. If the Cardinals have Kyler on the field, the odds of one of these other teams claiming the 1st overall pick in 2024 seems much more likely.
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