2 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 8.
A few weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers were all but the anointed team. Everyone thought their 5-0 start meant a guaranteed trip to the NFC Championship. Now, people are questioning their trade for Chase Young ahead of the deadline, and pundits are raising concerns that maybe Brock Purdy isn’t the Second Coming of Tom Brady.
Of course, the narrative will swing wildly depending on the day and the previous game. However, the state of the 49ers speaks more to the parity across the league nowadays. The Patriots are 4th in the AFC East. The Packers are struggling to stay afloat at 2-5. The Bucs and the Rams, recent Super Bowl champions, are both 3rd in their respective divisions. It’s remarkable to watch how quickly things can change in the NFL, and it gives fantasy managers a reason to diversify their investments across teams.
Unfortunately, a big aspect of the quarterback rotation has been injuries. We’ve seen Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins both go down with torn Achilles, while Ryan Tannehill has ceded the starting job to Will Levis following the former’s ankle injury.
We are also seeing guys get the hook after about half a season of opportunity: both Jimmy Garapolo and Desmond Ridder were benched after week 9 for Aidan O’Connell and Taylor Heinicke, respectively.
This rotation is nothing new, but some seasons see a huge overhaul at the QB position across the league, while others may have a few of these moves. 2023 is very much in the first camp, with even larger changes potentially looming. While it’s always treacherous waters at first, it looks like a lot of these QB changes will pay off, both in real life and fantasy football.
The Vikings traded for Josh Dobbs, Will Levis flashed in his debut, Taylor Heinicke is the epitome of bridge QB, and Aidan O’Connell will take shots downfield. Don’t shy away from these offenses in fantasy, and embrace the change as these teams try to stay competitive in the second half of the season
It’s not that Jameson Williams isn’t a talented player. His pedigree, playing college ball at Alabama, combined with Detroit spending a 1st round pick on him, even after an ACL tear in the 2022 National Championship, all say that he should be the next big thing.
However, Williams lost most of his rookie season to injury rehab, and served a suspension to start the 2023 season after violating the NFL’s gambling policy.
Combine that with the fact the Lions drafted a stud in Sam LaPorta, have a premier WR in Amon-Ra St. Brown, and traded for depth wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones ahead of the trade deadline. None of this bodes well for Williams this year, and those waiting for a breakout should likely look ahead to 2024.
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