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Changing the Call: Quarterback Start/Sits Week 4

Is Father Time finally catching up to Tom Brady? Wasn’t Derek Carr supposed to improve with Devante Adams? @Spydes78 brings you insights to these questions and more in the Week 4 installment of Changing the Call, a weekly start/sit guide to QBs. ⬇️

Huddle up, Nerds!  You’ve looked to your favorite dynasty site to guide you through the spring and summer months, but a strong offseason alone will not win you a championship.  No matter how talented your roster, you’ll need to make the right lineup decisions to wrestle glory from your league mates.  

But, have no fear!  Your Dynasty Nerds writers are here to shepard you through the minefield of starts and sits.  Each week, our staff will make recommendations to aid in your lineup decision making.  Look for the position-specific columns below to guide you to dynasty grandeur. 

Follow us, friend us, tweet us.  We look forward to hearing from you! 

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc. and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.

About Last Week…

Previous Week Record: 4-0

Season Long Record: 10-2

Week 3 Starts:

It was another strong week for pigskin prognostication for yours truly.  On the ‘start’ side of the ledger, Jalen Hurts continued his torrid pace by torching the Washington defense for 340 yards and three touchdowns.  Spreading the ball to his many weapons, Hurts continues to answer the bell each week and reward his believers with a bounty of fantasy points.  

My other start recommendation, Kirk Cousins, also delivered with a predictably resilient performance against the Lions.  His 18.3 fantasy points were enough to secure a Minnesota victory and a top 10 finish among quarterbacks in Week 3.

Week 3 Sits:

My sit recommendations featured two guys featured in primetime slates, Jimmy Garoppolo and Daniel Jones.  And, with the eyes of the nation upon these quarterbacks, both floundered with uninspiring stats in slumber inducing ‘snooze fests’.  First, Jimmy G was substandard in his Sunday night return to the full-time starting role.  He fumbled, he threw a pick, and he even wandered out of the end zone for a safety.  His 28th place finish among eligible passers was certainly less than desirable.

Meanwhile, in New York, Daniel Jones did not fare any better.  Pitted against the Dak-less Cowboys on Monday night, Jones and the previously undefeated Giants completely flopped.  He could not even muster 200 passing yards against the Dallas secondary.  Jones took 5 sacks, threw an interception, and the passing game was barred from the end zone.  When the dust settled, he ended with just 14.7 fantasy points on the week, a bottom half finish.

WEEK 4 STARTS

Josh Allen

Ok, I know that if you were fortunate enough to roster Josh Allen, you are probably starting him regardless.  But, perhaps last week’s struggles in Miami have you concerned.  Granted Allen did post 400 yards through the air.  But the scoring was not there as it had been in the first few games, posting just 19 total points in defeat versus the Dolphins.  

Maybe you have another high end quarterback option on your roster that seems suddenly attractive.  Don’t do anything rash.

Even with a down week in a stifling hot climate, Allen holds a 5th best PFF grade of 76.9 for his early season performance.  Buffalo is averaging an eye-popping 329.0 passing yards per game, best in the NFL.  And though he is the darling of the league these days, Allen came away angry after last week’s divisional loss.  

An elite talent with redemption on his mind, you’d hate to be next in line as Allen’s opponent right?  Look out, Baltimore!  Coughing up 19.1 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in 2021, the Ravens defense has an undesirable track record.  And yet, thus far in 2022, they’ve managed to regress.  Through three games, Baltimore has surrendered 23.1 fantasy points to opposing passers.  Only two teams in the league have given up more.  They appear to be precisely what the doctor ordered for Mr. Allen.

NFL diviners have already circled this mismatch in Buffalo red.  PFF projects a 26.8 fantasy point outburst from Allen.  He is ranked as the number 1 overall quarterback option by the FantasyPros expert consensus ranking.  With the week’s highest over/under of 51.5 points, the favored Bills are expected to put up a lot of points.

Don’t get cute.  Stick with Josh Allen this week and reap the rewards of your savvy team building.

Tom Brady

The 2022 season has gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start for TB12.  Despite a 2-1 record that has the Bucs currently perched atop the NFC South, the passing game has fallen short of lofty expectations.  Through three games, Tampa is averaging just 211.3 passing yards per game, 22nd in the league.  With a receiving corps ravaged by injuries, PFF grades Brady’s performance as a middling 72.4, outside the top 10.

So why the optimism this week?  Well, first of all, reinforcements are on the way for that aforementioned wideout group.  Stud receiver Mike Evans will return to the lineup after serving a one game suspension.  There is considerable optimism about Julio Jones and Chris Godwin making progress in their respective recoveries from injury.  And, the recently signed Cole Beasley is ‘in the lab’ building practice rapport with Brady.  If Beasley is again elevated from the practice squad, there’s potential for the veteran slot receiver to become a trusted option.

Perhaps the greatest reason for hope, however, is the Bucs upcoming opponent.  On Sunday night, Tampa will square off with the Chiefs in a Super Bowl LV rematch in primetime.  There is still some uncertainty as to the venue due to the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.  However, the NFL has affirmed its commitment to play the game on time.  And, it’s safe to assume that the Kansas City defense will be porous regardless of where kickoff occurs.

In 2021, the Chiefs ranked 30th in the league, forfeiting an average of 19.4 fantasy points to quarterbacks.  Through three games, this ignominious statistic has remarkably backslid even further, with opposing signal callers averaging 20.6 against Kansas City.  The Chiefs score a lot but they give up a lot too.

An underachieving Tom Terrific under the lights with a resurgent arsenal of weapons matched against a vulnerable defense?  I think you see where this is headed.  Look for Brady to shine with a big performance against the Chiefs.  PFF projects him as a top 5 fantasy scorer this week, and I am in complete agreement.  This is the week where you look like a genius for drafting the aging star.  Start Tom Brady with confidence.

WEEK 4 SITS

Derek Carr

When the Raiders pulled off the headlining off-season trade to acquire luminary wideout Davante Adams, it seemed to signal a prosperous future for the silver and black.  However, the Josh McDaniels era in Las Vegas instead has gotten off to a disastrous 0-3 start.  There is plenty of blame to go around for the lackluster performance, but certainly Derek Carr deserves a fair amount of the criticism.

Despite a much ballyhooed Fresno State connection, the chemistry between Carr and his collegiate teammate has thus far failed to develop in the pros.  It’s hard to imagine that Raiders owner, Mark Davis, is satisfied with shelling out $140-million for 63.0 yards per game.  

Don’t be fooled by team passing stats either.  The Raiders have managed a superficially impressive 266.7 passing yards per game.  However, this statistic is largely hollow, reflecting the Raiders’ need to throw their way back into games.  Despite weapons like Adams, Waller, and Renfrow, Carr owns a dubious PFF grade of 60.7, 23rd among eligible quarterbacks.

In Week 4, the Raiders will play host to the divisional rival Broncos.  Denver allowed the third fewest points to opposing quarterbacks in 2021 (15.2 per game).  So far in 2022, the Broncos are even stingier, giving up just 11.3 per game.  In 15 career games against Denver, Carr owns an average stat line of 232.4 yards, 1.1 touchdowns, 0.5 interceptions, and 1.8 sacks.  Those numbers equate to a sub-15-point fantasy performance, on average.  The Broncos have been a tough matchup, to put it mildly.

According to scoresandodd.com, the over/under on passing touchdowns for Carr this week is 1.5.  Despite a generous yardage prop of 272.5, the sharps don’t expect Carr to put up many points.  That should concern you as a fantasy player.  The experts on FantasyPros have Carr as 13th in their consensus ranking, and even that seems magnanimous.  Keep Carr in the garage this week, and find a better option.

Justin Fields

If you are still a believer in Justin Fields, now might be an ideal time to try to and acquire him.  It is, however, an abysmal time to count on him for your lineup.

With Fields at the helm, Chicago is averaging just 78.3 passing yards per game, dead last in the league by a sizable margin.  PFF has graded Fields’ performance thus far as a 43.0, the 33rd best score in the NFL.  There are only 32 teams in the league, folks.  It has been downright ugly.

In Week 4, the Bears will visit the Big Apple to take on the Giants, in a battle of two teams searching for an identity.  Though they may have some ambiguity, New York can hang their hat on a strong pass defense.  In 2021, the Giants surrendered just 16.0 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, 8th best in the league.  This season, they have picked right up where they left off averaging 15.0 points to opposing passers.  They are stout against signal callers.

Bookkeepers have taken note of this trend, too.  With a miniscule over/under of 39.5, this Bears-Giants matchup is predicted to be the lowest scoring of the slate.  That lacking confidence on the Chicago side seems directly tied to Fields.  Per scoresandodds.com, player props for pathetic totals of 148.5 yards and 0.5 passing touchdowns have been established for the Bears sophomore field general.  Those are certainly not the types of numbers to propel you to fantasy victory.

It may, in fact, be time to field some offers for the Bears quarterback.  At the very least, Justin Fields needs to stay firmly on your bench this weekend.

In Closing…

I thoroughly enjoyed bringing you this piece, and would love to continue the conversation on quarterback start/sits.  Please feel free to comment below or contact me @Spydes78 on Twitter.  And also, stay tuned to @DynastyNerds for a steady pipeline of content from our eminently qualified staff to carry you through your season.  If you like what you read, please consider becoming a subscriber to any of the elite tools that Dynasty Nerds has to offer.  Make sure to use the promo code “SPYDES” to receive a 15% discount.  Thanks for reading and enjoy the grind!

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