DFS Roundtable: Rookie Quarterback Impact

The DFS team discusses the impact of Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield

Week 4 brings the first NFL starts for Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield after relief appearances in Week 3.

Which jump starts their offense the most and which pieces of the offense are most appealing considering their Week 4 matchup?

Phil Alexander: If I had any faith in Arizona's coaching staff this might be a tough decision, but the answer is Mayfield and it's not close. He looked great in a come-from-behind win against the Jets last Thursday and draws a matchup against Oakland's 31st-ranked pass defense (DVOA).

Judging by Jarvis Landry's 40% target market share and Antonio Callaway's 185 air yards in Week 3, those are the players who stand to benefit most from Mayfield's accuracy and underrated arm talent. It certainly helps Mayfield is cheap across the industry and Oakland has allowed 31.2% more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than league average over their first three games.

James Brimacombe: David Johnson becomes instantly more interesting with Rosen under center. Johnson clearly wasn’t the main target with Bradford there so now with a rookie like Rosen you are going to have plenty of more targets for Johnson and that could get him going after four games into the season.

Baker Mayfield speeds up the offense for the Browns and the passing offense should see a major boost in production. Jarvis Landry is now on the verge of WR1 territory and he should be in high consideration this week in both cash and GPP games.

Dan Hindery: We already saw the spark Mayfield provided after entering the game last week. His big second-half performance in the comeback win against the Jets bodes well for the Browns this season. While a rising tide should lift all boats for the Cleveland offense, Antonio Callaway is the play that stands out to me this weekend. He is minimum-priced at $4,500 on FanDuel and has shown a real chemistry with Mayfield both in the preseason and in their limited time together last week. Considering the number of targets Callaway should see on Sunday, he looks like one of the top bargain options on the slate.

Will Grant: Rosen was basically thrown to the wolves in that Chicago game and he looked like a rookie QB who was struggling to keep up. Mayfield faced a softer defense, but he also looked composed and made some pretty decent throws to lead his team to victory. I need to see more from Rosen before I consider him for DFS but Mayfield might be an interesting play, depending on who they Browns face.

This week, they travel to Oakland, a team that’s struggling and still looking for their first win. However, their passing defense is pretty solid – allowing just 258 yards per game through the air, including the 340 that the Dolphins put on them last week. I don’t think this is a trend, and I think the Raiders defense locks down on the Browns this week. Vegas expects the Browns to put up about 21 points this week, and that’s not going to win many DFS games.

The only player from the Browns that I would consider starting this week is Jarvis Landry. He hasn’t reached the end zone yet this season, but he’s averaging over 12 targets a game and almost 7 receptions per game as well. With Mayfield at the helm, that trend is going to change and Landry’s going to reach the end zone. His salary is still low enough on DFS sites so that when that happens if the rest of his stats remain constant, he’s going to be nice value. I wouldn’t go crazy with him this week in Oakland, but he will be in a couple of my lineups on the chance he can post a score.

Justin Howe: It's absolutely Mayfield. For one, he just looks better at this stage, generally unafraid of the bright lights and confident in his rookie capabilities. But he also throws to far more dynamism than Rosen. Antonio Callaway might be the league's fastest player, and the Browns are likely itching to develop a relationship between the two. Meanwhile, Jarvis Landry keeps squirting open and providing a surefire pair of hands in open grass. Mayfield already looks like a master technician all over the field, and his decisive style fits well into a shootout scenario. I'm not too interested in Mayfield as a Week 4 play - the Browns-Raiders total isn't high (45), and he's making his first NFL start across the country. But I'm not afraid of rostering his receivers in small, GPP-optimized doses, either.

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