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Welcome to Week 18 of the 2023 Footballguys Roundtable. Our intrepid panel of fantasy pundits discusses and debates four topics every week. We split the conversation into separate features.
This week's roundtable features these four topics:
- Perception or Reality?
- Role-Player Playoff Saviors Moving Forward
- 2024 Bold Predictions (see below)
- 2024 Offseason Points of Intrigue
2024 Bold Predictions
Matt Waldman: Give me one bold call for next year. I want some specific production data and/or a fantasy tier linked to it.
Dave Kluge: Jahmyr Gibbs will be the overall RB1 in 2024. Given how volatile the position is, it’s tough to speculate about backfields before the offseason starts. But with David Montgomery on a hefty deal and a first-round pick invested in Gibbs, it’s unlikely that the Lions change much up there.
To start the season, Montgomery was the clear workhorse in Detroit. But an injury opened up an opportunity for Gibbs, and he never looked back. From Week 7 onward, he was PPR’s RB3 behind only Christian McCaffrey and Rachaad White. While Gibbs was known for his big plays and pass-catching abilities, the most notable change in his role was near the end zone.
From Week 9 on (when Montgomery returned from injury), Gibbs out-touched Montgomery in the red zone 32-to-25. Gibbs is a young and talented player behind one of the league’s best run-blocking units who catches passes, scores from anywhere on the field, and receives goal-line work. His profile is precisely what you want to see in a fantasy running back.
Christian Williams: Justin Fields will finish as a top-3 fantasy quarterback. Despite the discourse around the divisive third-year player, the Bears are in a prime position to assemble a super team. Assuming they flip the first pick for a haul similar to the one they received from the Panthers last year, adding a top-tier wideout and more offensive help seems inevitable.
Fields averaged 20 points per game upon his return from injury, which is good for just 1.3 points behind Lamar Jackson (the QB3). He finished the entire season as the QB7 in points per game despite a rocky start and inconsistent play, but his situation could make him a fantasy superstar in 2024. The flip side is that the Bears could take a quarterback with the first pick, but we're going for bold here.
Zareh Kantzabedian: Drake London decisively finishes the year as a WR1. The Falcons were 24th in points allowed yet were 26th in pass attempts. Arthur Smith did everything he could to ensure that his quarterbacks did not throw the ball in 2023. Smith was under plenty of scrutiny for underutilizing his best players this past season.
It's safe to say that Smith will be coaching for his job in 2024 if plans already haven't been made to release him before then. A player of London's caliber should see north of 130 targets yearly. A significant quarterback upgrade should be widely anticipated. Smith should be encouraged to shy away from the pass far less often and return the Falcons to the league median in pass attempts meaning more targets and red zone trips for London.
Waldman: I like the gusto of that call, Zareh. I'll combine your call with Christian's and say that Fields will finish as an elite fantasy QB for the Atlanta Falcons, and Drake London will earn top-five production as Fields' primary option.
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