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Report: Raiders to start rookie QB Aidan O’Connell in Week 4 vs. Chargers

With QB Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined due to injury, Las Vegas is opting to start the rookie over Brian Hoyer on Sunday vs. Los Angeles.

Aidan O’Connell of the Las Vegas Raiders warms up prior to the preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders are planning on starting rookie QB Aidan O’Connell in Week 4 vs. the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Raiders starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo is sidelined with a concussion and Las Vegas is going with the rookie over veteran Brian Hoyer. Many expected Hoyer to start in place of Jimmy G but O’Connell did play well during preseason. The Raiders are 1-2 after dropping the past two games.

O’Connell starting is better news for fantasy football managers who have Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers on their rosters. Hoyer is a career backup and has started three games since 2018. Hoyer played last season briefly in a 27-24 OT loss to the Packers while with the New England Patriots, completing 5 of 6 passes for 37 yards. Las Vegas clearly wants to see what it might have in O’Connell, who threw for 50 TD passes over his last two seasons with Purdue before being drafted. He threw for 482 yards and three TDs over three preseason games before the 2023 regular season started.

For fantasy football, if you have RB Josh Jacobs, this should be a game Las Vegas leans on its star back. Jacobs has yet to score this season but the Chargers are a good matchup and it’s tough to expect much from the rookie RB in his first NFL start. With that said, O’Connell has more upside than Hoyer and if you’re playing DFS, he’s not a bad punt play in tournaments. If the Chargers go up, O’Connell may be forced to throw and it’s not bad having Adams on his side. On DraftKings, O’Connell is just $4K, which is a very, very cheap price for a QB. Expect O’Connell to be popular in GPPs.