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Aidan O'Connell The Early Favorite For Starting Job?

By Jared Smola | Updated on Wed, 26 Jun 2024, 8:58 AM EDT
Aidan O'Connell Headshot

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler believes Aidan O'Connell "probably has the slight edge right now" in the Raiders' QB competition against Gardner Minshew. Fowler calls it "a real battle."

What They're Saying

"He's acting like a starting QB," Fowler said of O'Connell. "And Davante Adams loves him, which always helps with the brownie points."

"But Minshew has come in, shown some moxie. He's already got the offense down, changing plays at the line of scrimmage, I'm told. He's been good at the off-script stuff."

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

This battle figures to ultimately be won in training camp and preseason action. But it's noteworthy that Fowler has O'Connell as at least a small favorite for the Week 1 job.

Minshew got a two-year, $25 million contract from Vegas -- something between "definite starter" and "pure backup" money -- which made him seem like the early frontrunner.

But O'Connell has the edge in terms of experience with the Raiders. And he closed last season strongly, tossing multiple TDs in three of his last four games. He ranked 14th among 39 qualifying QBs in Pro Football Focus passing grade over those final four games.

This remains a situation to avoid in 1-QB leagues and isn't even a priority target in superflex formats. But if you're looking for a late QB3 in best ball, O'Connell deserves at least as much consideration as Minshew.

Projected ADP Movement

Minshew is going slightly ahead of O'Connell in both Underdog and FFPC best ball ADP. Expect them to remain close in price until a clear leader emerges in August.

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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