Nick Foles: Fantasy Fools Gold
Nick Foles finished 2013 as the twelfth highest scoring fantasy quarterback ahead of notables like Matt Ryan and Tom Brady. He did so in just 13 games, 11 as a starter. A full season at his production rate would have made him the third highest fantasy scorer at quarterback. So why is he a candidate for a disappointing season in 2014?
Let’s break down his scoring from a year ago. His most memorable game, of course, was his seven touchdown, 406 yard performance against the Raiders. This one game made up 18 percent of his scoring alone. Excluding the Week 9 game against Oakland, Foles averaged 17.8 points per game which ranks sixteenth, just ahead of Sam Bradford. Another anomaly propping up Foles’ production was his two interceptions on 317 attempts. It’s a great leap of faith to assume that he will be able to maintain that efficiency on such a high level going forward.
DeSean Jackson’s departure will also have a profound impact on Foles’ fantasy value on two levels. First, and most obvious, is the production that walked out the door with Jackson who had nine touchdowns, 1,332 yards, and 82 receptions on 126 targets. Those targets, by the way, were to a bona fide number one receiver with wheels that every defensive back was aware of on every play. What’s left in the Eagles receiving corps are the second and third options from a year ago in Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper. And Brent Celek, who is the best run blocking tight end in the NFL and will keep pass catching tight end Zach Ertz off the field in Chip Kelly’s run first offense. Darren Sproles is an exciting addition until you look at his splits on grass and turf. On grass, which is the surface of his new home field, Sproles caught only 12 of his 71 receptions with no touchdowns and no catches of 20 yards or more.
Apart from some obvious choices (Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford, and Andrew Luck) here are quarterbacks I’ll be targeting in my drafts ahead of Nick Foles:
Robert Griffin III
A year clear of knee surgery, he’s in charge of a very talented offensive contrived by Jay Gruden who made a Top Five fantasy quarterback out of Andy Dalton.
With Julio Jones back he is a Top Five fantasy quarterback.
The Cowboys defense will have him in many shootout and catch up scenarios. Oh, and Dez Bryant.
A healthy Rob Gronkowski unlocks the entire offense in New England.
Two top tier wide receivers and a pass catching running back in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Matt Forte.