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Steve Schwarz | Archive | Email |  
Staff Writer

Truths and Lies: Week 15

The fantasy semi-finals is not the best time to be searching for a replacement quarterback, but many owners have been forced to do just that as we head into Week 15. I have a viable option for you. For those already sitting on the sidelines, I have a couple of thoughts about next season.

Blake Bortles

Bortles has been the QB15 and QB4 the last 2 weeks and gets the leaky Texans pass defense in Wk 15.


“There is no middle ground. What is not true is false.” - Henry F. Kletzing

1) In case you haven’t been paying attention, Blake Bortles is a viable fantasy option.

Remember back in June when his coach, Doug Marrone, was asked how many times he would like to throw the ball each game and he answered “zero?” Bortles ranks 20th on the season (18.9 FPts/G), but has been much improved of late. He’s ranked 13th over the past five weeks (21.4) and seventh over the last three games (24.6). The Jaguars and Bortles have favorable matchups the next two weeks – Houston (31st in QB fantasy points allowed) and San Francisco (29th). He’d be a good option for injured Wentz and Josh McCown or bad matchups like Andy Dalton in Minnesota and he’s only owned in 36-percent of all Yahoo leagues.

2) Both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor must be discounted now that starting quarterback Carson Wentz is out for the season.

Both starting Eagles receivers are currently top-25 options, as is tight end Zach Ertz, but other than his “career year” in 2013, new Eagles starting quarterback Nick Foles has proven to be average under center. From 2014-17, he’s 11-9 with a 77.6 QB rating, 6.6 yards-per-attempt, 23 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions.

3) Tom Brady looked 40-years-old Monday night.

Brady actually has posted two poor fantasy performances in a row (12.9 and 15.7 FPts), looked slow and confused against the Dolphins defense, but he’s still one of the front-runners for NFL MVP. He averaged 25 points the previous 11 games. He’s not done yet. By the way, he went 32-of-42 for 384 yards and three touchdowns against this week’s opponent, Pittsburgh, in the conference championship last season. He’s a career 7-2 against the Steelers with a 114.2 QB Rating.

4) San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is winning games, but hasn’t been a fantasy stud.

Garoppolo is averaging 313.5 ypg through the air, but he’s only thrown one touchdown pass in two starts. He’s got to start getting into the end zone if he’s going to be viable for fantasy owners. Hopefully, the 49ers will get him more talent to throw to next season. Marquise Goodwin is a solid receiver and the return of steady Pierre Garcon will help, but Garoppolo needs a stud wideout to grow with. Unfortunately, 2018 might not be a great draft crop at that position. Garoppolo has a decent matchup in Week 15 (Tennessee), but not championship week (Jacksonville).

5) Back in mid-October when I wanted you to “sell high” on Kareem Hunt, most people ignored the advice and chose to ride out what would be a nine-game touchdown-less streak.

I also spoke of favorable playoff matchups, so if you stayed with him in Week 13, you were rewarded with 138 combined yards and his first touchdown since Week 3. Keep riding him against the Chargers (16th in RB fantasy points allowed) and Miami (23rd).


“There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.” – William James

1) Without MVP candidate Carson Wentz, the Eagles season is over.

Not necessarily. Based on a gaming site I visited, the Eagles with Nick Foles at quarterback would still be a favorite at home against any of the other NFC teams. According to the site, they would be anywhere from a 1 - 3.5 favorite against Minnesota, New Orleans, L.A. Rams, Atlanta, Seattle and Carolina. Of course, things can change drastically between Week 15 and the beginning of the playoffs.

2) If Kenyan Drake can run roughshod through the Patriots for a combined for 193 yards, Le’Veon Bell should dominate.

He certainly should dominate the injury-decimated New England defense, but I am concerned for Bell based on what I saw against Baltimore after getting his right knee hyperextended. Sure, Bell totaled 125 yards and three scores against the Ravens, but he definitely wasn’t the same runner after the hit on his knee in the second quarter. He ran strong going straight ahead, but after the incident he didn’t make any of the dynamic cuts, we usually see from him. Bell rushed just six times for 20 yards after the incident (they were behind) and caught seven balls for 70 yards.

3) Before the season, most experts would have chosen the 2015 QB draft class over the 2016 class.

Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Trevor Siemian looked like they might be headed for good things at the end of 2016, but all three have failed to improve in 2016. Meanwhile, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz took huge jumps forward, Jacoby Brissett proved he can play at this level and while Dak Prescott showed he couldn’t carry the Cowboys on his back by himself, when they are at full strength Prescott can produce solid fantasy numbers.

 Player Drafted 2015 2016 2017
Jameis Winston 1 21.7 21.2 18.8
Marcus Mariota 2 21.2 21.5 18.5
Brett Hundley 147 x x 15.7
Trevor Siemian 250 x 17.7 17.8
Jared Goff 1 x 11.7 20.7
Carson Wentz 2 x 17.5 25.1
Jacoby Brissett 91 x 11.4 16.5
Dak Prescott 135 x 21.2 21.6

4) In 2018, Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt will be drafted among the first 10 running backs.

The NFL is being inundated with great running backs, and I think I can list 10 quality backs who will go before Gordon and Hunt. Here we go; Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Leonard Fournette, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, LeSean McCoy, David Johnson and rookies Saquon Barkley and Bryce Love.

5) It’s a passing league, so elite fantasy wide receivers must be a dime-a-dozen.

There may be a lot of quality receivers in the league, but elite wideouts, those who average at least 10 points per game, are becoming harder to find. Between the years 2012-2015, there were an average of 20.25 receivers who made the grade. However, last season just 11 receivers averaged 10 FPts/G and this season there are currently 12 wideouts at 10 points or more per game. That’s more than a 40-percent drop!

Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.