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.
Bortles has been the QB15 and QB4 the
last 2 weeks and gets the leaky Texans pass defense in Wk
“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
3) Tom Brady looked 40-years-old Monday
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
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
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
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.
4) In 2018, Melvin Gordon and Kareem
Hunt will be drafted among the first 10 running backs.
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.