I am forever grateful to new Jaguars starting quarterback Nick
Foles for bringing my beloved Philadelphia Eagles their first
Super Bowl victory back in 2017. But that performance has nothing
to do with why I am touting Foles’ fantasy production for 2019.
The chart at the bottom of the page clearly makes my argument for
me as Foles has the easiest schedule in the NFL based on
last season’s fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks!
Look at who they are facing this season. Jacksonville will meet
up with the six “worst” defenses – Atlanta,
Cincinnati, New Orleans, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and New York Jets.
Throw in Oakland and Carolina and half their games are against
bottom-10 pass defenses. I’m not saying he’s a better
option than Patrick Mahomes or Andrew Luck, but he could be a
solid option for owners who don’t want to spend a high pick
(or big dollars) at the quarterback position. In the latest ADP
rankings he’s not even in the top-25 quarterbacks.
The best combination of talent AND schedule belongs to Indy’s
Luck. Only four teams own better schedules and Foles, Lamar Jackson,
Kyle Murray and Cam Newton aren’t going to beat Luck’s
combination of ability, total offensive talent and schedule.
Foles has the schedule, but not the talent around him when you
are looking at a receiving group of Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole and
Dede Westbrook. Jackson won’t throw enough and if he continues
to run 20+ times a game likely won’t finish 16 games in
one piece. Kyle Murray could be a player for the future, but not
in 2019 and Newton, if he runs like he did in his early years
(unlikely) could get close, but again his receiving corps is lacking.
Christian McCaffrey is great, but Greg Olsen has spent too much
time injured and the outside guys are relative unknowns.
Meanwhile, Luck has two extremely reliable receivers in T.Y.
Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron. They also brought in Devin Funchess
and rookie Parris Campbell. In addition, both running backs Marlon
Mack and Nyheim Hines can catch the ball out of the backfield.
And the ultimate fantasy bonus … Luck’s playoff schedule
is second to none, facing No.28 (Tampa Bay), No.30 (New Orleans)
and No. 23 (Carolina) during the three-week period from Week 14-16.
Do you believe in Jimmy Garoppolo? If you do, he’s got
a very good schedule and the second-best trio of playoff games.
But can a healthy Garoppolo turn Dante Pettis, track star Marquise
Goodwin or rookie Deebo Samuel into consistent help for George
Kittle? I’m not so sure, though with an ADP of 135.9 it’s
not a big gamble.
Seahawks’ Russell Wilson had an odd statistical season
in 2018 throwing for 35 touchdowns, third most, but producing
just 3,448 yards (18th-best) in a run-oriented offense. Can he
take advantage of his favorable schedule if he’s throwing
the ball just 27 times a game? Can he still produce touchdowns
at his 2018 rate without Doug Baldwin?
At the other end of the spectrum, let me temper your all-out
love affair with Mahomes (ADP 29.4) as he and his Chiefs own the
toughest quarterback schedule of any of the 32 teams. Eight of
his 16 games are against top-10 opponents. Sure, he’s still
an elite option after last season’s 50 touchdowns, ten 300-yard
games and 5,097 yards, but be careful about overestimating his
expected production in 2019.
Baker Mayfield (ADP 67.5) is all the rage this season (fifth
off the board) after helping the Browns out of the gutter and
into playoff conversations. Cleveland added an elite receiver
in Odell Beckham Jr., but they also have one of the tougher schedules
… and a pair of very good running backs (Nick Chubb, Kareem
Hunt) who could rack up touchdowns on the ground.
Philip Rivers is “Mr. Consistent,” having averaged
between 21.2 and 22.4 FPts/G over six consecutive seasons. He’ll
be challenged in 2019 with the seventh-hardest schedule and the
third-hardest playoff schedule. The offense returns talented Hunter
Henry to a list that includes Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen and
Mike Williams so Rivers has the tools to continue his steady production
and likely earn solid value due to his low ADP (115.5) as the
14th quarterback off the board.
Derek Carr “traded up” from Amari Cooper to Antonio
Brown, and added Tyrell Williams, but don’t go crazy for
the Raiders quarterback. And definitely have a “Plan B”
for the playoffs where Carr has the absolute worst playoff schedule
facing the No. 6 Titans, No. 8 Jaguars and No. 7 Chargers.
Other quarterbacks who have tough schedules include; Matthew
Stafford and Aaron
Rodgers - because that’s the price you pay being in a division
with the No.2 Minnesota and No. 5 Chicago defenses.
2019 NFL Schedule
Based on 2018 QB Defense Rankings