Nick Foles is finally getting his solo chance in Jacksonville. He will always be a legend in Philadelphia for his record-setting performance in Super Bowl LII, as well as his playoff victory last season in Chicago. Can he replicate his performances off the bench over a full season?
The answer is most likely a mixed bag. On his own, Foles proved his worth last season for the Eagles by leading them to the playoffs in his five regular-season starts. He totaled 1,413 passing yards (completing over 72 percent of his throws) and seven touchdowns on the year.
The real question, as Brandon Niles of Sports Illustrated points out, is the strength of his supporting cast. Cast is the operative word here, as several contributors need to prove they are 100 percent healthy. Players such as receiver Marqise Lee and star back Leonard Fournette missed most or all of last season.
Lee should be back after a year of rehab, and Fournette should be better as well. The Jaguars drafted a pure pass-catcher at the tight end position in Josh Oliver out of San Jose State in the third round, and selected running back Ryquell Armstead to pair with free agent acquisition Alfred Blue as insurance against another injury-plagued year from Fournette. If Lee can stay healthy and Dede Westbrook can continue his development, the addition of Oliver and a solid run game should be enough to support Foles.
Should these guys be healthy, this Jaguars team may be good enough to make the Super Bowl. With mostly the same group of players, as well as Blake Bortles behind center, they battled to a close loss to the Patriots in the 2017 AFC Championship Game.
In terms of his value in fantasy, there are a wide range of opinions.
Nick Foles Fantasy Value & Rankings
Starting with the negative, Scout.com has Foles as their No. 26 quarterback option. The site says he is “not worth a roster spot.”
He has averaged 17.84 fantasy points in his past 5 games, which is slightly more than our projected per game average. His projected per game average is 17 fantasy points. In 5 games last season he was the #34 ranked quarterback.
CBS Sports projects him a mid-to-late round pick, saying that his performance fluctuates too wildly based on what’s around him.
He’ll get the chance to pilot an offense that should be a little more aggressive now that the Jaguars have reunited Foles with playcaller John DeFilippo. Will it lead to Fantasy goodness? Probably not the level you’d want — Foles’ track record tends to fluctuate based on his receiving corps, and the Jaguars are a little thin on big-time targets. The quarterback is also at his worst when the pass rush gets close to him, so if the Jacksonville O-line can’t stick, Foles will fall quick.
Jacksonville’s line allowed 53 sacks last year, which was tied with Green Bay for third-worst in the league. The franchise addressed the need for a tackle in the draft with Florida’s Jawaan Taylor, but he’s currently a backup on the right side.
The pressure should be off of Foles with Fournette, whose an elite runner when healthy. Without decent protection, Foles will be limited even with quality targets at receiver. Take him late, and maybe he emerges as a quality backup for your bye week.