Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky? In what promises to be one of the more intriguing quarterback battles of the upcoming season, the two Chicago Bears quarterbacks will duke it out for the starting job this preseason. Foles is the early-on favorite to win the job, but after the team traded up to snag Trubisky second overall in 2017, it would be in Chicago’s best interest if the fourth-year QB finally had the breakthrough so many have been waiting for.
Foles has accomplished things Trubisky has not, most notably beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl just over two years ago. Still, Trubisky is by far the better athlete, and his mobility and youth are definite assets. If he can figure out how to read defenses and improve his decision-making, he could be the Bears’ starter for years — but that’s a big ‘if.’
One way to explore the Trubisky-Foles competition is examining which quarterback could make those around him better. Yahoo Sports thinks that one QB in particular could provide the Bears’ offense with a definite boost — at least fantasy-wise.
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Nick Foles Boosts Bears’ Fantasy Upside Over Trubisky
Yahoo Sports recently examined whether the mere presence of Foles could boost the respective stats and bulk up the fantasy numbers of offensive weapons like Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and David Montgomery — and they make a strong argument to support the case that Foles could indeed make everyone around him better.
Utilizing the completion percentage over expected (CPOE) statistic, which is one of the most accurate stats in terms of measuring a quarterback’s yards-per-attempt, among other things, Yahoo Sports looked specifically at Foles’ CPOE over the years.
CPOE considers the depth of a quarterback’s targeted passes along with the level of competition each quarterback has faced, along with a QB’s expected completion percentage subtracted from the QB’s actual completion percentage. And, as it turns out, Foles has been deceptively effective when given the opportunity to start.
“While his lone season in Jacksonville was considered a disaster, Foles was off to a great start in his Week 1 Jaguars debut before breaking his clavicle during a sick TD pass. Moreover, in the four games he did play, Foles’ CPOE (2.9) would’ve ranked top-10 had he qualified … To put this in non-nerd terms, Foles has performed at an extremely high level over the last two seasons based on the most advanced methods we currently have at measuring quarterbacks (albeit while relying heavily on performing his best on third downs). They are smaller samples, but those combined with Foles’ historic 2013, and the fact he’s one of the best postseason performers ever, he enters 2020 as the heavy favorite to start over Mitch Trubisky, even with the shortened offseason.”
What Would Foles Bring to Bears Offense, Fantasy-Wise?
The folks at Yahoo Sports think the presence of Foles would make Allen Robinson a definite top-10 fantasy wideout, and they think Anthony Miller will be undervalued in fantasy leagues everywhere. They also see running back David Montgomery having an improved sophomore season with Foles under center. Just don’t draft Foles to be your starting fantasy quarterback:
“Given that quarterback is so loaded, Foles is nothing more than a sleeper in Superflex leagues (or depth in Big Ball drafts) but he’s likely to provide a major upgrade over Trubisky, making Robinson, Miller and possibly Montgomery undervalued fantasy commodities who should be targeted at draft tables.”
Trubisky was 30th in the league in fantasy points-per-dropback last year, and that simply won’t cut it again this season. If Foles does start, look for his veteran savvy to allow for more completed passes to his wide receivers, and look for the players around him to respond to his leadership in positive ways.