- Fantasy owners shouldn't turn to Nick Foles, even with Carson Wentz out.
In Week 15 of the 2017 season, Nick Foles made the first of what would be six straight starts, culminating in the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl championship. Foles will once again take over as Philadelphia’s starter in Week 15, though it’s not likely to have quite as dramatic and triumphant an ending.
Carson Wentz is not expected to play when the Eagles meet the Rams in Week 15 because of a back injury. The Eagles are 6-7, two games behind the Cowboys in the NFC East, and half a game behind the Vikings for the final wild card spot in the conference. While they’re still very much alive to make the playoffs, another run for a Lombardi Trophy appears as though it would be, at best, quixotic. As such, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Eagles shut Wentz down for the season, and that would only become more likely if they lose at the 11-2 Rams on Sunday.
In the fantasy football world, there are two takeaways from this news: First, you can almost certainly drop Wentz. There would be some risk to cutting him should the Eagles pull off an upset in Los Angeles this week, but the fungibility of quarterback value in single-QB leagues still makes him expendable. I would, however, hold onto him for the time being in superflex and two-quarterback formats. Secondly, while Foles also has value in those leagues, you can ignore him as anything more than a potential streamer in traditional, one-quarterback settings.
Foles has made eight starts for the Eagles over the last two seasons, seven if you throw out the final game of the 2017 regular season, in which he made a brief appearance with the Eagles locked into the top seed in the NFC. In those seven games, he threw for 1,822 yards, 6.42 yards per attempt, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. Of course, the vast majority of that came last year when he was busy turning himself into a Super Bowl MVP. In his two starts this season before Wentz returned from his torn ACL, Foles threw for 451 yards, 5.5 YPA, one touchdown and one pick. As hindsight would make clear, he had great matchups in those games, facing the Falcons and Buccaneers.
The Eagles’ next two games, the only remaining ones that matter in most fantasy leagues, are against the Rams and Texans. Neither is a great matchup, with the two ranked 16th and ninth, respectively, against quarterbacks in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric, aFPA. While Wentz has found a way to be generally productive from a fantasy standpoint this year, he hasn’t put up the gaudy numbers that had him on the precipice of winning the MVP award last season, and the Eagles offense as a whole hasn’t been nearly as effective. Wentz is 18th in points per game in standard-scoring leagues, and the Eagles are ranked 21st in points per game, 19th in yards per game, 19th in yards per pass attempt, and 22nd in yards per play. In other words, Foles isn’t stepping into the explosive offensive environment he was at this time last year.
Is a 2017 redux possible for Foles over the next two weeks? Of course. Is it probable to the point that you want to trust your fantasy team to his right arm? Not a chance.