Was Nick Foles Fantasy Football’s Biggest Surprise Last Year?

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Updated: March 29, 2014

Was Nick Foles Fantasy Football’s Biggest Surprise Last Year?

Football fans got more than they bargained for last year with Eagle QB Nick Foles. On the field he put on a show that was near perfect when he finally got the starting job over Michael Vick. In fantasy leagues all over the nation, Foles really showed out. No one could have guess that the second year player from Arizona would perform at the level he displayed in the eleven games he started. I guess that is why he was, on average, the 170th player drafted in ESPN fantasy leagues. The lucky guys who got him were just that, lucky. No way anyone had insight enough to know what Foles would accomplish in 2013.

There were only two quarterbacks in the fantasy world that had better seasons than Nick Foles. Of course Peyton Manning was one, as he was lighting the league up on a weekly basis, that is until the Super Bowl. The other guy was Drew Brees, who showed no signs of a decline in his skill set. Foles actually would have been a better fantasy pick than Brees, had the Eagle QB started every game.

Now fantasy football guys have to decide what to do in 2014. Do they roll the dice on Foles and hope he has another season like 2013? Or do they hope no one else believes in him, then try to get him as a steal in a later round? For my fantasy money, I have a hard time believing a QB, just two years in, can do a repeat performance of 27 touchdowns and only 2 picks. I would not bet on a ratio any where near that number, which is still hard for me to fathom. Oh, and if the TD to INT ratio was not impressive enough, the former Wildcat also posted a rare perfect passer rating against the Oakland Raiders. His season long passer rating was the 3rd best in the history of the NFL. If all those stats were not enough, just for the fun of it he went ahead and won the offensive MVP award in the Pro Bowl. I know, I know, it is only the Pro Bowl. But he was voted into the game and he won the award, so there.

If you are interested in drafting Nick Foles onto your cleverly named fantasy team in 2014, you better give some thought about how his offense will look. Even though ESPN fantasy guru Matthew Berry has Foles listed as the 6th best QB, he does need the players around him to get the fantasy points up to elite level like last year. He still has a great running back with him, with a great nickname to go along with his play, in Shady McCoy. I guess the signing of Riley Cooper would qualify as a positive as well. The fact that Cooper is making 5 million a year now  and his old buddy Tim Tebow cannot get a job in the NFL is quite amazing. I guess there are just more receiving positions to go around. That and the fact that apparently Tebow has no pro skills.

One player I would not bank on being there to help Foles achieve the success he did last year, is DeSean Jackson. The trade rumors keep going all around Jackson and show no signs of slowing down until he is on his way out of Philly. No matter what conversation head coach Chip Kelly had with the speedy receiver a few days ago, Jackson should not make any long term plans in Philadelphia. Chip Kelly made Jackson feel like the player has no worries about being shipped off, but that can change quickly. If Foles has any pull with the team, he might want to mention how much he likes having a fast pass catcher out there with him. Who knows how much influence he can have, after all he is the hottest QB going into next season. He needs Jackson if he hopes to continue his excellent play, which in turn could get him a huge contract when his original deal is up.

One factor the fantasy geeks may not think about is how little film was available on nick Foles last year. Not true in 2014. Defensive coordinators get paid quite nicely to watch endless tape on opposing quarterbacks and find their flaws, tendencies, and weak points. Their job is much easier with Fole’s eleven starts to go over with a fine toothed comb. If he is a one hit wonder, it will be obvious early in the 2014 season. If he is the real deal, then no matter how much film D coordinators watch, he will still put up great stats that correlate into fantasy wins for guys with the guts to draft him this year.

Another advantage for Foles is his head coach, Chip Kelly. The former Oregon Duck leader is a super genius when it comes to offensive football and theory. He seems like a regular guy but he thinks very differently from normal head coaches. That uniqueness will help the young Foles in many ways on and off the field. If Chip Kelly does all this out of the box stuff on the field, then who knows what he does off the field. For all we know he is the NFL version of the ZEN Master, Phil Jackson himself. Kelly may be passing out books in the locker room and promoting yoga to his players. If Foles stays committed to improving his game and stays completely sold on his coach’s philosophy, he has every chance to be a great passer and leader for the next 10 years. But we know that quarterbacks can fall fast and hard in the NFL. One day you are being hailed as the best fantasy draft decision ever and the next day your fantasy owner is browsing the waiver wire section for your replacement. Enjoy the ride Nick Foles. You are in the driver’s seat….for now.

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