Rescued from the depths of a perennial failure in Detroit, Stafford
finds himself at the helm of a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
In only a few months in L.A. Stafford has seemingly proven to be
the missing piece of this McVay offense. One of many quarterbacks
to not take a single preseason snap, nonetheless reports from camp
on Staffordís mastery of the offense have been glowing. The
former Lionsí arm talent should force the Chicago defense
to account for the entire field and with an injury-ravaged backfield
look for the Rams to be among the league leaders in pass attempts.
What an ironic twist that he heads to sundrenched Los Angeles, only
to match-up against a very familiar NFC North foe. In his last game
against the Bears in 2020, Stafford went for 402 yards and 3 touchdowns,
numbers he has a chance to approach in his west coast debut.
Although it has largely been a series of mishaps and disasters for
the Jags this pre-season, it hasnít nearly approached the
circus down in Houston. Against a real NFL team, Iíd likely
avoid Lawrence in his first NFL start, but Houstonís gutted
roster is an enticing fantasy matchup for many of the Jacksonville
skill players. While Shenault, Jones, and Chark might have struggled
to crack the lineup when Lawrence was at Clemson, they are miles
better than what the Texans can muster in their secondary. Ye of
the zero-QB, or DFS league world would be wise to consider Lawrence
as an option this week.
The reality of the fantasy world is that dual-threat quarterbacks
have a huge advantage over their less fleet footed counterparts.
Although Hurts left a lot to be desired as a thrower in his four-game
audition to end last season, he still managed 68 yards per game
on the ground, including three rushing touchdowns. A shaky at best
preseason hasn’t instilled much confidence that Hurts has
developed significantly since last season, but for now he’s
all the Eagles have. Luckily one of the worst defenses in the league
welcomes Hurts and the Eagles in Week 1. Atlanta was the most generous
defense in the NFL to fantasy quarterbacks in 2020, so the former
Heisman finalist should enjoy a high scoring floor in Week 1.
I think the Bengals are making a terrible mistake rushing Burrow
back from his devastating knee injury. I donít feel like heís
fully gotten over all of the necessary mental and physical hurdles
quite yet, and Mike Zimmer is going to blitz Burrow relentlessly
on Sunday. Practice reports out of Cinci camp havenít been
pretty, and the measly three snaps he got in the pre-season finale
showed nothing. Eventually Burrow and this offense will gel and
be potent, but Iím not betting on him getting it done enough
to justify a start in Week 1.
Despite the siren song of Deshaun Watson, and the relentless question
marks about his physical and mental ability, Tua has had a strong
camp, and looked dynamite in the last dress rehearsal. But tossing
the rock around against back-end roster defenders is a long way
from a road game at Billís house. Belichick feasts on young
quarterbacks, especially ones that lack the athletic ability to
physically overcome or outthink his schemes. Tua hasnít worked
with his starting receivers much this preseason, and the running
game doesnít scare defenses. In a Week 15 loss to a much less
talented Patriot defense, Tua went for only 145 yards, and no touchdowns.
He will undoubtedly flash this season, but Iím not banking
on it happening on Sunday.
Goff has quickly gone from being a starting quarterback in the Super
Bowl to a bridge quarterback for one of the worst franchises in
professional sports. Goff, born and bred in California, is a misfit
in a cold weather, blue collar city like Detroit. He proved his
toughness last season playing on a surgically repaired thumb, but
despite being a No.1 overall pick, he was always reliant on the
skill players around him, rather than lifting the roster like franchise
quarterbacks have to do. The Detroit coaching staff is full of eager
former players short on experience, and the talent around Goff echoes
that. San Fran simply has too much talent on defense and their familiarity
with the former Ram will also be a detriment to his fantasy success.
A LONG season for Goff and Detroit starts Sunday.