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237 Yds | 4 TDs | 0 INT | 115.8 QB Rating

That’s Nick Foles’ line from last Sunday’s monster performance against the New York Giants. As bad as the Giants are, any game where a QB can put up numbers like that is impressive. And while no one’s ready to hand over the MVP award to Foles after last week, he has earned a hell of a lot more respect than he was afforded over the past few years. (Or weeks.) Going into the championship week for most fantasy football leagues, Foles is – shockingly – a legitimate fantasy asset. His ownership has jumped 24.1% since Sunday’s breakout game.

Saying that this kind of performance is surprising is vastly understated. Leading up to that game against the Giants, the narrative surrounding Foles had more to do with his receivers than it did Foles. Roto Arcade’s Dalton Del Don went so far as to say, “The loss of Wentz would obviously be devastating blows to the fantasy values of Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and whoever plays tight end.” That’s a pretty harsh take on the abilities of Foles but an obvious one. It was also dead wrong. Against the Giants, Agholor and Jeffery put up a combined 32 points, scoring a touchdown a piece. Tight end Zach Ertz put up another 17 on his own.

So what happened? Why did so many people think Foles was, at the very least, going to be a subpar replacement for Wentz? Well, because he should have been. Looking at the past three years, Foles has been, in a word, bad. In 22 games, he’s passed for 23 touchdowns, thrown 20 interceptions, and averaged 210 yards per game. It’s easy to understand why managers and fantasy football reporters questioned his value: going into last week, he had none.

60 minutes later, we were all proven wrong. What the hell happened?

No Respect

Foles thrives on a lack of respect. Drafted in 2012 by the Eagles, he was ranked as the fifth best quarterback that year behind players like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson. When Foles was drafted, CNN went so far as to say that 8th overall was still too high. But when Michael Vick went down with a knee injury in 2013, Foles was thrust into a starting role. And boy did he make the most out of it, having his best year of his career and earning himself a Pro Bowl appearance.

Philly’s Good

I don’t want to take anything away from Carson Wentz. This year, he’s been unbelievable. But he’s been really good on a really good team. Just because he’s gone down doesn’t automatically mean there are no more weapons on an offense that puts up over 386 yards per game and is tied for first in total points. Foles has fallen into a pretty nice situation.

The Giants Are Bad

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the Giants suck. In total, they’ve managed a total of two wins and they’re lucky to have both of those. I mean, man, do they ever suck. And while Foles played exceptionally well, the Giants are still the Giants.

All told, Foles outperformed everyone’s expectations in Week 15, and you know what? Good for him. No one saw it coming. It’s not absurd to think that Foles can do it again this week. Philly’s going up against an average Oakland defense and Foles still has a lot to prove. After what we saw last week, he just might.

Every league’s got one. Someone who can’t figure out why everyone else in the league doesn’t talk to them anymore. Someone who, for 16 weeks out of the year,1 is simply unbearable. The person whose fantasy takes are so stupidly, scorchingly hot that having your knees blown out by Vontaze Burfict seems preferable to listening to them. I repeat: every league’s got one. Which means that if you’re thinking, “That doesn’t sounds like anyone in my league,” then guess what, bro? It’s you. You’re that guy. But don’t fret, we at The Read Option have got you covered. The most insufferable fantasy players come in five varieties and here’s how you can make sure you’re not a single one of them.

5. The “If I Woulda Started” Guy

We get it. There’s nothing worse than losing your matchup by a few points only to find that the guy you drafted in the fourteenth round and promptly forgot about managed to put up 22 points like he was possessed by the fantasy ghost of LaDainian Tomlinson. That’s a tough loss to take but, dude, shut up about it. No one likes a whiny loser. Plus, there’s a reason you didn’t start Cole Beasley over Amari Cooper and it’s because Cooper is way better.2

How to avoid it: Don’t look at your bench and, more importantly, don’t talk about your bench. It can only cause grief. If you find yourself staring down the barrel of a loss, close your computer and forget about your entire team.3

4. The Ridiculous Trade Guy

Enough is enough. I get why you’re proposing ridiculously lopsided trades but seriously, stop. No one is going to trade you a top 10 RB for your second string QB. Sure, there are going to be times when a player is struggling and their owner might be willing to listen to trade offers just to shake things up but make sure that what you’re offering at least approximates equal value. Your preposterously uneven trade offers make you seem like a condescending asshole who thinks your leaguemates are a bunch of dumb yokels who’ve never seen one of them there foosball games before. Keep this shit up and soon enough you’ll find yourself blacklisted so that people won’t even bother opening up your trade offers. Then what, trade master? Then what?

How to avoid it: You can use math and trade analyzers if you really want to aim for fair trades but your best friend here is straight up common sense. Stop overvaluing your players and you might find that people stop hating you. Hell, you might even make a few trades once in a while.

3. The “I’m Undefeated In My Other League” Guy

Oh really? Cool. No one cares. Just because you’re tearing it up in some mythical league no one else is in, doesn’t mean you’ve gained any more cred in this league where, coincidentally, you’re getting your ass beat week in and week out. This is the fantasy sports equivalent of bragging about your hot girlfriend who lives in Canada.

How to avoid it: Stop bringing up your other leagues. We’re starting to think they’re not real, anyway.

2. The “I Won The Whole Thing X Years Ago” Guy

Remember that year you drafted LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander and Marvin Harrison? Good for you. No one else does. Nor does anyone care to hear about it. The thing about fantasy is that everyone plays in a couple of leagues4 and that each of those leagues anoints a champion every single year. You’re not special because you won your office league in 2007, Derek.

“Seriously, don’t be that guy. The one up there.” – Shaun Alexander

How to avoid it: The only year that matters in fantasy is the current year. Any past seasons are moot at this point. You wanna brag? Make your team unstoppable this season. Otherwise, just shut up already.

1. The Champion

Let’s be real. No one likes the champion. With their smug disposition, their air of undeserved accomplishment, their…oh God, please just let me win it this year.

Here’s how to avoid it: Don’t. Win the whole damn thing and bask in the glory of every single person in the league hating you for the next several months. The greatest reward in fantasy isn’t prize money or a stupid trophy. No. The greatest reward in fantasy is seeing the utter, crushing defeat on everyone else’s faces once they have to crown you champion. Bask in that shit. At least until next year starts.5

Trying to defend the Chicago Bears this year is gonna be hard. Not only am I a lifelong Detroit Lions fan and therefore required by official mandate to detest and disparage the Bears with an undying, ever-present passion,1 but over the 2017 off-season, Chicago seems to have proactively dismantled their offensive core and rebuilt it with, well, nothing. So far this off-season they’ve:

  • Lost Pro Bowler Alshon Jeffery to free agency.
  • Signed Markus Wheaton as a replacement for Jeffery, a bit of a step backwards given that Wheaton is coming off a serious shoulder injury and was decidedly not a Pro Bowler prior to it.
  • Lost their all-time leader in completions, yards and touchdowns, quarterback Jay Cutler to retirement.
  • Signed noted lousy quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez to replace Cutler.
  • Traded away four draft picks to move up one spot to nab Mitchell Trubisky at 2nd overall despite it now being clear that Trubisky would have been there at 3rd overall anyway.