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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.

Before I get into how Deshaun Watson’s injury completely fucked your season, let’s talk about how unfortunate it is that one of football’s top young players is lost for the season. He joins the ranks of Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr., J.J. Watt and a whole host of other stars on the long-term injury list. Watson has been lighting it up since he took to the field in the second half of Week 1. He’s putting up ungodly numbers and helped to create the season’s best game in last week’s matchup against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks when he threw for over 400 yards, rushing for 67 more and scoring four times.

One man arms himself with a calculator, the other with his intuition. They enter the cage for a no holds barred bloodbath to answer the age-old question, “Is Tom Brady worth it?”

Tom Brady – New England Patriots
2016: 12 GP | 67.4 Comp % | 3,554 yds | 28 TDs

Alex Schillinger: We get it Tom. You’ve proven that you’re the best quarterback in the game…again. You currently rank in the top four all-time in wins, passing yards, passing touchdowns and a bunch of other stuff. Oh, and to top it all off, you’re married to one of the most beautiful women in the world, and you’ve got your next career all lined up: Hollywood, here comes your next leading man.

But none of that matters now. Not on the gridiron.1 No, what matters here is whether or not Tom Brady is worth the cost he’s going to demand in this year’s fantasy drafts. Right now, his ADP among QBs is 2nd and he’s the 3rd overall player off the board. In auction leagues, he’s going for $22 on average. No way is he, or any other QB for that matter, worth that much.2

Mike Bergsman: The thing is, Brady has so much cache that people are actually going to pay that much for him or draft him in the third or fourth round. People are dumb. Now, while I do think Brady is legitimately the best QB ever, I absolutely would not draft him for that much or that early. That’s not a knock on him as much as it is me just not being a moron.

While we can both agree Brady isn’t that valuable,3 he’s still going to be one of the best fantasy QBs in the league, right? Homeboy just added Brandin Cooks as a deep threat to join the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman,4 James White, Dion Lewis, Dwayne Allen, and Danny Amendola. Also, he made this. Yeah, that’s a $200 cookbook. George Foreman ain’t got nothin’ on TB12.

Alex: Seriously, $200 for a cookbook gives me just enough cause to not draft this guy regardless of how well he performs on the field. That said, I still wouldn’t draft him, even if he is the world’s greatest QB5 and sold his cookbook for a more reasonable $29.99.

That might sound like crazy talk, but hear me out. Brady nearly always finishes in the top five in fantasy scoring, but he’s only finished in the top 3 in scoring four times in his entire career. Granted, that’s still pretty good, but it’s not $22 good, it’s not even $10 good. And there’s no way he’s going for anything less than that. What about you, would you spend more than $10 on your GOAT?

Mike: To answer your question, no. I would not spend $10 or more on a goat man.

As seen in the groundbreaking – neigh, revolutionary! – statistic introduced here, very seldomly do quarterbacks provide the kind of value that other positions do. I can’t justify spending a large amount of precious draft capital on someone who will only get me a couple of more points per game than a low-tier QB.

I’d rather spend an early pick or a high percentage of my draft dollars on guys who far outperform their peers.

Alex: We’re in complete agreement here. I hate it when that happens. But it’s instructive: no matter how good a QB is, he’s just not worth more than $4, which is exactly where I have Mr. Gisele Bundchen. If I’m snake drafting, I’m taking him well after I’ve found my starting WRs and RBs and maybe even my TE.

Mike: So basically, what both of us are saying is, “Fuck Tom Brady and his four minute 40 time.” Also, Tom Brady is the man and I want his life. Both can be true. However, don’t go overboard spending a significant amount of draft dollars or an early draft pick on any QB, ever. You can get a serviceable QB in later rounds, whereas you will not find a value-producing RB or WR in later rounds. At least, not without a healthy dose of luck.

Alex: I feel like we can’t go out on that note…so here’s more of Tom doing what he does second best.

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.

Almost nothing in fantasy hurts worse than being let down by a highly drafted player. In Dead or Alive, we’ll take a look at some of 2016’s most underwhelming performers and try to predict how they’ll fare in the upcoming season. (But if you get burned again, that’s totally on you.)

There may not be a weightier name in all of football than Manning. Archie, the patriarch of the family and former New Orleans Saint, is in the College Football Hall of Fame for his achievements at Ole Miss. His middle son, Peyton, is one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever played professional football. His oldest son, Cooper, may have been even better had a rare spinal condition not ended his career before it began. And you can bet that from the moment young Eli strapped on his helmet for the first time, he was burdened with living up to the family name.