Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Foles
- Ian Hartitz breaks down what the Nick Foles signing means for the quarterback, the Jaguars and Eagles from a fantasy football perspective.
- This year's top free-agent quarterback might not carry week-to-week upside in his new run-first offense, but he can elevate his top receivers.
Football never sleeps, even in the middle of March. Draft analysis will have to wait, because free agency is finally here!
We have you covered with fantasy analysis on all of the week’s key signings here, but we’ll dig deeper into the impact of bigger moves, including Nick Foles’ decision to reportedly sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
What follows is a breakdown of the fantasy football impact of Foles in Jacksonville, as well as how the Eagles will move forward without their former Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
What It Means for Jacksonville
Foles has had an up-and-down career, but things have been mostly positive as long as his coach wasn’t Jeff Fisher.
Foles has posted a 63% completion rate and averaged 7.3 yards per attempt with a 61-to-23 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 43 career games without Fisher roaming the sideline.
With Fisher? A 56% completion rate, an average of 6.1 yards per attempt and a 7-to-10 TD-to-INT ratio in 11 games. Sheesh.
Of course, he’s saved his best football for January and February. Foles is 4-2 in six career playoff games and has posted a sterling 68% completion rate and 11-to-5 TD-INT ratio. His average of 7.78 yards per attempt in the playoffs is the sixth-highest mark among 30 signal callers with at least five postseason starts over the past 20 years.
The best thing about Foles is easily his tear-drop deep ball, which often exits the television screen before lightly falling into his receiver’s hands downfield.
It remains to be seen whether the Jaguars will re-sign Donte Moncrief. Failure to do so would likely result in the following four wide receivers getting most of the playing time:
- Marquise Lee: The Jaguars’ highest-paid receiver suffered a season-ending knee injury during the 2018 preseason. Lee led the Jaguars in targets (96) and receptions (56) in 2017. His average target depth of 11.3 yards in 2017 was a higher mark than any of the Jaguars’ incumbent receivers managed in 2018 (with the possible exception of Moncrief).
- Dede Westbrook: The Jaguars’ starting slot receiver posted team-high marks in targets (101), receptions (66), yards (717) and touchdowns (5) in 2018. Westbrook has a chance to be Foles’ new-look Nelson Agholor — an explosive underneath option with the potential to create big plays via yards after the catch.
- DJ Chark: The Jaguars’ 2018 second-round pick caught only 14-of-32 targets for 174 yards as a rookie, but his 4.34-second 40-yard dash should mesh well with Foles’ deep-ball ability.
- Keelan Cole: Cole was largely phased out of the offense in the second half of the season in favor of Chark. The former undrafted free agent has the least support from the front office in terms of draft stock and salary.
Foles might not carry a ton of week-to-week fantasy upside in the Jaguars’ run-first offense, but he’s proven to be plenty capable of elevating his offense’s top receivers. For now, those appear to be Lee and Westbrook, though Chark’s big-play ability could produce some fantasy-friendly DFS spots if he’s able to play a consistent number of snaps.
What It Means for Philadelphia
Foles’ absence cements Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback in Philadelphia — though there wasn’t really any doubt that would be the case.
Wentz played from Week 3 to Week 14 last season. His top-five receivers were as follows:
- Zach Ertz: 9.6 targets per game
- Alshon Jeffery: 7.4
- Golden Tate: 6
- Nelson Agholor: 5.5
- Dallas Goedert: 3
The Eagles could enter 2018 without Tate and Agholor, so perhaps Goedert will get more run in his second season.
Philadelphia’s 2018 second-round pick has emerged as Wentz’s most efficient target of his short career:
Nate Sudfeld is tentatively expected to be the Eagles’ backup quarterback in 2019.