5 Burning Questions: Week 4 (Fantasy Football)
Last week we questioned how all of the backup quarterbacks were going to fare in their first starts (or first starts in a long time). Though Mason Rudolph and Luke Falk played pretty terribly, Daniel Jones, Kyle Allen, and Teddy Bridgewater all led their team to impressive victories. This week we pivot toward what those performances mean for the future of those teams. Here are the five burning questions going into Week 4:
How good is Daniel Jones?
First and foremost, we need to give the man a ton of credit; Daniel Jones balled out in the first start of his career. His 336 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a rating of 112.7 was a heckuva way to start a career. That said, the Bucs’ defense is an extremely friendly foe to go up against in your first career game. They were bottom five in the league last year in both points and yards given up, the 49ers gutted them for 31 points, and the one impressive game they played came against the injured ghost of Cam Newton.
Jones gets another juicy matchup this week against a Redskins defense that was supposed to be good but instead has given up the third-most points and seventh-most yards through three weeks. The ECR has Jones has the 11th-ranked quarterback this week which makes sense given his favorable matchup, but how much will games against the Bucs and Redskins tell us about the young gunslinger? I think despite the easy defenses, it’s clear that Jones can play, and that many people were wrong in mocking the Giants the way that most of the NFL and fantasy football community did. However, predictions of him being a QB1 for the rest of the season are also wildly premature, and I believe he’ll have plenty of first season struggles like most quarterbacks not named Patrick Mahomes.
Did we spend too much FAAB on Wayne Gallman?
In my leagues alone, I’ve seen as much as 40% of a FAAB budget spent on picking up Wayne Gallman this week, and on Twitter, I’ve seen that some people out there have spent even more, but what is Saquon Barkley‘s backup actually work? The general understanding surrounding the Giants’ run game is that Barkley generates its success and not the other way around. He didn’t come onto a team with a high-powered offense and a strong offensive line, in fact, last year it was quite the opposite. His success is based on the extraordinary traits of a generational athlete.
The Giants’ offensive line has improved since Gallman’s rookie season where he received 111 carries, and they did just pass the torch from Eli Manning to Daniel Jones which most would call an upgrade, but Gallman is just a guy, not a generational talent. This isn’t the same situation as Kansas City where you can just plug in any running back and they have instant fantasy value. The Giants are a decent offense (at best) with a decent offensive line. Their defense has also given up the third-most points and second-most yards through the first three weeks of the season which isn’t a great game script outlook for Gallman. I see him as a FLEX option with the potential to be a low-end RB2.
How thin is Case Keenum’s leash in Washington? And is Dwayne Haskins even the second option?
Through two games, you couldn’t point to Case Keenum’s play as one of the Redskins’ problems. He had thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions. In his third game, however, he threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball three times in a nightmare performance against the almighty Bears defense. Redskins fans were calling for their rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins by halftime.
Keenum was allowed to finish the game, and although he’s been spotted in a walking boot with a foot injury during practice this week, Jay Gruden expects him to suit up in Week 4. In addition to the Keenum/Haskins controversy, Colt McCoy (who was the frontrunner to be the starter earlier in the offseason) returned to practice this week, and as of now the definitive backup to Keenum remains unknown if all three quarterbacks are healthy.
In the preseason, Haskins looked a guy who needed significant development, and I thought the Redskins would be smart to let him watch from the bench for the majority of the season. The Redskins started 0-3 though, and Bears fans were clearly the louder fan base at FedEx Field on Monday night. The team is losing their fans, and if the season is lost anyway, the front office may try and sell a few more tickets by giving their rookie first-rounder a chance a bit earlier than they wanted to.
Can the Patriots continue their steamrolling marathon against an actual defense?
The New England Patriots started the 2019 season in historic fashion, defeating their first three opponents by a combined score of 106-17, beating all three teams by at least 16 points. The teams they played though, (Steelers, Dolphins, and Jets) are a combined 0-9 and all have horrendous defenses.
In Week 4 they face the Bills who are quite surprisingly sitting at 3-0. Josh Allen has played well, but their defense has been the backbone of their early success. Through three games they rank fifth in both points and yards given up, and according to ProFootballFocus, they rank seventh in both overall defense and coverage. I’m not expecting the Patriots to lose this game. The last time Tom Brady lost a game in Buffalo was Week 3 of 2011. What I’m more worried about is the availability of fantasy points for all the Patriots’ skill players. The Patriots have scored 11 touchdowns through the first three games, and eight different players have found the end zone. This week the scoring chances should be more limited, and it’s not safe anymore to assume that everyone on that offense is going to feast.
Is Kyle Allen the next quarterback in Carolina?
More noise was made over the sixth overall pick Daniel Jones, but Kyle Allen also came in as a backup and threw for 261 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He also did it against a terrible Cardinals defense, but is it fair to start wondering if he gives the Panthers a better chance to win than Cam Newton?
Kyle Allen is certainly a better option than an injured Cam Newton, and I believe that’s the only Newton we’ve seen so far this season. With Allen, the offense ran smoothly. He completed 73% of his passes (Newton completed just 56% in his first two weeks), Christian McCaffrey ran free, and the Panthers got the win. I don’t believe he’s won the job indefinitely after one performance against a bad defense, but the Panthers can feel a bit more confident in letting Newton take all the time he needs to recover fully.