The Jacksonville Jaguars can tell you all about the skyrocketing cost of infrastructure in America. 11 quarters. That’s how long their $50.125 million quarterback made it without a merit-based benching. Nick Foles was a perfect weapon designed not to score points Sunday, throwing an interception on his opening drive before fumbling away the next two. He improved to three-and-outs for his final two possessions of the first half before Gardner Minshew got the call following the break.
Increasingly ineffective during Foles’ eight-game injury absence, Minshew was far from a savior, completing 16-of-27 passes for one score and an interception in a game that was already out of hand. Foles should be back under center for Week 14 against the Chargers. He will probably be better, but all the risk of what was probably an unnecessary contract — legend has it the Jags overpaid Foles for leadership purposes — has already been borne out with none of the reward.
Just as there were reasons the Jags were willing to gamble on Foles, the same was true for why he was available in the first place. He’s a replacement-level talent, one just as capable of big plays/#QBWinz as stupefying turnovers/losing streaks. The Jags have failed to win any of Foles’ four starts. They hit on 18 before the cards had even been dealt and have a real mess on their hands. Jalen Ramsey is gone, Leonard Fournette runs like the oldest third-year pro in the league and the defense has gone from historic to mediocre in less than two years. Only the Falcons and Vikings have less 2020 cap space.
Valleys are part of the Foles experience. So are peaks. It’s just hard to see where they will be coming from without Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson calling the shots. The Jags had no margin for error when they made Foles one of the league’s highest-paid players. He’s already missed the drop zone by five miles. After years of forcing the issue at quarterback — Blaine Gabbert, Blake Bortles, Foles — the closest the Jags have come to a solution is blundering into Minshew. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
Five Week 13 Storylines
Tevin Coleman gets brushed aside by Raheem Mostert. Coleman got the “start” in Baltimore, but Mostert finished off what little remained of the Coleman RB2 dream. As Coleman wheezed to six yards on five carries, Mostert exploded for 19/146/1 in rainy conditions. With his latest disappointing effort, Coleman has now averaged 2.48 yards on 49 carries in five games since his four-score outburst in Week 8, totaling 122 rushing yards. That’s hard to do in the NFL’s best-designed run offense and unacceptable in the face of the numbers Mostert, Matt Breida and even Jeff Wilson have posted. With Breida (ankle) tentatively due back for Week 14 against the Saints, Coleman could find himself as low as No. 3 on the depth chart. Even if Breida doesn’t suit up, it will be impossible to rank Coleman ahead of Mostert for the first week of the fantasy playoffs.
Derrius Guice (and Adrian Peterson) decks Panthers. Facing one of the league’s softest run defenses, Guice exploded for 129 yards and two scores on only 10 carries, with Peterson adding 13/99/1. It was everything the #established Bill Callahan could have wanted, as well as something for dynasty owners to cling to heading into 2020. Powering through arm tackles, Guice looked dangerous in the open field. Most promisingly for the rest of 2019, he cashed in a pair of goal-line carries. Matchups like the Panthers don’t come around too often, but Guice has another one for Week 14 in the Packers. The risk there is, unlike the Panthers, the Packers might put the Redskins away early, eliminating run-friendly game script. The Eagles will be a tougher Week 15 foe before the Giants roll out the red carpet for the fantasy finals in Week 16.
Darwin Thompson latest to get a shot in Chiefs’ chaotic backfield. With Damien Williams (ribs) nowhere to be found, Darrel Williams was running ahead of LeSean McCoy. That was before he paid a visit to the hamstring sniper. Darrel went down in a second half heap, giving way to summer sensation Thompson ahead of Shady. It’s quite possible Thompson takes the lead if both Williamses remain sidelined for this week’s Patriots showdown, but Sunday was not smoking gun evidence. Thompson was running in blowout game script of a non-competitive contest. With everything on the line in New England, coach Andy Reid could heap more back onto veteran McCoy’s plate. It is still worth taking the Thompson waiver wire plunge. He is one of this week’s top adds.
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Rams’ offensive revives, Robert Woods goes bonkers. Coming off a touchdown-less November, Jared Goff partied like it was Sept.-Nov. 2018, piling up the third-most yards of his career (424) and two scores. Woods was the primary beneficiary, hauling in 13-of-19 targets for 172 yards. Facing the league’s worst tight end defense, Tyler Higbee erupted for 7/107/1 in Gerald Everett’s absence. The Cardinals rarely bothering to cover anybody certainly helped, but Goff’s recent play had suggested he would struggle even in good matchups. Those have been in short supply of late. The Seahawks will forge a middle ground for Week 14. Goff remains risky enough that he should not be considered a QB1 for that one, especially if Jadeveon Clowney is healthy.
DeVante Parker’s breakout rolls on vs. Eagles. Suddenly amongst the league leaders in receiving yards, Parker set a new career high for yardage for the second time in three weeks. He was taking advantage of a mouthwatering setup, but that is not the sort of thing pre-2019 Parker would have done. Routinely out-physicaling defenders this year, Parker also drew an end zone DPI that set the Dolphins up at the one-yard line. With at least 10 targets in each of his past four games, a span in which he’s averaged 114 yards, Parker has banged down the WR2 door and is begging for WR1 consideration in plus matchups. The pathetic Jets will be just that for Week 14.