2014 Fantasy Football: Sell Nick Foles

By Sean Cordy
Nick Foles
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, I know — Nick Foles is coming off a historic season. So that’s supposed to tell me to draft him, right? Not necessarily, but many people will assume this.

According to FantasyPros, Foles is the seventh-ranked QB among 71 experts’ rankings.  The highest he’s being ranked is No. 2, behind Peyton Manning.  Furthermore, he’s typically being taken as the eighth QB off the boards. That means he’s being picked above players like Matt RyanTony Romo, and Colin Kaepernick among others whom are all getting boosts in their stock, unlike Foles.

Last season, Foles put up gaudy numbers in the span of just 13 games (while only starting 10 of them). He threw for 27 TDs opposed to only two interceptions and nearly 3,000 yards. On top of that, he punched it in the end zone three more times on the ground. All of that is working up fans, who are saying what great potential he has now that he should be playing all 16 games this season. But remember other players coming off historic seasons?

In 2008, Tom Brady was injured during the first game coming off his record-breaking 2007 season. Manning’s 2005 campaign after his co-MVP season with Steve McNair saw a 100-plus points decrease in fantasy production.  The same went for LaDainian Tomlinson after his record breaking 2006 season. Really, just look at any player who had a historic season, and the following year will show diminished production.

Because of Foles’ lack of play last season, I can’t truly measure what this season will bring. But assuming he did play all of last season, he would have posted around 320 points.

But part of Foles’ success last season came off him surprising defenses. In turn, he only threw two interceptions in his 13 games. But that was a record-breaking performance, with the most amount of attempts before throwing an interception. There’s a reason why it’s a record — because it’s tough to beat or even come close to.

So, I don’t think Foles will be seeing at least 12 points in his fantasy total from turnovers alone. Now his total is down to 308 based off last season’s projection.

Then take in account that even future Hall-of-Famers like Brady at the same age and experience saw a decrease in completion percentage even when they saw a decrease in pass attempts. Because Chip Kelly has only coached the Philadelphia Eagles for one season, we can’t truly say if he’s going to pull on the reins with the pass attempts. But looking at a per game basis, it appears he did pull back slightly during the tail end of last season.

It’s safe to assume Foles will be in the neighborhood of 475 pass attempts and complete roughly 300 of them. Now take into account that he lost his deep threat, DeSean Jackson, and now his average yards per attempt will fall from 9.12 to about 8.50. This would put him in the neighborhood of 4,000 yards. That’s not shabby, but far from his average projection of 4,600 last season.

Lastly, his touchdown total won’t be as high as some assume. Last season, more than a fourth of his touchdowns came in one game. Against the Oakland Raiders, he threw for seven of his 27 TDs. There’s no way that he can post that performance again.

Even if he were to post that again, that would only increase his season total, not help you on a per week basis. His standard deviation from week to week would hurt your team because of his inconsistency. That being said, expect about 1.5 TDs per game — around 24 touchdowns.

Those numbers don’t warrant a top-10 QB.  Those are numbers of a solid backup who, depending on the matchup, could tear up the field, but certainly not someone I’m investing a sixth-round pick in.

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