10 for 10 with Ian: Week 16 Top Plays on FantasyAces - Sam Bradford Edition
Last March a rarity occurred in the National Football League: a player for player trade was executed between the Philadelphia Eagles and the St. Louis Rams. Yes, there were some late round draft picks also exchanged, but what made this trade rare was that fact that the trade largely came down to one dude for another dude. This type of trade in it of itself is rare, but add in the fact that both players are quarterbacks? That never happens.
The results have largely been disappointing for both teams. Nick Foles has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season for the Rams, and Sam Bradford has been largely ineffective and inconsistent for the Eagles, as evidenced by his mere 28th highest passer rating in the league this season.
I was largely indifferent about this trade, until the preseason started. The idea that preseason games mean absolutely nothing is not new by any stretch. Just look it up on Google: there is no correlation between preseason success and regular season success in the NFL. Obviously you would rather your players not suck during the preseason, but as a football team you should be more than satisfied with the preseason as long as your players make it out unscathed, regardless of your record.
Then August 29th happened. The Eagles travelled to Green Bay to take on the Packers, and Bradford played, well, perfect. 10 passing attempts led to 10 completions, 121 yards and three touchdowns. This prompted people to ask questions like: can Sam Bradford win the MVP? Can you afford to not draft Sam Bradford to every single one of your fantasy teams? Can the Eagles win the Super Bowl?
Fast forwarding ahead nearly four months, we now know that MVP candidates typically do not have only 16 passing touchdowns versus 13 interceptions. We now know that Sam Bradford has been the 25th best fantasy quarterback over the course of the entire season. And lastly we now know that Super Bowl contenders typically aren’t 6-8 after 14 games, but then again we never know with the below average (read: terrible) NFC East.
With all that said, you may be surprised to find that I actually recommend playing Bradford this week! Oftentimes as DFS players we do a good job of not getting too deeply engulfed in preseason hype, but it is also important to not get too deeply engulfed with a player’s lack of early-season production. In his last five starts Bradford has thrown for an average of 251 yards (his 120 yards against the Patriots drags this total down) 1.4 touchdowns and just 0.6 interceptions. Amazing right? Not really, but not nearly as bad as Bradford’s nine passing touchdowns versus 10 interceptions in his first seven games.
This week Bradford is closer in price to Brandon Weeden than he is to Teddy Bridgewater (who has had under 200 yards passing in 50 percent of his games this season). Playing against a Washington defense that Bradford torched for 270 yards and three touchdowns for earlier this season, Bradford offers upside no one else in his price range comes close to providing this week. Maybe Bradford didn’t have the type of season we all envisioned after that fateful Saturday in August, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have the type of week 16 you remember forever after cashing in on FantasyAces.
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