Fantasy Football Counterpoint: Should You Start Nick Foles over Ben Roethlisberger?

Start Nick Foles
Should You Start Nick Foles over Ben Roethlisberger?

This week my co-worker (Jeff Krisko) suggested that starting Big Ben Roethlisberger is the smart fantasy football play.  In our week two quarterback sit or start counterpoint, I am hard pressed to argue against starting Big Ben.  There are definite pros and cons to starting him.  But the more I think about it, the more I want to start Nick Foles over Ben Roethlisberger.

First off, I am not arguing against starting Big Ben.  I think starting Ben is a solid play and Jeff did a great job outlining why you should trust him.  Kansas City’s defense against the Chargers was indefensible.  Philip Rivers tore them apart.  But there is a part of me that is always worried about the home/away splits for Roethlisberger’s performance.  There is no denying that he is a much better quarterback at home.  However, I find myself waiting for him to be equally bad at home.  Add in his elbow injury, and I just find it hard to trust Big Ben.  Although it should be noted that I am always inclined to not trust Big Ben.

If you decide to start Ben Roethlisberger this week, I won’t blame you.  It is a decision that makes a lot of sense.  But the match-up all the experts are ignoring is Nick Foles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Because this week, you want to start Nick Foles over Ben Roethlisberger.

I know everyone who watching Nick Foles play on Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons is assuming that I don’t watch football.  Or at the very least, that I don’t watch football sober.  And you would be right, but that doesn’t change the fact that Nick Foles is a sneaky good play.

Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up the 12th most points to fantasy quarterbacks.   In their first game back, they gave up the 2nd most fantasy points.  While a lot of those numbers have to do with Drew Brees being Drew Brees and the Saints needing to mount a comeback, there are other reasons to like this match-up.

In week one against the Saints, starting cornerback Brent Grimes had to miss the game with a groin injury.  He is considered doubtful to play in week two.  On top of that, Vernon Hargreaves III will miss the rest of the 2018 NFL season with a shoulder injury.  In case you wondering if things could get worse for the Bucs defense, they can.  Jason Pierre-Paul’s status is now questionable for the Eagles week two game because of a knee injury.  Basically, an already susceptible Tampa Bay defense is looking decidedly worse.

I know what you are thinking: Just because the Bucs defense is bad, that doesn’t make Nick Foles great.  And you are right, he is not great.  But he is good enough to take advantage of a poor Tampa Bay defense.  In the eight games Nick Foles has played with the Eagles, he has faced a defense ranked in the bottom ten in passing just twice.  In those games, he averaged 200 yards passing, 2.5 touchdowns, and 0.5 interceptions.  Obviously, the sample size is an issue here, but Nick Foles has shown that he is good enough to take advantage of bad teams.

So should you start Nick Foles over Ben Roethlisberger?  Of course not, that would be crazy.  But if Big Ben isn’t an option, maybe Nick Foles should be.  Having said all that, the main reason I say to start Nick Foles is that my gut tells me to.  Or maybe I have indigestion.  Who knows?  There is a lot to like about this match-up and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to be the team that everyone uses to stream quarterbacks this year.

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