Start or Sit Jared Goff
It’s week three of the NFL season, and as crazy as it seems, we will already be a major chunk of the way through the 2018 fantasy football regular season when the Steelers and Buccaneers wind down on Monday Night Football. So far, we’ve had some spectacular ups-and-downs in terms of out-of-nowhere players suddenly playing amazing, and amazing players suddenly playing like they’ve never seen a football field before. We now have to samples of data for the NFL season, and it’s a mess to try to make heads or tails of this so early in the season. However, we at Football Absurdity are here to help you think through some of your tough weekly lineup decisions. For example, should you start or sit Jared Goff as he takes on his new cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Chargers?
Before I say anything about Goff, I want to offer a slight disclaimer. There are so many early season booms from the QB2 (and QB3 ranks). Don’t be stupid, or cute, and do anything like start Goff over guys like Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, or Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ride those hot hands into the fiery depths of hell, if that’s where they take you. What if you ended up with Goff and say… Russell Wilson, or Tyrod Taylor? I would lean towards Goff. The third-year signal caller has had two sufficiently useful games, posting 18.29 fantasy points per game over his first two contests. Here’s the rub, though: he’s only had to really “play” about a half in each game. In the first game against the Raiders, the Rams offense had to kick the rust off, as they had not played at all in the preseason. He had enough weapons at his disposal in week one to play just okay and end up with 233 yards and two scores. In week two, the Rams mercifully took their boots off the throats of the Rams, but Goff orchestrated the offense to the tune of 354 yards passing. Todd Gurley peskily ran it in three times, leaving little left for Goff. Hard to make a call on whether to start or sit Jared Goff from that data, but luckily there is a significant piece of information yet to analyze.
This week, Goff will finally spread his wings and need to play all-out for two halves of football, as the Chargers have the offensive firepower to match the Rams potent weaponry. This will force Goff to put together four quarters of football (or at least won’t have Todd Gurley off the field with “up by 30”-induced cramps). The Chargers have two games under their belts so far this season. In one they got #mahomesed, and in the other, they made the Bills look like they had a halfway-competent offense. Josh Allen had just eleven fewer passing yards than Mahomes did in week one, and made it so the Chargers average 250 passing yards a game so far this year. That’s not a bad number to start with for Goff, though I would put 275 as his floor. Throw in a couple receiving touchdowns from the WRs (four different WRs have a touchdown or at least 60 yards against the Chargers through two games), and you have a good day from Goff.
Goff is highly likely to keep up a high floor, and the potent Rams passing game must flow through him, so a 350/3 ceiling is well within the realm of possibilities. In the eras of 400 yards and 5 touchdowns being the high point, Goff presents an unspectacular option that is unlikely to tank your team in week three, despite not being the new hotness. The answer as to whether to start or sit Jared Goff week three is: Start.