Jared Goff hasn’t looked good lately. In fact, he’s looked downright washed in three-straight weeks. Is this a portend of things to come for Goff, or is it time to cut bait on Jared Goff as he enters his bye week?
You should probably cut Jared Goff. Okay, thank you for reading!
But jokes aside, let’s take a deeper look at what’s going on with Goff lately. Over the last three weeks, he’s been QB18, QB18, and QB21 (pending Monday Night Football). He’s been straight-up bad, averaging 15.1 fantasy points per game in those three games. Prior to that point, however, he had done pretty well, posting at least 23 fantasy points in three-of-four games between weeks two and five. His one down game in that span was a bizarre one against the New York Giants. What was the major difference between those games and the last few? The matchups.
In his first five weeks of the season, Goff played marginal matchups. There wasn’t anything that blows you out of the water either way, but everyone is basically firmly ensconced in the QB-points-against middle class. All five matchups sat between the #11 best matchup for QBs and the #22, including the exact middle matchups in the league (#16 Philadelphia and #17 Buffalo). He’s fine in decent matchups. But, as we saw against San Francisco and Chicago in primetime: he’s just not that good. Goff holds onto the ball too long, makes bad reads, and even worse throws. He can chew up bad defenses, but good ones give him absolute fits.
Unfortunately, Goff hasn’t made for decent matchups lately. His three disastrous games game against three bottom-ten defenses against QBs, including the Bears (who ranked dead last going into the week), Miami (who rank ninth-lowest), and the 49ers (who ranked seventh-worst coming into the week). It makes sense that Goff’s matchups made for marginally worse performances across the board. His 5 points per game difference over the last three weeks come from somewhere you wouldn’t expect.
Yes, he’s performed worse as a passer, throwing for fewer yards per game, and more picks across the last few weeks. But, that doesn’t tell the story. His touchdowns essentially did not change (1.67 TD/game to 1.6 flat TD/game). What changed? His rushing. That’s right, Jared Goff: rushing QB. Well, not really. Goff rushed for a touchdown in two of his three best performances of the year. These two rushing touchdowns make up 25% of Goff’s career numbers. We have a word for that: fluky.
There’s also that the Rams have leaned more heavily on their running game this season, which has marginalized Goff. After averaging over 35 pass attempts throughout his career, Goff passed that number just twice this season. Sean McVay is going with a “by hook or by crook” approach to his offense. This includes jet sweeps to Gerald Everett and rushing attempts for Robert Woods. This, unfortunately, marginalizes Jared Goff.
Jared Goff faces his Bye week this week, and he hasn’t shown himself to be the caliber of quarterback who you make room for on your roster. He’s 70% rostered and I fully expect that to drop down to about 50% this time next week. I say that, but if you have Jared Goff on your roster… you probably already quit.
Goff has a slam dunk matchup coming out of his bye (Seattle). If you don’t need the roster space and roster Jared Goff, then you can hang onto him for week ten. Unfortunately, he gets two more bad matchups in his next three games. You can save yourself the headache and move on from Goff after his likely week ten blowup game.
Jared Goff has proven himself to be a matchup-based play, who is getting fluky fantasy points with his legs to bolster his production. You can safely drop him in 1QB leagues as he enters his bye. You can always race to the waiver wire to pick him back up if you need him for Seattle. But with Tampa Bay and San Francisco looming, I wouldn’t be too eager to snag him back up anytime soon.