Who is the real Jared Goff?
It’s not just the title of this article, it’s a question many fantasy owners are going to ask themselves when it’s time to draft a quarterback in a few months.
Goff’s development has one of the most fascinating things to watch over the last few seasons. Many wrote him off as an absolute bust after his rookie season. Then Sean McVay came in and the Cal product showed more than a few glimmers of hope in his sophomore campaign. Then, 2018 happened.
The Rams offense got off to a torrid start, putting up five straight 33-plus point performances to open the season. Goff had 17.2, 18.4, 25.6, 39.3 and 14.3 fantasy points in those games. By the end of Week 10, the 24-year-old was the No. 8 quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game with an average of 21.6. Then Cooper Kupp tore his ACL. Despite the other weapons in the high-powered Rams offense (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Todd Gurley, etc.), the loss of Kupp would prove to be a turning point in Goff’s fantasy season.
The damage wasn’t felt immediately, though. The first game following Kupp’s season-ending injury was the infamous Monday Night Football game between the Rams and Kansas City Chiefs where approximately one billion points were scored. Goff utilized new weapons Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett to squeak past the Chiefs by a field goal heading into their bye week. The Los Angeles QB had a whopping 35.1-point fantasy performance, about the same point total he would amass in the next four games combined.
Without Kupp from Weeks 11-16 (this includes the massive Kansas City game), Goff plummeted to the No. 24 QB in fantasy points per game with an average of 14.2. He even had a negative point performance in Week 14 against the Chicago Bears (-0.3). Essentially, he was a massive anchor to fantasy owners during the most important time of the year.
He did finish the season strong, though. He had an admirable 17.2-point performance against the Arizona Cardinals in most fantasy players’ championship round and had a very strong 24-point performance in Week 17 for those still playing. But even if we include his regular season finale in the numbers above, he would’ve averaged 15.82 fantasy points per game (tied for 16th among QBs).
So what can we expect from Goff next season?
There’s little reason to believe that the Rams’ offense will slow at all in 2019. They’ll have all their pieces back and there’s a chance Kupp doesn’t miss any regular season action. However, Kupp won’t be 100 percent recovered from ACL surgery, so don’t expect him to match his performance level right away.
Further complicating things is Goff’s poor playoff performances against the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round and against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Following LA’s Week 12 bye, one could argue that Goff had five poor games, two above average games and one great game. How will that affect his fantasy draft stock?
TD Fantasy’s full rankings will be out in a few months, but right now I have Goff as my QB10 for the 2019 season. The average ADP of last year’s QB10 (Matthew Stafford) was 97.0, which equates to the very beginning of Round 9.