Fantasy

The Monday Morning Sleeper: Jared Goff

Welcome to another edition of the Monday Morning Sleeper. Last week, I profiled a running back with an opportunity to take over the lead back duties in Philadelphia. That player is, of course, Wendell Smallwood. He is entering his second season with the Eagles, and it could potentially be his first as the undisputed starter.

A Fantasy Football Sleeper is a player that is in a position to play beyond their rankings or expectations, and who may provide you with some value at their draft position. 

This week, I will be profiling a player who is coming off of a season that left much to be desired, and who is currently ranked at, or near, the bottom of his positional rankings.  That player is the LA Rams starting Quarterback, Jared Goff. His rookie season was one to forget with 5 Touch Downs, and 7 interceptions, in 7 games and finishing with a record of 0-7. His sophomore season should be exponentially better.

Learning from the best:

Goff is reportedly working with renowned quarterback coaches Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, at their private training facility in Los Angeles, in order to help refine his skills and help him to become a better pivot. House and Dedeaux have quite the resume which includes working with some of the NFL’s biggest stars, including; Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and some other notable active QB’s. This kind of work ethic and initiative should earn him some respect from his teammates and translate into better play behind center.

Golden Goff:

Goff played for the California Golden Bears for three seasons, from 2013 to 2015, as the starting quarterback. Over 37 games with the Bears, Goff threw  96 Touchdowns, and 12,195 yards before declaring for the 2016 NFL draft. What stands out from his career in California, was his junior season in which he was named first-team All-Pac-12, for his play on the field. He threw for 43 touchdowns, and 4714 yards in his final season, which helped to justify the Las Angeles Rams taking him first overall after trading up to acquire the pick from the Titans.

Some welcome talent:

Goff will have the fortune of being surrounded by some new offensive weapons this season, after some off-season acquisitions, and should benefit from some familiar faces looking to improve on last year’s results as well.

The Rams drafted Cooper Kupp with the 69th pick of the 2017 NFL draft, and he should earn a starting role by the time the season begins in September. Kupp is an impressive rookie in his own right by setting FCS records for receptions, yards, and touchdowns. The 2015 FCS offensive rookie of the year has some impressive college stats, including 428 receptions for 6,464 yards, and 73 touchdowns. He will likely become one of Goff’s favorite weapons, provided they can build some chemistry through training camp and should see a high volume of targets operating out of the slot.Don’t be surprised if he ends up with 90 catches for nine hundred yards and 8 touchdowns.

On the other side of the field is Robert Woods who was acquired in free agency by the Rams after the Bills were likely not interested in the price tag. While woods had an unimpressive career in Buffalo, their lack of a reliable quarterback may have played a role. With some time, Woods could become a favorite target of Goff. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see Woods end up with 80 catches for a thousand yards and 6 touchdowns.

At running back, Todd Gurley looks to bounce back after a disappointing season where he finished with 885 yards on 278 carries, for an average of 3.2 YPC, with 6 touchdowns. Those numbers are far off of his rookie campaign, where he ran 229 times for 1,106 yards, with 10 touchdowns. Perhaps the most telling stat is that he had 5 games in 2015 where he topped a hundred rushing yards, versus zero in 2016. Gurley has all the talent in the world, which is what led the Rams to draft him 10th overall in the 2015 NFL entry draft. Watch for a bounce back season, where he should match his 2015 stats, if not exceed them.

Predictions and Rankings:

Currently, Goff owns a Fantrax.com ADP ranking of 287th overall. Mike Clay, at ESPN, has him ranked 188th overall, sandwiched between Tannehill and Palmer.

Don’t be surprised if Goff puts up over 3,000 yards and 25+ touchdowns in 2017. I wouldn’t draft Goff to be my starter, but he could be a nice backup on your dynasty team’s bench, and based on where he’s being drafted, he might be a nice draft day steal for you. In fact, I think Woods, Kupp, and Gurley will all exceed their draft value as well and should be on everyone’s watch list.

Thank you for reading The Monday Morning Sleeper, and follow me on Twitter, @HaehnelJames

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