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We’re sliding into the back nine of the season, and there are still plenty of lessons to be learned. Roles have shifted for some. Opinions have changed about others. However, we’re still hoping our squads can turn it around with the playoffs about a month away. To help, I looked into a few players to see what we can learn from Week 10 and what to look for over the coming weeks.
Quarterback: Mac Jones, Patriots
Week 10 Results: (Projected) 18.0, (Actual) 19.9
It has to be more than a coincidence that the league takes notice of Mac Jones for his growth in the Patriots’ offense that Cam Newton announces he’s back on the same day. Regardless, Jones has been on an impressive run. They’ve won four straight games, second in the division, and the rookie is in command of the offense. He’s got another great matchup on Thursday night, but I wanted to see what’s driving some of his fantasy production and if we can trust him as we get closer to the fantasy playoffs.
Advice Moving Forward:
Jones is still, at best, a matchup-based starter. He’s taken advantage of weaker opponents, but he’s still a mid to low-end QB2 for the rest of the season.
There needs to be some trend for us to have confidence in a player. That goes for any player at any position. We look for changes in snaps or targets or high-value touches, but it’s different with quarterbacks. For passers, we’d expect to see increases in passing rates or efficiency. Even consistent rushing attempts would be acceptable. But, Jones, we’re yet to see any of those things.
The consistent part of the Patriots’ passing offense is the inconsistency. They won with a strong running game against the Chargers in week 8, and their defense essentially ended Sam Darnold’s tenure in Carolina. And Jones was the silent contributor in each. Which is good! Cam Newton was still learning the playbook well into his first season with New England. Tom Brady still had his face in his playbook before games well into his 11th season as a Patriot. Like most things, it takes time, but we’re seeing a rapid improvement out of Jones.
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