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It’s been a long road, but we’re here. We’ve made it to the fantasy championship week. Congratulations to those still fighting for a title. I’m sure your roster now doesn’t look like the one you drafted back in August. I didn’t know that just having players playing in warm weather would help me slide through to Week 17. Hopefully, I will remember that idea for next season, but here are three final lessons from last week to get you through the final week of the fantasy playoffs.
Quarterback: Gardner Minshew, Eagles
Week 15 Results: (Projected) 17.0, (Actual) 22.7
At this point, we can spot the difference in backup passers. I’m not talking about their relative skillsets. They’re backups for a reason. But we can spot a good situation when it comes along.
Think about when Brock Purdy took over for Jimmy Garoppolo – or even when Garoppolo took over for Trey Lance. We knew the quarterback could survive with pass-catching options from Deebo Samuel to George Kittle. But contrast the San Francisco job with the Rams and John Wolford. No Cooper Kupp and a deteriorating offensive line made the situation untenable. So, when Minshew took over for Jalen Hurts, there wasn’t much concern.
Advice for Week 17:
Minshew is a top streaming candidate for the fantasy championship. Philadelphia didn’t significantly alter their offense, and he still thrived against a tough defense, making him a strong option in Week 17.
My only real apprehension about Minshew was if the Eagles would change the offense for their backup. Philadelphia can be a run-heavy offense, but Hurts was a large part of their running game. I couldn’t expect Minshew to replicate the power or speed of Hurts, so I figured a shift in playcalling would limit his ceiling. Luckily, I was wrong.
Minshew connected on 60.0% of his downfield throws, but more importantly, the base offense largely stayed the same. The Eagles’ pass rate over expected (PROE) didn’t fall past any of the single-game rates over the last six weeks, and the “easy buttons” were still there. Minshew used play action on 23.8% of his dropbacks, which aligned with how the team’s operated since Week 10. We didn’t get the same rushing output, but the results at least came out the same.
Minshew was top 10 in the EPA per play and completion percentage over expected. I want to assume we see more rushing from him (two designed attempts and two scrambles). But we already know his efficiency as a passer can land him in the Top 12. Against the Saints in Week 17, Minshew should be the top streaming option for the fantasy championship.
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