What the Garoppolo?

I know, I know, there’s still a chance that Tom Brady doesn’t miss any games this year if a federal judge overturns Roger Goodell’s four-game suspension that he handed down to Brady for his perceived role in Deflategate.  However, as it stands right now, Brady is OUT and Jimmy Garoppolo is IN. If you’re like me, you’ve asked yourself who is a Garoppolo and can he play? Better yet, should I start him as a QB in DFS?

Let’s assume you play in a contest where you can use Garoppolo in your lineup vs. Pittsburgh. If this was the vaunted veteran-led Steelers defense of past and not this year’s version filled with youth at key positions, I would’ve said no way! Given the struggles of the Steelers’ defense last year and having a new defensive coordinator in Keith Butler, I’m tempted to say roll the dice and play Garoppolo. Think about it, Bill Belichick went 11-5 with Matt Cassel taking over for an injured Tom Brady in 2008. We’re talking about the same Matt Cassel who hadn’t started a football game at QB since high school. Surely Garoppolo has to be better than Cassel.

So who is Jimmy Garoppolo? The Patriots drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Eastern Illinois, where he won the Walter Payton Award as the best offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision. Garoppolo saw limited action as a rookie in 2014, his only extensive action coming against the K.C. Chiefs in mop-up duty of a 41-14 beat down by the Chiefs and again in week 17 vs. the Buffalo Bills.

Garoppolo produced mixed results in those games, leading the Patriots on a TD drive vs. K.C., but struggling mightily with accuracy vs. Buffalo. Garoppolo possesses decent athleticism and can extend plays with his feet, but he’s not that accurate throwing on the move. His best throws are quick passes off a 3-step drop, so look for New England to have plenty of those in the passing game vs. Pittsburgh. I would also expect N.E. to put in multiple screens to wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends to take pressure off of Garoppolo and give him some safe throws.

The biggest thing to consider is that Belichick will do whatever it takes to win a football game, even if it means running the football 30-40 times, which I expect New England to do. Therefore, starting Garoppolo in your lineup would not be wise in my opinion; Ben Roethlisberger would be a much better play in that game.



London Fletcher

London Fletcher

London Fletcher is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL). Undrafted in 1998, he was signed by the St. Louis Rams as a rookie free agent and became a Super Bowl champion with the team. He was also a member of the Buffalo Bills, where he played for five seasons, and the Washington Redskins, where he played for seven seasons. Fletcher was well known for never missing a game in his career, being one of only four players in NFL history to play in over 250 consecutive games. Fletcher also holds the record for consecutive starts at the linebacker position. He eventually finished his career with 215 consecutive games started, which ties him for 6th all time along with Alan Page and Ronde Barber. London has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user.

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