Why Nick Foles Was Fantasy Football’s Biggest Surprise in 2013

Surprises were aplenty in the ever-changing landscape of fantasy football in 2013, but none were as big or as impactful to his position as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was to the quarterback position.
At a position where talent was generally perceived to be deep in the 2013 preseason by the fantasy football community, only two signal-callers separated themselves from the abundance of starter-caliber quarterbacks. They were, of course, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
According to ESPN.com, a total of 13 quarterbacks averaged more than 15 points per game in standard scoring leagues in 2013, with only Manning (25.4) and Brees (21.8) averaging more than 20 a game.
Nick Foles’ point-per-game average of 15.7 was serviceable for a QB1. However, Foles only started a total of 11 games in 2013, and one of those starts was cut short due to an early exit due to a concussion in a division matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7.
Foles’ point-per-game average in those 11 starts was a surprising 22.8, edging out Brees’ average by a whole one point per game and falling less than three short of Manning, who had arguably the greatest season for a quarterback in NFL history.
However, Foles’ potential points scored over a full season wasn’t the only eye-popping stat of his sophomore year.
According to an article produced by CBS New York, Nick Foles had the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history (13.5) with 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
If we projected those numbers over a full season, that’s 39 touchdowns and just under three interceptions.

Eugene Tanner/Associated Press
Foles accepting his NFL 2014 Pro Bowl Offensive MVP award

That sounds like first-round production to me.
Nick Foles is the sixth-best quarterback and 38th-best overall player heading into the 2014 season, according to ESPN.com Senior Fantasy Analyst Matthew Berry’s initial Top 150 for 2014 rankings.
Berry’s high ranking of Foles may be both a testament to his belief that Foles can either repeat or improve his 2013 performance and that the Eagles can retain or acquire offensive weapons to surround him with.
The Eagles have already addressed the issue of wide receiver Riley Cooper’s free-agency status, as the team signed Cooper to a five-year, $25 million contract today, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. 
The next most likely step for the team would be to either re-sign wide receiver Jeremy Maclin or test the waters in free agency for an alternative.
If Foles carries over his elite level of play from 2013 into his 2014 season, there should be no reason why he can’t come close to the top of the second tier of quarterbacks, where the only ones ahead of him are the big three (Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers). They are in a tier of their own based mostly off of their track records.
For a player whose ADP (Average Draft Position) was 170, according to ESPN.com, Foles was a free-agent gem in shallow 10 or 12 team leagues.
Keeper league owners of Foles are thrilled knowing they’ve got an elite quarterback at a low price to build a strong team around in the 2014 fantasy football season.
If you’re one of those owners, give yourself a pat on the back.
Foles will be a beast this upcoming season.

All stats not attributed obtained through writer’s own research and calculations.

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