Is Lions quarterback Jared Goff a starting option in fantasy football semifinal week?
Lions quarterback Jared Goff has been a usable fantasy quarterback for much of the last several weeks, but is he a viable starter in Week 16, semifinal week?
All things considered, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff had a solid showing in a very tough matchup against the New York Jets in Week 15 (252 yards, one touchdown, zero turnovers, 14.08 fantasy points; QB17 in fantasy for the week).
There’s no need to go back over the finer points of Goff’s home-road splits this season. From a fantasy perspective, Week 15 was the third time in six road games this season where he topped 14 fantasy points (Yahoo! scoring), with less than seven fantasy points in the other three. In eight home games thus far, he has more than 16 fantasy points (Yahoo! scoring) in all but one.
Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers is of course on the road, in better weather conditions than many outdoor games taking place this weekend.
Is Jared Goff a viable fantasy starter in Week 16?
The Panthers are allowing the 15th-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season (16.54 per game; Yahoo! scoring). They are similarly mid-pack in interceptions (10) and passing touchdowns allowed (18). But they have allowed the 10th-best completion percentage in the league (66 percent), and if you remove the exploits of No. 1 cornerback Jaycee Horn (52.7 percent completion rate allowed, 55.0 passer rating allowed) the number would be even better.
Goff never threw a pass in the direction of Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner in Week 16, much to the manufactured chagrin of the Jets’ No. 1 cornerback. A similar plan to avoid Horn, and target guys like CJ Henderson, is easily in the offing this week.
Yahoo! has projected Goff for 18.62 fantasy points this week, while ESPN’s projection is not as kind (15.47 fantasy points). NFL.com’s projection is in-between the two (17.34 fantasy points).
Goff will not be for everyone in semifinal week for most fantasy leagues. But his matchup is decent, as he mixes a solid floor with a sliver of upside. On the low-end QB1/high-end QB2 border, 225-250 yards and one or two touchdowns as a baseline with upside for more is just fine.
Note: roster percentages as of early afternoon, Dec. 23.
Goff ESPN rostered percentage: 51.6%
Goff Yahoo! rostered percentage: 78%
Goff NFL.com rostered percentage: 59.2%