Fantasy watch: The Nick Foles conundrum

Nick Foles

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles went from famine to fantasy feast in consecutive games. (Associated Press)

Raise your hand if, like me, your fantasy team was steamrolled this past Sunday by the Nick Foles touchdown train. In case you missed it (I sure wish I did), the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback threw seven touchdown passes, completing 22 of 28 attempts for 406 yards, in a 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

So your all-time list of single-game passing touchdown leaders in part reads: Tittle (Hall of Famer), Luckman (Hall of Famer), Blanda (Hall of Famer), P. Manning (future Hall of Famer), Foles (nine career starts).

What’s more, although he doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify for the official list, Foles leads all starting quarterbacks this season with a passer rating of 127.4. That’s a full eight points higher than Manning, 21 points higher than Aaron Rodgers and nearly 22 points higher than Drew Brees.

All of which perfectly encapsulates why so many of us simply throw up our hands — or just throw up — on a weekly basis trying to master this mindless exercise of fantasy football.

The conundrum for Foles owners is if last week was a sign of sublime performances to come or a statistical anomaly the likes of which he’ll never come remotely close to approaching again. The honest answer is no one knows for sure. Foles certainly doesn’t have the sample size in two seasons to indicate future production, nor has he demonstrated any consistency over 13 career games.

But with all the uncertainty confronting owners regarding whether to start Foles going forward, consider after this weekend’s game against the Green Bay Packers, each of the Eagles’ remaining opponents ranks in the bottom 10 in the league in pass defense. Three are in the bottom five, including the the Dallas Cowboys, who the Eagles get in the season finale.

So based purely on matchups, Foles has the potential to lead your squad to the fantasy promised land. But remember this is a player who one game previous to his record-tying outing was pulled in favor of rookie Matt Barkley after going 11 for 29 with 80 yards in a 17-3 loss to the coverage-challenged Cowboys. Dallas is giving up 305 passing yards per game, the second most in the league, and is allowing 16 passing touchdowns, tied for third most.

Now to some questions from the Twitter-verse:

I’d hang on to Olsen, whose matchups are slightly better the rest of the way. Plus he’s working with Cam Newton, who has been on a tear as of late. Olsen has a particularly difficult opponent this week in the San Francisco 49ers coming off a bye week, but his upside remains a bit more appealing right now than Bennett.

The Broncos are the inspirational pick for a fantasy defense this week after Coach John Fox underwent heart surgery in North Carolina. Fox had aortic valve replacement Monday and is taking an indefinite leave of absence. Jack Del Rio takes over as interim coach and no doubt will remind his players about what Fox has meant to the team this season as it tries to gain the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

Have a fantasy football question? Tweet at Gene Wang at @gene_wang.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practiced this morning at 10:30. Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett are scheduled to speak to reporters afterward.

● Mark Maske on the goal-line stand.

More on the NFL:

AP’s Fantasy Grind: Rodgers’ broken collarbone and easy schedules

Outsider: Redskins used run-heavy looks to keep Chargers off balance

Redskins vs. Vikings: Mike Jones’s five story lines to follow

Inside NFL locker room dynamics | Browns lineman can relate to being bullied

The Early Lead: Coaches told Incognito to toughen Martin up? | More NFL

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

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