By Jake Linley-Brown (@JakeLB12)
Don’t call it a comeback!
Over the next few months on the Full 10 Yards, the British home of all things fantasy, I’m going to channel my inner 2011 Tom Brady and give all the spotlight pieces and semi-irrational opinions I can.
My first foray on the fantasy scene this summer begins now with my ‘On the Fence’ series.
For this series of articles, the focus will be on those players who divide opinion, those who offer good and bad (I know names are already firing up in your head). In other words, that player who makes you (metaphorically, I hope) sit on the fence.
First up? Teddy Two Gloves.
Teddy Bridgewater has found a new home since we last saw him. He stayed in the division (the NFC South for those suffering with amnesia), but Carolina is now where he suits up on Sundays. Going into his 6th year in the league, the 27-year-old is about to get the keys to his own offense. But is he ready?
First, lets give credit where credit is due. The table above, albeit a small sample size, makes for decent reading. What’s even better is the fact that those 5 starts resulted in 5 wins; victories over the Cowboys (cheap dig) and the Seahawks are in there, too. Most of the stories and press at the time were mostly in agreement that Teddy was a more than capable QB and a worthy replacement for the injured Drew Brees. Fair assessment, I’d say.
Now for the caveat.
Were those numbers put up because the shackles were off? Was it because he knew this was only a short-term thing, and the pressure on him wasn’t the same? It’s hard to say. Since his injury plagued Viking years, one could argue if we’ve even seen the best of Bridgwater. A 2015 Pro Bowl vote seems like a long time ago.
Fast forward to 2020 and here we are. Our boy Bridgwater is now following Matt Rhule’s orders, the new head coach of the Panthers who limped to 5-11 last season.
Joining Rhule is Joe Brady, the new Offensive Coordinator from LSU. Brady won the CFB last season when he was calling plays to a guy named Joe Burrow…the indication is that Teddy is in good hands. But are the new moving parts too much to handle? After all, these are 3 men effectively starting from scratch together. The preparation and practice will also be hindered this off season thanks to Covid-19, so it’s fair to say there’s a few hurdles to navigate.
However, if a QB ever needed a weapon to help with the settling in process, then you won’t get much better than Christian McCaffrey. The stalwart running back leads a cast of an offense with plenty of ability, which includes DJ Moore and newly signed Robby Anderson.
The biggest point to make here, and it’s vitally important in terms of fantasy production, is game script. I’m no mind reader but I don’t expect the woeful 2019 Panthers defence to make a giant leap forward. The strength of schedule is at .500, which is kind of fitting considering the name of this article, and no it wasn’t deliberate. But there’ll be opportunities here for Teddy to put some nice numbers up. Other times like going on the road to Kansas, Minnesota and Green Bay in the middle of winter, I don’t feel as good about.
What I’m trying to say is this defence, and that schedule, is going to put Teddy in certain spots where he’ll be throwing a lot. I can’t take the credit for this point, but I read an article online which called Teddy the perfect QB2 because the reality is some weeks, he’ll put up QB1 numbers. You just must be lucky enough to start him when he does.
Let’s finish on some real fantasy figures.
Barring injury, Teddy will no doubt smash the 90.5 points (PPR) he recorded last year. According to FantasyFootballers.com, they have a projection of 228.7 points (PPR) this time round. For the number’s guys in the house, that’s an average of 14.2 a game. ESPN, FantasyPros.com and any blogger with their own rankings system I’ve found has Teddy at around 25-27, which to me sounds just about right.
With all these articles, I will shoot from the hip and give my honest take on the player from a fantasy standpoint.
In this instance, I think Teddy is just fine. I doubt he’ll be pulling up any trees (fence joke) and leading the charge to the fantasy playoffs. But you can do a lot worse at the QB position, especially for those of you in 2 QB leagues. Heck, I selected Sam Darnold as my first QB last year.
If he can somehow lift Carolina off the bottom of the division which now gets Tom Brady and his travelling circus twice a year, that’s got to be seen as heading in the right direction.