Fantasy Football: Is Mitchell Trubisky This Year’s Version of Jared Goff?
As we head into the middle of August, the time for fantasy football is now upon us. Last season, if you drafted quarterbacks such as Alex Smith or Jared Goff as a backup, you were likely pleasantly surprised. So the time is now to find this year’s breakout QBs. In other words, who could be this year’s version of Goff. Well, look no farther than 2017’s second overall pick, Mitchell Trubisky.
Coming out of the University of North Carolina, Trubisky landed with the Chicago Bears, who moved up a spot in the 2017 NFL Draft to secure him. Trying not to rush the rookie, the Bears went with Mike Glennon under center for the first four weeks of the season. But Trubisky’s time holding the clipboard did not last long.
After winning just one game of the opening four, Head Coach John Fox made the decision to stick the top pick into the spotlight. Week five, and Trubisky’s first NFL experience came on Monday Night Football when the team took on their division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. While Trubisky struggled overall, completing just 12 of 25 passes, he did throw one touchdown (and one interception), the team only lost by three points, 20-17.
TRUBISKY’S POTENTIAL FANTASY FOOTBALL IMPACT IN 2018
By seasons end, Trubisky showed some flashes of potential, but certainly had plenty of rookie speed bumps along the way. Over the course of 12 games, Trubisky had a 59.4% completion percentage, threw for 7 touchdowns and also seven interceptions. He accumulated 2,193 passing yards and ran the ball 41 times for 248 yards, two touchdowns and losing three fumbles.
But last season, the signal caller had very few weapons to work with outside of his running backs (one of which was not used to his full potential). This offseason saw the team undergo a complete transformation, and the chief beneficiary is going to be Trubisky.
For starters, there were changes to the coaching staff. Head coach John Fox is out and in steps Matt Nagy. Nagy, who had been serving as the Offensive Coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs since 2016, will be bringing a much more energized atmosphere to the locker room.
Then we look at the actual talent on the field. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen remain in the backfield. Cohen is a much better fit for Nagy’s offense than he was for Fox’s. As for wide receiver, the team did a complete 180. Last year, Trubisky was throwing to names like Kendall Wright and Deonte Thompson. This year he will have former Pro Bowler Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and rookie Anthony Miller. The team also added tight end Trey Burton to the mix. He is ready to take over as a starter after being behind Zach Ertz in Philly. You can see the potential fantasy football numbers here.
Back to Nagy for a moment. This is a man who helped Alex Smith turn in his first 4,000-yard campaign a season ago. Smith also threw 26 TDs, only 5 picks and a completion percentage of 67.5%. All of this was done during Smith’s age 33 season. It should also be noted, Smith was a former first overall pick back in 2005, and this was hands down the best season of his career.
Back in Kansas City, Nagy had similar weapons to work with like he does now. The Chiefs have young runner Kareem Hunt to pound the ball. Now Nagy has a slightly bigger back in the form of Jordan Howard. Tyreek Hill was the explosive wide receiver capable of playing all over the field. In Chicago, Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel can both help fill that role. Travis Kelce is the big time target at tight end for KC, while now Nagy has a slightly younger and smaller version in Trey Burton. Add in Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and the Bears offense have plenty of options to mix and match in Nagy’s potentially explosive scheme.
Now, let’s bring this back to Jared Goff. Doesn’t all of the above sound familiar?
After being the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Goff sat on the bench behind Case Keenum to open the season under veteran head coach Jeff Fisher. After debuting mid-season, Goff finished his rookie season with mediocre stats, including a mid-50’s completion percentage.
Then headed into the 2017 season, the Los Angeles Rams underwent some major changes. A young head coach, Sean McVay, was brought in to lead the team. A number of wide receivers were brought in, including Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and rookie Cooper Kupp. They were paired with a rejuvenated Todd Gurley, who turned back into a fantasy football superstar.
As a result of all of these weapons, the Rams become one of the best teams in the NFL. Goff also had a breakout campaign, just missing out on 4,000 passing yards, throwing for 28 touchdowns and becoming a solid fantasy football play.
So the stars are certainly aligned for that to be Mitchell Trubisky this season. Sure, they are two different players. But there is no denying the similarities. He was drafted second overall for a reason, much like Jared Goff was drafted first overall just a season before.
What are your thoughts? Will Mitchell Trubisky be a fantasy football sleeper this season? Can he replicate what Jared Goff did a season ago? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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