Jared Goff waiver wire Week 4: Can fantasy managers trust the Lions’ QB?

With Jared Goff residing as the fantasy football QB11 entering Week 4, is he a waiver wire target that managers should consider this week?

Through the first three weeks of the 2022 NFL season, Jared Goff has been one of the fantasy football surprises of the season, making him an intriguing name on the Week 4 waiver wire. Let’s examine Goff’s start and whether fantasy managers should invest now or if the good times might not be set to last.

Is Jared Goff a Week 4 waiver wire target for fantasy managers?

If someone told you a month ago that Jared Goff would be the QB11 for fantasy through the first three weeks, would you have believed them? No, I probably wouldn’t have either, and I was somewhat bullish on Goff this year. Through those first three weeks, he has averaged 18.5 fantasy points per game with 748 yards, seven passing touchdowns, and two interceptions.

However, there are some negatives to point out. Goff’s weekly fantasy outputs have ranged from a high of 26.04 in Week 2 to a low of 13.88 in Week 3. Additionally, he hasn’t thrown for more than 277 yards in any of the three games, despite throwing the ball an average of 37.3 times on average. When you look at that in terms of yards per attempt, Goff’s 6.7 number is very similar to the 6.6 yards per attempt he produced in 2021.

In fact, if you take Week 2 out of the equation, Goff’s average fantasy output of 14.7 fantasy points per game is just 0.8 points per game higher than he produced last year. The reason we can be dubious about that Week 2 game is the four touchdowns he threw. The last time before that game in which Goff threw four touchdowns was Week 16 of the 2018 season.

In 86 career starts, Goff has thrown for four or more touchdowns six times (7%). In fact, he has only thrown three or more touchdowns in 20.1% of his games. Therefore, the odds are against Goff throwing for four touchdowns again this season, and chances are he will only throw three touchdowns on two or three more occasions.

Looping back to the positive, Goff’s intended air yards per attempt stands out. The Lions QB is averaging 8.4 intended air yards per pass, which is his highest since that 2018 season. The only reason his yards per attempt are not higher is that his 58.9% completion rate is the lowest since his rookie season.

That completion percentage brings us to an alarming stat. Goff’s on-target throw rate is 46.4% through the first three weeks, despite a pressure rate of just 12.6%. His expected completion percentage on his throw through three weeks is 64.2%, meaning Goff is performing 5.8% below expectation in completion rate this season.

So what does this all mean for fantasy managers?

To put this into some context, the raw numbers we are seeing from Goff help explain the variability we are seeing in the fantasy output. Goff was the QB17 in Week 1, the QB7 in Week 2, and the QB19 in Week 3 heading into Monday Night Football. The positive spin on that is that in Superflex leagues, Goff has been at least a QB2 option in each of the first three weeks.

However, chances are, that in Superflex, Goff is already rostered, so does that really help you? Now when we look to 1QB leagues, Goff has been a starting option once in 16-team leagues. Therefore, whether you spend a waiver claim or FAAB budget on him depends on your situation.

Do you need a starter because Justin Herbert is injured? If so, we have to consider if Goff is the best streaming option this week. The Seahawks are the opponent in Week 4, and they have allowed 17.5 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, so not exactly a slam-dunk streamer. Especially when Goff’s own defense is allowing 23.6 points per game to opposing QBs, and they face another streaming option in Geno Smith. If you’re looking for a solid floor, Goff is probably the guy, but for upside, Smith is enticing.

Where things are different is if you are starting to panic about the starter you drafted or you lost Trey Lance to injury. In that case, you might be looking for a safer floor-type option like Goff. It might not be a slam-dunk option every week, but he should give you 13-18 fantasy points more weeks than not. In that circumstance, Goff certainly makes sense as a waiver wire add based on what we’ve seen through the first three games.

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