Garoppolo completed 22-of-28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns while adding a three-yard carry in Thursday's preseason opener against the Jaguars. Garoppolo worked until halfway through the third quarter before giving way to Jacoby Brissett. He was able to rack up excellent numbers in that span even with many offensive regulars joining starting quarterback Tom Brady on the sideline, tossing touchdowns to Austin Carr and K.J. Maye. Garoppolo remains entrenched as Tom Brady's top backup, but in the event of an injury to his veteran counterpart, Garoppolo would merit fantasy attention, considering the talented collection of skill players on the Patriots' roster.
Garoppolo, who dealt with a minor leg-related injury during OTAs, is healthy for training camp, per the Patriots' official site. As long as starter Tom Brady, who turns 40 on Aug. 3, remains healthy, Garoppolo will be entrenched as the Patriots' No. 2 signal-caller, while Jacoby Brissett slots in as the team's third QB. After an offseason that featured rumors the Patriots might consider dealing Garoppolo, it's clear that the 2014 second-rounder will remain with the franchise for at least 2017 season. Brady has a solid history in terms of durability (other than a torn ACL in 2008), but if Garoppolo is forced into action due to an injury to his veteran counterpart, he'd gain immediate fantasy relevance while helming the Patriots' deep and talented offense.
Garoppolo appeared to be limited at Tuesday's OTAs with what ESPN's Mike Reiss describes as a minor leg-related injury. With Garoppolo not participating in drills, third-stringer Jacoby Brissett saw added QB reps Tuesday. At this stage, Garoppolo's leg issue doesn't look a big concern and he's entrenched as Tom Brady's top backup in the wake of an offseason filled with speculation that the Patriots may elect to move Garoppolo, who is now in the final year of his rookie contract. An all-in approach for the coming season prevailed, however, and there's also been chatter that the Patriots could find ways (such as an extension or their franchise tag) to keep Garoppolo around beyond 2017.
While the Browns and/or Texans might make a late push to trade for Garoppolo, it's still unlikely the Patriots will part ways with their backup quarterback this offseason, The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian reports. The Patriots clearly want a lot in return for Garoppolo, who is preparing for the final year of his rookie contract after thriving in his two starts last season. Cleveland has been the most frequently mentioned destination, but Houston might actually be a better fit, with the Texans boasting a playoff-caliber roster that doesn't have many weaknesses besides quarterback. Both teams are expected to select signal-callers in the early rounds of the draft, but one (or both) could make a late push for Garoppolo instead. The Browns have plenty of time to develop a young quarterback, whereas the Texans may be worried about wasting a talented roster because of poor play from Tom Savage and a rookie. While such a concern makes a lot of sense, it probably won't be enough to motivate Houston to meet the Patriots' lofty asking price.
The Patriots aren't expected to trade Garoppolo during the offseason, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. With Tom Brady offering no indication that he plans on retiring in the near future following his fifth Super Bowl victory in February, Garoppolo represents little more than an insurance policy for the Patriots, but an elite one at that. After Brady missed the first four games last season while under suspension, Garoppolo performed steadily as a fill-in starter for the first two contests before missing the final two games of Brady's absence with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. He ultimately recovered from the injury and went on to complete 68 percent of his passes for 8.0 yards per attempt, four touchdowns and no interceptions across six appearances on the season. While the Patriots' well-oiled offensive system surely aided his numbers, Garoppolo demonstrated the sort of proficiency and sound decision making that several teams would have coveted, leading many to speculate that the 25-year-old would draw plenty of interest around the league if the Patriots made him available via trade. It appears that barring another extended absence for Brady, Garoppolo will have to wait at least one more season for a starting opportunity with the Patriots or any other team to materialize, which will continue to limit his fantasy appeal largely to dynasty formats heading into 2017.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|8||10/29||Los Angeles Chargers||13||17.00|
|17||12/31||New York Jets||20||20.67|
|3 Year Avg||67.7||230||2||0||3||0||21|