Ryan Fitzmagic is tantalizing the NFL with his absolutely red-hot start. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 400 yards in 3 straight games. He’s leading a Buccaneers team that couldn’t find their identity last season on offense or defense to a 2-1 start that easily could have been 3-0 save not for pressure getting to him and making eerily poor decisions compared to the previous 2 games. He’s doing all this right, bringing hope to a franchise that has always felt on the cusp but never could get over the hurdle. And yet, no one is sure if he’ll be the starter going forward, no one is confident that his organization won’t put Jameis back in the starting role with no regard for the magic that Fitzpatrick is creating. Lets look at the stats…
Small Sample, Big Results
Through the first three games of the 2018 season, Fitz is averaging 410 yards and roughly 3 touchdowns to 1 interception. He has a completion percentage averaging over 72% through three games against what many thought to be sturdy defenses. This also beats his career average of 60%. His football numbers are off the charts and so are his fantasy numbers – In PPR leagues, he is the QB1 and is averaging almost 40 points a game. That is astounding. We know, small sample size but for the sake of comparison, the QB1 last season, Russel Wilson, averaged only 24 points per game through the entire season and is only averaging 20 points a game through the first three games this year. FITZMAGIC is doubling up dudes.
Winston is No Competition
His competition, Jameis Winston, once showed a ton of promise and had people hopeful that he could steer the ship for the Bucs but he’s falling to way-side. Through 16 games last season he averaged 13 fantasy points a game. “You can’t compare a full season to 3 games”, that’s probably what you’re thinking. Well, let’s look at Fitzpatrick’s last full season as a starter from a fantasy perspective. He averaged 21.5 fantasy points a game and led his Jets team to 2nd in the AFC East and knocking on the door of running the playoffs. What does that tell you? He’s done this before, he’s led teams and been a fantasy force to boot.
But the argument is why should he start over Jameis Winston. Well, we’ve talked about Fitz-magic this season, over 400 yards a game average, 4 touchdowns a game average, highest completion percentage of his career. What did Jameis do last year?
Jameis had an abysmal 2017 to say the least. 19 touchdowns to 11 interceptions was one of the worst ratios in the league, remember we said the team didn’t have an identity? Lets look at his first 3 game pace to compare to Fitzy. Through 3 games he averaged a respectable 288 yards through the air, Fitz is still averaging more than 100 yards a game than Jameis was able to muster. Well, what about their touchdown-to-interception ratio? How does that stack up? Jameis had 6 touchdowns to 3 interceptions, 2:1, not an ideal ratio but respectable for a quarterback who struggled most of the year where he averaged almost 1 touchdown per game over the remaining 10 games he played.
Everyone Feels Better with a Little Magic
To me, everything about this Buccaneers team feels different, they look like they’re playing with swagger and it’s because Fitz-Magic is at the helm. I don’t think you can justify replacing him until this team has a multi-game meltdown. Jameis has never in his career played like Ryan Fitzpatrick is right now. Bucs fans and fantasy fans alike are happy there’s some magic in Tampa ( atleast for this season )