This weekend, Jimmy Garappolo will make his first NFL regular season start after tearing his ACL towards the end of last September. Still, despite that fact, its not the first time he’s appeared on an NFL field since Week 3 of 2018; and that’s important to note as it pertains to the former Patriot’s perception in fantasy football circles. Garappolo looked timid at best throughout most of the 49ers offseason workouts, a state of mind that heavily translated to the QB’s preseason performance in a game against the Broncos on National TV. Garappolo completed just one of his six attempts in that contest, while also throwing an ugly interception. Though he did look far better in his next start, the predominant feeling of Garappolo heading in Week 1’s matchup with Tampa Bay is one of negativity.
Yet, in a vacuum, this is a great spot for a quarterback to thrive. The Buccaneers were an underwhelming defensive team by almost every imaginable statistic last year. They ranked dead-last as a unit in DVOA, they surrendered an NFC-worst 2.48 opponent points per drive, and they were one of only five teams to allow at least two passing touchdowns per game. There were obviously reasons for these struggles. According to Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Games Lost metric, no defense suffered through more injuries than Tampa Bay; but, in the end, its undeniable that this is a squad that can be taken advantage of.
Fantasy Impact: Your approach to Garappolo varies depending on your circumstances. For instance, in a DFS capacity, Garappolo’s public standing and high-upside make him an entirely viable GPP play. However, if you’re just looking for a QB to slot in your 12-man season-long format, there are much safer options available. Let’s see how Garappolo fares in his first real game in over 11 months before getting too adventurous.