Eagles in Fantasy Football
So fantasy football is really going into effect this week as leagues get ready to draft. I’m personally in four of them because I’m addicted and they all draft this week. With that in mind, I wanted to talk about some major players on the Eagles and what kind of fantasy impact they’ll have.
The first guy to discuss has to be LeSean McCoy. If you’re drafting at the top of the first round and LeSean McCoy is there around the fourth or fifth pick I’d suggest you take him. Shady is one of the best talents in the NFL and he’s absolutely going to be featured in Chip Kelly’s offense. Just consider this quote from McCoy from back in April:
“You’re going to need another back in this offense […]Bryce [Brown] is good enough where he can play. Every team has two good backs […] And don’t be surprised if Chris Polk gets some carries, because you’re running so much it’s like a freakin’ track meet. It’s like a relay. You need extra guys.”
How many 25 year-old star-caliber players ever say that they’ll need to be off of the field sometimes? None. There’s also the fact that McCoy gained a combined 1,600 yards and 20 TD’s in 2011 with a worse offensive line than he has now.
He’s the fourth best back to have on your team regardless of format and the best fantasy option on the Eagles by a mile.
Now that Mike Vick has been named the Eagles starter and he’ll have many more chances to call designed runs for himself, his value has seen a solid boost. The problem though is that you need to believe that Vick will be one of the top 10-12 quarterbacks in the league if you’re going to draft him and I’m just not able to take that leap.
However, as a back-up Vick is a top choice. His ceiling is high enough that if he plays well for a few weeks you could either start him or ship him off for a boatload. If he’s average, well he’s just a back-up anyway so there’s no real loss. He’s worth a pick in the 9th round.
DeSean Jackson will be returning punts again for the Eagles, so there’s some excitement to be had there by fantasy owners. Jackson is one of the best in the league when given room to move. However his fantasy stock will take a hit as the Eagles move from Andy Reid to Kelly.
Since the Eagles run a lot of combo plays, DeSean’s production is directly tied to how the defense chooses to play. They’ll also be running a number of four tight end sets, which will take some snaps away as well.
He should finish the year as the Eagles best receiver and put up some points rushing and returning punts, but overall he’s a second string wide receiver on your fantasy team that likely won’t put up many touchdowns. Pick him up in the 7th or 8th round.
Brent Celek has been considered a top ten tight end over the last few years. The problem, though is the same as DeSean’s. This team will do a lot of distributing the ball, and a lot less passing in general. Combine that with James Casey, Zach Ertz, and Clay Harbor all seeing plenty of action and there’s no way that Celek is a fantasy starter. In fact, I wouldn’t take him at all and instead go with a guy who is an exclusive starter like Fred Davis. Then wait and see if he becomes a red zone target.
Also keep an eye on the involvement of Ertz in the offense, who might be more valuable by the end of the season.
Bryce Brown and Chris Polk have been fighting for the role of McCoy’s backup and neither has truly separated himself. Polk is less prone to turnovers, but nowhere near the talent that Brown is. If you have to pick an handcuff at this point it’s certainly got to be Brown based on his potential, but he’s a few fumbles away from giving the job to Polk.
Look for Brown in the 9th or Polk in the 15th as a flier.
Don’t be in a rush to draft Alex Henery. The former fourth round pick was the 17th and 15th best kicker for field goals made in 2011 and 2012 respectively. He’s a perfectly decent kicker and his point totals will improve as a result of the changes on the offensive side of the ball. Therefore, he worth a selection as one of the bottom three or four kickers selected but not any higher.
As always, get your kicker in the last or second to last round.
The Eagles Defense is a totally unknown commodity. A 3-4 hybrid, this team will show a number of different fronts in hopes of confusing opposing offenses. However, you shouldn’t expect it to work well. The Eagles allowed nearly 28 points a game last season and they’re in the process of finding players who can actually fit the scheme.
There will be bright spots in guys like DeMeco Ryans and Fletcher Cox, but the unit as a whole will struggle. This team also lacks any players in the secondary who have a knack for generating turnovers, which pushes them down a peg.
Simply put: find your defense elsewhere.
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