Philly Sports Live

Fantasy Outlook- Philadelphia Eagles

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There is a mixed bag of talent on the Philadelphia Eagles roster as far as fantasy value.  There are three guys that will definitely start in every fantasy league week one, and there a couple others to consider.

Quarterback-  It doesn’t matter if he is on your team or not, Mike Vick will make or break a week for you this year. Going up against Vick is as scary as starting him on your own team (and not knowing when he will get hurt or for how long). In 2010, Vick was one of the leagues top fantasy players and the only guy that season with 3000 yards passing and 600 yards rushing.   Butif you were relying on Mike Vick to take you to fantasy titles the previous two seasons, than you got burned bad.  Everyone remembers Vick vs the Redskin or the Giants, (and if you don’t, Vick trounced the Redskins for 4 first quarter TDs and led a comeback vs the Giants to score 4 times in under 8 minutes left in the 4th- definitely look into both contests).  So everyone wants to believe that is the real Vick.

I am here to tell you that was the real Vick!  And now, with a new coach, new system, new tight end (who has looked great), a new found love for the game, a little better attitude that I think that this year will be even better  than 2010. Definitely don’t buy high on RG3!  No way he repeats that fantasy value this year.  It’s Vick’s turn.  Vick didn’t just have surgery, have his planne runs chopped down 50% and give NFL defensiveness coordinators a year to study tape.  Quite to the contrary, Vick has a new set of plays to run that most D-coordinators may not have seen him run before, he has more freedom to run than the previous year and Vick is healthier this year than he has been since 2010.

If you are going to take a shot on someone that may get hurt- you heard it hear first- take Vick.

Want insurance on Vick? Pick up Nick Foles to ride your bench!  The guy isn’t miserable for fantasy, and unlike last year, Foles will be running coach Kelly’s system too.  Call me overly-optimistic, but it feels like there is life back in the Linc with Kelly- and both QBs are  responding well to the changes.

So when should you take Vick? Don’t do it in to early like early in the first round.  Vick is going to be your steal!  If he doesn’t go super-early, because he might, than grab him in the second. If you can get him in the third, do it, than brag for a half hour about how you got the biggest steal.  Well only do that if you trust me, but unless Vick is hurt, he is going to show us all a little something this season.

Still unsure? Draft a quality backup in round 5-8 & consider trading Vick after he shows some of that 1st round value.  Overall, I think Vick should get back to being a top 10 (if not top 5) fantasy QB.  Vick’s improved O-line, new toy at TE, new head coach ( and his new system), plus Vick’s attitude of love for the game, his stud behind him at RB, and a defense that will have their offense needing to score a lot of points, it seems like the perfect storm to me.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that if Mike stays healthy, this will be his best statistical season to date, and he will win comeback player of the year.

Running Back-  My prediction- LeSean McCoy will score at least 10 all purpose TDs this season and have 1500-2000 all purpose yards.  That makes him a top 5 back and most likely a top 5 pick.  The value for McCoy at this point in his career should be as high as it’s going to be entering a fantasy draft, but some people are missing the bell because of his injury last season.  LeSean’s stats from last year have him slipping into the end of first rounds on draft boards so far this season.  If that’s the case- take him there!  You have to!  He’s too good to pass up!  As for taking him earlier, do that too.  McCoy is Vick’s favorite hot-route on most plays, not to mention the quality Andy Reid left behind in the screen game.  In addition to that, Kelly likes to run the ball more than Reid and McCoy is going to have lots of chances to brake off some big runs.  If you can manage to steal Shady in the second round, you will probably win your league.  Dude’s a stud.  Big year to come.

DeSean Jackson

Wide Receiver/ Tight End-  These guys are pretty average by fantasy standards.  DeSean Jackson is barely a number 1 option at receiver, much better suited as a second or even third option in fantasy leagues.  Jackson has often scored less TD’s than his counterpart Jeremy Maclin and don’t expect him to score more either now that Maclin is out.  Maclin’s ability in the red zone isn’t luck- Maclin’s 26 TD catches in 4 years is 3 more than Jackson’s 23.  DeSean has actually played an additional year and always seems to get 90% of the limelight, despite undeniable production.  Though Jackson may see a few more targets, it is important to not about Jackson that Chip Kelly offenses are not big on going deep.  In the last three years at Oregon, Kelly’s QB’s never cracked the top 25 for attempts beyond 20 yards down field.  I would only take DeSean Jackson after the 4th round is over despite him being more talented in football terms than he could ever be to a fantasy team.

It’s a shame, because especially under Chip Kelly, Maclin would have had extreme value this year.  However, that does not mean his replacements will.  Call me crazy, but I don’t see Vick hooking up with Jason Avant or Riley Cooper for 10 touchdowns  like he did with Maclin  in 2010.  Cooper and Avant may both catch 5 TDs, but with the amount of action they will receive in the offense should keep the Eagles second and third receivers as guys for really deep leagues or PPR set-ups. Cooper is a good target down by the end zone, but the Eagles have Brent Celek and newly added Zach Ertz who, with their big-and-tall, tight-end frames, figure to catch some TD’s as well .  Whoever the third tight end becomes for Kelly, he will surely steal some touchdowns of Vick’s in tight formations as there is no go-to threat (Calvin Johnson/Randy Moss) who you can just jump out of the building to catch a fade.

I mentioned Ertz and Celek, and they may have great years, but I wouldn’t count on it.   It may be the shared production of Kelly’s offense, or Kelly’s track-record of not having QBs complete more than 31 passes to a starting tight end during Kelly’s time at Oregon, but I don’t see huge fantasy years that warrant early draft picks for either Eagles tight end.

On the flip side, this might not matter for the NFL.  Vick has always loved tight ends.  Remember Alge Crumpler? Ertz and Celek may have some big weeks, but its hard to tell which one is going to have more fantasy value at this point, but obviously Celek comes into the year as a the starter out of respect for the player he still can be.

Def/Special Teams-  The 2013 season is not a good year for reliance on the Eagles Def/SPT- especially early on in the season.  The Eagles first-ever year in a 3-4 comes at a good time as nothing has really worked too well since Jimmy Johnson’s passing.  However the very mediocre special teams will not give enough value to even consider the Eagles an option most weeks.  Definitely do not start the Eagles secondary against any hot QBs as they are all pretty much new back there, and they this group are in danger of being prone torched by groups with more continuity.

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