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By Moe Koltun, Matt Cott, and Matthew Schwimmer of Roto Analysis
This week for our fantasy football edge column, we at RotoAnalysis are going to focus on what we know the CBSPhilly.com audience is in tune with: the Eagles. With Chip Kelly’s new offense, QB controversy, and WR injuries dominating the preseason talk, there’s a lot to look into when it comes to these players’ fantasy values. Position by position, here are our thoughts:
It seems that Michael Vick is completely rejuvenated as the QB of the Eagles in Chip Kelly’s offense. Whether you think Vick can be an efficient signal caller or not, the volume of plays the offense runs may force Vick to be fantasy relevant. In just their first preseason game, the Eagles offense ran 86 plays. While Vick struggled last year, it was only two years ago that he threw for over 3,000 yards while rushing for another 600. Even without Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles offense could provide enough tempo to give Michael Vick top-12 fantasy upside if he can continue to hold off Nick Foles for the entire season.
After being a top-3 pick last year, McCoy has slipped to the back-end of the first round in most leagues. That should be a solid value in any format as the upside he showed in 2011 shows he can give production worthy of being the #1 overall back. We saw his downside last season as he battled injuries, but when that downside is 1,200 total yards and 5 TDs when also missing 4 games, that’s a great player. The speed of Chip Kelly’s offense will help McCoy get more and more reps and produce a ton of fantasy points. Bryce Brown will surely be involved, but shouldn’t provide much value unless McCoy is out.
Receivers and Tight Ends
While many fantasy prognosticators expect the new high-paced offense to statistically benefit the Eagles receiving corps, I believe hiring Chip Kelly will be detrimental to fantasy production of the team’s receivers. Desean Jackson is the only receiving talent of note on the Eagles, and his biggest NFL tool is his speed and ability to separate as a deep threat. Well, contrary to popular belief, Oregon didn’t throw deep very much during Kelly’s tenure as their head coach. In his last three years there (2010-2012), an Oregon quarterback never once finished among the top 25 QB’s in passing attempts of more than 20 yards. You shouldn’t discount DJax’s upside to finish as a legitimate WR2, but given the transition from Andy Reid’s pass-heavy offense to Chip Kelly’s run-heavy one, it would be foolish to draft Desean Jackson inside the top 25 receivers. Sleepers-wise, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper are both interesting late round guys in PPR leagues, but waiver wire fodder in most leagues. Brent Celek has basically no value, and even if you think he’s talented, in his last three years at Oregon Chip Kelly never threw to his starting tight end more than 31 times in a season. I think that speaks for itself.
The Eagles defense is not going to be a fantasy powerhouse, but because of the tempo there offense is going to work with, there will be ample oppurtunities for turnovers. In leagues that penalize allowing a lot of yards, the Eagles may be one to avoid, but in leagues that focus on turnovers, the Eagles are a good sleeper defense to stream in favorable matchups. That being said, do not consider reaching for any defense especially one that only intercepted eight passes and sacked the QB thirty-eight times last year.
Agree? Disagree? Questions? Tweet @RotoAnalysis and be sure to follow Moe @MoeProblems, Matt @KidCotti21, and Matt@Schwimingly. Check out their work on RotoAnalysis.com, as well as The RotoAnalysis Fantasy Sports Podcast.