UPDATED August 24th, 2010: Camp Updates Below.
Most will agree that the breakup between Donovan McNabb and the Eagles was inevitable, and that the ceiling had been reached with McNabb; others believed Andy Reid and company lost their aggressive coaching edge when it mattered the most. Either way McNabb is gone, and the era of Kevin Kolb is yawning before a very young Philadelphia Eagles team. What fantasy managers want to know is this:
- Can Kolb lead this team half as good as McNabb?
- Will the receivers’ fantasy value take a hit because of the McNabb exodus?
- Will the running game ever rise to elite status?
- Will the defense return to its once dominate state?
Division: NFC East - Projected Finish 4th
Strength of Schedule: 9th = 9th Toughest The Birds will look to capitalize on a soft schedule.
Kevin Kolb is an interesting individual. In his only two NFL starts, Kolb threw for 300+ yards in both games—the first quarterback to ever accomplish that in his first two starts. He is being compared to Brett Favre in the sense that he has a canon like arm, and is a risk taker, and he is surrounded with some favorable talent.
But in order to get recognition in the fantasy world as a big time QB, you have to first prove it.
In the end, however, Kolb has already shown he understands Reid’s complex version of the West Coast. and although Kolb’s INT rate could be a bit high in his first year as a starter, he still should put up some solid numbers and he could wind up being a sleeper QB this year.
The running game for the Eagles last year was an eye sore at best. They finished 22nd overall in rushing yards (1,606 total team rushing yards) and scored a dismal 12 rushing touchdowns all year. Much of the same will be expected again this year, but there are some intriguing players to think about.
- LeSean McCoy never truly broke out as the player most of us thought he would’ve. McCoy finished the year with 637 yards and 4 TDs and really tanked the last five games of the year only producing 109 yards and a single TD. I really don’t see McCoy doing much better in 2010, and further believe he makes for a great late round grab at best.
- Leonard Weaver, on the other hand, was a huge bright spot for the Eagles despite only being played in specific situations. In total, Weaver amassed 463 all-purpose yards and 6 total TDs in only 10 games (70-323-4 rushing, 15-140-2 receiving). This year, however, Weaver says he expects to see a limited role with Bell and McCoy in the backfield. Weaver averaged just over 7 carries a game in 2009 from November until the end of the season; a number that should decline in 2010.
- Mike Bell was brought over, but figures to be a situational back or change of pace back at best, and Eldra Buckley figures to offer nothing more than a few special teams points here and there throughout the season.
In 2009 many people were dazzled by the 'rookie' class of WR; Austin Collie, Miles Austin and Mike Sims-Walker to name a few and in that mix was DeSean Jackson. But Jackson wasn’t the only downfield threat as the Eagles saw the emergence of Jeremy Maclin, and together they showed themselves to be a dangerous one two punch.
- DeSean Jackson lead the team in receiving yards (1,156 yards) and total TDs (9) and has the deceptive speed, and polished feet to become the next great playmaker at WR. And don’t worry about Kolb being the quarterback; in Kolb’s two starts Jackson had 10 receptions for 250 yards and 2 TDs.
- Jeremy Maclin wound up being a pleasant surprise for two reasons:
1. He understood Reid’s offense right off the bat which boads well for any Eagles receiver.
2. He was good for 773 yards on 53 grabs with 4 TDs.
Maclin has a full year under his belt now and to think he isn’t gonna breakout in 2010 would be absurd. He should continue to roll as another high profile WR out of Philadelphia.
- Hank Baskett returns to the team, but won’t be a fantasy factor and neither will Jason Avant, but do keep your eye on 6’3” 225 pound Riley Cooper out of Florida. He’s a huge target, and could see some time down the stretch, especially if the Eagles wind up being OUT of playoff contention.
In 2008 Brent Celek showed everyone a tiny little glimpse of what he was capable of, and in 2009 he blew up as the primary target for the Eagles’ aerial assault racking up 76 catches with 971 yards and 8 TDs. Still, he will probably hover somewhere around 6th in overall TE rankings with Vernon Wells, Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, Jason Witten, and Jermichael Finley being ahead of him.
That’s not to say you’re getting a chump TE though, because with the exception of Visanthe Shiancoe, Kellen Winslow, Tony Gonzalez and Owen Daniels rounding out the top 10, the rest of the crop isn’t nearly half as good or reliable.
This unit was once a proud watermark of Philadelphia under Jim Johnson’s reign, but his passing had an obvious effect on the team and DC Sean McDermott had trouble closing out the season in 2009. At times the run defense dazzled, and other times it floundered, and the secondary was often exposed down field.
You can make the argument that a rash of injuries was to blame, but that would quickly become dispelled the moment you enter the New Orleans Saints into the conversation (one of the most injured teams in all of the NFL last year). Still, there is some talent on this team worth mentioning particularly MLB Stewart Bradley who was supposed to have his break out season last year.
2010 Regular Season Schedule
|1||Sep 12||GB @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||4:15 PM|
|2||Sep 19||PHI @ DET||Ford Field||1:00 PM|
|3||Sep 26||PHI @ JAC||Jacksonville Municipal Stadium||4:05 PM|
|4||Oct 03||WAS @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||4:15 PM|
|5||Oct 10||PHI @ SF||Candlestick Park||8:20 PM|
|6||Oct 17||ATL @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||1:00 PM|
|7||Oct 24||PHI @ TEN||LP Field||1:00 PM|
|9||Nov 07||IND @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||4:15 PM|
|10||Nov 15||PHI @ WAS||FedEx Field||8:30 PM|
|11||Nov 21||NYG @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||8:20 PM|
|12||Nov 28||PHI @ CHI||Soldier Field||1:00 PM|
|13||Dec 02||HOU @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||8:20 PM|
|14||Dec 12||PHI @ DAL||Cowboys Stadium||8:20 PM|
|15||Dec 19||PHI @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||1:00 PM|
|16||Dec 26||MIN @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||1:00 PM|
|17||Jan 02||DAL @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||1:00 PM|
Andy Reid has built a convoluted version of the West Coast offense that relies heavily on the short passing game, rollouts, bootlegs and a lot of play action which boads well for PPR leaguers. The passing game in a whole makes up better than 60% of his offense.
The running game is a bit too risky to consider top notch. Yes the talent is there, but whether or not it will show up for 16 games is anybody’s guess….I personally don’t think so.
This unit is young and has a lot of budding talent, but health will be the primary issue. From there, the secondary—namely the saftey position—will have to dramatically improve from the 27 TDs they allowed last year if they are to be considered anything noteworthy.
Camp Updates 8/24/2010:
- The Eagles struggled heavily in their second preseason game against a heavily aggressive Bengals team, showing everyone that we must come down to earth a bit when it comes to fantasy.
We all want to read and hear everything positive. We all want to be told exactly what we want to hear. But the truth is, the Eagles have a lot more work to do offensively than most people think, and that may mean dropping QB Kevin Kolb in the ranks a couple of spots.
His first game looked great, but any QB looks great when they are throwing 10 yard dink and dunks. Look a little deeper and you start to see Kolb is facing overvalue. For now, we will give the benefit of the doubt, but this is something to monitor, because I DO NOT want to be the guy who recommends Kolb as a Top Ten QB just because other folks think so. My job is to objectively steer you in the right direction.
- Speaking of the running game, the Eagles running games has looked flat at best with RB LeSean McCoy only rushing for 50 yards on 14 carries.
Look, the blocking is all out of whack right now, the follow through on the run isn’t there and the situation doesn’t look as sharp as many thought it was going to be. McCoy holds some value in PPR leagues, but as of now, his value outside of that format isn’t all that great.
- For anyone trying to figure out whether or not TE Brent Celek is worth is fantasy weight, fear not, he is! The guy has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal Eagles offense, and so everyone knows, this is a guy who finished second among TEs with 20 catches or more in 2009…a PPR dream.
The Eagles will inevitably rely on the TE early in the season with a new QB—unless they are completely stupid that is—which bodes well for Celek owners.
He remains a high end TE1 in most formats.
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