How Does Michael Vick's Absence Affect Other Eagles' Fantasy, Roster Values

John RozumCorrespondent INovember 12, 2012

How Does Michael Vick's Absence Affect Other Eagles' Fantasy, Roster Values

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    Michael Vick may be shut down for the rest of the 2012 NFL season.

    Per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports:

    Two sources said Monday morning that it's a pretty strong bet that, barring an odd change in circumstances, Vick will be "rested" for the remainder of the season by Reid and the coaching staff. In place of Vick, rookie Nick Foles will start, and the sources believe Reid will use the development of Foles as a springboard to keep his job as the Eagles' coach.

    "I'm 99 percent sure that's exactly what you're going to see happen," a source said Monday morning.

    This also comes as no surprise, because Michael Vick was knocked out of the game on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. And according to ESPN.com:

    Michael Vick sustained a "pretty significant concussion" Sunday and likely won't be medically cleared when the Philadelphia Eagles resume practice this week, coach Andy Reid said.

    All that said: Does Vick's potential absence put a damper on the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles offense as well as fantasy football? In short, no.

    Let's go in depth and figure out why.

LeSean McCoy, RB

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    For the sake of a winning game, LeSean McCoy can get fed more carries.

    Yes, the Eagles' offensive line has been inconsistent at pass protection and blocking in general. But with a rookie quarterback under center, the best formula to get him comfortable is with a ground game.

    After all, Philly is also 3-0 this season when McCoy is fed 20-plus carriers. The Eagles are also 0-5 when McCoy is given less than 20 rushing attempts. Even though defenses are likely to stack the box and force Foles to beat them, the kid has a strong arm and size to put a defense on its heels.

    Still, McCoy is Philly's best offensive weapon, and the key to helping a young quarterback learn and transition is by running the ball. Not to mention run-blocking for an unreliable offensive line comes easier, because at least the play-call is attacking downhill.

     

    Fantasy Football Value: Increased

DeSean Jackson, WR

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    Right now DeSean Jackson has 686 receiving yards on 42 receptions but only two touchdowns. Certainly does part of that lack of scoring comes from Philly's red zone offense and horrendous pass protection.

    Also, Vick's inability to read well pre-snap plays a factor because defenses had no trouble disguising blitzes and/or coverage. Jackson still presents a vertical threat to any secondary and will remain reliable on comebacks and quick slants.

    Another favorable aspect is Foles' size. At 6'6" Foles can see over a defensive front and find the explosive, yet small receiver more often. If anything, expect more yards after the catch from Jackson since Foles can't extend plays like Vick.

     

    Fantasy Football Value: Increased

Jeremy Maclin, WR

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    Along the same lines as DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin can be anticipated to accumulate more yards after the catch.

    Being a quick target with great acceleration, Maclin's route running is better than Jackson, and he's more consistent versus man coverage. With 449 yards on 36 receptions, Maclin also leads the team with four receiving touchdowns.

    Because of Jackson's track speed and McCoy in the backfield, though, defenses can't afford to double cover Maclin. To that end, more targets come from Foles against man coverage and off play-action.

     

    Fantasy Football Value: Increased

Brent Celek, TE

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    Even though Brent Celek is second on Philadelphia with 467 receiving yards and second in 201 yards after the catch, he'll be needed as a blocker with Foles at the helm.

    As previously mentioned, defenses must load the box to stuff McCoy and play man coverage against Jackson and Maclin. A barrage of blitzes to the rookie is to a defense's advantage because disguising coverage behind can result in numerous turnover opportunities.

    So to counteract the extra pressure, Celek's run-blocking and pass-protecting skill set becomes more vital. Courtesy of impressive size and athleticism, Celek playing the role of a sixth offensive lineman will get Philly rolling better on the ground.

    That can then help set up play-action and reduce the pressure on Foles. Also, delayed releases on routes become evident as another last resort in Foles checking down to minimize turnovers.

     

    Fantasy Football Value: Decreased

Bryce Brown, RB

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    At first glance, an expanded role for Bryce Brown is reasonably anticipated. Mainly because of Vick's scrambling ability did the backup running back see limited carries and targets on checkdowns.

    Still, it's tough to imagine a greater role with Foles in control as well. McCoy is the obvious every-down back, and the receiving weapons present a stronger offensive unit as well. Nevertheless, don't underestimate the need for a powerful ball-carrier to a team.

    Brown's size and burst is an advantage to Philly in short-yard situations, which only emphasizes the potential of play-action. The more the Eagles slam with Brown between the tackles when inside the red zone, the more respect a defense will give to Philadelphia's rushing attack.

    It makes each formation more dynamic and keeps the Eagles within balance. Anticipate more carries but only in situations that rely on Brown moving the chains.

     

    Fantasy Football Value: Decreased

Riley Cooper, WR

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    Riley Cooper is the Eagles' biggest receiver. His size and leaping ability was briefly displayed against the Cowboys on Sunday, and more of that is required for Philadelphia's offense to find a rhythm.

    Whether it be in three or four-receiver sets, Cooper's athleticism is a mismatch one-on-one and over the middle. And with Foles being a more sizable quarterback than Vick, the fade route threat inside the red zone enhances.

    Rewind back to Brown needing more carries in short-yard situations, and that aspect along with McCoy makes for one relevant play-action pass. Cooper, like the rest of Philly's receivers, won't see double-teams, and Foles can simply toss one up and let him make a play.

    By comparison, that's something Foles can offer more than Vick with his height alone. In turn, Cooper's presence out wide improves the red zone offense.

     

    Fantasy Football Value: Increased

Defense

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    This comes directly down to turnovers. Michael Vick's case of the fumbles and inability to read disguised coverages led to turnovers at a high rate.

    The Eagles defense was then subject to constantly being in bad field position and/or remaining on the field for an extensive amount of time. As games wore on—as well as the season, Philadelphia became more vulnerable against the run, and the pass rush has yet to really get going.

    That seeped into the secondary, where the Eagles are inconsistent tacklers and turnover opportunities are at a minimum. Combine everything together, and it's no surprise Philly—as a team—has allowed an average of 24.6 points per contest.

    Provided the offense can sustain drives, finish with touchdowns or at least limit turnovers to change the field position with punts, the defense will improve. But until more turnovers and sacks occur, along with fewer points given up, Philadelphia will continue to disappoint.

     

    Fantasy Football Value: Unchanged

     

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