Has Nick Foles Killed the Fantasy Value of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin?
The disillusion in Philadelphia is reaching its crescendo, and fans are left wondering what’s next for their coach, their quarterbacks and the rest of the star-studded roster that has underachieved for far too long.
To say Philadelphia Eagles fans are unhappy with their team is a massive understatement, and there’s no doubt a myriad of changes will be made moving forward. Strategic advisor Joe Banner got out of dodge before the impending windfall. Andy Reid will likely be gone before the 2013 season, and Mike Vick’s job is in jeopardy just a year after signing a massive six-year contract.
For fantasy owners, the disarray in Philadelphia could spell disaster down the stretch. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are no longer viable starting options, especially with Nick Foles under center.
Foles had a terrific preseason, the result of which was growing optimism for the future of the quarterback position in Philadelphia. He entered the team’s Week 10 contest against the Dallas Cowboys after Vick suffered another concussion—an injury with which he is all too familiar.
With Vick not cleared to play in Week 12, Foles got the start against the Washington Redskins, and the result was far from pretty. Foles completed just 45.7 percent of his passes, averaged just 4.44 yards per attempt and threw for 204 yards and two interceptions. He looked like a rookie third-round pick with more than a little room for improvement.
For owners of Jackson and Maclin, the change at quarterback couldn’t be more detrimental to a successful playoff run. Jackson caught just two passes for five yards against the Redskins, while Maclin failed to see a single target in the contest.
Foles isn’t entirely to blame for this huge disappointment, though. Philadelphia’s offensive line is one of the worst pass-protection units in the league, having allowed 33 sacks on the season. Paired with an offensive scheme that severely under-utilizes LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia’s offense shows no signs of improvement this season.
With the trade deadline in the rear-view for most fantasy owners, the options are limited for owners of Eagles receivers. Deep-league operators with either Jackson or Maclin on their roster have very few options, but nearly any receiver would be better than either of them moving forward. You simply cannot count on any semblance of consistent production from Jackson or Maclin—or any Eagles offensive player, for that matter.
There are still options on the waiver wire in most leagues with ample upside. Players like Cecil Shorts (43 percent owned), T.Y. Hilton (23 percent owned) and Danario Alexander (23 percent owned) are all viable replacement receivers for Week 12, and you should consider starting any of the three over Jackson and Maclin.
For now, Philadelphia receivers should remain on your bench (with the exception of tight end Brent Celek, who will continue to see a lot of targets in the check-down game). Foles has plenty of talent, but he’s not ready to start in the NFL, especially behind such a flaccid offensive line. Until the Eagles right the offensive ship, Jackson and Maclin should remain on your bench.
*All percent-owned stats were obtained from Yahoo! Sports.
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