Breaking Down the Philadelphia Eagles for Fantasy Football Players
It's a bit early, but I'm going to make a fantasy football analysis of the Philadelphia Eagles. There is a ton of upside to all of these players. Some will be drafted before they probably should and some will be great values in later rounds.
There will be free agents that may emerge as solid mid to late season fantasy options. Players like Maclin may get drafted and released only to have a great middle to late season.
McNabb, Westbrook, and the defense look like the fantasy "stand-outs" at this point.
DeSean Jackson should have a solid year and the rest of the receivers will likely split a lot of targets.
I believe Curtis will be strong for the first half to two-thirds of 2009 before the rise of Jeremy Maclin at which point I expect Curtis to split slot duty with Avant.
McCoy, Weaver, or Celek may be surprise sleepers.
QB: Donovan McNabb: 3,900 Yards Passing, 34 TD, 12 INT, 2 FUM | 150 Yards Rushing, 2 TD
McNabb is a top 10 fantasy quarterback every year. This year McNabb stands to be a bit more productive in fantasy leagues with improved protection and more offensive weapons.
McNabb looks like a top five quarterback in 2009. Start him with confidence. McNabb will probably make a fourth or fifth round steal in most drafts.
RB: Brian Westbrook: 1,250 Yards Rushing, 8 TD, 1 FUM | 350 Yards Receiving, 4 TD
Westbrook has been a solid fantasy back always managing to compile points by yardage or scoring. He's a feature player in this dynamic offense and he is healthy. Expect him to be very productive as some of the attention will be taken off of him.
Westbrook looks like a top five running back in 2009. He's a safe early pick. A must start. Westbrook will be a steal, possibly slipping until late in the first round or maybe early second round in some drafts.
RB: LeSean McCoy: 400 Yards Rushing, 2 TD, 2 FUM | 150 Yards Receiving, 1 TD
If you get Westbrook, you have to handcuff LeSean McCoy. If Westbrook gets hurt McCoy looks to be able to fill in nicely. He will be more productive as a rookie fill in than Correll Buckhalter was in 2008.
LeSean McCoy is a handcuff to Brian Westbrook. Fantasy Owners may need to be careful not to wait too long to pick up McCoy if they select Westbrook.
FB / RB: Leonard Weaver: 200 Yards Rushing, 3 TD | 100 Yards Receiving, 2 TD
Leonard Weaver will steal some goal line touches from Westbrook and break a couple of third down screen passes, but this season is going to be a Westbrook dominated running attack.
WR DeSean Jackson: 1,000 Yards Receiving, 6 TD | 100 Yards Rushing
DeSean Jackson will continue to emerge, but the depth and talent of the receivers will manage to cut into his production.
Jackson is a low end No. 2 or high end No. 3 receiver with lots of upside potential.
Jackson may go a bit higher than he should. He seems to have a pretty big buzz going about him. He'll likely go in the fourth or fifth round, but is a better value as a late fifth to early seventh round pick.
WR Kevin Curtis: 700 Yards Receiving, 5 TD
Kevin Curtis is going to be a big contributor on this offense in 2009. Unfortunately for his fantasy stats, there are too many young receivers on this team that are hungry and deserve the ball.
Curtis will be a good number three receiver or reserve with some upside. Curtis is a good late round flier pick, but may go a bit early.
WR Jeremy Maclin: 500 Yards Receiving, 5 TD
The Eagles figure to work Maclin in slow. Fantasy owners will want to take a close look at the developments in training camp. He will most likely make a late season surge.
Maclin is a good reserve with a ton of upside and possibly some late season heroics.
Maclin will score points inconsistently, but may close strong. If he somehow sneaks into a bigger role, he could light it up. Maclin is a good late round flier pick, but will probably go a bit early.
Pay attention to the waiver wire for a possible steal on Maclin.
WR Hank Baskett: 300 Yards Receiving, 4 TD
I love Baskett as a player, but Maclin would seem to be a fantasy buster for Baskett. He will have big plays and contribute, but I think he will be marginalized by the offense for at least one more season.
Baskett has upside. If he somehow sneaks into a bigger role, he could light it up. Just pay attention to the free agency list as the season goes on.
WR Jason Avant: 300 Yards Receiving, 2 TD
Jason Avant will continue to make clutch plays for McNabb working the slot. If Maclin comes on, Avant will battle with Curtis for the slot. Avant will likely not be a productive fantasy receiver.
If he holds the slot position firmly in preseason and early on, Avant could be a worthy third receiver.
TE Brent Celek: 400 Yards Receiving, 6 TD
Celek will be a solid tight end in 2009.
McNabb loves to use his tight ends when they are effective and Celek has been effective. McNabb and Celek appeared to be finding a rhythm as the season developed. Although Celek will get lots of looks and playing team, the Cornelius Ingram receiving threat looks to cut into Celek's production a bit.
Celek is a solid reserve tight end or a low end starter that has a ton of upside. Celek will likely go undrafted in most 10 team leagues with a traditional format. If you are stuck on a tight end late, he's a great option.
TE Cornelius Ingram: 100 Yards Receiving, 2 TD
Ingram is definitely going to make a big play or two this season. It will be difficult for the offensive coaches to get everybody in the game, so I figure Ingram's production will be limited in 2009.
Just pay attention to the free agency as the season goes on.
Defense: 17 Interceptions, 15 Fumble Recoveries, 50 Sacks, 5 TD, 285 Points Surrendered
The linebackers were improving in coverage and the defensive line was stiffening up and creating pressure as the 2008 season was concluding. This is a young group that has played well and are expected to improve in 2009.
The secondary has new ball hawks that should make them the most elite part of the team.
The Eagles defense look to be top five in 2009 for fantasy owners. They will likely be taken in one of the last two or three rounds and are a very good value at those picks.
Players to Watch: Walter Mendenhall (possible goal-line back), Eugene Bright (interesting short yardage tight end)
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