How Can You Get the Prize by the End of Week 17?
Fantasy football is a year round competition, but the excitement for it has been hampered by the lockout.
With the lockout coming to a close, it's about time for advice on what can be expected from certain players, and it's easier to tell by a team by team basis.
How will these Philadelphia Eagles players perform statistically this season?
NFL.com rank: second quarterback, sixth overall
ESPN.com rank: second quarterback, 10th overall
Michael finished second overall last season by giving fantasy owners 300 points over the season. Games like the one he had against the Redskins on Monday Night Football should not be expected, even though they very well could happen.
Vick's scrambling gives fantasy owners happiness, but it also presents injury risk. His offensive toys are developing even more, and he has Danny Watkins to help block for him.
No matter what comes out of Reid's mouth about running the ball more like he always says, expect Vick to get his fair share of passing attempts. He won't match last season, but he'll perform very well.
NFL.com ranking: ninth wide receiver, 13th overall
ESPN.com ranking: 11th wide receiver, 32nd overall
Jackson finished 11th among receivers last season. It seems as if he had more points than that, but it's somewhat boom or bust week-to-week with him.
DeSean will earn his stats one way or another, seeing how his season high in catches for any game last season was seven. Against Dallas in Week 14, it only took him four catches to rack up 210 yards. It's not like he's getting any slower, and Michael Vick's arm isn't getting any weaker.
His ranking among the top fantasy sites seems reasonable, because I place great value in consistency among players, and it's not like Jackson can be utilized anymore in the game plan.
NFL.com ranking: sixth running back, eighth overall
ESPN.com ranking: seventh running back, eighth overall
McCoy had a more physical running style last year, but he still caught 78 passes! He had more catches than Jackson, Maclin, and Celek. The amount of catches was nice but he only cashed in on two receiving touchdowns with an average of just over seven yards per grab.
He was 19th in the league in rushing attempts, even though he had a 5.2 yard average. One can look at his 207 carries last year with the glass half full and say he won't have the curse of carrying too much. His attempts won't change much in Andy Reid's offense, but the average will stay high with a new buddy in Watkins ahead of him for a pull blocker.
Dion Lewis shouldn't take too many snaps away from McCoy because they're too similar of players with McCoy just being better. Jerome Harrison didn't show much last season anyway.
I'd place McCoy right where he's at on both sites, behind Peterson, Johnson, Foster, Rice, and McFadden.
NFL.com ranking: 15th receiver, 43rd overall
ESPN.com ranking: 15th receiver, 41st overall
Expect Maclin's production to close in on Jackson this season. He was only 13 points behind DeSean's production in ESPN scoring, and he had 12 more catches and two more receiving touchdowns.
I'd rather rely on passing plays for fantasy points than return touchdowns against division rivals with no time on the game clock. It's nitpicking, but NFL.com should not have Wes Welker ranked ahead of Maclin, as Welker is 30 and Maclin is a better touchdown threat.
The website places division counterparts Miles Austin one spot ahead and Dez Bryant five spots below Maclin. I'd rather have Maclin than either of them, seeing how I'm not sure how well Bryant and Romo will connect.
NFL.com ranking: 20th tight end
ESPN.com ranking: 21st tight end
Celek's production dropped off significantly last season. He may have been blocking more, but the catches were there to be had. Four touchdowns isn't good for a tight end on a team that's in great need for a red zone threat.
Watching Celek run last season reminded me of Jason Witten right now, and that's not ideal to say the least. He's too young to be running that slow.
With the lockout taking away a great amount of team activities, I wouldn't expect him to be in elite shape either. He shouldn't be listed behind Jermaine Gresham of the Bengals and Todd Heap of the Ravens like he is on NFL.com, though.
Cooper is a different receiver that Philadelphia's top two. His size could play a threat in the red zone more consistently if Vick and Cooper get on the same page, unlike during the playoff game against Green Bay on their last possession.
Jason Avant didn't have a great 2010, and I'd look for Cooper to improve entering his second season despite limited team activities. Hold off until one of the last three rounds to take him because not many others will know about Cooper.
Lewis is a definite sleeper, to say the least.
With a good training camp he could find his way to second string, but that doesn't warrant a draft selection. A team like the Eagles doesn't run the ball enough to waste a pick on a rookie who may find his way to being a backup.
If or when McCoy gets banged up during the season, he will be a nice waiver pickup to have for your team if you have McCoy on your team. It's too early to tell who will backup LeSean McCoy, but I'd go Lewis over what Jerome Harrison did last season.
By the time of fantasy drafts, Kolb should be on a different team. He'll have to be evaluated by the team he's on. However, if he's somehow still on the Eagles roster, a late round pick for Michael Vick insurance would be a good plan.