INSIDE THE NUMBERS
13 is a big number. That’s the number of games Michael Vick played last year. He had injured ribs that kept him out of three games, and sustained another rib injury in the preseason (UGH!). The other number for Vick is 1, the loneliest number. That’s the number of rushing TDs Vick had last year compared to 9 in 2010. That number has to go up to about 5 in order to make Vick a top 10 QB in fantasy. There’s no reason think that he won’t get back to more rushing TDs. And yes, assume that Vick will miss a few games due to injuries. The other number to take note of is 3,303. That’s the number of passing yards Vick had last year, a career high for him, in only 13 games. So, if you want a big payoff for a guy whose fantasy stock has fallen, grab Vick over the likes of Phillip Rivers or Big Ben, hold your breath, and watch it pay off.
The Eagles have a tough road to go. They have the 7th most difficult in the NFL. After a friendly week 1 matchup against the Browns, their schedule gets tough until their bye in Week 7. Down the stretch, during fantasy playoff time, the Eagles schedule lightens up a little, but prepared to play matchups for those Eagles you draft.
Lesean McCoy is considered one of the top three fantasy players in the draft, and rightfully so. He had 17 rushing touchdowns, and 3 more receiving TDs. He rushed for 1,300 yards, and a caught 48 passes. He was relentless in fantasy and likely vaulted his owners to the playoffs. Now, McCoy will probably see a drop in those 17 TDs if Vick gets more than the 1 rushing TD he had last year, but even without those TDs, Shady is a guy who can carry your fantasy squad and justifies, safely, his top of the draft selection.
Now that he’s gotten his paycheck, perhaps Desean Jackson shouldn’t be listed here as a dud, but after only 58 catches and 4 TDs last year, Jackson let a lot of his owners down. DJax openly said that because of his contract dispute, he didn’t give it his all. That speaks volumes about him, and should give pause to owners. You need consistency and effort from your fantasy players. Now, Jackson is still a guy who can be huge for your squad, so definitely still consider him for your squad, but look to him as your WR2, not as the WR1 that will carry your squad.
If you draft Vick, it might be wise to snag Nick Foles, who won the backup quarterback job. Foles impressed in the preseason. Stash him on your bench so that when that inevitable Vick injury shows up, you’re ready to put him into the lineup. Foles is more of a pocket passer so won’t give the rushing yards that Vick does. If you’re in a league that is really deep or a keeper format, Foles makes for a nice late-round sleeper, even if you don’t draft Vick.
Last year, the Eagles were one of the most active teams in the offseason, assembling a “dream team”, that more or less, disappointed. So the Eagles were much more subdued in their activity this year. They acquired LB Demeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. He’ll anchor the middle of the field for the Eagles defense. In preseason, this defense looked impressive; great scheming, aggressive interior line and mobile linebackers. The fantasy impact of this is an Eagles defense that is worthy of being one of the first D/ST drafted.
There are few impactful position battles going on. The only one of interest is who will backup McCoy at running back. Dion Lewis and rookie Chris Polk fought it out in the preseason, and not much has been decided. Polk looked good in the preseason, and would be the one to select from a fantasy perspective. Polk really shouldn’t be drafted, unless you have a deep bench, and then only in dynasty/keeper formats.
Brent Celek is a tight end who’s climbed up draft boards this season. He had 62 catches for 811 yards and five TDs. Those are pretty solid numbers from the tight end position. However, Celek’s role in the Eagles offense is primarily as a blocker, and Vick doesn’t throw the TD nearly enough to warrant making Celek your starting fantasy tight end. He’s a solid backup in leagues where tight ends must be taken, and he’s a guy who can fill in on bye weeks. But, since the tight end spot is deep with talent, let others take Celek early.
Fantasy Football, NFL