Fantasy Outlook: The Philadelphia Eagles Offense
Josh Collacchi takes a look at one of the more promising offenses in terms of fantasy value for 2014.
Fantasy Outlook: The Philadelphia Eagles Offense
With Chip Kelly at the helm, the Philadelphia Eagles have one of the most electrifying offenses in the NFL. Last season, the Eagles were able to score 442 points, good for fourth in the NFL, plus they were able to amass 6,676 yards, which was the second-most in the NFL and among the top 10 in NFL history.
In terms of fantasy points per game, the Eagles had the following rankings at each respective position:
Nick Foles was third among quarterbacks with 20.3 fantasy points per game.
LeSean McCoy was second among running backs with 17.3 fantasy points per game.
DeSean Jackson was ninth among receivers with 12.3 fantasy points per game.
Riley Cooper was 25th among receivers, but was ranked in the top 10 in the second half of the season when Foles was at quarterback.
The Eagles will be without Jackson this year, but with Jeremy Maclin returning from injury and the additions of Jordan Matthews and Darren Sproles, the Eagles offense will be once again full with fantasy studs.
Foles had a year for the ages last season. In just 10 starts, Foles threw for 2,891 yards and 27 touchdowns to go along with just two interceptions. He led the NFL in touchdown percentage, yards per attempt, and passer rating. While some believe that that was all Chip Kelly, that is irrelevant to fantasy football. Foles has 16 career starts, as he had six under Andy Reid, and has totaled 4,590 yards and 33 touchdowns through the air and 263 yards rushing with four touchdowns on the ground. Can he keep it up? He should be able to, now going into his first year as the starter and second year under Kelly, he could be one of the top five quarterbacks in fantasy football yet again.
PFF Fantasy projections: 3,886 yards, 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 240 yards rushing with five rushing touchdowns for 321 fantasy points, or QB4. Foles is projected to be a top-tier QB, and should be a QB1 in your league. Currently, his ADP sits at 66.17, as the seventh quarterback drafted.
A season ago, McCoy led the NFL in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and yards per game. In addition he also caught 52 passes for 539 yards and scored 11 total touchdowns. In Kelly’s system, the running back is featured, as we saw with the amount of touches that McCoy received. McCoy said recently that he was the best running back in the NFL, and he is a sure lock for the first round in fantasy football this year as well. Sproles could take a few snaps away from McCoy, but the 25-year-old star will get his fair share, and will certainly be a top-tier running back in fantasy football.
PFF Fantasy projections: 1,291 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 32 catches for 255 yards and one touchdown for 255 fantasy points, or RB7. Currently his ADP sits at 1.77 as the first running back off the board.
The Eagles traded a sixth-round selection to the New Orleans Saints for Sproles. Some believe that he will just be a returner, while others think he will be a focal point of the offense. What is likely is that Chip Kelly will use Sproles in a variety of ways to create mismatches. Whether that is in the backfield, in the slot, or on returns, Sproles will be a valuable piece to this team. Last season with the Saints, Sproles totaled 124 touches (71 catches) for 824 total yards and four touchdowns. Will he be a viable running back in fantasy football? In PPR, it is possible. Sproles has caught an average of over 70 passes in the last four seasons, and if he sees that production again, he could carry some fantasy value.
PFF Fantasy projections: 320 yards rushing and three touchdowns, 48 receptions, 424 yards and two touchdowns for a total of 151 fantasy points or RB35. Sproles’ ADP is currently set at 109.25 as the 35th running back drafted.
Cooper had one of the most bizarre seasons in recent memory. Cooper finished with 835 yards receiving and eight touchdowns with a very impressive 17.8 yards per reception. But, it was a tale of two seasons for the Florida product. In his first five games, Cooper totaled eight catches for an abysmal 93 yards and zero touchdowns. Then Foles was named the starter. In the last 11 games, Cooper accumulated 39 catches for 742 yards and eight touchdowns. A thing to note about Cooper, however, is that 241 yards and five touchdowns came in two games, so he was a bit inconsistent. Cooper is best used as a run blocker, but can make plays in the passing game when called upon.
PFF Fantasy projections: 56 catches, 817 yards and eight touchdowns for 183 fantasy points, or WR39. Cooper’s ADP is currently 118.75 as the 47th wide receiver drafted.
Maclin signed a one-year deal for this season, but both he and the Eagles have expressed interest in a long-term contract. Last year, Maclin missed the entire season due to injury, but he is out to prove that he is a top receiver, and in Kelly’s offense, that could be a dangerous combination. Two years ago, Maclin caught 69 passes for 857 yards and seven touchdowns. With the loss of DeSean Jackson, he could be the top receiver on the team, but will he be able to stay healthy and consistent?
PFF Fantasy projections: 58 catches for 780 yards and six touchdowns for 173 fantasy points, or WR46. Maclin’s ADP is currently 66.83 as the 31st wide receiver off the board.
Matthews is a hot name in the dynasty fantasy football community, and for good reason. His measurables are good, his production was good, he has good size, good speed, great hands, and an incredible work ethic. The Eagles have already named him as the starter in the slot, which can create a lot of matchup problems for opposing teams. Expect Matthews to be one of the better rookie wide receivers in year one.
PFF Fantasy projections: 38 catches, 492 yards and four touchdowns for 114 fantasy points, or WR74. Currently, Matthew’s ADP is 152.5 as the 60th wide receiver taken.
Ertz was a productive tight end last year, considering he was a rookie playing in an entirely new system. He caught 36 balls for 469 yards and four touchdowns in a part-time role for the Eagles. This year he is expected to play a larger role, and could be a great red zone target for Foles. As a second year tight end, many expect him to take over at tight end for Brent Celek.
PFF Fantasy projections: 45 catches for 561 yards and six touchdowns for 135 fantasy points, or TE16. Currently, Ertz’ ADP is 115.25 as the 12th tight end taken. Ertz could be a good value if he is named the starter over Celek.
As you can see, the Eagles offense possesses a plethora of weapons, and quite a few players who will be relevant in fantasy football in 2014. Keep an eye on them during your draft, and remember how well the offense performed in their first year in Kelly’s system. If the team can improve, there is no limit to what the Eagles’ offense can do.
In addition to PFF, Josh writes for eDraft and ProFootballCentral. With any comments or questions, each him on Twitter @PFF_JCollacchi !