Fantasy Reaction: Pat Chung and Bradley Fletcher Sign With Philadelphia
The Eagles took two big steps toward shoring up their shaky secondary yesterday, signing CB Bradley Fletcher and S Pat Chung. Expect more moves to come, whether in free agency or the draft, as Chip Kelly looks to improve a defense that ranked 24th against the pass last season.
After playing just seven games in his rookie season, Fletcher, 27, put up solid numbers in 2010 with 75 total tackles (65 solo), 11 passes defensed, and four interceptions. Squarely on the IDP radar for 2011, he tore his ACL just four games into the season.
While some had projected Fletcher to start last season, the Rams acquiring Cortland Finnegan and drafting Janoris Jenkins relegated Fletcher to a situational role in the nickel packages. He managed just 28 total tackles, but he did defend eight passes. Still, he was far from fantasy relevant.
Chung’s career has followed a similar path. He got on the field in his rookie season but didn’t make much of an impact. His breakout came in his second season in 2010. In 14 games, Chung racked up 96 total tackles (62 solo), nine passes defensed, and three picks. He also accomplished the Al Bundy-like feat of blocking two kicks in a single game.
A rash of injuries over the last two seasons limited Chung’s playing time. Last season, he seemed to fall completely out of favor with the Patriots coaches, as rookie Tavon Wilson got plenty of snaps in place of Chung.
Both Chung and Fletcher are now the Eagles’ best options at their respective positions. That, of course, could change in the coming days, weeks, and months, but for now, both project as starters.
Fletcher is a pure outside corner, so there’s no potential he’ll be used in the slot. While he played primarily in the nickel last season, Fletcher manned the outside and Finnegan actually kicked to the slot in those situations. In what will likely be an every-down role, Fletcher will have fantasy value in CB-required leagues. Consider him a decent CB2 option in those formats.
Chung has played both free and strong safety in his NFL career, though he’s spent more time at free. At 5’11” and 212 lbs., he’s not your prototypical in-the-box thumper. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Philadelphia sign a complementary safety.
Still, Chung has shown an ability to put up strong IDP numbers in the past. He’s a long shot for triple-digit tackle numbers, but his fantasy value lies in his big-play ability. With Philadelphia typically being a strong spot for IDP production (see: Coleman, Kurt), it’s reasonable to position Chung among the DB2s.