Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In the second installment of the series, we head to Philadelphia where the big off-season move of quarterback Donovan McNabb to Washington will have an effect on every fantasy-worthy player on the Eagles roster.
The Eagles (11-5) were fifth in the league in scoring (26.8 ppg) while yielding 21.1 ppg on defense.
McNabb led the team in passing over the past 10 years and the five-time Pro Bowler was a fantasy starter for all 10 seasons. Now he's gone and the Eagles offense will have to adjust to their new signal caller - Kevin Kolb. How quickly he settles in will have a huge effect on DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek's draft position as well as the running game.
Kevin Kolb - After a spectacular four-year college career at Houston, the Eagles have handed over the keys to the offense having seen Kolb start just two games. He did pass for 391 yards and 327 yards in those two starts, but one was a blowout loss to New Orleans and the other was against the porous Kansas City Chiefs. Given that Coach Andy Reid prefers throwing to running (59% pass vs. 41% rush in 2009), Kolb should get plenty of opportunities to throw. This also explains how a relative unknown is going eighth among quarterbacks, ahead of the likes of Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco and McNabb with a current ADP of around 70.
Michael Vick - Vick will likely be frustrated again this year because barring injury he's only going to play in the "Wildcat" offense. He's not really built for the "West Coast" offense, but then neither was McNabb. His fantasy value in 2010 is only as insurance to Kolb owners.
LeSean McCoy - McCoy isn't the next Brian Westbrook. He does however, have some breakaway ability and will catch the ball out of the backfield which is very important in a Reid offense and in PPR leagues. With the addition of Mike Bell and Leonard Weaver also stealing some goal line carries, McCoy has a limited top end. He's currently being drafted near the end of the third round (ADP 38), which seems too high at this time. I'd rather have Jonathan Stewart, Ronnie Brown or Matt Forte all of whom are being selected after McCoy - there's just too much competition for a relatively small number of opportunities in the Eagles pass-oriented offense.
Mike Bell - Bell could be had for a late-round pick (ADP 155) but also has limited value because he'll likely get less than 150 carries this season. Still, many will be near the goal line and if McCoy has injury problems Bell's role could expand into a solid No.2 fantasy back situation.
Leonard Weaver - Towards the end of the 2009 season, it was Weaver, not McCoy, who was the No.1 rushing option for the Eagles. Still, that means maybe 8-10 carries which isn't enough opportunity to become fantasy-worthy unless you are in a league which forces you to start a fullback.
DeSean Jackson - I drafted Jackson in the fifth round last year and he exploded onto the scene with some dynamic runs after the catch. He returned two punts for touchdowns (85, 72 yards), scored one an end around from 67 yards out and five times caught touchdown passes from over 50 yards out. He led all receivers with at least 40 catches in yards-per-catch at 18.4 yards and finished the year with 63 receptions for 1,167 yards and nine touchdown catches. He's currently ranked eighth among wide receivers with an ADP of 22, but he'll go higher in league which count return yards. In the two games in which Kolb started at quarterback, Jackson posted 100+ yards in each and scored twice.
Jeremy Maclin - Maclin is currently being selected near the end of the seventh round (ADP 80), about what you would expect from a No.2 receiver on a passing team. In his rookie season he caught 55 balls for 762 yards and four scores and if he improves on that in Year 2, he should get you "fair market value" for the pick.
Jason Avant - Because the Eagles throw so much to their tight end, the third receiver doesn't get much action and has little fantasy value except as an injury replacement. Avant does have very good hands and gets a lot of first downs for the Eagles, he just doesn't get enough opportunity to have any real fantasy value.
Hank Baskett - Baskett and rookie Riley Cooper have no fantasy value unless there are massive injuries to the wide receiver corps.
Brent Celek - In 2009 Celek finished fourth in receiving yards (971) and fourth in touchdowns (8) among tight ends. He should again be a top-five tight end in 2010 as he and Kolb proved to be a solid combination in Kolb's two starts (16-208-1). He's still a bargain based on early drafts where he is the sixth tight end off the board (ADP 65).
David Akers - Akers finished the season second in scoring among kickers with 139 points (to Nate Kaeding's 146 points) and should be solid again in 2010. He had more field goal attempts than any other kicker in the league hitting 32 of his 37 tries. As always, kickers shouldn't be drafted until the last couple of rounds and Akers is going around the middle of the pack with an ADP of 172.
The Eagles defense ranked second overall with 122 fantasy points based on 44 sacks, 25 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries, two safeties and two Jackson punt returns for touchdowns. To the defense returns LB Stewart Bradley (ACL) and Ernie Sims (trade) in addition to the team's first five selections on Draft Day. Sheldon Brown, Chris Gocong, Sean Jones and Will Witherspoon are gone. The Philadelphia defense is currently the eighth team off the board (ADP 142) and could be a bargain again this year.