Fantasy Team Preview: PHI Eagles

Overall outlook: In his first season as an NFL head coach, Chip Kelly brings to Philly the potential for a high-powered offense. That usually means good things for quarterbacks, but Kelly’s Oregon Ducks ran the ball 685 times in 12 games last season, while throwing 373 times. Run, LeSean, run!

Bye week: 12

Quarterback: Michael Vick

In 10 games last season, the captivating but oft-injured Vick finished 27th among quarterbacks with 175.5 fantasy points … As usual, he ran the ball pretty well (332 yards), but had a low completion percentage and threw nearly as many interceptions (10) as touchdowns (12). Many Philly media members think Vick will lose the starting job to …

Quarterback: Nick Foles

Foles wasn’t bad in seven 2012 appearances, completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards and six touchdowns … If he wins the starting job from Vick, he could be a decent low-end QB2. However, he could eventually lose the job to …

Quarterback: Matt Barkley

The Eagles seem to really like Barkley, whom they drafted in the fourth round … He almost certainly won’t start 16 games and might not start any, so he’s no more than a keeper league stash.

Running back: LeSean McCoy

McCoy played just 12 games in 2012 due to concussion-related issues, but he racked up 1,213 yards from scrimmage, and 54 receptions … At age 25 and in a running back-friendly offense, it seems that the sky is the limit for McCoy this season. He’ll probably get picked in the upper half of the first round in most drafts, and could be fantasy’s best player in PPR formats.

Running back: Bryce Brown

After McCoy got hurt, Brown exploded onto the scene with 43 carries, 347 yards and four touchdowns in Weeks 11 and 12 … He also lost some trust with the coaches by fumbling three times in those games, and carried just 40 times for 76 yards in the season’s final four contests (McCoy came back for the last two) … The Eagles might not run as often as Kelly’s Ducks did, but they figure to hand off the rock enough to make a second back – especially a big, fast, talented one like Brown – useful as a flex play … Brown is on the cusp of RB3/RB4 territory in early drafts, and has big upside.

Wide receiver: Jeremy Maclin (Knee injury – out for season)

Maclin’s 125.7 fantasy points in 2012 ranked him 27th among wide receivers … He had 69 receptions for 857 yards and seven touchdowns … His four NFL seasons have been consistently productive, but unexciting … Appears to have more downside than upside as a WR3, since we don’t know how the coaching staff will use him.

Wide receiver: DeSean Jackson

Jackson had 45 receptions for 700 yards and two scores in 2012 … He was on pace for career norms before suffering a season-ending rib injury in Week 12 … Better in standard leagues than PPR formats, but if you’re still waiting for a breakout because of Jackson’s gamebreaking ability, you should probably revise your expectations … He’s a WR3/WR4 at this point.

Wide receiver: Jason Avant

Had 53 receptions for 648 yards in 2012, a stat line that looked similar to his 2010 and 2011 seasons … Finished 69th among wide receivers with 64.8 fantasy points … Maybe a bench player in deep PPR leagues, but that’s all.

Tight end: Brent Celek

Finished 21st among tight ends with 72.4 fantasy points after catching 57 passes for 684 yards and a score … Figures to enter camp as the starter, but will be pushed by free-agent acquisition James Casey (who might be more of an H-back) and rookie Zach Ertz, making this situation a fantasy mish-mash … Kelly’s Oregon squads didn’t throw to its tight ends very much.

Placekicker: Alex Henery

Henery placed 16th with 122 fantasy points in 2012 … His production slightly surpassed his opportunity, as he was 17th in field-goal attempts (31) and 27th in extra-point attempts (27) … Until we actually see the Eagles’ offense improve, there’s not much reason to draft Henery.

Team defense

This subpar unit finished 31st with 64 fantasy points in 2012 … It was 15th in yards allowed (5,491), T-25 in sacks (30), 30th in interceptions (eight), and scored only one touchdown … Kelly’s Oregon defenses led the nation with 131 takeaways from 2009-12, but there’s some rebuilding going on here.

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