QB Michael Vick (Philadelphia)
8/20/13: Michael Vick has been named the starter for the Eagles. The good news is he’ll have a better supporting cast than he did last season unless injuries strike at the same level they did last season and he has a new Head Coach in Chip Kelly who wants him to run more. Vick did look great in the pre-season in Kelly’s system and he has that Kelly has made him fall in love with the game again. That’s the good news.
The bad news is he’s almost a lock to miss 3-4 games with injury and I wouldn’t rule out him getting benched for Nick Foles or Matt Barkley later in the season, especially if the team is out of playoff contention. He’s averaged 11.8 starts per season over the last 4 years, starting 10 last season, and I think going into his age 33 season, the over/under for starts for him should be around 10.5. On top of that, he’s shown declining physical abilities as a result of age and his injury history and he’s more reliant on his physical abilities than maybe any quarterback in recent history. He was never going to age well. I think he’ll produce like a QB2 and it’s best to go with someone more reliable in a backup quarterback.
Projection: 2300 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 450 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns (191 pts standard, 219 pts 6 pt td leagues)
RB LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)
McCoy had a very solid stretch from 2010-2011, missing just 2 games and rushing for 2389 yards and 24 touchdowns on 480 carries, with 126 catches for 907 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. He looked like one of the best and most complete backs in the NFL. However, in 2012, he struggled along with the rest of the Eagles’ offense, rushing for just 840 yards on 200 carries, catching 54 passes for 373 yards and scoring just 5 total times, only twice on the ground. He also missed 4 games with injury. He should bounce back this year.
Projection: 250 carries for 1150 rushing yards 10 total touchdowns 58 catches for 470 yards (222 pts standard, 280 pts PPR)
RB Bryce Brown (Philadelphia)
Andy Reid and his pass heavy offense are gone and Chip Kelly figures to have his offense run the ball a lot. Also, Kelly favors a two back approach much more than Reid, who preferred to have one back do everything. Brown will get plenty of action as the #2 back behind LeSean McCoy. He rushed for 564 yards and 4 touchdowns on 115 carries and caught 13 passes for 56 yards last season.
Projection: 120 carries for 560 rushing yards 5 total touchdowns 15 catches for 90 yards (95 pts standard, 110 pts PPR)
WR DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia)
7/28/13: With Maclin going down for the season, DeSean Jackson should see an increase in targets. He’s currently the 32nd wide receiver off the board on average, going in the 7th or 8th round range, but he should be his team’s leading receiver by far and he’ll give you added value on the ground as well. He’s a nice value.
Jackson has rushed just 54 times in his career in 5 seasons, going for 371 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he could see that number increase this season as he’s expected to be used somewhat in that DeAnthony Thomas role. He won’t get a ton of carries, but the Eagles will do a lot of things to get the ball in his hands because of his speed. He’ll probably also see more short throws and screens than he normally does, as they attempt to get him the ball in space, and could easily surpass his career high 62 receptions, though he probably won’t reach his career 17.5 yards per reception average.
Projection: 67 catches for 1000 receiving yards 8 total touchdowns 25 carries for 170 rushing yards (165 pts standard, 232 pts PPR)