QB Michael Vick (Philadelphia)
I’m projecting a down year across the board for Vick once again. He proved last year that his performance against Washington in 2010 was a fluke. I expect him to regress back to close to typical Atlanta passing stats, where he never went over 3000 yards passing, only once threw more than 16 touchdowns and averaged 13 interceptions per game from 2004-2006. He’ll be slightly better because of Andy Reid’s offense and a great receiving corps.
He’s also a year older, which won’t help him, especially as a runner. Legs are normally the first thing to go on an athlete. And if he stops being as big of a threat to run, he becomes easier to defend as a passer. And this is before I mention all the injuries he suffers yearly. Basically, I don’t see him aging well and I wouldn’t recommend him as a fantasy starter.
Projection: 3150 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 520 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns (238 pts standard/272 pts in 6 pt TD leagues)
RB LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)
Andy Reid openly admitted he overused McCoy last season as the 208 pound speedster had a career high 321 touches. He shouldn’t have as many this year, but there is some talk that Reid was smokescreening by saying he’d cut McCoy’s touches. With YPCs of 5.2 and 4.8 over the past two years, he should still have a bunch of rushing yards either way.
He won’t score 20 times again, even without a decrease in touches. I don’t expect Michael Vick to rush for just 1 touchdown again, which will take a few touchdowns away from McCoy, who managed just 9 in 2010. Still, with his pass catching ability, his high YPC, and the explosive offense he plays on, he is once again a top-3 fantasy back.
Projection: 260 carries 1300 rushing yards 15 total touchdowns 60 catches 450 receiving yards (265 pts standard/325 pts PPR)
WR Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia)
Maclin was on his way to a career high season last year before getting hurt and still managed 63 catches for 859 yards and 5 touchdowns in 13 games. Over 16 games, that’s 78 catches for 1057 yards and 6 touchdowns. Now fully healthy (something he wasn’t last year even when he played) on what should be an overall improved Philadelphia offense, he could match or exceed those numbers this season.
Projection: 79 catches 1090 receiving yards 7 receiving touchdowns (149 pts standard/228 pts PPR)
WR DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia)
Jackson had 47 catches for 1056 yards and 6 touchdowns in 14 games in 2010 and 58 catches for 961 yards and 4 touchdowns in 15 games last season. A lot of his “struggles” last year can be attributed to him not having a long term contract, which he has now so he should have somewhat of a bounce back season this year, even if his “down season” last year wasn’t even that bad statistically. You do have to consider with Jackson that hasn’t played a full 16 game season since his rookie year.
Projection: 59 catches 1010 receiving yards 5 receiving touchdowns (131 pts standard/190 pts PPR)
TE Brent Celek (Philadelphia)
Last season, Celek caught 62 passes for 811 yards and 5 touchdowns, but you have to remember that he caught 42 passes for 511 yards and 4 touchdowns in Michael Vick’s 1st full season as a starter. With a healthy Maclin and a content DeSean Jackson, Vick will likely throw to his wideouts more than tight end Brent Celek, which should drop Celek’s production somewhere midway between 2010 and 2011.
Projection: 55 catches 690 receiving yards 4 receiving touchdowns (93 pts standard/148 pts PPR)