SMITTY: Do I worry about Nick Foles being an elite talent? Absolutely not. Do I worry about him getting injured behind a beat-up Philly offensive line? Yes. That said, anyone freaking out and jumping ship on Nick Foles needs to look at the facts. Depending on your scoring, Foles was the 4th-ranked fantasy football QB heading into Week 3, and he accomplished all that with some strange starts to Weeks 1 and 2, and in Week 3, that Eagles offense didn’t even touch the field once in the first quarter due to the flow of game and a Philly DST score. To put this into an even clearer perspective, Foles, again depending on your scoring format, was roughly 4-10 points off Peyton Manning, who through three weeks of play was roughly 2-3 overall for QBs in almost all leagues. Does Philly need to make some changes and secure up their offensive line? Yes, no question, but they should have RT Lane Johnson back for Week 5 against the Rams, and you can bet that Chip Kelly will be getting LeSean McCoy more involved in his offense moving forward. Some might be jumping ship on McCoy, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for selling high if that were even possible (which it likely is not)… but, selling low is a big mistake, as you just won’t likely get anything near what you deserve if you put him on your trade block. Keep the faith, as McCoy would still be a top 5RB if drafting for Weeks 5-16. Well, that’s how I see it. Could that change after another 2-3 bad weeks? Of course, but that still doesn’t mean selling low is smart management right now. Testing the trade waters isn’t unwise, but pulling the trigger on a bad deal isn’t going to change things for you if McCoy has been holding your back thus far. To put McCoy’s season into perspective, he had a solid first two weeks of the season, totaling 100 yards in each contest, and he scored in that Week 2 game. Those are not bad numbers, folks, not at all. His Weeks 3 and 4 were awful, as he ran 19 times for 22 yards (with no receiving stats) in Week 3, and he ran 10 times for just 17 yards (with no receiving stats) in Week 4. Those are pathetic stat lines for a top 2 overall pick. But, those first two games, where he averaged over 100 total yards and 0.5TDs, those games should be factored into your thinking here if you are a semi-panicked McCoy owner… Our Week 5 Buy-Low Candidates will be out Tuesday, so sign up for Smart Alerts to ensure you get that list emailed right to you!
SMITTY: It looks like Davis has a real shot at playing Week 4 against the Eagles. This will be an afternoon game, so hopefully we know his status prior to the morning set of games (and how will you find out? Smart Alerts!). For now, check out where we have Vernon Davis and all those Eagles offensive players Ranked on our Week 4 Power Rankings. This game could be a shootout, and look for Nick Foles to carry his Week 3 momentum into Week 4. Also, expect LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles to bounce-back in Week 4.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy left Thursday’s preseason contest with a thumb injury; he has headed to the locker room for x-rays. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a knee injury in the contest (looking like an ACL).
SMITTY: We will keep you posted on LeSean McCoy, but clearly not great news. Hopefully this ends up being minor, but it’s a reminder that Darren Sproles is a must-own for all McCoy owners in 2014. As for Jeremy Maclin, the guy just can’t stay healthy. He has a grip of upside, but this looked bad, like a torn ACL. We will keep you posted on this one as well, but give Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews and Riley Cooper a knee-jerk bump on your rankings for the time being.
According to Jeff McLane on Twitter, Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin continues to “toast” Darrelle Revis in 1-on-1 drills.
SMITTY: This news has to excite both Jeremy Maclin and Nick Foles owners, and it’s great for the rest of the receivers on that Eagles roster. A healthy and dangerous Maclin will allow Riley Cooper to do the damage I expect him to do in 2014; same goes for Zach Ertz. Anyone that rips on Maclin without at least acknowledging his ability vs. his risk was either burned by him in the past, or they haven’t watched the film in a while. Will he play a whole season? That’s the question, and you will get no argument from me there… he is a risk. But, if healthy, he has WR2-type appeal (and won’t cost near that value). Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?
According to Philly.com, Eagles WR Riley Cooper is in a walking boot; the receiver injured his foot over the weekend according to other reports.
SMITTY: While this is never a good thing, this doesn’t mean Riley Cooper is any kind of jeopardy of missing regular-season action. We will keep you posted, though. I love Cooper this season — If healthy, he could pull in 1,000 yards and 8+ scores, which would make him a crafty fantasy WR3 in 2014. Looking for Full-Season 2014 Fantasy Football Projections?
Eagles QB Nick Foles currently holds the NFL record for least amount of interceptions (2INTs) in a season where at least 25TD passes were thrown. According to other reports, Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin looks ‘fantastic’ right now in practice.
SMITTY: Nick Foles has a lot of believers, but for some reason he also has a lot of doubters still. The guy is proven. If you think 2INTs/11 games in a high-octane, fast-moving offense isn’t proof enough, I can’t help you. If you aren’t impressed with his all-time (tied) NFL record of 7TDs in one game, I cannot help you. If you aren’t seeing consistency developing here after the guy was on a 16-game pace (through 11 games) for 4,200 passing yards, 39 passing TDs, 300+ rushing yards and 4 rushing TDs (and Pro Bowl MVP last year), I cannot help you. Well, maybe I can if you give our Upside Board a read. The loss of DeSean Jackson worries me zero given the additions of rookie Jordan Matthews, Darren Sproles and return of Jeremy Maclin. Riley Cooper and Zach Ertz are also high-upside guys without question. Toss in the fact that Foles now has arguably two 60-reception receivers in both LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles, this is arguably the best group of receivers/rushers in the league. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings on all the players above?
According to ESPN’s Phil Sheridan, Eagles second-round rookie WR Jordan Matthews “had people at organized team activities comparing his physique to that of Terrell Owens and could be a star in the future.” The article also talks about second-year TE Zach Ertz taking “that key second-season leap in production and reliability.”
SMITTY: Jordan Matthews has received nothing but amazing reviews this off-season, and the thing is, he is being shoved into the most potent situation possible. That Eagles offense, led by rising star Nick Foles, is going to give Matthews more opportunities than he can handle, so we might see the rookie receiver mature rather quickly. Some might suggest that the loss of DeSean Jackson could slow down Chip Kelly’s high-powered offense, but with the additions of Matthews and Darren Sproles, who still managed to pull in 71 passes last year, I don’t see how this offense even stutter-steps in 2014. In fact, I think Nick Foles gets better… LeSean McCoy should pull in at least 50 passes this upcoming season… Riley Cooper is coming off an 8TD season and should improve to become a 1,000 yard receiver in 2014… Zach Ertz could make a big step in the direction of a low-end TE1… and while most refuse to count on Jeremy Maclin, there is no denying his talent or his opportunity (should he stay healthy). This offense is loaded with weapons! Buckle-up, Philly fans! For exact projections on all these guys, checkout our Draft Analyzer now!
According to philly.com, Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin is practicing “without restrictions” and has no limitations thus far. “He’s been cleared to do everything and has not missed anything,” coach Chip Kelly said.
SMITTY: While the casual fantasy football owner might see the loss of DeSean Jackson as devastating for Nick Foles and that Eagles’ passing attack, that offense is loaded with talent. In fact, I could argue that Philly is as deep as any team in the NFL in terms of players that can pull in passes. LeSean McCoy has averaged 54 receptions per season during his entire NFL career and had a career-best (by far) 10.4 yards-per-catch in 2013. Riley Cooper is coming off a season where he pulled in 47 balls for 835 yards and 8TDs, numbers he could crush in 2014 given that his role will likely expand with the departure of D-Jax. Jordan Matthews is receiving nothing but rave reviews so far this off-season, and many, including myself, expect a breakout campaign for Zach Ertz, at big target who could tower over last year’s stat line of 36/469/4TDs. Then you have Darren Sproles, who most people have written off, yet he still pulled in 71 receptions for 604 yards last year in New Orleans… 71! How is a runner that pulled in 71 passes last year being written off as he enters a Chip Kelly offense? So, back to Maclin… is he the for sure answer when it comes to replacing D-Jax? No, but I wouldn’t rule it out. He is an injury risk, sure, but he could be a 1,000-yard receiver, no question (if he stays healthy). The combination of Maclin, Sproles and Mathews will certainly fill the void left by Jackson, and all these Eagle players are on their way to huge 2014 fantasy football seasons. How huge? Check it out using your league’s very own scoring:
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