SMITTY: Wow, things just keep getting worse as far as 2014 injuries go… Nick Foles suffered a broken collarbone in Week 9, and while the early guess is that he will miss 4-6 weeks, we need to wait on test results to know for sure how much time he will miss. Mark Sanchez is a solid grab in 2QB leagues, and even in larger 1QB leagues. He is now commanding a very potent offense, so there is certainly some low-end QB1-type appeal during certain match-ups, and all those receivers from Jeremy Maclin to Jordan Matthews won’t lose much value if any, as that offense can be potent with either passer in there. LeSean McCoy is actually a decent buy-low if owners start freaking out about Foles getting hurt. Also, while I wouldn’t sell Jeremy Maclin at even fair market value, selling ‘high’ isn’t a bad idea, and that has nothing to do with Foles going down. Only sell if you are truly selling high, as he can still be a top 10WR down the stretch… selling players like Maclin on the ‘high’ doesn’t mean you don’t believe in them… you should only make such a move if it helps your line-up and you’re killing it on your side of the trade.
Lamar Miller suffered what appears to be a ‘stinger’, but we need to await MRI results on this one before we call his injury minor. Miller doesn’t seem worried, if that helps some fantasy owners rest easy.
As for Arian Foster, the news isn’t near as good, at least not initially. He suffered what looks like a pretty serious groin injury, and he fell down on his own during Week 9, which is never a good sign. Some sources are calling it a ‘soft tissue’ injury, and other sources sound pretty worried about his immediate availability. The good news here is that the Texans have a bye during this upcoming Week 10, so that gives Foster some extra rest. If Foster misses time after Week 10, Alfred Blue would likely see starter carries, which makes him a must-own if things head in that direction. We will keep you posted on all of this, and other news, all week long. Be sure to sign-up for our Smart Alerts
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 wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is already back on the field after suffering what looked like a severe knee injury. LeSean McCoy headed to the locker room for x-rays on his thumb.
SMITTY: Great news, as it appears Maclin just hyperextended the knee. Look for him to rest it a bit after this one. For those clinging to Maclin’s health when trying to predict how this Eagles’ passing attack does in 2014, it would survive without Maclin. While the team is clearly better off with the guy on the field, keep in mind that this passing attack has two 50-60 reception rushers in LeSean McCoy (thumb/toe) and Darren Sproles, and Zach Ertz and Riley Cooper are severely-underrated possession types. Jordan Matthews is a rookie, so I fully expect inconsistency, and maybe even a slow start, but he has huge upside if the offense ever needs to turn to him in place of Maclin. Nick Foles is in for a huge 2014, and if you want to see some crazy-bold predictions, just view Full-Season 2014 Fantasy Football Projections. We will keep you updated on LeSean McCoy’s thumb! Hopefully it’s minor.
Take a listen to Russ Bliss’ first radio show of the 2014 fantasy football season! Russ has been doing fantasy radio for over 20 years with his famous “The Red Zone” program, which airs on NBCSports Radio (1060am). Smitty is slotted to join Russ almost every Tuesday night, and below is the first show of the year. Take a listen!
The Red Zone With Russ Bliss
Guest: Smitty, Gary Davenport
Topics: Sleepers, Draft Strategies
Eagles QB Nick Foles completed 8-of-10 passes for 81 yards and 1TD (to Zach Ertz) in his Week 2 preseason outing against the Patriots. Rookie WR Jordan Matthews pulled in a team-high nine receptions for 104 yards; Ertz had two receptions for 26 yards to go along with his 1TD. Tom Brady was efficient despite an INT, as he completed 8-of-10 passes for 81 yards and a TD (pulled in by Kenbrell Thompkins.
SMITTY: Nick Foles has great rapport with Zac Ertz — Both are on our breakout list heading into 2014. Read more about that here. Tom Brady is very undervalued heading into 2014, as he has 6th-round redraft ADP right now – That’s crazy-good value!
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?
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 startribune.com, Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph should be in for a big year in 2014.
SMITTY: Talent has never been an issue for Kyle Rudolph, he just needs the football (and needs to stay healthy, of course). Norv Turner is good for tight ends (think Jordan Cameron last year), so Rudolph absolutely has “sleeper” written all over him entering this upcoming 2014 fantasy football season. A couple other tight ends that come to mind that have similar bargain-type value right now (according to ADPs): Charles Clay, Dennis Pitta, Zach Ertz. Check out our Week 1 Power Rankings for all mentioned players.
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!