As part of the premium content package, we’re again unveiling dynasty capsules for every team in the NFL leading up to free agency and the NFL Draft. This year, we’re again going to do a follow-up on all the teams after all the free agency and NFL Draft movement to assess the impact of any players teams have gained or lost. Since these capsules are always done as a simple snapshot in time, we figured that was the best way to tackle the off-season and provide ultimate value for our subscribers. All in all, we’ll have close to 500 player profiles found in these capsules over the off-season.
For the second year running, Chip Kelly’s Eagles broke the franchise record for points scored in a season. Their 2014 total was third in the league behind only Green Bay and Denver; and they did it in spite of erratic quarterback play and a star running back who consistently frustrated fantasy owners. But as long as Kelly is at the helm, they will have a strong enough offense to provide dynasty assets at every position.
Nick Foles (Age: 26)
In my mind, Foles is nothing more than an ‘above-average’ quarterback, so a repeat of his 2013 season (27 TDs and just two INTs) was not going to happen. However, I didn’t expect him to regress into a turnover machine. The preseason began with consecutive interceptions and the regular season opener saw him lose two fumbles on his first three drives. He didn’t improve and his disappointing season came to an abrupt end with a broken collarbone in Week 9. However, despite the bad play, Foles still managed 20.9 fantasy points per game compared to 22.5 in 2013 and if he had played the full 16 games at this pace he would be tied for QB12 with Jay Cutler. If he remains the starter, then he should be firmly back in the QB1 conversation based on the offense and the volume that comes with it. Barring a Marcus Mariota miracle, I expect the Eagles to roll with Foles.
Mark Sanchez (28, UFA)
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Handsome. A joker. A great teammate – these are all characteristics of the former Jet, but unfortunately also things that mean squat for your dynasty team. He managed to score more points per game (21.3) than Foles (as well as Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford and Colin Kaepernick) and had quite an impact in 2QB/superflex leagues, but he carried on the Sanchez tradition of unwise decisions and numerous turnovers. Veteran quarterbacks who have had past success always seem to stick around and with the lack of talent in this year’s draft, he may have a chance to start somewhere. If this is the case, he holds some value in leagues with multiple starting quarterbacks.
Matt Barkley (24)
Barkley was supposed to be something. He could have been a top ten pick if he had declared for the 2012 draft, but he decided to stay and it landed him in the fourth round; and it was pretty clear early on that he wasn’t up to NFL speed. He doesn’t have a strong arm or athleticism and if he couldn’t beat out Sanchez, who can he beat out? He may spend a short amount of time as the number two on the depth chart over the off-season, but don’t be lured into a false sense he may have an impact.
LeSean McCoy (26)
To say his 2014 was a fantasy disappointment would be a huge understatement. Despite finishing third in the league in rushing yards; he was tied for 22nd in rushing touchdowns, had no receiving touchdowns and reached a point where he was even considered benchable by many owners. McCoy carries a whopping $11.95m cap hit in 2015 and there have been rumblings the Eagles may look to cut or move him. I can’t see it. Kelly wants him back and he wants to be back. If he is, Shady will be a good bet for a fifth 1,000-yard rushing season out of seven in a system that allows him to thrive. He still finished as a PPR RB1 (12th overall), and his touchdown total will increase after a down year where the team had injuries and a suspension to four of their five offensive line starters for a large part of the season. He is still in the conversation for the top overall dynasty back.
Darren Sproles (31)
Sproles was an unbelievable pickup for the Eagles last season. His impact on the return game and as an offensive spark plug was a huge part of the reason they had another ten-win season. However, having started the season with a bang fantasy-wise, he didn’t top 12.9 fantasy points in any game past week two. He was great for the team, but had his worst fantasy year since 2008 and had no receiving touchdowns for the first time since 2007. He doesn’t provide much chance for upside or volume, so is no more than a bye-week fill in or emergency replacement in your dynasty team at this point.
Chris Polk (25, RFA)
After the Eagles let Bryce Brown leave for Buffalo, it was assumed this meant the former Washington Husky would see more action. Realistically, it just meant even more LeSean McCoy with Polk only providing small chunks of relief yardage. I believe the Eagles will dive into this deep running back class and grab someone who can be groomed behind their star, deeming Polk expendable. He may end up sticking on the team, but I don’t think he is worth a dynasty roster spot except in very deep leagues or as a handcuff.
Kenjon Barner (25) and Matthew Tucker (23)
Chip Kelly has a tendency to bring in players who have played under him in the past, often to help other players learn the way he does things. Barner was signed to a reserve/futures contract seemingly for this reason, but is no sure thing to make the team in 2015. Tucker has had some nice preseason performances, but hasn’t done anything of note except setting the record for amount of times a player has said “yes sir” in a fun interview a couple of off-seasons ago. Neither should be owned.
Jeremy Maclin (26, UFA)
He has been productive, reliable and a great professional throughout his whole career and had his best totals in receptions, yards and touchdowns (tied with 2010) in 2014. He finished as the PPR WR9 and scored double-digit points in 13 of 16 games. Unlike DeSean Jackson, he is no diva and carries no baggage, so the Eagles would be wise to hold on. Assuming he returns, he is a good bet to live up to his ADP of WR22 with great production over the next couple of years. If he leaves, his situation will the key factor in whether or not he matches his great ’14 numbers (see Emmanuel Sanders, Golden Tate and Eric Decker for the importance of a team change).
Jordan Matthews (22)
It isn’t often that your favourite head coach on your favourite team decides to draft the one player you wanted him to draft. Matthews was a crush of mine for a long time before the Eagles traded up get him just under a year ago, so I was overjoyed. He had a solid first season, but also had many missed opportunities (drops, concentration and lack of aggression). I compared him to Marques Colston stylistically before the draft and would expect his career to be similar to the long-time Saint in terms of dynasty value and fantasy production (with slightly more upside). Colston has never gone over 1,202 yards in a season, but has also only gone under 902 yards one time. Expect similarly consistent numbers from Matthews as he progresses from his rookie line of 67-872-8 and breaks more big plays like his longest play of the year in the final game of the season.
Josh Huff (23)
Huff had a ‘rocky’ start to his career in Philadelphia (pardon the pun), but it might have been more magnified because of the immediate impact of Matthews and all the other 2014 rookie receivers. I think Huff will be a great NFL player for years to come, but it may not always result in fantasy success. He is versatile; contributing as a returner, running back and receiver and in his second year the Eagles will attempt to get him in more situations to thrive. He could have consistent WR3/4 seasons with the odd spell of big games, so at his current price I’m willing to buy.
Riley Cooper (27)
After a few decent games in 2013 had him in the conversation as a startable fantasy receiver, Cooper offered nothing in 2014. He can block well, knows the offense and consistently stayed on the field, but will never contribute enough to be a fantasy star and offers no upside. Why hold him?
Brad Smith (31, UFA) and Jeff Maehl (26, RFA)
Both are replaceable special teams players and not worth owning in dynasty.
Zach Ertz (24)
I have listed Ertz ahead of Brent Celek because of his higher dynasty value, but the Stanford man failed to live up to expectations in 2014 and is still behind the savvy veteran in the pecking order. According to Football Outsiders, Celek played 815 offensive snaps compared to Ertz’ 587, whereas Ertz spent a lot more time playing on special teams (210 snaps to Celek’s six). While this doesn’t in itself mean Ertz can’t perform on offense, the fact he couldn’t improve his game enough from year one to year two is concerning. I don’t see huge fantasy production, but he could be serviceable. Right now I would prefer the value many of the players behind him in the February ADP (Dwayne Allen, Tyler Eifert, Coby Fleener, Jace Amaro).
Brent Celek (30)
“When you talk about what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like… Brent Celek is what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like.” – Chip Kelly, October 2014. As I mentioned above, the solid veteran still rules the Eagles tight end roost. He is one of the best blockers around, but unfortunately unless you are in a PPB (points-per-block) league, then he offers no dynasty value.
James Casey (30)
Once thought of as a ‘movable chess piece’ with the potential to cause matchup problems, Casey has managed a meagre six catches for 90 yards over two years in Philly. He is due to earn $4m next year but there is no cap penalty if he is cut, so I expect the Eagles let him go.
Trey Burton (23)
Burton was a jack-of-all trades type at Florida in college, amassing 720 rushing yards and 976 receiving yards over four seasons, but went undrafted due to a lack of any real standout ability. However, he absolutely earned his roster spot with outstanding special teams play. The question now is whether he can push for offensive playing time. I expect the Eagles to add another tight end if they release Casey, and even if they don’t I cannot see Burton producing worthy fantasy numbers. He is only worth a stash in extremely deep leagues.
Just kidding. But Cody Parkey is pretty good.
I will hold on hope to the idea of the Eagles moving up to draft Mariota, but realistically it doesn’t seem feasible. However, I do believe they will draft a quarterback or add one in free agency (or do both). Kelly loves competition and will make sure Foles has to re-earn his starting position. The Eagles will likely add pieces at every offensive position during the offseason.
Your best off-season Eagles follows are:
- Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) at Philly Voice (http://www.phillyvoice.com/staff-contributors/jimmy-kempski/)
- Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) at Birds 24/7 (http://www.phillymag.com/author/skapadia/)
Eagles. Chip Kelly. Jordan Matthews. Dynasty Football. Hit me up @JS_Football
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