By David F. Cohen
The Eagles won 10 games and the division last season, and now a similar campaign wouldn’t be considered anything special. The electric Chip Kelly offense added diminutive but still quick Darren Sproles to catch passes, and catch passes he shall. Several young wide receivers were drafted in desperation, as well, and not merely for depth. They’ll play. The defense, in theory, has been improved, but is that really what we want in fantasy?
The surprise dumping of controversial yet productive wide receiver DeSean Jackson makes this the position to watch all summer. Veteran Jeremy Maclin has had his moments in the past, but he has never reached 1,000 receiving yards and is coming off another torn ACL. Can he really replace Jackson? Can anyone? Or will depth be the answer? Riley Cooper returns, but has many skeptics, as well, on and, unfortunately for him, off the field. And surprising Nick Foles nearly broke the NFL record for passer rating. Many eyes will be on him to do it again after he accounted for 30 touchdowns (27 passing) against two interceptions, although there’s no QB controversy. If new backup Mark Sanchez is playing, Eagles fans are praying.
Foles led everyone in standard fantasy scoring from Week 9 on last year. He beat Peyton Manning. Beat Jamaal Charles and every running back, too. One could select him as a top-five quarterback … or leave him out of the top 10. But the point is, his value is all over the place, and positive reports from training camp could affect things (even though that’s kind of foolish, if you think about it). Also expect sophomore tight end Zach Ertz to rise in the rankings by August as people realize what this offense achieved. He’ll be a popular sleeper at the position, close to the top 10. Finally, LeSean McCoy could go anywhere from first to third overall, depending on whether you love Adrian Peterson or Charles more, think Sproles is a brilliant addition who steals touches or is shot, or any other reason.