When it comes to self-anointed "Dream Teams" few have failed worse than the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles. This team was a nightmare as they finished with an 8-8 record that included a 3-5 mark at home. They weren't much better in fantasy football circles either. Apart from RB LeSean McCoy , and to a lesser degree QB Michael Vick , if you soared with the Eagles on Draft Day, you crashed and burned in December. Hopefully the huge dose of humility will get Philadelphia flying straight during the NFL 2012 season.
Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Fantasy Options
Fantasy football owners who jumped on the QB Michael Vick bandwagon, hoping for a repeat of his NFL 2011 top five fantasy numbers, were left somewhat disappointed as Vick failed to crack the top ten QB list. After producing 30 total touchdowns (6 INT) in 2010, Vick dropped to 19 TD and tossed 14 INT in 2011. He also missed three games from weeks 11 through 13 though he redeemed himself with respectable numbers in the fantasy playoffs.
QB Vince Young, who started the whole Dream Team talk, was a miserable 66 of 114 for 866 yards, four TD and nine INT in relief of Vick. Young has since shuffled off to Buffalo to backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as he attempts to revive his faltering career continues. QB Mike Kafka will battle newly acquired QB Trent Edwards for the Eagles backup QB role.
Eagles QB Analysis: There is no denying Vick's skill set as a quarterback, not to mention the value that comes from his ability to gain ground with his legs. That said, he is going to need a monster year to get back to top five QB status. Owners can confidently select Vick as their QB1, but should also make sure they get a serviceable backup later in the draft.
Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Fantasy Options
Lincoln Financial Field is home to one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL. RB LeSean McCoy lived up to his draft day hype as he finished a close second to Ravens RB Ray Rice as the top running back during the 2011 fantasy football season. While that's all fine and good, there was some disappointment mixed in with McCoy's stellar production.
First, his catches out of the backfield dropped from 78 in 2010 to 48 in 2011. Second, McCoy was a no-show during the Fantasy Championship weekend as posted 45 total yards in his Week 16 contest against the Dallas Cowboys. While the lack of catches can be forgiven (as that was a flaw in the Eagles' overall offensive philosophy), the playoff bust was a tough pill to swallow.
Second year RB Dion Lewis out of Pittsburgh will be the primary handcuff for McCoy. The former Panther showed signs of what he is capable of when he posted 58 yards, with one TD, on 12 carries subbing for McCoy in Week 17 last season. Drafted No. 229 overall in the NFL 2012 Draft, RB Bryce Brown out of Kansas State is also in the mix here.
Eagles RB Analysis: Apart from being a stud at the position, McCoy is a rare bird in that he will not have to deal with any semblance of a committee system in Philadelphia. Fantasy owners gain a huge advantage when they can "set and forget" their RB1 on a weekly basis. If you have one of the first two or three picks on Draft Day 2012 - you should bag this real McCoy.
Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Fantasy Options
Fantasy owners looking to soar with the Eagles wide receiving crew ended up mostly grounded in 2011 as six Philadelphia receivers shared in just 13 total touchdowns. Selected early as a WR1 in all formats, boom or bust WR DeSean Jackson failed to crack to top 25 WR list after posting just 961 receiving yards to go along with a paltry four touchdowns.
While it's rare to have double busts at the same position, on the same team in the same year, the Eagles somehow managed to pull it off in 2011. WR Jeremy Maclin dropped from a 964 yards 10 TD stat line in 2010, down to 859 yards and 5 TD last season. Maclin gets a mulligan as he missed three games with a hamstring injury and experienced a rough off-season physically.
Third year receiver Riley Cooper will battle Jason Avant for the WR3 role in Philadelphia. Cooper busted out for 240 yards and one TD during the three weeks that Maclin missed. Once he returned to a reserve role, the 6' 3" former Gator managed just 75 receiving yards the rest of the way. Avant would be fantastic on the "All Magicians" team as he performs a Houdini on a regular basis.
Eagles WR Analysis: All reports have Maclin being in the best shape of his career as he enters the 2012 season. Remember, the former Missouri Tiger standout had a mysterious illness during training camp that caused him to miss practice time (and he lost 15 pounds) in last year's lockout shortened preseason. After failing to reach the top 30 list in 2011, I like Maclin to crack the top 15 WR list this season. Unless they fall to me at a decent price, I will leave the rest of the Eagles wideout crew to someone else.
Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Fantasy Options
It's been a rollercoaster ride throughout the last three seasons for TE Brent Celek . The Eagles' answer to TE Jason Witten (when it comes to toughness), Celek rebounded from his 511 yard 4 TD effort in 2010 (after 971 and 8 in 2009) to post 811 yards and 5 TD last season. Those are impressive numbers when you consider that Celek was dealing with injuries as he had hip and hernia surgeries shortly after the NFL 2011 campaign ended.
Eagles TE Analysis: Third year TE Clay Harbor will be the Eagles' primary backup, but he isn't a threat of any kind to Celek. Despite the fact that there are a lot of mouths to feed in Philly, a season above 1,000 yards receiving, along with near double digit touchdowns, is not out of the question for Celek. As a top end TE2, owners will get good value if they can snag Celek.
Philadelphia Eagles Fantasy Bottom Line: As outlined above, there are several high-end fantasy options in Philadelphia. After head coach Andy Reid and club GM Howie Roseman teamed up and ousted team president Joe Banner during the off-season, the Eagles are a now Patriots like "one-man show" with Reid in complete control of the club. If he wants to retain his lofty status, Reid had better get the Eagles to soar in 2012.