October 27, 2009
It was the least competitive Monday Night game of the season and devoid of any second-half drama, but that doesn't mean last night's tilt in Washington was lacking for fantasy angles. Let's do an audit of the roto implications and put a wrap on Week 7. Bingo cards sold separately.
• With the Redskins: It should have been a banner night for Chris Cooley(notes), playing under the lights and going up against a Philadelphia defense that's powerless to stop any tight end in the passing game. Alas, Cooley broke his right foot in the first half and he's going to be out for at least a month if not the balance of the year (Adam Schefter says Cooley has a shot to play again this season). Backup TE Fred Davis(notes) stepped in for Cooley and was useful in the passing game (eight catches, 78 yards, touchdown); he's capable of being a Top 12 tight end forward, but like most of his teammates, his blocking is a liability.
Jason Campbell(notes) finished with solid fantasy numbers (29-for-43, 284 yards, two TDs), albeit much of the production came in garbage time and had no direct impact on the game; Campbell threw for 123 yards in the final 10 minutes. Campbell didn't get any favors from the Washington offensive line – it was a turnstile all night – but that doesn't mean he's free from blame: Campbell held the ball too long on some of the six sacks; he showed terrible pocket awareness on a lost fumble; he mishandled a couple of snaps out of the shotgun; and he threw an ugly pick-six in the first half.
Add it all up and it's business as usual in the Campbell debate; the haters can easily find something to pick on, while the apologists will point to the 91.6 QB rating and the out-the-door numbers. I'd like to see Campbell make it a habit of throwing past the marker on third downs, but obviously on some snaps, the offensive line didn't give him a chance.
Clinton Portis(notes) didn't see any running lanes (14 carries, 43 yards) and you can see it's getting to him; his second-half helmet spike on the sideline was his most explosive moment of the night. Santana Moss(notes) was a decoy for most of the first half but came alive down the stretch (6-74) when Campbell finally started chucking the ball downfield. Devin Thomas(notes) made a rare contribution (3-45, TD), though the Eagles helped the cause by conveniently forgetting about him at the goal line. The schedule is a monster for the Redskins after their Week 8 bye: say hello to Atlanta (4-2), Denver (6-0), Dallas (4-2), Philly again (4-2) and New Orleans (6-0).
• With the Eagles: Andy Reid's offense hit on a couple of big plays to DeSean Jackson(notes) (67-yard touchdown run, 57-yard touchdown pass), but otherwise it was a lost night for the Philadelphia offense. The Eagles ended the night with a mere 11 first downs and 262 yards of offense. Losing Brian Westbrook(notes) to a concussion in the first period didn't help, of course. The Philadelphia Daily News is speculating that Westbrook probably won't be able to go against the Giants on Sunday; we'll see what we learn during the week.
LeSean McCoy(notes) got the rock in Westbrook's absence but didn't do much with the opportunity (14-37 rushing, 5-30 receiving), in part because the Philly offensive line was handled by the Redskins front seven. Reid fiddled around with a handful of Michael Vick(notes) snaps and some Wildcatty stuff; with the exception of one nice Vick run, just about all of those plays died on the table. Jeremy Maclin(notes) had a steady five grabs for 53 yards and did a nifty job blocking for the Jackson touchdown run. Let's cut Brent Celek(notes) a break for the quiet evening (3-8 receiving, five targets), it's the first time he's disappointed us all year.
The Eagles defense did a bend-don't-break act for most of the night, but fantasy owners don't mind because there were plenty of destructive plays along the way (six sacks, four turnovers, one runback TD). The test gets steeper for that unit in coming weeks; the Giants, Cowboys and Chargers are next up on the Philadelphia schedule.
I've broken down and joined Twitter with my other roto colleagues (@scott_pianowski); if you're involved in that community, feel free to add me.