Philadelphia Eagles 2012 Fantasy Outlook: Fantasy Football Fan’s Take

LeSean McCoy Has Established Himself as a Top Pick After Last Season's Performance

Yahoo Contributor Network

The Philadelphia Eagles have a plethora of talent on offense and defense, which makes them an annual NFC East favorite. Expectations were high last season, but look for a better start out of the gate from Michael Vick and Co.

Quarterback

Entering the 2011 season, Michael Vick was generally regarded as the second-best fantasy quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers. As it turned out, Vick failed to live up to his 2010 numbers and missed three games due to a rib injury. What's also discouraging is his drop in rushing touchdowns, as he had nine two years ago and only one last season. That drop can largely be placed on the emergence of LeSean McCoy, who scored 11 rushing touchdowns within the 10-yard line. Defenses will make it a priority to slow down the star running back, so bet on Vick to reach the end zone with his legs on more than one occasion.

From a passing perspective, Vick recorded career highs in passing attempts and passing yards. As long as he is playing under Andy Reid, Vick will be airing the ball out often to his speedy receivers. Injuries and an overall down year have placed a hit on Vick's stock, but he is still a solid option once the elite signal-callers are gone; just be sure to have a backup plan in place.

Running Back

LeSean McCoy has emerged as arguably the top pick in fantasy. After recording 1,624 total yards and scoring 20 total touchdowns, McCoy demonstrated that he can be counted on to be a dependable, all-around back. Because he's so effective as a runner and receiver, McCoy will always be in line to produce on a consistent basis. He may not score 20 touchdowns in 2012, but do not expect too much of a dropoff. Dion Lewis and Chris Polk will enter the season as his backup, and should see a little more action this year as Reid admitted that he overused McCoy last year. If you draft McCoy, be sure to handcuff him with Lewis.

Wide Receivers and Tight End

DeSean Jackson finally got his newly-desired contract and can now turn his full attention to his play on the field. Jackson is a threat to go off on any given week, but he disappears too often since he primarily runs deep routes. His inconsistency makes him more of a No. 3 fantasy receiver even though the Eagles have him atop their depth chart. His counterpart Jeremy Maclin is the better overall receiver because he runs more diverse routes. Maclin has the size to catch passes across the middle, but is also fast enough to stretch the field. He's worth taking as a high-end No. 3 receiver. Brent Celek was seldom used for most of the season, but had a strong finish, posting 13 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns in his final three games. While that may seem like a positive sign for him going forward, Celek is still a low-end fantasy tight end. The Eagles have many receiving options, which includes slot receiver Jason Avant and McCoy, so Celek can easily get lost in the shuffle.

Kicker

Alex Henery is an accurate kicker, making 89 percent of his field-goal attempts in his rookie year. However, he only attempted 27 field goals, with just six coming from at least 40 yards. The Eagles figure to be a high-scoring offense again, so Henery should be in line to post better numbers in his second season.

Defense

The Eagles defense severely underperformed after bringing in a host of big-name free agents. For much of the season the defense struggled in stopping the run and getting key stops, but they were tied for first in sacks with the Minnesota Vikings. Jason Babin and Trent Cole are elite pass rushers as they combined for 30 of the team's 50 sacks. The defense also closed out the season on a positive note, as they surrendered an average of 11.5 points per game in their final four contests. During the offseason, the Eagles drafted defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in the first round of April's draft and traded for DeMeco Ryans, who should improve the overall play of their front-seven.

Sources:

nfl.com

pro-football-reference.com

Travis Chan is a fantasy sports enthusiast and contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. You can follow him on Twitter @Travischan1.

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