Turnover, Turnover, Turnover! No, not the type we are used to seeing like fumbles and interceptions, but player turnover. There are always teams and players that see depth chart changes from year to year but none so much as the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have made significant changes at the top of the depth chart. Nick Foles, starting quarterback for eight games, is gone. LeSean McCoy, leading rusher in 2014, is gone. Jeremy Maclin, leading receiver in 2014, is gone. With all the changes the Eagles fantasy outlook for 2015 will be tough to diagnose in the early going.
That being said, Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense produces results and the main players stand to score big time fantasy production. Maybe. Let’s break down the 2015 Eagles and see which players you can trust in fantasy football this year:
The odds on favorite to make the team are newcomer Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, and Tim Tebow. The starting job will go to Bradford or Sanchez and Tebow is expected to beat out Matt Barkley for the #3 spot. Despite not playing in a real game since week 7 of 2013 expect Bradford to win the starting job. If he can stay healthy he has huge upside and potential for a great fantasy year (see Nick Foles, 2013). Bradford would still be a risky pick considering his history of injury, of course. Sanchez did start 8 games last season and Bradford is brittle so he could see significant playing time. Regardless, either QB would be a risky play.
Demarco Murray will be a strong RB1. He will step right in and take over right where Shady McCoy left off. McCoy led the Eagles in rushing every game last year and Murray will do the same. Darren Sproles will also see a few carries and passes out of the backfield but that will be sporadic making him a tricky play. Ryan Mathews likely has no immediate value but if Murray goes down, he’ll be a great back to own with possible RB1 upside. Needless to say, he’s a strong handcuff option and a good stash even if you don’t have Murray on your roster.
Jeremy Maclin stepped up to the #1 WR for the Eagles when DeSean Jackson left, now who will step up to take Maclin’s place? A lot of attention is being given to rookie first round draft pick Nelson Agholar. He is expected to be a Week 1 starter and will see plenty of targets. Jordan Matthews has been generating praise and will also be a consistent option at WR2. Riley Cooper will see his share of targets also. Josh Huff is a shifty player to keep tabs on, but the guys you’ll actually be drafting are Matthews and Agholor, without a doubt.
Zach Ertz is a solid TE that will have a great fantasy year. He will see nearly 100 targets and will be a good TE1. He will continue to take snaps and opportunities away from aging veteran Brent Celek. I expect a breakout year for Ertz, who finally flashed true brilliance in spurts in 2014.
The Eagles may have overachieved in 2014 with their fantasy Defense and Special teams. They did score 11 touchdowns and had 49 sacks, but much of their production can’t be counted on to be replicated. Depending on the week they were subject to giving up a lot of points to opposing offenses. The Eagles have a dynamic special teams unit that is always a threat to create a big play. They would be a good play depending on the matchup they are in, but don’t go drafting them expecting a top-five unit again.
Cody Parkey was a Pro Bowl kicker in 2014. Expect no difference this year. The Eagles kick nearly as many field goals as any other team and that shouldn’t change. Parkey was 4 for 4 from 50+ yards and had 54 extra points. He is a very good option for your fantasy team.
*Photo credit – Keith Allison | Flickr