4 Months Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson told reporters at the Super Bowl that new Eagles coach Chip Kelly has informed him he'll use Jackson like Kelly did De'Anthony Thomas, "The Black Momba," at Oregon.
Thomas racked up 701 rushing yards, 445 receiving yards, 389 kick return yards, 222 yards on punts, and 18 all-purpose touchdowns in 2012. "Kind of similar to what De'Anthony Thomas was doing at Oregon," Jackson said. "He's like a little brother to me. I actually talked to him. He was passing on information to me, like I'm going to be pumped up and psyched to be in that offense. It just keeps defenses off guard any time you go in motion, fake play-action, go down the field. There's just so many things you can do."
4 Months Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson is "very excited about the opportunity" to play in Chip Kelly's offense.
"Just being in different positions in the offense, being able to come in to 2013 with a different look, no defense out there will have ever seen anything the Philadelphia Eagles have done," said Jackson. Usually we're spending time talking about Jackson's contract situation every offseason, but this winter Jackson is locked into a long-term deal and seems genuinely eager to get back on the field. Oregon didn't throw the ball a lot under Kelly, but we're high on Jackson and Jeremy Maclin moving forward.
What a wild weekend of NFL football! If you managed to survive and advance after the inordinate number of blowout losses, shutouts and underachieving big name studs then congratulations are in order.
Some studs such as Drew Brees, Andre Johnson and Adrian Peterson kept their owners alive while others picked a very inopportune time to lay an egg. Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles and Danario Alexander probably ended more than a few fantasy playoff runs this weekend.
As championship weekend awaits here are some names that stood out this weekend as possible plug-and-play options to help steal that Week 16 win. As well as a few names that may just be fantasy mirages and are best left alone.
Riley Cooper, WR, PHILADELPHIA: Cooper scored his third touchdown of the season on Thursday night and has filled in admirably for the injured DeSean Jackson. Over the past three weeks Cooper has played 95% of the Eagles offensive snaps and produced nine receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles seems to have an eye for Cooper as he has been targeted 21 times in the last three games. At 6' 3", and 222 pounds he is a nice red zone option for Philadelphia and has the Washington Redskins on tap for Week 16. Washington is among the top three defenses in allowing fantasy production to the wide receiver position and Cooper is looking at a strong fantasy finish to the 2012 season.
DuJuan Harris, RB, GREEN BAY: In the past two weeks Harris has rushed for 58 yards and scored a touchdown on very limited touches. Look for that to change moving forward because Alex Green is simply not getting the job done for the Packers. After a decent performance against the Lions in Week 14 where he amassed 66 total yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry, Green put up only 41 total yards on 14 touches against the Bears. Look for Green Bay to turn to the former Jaguar Harris, sooner rather than later. Green will still get some action on passing downs but Harris is due for a look as the No. 1 RB for Green Bay.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, WASHINGTON: It was a very nice week for Hankerson as he turned three targets into a two catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. For the season he now has 36 receptions for 521 yards and three touchdowns. Hankerson will be a hot name next week as a possible Week 16 starting option, but don't buy into it. Remember that it was Kirk Cousins under center for the Redskins and while he had a nice rapport with Hankerson, as soon as RG III returns,...
With the holidays around the corner, we must now factor weather conditions and other variables into the fantasy football season, which should be playoff time in most head-to-head leagues. With freezing conditions along with falling rain and snow in the forecast, there may be less points on the board and potentially decreased passing numbers in some contests.
In addition, injuries continue to pile along with the potential benching of key fantasy studs locked into their playoff seeding in the near future. With matchups over the next few weeks deciding the fate of your fantasy league's prized trophy, take a dive with me we prep for Week 15. If you listened to me last week, you started Seattle's defense that earned owners around 41 points in most leagues!
QB Andy Dalton - Although it will be chilly for Week 15's first game on Thursday, the weather will be favorable in comparison with other outdoor stadiums. With questions regarding the status of several quarterbacks up in the air this weekend, Dalton is a safe bet for a strong performance. His home and away numbers are very similar as he prepares for the Philadelphia Eagles, who have allowed multi-touchdown games to opposing quarterbacks for seven straight weeks. This will be a make-or-break game for Cincinnati, who still has a shot at making the playoffs. Look for a strong performance from Dalton.
Week 15 forecast: 225 passing yards, 2 TD
RB Reggie Bush - After a dynamic start, Bush cooled down mid-season with decreased production and a shared workload with Daniel Thomas. The Miami running back has experienced a slight resurgence and earned 65 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards off of seven targets in Week 14. Although he did not find the end zone, Bush did break the 100 total yards mark for the first time since Week 2. With weather as a non-factor and a matchup against the New Orleans Saints, who have allowed more rushing yards, receiving yards and overall points to opposing running backs, Bush should have a huge performance this weekend.
Week 15 forecast: 110 total yards, TD
WR Josh Gordon - It is difficult to remember when a Cleveland Browns receiver was considered a "must-start." Gordon has been relatively consistent and even heating up during the Browns' recent win streak. He is averaging more than 100 yards over his last two games and was targeted 12 times last weekend. Gordon will be a heavy contributor to fantasy teams with a matchup against the Washington Redskins, who have...
The final few weeks of the fantasy football season comes with its own set of challenges. Teams are not only fighting through a litany of injuries, but many teams who find themselves out of contention are quietly beginning the process of preparing for next season. With several young and emerging players getting extended looks setting your fantasy playoff roster can be tougher than ever to fill out. Which situations should you be monitoring as we close the season out?
No waiver wire addition will draw more attention than David Wilson this week, and the interest is well warranted. Wilson eclipsed 100 yards and was responsible for three total touchdowns in the Giants thumping of the Saints. Wilson was already receiving an expanded role with Andre Brown landing on injured reserve. As if that opportunity was not enough, we find out that Ahmad Bradshaw is banged up with a knee injury. Owners who have Bradshaw have to cash in the insurance policy with Wilson. A start or two down the stretch would make Wilson a must-own player in all leagues.
With the Cowboys pushing to make a run towards the playoffs in the muddled NFC East the ominous word out of Dallas on Monday is that Dez Bryant suffered a finger injury that may require season ending surgery. This season Bryant has focused on beating defensive backs and has developed in to an every week WR1 starter. Teams who have relied on Bryant to get them to this point will need to prepare for his possible absence.
Danario Alexander is a solid option that fantasy owners should give consideration to adding to fill in at reveiver. Alexander has always had the talent to perform at a high level and this season he has shown that ability to stay healthy and is getting reps as a starter. Alexander displaced Robert Meachem half way through the season and has been developing a nice rapport with quarterback Philip Rivers. Despite some tougher matchups, Alexander should be added for owners who need depth at receiver.
With DeSean Jackson's season over, the Eagles' Jason Avant has had an opportunity to step in to a starting role. Avant does not possess the overall talent that Jackson offers, but he does have reliable hands and veteran savvy. Avant hauled in seven catches for over 100 yards on Sunday against the Buccaneers and will offer your fantasy squad a reliable option over the last several weeks if you find yourself desperate at receiver.
Brent Celek has already been ruled out for Week 15 with the lingering...
Fantasy playoffs are finally here, and I have to say this hasn't been my best season overall. It all started when I put my faith in Matthew Stafford way back in August and he sunk me early in the year. I came back strong is some of my leagues, but in others I just dug myself too big a hole that first month.
My best performance actually has come in FFPC's Pros vs. Joes contest, where I'm currently 14th overall with four weeks to go. I may have even had a shot to win the entire thing if Eric Decker hadn't fallen off the face of the earth over the last couple of weeks. For a guy that loves to make moves, I find it funny that a draft I did in July and doesn't allow owners to trade or use a waiver wire ended up being my best effort this year.
So the end is near, and I hope you have all had a great season. Just a couple of more columns left for me before I call it quits. Before then, though, here are the players I'm buying and selling heading into Week 14:
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia -- Foles is a guy I liked in college at Arizona. You have to remember one thing about Foles: he played for Mike Stoops. If you don't already know, Stoops is the worst coach in the history of organized football.
Stoops was so busy screaming at his players and getting on TV that he didn't realize Arizona had one of the worst offensive lines in the country and his players quit on him. The one guy who didn't quit was Foles, who took a massive beating every week and made plays while running for his life.
I thought Foles showed a lot of leadership and toughness in college, and I've been impressed with his limited action in the NFL. I think people are being a little tough on the guy. I talked above about his college team quitting. Well, it's not like all the Philadelphia Eagles are playing like their lives are on the line either. Anyone who saw their game against the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago can see that much.
Foles is playing behind basically a second-string offensive line and without DeSean Jackson, but he's still getting better every week. Does Foles have a ways to go? Sure he does, but the kid has stepped into a hot mess on a team that is about to go through a lot of changes. I think with an entire offseason under a new regime, Foles will be much improved in 2013.
It's still very early in his career, but I liked what I saw out of Foles in college. I witnessed many of those same traits on Sunday against Dallas. If you play in a keeper league,...
The gracefully collapsed Philadelphia Eagles have provided fantasy owners with far too many nightmares this season. First it was Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy, who were claimed by the injury reaper. Then, this past week the Eagles announced the loss of wide receiver DeSean Jackson for the remainder of the regular season, which in a lot of eyes was the final slash to a dreadful array of disappointments.
However, with disappointments always come new opportunities. Such is the case for running back Bryce Brown, who broke out in a big way last week against the Carolina Panthers to the tune of 178 yards and two touchdowns in the absence of McCoy. There's more, though.
After careful review of Brown's highlights I witnessed something critical to the success of the Eagles' rushing attack moving forward. They have wide receivers who actually want to be physical with their blocks on opposing defensive backs.
You see, as explosive as DeSean Jackson is when he is lined up wide, he offers next to nothing in the physical department when asked to extend his arms without the pigskin. On the other hand, I watched Riley Cooper make several important physical blocks that helped spring Brown down the field. Same goes for Damaris Johnson.
McCoy is out again this week against the Cowboys. This means that Brown will get the start and should make his way in to several fantasy lineups as well, even against a 13th ranked Dallas run defense. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect a repeat of last week, but another 100-yard game certainly isn't out of the question, especially if Mr. Cooper is spotted leading the way through the Cowboys secondary.
P.A. -- Playbook Artist
It's second and just two yards for the Miami Dolphins. There is just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter with the Seattle Seahawks ahead by seven. The Dolphins are lined up in the same strong formation alignment they lined up in earlier twice --- two wide receivers split to the right side, one tight end to the left, and fullback Charles Clay lined up two yards behind the line of scrimmage and in front of Daniel Thomas's right hip.
The Seahawks are lined up in a 4-3 Cover 1 defense. There is man coverage on both wide receivers courtesy of Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. Safety Kam Chancellor will come all the way up in to the box in between middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and outside linebacker KJ Wright, while free safety Earl Thomas is deep middle. Outside linebacker Leroy Hill will be responsible for...