LeSean McCoy Fantasy News
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 4:26pm
The Eagles ran a package with RBs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles on the field together. On one play, they both line up in the backfield. On the next play, Sproles sets up in the slot and runs a shallow crosser.
This could be a dangerous package for defenses to stop as both McCoy and Sproles are good out of the backfield catching passes. It also shows that Sproles may not just be limited to lone-back formations backing up McCoy or even just third downs or returns.
Philly Mag's Sheil Kapadia... The pressing question: Will Chip Kelly lighten LeSean McCoy’s workload? On his way to setting the franchise record for rushing yards, McCoy led the NFL in carries (314) and touches (366). Only Chicago's Matt Forte played more snaps. The Eagles added Darren Sproles in the offseason. Does that mean they want to give McCoy more of a breather in 2014? The answer, as I see it, is no. McCoy often mentions how his running style lends itself to fewer big hits, and the numbers suggest there could be something to that. In the Eagles' final four regular season games, he piled up 519 yards and averaged 6.3 YPC. In the fourth quarters of games, he led the NFL with 441 yards and averaged 6.0 YPC, according to STATS, Inc. In other words, there were no signs that his production took a hit because of the heavy workload. McCoy is only 26 years old and the focal point of the Eagles' offense. Matching last year's number of touches would be no surprise. Assuming health, he's as close to a lock as there is to finish as one of the top three rushers in the NFL.
Due to the arrival of Darren Sproles and Jordan Matthews, and the expected emergence of Zach Ertz, we would be surprised if the Eagles didn't lighten McCoy's workload a bit. We currently have him projected for 337 touches, which represents an 8 percent drop in touches. He's still a top 3 RB in both PPR and standard formats.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:43pm
Part of the expected release of pressure on Eagles RB LeSean McCoy comes in the addition of Darren Sproles, the dynamic running back who is the NFL’s leader in all-purpose yardage since 2007. That the Eagles parted with a fifth-round pick tells you that the team has a large role in mind for Sproles, who had no fewer than 71 receptions in each of his three seasons with the Saints. Meanwhile, Sproles should be expected to contribute as a returner on special teams as well – which is something the Eagles are well aware of after his 39-yard kickoff return in the Wild Card round put New Orleans in great field position to set up the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Given the amount of plays the Eagles should run, McCoy shouldn't lose a ton of fantasy value with the presence of Sproles. However any hit will likely be some receptions. Still, we think McCoy and Sproles are around the 50-catch mark this year. Sproles could have some value in deeper PPR leagues.
Sunday, July 6, 2014, 2:23pm
One of the few guys on offense who can expand his role in 2014 is Eagles RB Chris Polk, and given the success he had last year, I’d expect Polk to produce even more as LeSean McCoy’s backup than Bryce Brown did last year. Part of the reason the Eagles were willing to part ways with Brown was the emergence of Polk, who made the most of his very limited opportunities on offense last year. Polk only got the ball 11 times, but he rushed for three touchdowns and 98 yards, averaging just under nine yards per carry. He scored a touchdown against Denver in Week 4 on his first carry as a pro, a 4-yarder.
Polk also plays special teams which is another reason the Birds could part ways with Brown. Mosher feels the team would give a lot of work to Polk if McCoy were ever to miss time, even though the team is going out of its way to say newly-acquired RB Darren Sproles isn't a receiver. Polk is someone to keep in mind as a handcuff to McCoy and we should get a better feel as to what his role will be this season during camp.
The Jaguars have floated out 12-15 carries a game for RB Toby Gerhart. Earlier this off-season, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said: “The league has turned into one that there wasn’t a one player who averaged 20 carries per game last year – no running back had 320 carries last year. [Philadelphia’s] LeSean McCoy was closest with 314. So you’re not looking for that workhorse back per se that can handle 20-25 carries every game for 16 weeks. It doesn’t happen.” Since five backs reached 320 carries in 2010, only three backs have done so: Jones-Drew (343 in 2011), Peterson (348 in 2012) and Alfred Morris (335 in 2012). If the Jaguars are in more games, that will mean more rushing attempts, but look for Gerhart to be in that 12-15 range (with a couple outlier games) and have roles for Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson.
Gerhart has touched the ball 15+ times in seven career games -- that's carries and catches -- and has averaged low-end RB1 numbers (12.6 FP) with that type of workload. The former Heisman candidate will start for the Jaguars and should see a lot of work in that role. Gerhart has fantasy RB2 potential as a lead back.
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy on QB Nick Foles: "Nick, he wants to play, he wants to get better," McCoy said, via CSNPhilly.com. "He’s playing lights-out even in camp, but he still wants to be at a higher level. He’s at that peak where people know him like, ‘Man, this Foles, is he that good?’ Because you see the stats, you see the numbers. I think this is the year he blows ‘em out like, ‘Yeah, I’m Nick Foles. I’m Philadelphia’s quarterback. I’m the guy.’ And this is the year he blows it away."
Foles posted the #3 PPG in 2013 and in 11 starts (including the playoffs) he averaged 23.1 FP, which was second only to Peyton Manning. DeSean Jackson is gone, but the return of Jeremy Maclin, the arrival of Darren Sproles and Jordan Matthews and the likely emergence of Zach Ertz should offset that loss. The only other question mark is his limited body of work. Sometimes quarterbacks take a step back in their second year as a starter — it’s also Chip Kelly’s second year as head coach — though Foles played at such a high level that even with a step back, he should still be a solid QB1.
Monday, June 30, 2014, 3:47pm
Eagles OT Lane Johnson has been suspended the first four games of the upcoming season after testing positive for PEDs. There has been no confirmation of the report yet from the team. If true, the loss of Johnson is a massive blow to an Eagles' offensive line that is loaded with starters but thin on backups.
The Eagles line bounced back after an ugly 2012 season and helped pave the way for LeSean McCoy to lead the league in rushing. Fourth-overall-pick in 2013 Johnson was a big part of that. If true, Johnson would return Week 5. While it certainly doesn't help, McCoy shouldn't lose his top-three value heading into drafts.
Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno is going to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He'll be out four to five weeks. That means he could miss the start of training camp and possibly the first preseason game or two.
This is a setback for Moreno who showed up to camp out of shape and will have trouble getting into football shape while he's rehabbing knee surgery. Lamar Miller looks like the RB1, at least to start the season. He's capable of fantasy RB2 numbers if the team shows faith in him. Last year, he didn't get consistent touches, but there is a new offensive coordinator (Bill Lazor, formerly of Philadelphia) and Miller might be a (very) poor man's LeSean McCoy.
Monday, June 23, 2014, 9:14am
Between Darren Sproles, LeSean McCoy, Jordan Matthews, Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, there will be enough pass-run options within this offense to keep opponents honest, and the Eagles figure to be better in short-yardage situations. Look for them to play their "12" personnel package (two tight ends) more as well.
The two-TE package is important for Ertz who may not be able to beat out Celek for in-line TE duties.
A closer look at the 2013 numbers shows that Eagles TE Zach Ertz played 45 percent of the snaps during the second half of the regular season, compared to 36 percent over the first eight games. Twenty-two of his 36 catches came in the second half of the year, as did all four of his touchdowns. Asked how he sees his role expanding this year, Ertz replied, "I think you kind of saw it the second half of the season what went on, I was used all over the field, so hopefully it's more of that." HC Chip Kelly explained that Ertz [as well as James Casey] is being used as a "move" tight end in this offense. That is similar to the way Aaron Hernandez was deployed in New England -- as more of a "Joker" that lines up in various spots and is used primarily as a pass-catcher. Brent Celek is more of the traditional "in-line" tight end where blocking is a bigger priority. It's not really about taking snaps away from the vet at this point -- Ertz and Celek are playing two different positions in a way -- it's more about using packages where they are on the field together. Chances are we'll see a good deal more of Ertz, who averaged 13 yards per reception in '13.
It's going to come down to whether Kelly wants to play Ertz ahead of one of his receivers (Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper or Jordan Matthews) or ahead of Celek. Only four of those five players can be on the field with LeSean McCoy. A rotation could lead to plenty of passing downs for Ertz, but his upside will depend on his playing time.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:58pm
The Eagles dealt Bryce Brown on draft day, and one of the reasons was their optimism in Chris Polk. The running back had offseason shoulder surgery, but he’s a player that the coaching staff likes quite a bit. Polk has good size and an aggressive running style. He had only 11 carries last season, but he finished with 98 yards and three touchdowns. Polk’s workload will depend on LeSean McCoy’s health and how involved Darren Sproles is in the running game, but the Brown trade should be viewed as an encouraging sign for Polk. “Obviously we have a talented one in LeSean, and then when you add Sproles to the mix, where does Chris fit into it?” Kelly said. “ But I think in terms what has he done in the offseason, I think he's really put himself in the picture.”
Eagles HC Chip Kelly insists Darren Sproles is a running back and not just a receiver out of the backfield. Sproles has had more receptions than rushes in three of the past four seasons. He said that’s the way the coaches want to use him in New Orleans’ offense. He has never been a primary running back in his career, which has also helped extend his career. Sproles operates best in space, away from big bodies. The Eagles don’t want Sproles to siphon carries away from McCoy, so don’t expect Sproles to become a major rusher in Philadelphia, but he will still be used in the running game. Sproles is another option for Kelly, and he can become a weapon in man-to-man coverage in the hurry-up offense. Kelly emphasized that he wanted to take advantage of one-on-one coverage; a matchup with Sproles against a linebacker will be an advantage for the Eagles. The key in the offense is to have versatile players who can fill different roles, and Sproles does that. He will also be valuable as a returner. Sproles turned 30, and the Saints were aggressive in moving him, so he needs to prove that he’s not about to take a sharp decline.
Bryce Brown (75 carries, 8 catches) was traded to the Bills, so someone will need to carry the ball to give LeSean McCoy a breather. Sproles is a better runner than people think, as evidenced by his career 5.1 YPC, but he's not a player the Eagles want running inside. It sounds as if Kelly has big plans for Sproles in the two-minute drill and in the passing game.
Monday, June 2, 2014, 7:27pm
The practice fields at the NovaCare Complex became suddenly quiet when Jeremy Maclin fell to the ground and ignored chiding from the defense to get up. The jokes stopped once Maclin grabbed his left knee. It wasn’t the ACL knee, but to see the wide receiver go down during a non-contact drill -- although there was some contact (more on that later) – had to be a frightening moment for the Eagles. But Maclin quickly smiled and chuckled when LeSean McCoy ran over and said something and just seconds later bounced up from the turf and walked back to the huddle. He said afterward that he was OK.
Maclin was the #13 WR in 2010, #31 in 2011 and #27 in 2012 before tearing his ACL last summer. The Eagles don't throw as much under Kelly as they did under Andy Reid, but Maclin has the talent and opportunity -- DeSean Jackson is gone -- to be a fantasy starter in 2014, provided his knee is good to go. We wouldn't describe him as a durable player, however.
The Bills acquired former Philadelphia Eagles backup Bryce Brown on Saturday for a conditional future draft pick and a swap of seventh-rounders. The Eagles announced they'll get a fourth-round pick in 2015 or a third- or fourth-rounder in 2016 in the deal.
Brown had his moments as a rookie, rushing for a combined 347 yards and four TDs against the Panthers and the Cowboys with LeSean McCoy sidelined with an injury. He joins a crowded Bills backfield, so he may not get much of a chance to carry the ball barring an injury to C.J. Spiller and/or Fred Jackson.
The NFL's rushing champion, LeSean McCoy, was a guest on ESPN's Mike and Mike on Friday morning. He was asked his thoughts on the addition of Darren Sproles. The Eagles sent a fifth-round pick to New Orleans for the dynamic all-purpose back in March. McCoy could view the addition of Sproles as someone who will cut into his workload, but the All-Pro has a different take on the move. "I think 366 touches is a lot," McCoy said of his combined rushes and receptions last season. "Being in the prime of my career and bringing in a guy like Sproles who can do so much, we'll work well together. I think having me fresh in the fourth quarter with fewer carries can be even more dangerous."
McCoy was the #2 RB in standard formats last season and figures to be a safe pick in the 1st round despite the addition of Sproles. The Eagles' offense is so productive and HC Chip Kelly will have to account for the departutre of DeSean Jackson; McCoy can help offset that loss.
- Page 1