Former Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly replaced Andy Reid this offseason, taking over the head coaching job in Philly. Kelly, who was an outstanding college coach at Oregon, posting a 46-7 record over a four-year span, looks to bring his fast-paced and wide-open offense into the NFL.
What does this mean from a fantasy standpoint? Lets start with the facts: On average a team ran about 64 plays a game in 2012. The fastest-paced team? That just happened to be the Patriots, who averaged nearly 74 plays per game. They also happened to be the highest scoring team at 34.8 ppg. Obviously the Patriots roster is filled with talent, but they also give their players more opportunities to make plays. Chip Kelly has the same philosophy. At Oregon, he posted an incredible 81 play per game average. What does this mean for the Eagles players? It means more plays, more yards, more scoring, and of course, more fantasy points.
The Eagles have the talent. Lesean McCoy is a top-5 running back in the league, when he gets his touches. Flashback to 2011 and he posted 1300+ rushing yards along with 315 receiving yards and 20 (yes 20!) touchdowns. LeSean has the potential to post similar stats in this offense and I will be shocked if he doesn’t finish top-5 in fantasy points among all running backs. Bryce Brown, who had a couple of monster games while McCoy was hurt, should once again play the backup role and would only be a good fantasy pickup in deep leagues (or a handcuff for McCoy). DeSean Jackson is one of the fastest players in the league and has the ability to catch an 80-yard bomb every game. He’s hit 1,000 yards twice in his 5-year career and hit over 900 twice more. Jeremy Maclin is a great WR and a four-year player who has hovered just under 1000 yards receiving each season of his career. He grabs a decent amount of touchdowns also (22 in the last 3 years). James Casey has been brought in to play TE. He will pick up about 600 yards and catch a few TD’s; he isn’t Gronk, so don’t expect that level of production. The problem right now with the Eagles is the man under center. Michael Vick is a turnover machine and hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2006, which happens to be his only 16 game season. After Vick’s injury this past season, Reid decided to give the rookie Nick Foles a shot. Over seven brutal games he threw 6 TD’s and turned the ball over 10 times.
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Kelly has three options. Go with Vick, give Foles a shot, or pick a QB up in the off season. No matter what he does expect the offense to be high-powered and score more than their pathetic 17.5 ppg they scored last year. As far as the players go, they will get their touches. McCoy will get 20+ carries a game and Jackson and Maclin will both have 1,000 yards receiving. Either way, they should be fun to watch.