After an explosive start to the season, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ “big three” — Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson — came to a screeching halt last week against the Denver Broncos. They came up very short for fantasy owners, each netting their lowest totals of the season.
But what better bounce-back opportunity could an offense ask for than a date with the horrendous New York Giants defense?
The Giants have been abused by opposing offenses so far, both on the ground and through the air. The news is great for Vick since he can hurt defenses either way. He was unbelievable in the first two games of the season, but didn’t look as sharp in the last two, completing just 47.4 percent of his passes and throwing only one touchdown.
He at least softened the blow for his owners by continuing to rack up rushing yards and he should have success with that against the Giants as well. They’ve struggled to contain quarterback scrambles and gave up a rushing touchdown to Cam Newton in Week 3. Newton also threw three touchdowns in that game, exposing glaring holes in the Giants’ secondary. Vick should have no trouble victimizing them this Sunday.
McCoy had 9.4 points against the Broncos’ league-best rush-defense last week, but despite the low total, his performance was still solid. He rushed 16 times for 73 yards — an average of 4.6 yards per carry — against a stingy front seven that had previously given up an average of less than 2.5 YPC to opposing running backs.
He also added one catch for 21 yards. Assuming he stays healthy, there’s a good chance that will wind up being his poorest performance of the entire season. The Giants rank in the bottom-five against the run, so Shady is a solid bet to bounce back against them and break countless ankles in the process.
Jackson had 16 receptions for 297 yards and two touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season. In the last two, he’s caught a total of five passes for 96 yards and no TDs. With the Eagles lacking a viable second option in the passing game, teams decided to double up on Jackson and dare Vick to throw to someone else. The plan worked, evidenced by the poor numbers from both players.
It’s possible the Giants will attempt to do the same thing, but they should have a harder time; they’ve surrendered a league-high 10 passing touchdowns so if they do double up on Jackson, they’ll be leaving themselves incredibly vulnerable elsewhere on the field, allowing those not-so-viable other options to become viable all of a sudden.
They don’t have the talent to shut down an entire passing game, so they just can’t afford to keep all eyes on Jackson. He should wind up with single coverage here and there and he’ll make the most of those opportunities. There’s no way he’s being held to a third-straight game under 10 fantasy points.
Chip Kelly‘s offense may have run out of some fuel in recent weeks, but they’ll have a full tank when they head to New York. Start these Eagles with confidence.