He may look like Napoleon Dynamite, but Nick Foles is playing pretty darn well right now.
After tossing 16 touchdowns and zero interception in 2013, Foles would face perhaps his toughest test of the season on Sunday against a very, very tough Cardinals defense. How would he fare? What are the fantasy implications of this NFC battle?
Perhaps we need to start calling him “Foles’ Gold.” The Eagles quarterback continued his impressive 2013 campaign on Sunday, tossing three more touchdowns to go along with 237 passing yards. He now has 19 scores to zero interceptions, and if he tosses another touchdown before his first pick, it’ll be good for an NFL record. He’s been awesome, there’s no other way around it. During his last four outings, he is averaging a whopping 35 fantasy points per game. He’s been one of the best quarterbacks on a per-dropback basis, and his big-play weapons have played a large part in that regard. It’s hard to bench a hot hand, and considering he still gets to face Minnesota, Chicago, Denver and Dallas, Foles should be a top-10 option the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy is a top tier fantasy running back, and despite failing to score, he had a very productive game, rushing for 79 yards, while also hauling in five balls for 36 yards. No need to worry, as the Cardinals are the best defense that no one seems to be talking about, allowing just 81.3 rushing yards per game heading into this contest (2nd in NFL). McCoy is a top-five back, folks. However, I do wish the Eagles would stop getting so cute inside the red zone. They experiment with the Wildcat and read-option, rather than just feeding to their top player. As for the receiving game, both Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson failed to score, mainly because everyone in the world knows how bad Arizona is against tight ends.
Coming into this game, the Cardinals were allowing the most fantasy points per game to the position (17.59), as well as 11 touchdowns. I liked Zach Ertz this week, seeing as his teammate, Brent Celek, has been blocking a lot more lately. Ertz didn’t disappoint, catching five balls for 68 yards and two touchdowns, while Celek also scored. Arizona now has surrendered 14 touchdowns to tight ends this season, easily the most in football.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has been hot lately, throwing six touchdowns and just one interception during his last three games. A strong matchup, good play and strong weapons forced me to place him inside my top-12 this week, and despite some turnovers, he was good. Palmer lost a fumble and threw two picks, but still managed to throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. He was hurried and sacked five times, so the offensive line continues to be a concern. And with Andre Ellington sidelined for this game, veteran Rashard Mendenhall would seemingly have the backfield to himself.
It wouldn’t matter.
Mendenhall rushed 18 times for 76 yards. He had an opportunity to score after a pass interference call that placed the Cardinals at the one-yard line, but he couldn’t get in. Ellington will more than likely return to the lineup next week against St. Louis.
The receiving game was the most appealing aspect of this team today. Coming into this contest, the Eagles were allowing the most fantasy points per game to wideouts, coming in at 39.28. They continued to struggle on Sunday, as both Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd found the end zone. Floyd was one yard shy of his third-straight 100-yard outing, but has still scored in two of his last three. He is really coming on for this offense. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, was inside my top-10 this week, simply because of the matchup, as well as the fact that he murders the Eagles in his career. Now over his last five games, Fitzgerald has found the end zone seven times. He is heating up, scoring five times during his last five outings.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.