After a disappointing 2012 season, the fantasy outlook for Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was on an upward swing with the arrival of Chip Kelly as head coach heading into last year. McCoy fulfilled that promise, leading the league in rushing yards (1,607) and yards from scrimmage (2,146) along with 52 receptions and 11 total touchdowns (nine rushing, two receiving). He finished as the second-highest scoring running back in ESPN fantasy leagues (262 points), and McCoy will be a prominent part of Philadelphia’s offense again this year.
McCoy led the league in touches last season with 366, but he was toward the middle of pack in pass targets among running backs (65). With the offseason release of DeSean Jackson, McCoy could become a more consistent part of the Eagles’ passing game. The Eagles finished fourth in the league in rush attempts last year (500; 31.3 per game), and a fast-paced offensive approach all but guarantees similar volume this year.
McCoy was highly productive over the final seven games last season, with 830 rushing yards (130 yards or more four times), six rushing touchdowns and 23 receptions for 219 yards over that span. A dismal game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15 (eight carries for 38 yards and five catches for 68 yards) came at a bad time for fantasy owners, but McCoy’s run of production with Nick Foles in place under center down the stretch is still noteworthy.
McCoy is the unquestioned goal line back for the Eagles, but it surprised me that his 36 red zone carries where only tied for ninth-most in the league in 2013. There seems to be some untapped upside there, which makes double-digit rushing touchdowns a real possibility this year.
The addition of Darren Sproles this offseason looks likely to reduce McCoy’s role on passing downs, which makes sense after his big workload last season but also takes away some of his value in PPR leagues.
McCoy missed time in 2012 with a concussion, and did not miss a game despite ankle and hamstring issues at different points last year. Durability does not look like a major concern, but a big workload creates a bit of risk for fantasy owners.
McCoy is a potential No. 1 overall pick this year, and it would be surprising to see him go any later than third overall in snake drafts. He will of course be expensive in auctions as well, but McCoy is firmly in his prime (26 on July 12) and worthy of a lofty investment on draft day.
Bye Week: Week 7
Projected Round: First Round
Auction Value: $58 (ESPN.com)
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter.