After Chip Kelly‘s arrival as the Philadelphia Eagles head coach last season, there were two trains of thought as to how their team would function under such high-octane force. There was the thought that they would steamroll teams to no end, or that their own power would cause self-implosion. Of course, there was actually a third option in which both ideas would be seen throughout the season. That’s eventually what happened, but after a year with the system, the kinks that disrupted the team’s success should be worked out. They seem to be proving that in the preseason thus far, and their preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers only solidifies that idea.
Players like LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles seem to be givens as fantasy stars this season following their historic campaigns from last season. Both were able to score touchdowns with a Foles pass to McCoy, but what’s most impressive is how the rest of the team is functioning and getting involved this preseason yet allowing their stars to shine.
Jeremy Maclin was left empty-handed in the end zone, but he was targeted nine times (hauling in eight of his receptions). It’s nice to see him becoming a go-to guy in the absence of DeSean Jackson. But the Eagles spread the ball at least twice to nine receivers in all, which is quite impressive. Of those players targeted, both tight ends in Brent Celek and Zach Ertz saw multiple receptions, and Rookie of the Year candidate Jordan Matthews did as well. However, spreading the ball means getting less individual progress for fantasy players. But fear not, because it appears the airstrikes from the Eagles’ passing game will be providing plenty of production even when limited.
Two-thirds of those multi-catch receivers hauled in double-digit average yards per reception. Nine of the players to record a catch had a pass good for 10-plus yards at least on one occasion. So the ball is being moved well and consistently even when their best players aren’t on the field. So keep in mind if one star from the Eagles on your roster goes down, don’t be afraid to pick up their replacement.
Of those players worth taking a look at later in the season should such an event occur, RB Matthew Tucker is definitely viable. He was able to punch in two tickets to the end zone and averaged nearly five yards per carry. Henry Josey also impressed by compiling just under 50 yards on four carries, including a 27-yard dash.
Last season the Eagles saw seven of their players break the Top 200 Fantasy Players list, and seven players are being selected within the Top 200 in fantasy drafts this season. But if they can maintain the ability to spread the ball and score points as fast as they have shown capable of, there could certainly be ten players in the Top 200 this season — especially if their kicker Alex Henery gets more field goal and point after attempts as I project him to.