The 2013 NFL season starts Thursday night as the Denver Broncos go up against the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. The start of the regular season for the Philadelphia Eagles follows soon after with the first Monday Night Football game of the year against the Washington Redskins. As the start of the season rapidly approaches, fans everywhere are doing their Fantasy Football drafts. The Eagles running backs will be looked at in this edition of the Philadelphia Eagles Fantasy Football Preview.
LeSean McCoy — McCoy is ranked tenth on ESPN's Fantasy Football 2013 Top 120 Running Backs list and 11th on ESPN's Fantasy Football Top 300 for 2013 list. Before the 2012 season, McCoy was ranked as the third overall running back and third overall player in fantasy football. His drop to 10th/11th this season is most likely due to the fact that he missed four games last season with a concussion. He also had an "off year" as he only had five touchdowns (two rushing, three receiving) all of last season after scoring 20 times in 2011. He also only managed an average of 98.5 rushing yards in 2012 when he had 108.3 in 2011.
Although he fell down the table of fantasy rankings, McCoy is still one of the best running backs in the league and it would be a wise decision to choose McCoy. During the 2012 season, McCoy brought in a total of 317.8 fantasy points with an average of 19.9 per game. It wouldn't be surprising to see his numbers increase this season since he is healthy and ready to go. With Chip Kelly bringing a new system to the Eagles, the offensive is going to be fast-paced. The faster the offense goes means they can get off more plays. It also means that McCoy has a chance to get more rushing attempts and more points for your fantasy team. Some might consider his 2011 performance a fluke after his performance last season, but don't be surprised if he comes close or even beats his 2011 stats this season. McCoy is an all-around threat to opposing defenses as he can break out on the long runs and catch the ball. Expect big things from McCoy this year.
Bryce Brown — When McCoy went down with the concussion last season, Brown stepped up from his backup role to run for 387 yards and four touchdowns during McCoy's four game absence. Brown was ranked as the 79th running back and 231st overall fantasy player for 2012. This season, Brown climbed the rankings to be the 40th overall running back on ESPN's Fantasy Football 2013 Top 120 Running Backs and 104th on ESPN's Fantasy Football Top 300 for 2013.
Brown has power and speed which has clearly shown. However, he had struggled in the preseason and also suffered a quadriceps injury which forced him to miss the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. Brown held on to the backup spot even with the rough preseason, but there is a chance Chris Polk may move to the backup spot at some point this season if Brown's struggles continue. As of right now though, Brown should get a decent amount of snaps, somewhere around the 100+ range, in Kelly's system. If McCoy were to go down again this season, Brown should be one of the hotter waiver claims. If you don't draft him, be sure to keep an eye on him if McCoy were to go down.
Chris Polk — Polk had a decent preseason and almost knocked Brown off as the backup running back. However, Brown held on to his position and Polk remains the third running back on the roster. There is a chance he could still become McCoy's backup if Brown continues to struggle, but for now it is a waiting game. Polk played on special teams last season and it is likely he will continue that this season. There really isn't any fantasy value in Polk so you should stick with McCoy and Brown come draft time.
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