Chip Kelly traded one bird for another this offseason. But how long until fantasy football owners start offering him another kind of bird?
The short answer? No idea.
There are so many questions regarding Kelly, the former Oregon Ducks coach now with the Philadelphia Eagles, and his unique offense. Will it translate to the NFL? Will he even use the same offense that he ran at Oregon? What becomes of Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and company?
There still are so many unknowns in Philly this offseason. Until we get to see Kelly’s offense at work in training camp and the preseason, it is going to be difficult to judge. Still, here are a few thoughts about some of the more pressing questions:
Michael Vick vs. Nick Foles
Early indications are that this is a neck-and-neck battle for the starting QB job. Foles apparently has a decent grasp of what Kelly wants to achieve. It might be hard to fit Vick into Kelly’s system being that he is older and more set in his ways. Still, I think a healthy Vick will win the job from Foles in training camp and enter the season as the starter. I also think Vick is a decent value in fantasy football drafts right now. I do, however, have some serious concerns with the passing game (see below).
LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown
Kelly’s offense at Oregon significantly favored and utilized running backs. That is why both LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown will be start-able fantasy football running backs most of this season. Brown would likely fit well in leagues with flex positions, but I could see fantasy owners using both of these players in good matchups. Kelly’s Oregon teams often ran the ball 60 percent or more of the time. There will be plenty to go around for both these backs if Kelly sticks with the run.
Diva Receivers in a College Style Passing Offense
Jeremy Maclin is in a contract year. He wants to get paid, and that usually is a good thing as far as statistics go (though I’d love to see some research on contract-year players). Desean Jackson has been a diva for the better part of the last two years now, and recently got demoted by Kelly in practice for a short time. All of this before you even add in Kelly’s passing philosophy, which many pundits think will not work in the NFL. That means he’s likely to tweak the passing game. How will that go over? Too many concerns here. If I had to bet, though, I’d put my money on Maclin having the best season among the WRs.
Steer Clear of the Tight Ends
Kelly recently praised Brent Celek for his blocking skills. Meanwhile, the coaching staff has lamented the blocking skills of Zach Ertz, but lauded his receiving skills. Also, the rookie Ertz played in the Pac-10 against Kelly’s Oregon teams and has some familiarity with Kelly. I think the water is way too muddy here as part of the passing game as well that I’d stay away from both of these guys in fantasy drafts. Waiver wire material. Best-case scenario: Waiver wire pick-up as a bye week filler.
Here are today’s great reads:
- The DGAF fantasy football draft strategy. Even I can get on board with that! Basically, take the best player available based on your own rankings regardless of position, bye weeks, etc. You can figure the rest out after the draft. Interesting concept, but not for everyone. [RotoViz]
- Tim Tebow signed with the New England Patriots yesterday. You heard it here first last week, though. [The Big Lead]