That was the victory chant the Eagles organization and its fans were chanting in Landover, MD versus the Redskins on Monday Night. In a week of football that was dominated with the headlines of Peyton Manning’s 7 touchdown performance, Anquan Boldin’s 208 yards receiving vs Green Bay, and the NY Jets upsetting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Philadelphia Eagles may have changed the way NFL offenses are run in the future and the fantasy football landscape.
Chip Kelly’s debut left football fans, analysts, and the Redskins in awe, as the Eagles unleashed their blitzkrieg attack against the Redskins. The Eagles opened up the game with an up-tempo, no huddle offense which focused on speed and surprise. Simply put, the Redskins did not have an answer for it defensively. As a result, the Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half (most since the 1998 Vikings), but only 27 plays in the second half. The reduced amount of plays in the second half was primarily due to the early first half lead the Eagles had on the Redskins. On Tuesday, Chip Kelly indicated his team could of played faster, “We didn’t get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a process in between plays. That’s something that we need to work on”. If the Redskins were able to keep the game close throughout the full four quarters, we may have witnessed the Eagles run 100+ total plays on offense which is mind boggling.
So what does this mean in relation to fantasy football? First, let’s take a look at how this effects the Eagles offensive players.
Beginning the season, Michael Vick was viewed by many as no more than a QB2 with QB1 upside in Chip Kelly’s new offense. After the Eagles week 1 game versus the Redskins, Michael Vick finished the game, completing 15-25 attempts for 203 yards with 2 touchdowns and added 56 yards rushing with 1 rushing touchdown at a QB rating of 112.6. Those stats alone are good enough for QB1 numbers but combined the fact that the Eagles only ran 27 plays in the second half, most of which were running plays, Vick’s stats could have almost doubled at the rate the Eagles were going in the previous half. In reference to fantasy football, Vick could be a potential elite, top 5 QB, assuming he stays healthy. I still have some questions about Vick’s ability to go through his progressions, but I was encouraged by what I saw from the Eagles offensive line, the offensive scheme, and some of the decisions Vick made week 1. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Vick average 2-3 touchdowns a week in Chip Kelly’s offense.
Coming into the 2013 season, everyone knew LeSean McCoy was a top 10 back running back as evidence of his ADP. On Monday, McCoy looked like a man among boys vs the Redskins. McCoy exploded for 184 yards rushing on 31 carries and 1 touchdown. PerProFootballFocus, LeSean McCoy had 9 missed tackles in 21 attempts which would put him on pace for 144 for the year. To put that into perspective, Adrian Peterson had 71 missed tackles all last season. Now, that likely will not be sustainable, McCoy was consistently hitting the right running lanes, making defenders miss, and showed his elite speed. What was surprising though, was McCoy was only targeted 1 time in the passing game. I do expect him to see that number increase as the season goes on. Combining his ability to run and catch, LeSean McCoy should be in for a monster year if his workload maintains throughout the season.
On the receiving end, it was no surprise that DeSean Jackson was Vick’s go-to wide receiver. Jackson did most of his damage in the first half of the Redskins game and ended the game with a respectful 7 receptions for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. Jackson is still considered a WR3 with low end WR2 upside as the season continues. There wasn’t much else to take from this game fantasy wise unless you are in a deep league with 12+ teams. Riley Cooper finished with 2 receptions for 14 yards on 6 targets. Brent Celek had 2 receptions for 56 yards with a touchdown on only 3 targets. Zach Ertz had only 1 catch for 11 yards while showing poor hands. Ertz should not be owned besides in deep dynasty leagues.
Another key note to take from the Eagles week 1 game, is in relation to all IDP leagues. With the Eagles running an up-tempo offense and potentially running 80+ plays a game, all defensive players playing the Eagles should get a boost in weekly rankings due to the high number of plays they will be on the field. This should give a greater opportunity to for defensive players to stuff the stat sheet on your fantasy team. Looking ahead for the next three weeks, the Eagles play the Chargers, Chiefs, and the Broncos. It would not be a bad idea at all to target IDP players from each one of these teams in the weeks they play Philadelphia.
Beginning the season, most Eagles fans would probably agree they weren’t expecting much from this Eagles team in 2013. Maybe an 8-8 record, while showing some improvement throughout the year and make a push in 2014. But after watching week 1, Eagles fans should be excited for this team and could potentially make a push for a playoff spot this season. Chip Kelly’s offense will prove very difficult for defenses schematically and conditioning wise which means potentially good things for your Eagles players on your fantasy team this year. Here’s to the Philadelphia Eagles players and taking us on the road of victory!