Here’s a fantasy take on some recent NFL headlines:
Eagles’ LeSean McCoy among Kirwan’s Top 10 RBs. NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan ranked the top running backs in the NFL, and he’s a lot higher on Philadelphia’s McCoy than most people. And I’m inclined to side with Kirwan. As he noted, McCoy was very effective catching passes out of the backfield last season, and he finished fourth in yards from scrimmage. McCoy actually might benefit from Michael Vick’s presence even more than Philly’s receivers. When Vick started taking off last season, that’s when running lanes began to open more for McCoy. Despite Andy Reid’s pass-happy philosophy, it says here that McCoy will break through in 2011 as the most valuable RB in fantasy football.
Brandon Lloyd ranks 58th on Top 100 list. That’s where the players voted him, and NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche has already chimed in, questioning that ranking. Wyche notes that, while Lloyd did have a career year in 2010 with 77 receptions for 11 touchdowns and an NFL-best 1,448 yards, he doesn’t deserve to be ranked ahead of Greg Jennings or Brandon Marshall. Agreed. And not only that, Lloyd could be in for a rude awakening in 2011, when he plays in a more conservative John Fox offense (as opposed to the more free-wheeling Josh McDaniels offense that helped pad his numbers in the first place). Not only will Lloyd contend with playing in a more run-oriented attack, he’ll also be sharing more of the action with young Denver receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, who are ready to contribute. Be careful: Lloyd is guaranteed to be highly overvalued in fantasy drafts.
Kevin Kolb is face of the lockout. Did you catch the back page of the Philly newspaper last week? The one with the image of the Eagles quarterback in handcuffs? With all the attention placed on Kolb this offseason – lamenting the fact that the lockout has delayed his seemingly inevitable trade – Monday’s Data Points took a look at his game-by-game passer rating. Well, we didn’t need this chart to reinforce the notion that the lockout has actually helped Kolb. It has grossly inflated his perceived value. In fact, the handcuffs are appropriate, because Kolb’s best fantasy value would be if he remains with the Eagles and was drafted late as a handcuff for Vick. If he is traded to the Cardinals or Vikings or any other team in need of a starting QB, he will not put up any numbers worthy of being a No. 1 fantasy QB. In fact, you’d be better off drafting Mike Kafka as Vick’s new handcuff.