Philadelphia Eagles fantasy preview

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While some bloggers think the Eagles are set up for failure this season, their track record under Andy Reid would prove otherwise. Always a staple in the race for the NFC East crown, Philadelphia has only not finished above .500 three times in Reid's nine seasons as head coach. One of those times was last year, when the Eagles closed out their season with three straight wins, but it wasn't enough to get them into the playoffs at only 8-8.

As always, the Eagles will be led by quarterback Donavon McNabb, who has gone from a young, exciting, elusive signal caller to a savvy veteran seemingly overnight. While the Mt. Carmel product is the face of the franchise, running back Brian Westbrook is the team's most coveted fantasy player. He will be a top five selection in most leagues.

Quarterback
Donovan McNabb
2007 stats: 3, 324 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT
Notable backup: Kevin Kolb

Despite offseason rumors that he could be on his way out of Philadelphia (and possibly to Chicago), McNabb returns to the Eagles for his 10th season. Durability has always been McNabb's biggest concern, but he did well last season to start 14 games. If he can stay on the field that often again, McNabb is a solid fantasy option. He may not be a number one quarterback anymore, but in leagues that start two QBs every week (as most do), McNabb has value.

Running back
Brian Westbrook
2007 stats: 1,333 yards rushing, 771 yards receiving, 12 total touchdowns
Notable backup: Correll Buckhalter

Perhaps only the Chargers' LaDanien Tomlinson is a better dual threat out of the backfield. Westbrook has established himself over the last two seasons as a durable and dependable workhorse, and a player fantasy owners covet. Because of his ability to find the endzone from the ground and the air, Westbrook is a first round pick. Some may argue that he's the third best fantasy player in the NFL, behind only Tomlinson and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson

Wide receivers
Kevin Curtis
2007 stats: 77 recs, 1,110 yards, 6 TD

The Eagles spent all offseason trying to acquire a big name receiver. There attempts to land Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald failed, and the team turns to Kevin Curtis as their primary option for the second year in a row. Though not thought of as a number one, Curtis put up very solid fantasy numbers last season. He'll be a sleeper in most leagues, and should serve as a dependable second or third option for most teams.

Reggie Brown
2007 stats: 61 recs, 780 yards, 4 TD
Notable backup: DeSean Jackson

After a stellar 2006, Brown was supposed to come into his own last year in his third season. While he didn't take another step forward, he was still a dependable receiver for the Eagles. In most fantasy leagues, Brown will probably go undrafted, but eventually get picked up off the waiver wire. Rookie DeSean Jackson was drafted in the second round to give the Eagles a big play option. He may become a fantasy option if he can have an impact in the return game.

Tight End
LJ Smith
2007 stats: 22 recs, 236 yards, 1 TD

Don't sleep on Smith this year. While his number were modest in 2007, they came in only 10 games. If Smith can remain on the field, he'd be a perfectly serviceable backup tight end on most fantasy teams.

Defense
2007 stats: 37 sacks, 11 interceptions, 18.8 points per game allowed

The Eagles finished ninth in points per game allowed last season, but they should be even better this year. Corner Asante Samuel, arguably the biggest free agent signing of the offseason, and defensive end Chris Clemons should add explosiveness to Jimmy Johnson's always competitive unit.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Ricky O'Donnell published on July 24, 2008 6:29 AM.

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