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Your competition is already working hard at building a winning fantasy team… are you? Fantasy football draft preparation should be in full swing by now for you die hards out there that are hoping for a successful 2010 season. Today, I bring you the second installment of my divisional fantasy previews, with the spotlight shone this time on the NFC East.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Cowboys have the most fantasy talent in the division, hands down. Starting with the quarterback position, Tony Romo has turned himself into a top 10 fantasy QB, definitely worthy of a starting spot in every league out there. And now, he’s got even more weapons at the skill positions with the addition of rookie WR Dez Bryant. Pair him with last year’s breakout star Miles Austin, and that tandem should put up big numbers in fantasyland.
Roy E. Williams is also roster-worthy, but you can’t count on getting production out of him week in and week out, and tight end Jason Witten still has strong value at a deep position this year. On the ground, the ‘Boys bring back the trio of Felix Jones, Marion Barber, and Tashard Choice, all of whom belong on fantasy rosters. Jones and Barber will likely get the heaviest workload, with Barber continuing to get the goal line chances more often than not.
Dallas has some playmakers on the defensive side of the ball as well, so their team defense should be considered among the top 10 in the league in terms of fantasy value.
The Giants are two and a half years removed from their improbable Super Bowl win over the then undefeated Patriots, and now, looking at their roster, their a shell of that championship team.
Sure, “The Other Manning” is still there, but what real fantasy value does he have? He’ll be the guy you draft when you’re going with the “draft everything but QB and save that ’til the 10th round” strategy. He does have a few guys to turn to in the air, with the better Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham, all of whom should end up on fantasy rosters, but none of them really wow you at all.
In the backfield, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw will pound the rock this season, but neither of them have the cache to be drafted any time before the fourth or fifth round. So while I do think the Giants will end up being the second best team in this division this season, I really don’t see much top-flight talent, in terms of fantasy prowess.
How the Eagles fare this season rests heavily on the shoulders of their new starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb. Head coach Andy Reid and the Philly front office apparently have enough confidence in their man that they decided to ship out long time franchise QB Donovan McNabb, to the rival Redskins no less. So with Kolb under center, will the Eagles fly or flop? Honestly, I vote for flutter… a.k.a. somewhere in the middle. He has a lot of talent around him, so while I do expect a drop-off with Philly, I don’t see them dropping to the bottom of the division. That spot is being held for the ‘Skins.
Kolb will have a pair of young receivers to take aim at, with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin worthy of early-to-mid round consideration at your draft. Brent Celek has also turned himself into an upper echelon pick at tight end, ranking among the top five at the position in most experts’ eyes.
Without Brian Westbrook to dump the ball off to, the Eagles will rely heavily on second-year running back LeSean McCoy, who in my mind, is one of the up-and-coming backs in the league. Grab him in the second or third round of your draft, and you can ride his coat tails all the way to the top of your league. Who else is going to take carries from him? Mike Bell? Leonard Weaver? I don’t think so.
Take the Redskins’ roster and throw it in a DeLorean from “Back to the Future,” and send it back five years to 2005, and you may have something there. Otherwise, this bunch of past-their-prime veterans aren’t worth diddly squat.
Cast off from the Eagles after years of service, Donovan McNabb will try to put lipstick on this pig, but he really doesn’t have a ton of talent around him. McNabb is a serviceable bye-week replacement at this point in his career, but nothing more.
On the ground, the trio of Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker would have made fantasy owners salivate a few years ago, but now, these three aged veterans will have to try and cobble some sort of production together for a rushing attack.
On the outside, the only draft-worthy receiver they’ve got is Santana Moss, but any time I take my chances with him, he always seems to disappoint. Devin Thomas could be a sleeper pick in the late rounds though. At tight end, Chris Cooley is hoping to make a comeback after missing more than half of last season with an ankle injury. McNabb does have a place in his heart for throwing to tight ends, but with Fred Davis poised to siphen some catches away from Cooley at the position, there are better options at the TE spot than either ‘Skins man.
Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Brent Celek, Chris Cooley, Clinton Portis, Dallas Cowboys, DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, Fantasy Football, Felix Jones, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Witten, Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Kolb, Larry Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Marion Barber, Miles Austin, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Roy E. Williams, Santana Moss, Steve Smith, Tony Romo, Washington Redskins, Willie Parker