Falling Foles
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Right now, fantasy owners who have their eyes on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles are in a perfect spot.

From Week 9-17 last season, EVERYTHING went right for Foles, so his poor performance in the first preseason game -- 6-of-9, 44 yards, two interceptions -- was actually useful, especially when it came on the heels of beat reporter Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic giving Foles a grade of C for training camp.

Foles' average draft position (ADP) in fantasyfootballcalculator.com mock drafts is down to 68.7, seventh among quarterbacks. His ADP has dropped six spots since July 26.

He's just three picks in front of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, whose ADP has increased eight spots in the past four days. Based on the way their ADPs are trending, Ryan could pass Foles in the next couple of days.

Look, I don't think Foles is going to duplicate the 24.6 fantasy points per game he averaged over the last eight games last season, an average that extrapolates to 393.6 fantasy points over 16 games. To put that in perspective, Peyton Manning had 406 fantasy points last year. But Eagles coach Chip Kelly's offense gives him top-five fantasy quarterback upside.

I think fantasy owners who aren't going to pony up for one of the top three quarterbacks are better off waiting to take one because there really isn't a huge difference between Matthew Stafford (43.1 ADP) and Tony Romo (94.6).

The more Foles drops, the better, because I consider him a safer option than all of the quarterbacks going from ninth to 12th at the position (Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo) as well as one with more upside.

That's because Foles can be expected to have a much better passing output than Griffin, Newton and Kaepernick while running far more often than Romo.

Foles is slower than Comcast's customer service, but he still had 221 rushing yards and three scores on the ground in 13 games last year. We have Foles down for 272 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season. Those extra points go a long way when added to Foles' likely passing output.

The Eagles ditched DeSean Jackson, who had 1,332 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 82 catches last season, but Philadelphia still has plenty of weapons.

To replace Jackson, the Eagles will look to Jeremy Maclin, who is returning from a torn ACL, newly acquired Darren Sproles and 6-foot-4 rookie Jordan Matthews.

Returning from last season are Riley Cooper, who averaged 17.8 yards per catch and scored eight touchdowns, and Zach Ertz, a second-year tight end who is expected to make a big statistical leap this season.

The Eagles also have an excellent offensive line and one of the top running backs in the NFL in LeSean McCoy, so there's plenty of talent around Foles.

The factor that puts Foles over the top, though, is Kelly's scheme. In his first season as coach, the Eagles finished second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage and fourth in points.

They did that even though he had to make a midseason switch from Michael Vick to Foles, who wasn't considered a top QB prospect before Kelly got his hands on him.

Kelly has even made backup Mark Sanchez, the butt-fumbler whose confidence was smashed to bits two years ago, look competent so far.

Foles should have a very good season, and his falling ADP will give fantasy owners a chance to actually turn a profit on him rather than needing him to be a top-six QB to break even.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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