As the days move closer to the start of the 2010 season, football fans across the NFL landscape are also priming themselves for the fantasy football draft season. With that in mind, we'll begin our preview of the fantasy-relevant Eagles at the quarterback position.
As you know, Kevin Kolb is tapped for his first season as the No. 1 quarterback. Kolb grabbed the attention of fantasy owners early last season when he threw for 718 yards and four touchdowns combined in his two starts in weeks 2 and 3. But, Kolb has only those two starts under his belt, so some owners may be reticent to trust Kolb with their own starting spot. So what's his value compared to the rest of the league?
The consensus in most pre-draft rankings is that Kolb falls somewhere around the back end of the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks. The first tier of quarterbacks is probably four players deep in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Matt Schaub probably heads the next tier of players that includes Tony Romo, Philip Rivers and Brett Favre. If Kolb performs as the Eagles expect him to, this is probably the area he fits in. After all, he does have one of the best arrays of offensive weapons surrounding him in the league.
NFL.com's QB rankings put Kolb 11th, behind, in addition to the above listed players, Jay Cutler and Eli Manning and one spot ahead of Donovan McNabb. Personally, while I understand the reluctance to place Kolb too high when he hasn't proven himself, I think the fourth-year signal caller ends up somewhere in the top seven or so of fantasy quarterbacks by the end of the year. For a reference point, the *Football Outsiders Almanac 2010 *(buy it here) projects a healthy Kolb to throw for 3,968 yards, 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, numbers that would have been good for about 12th in the league last season.
ESPN.com's Matthew Berry agrees that Kolb is undervalued as a fantasy commodity, writing in his annual Love/Hate column, "An Andy Reid offense has been among the top 10 in pass attempts and passing yardage each of the past six seasons. The Eagles are fielding the most talented group of receivers they've ever had in Philly, and like the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers the year after Brett Favre left Green Bay, there's a desire to do everything possible to make it look like the right move to run Donovan McNabb out of town. Big year for Kolb. Big year."
The other upside to targeting Kolb as your quarterback is that you'll likely be able to get him somewhere around rounds 5-7, allowing you to stock up on premier players at wide receiver and running back in the mean time.
And what about Michael Vick; is there any fantasy value in Kolb's backup? Well, in a standard one-quarterback league, probably not, unless you choose to grab him as late-round insurance for Kolb. But if you're in a two-quarterback league, Vick could be worth a late-round flyer because we know the Eagles won't be afraid to put him on the field with a chance for a big play. He probably has as much, if not more, fantasy value than any other backup quarterback.
To play free fantasy football on NFL.com, where they have a customizable scoring and a great draft kit including several mock drafts, sleepers and much more, go here.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 4:46 p.m., July 20