In 2008, Rodgers stepped in as the starting quarterback in Green Bay when Brett Favre was traded to the Jets. Rodgers had an outstanding year, passing for 4,038 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also had 207 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
This year, Kolb is replacing Donovan McNabb, who was traded to the Redskins. Kolb can only hope to play as well as Rodgers did when he became a starter. Fantasy owners would even be happy if Kolb played like McNabb last year when he had 3,553 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
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All indications are Kolb is ready for the job. In two starts in place of an injured McNabb last season he had 718 passing yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions against New Orleans and Kansas City.
Andy Reid has confidence in Kolb, otherwise he wouldn't have traded McNabb within the division. And we believe in Reid, who had so much success with McNabb, appearing in five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl.
Kolb still qualifies as a sleeper for Fantasy owners, but he's the kind of sleeper everyone is well aware of. He should be considered a low-end No. 1 Fantasy option, and he's worth a mid-round pick in all leagues.
If Kolb plays as expected, the Eagles offense should continue to perform at a high level, which means good things for DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek and Jeremy Maclin in the passing game. We're also counting on LeSean McCoy to do well as the replacement for Brian Westbrook, and he will get help from former Saint Mike Bell.
There's turnover in Philadelphia with McNabb and Westbrook gone, but the new players in place in Kolb and McCoy should do just fine. You shouldn't notice too much of a difference with the Eagles this year aside from the different names on the back of the jerseys.
Sleeper ... Jeremy Maclin, WR
Maclin played well as a rookie in 2009, and he should continue to build on that this season. He had 56 catches for 773 yards and four touchdowns, and he has the chance to become a solid Fantasy option in his sophomore campaign. DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek remain the top targets in the passing game, but Maclin is a great receiver for Reid's West Coast offense based on his route-running ability. And since Kolb should prove to be more accurate than Donovan McNabb, Maclin should see an increase in production. We view Maclin as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver, and he's worth a mid-round pick in all formats. But don't be surprised if Maclin is starting for you at some point during the year.
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Breakout ... LeSean McCoy, RB
McCoy will be the starter for the Eagles this season with Brian Westbrook no longer with the team, and McCoy has the chance to post Westbrook-like stats. He is a good runner and receiver, and he showed that as a rookie in 2009 with 637 rushing yards and four touchdowns and 40 catches for 308 yards. He also showed he could handle the starting job with four games with double digits in Fantasy points in the first five games after Westbrook initially got hurt. We feel like McCoy is ready to become a star.
The second-year back should be considered a solid No. 2 Fantasy option to start the season, and he's worth a pick beginning in the middle of Round 2 or beginning of Round 3. There is some downside to McCoy since Bell was added to the roster, and he could take some goal-line carries. But McCoy will get the majority of touches for the Eagles and has plenty of upside this season. He's someone I plan to target in all leagues on Draft Day.
Late-round flier ... Mike Bell, RB
Bell is the type of running back that comes through when given a chance. Twice in his career he has at least 155 carries, which was last year with the Saints and 2006 with the Broncos. In those two years he averaged 4.1 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns. Bell resurrected his career with the Saints in 2009 when he had 172 carries for 654 yards and five touchdowns. He was an injury replacement for Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush, and the Saints also used him as a goal-line option.
With the Eagles, Bell will be the No. 2 running back behind LeSean McCoy, but McCoy has never been a full-time starter. While McCoy has the chance to be a standout running back, there's still a chance for Bell to make plays, and he should be drafted with a late-round pick. Andy Reid will definitely find a role for Bell, and he's worth stashing on your roster this season.
Kolb should get off to a good start in 2010 with matchups at Detroit and Jacksonville after a tough opener against Green Bay. By the time he faces his first division opponent in Week 4 -- which happens to be McNabb and the Redskins -- we should know if Kolb is worth using as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback. LeSean McCoy also has the chance to run well in those early games, but the Eagles have a tough slate with the NFC North and AFC South on the schedule. The NFC East is brutal enough without adding matchups against the Packers, Colts and Vikings.
Training camp topics
The first thing for the Eagles is making sure DeSean Jackson isn't a holdout and shows up for the start of training camp. He wants a new contract after a blockbuster sophomore season in 2009 when he had 62 catches for 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns and 137 rushing yards and a touchdown. We expect Jackson to be on time, and he should be considered a No. 1 Fantasy wide receiver. He's worth drafting in Round 2 or 3 in all leagues.
In Kolb's two starts last year, Jackson had 10 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns, so there's already an instant rapport. The same goes for Brent Celek, who had 16 catches for 208 yards and one touchdown with Kolb. Celek had 76 catches for 971 yards and eight touchdowns last year, and he's capable of similar production in 2010 as a No. 1 Fantasy tight end.
We don't expect much of a drop-off if any with Kolb replacing McNabb. We also expect McCoy to do well in place of Westbrook. The Eagles are ready to begin a new era and it all starts with Kolb and McCoy, who are on the verge of becoming Fantasy stars.
LeSean McCoy (ankle; probable for the start of training camp) ... Jeremy Maclin (hamstring; probable for the start of training camp) ... Mike Bell (hamstring; probable for the start of training camp) ... Riley Cooper (hamstring; questionable for the start of training camp) ... Cornelius Ingram (knee; probable for the start of training camp) ... Stewart Bradley (calf; probable for the start of training camp) ... Marlin Jackson (Achilles' tendon; out for the season)
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