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2014 Draft Prep: Hold your horses on Nick Foles

Senior Fantasy Writer
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I like Nick Foles. His story last season was great, for the Eagles and Fantasy owners, and he should be a solid quarterback again this year.

But I'm not drafting him. His Average Draft Position is too high.

Heading into the final week of preseason action, Foles was being drafted at No. 56 overall, which is Round 5 in a 12-team league. There's no way I would draft Foles in that spot unless it's a two-quarterback format.

He's also being drafted ahead of quarterbacks I like better, who have a much higher ceiling in Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler. I would even draft Robert Griffin III ahead of Foles because I think Foles is headed for a regression.

Last year, Foles was awesome when he took over for the ineffective Michael Vick. He passed for 2,891 yards, 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions, finishing as the No. 11 Fantasy quarterback despite making just 10 starts. From Week 9 to the end of the season he had at least 21 Fantasy points in eight consecutive games.

But here's what's facing Foles this season. He loses DeSean Jackson, who was a vital cog in this attack, and Foles targeted him more than any other receiver (70 times), completing 71.4 percent of those passes to Jackson.

The Eagles did a nice job in adding talent around Foles as they brought back Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, who missed last season with a torn ACL, traded for Darren Sproles and drafted Jordan Matthews. Zach Ertz will see a bigger role and LeSean McCoy is still a stud catching passes out of the backfield. We'll see how it all works out, but I'm anticipating some growing pains, especially with Maclin and Cooper battling injuries in training camp.

Foles will also have a tougher schedule. Last year, he had 10 of his touchdowns (37 percent of his production) and 834 of his passing yards (29 percent) against two of the three worst pass defenses in 2013 with Oakland and Minnesota. That will be tough to replicate in any two-game stretch.

He does benefit with two games against Dallas' defense this year, but that first meeting with the Cowboys isn't until Week 13. Before then he gets four games against elite defenses in San Francisco, St. Louis, Arizona and Carolina and then Seattle in Week 14, which is the start of most Fantasy playoffs.

We'll also find out if teams have schemed against Kelly's offense and can force Foles into more mistakes. Not that it matters much, but Foles has two touchdowns and three interceptions in three preseason games.

Foles should still be considered a top-12 Fantasy quarterback this year. He'll have plenty of great moments and I would settle for him as a starter. But I won't draft him in Round 5 and neither should you.

The right spot for Foles is Round 8 or later. That's a safer spot to draft him based on how he should play this season.

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Player News
Bears release troubled DT Ray McDonald after second arrest
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:39 pm ET) The Bears have announced that they have released troubled defensive tackle Ray McDonald, the Chicago Tribune has reported.

McDonald was arrested in California for domestic violence and child endangerment. It marked his second arrest in six months. He received the same fate in December for sexual assault and domestic violence before signing with the Bears in the offseason.

The 30-year-old McDonald has been a full-time starter in the NFL since 2008. He was an All-Pro in 2011.


Chargers S Eric Weddle not expected to attend OTAs
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4:34 pm ET) Chargers safety Eric Weddle is not expected to attend Tuesday's start of offseason training activities as he and the team remain far apart on talks for a contract extension, per NFL.com. 

Weddle is in the final season of his deal, but has been extremely vocal about his desire to have a new contract in place before taking part in team activities. Weddle contributed to 114 tackles last season and has averaged 103 over his last seven years.

While attendance is voluntary, Weddle's absence could mark the start of a long stalemate between the parties. 


Broncos' Tevrin Brandon hit by car, suffers minor injuries
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2:25 pm ET) Broncos cornerback Tevrin Brandon was hospitalized on Sunday after getting hit by the car while crossing the street, the team confirmed to the Denver Post.

Police believe that Brandon was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup in Belmar, New Jersey. The driver then fled the scene. 

Brandon suffered minor injuries and was relesaed from the hospital after a brief stay. He's expected to participate in Broncos' OTAs, which start on Wednesday. 


Report: Bears DT Ray McDonald arrested for domestic violence
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:09 pm ET) According to NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo, Bears defensive tackle Ray McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence and possible child endangerment in California. No other information has been made available.

McDonald, who was released by the 49ers last December after being arrested in the second of separate sexual assualt and domestic violence cases, signed with the Bears in the offseason and said he was planning to sue the accuser in one of his sexual assault charges. 


Report: Vikings' Adrian Peterson won't attend OTAs on Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is reportedly set to skip organized team activities on Tuesday, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Peterson is frustrated with management in Minnesota for not showing him support through his legal case for child abuse. Peterson has not participated in any offseason activities so far, but skipping Tuesday's workout will cost him $250,000 in bonuses if he does not attend 90 percent of OTAs and minicamps.

Peterson has three years, $44.25 million left on his contract with Minnesota.


Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu finally cast-free
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) After a couple of injury-plagued seasons, Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu enters training camp almost completely healthy, without a brace on his knee or cast on his thumb, per NFL.com. 

The Cardinals will need a healthy Mathieu to offseason the loss of former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and cornerback Antonio Cromartie. In two seasons, Mathieu has 100 tackles and three interceptions but has been hampered by nagging injuries. 

"It just feels good to be free," he said. 


Giants' Bennett Jackson making transition to safety
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Giants second-year cornerback Bennett Jackson is spending the offseason transitioning to safety. 

"At the end of the day, I’m a DB,’" Jackson said, per the New York Post. "I think my strengths are cover skills, I got good speed and I got good ball skills. The thing it’s gonna take for me to get out there and make an impact is, I just got to learn the defense and really just communicate the calls fluently."

"It is all in front of him," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We think he can cover. He has done a good job of getting us lined up and then we will see how he plays."


O'Brien impressed with Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Texans coach Bill O'Brien has been impressed with the work defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has put in to recover from microfracture surgery in his knee. 

"I've been impressed with the way JD's been working," O'Brien said, per HoustonTexans.com. "He's been out there. He's in early. He's rehabbing. But he's also being able to take part in some of the things that we do in the weight room. He's not able to do all of the things that we do on the field just yet, because of his rehab. But he's on the right track."


AJ McCarron throwing deep for Bengals
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron has recovered from the shoulder soreness that bothered him for most of his rookie year. 

McCarron is now throwing deep again. "I feel great," McCarron said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Body feels great and I feel like I'm slinging it better than I ever have, really."


Brooks Reed injured, may miss time at Falcons' OTAs
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Falcons linebacker Brooks Reed suffered a groin injury during the recently-completed voluntary minicamp, per ESPN.

The injury was termed "minor", but it still might keep Reed from full participation in the Falcons' upcoming OTAs, which start Tuesday. 


 
 
 
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