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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
Seahawks CB Byron Maxwell might return Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:50 pm ET) Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell, who missed the loss at St. Louis with a calf injury, has a chance to play Sunday at Carolina, coach Pete Carroll told reporters. Maxwell suffered the injury Week 6 against Dallas.

Seahawks TE Luke Willson, C Max Unger could return Week 8
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:02 pm ET) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said tight end Luke Willson (groin) almost certainly will play Sunday at Carolina, and that center Max Unger (foot) has a chance to play, reports the Seattle Times. Both missed the Week 7 loss at St. Louis.

Jeff Fisher: Zac Stacy 'could get 25 carries this week'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:46 pm ET) Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the team's running back situation will continue to be a "week-to-week thing," adding Zac Stacy's lack of playing time Sunday wasn't an indicator of things to come. Stacy played one snap and got zero carries in the win over the Seahawks.

"We’ve got three outstanding runners," Fisher said, referring to Stacy, Benny Cunningham and rookie Tre Mason. "And as I mentioned, we think Trey Watts can also help us, so we’re going to use them all. It’ll be a week-to-week thing. Zac could get 25 carries this week. We had some things in early this week. It was working so we decided to stay with ‘Mase.' It’s nothing that Zac has done or hasn’t done. He’s been a little banged up the last couple of weeks, but obviously he’s an outstanding runner as well. We clearly have significant depth there at the position."

Fisher noted Stacy missed practice time the past couple weeks due to calf and ankle injuries.

"The good thing about this is he’ll come back and should be 100 percent this week and just see where it goes," Fisher said.

The Rams visit the Chiefs in Week 8.


Injured Texans cleared for action
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:35 pm ET) Several Texans who were on the injury report are active for Monday's game at Pittsburgh.

The list includes defensive end J.J. Watt (thigh), guard Brandon Brooks (illness), linebacker Brian Cushing (knee), wideout DeAndre Hopkins (hand), defensive end Tim Jamison (groin), cornerback Johnathan Joseph (knee), offensive tackle Derek Newton (elbow), linebacker Brooks Reed (groin), linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (knee). All were listed as probable.

Also suiting up is linebacker Mike Mohamed, who was questionable with a thigh injury.

Arian Foster, Andre Johnson set for MNF
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:23 pm ET) Texans running back Arian Foster (groin) and wideout Andre Johnson (ankle) are active as expected for Monday's game in Pittsburgh after being listed as probable.

Texans reveal Week 7 inactives
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:21 pm ET) The Texans declared linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (knee), quarterback Tom Savage, defensive backs Josh Aubrey, Darryl Morris (ankle) and Jumal Rolle, offensive tackle Jeff Adams and wideout DeVier Posey inactive for Monday's game at Pittsburgh.

Steelers' probables cleared to face Texans
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:13 pm ET) All the Steelers who were probable on the injury report are active for Monday's game against Houston. The list includes defensive end Cameron Heyward (ankle), running back Will Johnson (illness), defensive end Brett Keisel (knee) and safety Mike Mitchell (knee).

Steelers announce inactives for MNF
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:09 pm ET) The Steelers declared cornerback Ike Taylor (forearm), linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee), safety Shamarko Thomas (hamstring), nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder), quarterback Landry Jones, guard Christopher Hubbard and wideout Justin Brown inactive for Monday's game against the Texans.

Steelers LB Ryan Shazier unable to go
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:06 pm ET) Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was questionable with a knee injury, is inactive for Monday's game against the Texans. Shazier has not played since Week 3.

Jadeveon Clowney to miss sixth straight game
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:00 pm ET) Texans rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney tested his knee before Monday's game at Pittsburgh but was deemed not ready to play. He's inactive for the sixth straight game.

Clowney hurt his knee Week 1 and underwent surgery. The No. 1 overall pick played 23 snaps in the opener, making one tackle.


 
 
 
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