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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
Titans DT Sammie Lee Hill diagnosed with knee sprain
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:08 pm ET) Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said Wednesday defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill was diagnosed with a knee sprain, reports The Tennessean.

Hill the sustained the injury Tuesday, but he won't require surgery.


Texans LB Brian Cushing on his health: Best I've felt in a while
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:53 pm ET) Texans linebacker Brian Cushing participated in Wednesday's OTA and he said he hasn't been this healthy in a long time, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"I'm the best physically I've been in a while," he said.

During the offseason, Cushing had surgery on his broken right wrist as well as arthroscopic procedures on his left knee and left ankle. He was able to play in 14 games in 2014 after only appearing in 13 games during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.


Broncos DE Shane Ray (toe) to miss OTAs this week
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:37 pm ET) A toe injury will prevent Broncos defensive end Shane Ray from participating in OTAs this week, reports 9News.com.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Ray will start participating in individual drills next week. The injury also prevented Ray from taking part in the team's rookie minicamp earlier in May. 


Report: Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman undergoes knee surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, reports 9News.com.

He is expected to miss the entire 2015 season. Heuerman was drafted in the third round during the 2015 draft.


Cowboys RB Joseph Randle confident he can replace DeMarco Murray
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:19 pm ET) With last season's leading rusher no longer on the team, Cowboys running back Joseph Randle said he can replace the 1,845 rushing yards DeMarco Murray produced last season, reports The Dallas Morning News.

"He had a good year last year, and I got to sit back and watch a lot," Randle said, "and I felt like there was a lot of meat left on the bone."

Randle did get first-team reps during Wednesday's OTA session and he said he's ready to handle a heavy workload this season.

"I'm going to try to go out there and grind as hard as I can and see which role I end up in," Randle said. "If they ask me to do that, I'm ready for it. And if they believe in me, I believe in myself, that’s for sure."

Randle has been arrested twice in the last year, but he said he's learned from his mistakes.

"Everything you go through in life you learn from it and I learned from it and I've moved past it. I've grown up," Randle said. "I've made some young and silly mistakes, but I'm moving forward."


Jets' Brandon Marshall on ability: 'I'm better now than I've ever been'
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:57 pm ET) Despite being a five-time Pro Bowl selection, Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said Wednesday he can still be a better player than in his previous nine seasons, reports ESPN.com.

"I really feel like I'm better now than I've ever been," Marshall said.

Marshall added that his improved health and more knowledge of the game has him prepared for a productive 2015 season.

"There's the physical part, feeling healthy, and our medical staff here is probably the best in the league," Marshall said. "I feel great, and now I'm starting to see the game differently, being older and having a lot of experience. So having all of that working for me, and going against those guys every single day, I'm excited about doing my job this year."


Bills DT Marcell Dareus in wait and see mode over contract talks
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:49 pm ET) Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said he is eager to work out a contract extension with the Bills, but he knows he must perform on the field regardless of his contract status, reports the team's official website.

"We'll wait and see what the Bills do," Dareus said. "It weighs on me heavily. Heavily. I've got to go out there and really perform and do what I have to do, which I always do—really have fun with it. Whatever the outcome is, is the outcome. However they want to play it is how they play it. I'm excited. I'm excited for the upcoming year."

Dareus will be suspended for the season opener as a result of an off-field incident last year and he said he's ready to move on.

"I'm happy we can finally move forward. It's been hanging over my head for a while," he said. "Just happy we can move forward and I can prepare myself for the season and just happy to be with my friends, my guys, my real family. Just really feeling a lot better right now."


Bears TE Martellus Bennett misses Wednesday's OTA
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:42 pm ET) Bears tight end Martellus Bennett did not attend the team's voluntary organized team activity Wednesday, reports ESPN.com.

Bennett has not attended any of the team's offseason workouts as he waits for a new contract.


Ravens WR Michael Campanaro suffers quad injury Wednesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:28 pm ET) Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro sustained a quadriceps injury during Wednesday's OTA session, reports The Baltimore Sun.

The severity of the injury is not known, according to sources. In 2014, Campanaro caught seven passes for 102 yards in four games.


Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) remains on schedule
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:43 pm ET) Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said Wednesday his injured knee is about 80 percent healed and he remains on schedule to play in Week 1, reports the New York Post.

Cruz has been able to run routes and cut on his surgically-repaired knee, but he did not participate in team drills Wednesday. Cruz missed the final 10 games of the 2014 season after he tore his patellar tendon.


 
 
 
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