Fantasy Fallout: Redskins Get McNabb
The move was necessitated by Philadelphia's need to commit to Kevin Kolb, who will take over as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. How does the trade affect the fantasy stock of key Eagles and Redskins players?
Let's start with the team McNabb leaves behind. The Eagles have a very good core of young talent at skill positions, and it will be exciting for Philadelphia fans to see Kolb, running back LeSean McCoy, tight end Brent Celek, and receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin grow together.
Say what you will about McNabb's tendency to fail in key situations, but he made this a great passing offense. Without him, we can probably expect a little regression from the passing game, at least initially. Jackson is a borderline No. 1 WR anyway, and Celek still belongs in the top five at his position as Kolb's safety valve. Kolb himself will be an intriguing backup fantasy quarterback, and I can definitely envision waiting on QBs in 2010 and using two later picks on a borderline No. 1 QB and Kolb.
Without McNabb under center, the Eagles may become a little more rush-centric then they've been in quite a while. Good news for LeSean McCoy, but also good news for new acquisition Mike Bell. McNabb was just as likely to throw the ball near the goal line as hand it off, but something tells me that will change in 2010. Expect the number of Philly rush touchdowns to rise.
Now, like McNabb, we move to Washington. While Jason Campbell is a serviceable NFL quarterback and would be a clear upgrade for teams like Buffalo and Oakland, he's not in the same league as McNabb. Unfortunately for McNabb, his weapons are downgraded with the move.
The player that benefits the most is Chris Cooley. McNabb has never been reluctant to feature the TE in the passing game, and Cooley is one of the best TE talents in the game. Cooley's injury may curb his draft stock, and I feel he's going to offer plenty of value in fantasy drafts next year.
While it's true Santana Moss is probably on the decline and Devin Thomas may not be ready to be a starter, are the pair of starting Washington pass catchers really worse than guys like James Thrash, Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell? I'd say no. As a result, I think McNabb's fantasy stock will be fine. He's not going to be drafted in the second tier of NFL QBs with the move, but you may be able to get him as the 10th-12th QB off the board, which should represent a really good value. How about pairing him with Kolb in your league?
Moss looks like a solid No. 3 WR to me. I wouldn't bother with Thomas or Malcom Kelly yet, as Cooley will be the No. 1 or No. 2 option in the passing game (along with Moss).
The addition of McNabb should relieve some of the pressure on the running back committee to perform, as McNabb is accustomed to slinging the ball around. Whichever two of the Clinton Portis/Larry Johnson/Willie Parker trio wins out should be looking at about 150-200 carries each. None of those three guys should be counted on for more than RB depth.