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NFC East Fantasy Football Outlook

Posted on: August 22, 2011 4:54 pm
NFC East Fantasy Football Outlook

New York Giants
The NFC east has arguable three out of the top 12 Quarterbacks with Michael Vick, Tony Romo and Eli Manning. Last season was a career high 31 touchdowns for Manning but he does need to cut down on his lead leading 25 interceptions from a year ago. Ahmad Bradshaw was a key resigning for the Giants and he brings more versatility then bruiser Brandon Jacobs. Bradshaw had a career high 1,235 yards rushing in 2010 with 8 touchdowns and added 47 catches for 314 as well. He did lead the league with 6 fumbles. Jacobs ran for 823 yards with 9 touchdowns. Both are valuable fantasy contributors. Andre Brown looks like the third back and will see little time. Hakeem Nicks has developed into an elite receiver and looks to improve upon his 79 catches for 1052 and 11 touchdowns from a year ago. He did miss 3 games getting banged up but Nicks has blossomed  into a top number one fantasy receiver. Mario Manningham keeps improving and he is locked in as a top 30 receiver. with upside. Manningham reached career highs with 60 catches for 944 and 9 touchdowns a year ago. With Steve Smith gone to the Eagles Manningham could improve off of last years numbers. Domenik Hixon currently sits third coming off a knee injury but looks good so far in camp and should see enough action to warrant a roster spot in deep leagues. Free Agent signee Michael Clayton has a lot to prove to make any fantasy roster. Tight end could be a real weak spot unless someone steps up to replace the departed Kevin Boss (Oak). At this point it's a battle between Travis Beckum, Bear Pascoe and Daniel Coats. Beckum appears to be the front runner but stay away from Giants tight ends unless someone shows signs of being a late round pick in deep leagues.

Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick attained career highs in completions (233), completion percentage (62.6), yards (3018) and touchdown passes (21) in 2010 and those numbers were reached in only 12 games. Vick added 676 yards on the ground and another career high 9 rushing touchdowns. If Vick can stay healthy he could break more career highs in 2011. LeSean McCoy improved in his second year with 1080 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has proven to be a valuable asset through the air adding 78 catches on 90 targets for 547 yards and 3 scores. McCoy is easily a top 10 fantasy back even with the acquisition of Ronnie Brown who will only spell the more versatile McCoy. The often injured Brown actually played in and started all 16 games for the Dolphins a year ago but you wouldn't think so by his dismal fantasy statistics. He rushed for 734 yards on a career low 3.67 per carry with 5 touchdowns. He should get drafted in deeper leagues and as a handcuff for McCoy. Rookie Dion Lewis will only see spot duty baring injury. DeSean Jackson get's a little nicked up with his style of play and did miss 2 games a season ago resulting in a career low 47 receptions in 2010. Jackson did add 1,056 yards and 6 touchdowns and with his lead leading 22.47 yards per catch is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. Jeremy Maclin has had some recent medical issues but has been given a clean bill of health. He needs to catch up and get in game shape if he wants to improve upon last years totals of 964 yards and 10 touchdowns. Recent signee Steve Smith is till recovering from knee surgery but will be the third receiver once healthy so he could be drafted in deeper leagues but is best to be left on the waiver wire in smaller leagues because reports are he will not begin practicing until around week 1 and there is no time table on his return. Jason Avant has been the third receiver and has made some big third down plays at times. Riley Cooper will receive some looks in 4 receiver sets but should be left on the waiver wire. Brent Celek was thought to be a solid fantasy starter coming off his 2009 numbers but he dipped in 2010 and just didn't get as many looks with Vick throwing him the ball. He will probably be drafted as a number 2 but could prove to be steal if he gets more involved this season. Backups Clay Harbor and Donald Lee should not be drafted.

Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo looks to bounce back from his broken collarbone suffered last season and should be amongst the leaders by years end. Not including last season his three year average is 4,047 yards and 29 touchdowns which he could easily reach with the weapons he has in Dallas. Felix Jones looked sharp in the second half of 2010 but it will be interesting to see if he can be a legitimate number 2 fantasy back with the departure of Marion Barber to Chicago. Jones put up a career high 800 yards rushing and 450 receiving a year ago but only scored twice, once on the grown and once threw the air. Jones could lose goal line carries to rookie DeMarco Murray or possibly Tashard Choice. Both should be drafted in deeper leagues with 5 or 6 backs to see how the carries play out. Dez Bryant was having a productive rookie year with 45 receptions for 561 yards and 6 touchdowns before breaking his ankle in week 13 on a kickoff return. He also added 2 punt return touchdowns. Bryant is a top 20 receiver heading into 2011 and a clear cut number 2 with high upside. Miles Austin dipped a bit last season from his surprise 2009 season but still topped 1,000 yards with 7 touchdowns all without Romo for 12 games. Austin will produce and should be drafted as a number 2 receiver. The third receiver spot is worth monitoring in deeper leagues with Kevin Ogletree, Jesse Holley and rookie Dwayne Harris all competing for the spot. Nine year veteran Jason Witten topped 1,000 yards for the second year in a row and caught a career high 9 touchdowns last season. Martellus Bennett backs him up but is not worth drafting in two tight end leagues.

Washington Redskins
Coach Mike Shanahan surprised a lot of people going with John Beck and Rex Grossman as his quarterbacks for 2011. Beck is the front runner although he hasn't thrown a regular season pass since his rookie year in 2007 while with the Dolphins. It will be interesting to see if Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan can coach Beck into a productive starter in the NFL. If the Beck experiment fails the job will be give to Rex Grossman for the season. The Redskins definitely have more weapons then a year ago, trading for Jabar Gaffney and signing free agent Donte' Stallworth and adding Leonard Hankerson through the draft. Gaffney caught 65 passes for 875 and 2 scores a year ago in Denver. He is a possession type receiver and should be the number 2 receiver until Hankerson is ready to take over and a 6th receiver at best. Unless Stallworth has a Brandon Lloyd type comeback he should be left undrafted. Hankerson is worth watching to see if he can beat out the veteran group for playing time. Santana Moss is coming off a really good year catching 93 balls for 1,115 yards and 6 scores. and he is the only Redskins receiver that really should be drafted in standard leagues. Anthony Armstrong had some spark a season ago in deep leagues but with the new acquisition it's hard to see any value with him. With Shanahan at the helm we all know that the running back position is never clear cut and it's even more of a mess heading into 2011. It looks like Ryan Torain is the starter after rushing for 742 yards and 4 touchdowns taking over for the injured Clinton Portis a year ago. However, The Redskins acquired Tim Hightower in a trade and drafted Roy Helu and Evan Royster plus they still have Keiland Williams who was a valuable third down back a year ago catching 39 for 309 yards. Hightower reached a career high last season with 736 yards and an impressive 4.8 yards per carry. He is also a more proven receiver out of the backfield then Torain is. Watch how this plays out and don't be surprised if it's Hightower and Helu ahead of Torain early into the season. Chris Cooley had a productive 2010 catching 77 passes for 849 and  3 touchdowns but he has missed camp time with a sore knee. He doesn't reach the endzone much and has more value in PPR leagues. Fred Davis is also involved in the offense but should be drafted only in deep leagues but could move up if Cooley's knee continues to be a problem.

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