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Fantasy Football: Foles Gold?

By IAN RILEY

How can we not start withNick Foles? After completing 22-of-28 passes for 406 yards and seven touchdowns its all anyone is going to be talking about. He threw a touchdown pass on 25 percent of his chances for crying out loud. He led the Eagles to 49 points, which happened to be three more than they scored over their last three games combined.

Nick Foles joined some elite company with his seven touchdown game.  Photo Credit: Matthew Straubmuller

Nick Foles joined some elite company with his seven touchdown game.Photo Credit:Matthew Straubmuller

While Foles deserves a bunch of credit for the big game, we need to put some things into perspective. Two touchdowns were the direct result of defenders falling down. Oakland allowed 13.9 yards per pass attempt and 18.5 per completion. Seven completions were for 20 yards or more with the longest going for a 63-yard score toRiley Cooper.

Foles brilliant game had plenty to do with Oaklands complete ineptitude. Remember, this is the same guy who may have had the worst performance of any quarterback this season during Week 7 against Dallas. This game doesnt vault him into immediate QB1 status. However, he does need to be picked up in all leagues.

If anything, his performance gives him a pretty long leash on the starting gig overMichael Vick. From a Fantasy perspective this is good news forDeSean Jackson, Cooper and the rest of the Eagles receiving corps. Foles is a more accurate passer, something that has never been Vicks forte.

LeSean McCoy,on the other hand, is going to have a bleaker outlook. Vicks ability to run the read option left gaping holes for McCoy. Foles can run the read option, but he doesnt command the respect Vick does. You cant bench McCoy, but you need to start tempering your expectations. In the four games Foles has started he has 75 carries for 261 yards and a score. Thats just 3.5 yards-per-carry on average, folks.

Observation

There was a lot to be seen during the Sunday night game between Houston and Indianapolis, so I am just going to rifle off some quick thoughts I had while watching. CaseKeenumis here to stay. He moves well in the pocket and is fearless, two qualities I love in a quarterback.Andre Johnsonis back to WR1 status.Arian Fosterowners should worry, as he just cant stay out of the trainers room.Brandon Tategave a gutty effort, but I really like the speed rookieDennis Johnsonbrought to the table. Expect to see more of him if Foster misses time.T.Y. Hiltonis the only player capable of helpingAndrew Luckremain a QB1.Darrius Heyward-Beyhas cement hands andLavon Brazilljust isnt ready to make an impact.Donald Browncontinues to outperformTrent Richardson, but as long as the Colts keep winning games we wont see any change in usage. Expect the 60-40 split to continue in favor of Richardson, making both backs worth no more than a FLEX option.

Speculation

TheJason Campbell-led Browns defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens 24-18. In his two starts he has thrown for 555 yards and five touchdowns. This week, he targeted eight different receivers, withGreg Littledoing most of the damage hauling in seven of his nine targets for 122 yards. Opposing defenses are starting to lock intoJosh GordonandJordan Cameron. Considering how awful the Browns running game has been, their passing game is going to need a third option to emerge in order to open up opportunities for Cameron and Gordon. Little has tremendous talent, but he battles mental errors and drops. He also injured his shoulder late in the contest and may be forced to miss some time. After a career game that would be unfortunate.Davone Besswould start in his place but he doesnt offer the same skill set.

Revelation?

Philip Rivershas had a bounce back season. The reason is the change in offensive philosophy that came with new coach Mike McCoy. The Chargers offensive line isnt its strong point, so McCoy has Rivers making quick decisions with the football, and that quick hitting style has played toward the strengths of rookieKeenan Allen. This week against Washington, he hauled in eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. It was his third time in four games hes eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Allen has gone from late round flier on draft day to a weekly WR2. The kid just has a knack for getting open. Combine that with an ability to make defenders miss and you have a deadly combination. Expect Rivers to continue riding him, and big numbers from both players for the remainder of the season regardless of matchup.

Observation

Tampa Bay wasnt expected to do much of anything during their trip to Seattle. A winless squad facing what is arguably the best team in the NFC on the road had the makings of a blowout. The Bucs jumped out to a 21-point lead doing something St. Louis showed them the previous week. They ran the ball down their throats.Mike Jameshad just 96 career rushing yards on 27 carries prior to this game, but he gashed Seattle for 158 yards on 28 carries. Over their last two games the Seahawks have given up 365 yards rushing to opposing backs. Over their first seven games they gave up just 452 yards. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and weve found ourselves a trend. Rushing yards can be had running between the tackles against them, and you can expect Atlanta to giveSteven Jacksonplenty of chances against them next week.

Speculation

Players tend to have a little extra giddy-up in their step when facing their former team.Chris Ivoryis our latest example, as he racked up 139 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. With this performance, I think it finally safe to anoint Ivory the Jets clear-cut starter overBilal Powell. His road grader run style is a perfect match for the type of game plan the Jets want to employ. For Rex Ryans crew to succeed they need to establish the run to open up the pass. In doing this they put rookie signal callerGeno Smithin a position to succeed. As long as Ivory remains healthy, expect him to see 20 touches a game provided the Jets dont fall behind early. Powell should get most of his work in passing situations but wont be worth starting in Fantasy unless you are desperate. Ivory will be an RB2 from this point forward.

Revelation

Earlier this week, Titans coachMike Munchakoffered a tidbit of information that I found quite interesting. He offered up on Wednesday that he wanted to getChris Johnson20 carries per game going forward, withShonn Greenegetting 15. After hearing that I was positive that Munchak used this to light a fire under Johnsons ass. He then proceeded to shred St. Louis for a season-best 150 yards on 23 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Guess it is safe to say he got the message. This was his first 100-yard rushing effort since Week 15 of last season against the Jets. Yes, I know the Rams rushing defense isnt elite. They are exactly what the Titans needed to help build confidence in their running game. Aside from a Week 15 matchup against Arizona, Johnson has a pretty favorable schedule ahead of him. If you own him, hold tight. If you can get your hands on him via trade, I think well see RB1 numbers from here on out.



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