2013 Team Outlook: Philadelphia Eagles
TE Brent Celek, PHI - Quality Backup
Celek has turned in some potent performances during his career, some over large chunks of entire seasons. The 2012 campaign wasn't one of those seasons. He finished with 57 receptions for 684 yards, but only one touchdown after scoring at least four times in each of the previous three seasons. The trick with projecting Celek's value before fantasy drafts is gauging the tight end's worth in a Chip Kelly offense. From what we can tell, it is actually worth quite a bit, so much so that Kelly has stated he plans to use three of them throughout the season. As for how he will use them, perhaps this article is a clue. Kelly classifies rookie Zach Ertz as a receiver. Same with James Casey. As for Celek, "his strength is blocking." Now, that's not the same as predicting Celek turns into the Eagles' sixth offensive linemen, but it is also not the same as projecting him catching 76 passes like Celek did during his breakout 2009 campaign. We'll find out during camp if Celek is the main option or part of a committee. Seeing as the fantasy tight end class is a weak one this year, Celek's upside is interesting (just not TE1 interesting, not yet anyway).
Update 9/1: Word in Eagles camp is that Brent Celek will be heavily involved in the passing game this season. Celek was orginally thought to be used more as a blocking tight end, which would allow rookie Zach Ertz to be the receiving threat. This would make for a crowded tight end position for fantasy, but things change quickly in pre-season. Update your draft board accoringly, but Celek should be considered a high end TE2 with big time potential in Chip Kelly's offense.
TE Zach Ertz, PHI - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Chip Kelly immediately added a pass-catching tight end threat by selecting Stanford's Zach Ertz in the second round. The 6-foot-6 target replaced Coby Fleener at Stanford and paced the Cardinals in receptions (69), yards (898) and touchdowns (6). Yet it isn't Ertz' pass receiving skills that will determine his playing time, but likely his pass protecting (which is not considered a strength, for now). Veterans Brent Celek and James Casey are also in the mix. Therefore, we may not learn until late in camp how much playing time the rookie earns. For now, consider Ertz a worthy dynasty or keeper league, but at best a late round flyer in redraft leagues.
PK Alex Henery, FA* - Quality Backup
Like the entire Eagles offense, Henery's production dipped in his second NFL season, finishing in the middle of the pack among fantasy kickers with 106 points. Over two seasons, he's drilled 51 of 58 field goals. In 2012, he made 11 of 13 from 40 yards and beyond. There is certainly a chance the scoring overall picks up under the new scheme, but the equal opportunity exists that it won't. With so much unpredictability, you can probably do better at kicker, but jump on Henery if the Eagles soar early.
Philadelphia - Bye Week Fill-in
Because for years this unit was a top-10 fantasy staple, the standard assumption is drafting Philly's defense is a good thing. Eh, not so much anymore. Last season the Eagles were middle of the pack in sacks, but ranked 30th with eight interceptions. Adding former Texans linebacker Connor Barwin will help the pass rush, which in turn should aid the now overhauled secondary. There is some interesting linebacker talent, but both the defensive line and backfield are iffy. During the season, Philly could be useful, but on draft day, there will likely be better options.