- Michael Fabiano NFL.com Fantasy Editor
McCoy steps down from preseason fantasy throne
I had McCoy ranked as the No. 1 player in fantasy football for 2014 before news of the Sproles trade broke last week. And while I don't see Sproles putting a dent into his overall carries, I do see the potential for McCoy to experience a reduction in receptions. Not only is Sproles in the offensive mix, but the Eagles have retained Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin in a pass attack that also includes DeSean Jackson and Zach Ertz. This move gives coach Chip Kelly a chance to decrease McCoy's workload a bit ... he's coming off a 366-touch season, after all. With that said, I've moved the Pittsburgh product down to third among running backs. So, who has moved up to No. 1? Welcome back to the fantasy mountaintop, Adrian Peterson.
- Jason Smith NFL.com Fantasy Analyst
Same old Shady
Nothing changes for me. We just did our first mock draft for the 2014 season and I took McCoy with the second-overall pick. Sproles is going to find his own niche. He's rarely going to carry the football -- just 53 carries a year ago, so less than four per game -- and will make his dent in the passing game. Does this mean McCoy may catch two or three less passes per game this season? Probably. But he's still going to tote the rock over 300 times and find a way to catch at least 40 passes. I'm not concerned at all. Year 2 for Shady in Chip Kelly's offense is going to be just as good as Year 1.
My initial reaction to the Darren Sproles trade was one of pure panic. I mean, I didn't throw any office furniture, but I thought about it for a moment. LeSean McCoy was going to rock this season. He was a guy I coveted last year and thought was poised for an even bigger 2014. But when they made the move for Sproles, I nearly lost it. The only way I could console myself was with a trip to Freebirds World Burrito. Funny how much clarity you can gain with a side of guacamole. Because it hit me: McCoy is not going to take a huge tumble fantasy-wise.
He's still going to be a top-four back with Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte, and I wouldn't argue with anybody who still thinks Shady can be the top back in fantasy. And the main reason why is because of Chip Kelly. The Eagles were one of the most efficient offenses in the league in 2013. Sproles makes the team more dynamic, which means McCoy will continue to hold his value.
Even with the arrival of Darren Sproles, there's still a lot to like about LeSean McCoy's fantasy situation heading into the 2014 season. He has a full year of Chip Kelly's system under his belt, and the Eagles have kept their top playmakers under contract making it harder for defenses to scheme solely against McCoy. However, with Sproles joining the fray, McCoy's fantasy ceiling comes down from it's recent lofty status. While he'll still produce like a first-round draft pick, the odds of McCoy taking the fantasy crown are significantly lower as Sproles will eat into his usually robust receiving numbers and will likely vulture a few touchdowns as well. McCoy is still a safe bet to finish as a top-five fantasy running back, but loses a little of his allure with Sproles in town.