We are now on our fourth division for this series. We have gone through the player movement in the AFC North, NFC North and the AFC East and now we’ll tackle the NFC East.
Just to recap, we will be going through each division, one a week.
While the AFC and NFC North did not have a lot of player movement, the AFC East was full of players on new teams. While there are not nearly as many players that have left the NFC East, many big names are no longer part of that division.
One big name (DeMarco Murray) didn’t leave the division, but he did switch teams within the division, and we’ll analyze how that affects his value.
At the end of the day, Fantasy owners just want to know the impact player movement may have on their fake teams. As we get closer and closer to draft day, we will look to see how the departures and additions affect each player’s Fantasy value for 2015.
The star of the Dallas Cowboys, DeMarco Murray, will not be on the roster in 2015. Instead, he’ll be replaced with … Darren McFadden. Initially, Fantasy owners hoped that if Murray was no longer a Cowboy, the team would grab Adrian Peterson. That didn’t end up happening and now Joseph Randle is likely going to be the lead back in Dallas, with oft-injured McFadden and Lance Dunbar also in the mix.
Joseph Randle vs Seahawks: 5 Carries, 52 Yards Eagles RBs vs Seahawks: 21 Carries, 50 Yards But keep throwing that Randle shade, Philly fans
— Dan Turner (@dtsturner) June 11, 2015
The word out of Dallas is that the job is Randle’s, and he performed well in 2014, spelling Murray when needed. He totaled 343 rushing yards on 51 carries. The key to Dallas’ offense is their offensive line.
There was talk that Murray’s fantastic 2014 season was partly the result of his talent, but also the result of the offensive line. If this was the case, expect a big year from Randle. He doesn’t have quite the same amount of talent that Murray does, but he’s a RB2. Leave McFadden alone on draft day.
Despite finishing with a disappointing 4-12 record in 2014, the Redskins did not do much to change their offense. They lost two of their wide receivers in Aldrick Robinson and Santana Moss.
However, they still have DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, who were the two primary wideouts in 2014. Expect Garcon to get more involved with the offense this year.
There has been talk about the Redskins focusing on their run game as well. They added Matt Jones in the draft. He will likely end up being the backup for Alfred Morris, but if they can get the run game going, look for both backs to have a role.
New York Giants
The New York Giants may have (arguably) one of the best receiving corps in the league. No changes were needed to a group that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and even Larry Donnell.
Where the Giants did need to improve was their running game. Peyton Hillis is no longer on the team, and they replaced him with Shane Vereen. Vereen, formerly of the Patriots, will play along with Rashad Jennings. Vereen will be the pass-catching back as it is clear that Jennings (and his 30 receptions in 2014) is much better as a runner. Jennings will get the goal-line and between-the-tackles work, but Vereen will be a solid RB2 in PPR leagues.
— 4for4.com Fantasy (@4for4football) June 9, 2015
In 2014, Vereen had more receiving yards than rushing yards (447 vs. 391). He had three receiving touchdowns compared to two rushing touchdowns. Look for Vereen to be a target for Eli Manning, despite the elite receiving options. Vereen should handle a lot of the short passes, and he may even be a target in the red zone.
The most changes in the NFC East were on the roster of the Philadelphia Eagles. At running back, they lost LeSean McCoy and gained DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews. The current plan is to use both running backs.
Decreasing Murray’s workload (393 rushes in 2014 was the highest in the league, ahead of McCoy’s 312) is a priority for the Eagles. As long as both backs are healthy, look for Mathews to take carries from Murray, which decreases both of their value a bit.
However, Mathews and healthy are not two words that seem to go together. The job is clearly Murray’s and he is still a RB1. Don’t expect numbers like what he put up in Dallas; the offensive line isn’t as strong and the workload will be less. If Murray does miss time and Mathews is healthy, he’ll step up to fill his role, but don’t forget Darren Sproles is still in the mix as well. Mathews is a RB3 with upside at this point.
At quarterback, the Eagles added Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow to replace Nick Foles. Bradford was poised for a good 2014 until he tore his ACL, again. After not playing in a regular season game since the middle of the 2013 season, Bradford is still getting back into football shape.
He’s had multiple knee surgeries and shouldn’t be considered the clear-cut starter at this point. Mark Sanchez is still on the team, and would likely be the starter if Bradford is out (or even struggles in training camp). For now, the Eagles QB situation is one that should be avoided.
Tim Tebow is on the roster for now, but this may have just been a ploy by the major sports networks to get his name on their screens again. For Fantasy purposes, he can absolutely be left alone.
Lastly, at wide receiver, the Eagles added Miles Austin and lost Jeremy Maclin. Really, the emergence of Jordan Matthews is likely what gave the Eagles the confidence to let Maclin go. Austin, coming off a rough season in Cleveland, is just filling a role at this point. Matthews, Riley Cooper and rookie Nelson Agholor are ahead of him on the depth chart. For Fantasy purposes, Agholor is the newcomer to the team to watch. Look for him to be a sneaky WR3 on draft day.
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