Fantasy Football: Eagles targets in the late rounds

Chris Graythen

On Friday we took a look at Evan Silva's 1-100 fantasy football players. A total of four players made the cut: 1) LeSean McCoy, 53) Jeremy Maclin, 70) Nick Foles, and 92) Zach Ertz. Now it's time to take a look at the players who fall in between the 101-200 range on Silva's list.

Round Nine

107. Darren Sproles -- The first things that stand out about Sproles are his age (31) and declining role, usage, and playmaking ability under offensive mastermind Sean Payton, on top of the savvy Saints' willingness to trade him away. Chip Kelly is a genius in his own right and traded for Sproles, of course, but I'm skeptical how much of an impact he's still capable of from a fantasy perspective. I do think Sproles could be a PPR asset, and will be part of a committee approach to replace DeSean Jackson. At his seventh-round ADP, I'll be avoiding him in standard leagues.

Despite the continued insistence by both the Eagles and Sproles himself that he's a running back and not a receiver, it's still likely that Sproles will catch a lot of passes in 2014. Sproles recorded a total of 232 receptions in 44 games (5.27 average) during his last three seasons in New Orleans. As Silva notes, this gives Sproles some extra value in leagues that award points per reception.

Round Eleven

123. Jordan Matthews -- Matthews starred at OTAs, but his outlook was intriguing long before reporting to non-contact practices. Entering a top-five NFL offense losing (easily) its most productive receiver, Matthews is ticketed for Marques Colston duties in the slot between role player Riley Cooper and a wideout coming off an ACL tear in Jeremy Maclin. At 6-foot-3, 212, Matthews should be an immediate red-zone threat whose targets and usage could grow by the week. Although there are probably too many mouths to feed in Chip Kelly's run-first offense for Matthews to turn in Colston rookie stats (70-1,038-8), I like him as a high-ceiling WR4 sleeper.

The Jordan Matthews hype train has been running strong and there's no indication of it slowing down any time soon. In fact it only picked up steam again when it was discovered last week that Matthews will spend part of his vacation working out with top NFL receivers Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green.

***Former Eagle note: RB Bryce Brown ranks in at 132 overall.***

Round Twelve

143. Chris Polk -- Although Darren Sproles will surely be listed "No. 2" on Philadelphia's tailback depth chart, Polk is likely second in line for between-the-tackles carries, and would assume lead back work in the event of a LeSean McCoy injury. Even if it is dependent upon unforeseeable injury, there is value in speculative value, and Polk's would skyrocket if McCoy missed time. A plus receiver and pass blocker in his own right, Polk is a gets-what's-blocked runner capable of handling heavy workloads. Chip Kelly's offense could turn 24-year-old Polk into a short-term star.

Nothing too much to add here. Good explanation by Silva. Despite not playing much in the 2013 regular season, Polk looked really impressive in last year's training camp and preseason. Will that be the case again?

Round Thirteen

149. Riley Cooper -- Leave out two November affairs against the punching-bag Raiders and depleted Packers, and Cooper managed 39 catches for 594 yards and three TDs in Philadelphia's other 14 regular season games. He lacks a consistent week-to-week role in Chip Kelly's offense, primarily blocking on the perimeter and finishing 54th among NFL receivers in targets. Cooper can make plays on occasion -- he's big and runs reasonably well -- but Kelly doesn't scheme to get him the ball. And there are now more mouths to feed in Philly, with Jeremy Maclin healthy, rookie Jordan Matthews playing the slot, Zach Ertz ascending, and Darren Sproles joining the backfield.

It's easy to see why Cooper could regress but he still seems to be a favorite target for QB Nick Foles.

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