Fantasy Football

2015 Fantasy Football: LeSean McCoy Traded to Buffalo

A trade between the Bills and Eagles that would send RB LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for ILB Kiko Alonso (coming off a torn ACL) is expected to be made official next Tuesday when the new football year officially begins. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly continues his team overhaul, bringing in “his guys.” Alonso is yet another Oregon product picked up by the Eagles. The trade will save Philly more than $9 million and will give them plenty of room to maneuver this offseason.

The big question in the fantasy community is how this will affect Shady’s fantasy value. Kelly’s offensive scheme was supposed to be the ideal situation for the 26-year-old superstar. After a dramatic drop off in 2014 is McCoy done? Do the Eagles know something that we don’t? While it’s possible he’s in decline, I doubt it. Buffalo is the perfect landing spot under new head coach Rex Ryan. He loves the ground-and-pound style offense and is sure to feature his running backs due to his miserable quarterback situation.

While McCoy rushed for a solid 1,319 yards last season on a respectable 4.2 yards per carry, that’s about the end of his solid numbers and it’s much in part due to his underutilization. McCoy scored only five TDs in 2014 and was targeted a career low 37 times in the passing game. This is a guy who has a career high of 20 TDs and a career high of 78 receptions. That’s more than double the targets he saw last year. The Eagles brought in scat back Darren Sproles and it killed McCoy’s PPR value.

I do not believe McCoy is going to be worthy of the first overall pick this season like he was in 2014 (although he did not live up to his ADP), but I do like him. I’m projecting him to have about 315 carries for 1,300 yards. His big boost should be in the passing game. Look for him to catch approximately 48 passes. His TD numbers should be right around double-digits as well, about 9-to-11. So McCoy owners should be optimistic about this trade. Things in Philly did not pan out as expected under Chip Kelly last season, but Ryan’s game plan should give him a nice bump in production.

There is one other question surrounding this trade. How will this trade affect the Eagles’ rush defense? Assuming Alonso is fully recovered from his torn ACL, he is certainly a presence in the middle of the defense. He was third in the league with 159 tackles as a rookie in 2013. He will definitely be a factor when deciding to deploy lower tier RBs against the usually vulnerable Eagles’ defense. For IDP owners interested in acquiring Alonso, you should expect much of the same production he put up in Buffalo. If anything, his numbers may even increase a bit. The Eagles have the girth up front to not allow O-lineman to explode in to the second level, but they also don’t have the sure-tacklers that the Bills do, which should leave more tackles and assisted tackles to be had.

Although many Eagles fans are upset right now, this was a good trade for everybody involved. Both the teams and players. The only glaring concern anybody should have with this trade is Alonso’s knee. Nonetheless, in the end everybody is better off for this deal getting done.

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