No. 5 completed 16-of-30 passes with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions on SNF against Dallas. To be fair, the first pick was a deflection off the gloves of Jeremy Maclin and should have been caught. Don’s a low-end No. 1/high-end No. 2 option against the Chargers’ tough, fifth-ranked pass defense. He still hasn’t gone over 300 yards yet in ’09 -- but has thrown 10 TDs to only 3 INT.
McCoy has been playing instead of the concussed Brian Westbrook. Monitor Westie’s injury status heading into Sunday, but the Birds have been cautious dealing with head injuries. McCoy had 115 total yards as the starter against Dallas (13 for 54 on the ground, 5 catches for 61 yards), and is a solid No. 2 fantasy RB against a Chargers’ D that’s 26th against the run.
Jackson had a tough go against Dallas, catching only 2 balls for 29 yards. Look for the Birds to gameplan more touches for their most explosive player. He has 6 TDs on the year -- all for over 50 yards -- and is a threat to take it all the way every single time he touches the ball. He’s turned into a rock-solid No. 2 fantasy WR.
Maclin settled into a decent groove after his Week 5 breakout game (6 catches, 142 yards, 2 TD against the Bucs). He’s averaged 4 catches for 48 yards in the Eagles three consecutive NFC East games. Maclin caught 3 balls for 44 yards against the Cowboys and was targeted a team-high 9 times (9 times? I don’t remember Ferris being sick 9 times…) He warrants a roster spot but probably not a start as a No. 3 fantasy WR. Not yet anyway.
Celek had 3 catches for 39 yards and a TD against Dallas. It was his second straight game with a TD. He has established himself as one of the top tight ends in the league, sixth in the league at the position in catches (with 40) and fourth in yards. He should be started every week.
Akers was 3-for-3 against the Cowboys last week including a 52-yarder. He’s 7-for-7 over the last three weeks and has 9 FG of more than 40 yards since the bye. He’s 16-for-19 on the season and is always a good option on a high-scoring team. Simply put, he’s one of the best kickers in the NFL.
The Eagles sacked Tony Romo four times and picked him off once. The unit ranks second in INTs, second in sacks, sixth in DTDs, eighth in PPG and 10th in YPG.-- but it’s also had the pleasure of dining on some of the worst offenses in the NFL. The Chargers are not that. They are ninth in the league in PPG as a unit. Still, the Eagles are a lower-tier No. 1 defense here.
Rivers was 24-for-36 for 209 yards -- his lowest total of the year -- against the Giants with 3 TD and 2 INT. He’s seventh in the league with 2,245 yards and is certainly an advisable lower-end No. 1 fantasy QB against a Birds’ pass defense that is 11th in NFL.
LT was stymied by the Giants’ tough front with 12 carries for 22 yards. He lacks the old Tomlinson explosiveness. This is not a good sign for his owners who still rely on him as a No. 2 fantasy RB against the Eagles 10th-ranked rush defense.
‘Buttered’ Sproles had minimal impact against the Giants. He had 1 carry for 1 yard and 5 catches for 22 yards. While he is a danger to take it to the house every time he touches the ball, he’s no more than a low-end No. 3 fantasy RB because he just doesn’t get the touches to merit being ranked higher.
Jackson had another good game against the Giants, catching 5 balls for 58 yards and a pair of touchdowns to find paydirt for the fourth consecutive week. He’s a top fantasy option, the No. 3 WR in the NFL with 722 yards and tied for the league lead with 7 TD. He’s a definite No. 1 WR against the Eagles 11th-ranked pass defense.
Gates had 5 catches for 67 yards against the Giants and was targeted a team-high 8 times. Look for Gates to break his four-game scoreless streak against the Eagles, who have trouble covering TEs. He is a must-start fantasy option against the Eagles, ranking second among TEs with 590 yards and fourth with 42 catches.
Kaeding went without a FGA at Giants Stadium. Nevertheless, he remains one of the best fantasy kicking options in the league, having kicked 3 FGs in 4 of his 8 games. He’s 15-for-18 on the year, good for fourth in the NFL in both attempts and makes.
The San Diegoans … San Diegans … Chargers’ defense has been average all year (20th in PPG) but it’s had three good weeks in a row against the Chiefs, Raiders and Giants. They sacked Eli Manning five times, one week after getting to JaBrutal five times. Shawne Merriman finally looks healthy, making the unit decent low-end No. 1, high-end No. 2 play vs. the Birds. Also, Darren Sproles is a risk to take any kickoff or punt to the house.