August 27, 2015
An odd and offbeat topic of conversation came up the other night: How competitive would your fantasy football team be if you drafted a roster of exclusively Eagles players?
It may seem absurd, but the Eagles have had one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL since Chip Kelly arrived prior to the 2013 season. And furthermore, the Eagles have a lot of very skilled fantasy players.
As Jimmy Kempski noted on Wednesday, Evan Silva of Rotoworld has seven Eagles in his Top 200 for 2015:
One of my main concerns with drafting current Eagles players -- full disclosure, I took Mathews in the 10th and Bradford in the 13th -- is that the offense has so many skilled players that fantasy points will be spread around, making some players less valuable than their skill set would suggest. It's one of the same reasons I traditionally shied away from Saints players not named Drew Brees or Jimmy Graham.
However, the Eagles score quite a bit (third in the NFL in 2014), and in this case, building a team of all Eagles players would guarantee that you pick the right wideout or running back to start each week.
Here's a look at what a standard fantasy roster would look like with all Eagles players (and in which round you'd likely have to draft each of them):
|FLEX||Josh Huff (WR)||9|
No, that roster won't likely win you a title, and you'll be guaranteed to lose Week 8, when the Birds are on the bye. But it wouldn't be a flat-out horrible team.
[And please, don't write me in four months complaining that you lost your league. I'm not recommending this as a legitimate strategy; it's more of a fun topic for discussion than anything else.]
Using ESPN.com's fantasy scoring projections, that team would put up 1,253.5 points on the season, or 83.6 per week. And that's not all that terrible in standard scoring formats, especially considering Bradford could play even better than ESPN is projecting (3,888 passing yards, 27 TDs, 12 INTs) ... if he can stay healthy.
That got me thinking: Is there any NFL team that could field its own fantasy roster and compete for a title? And if not, which team would have the best chance to do so?
Without doing too much math, I was able to eliminate some teams -- like Cleveland, Jacksonville and the New York Jets -- from contention almost immediately. Others were more tricky. Here are the top 10 teams I came up with, as well as their projected total points:
|1||Green Bay Packers||1,302.8|
|6||New Orleans Saints||1,248.6|
|8||New England Patriots**||1,234.9|
The problem with some of these teams, however, is that you won't be able to draft ALL their top players. For example, if you were to try to do this with the Steelers, it wouldn't be possible; running back Le'Veon Bell and wideout Antonio Brown are both projected as first-round picks. You could run into similar issues with the Packers -- Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and, formerly, Jordy Nelson were all going in the first two rounds -- and Broncos -- Peyton Manning, C.J. Anderson, Demaryius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders are going in the first 30 picks.
With the Eagles, however, their players are spread out enough that you can easily draft each and every one of them.
Another thing I noticed -- and it also works in the Eagles' favor here -- is that if you add up Bradford's projected passing attempts and the rushes for him and all the running backs, the total number is significantly lower (by about 60 plays) than the average number of offensive plays the Eagles ran in Kelly's first two seasons.
Still, the Eagles are the fifth-best in my hardly-scientific rankings. So if you somehow wind up in a league where you can only pick one team and must draft exclusively their players, you could do a lot worse.