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Philadelphia Eagles players get overrated in fantasy football

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Let’s face the facts. Fantasy Football has turned into what used to be four “Geeks” who were the kings of their own little “Roto World” sitting around their apartment on a Friday night into a national phenomenon. That was then, this is now.

Today, Fantasy Football has grown into a multi-million dollar industry that has become so “In-Crowd” you are almost labeled a “Geek” for not being in at least one Fantasy Draft and many of us are in multiple drafts. These drafts involve not only big money but also the ever elusive bragging rights amongst our peers. One problem we have at these drafts is we use our heart over our heads and this can be a fatal flaw. In the Philadelphia area, we are Eagles fans but we should not just pick Philadelphia players because we love them. After all guys, this is as close as most of us will ever come to becoming and NFL GM. We need to make these picks count!!!

In these Philadelphia area drafts, two Eagles players are constantly being overvalued while two others are being undervalued. Today we’re going to evaluate the over and underrated players and hopefully, we leave this article with an edge throughout our fantasy season.

Brian Westbrook:

I love Brian Westbrook. I feel the guy is a future Hall of Famer who still plays with a chip on his shoulder for being told he was too small and that a running back from Villanova could never make a splash in the NFL. Brian Westbrook has made a living out of proving the critics wrong and he is deservedly a beloved figure but if you want to win your fantasy league, you need to proceed with caution.

According to ESPN, Westbrook is the 14th best running back but that has not deterred local fans from picking Westbook in the top 10 overall players on a regular basis during this Fantasy Draft season. In many “Keeper Leagues”, Westbrook has been kept over younger and healthier running backs. If one is to look objectively at Brian Westbrook, there are a number of Red Flags in selecting him. For one, he is getting up in years (30 years old). Secondly, he is coming off of a serious injury and lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Birds selected LeSean McCoy early in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. McCoy, who had a stellar career at the University of Pittsburgh, plans to make an immediate impact and if Andy Reid is going to take a skilled player early in the 2nd round, you can count on the fact that this young back is going to steal a great deal of carries from Brian Westbrook. All of these factors point to Westbrook not being a dominant Fantasy Football running back. Instead of Westbrook, you may want to consider Pierre Thomas, Ryan Grant or Darren McFadden. All three of these backs are ranked lower than Westbrook and all are due for strong seasons. While we love Brian Westbrook, we need to think with our heads. Westbrook is still a strong back but his fantasy value is declining. If you picked him, he still has a great deal of trade value so keep your eyes opened on that end.

Donovan McNabb:

It’s amazing that Donovan McNabb was once booed on his draft day because Eagles Nation wanted Ricky Williams so desperately. A lot has changed since that draft which is over 10 years in the past. Donovan has led the Eagles to 5 NFC Championship Games and has grown into a beloved figure in Philadelphia sports. With that being said, he is not the quarterback he once was and his fantasy value has dropped.

There was a time when Donovan McNabb would be a perennial first round fantasy pick because of his arms and his legs but the fact is that McNabb does not want to run anymore. McNabb insists on being a pocket passer and while he still has speed, he will not get you a great deal of fantasy points with his legs which used to make him such an appealing pick.

As for rankings, ESPN ranks McNabb as the number 10 overall Quarterback yet despite this ranking, McNabb has been drafted consistently in the first round ahead of solid running backs and premier QB’s. In many leagues, McNabb has been selected over Drew Brees and Tony Romo both of which are clearly better Fantasy options. We also need to consider the “Michael Vick” factor because no one can be certain if this will have an adverse affect on McNabb’s stats.

If Donovan is available in the 4th-5th round, he is worth taking a flyer on but do not make the cardinal mistake Philadelphia fans have made by selecting the Syracuse Alum too early. If you are waiting on a QB in your draft, look for the likes of Jay Cutler and Trent Edwards, both of whom present great value picks and could lead you to a victory on Sunday. While people may raise their eyebrows at the mention of Trent Edwards, keep in mind that he has two legitimate number 1 receivers in Terrell Owens and Lee Evans and the Bills plan to air it out this season.

While Westbrook and McNabb have been overvalued, there are Eagles who have been undervalued. Next time, we’ll discuss two Eagles you may “catch” at a very fair draft price. See ya then.

thumbnail: (By Richard A. Lipski -- The Washington Post)