2015 Fantasy Football Players to Avoid: LeSean McCoy







By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

How much do you believe in Chip Kelly? That's one the questions you need to ask when assessing McCoy this season. Kelly is as meticulous as any coach in the league and saw something in McCoy that he wanted to upgrade. Did he make the right decision?

From 2011 to 2013, McCoy had an elusive rating of 45+, which ranked him sith overall for running backs according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). That stat looks at yards after contact and number of missed tackles against him, which there were many. And, when you look at the numbers for each of those seasons, his best numbers came in 2013, his first season with Kelly, when he rushed 314 times for 1,697 yards and caught 52 of 64 targets for 539 yards, accumulating 11 touchdowns and a league-high 2,146 yards while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. That season, the Eagles led the NFL in rushing yards and were second in overall offense, but 2014 was a different story for McCoy and the Eagles.

In 2014, the Eagles ended up 10-6 just like the year before, but even though the offense still played at the same up-tempo pace, the rushing offense slipped from first to ninth in rushing yards and from first to 15th in yards per attempt. McCoy wasn't the same player. He had just gone through a full training camp and season with one of the most demanding coaches in the NFL and touched the ball 371 times, the most in his career, and he lost .9 yards per carry and 18 rushing yards per game while rushing just two fewer times on the season. McCoy appeared to have lost a step, and Kelly held him back in places like goal-line attempts and then decided to move on in the offseason. McCoy had racked up 706 touches in two seasons with Kelly, in a break-neck offense. Kelly understands that his offense is going to wear players down, especially his running backs, and he most likely wanted to get two very good backs to replace McCoy, in DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews, so he could keep both fresh.




Is Kelly right? McCoy is still just 27 years old and could have just had a down season. He now goes to Buffalo, where Rex Ryan will run the ball six ways to Sunday. So the commitment to the run is there, and there's no reason to just negate what McCoy has been able to do in his career, but is McCoy still a first-round pick in Buffalo?

The Eagles ranked first in run blocking last season according to PFF - McCoy's numbers still declined - while the Bills ranked 21st. Bringing in Richie Incognito isn't going to turn Buffalo's offensive line group around, and with nobody at quarterback to really scare defenses; they will focus on stopping McCoy. Two years ago, I'd have fallen back on the old adage that great running backs make great offensive lines, but at this point for McCoy, I believe he needs a great offensive line to help boost him up.




If you believe Shady and Kelly just couldn't see eye-to-eye, or that he was playing with an undisclosed injury, or the offense just wasn't the right fit (even though he destroyed the league the year before), then McCoy is probably still your guy. And even when I look at the situation, McCoy still has plenty of fantasy value, but I'm going to be going for upside, and a player like C.J. Anderson, who is going after McCoy, is someone I'd rather have and by a wide margin.

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