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Fantasy Impact: LeSean McCoy Traded To Bills

LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy Traded

Chip Kelly is getting his ducks in a row.

On Tuesday the Philadelphia Eagles traded LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso. The trade cannot be officially completed until the start of the new year which begins next Tuesday, March 10th.

McCoy has the NFL’s third-most rushing yards (6,792) and fourth-most rushing touchdowns (44) since he was drafted by the Eagles in the second round back in 2009. He finished last season with 1,319 rushing yards, third-most in the NFL only a season after leading the league in 2013 with 1607 rushing yards.

LeSean McCoy was scheduled to earn $11.95 million against the Eagles salary-cap in 2015. He was asked to take a pay cut yet refused. As the team had too much money wrapped up in their backfield the Eagles made every effort to get what they could through a trade rather than simply releasing the long time RB.

A source close to McCoy told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the veteran running back is not pleased with the move. “He’s a Pennsylvania kid. He’s never played football outside of Pennsylvania — high school, college, pro,” the source said. “So of course he’s not happy.”

Kiko Alonso played his college ball at –you guessed it– the University of Oregon under Chip Kelly. The Bills drafted the 6-foot-3 linebacker in the 2nd round (46th overall) in 2013. Alonso had a very impressive rookie season tallying 159 tackles, 2 Sacks, 4 INT’s and forced a fumble for the Bills.

After a strong rookie campaign, Bills GM Doug Whaley announced that he would be moving the young talent to the weakside linebacker position. Unfortunately Alonso tore his ACL while working out in Oregon and missed the entire 2014 NFL season. He was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list on August 26, last summer. While doctors feel very positive that he should make a full recovery, this is his second knee injury Alonso has had in the last 4 years. Back in 2010 Alonso spent the entire season rehabilitating from a knee injury that he suffered while playing for the Oregon Ducks.

Early Trade Winner?

Chip Kelly has had the keys to the offense since day one but only recently been handed full control to the teams roster. With freeing up a ton of cap room the silver tongued coach is definitely up to something and appears to have an ace up the sleeve. Considering the Eagles sounded like they weren’t going to pay McCoy $11.95 million this season, trading for young linebacker with a lot of upside makes you think they’ll come out on top of this deal. If Kiko Alonso can stay healthy he could become the centerpiece for the Eagles linebacking corps that desperately needs an injection of youth.

McCoy will be 27 years old in July. He is one of the leagues most elusive running backs yet is playing a position in the NFL that has very short shelflife. Running backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL and while it will be hard to replace a lot of the things Shady did on the field, the team should be able to bring someone in to fill the void.

Stat: There hasn’t been a running back drafted in the first round of either of the last two NFL Drafts, yet he following were found at great values:

  • Tre Mason, Rams -3rd Round (75th overall | 2014)
  • Lorenzo Taliaferro, Ravens -4th round(138th overall | 2014)
  • Latavius Murray, Raiders -6th round (181st overall | 2013)
  • Andre Ellington, Cardinals -6th round (187th overall | 2013)
  • Alfred Blue, Texans -6th round (181st overall | 2014)
  • Storm Johnson, Jag’s -7th round (222nd overall | 2014)

Fantasy Impact:

For The Bills: Adding a player like LeSean McCoy can do wonders for an offense, but he’s not the type of player that can carry an offense. The Bills need to have a plan in place, they need to be creative in getting McCoy his touches and using him to his abilities to reach his true potential. Rex Ryan has added an impact player that will create a lot of hype for Bills fans, but until more can be learned about the offense that will be installed in Buffalo, you have to see this as a set back for fantasy owners.

Although, there are some positives and hints to the offense that the Bills will run this season. There will be a lot of pressure on new Bills OC Greg Roman to create an offense that can succeed early. Fortunately, Roman has spent the past four years as the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator and comes in with some impressive stats.

Year Pts/G Att Att/G Yds TD Avg Yds/G Ranked
2014 19.1 470 29.4 2,176 10 4.6 136 4th Rushing Yds/G
2013 25.4 505 31.6 2,201 18 4.4 137.6 3rd Rushing Yds/G
2012 24.8 492 30.8 2,491 17 5.1 155.7 4th Rushing Yds/G
2011 23.8 498 31.1 2,044 14 4.1 127.8 8th Rushing Yds/G

49er’s Rushing game with Greg Roman 

Prior to joining the 49ers, Roman gained NFL experience as a member of the coaching staffs of the Carolina Panthers (1995-2001), Houston Texans (2002-03) and Baltimore Ravens (2006-07). He also spent two seasons (2009-10) on Jim Harbaugh’s coaching staff at Stanford.

Prediction: Shady McCoy’s Fantasy value will plummet and then begin to climb closer to training camp. Fantasy owners always need to see it to believe it and are often scared off by change. While this isn’t an ideal situation for McCoy, his offensive coordinator and coaching staff are experienced and should be able to utilize his talents. McCoy will fall out of the first round of fantasy drafts but should have upside if the Bills can strengthen their offensive line in 2015. My guess is the team drafts O-line in the first round.

For the Eagles: If you’re overly excited because you own Darren Sproles in your fantasy league… you should probably calm down. This is a very deep NFL draft at the running back position and despite rumors that the team is going to mortgage the future for Marcus Mariota, the Eagles do have an extra fourth-round pick that could easily become a shifty, speedy running back to help contribute into what looks to be RB by committee running game for the birds. As of now fantasy owners need to wait and see what Chip has in store for the Philadelphia Eagles for 2015.

Prediction: A rookie running back like David Johnson from Northern Iowa (6’1 | 224lbs) or Ameer Abdullah (5’9 | 205lbs) spike my interest. I’m all about the 3 cone drill at the NFL Combine, both have solid numbers.

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