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Fantasy Football Impact Of The Donovan McNabb Trade

Donovan McNabbAs soon as I heard about the Donovan McNabb trade from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Washington Redskins, my fantasy football wheels started turning. It may be four months away, but it is never to early to start thinking about your fantasy football draft. Just how well do I expect Donovan McNabb to do in Washington? Not too good in terms of how far he has fallen in my Top 25 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks.

The Donovan McNabb trade is one of those few trades that impact the fantasy football value of more than one player on both teams. Obviously the biggest player impacted is Donovan McNabb. I just published my very early Top 25 Fantasy QBs last week. At that time Donovan McNabb was a Philadelphia Eagle so I ranked him appropriately. I ranked Donovan McNabb at number 10 between Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco. Here is what I wrote about Donovan McNabb at the time.

“The Eagles did nothing to bolster the offensive line and let Brian Westbrook go who picked up a lot of blocks for McNabb. The Eagles with McNabb will always be a pass-heavy offense, yet I don’t expect big yards when McNabb is running for his life for four quarters.”

[adinserter block=”1″]Obviously this changes a lot with McNabb’s new team. I take a look at the Washington Redskins and I see a putrid offense. Other than Chris Cooley I don’t see any steady targets for McNabb. I also look at Mike Shanahan’s history, and he is a running coach. Heck, the Redskins signed two elite yet older running backs in free agency. This is a team that will be looking to move down the field, yet run hard when they get into the red zone. That doesn’t bode well at all if you own Donovan McNabb in your fantasy football league. Keep in mind that Jason Campbell didn’t even crack my top 25 due to this reason alone.

I drop McNabb down 8 spots to number 18. It is a huge drop for a guy that has been a keeper in some fantasy football leagues. My drop to #18 isn’t so much a reflection of McNabb, but a reflection of his current situation. One year to learn the new offense, no running game, no vertical threats, and a pitiful offensive line prevents me from even starting McNabb with confidence. The tools that make a quarterback a great fantasy football player just aren’t there with the Redskins offense.

Now this could all change by opening day. The Redskins have a draft and a few more months to wheel and deal. There are already rumors of the Redskins acquiring either Brandon Marshall or Terrell Owens. Dez Bryant is also a very likely draft pick for the Redskins. Even still, the team still has no running game yet has a running coach. I would shoot McNabb up to about 16 if he does get another weapon or two but as of today, I don’t see him as much more than a Bye Week fill-in.

Now that McNabb is gone from the Eagles, Kevin Kolb will now be an NFL starting quarterback. This immediately shoots his value up from handcuff to a starting fantasy football quarterback option. Does Kevin Kolb immediately jump up to the #10 slot that McNabb had? I don’t think so. There are a few more intangibles that McNabb had over Kolb that will make Kolb a much more risky play.

Chris Cooley remains an elite tight end fantasy football option to me. They say that a tight end is a rookie quarterback’s best friend. A tight end is also a new starting quarterback’s best friend. McNabb always loved his tight ends in Philadelphia and I’d expect the same in Washington.

[adinserter block=”2″]I rank Kolb at #15 or somewhere between Matt Ryan and Vince Young. Kolb will be stepping into the same offense that made Donovan McNabb the number 10 ranked QB at season’s end last year. However, I suspect that Andy Reid will strip down the offense a bit and make the Eagles more balanced. I also suspect that Leonard Weaver or Shady McCoy will get goal line options rather than putting the ball into the quarterback’s hands like he did with McNabb. This also impacts the value of guys like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin who are very risky starting wide receiver options going into next season. On the other hand, I’d expect a huge increase in Brett Celek’s targets which increases him to arguably an elite fantasy football tight end.

The jury will be out for a few weeks on Kevin Kolb. In his two starts last year Kolb combined for over 40 points. If Kevin Kolb can repeat that on a weekly basis, he immediately becomes an elite fantasy football quarterback. It is not impossible but it is not a gamble I would recommend taking with your first pick at quarterback in your fantasy football draft. He is absolutely worth a flyer as a second quarterback with big potential for trade bait in mid-season. Unlike McNabb whose fantasy football season looks rather predictable, Kolb is absolutely a wild card with high risk/high reward potential.

Finally, keep your eyes on Jason Campbell. I have always liked Campbell and feel that he has potential to do big things in the NFL. If Campbell can go to a team like San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, or even the Oakland Raiders I think he has the potential to put up some big fantasy numbers. The offense and coaches are key for him otherwise he will probably wind up 25-30 numbers.

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