The Eagles acquired Darren Sproles from the Saints in exchange for a fifth-round pick in March. What does a fifth-round pick buy you these days? Well, a pretty darn good playmaker apparently. Granted, Sproles didn't look this good in 2013 with the Saints. He appeared to lose some juice as a 30-year-old. But since Sproles has turned 31 in June, he's looked 25. And he's made plenty of fantasy "experts," including myself, look foolish in the process.
I wrote this on Sproles for the Rotoworld Draft Guide over the summer after ranking him 54th among running backs: "He's noticeably lost some of his elusiveness and burst around the edge. … The Eagles want to get Sproles 6-8 touches per game simply to help fill the void left by DeSean Jackson. … I'm letting someone else overdraft Sproles."
If the first two weeks are any indication, I'll be eating a big plate of crow come season's end. Sproles has piled up 263 yards and two touchdowns on 26 touches through his first two games under coach Chip Kelly. On Monday night, he had Colts defenders grasping at air and crashing into each other. His 19-yard touchdown run was "one of the best runs" MNF analyst Jon Gruden has ever seen. While that may not be believable, it was still a thing of beauty. Sproles was unstoppable and had Eagles beat writers calling it one of the best running back performances in team history. Sproles is a legitimate every-week RB2/FLEX option until further notice. He gets a juicy matchup against the Redskins in Week 3. Look for another 8-12 touches.
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Eagles at Colts Notes
Nick Foles looks nothing like the 2013 version. He missed wide-open receivers for the second straight week and isn't seeing the field like he did last year. The box score numbers are gaudy, but Foles simply dumped the ball off to his backs and tight ends and let them do all the dirty work. … Monday night was actually one of Trent Richardson's better ones as a Colt. He amassed 95 yards on 22 touches. But Richardson looks like the inferior back to Ahmad Bradshaw. Richardson fumbled twice on the night, while Bradshaw looks reborn. Bradshaw's stock continues to rise. … Andrew Luck has lost back-to-back games in the NFL for the first time. … Jeremy Maclin has seen 21 targets through two games. Foles has missed him for wide-open touchdowns twice in two weeks.
In Other News…
The NFL was rocked yet again by an off-field incident. Former Rookie of the Year and MVP Adrian Peterson was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child in Texas. He admitted to whipping his son with a switch as a form of punishment, leaving scars on the boy. Peterson turned himself to authorities on Saturday morning and was deactivated for Week 2 against the Patriots. The Vikings reinstated Peterson on Monday. But Monday evening, a Houston news station reported Peterson is being investigated for another child abuse accusation. He allegedly left a scar on one of his other four-year-old son's forehead. Peterson was disciplining the boy for cursing at a sibling. TMZ later reported Peterson has been cleared of the latest accusation because it was determined the boy "accidentally" hit his head on a carseat while Peterson was punishing him in a reasonable manner. The Vikings may be forced to deactivate him again, although they said early Monday after reinstating him that The Vikings expect Peterson to play Week 3 against the Saints. But fantasy owners need to hold onto Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon in the event this story gets uglier for Peterson.
Ben Tate missed Week 2 with a sprained knee. Coach Mike Pettine confirmed Tate is unlikely to play Week 3. Terrance West will once again get the start at tailback against the Ravens. It's a tougher test than West has faced in the first two weeks, but he'll remain on the RB2 radar in the Browns' run-heavy offense.
There's reportedly already talk of Raiders coach Dennis Allen losing his job. The Raiders have one of the oldest teams in the league after GM Reggie McKenzie desperately threw a team together in an effort to compete this season. It was clear McKenzie was trying to save his own job. Allen is a good coach and not Oakland's No. 1 problem, but the organization could use a house-cleaning.
Robert Griffin III is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a dislocated ankle. Kirk Cousins completed 22-of-33 passes in relief of RGIII Sunday. Coach Jay Gruden then came out on Monday and said Cousins could hold the starting job even when RGIII returns to health. Reports surfaced earlier in the day that Gruden actually prefers Cousins to Griffin. He's the pocket passer Gruden seems to desire.
Ryan Mathews is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL. Danny Woodhead's role isn't expected to change much. Donald Brown is the guy to own in San Diego's backfield while Mathews is out. Playing in a run-heavy offense, Brown could see upwards of 15 touches per week.
Mark Ingram suffered a broken hand in Sunday's loss to the Browns. He'll miss "about" a month. Khiry Robinson will take over early-down duties, with Pierre Thomas' role likely expanding a bit. Robinson is certainly worth an add as the power back and goal-line back in New Orleans' high-powered offense. He could see 15-plus carries per game while Ingram is out.
Quarterback & Running Back Quick Slants
Joseph Randle suffered a concussion Sunday. … Marshawn Lynch is battling "ongoing" back issues. Christine Michael (hamstring) is expected to return to practice Wednesday. … Coach Lovie Smith hinted Doug Martin (knee) will be able to play Thursday against the Falcons. Bobby Rainey should still have an important role. … The Cardinals are "concerned" about Carson Palmer's shoulder. … Andre Ellington continues to play through foot pain. … The Texans want to do a better job of managing Arian Foster's heavy workload. He's carried it 55 times through two games. … Jamaal Charles' high-ankle sprain isn't believed to be severe. … Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) isn't optimistic about his chances of playing Week 3. … The Jaguars are expected to stick with Chad Henne at quarterback, though coach Gus Bradley didn't rule out a switch to rookie Blake Bortles. … The Dolphins re-signed Daniel Thomas with Knowshon Moreno (elbow) out 4-8 weeks. … Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory once again split snaps in Week 2. Ivory was clearly the better back for the second consecutive game.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Quick Slants
The Raiders signed WR Vincent Brown to a one-year deal. We're not expecting much of an impact. … Josh Gordon is expected to be able to attend the team facility during his suspension. … Stedman Bailey is expected to be reinstated this week as a result of the new drug policy. … Coach Rex Ryan was vague when asked if Eric Decker (hamstring) would play Week 3. … Cecil Shorts (hamstring) is expected to return to practice Wednesday. … Vernon Davis is undergoing an MRI on his left ankle. … Jordan Reed (hamstring) will have to practice at least one day this week to play in Week 3. Niles Paul filled in admirably on Sunday. … A.J. Green's foot/toe issue isn't a long-term concern. … The Giants claim Odell Beckham (hamstring) is feeling better. … DeSean Jackson (shoulder) intends to play Week 3 against the Eagles. … Jerrel Jernigan sprained his foot Sunday. … Jarvis Landry has bypassed Brandon Gibson as the Dolphins' No. 3 receiver. … Tavon Austin has a sprained MCL. … Allen Hurns (ankle) is day-to-day. … Marcedes Lewis (ankle) will miss 6-8 weeks. A strong blocker, Lewis' loss is a blow to Toby Gerhart's already rough situation. … Travis Kelce played 32 snaps in Week 2 after playing just 18 snaps in the opener. He has TE1 upside. … Justin Hunter played 41-of-49 snaps Sunday. His down game wasn't the result of not playing. … Julio Jones (ankle) was limited in Monday's practice, while Roddy White (hamstring) didn't practice at all. Keep an eye on White ahead of Thursday night's game with the Bucs.