Aug 5, 2009
According to our latest poll, Eagle RB Brian Westbrook concerns our readers more than any other top fantasy RB pick. 44% of over 1000 respondents list Westbrook as the 1st round RB who scares them the most.
However, I do have some good news regarding Westbrook.
For one, there’s a chance you can get him in the 2nd round, which could be fantastic value. Secondly, I do have a feeling that the two procedures (one on his knee and one on his ankle) could potentially clear up the two issues that have been dogging him the last few years. If so, he might be as good as ever.
Of course, we do have to understand that he’s an aging player (but not with a ton of carries for someone his age) who’s dealt with a slew of maladies, so he’s not without risk. The great news now, however, is that there appears to be a high-upside handcuff for Westbrook, and it is rookie LeSean McCoy. Our own Adam Caplan has watched him closely in camp this summer, and he’s really impressed. I just got done recording a podcast with Greg Cosell, and he’s also really high on him. McCoy is very elusive and laterally explosive, which is a great attribute, and he can “get skinny” well to slip through even the smallest crack. He’s a good receiver, and he has a nose for the endzone. He does have to continue to pick up the offense, excel in blocking, but so far so good. He’s not an ideal lead back in terms of running inside, but if there’s any team in which a player can get away with that, it’s Philly.
I’m really getting a good feeling about him, so he’s a terrific upside pick later in draft for sure. I think, somewhat similar to Chris Johnson last year, he’ll be a guy who’s role will be larger than people expect. He won’t carve out such a significant role as Johnson last year, and he’s not as explosive and fast, but of course the other key is how he looks like a great handcuff for Westbrook.
So here’s the deal: if you’re staring the upside of Westbrook in the face and you’re unsure about taking him – pull the trigger. He’s always been a play-to-win pick, and now you can have some added protection in the form of Mr. McCoy.
I like this…a lot.