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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fantasy football: Bryce Brown and LeSean McCoy analysis

If you play fantasy football, you're likely aware Bryce Brown has been one of the waiver-wire finds of the year.

The Eagles' rookie running back has rushed for 347 yards and four touchdowns in two games in place of LeSean McCoy. He has averaged 8.1 yards per carry the last two weeks, and he's been remarkably explosive (at least 169 yards rushing in each game, with two TDs and four catches in each contest).

What you might not realize is Brown was regarded as the nation's No. 2 running back recruit in 2009. The consensus No. 1: Trent Richardson.

Brown rushed for 460 yards as a freshman at Tennessee in 2009, sat out the 2010 season after transferring to Kansas State, then had only three carries for 16 yards with the Wildcats last September before leaving the program.

The Eagles selected him in the seventh round last spring, and he was largely unknown in fantasy until McCoy suffered a concussion.

Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported McCoy is in Phase 3 of his recovery, but considering the Eagles are 3-9, Coach Andy Reid is on his way out and Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback the rest of the season, would you be surprised if Philly rests McCoy for another week or two and sees what it has in Brown?

If you own McCoy and not Brown and have a fantasy playoff game this week, I wouldn't feel good about my chances of having the former in my starting lineup in Week 14.

If you have Brown, you have to continue to play him, obviously, until McCoy returns. Once Shady is back, Brown has to go back to your bench -- remember, it has been difficult enough for McCoy to get enough carries with Reid calling the plays, let alone dividing carries between two electric backs.

If you own McCoy in a keeper league, don't fret.

McCoy is 24, was signed to a five-year, $45 million contract extension in May, and he rushed for 1,309 yards, averaged 4.8 yards per carry, scored 20 total touchdowns and caught 48 passes for 315 yards last season.

He's not going anywhere.

This season is another matter.

Nothing the Eagles do from this point on would surprise us.

You should expect McCoy to be in your lineup in time for at least the fantasy semifinals next week.

You should also be prepared to be without him.

If you own Brown and not McCoy, two stats might cool your enthusiasm about the rookie: He has lost three fumbles the last two weeks (causing Reid's mustache considerable stress), and the Eagles face the league's No. 1 (the Bucs on Sunday) and No. 3 (the Redskins in Week 16) run defenses the next three weeks.

Continue to play Brown until McCoy returns, and continue to expect the unexpected in Reid's final days in Philly.

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