2014 DRAFT GUIDE
NFC East

2012-07-10 12:05:53
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Romo under some pressure

Eagles

The Eagles took a bit of a step backwards last season, failing to live up to very high expectations. The expectations aren't nearly as high this season, which could be a good thing. The talent is there, especially on the offensive side of the ball, for big things with this squad. Philadelphia looks to right the ship for 2012 starting July 23 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn.

Position battle: The Eagles have some receiver spots to sort out after their two starters, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. There are three guys competing for playing times - Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and rookie Marvin McNutt. How that shakes out on the depth chart could be something to watch for fantasy teams in this pass-first offense. The No. 3 and 4 receiver could get a lot of targets for the Eagles. Avant is likely to have one of those spots but it should be a good competition between Cooper and McNutt for that last spot.

Injury watch: Michael Vick isn't hurt but his health is always something to watch as he takes a beating more so than your normal quarterback. Vick can be a fantasy force when healthy, though, so he should be closely monitored. The Eagles likely will play it safe with Vick until the start of the season, limiting his reps in preseason action.

Giants

The defending Super Bowl champs will have a big bull's eye on their chests this season as teams look to knock them down from their throne. The return much of the core team that won it all, so things are looking good for the Giants in 2012. But as you all know, it is no easy task to repeat in the NFL. New York will have their work cut out for them to win another title. The Giants start their quest for another Super Bowl on July 27 at the Timex Performance Center in East Rutherford, N.Y.

Position battle: With Brandon Jacobs gone, the Giants are looking for a backup running back for Ahmad Bradshaw. And with the injury history of Bradshaw, the backup carries plenty of value for fantasy teams. The two candidates for the job are rookie David Wilson and Danny Ware. Wilson is the favorite for the job but the rookie won't be handed anything. He'll have to earn the job by beating out Ware, who has plenty of experience in the offense.

Injury watch: Hakeem Nicks broke his foot during offseason workouts. He might not be healthy enough for the start of the season but the Giants aren't ruling him out just yet. There is a chance Nicks could be ready for Week 1. Either way, he isn't going to miss an extended period of time because of the injury. Just be prepared for him to start a little slow because of the injury, so his numbers could suffer some early.

Cowboys

Dallas is always a team that carries a ton of interest, which is why they'll be closely monitored by many during training camp. This might be a make or break year for the current coaching staff as well as starting quarterback, Tony Romo. Big things are expected from the Cowboys - as always - so the pressure is on for the Cowboys not only to make the playoffs but make a run to the Super Bowl. Dallas begins camp July 30 at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Position battle: With Laurent Robinson gone, the Cowboys have a big opening at the No. 3 receiver spot. Competing for that job are Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris and Danny Coale. The job is pretty wide open so it is anyone's guess who will win the job. Ogletree might have the upperhand for the job but he won't be handed anything based off experience.

Injury watch: Tony Romo isn't returning from major injury but missed some time last year and could be in a make or break year for him with the Cowboys. There is a lot of pressure on Romo to take his team to another level. Romo will need to make sure he is on his game and ready to play at a high level for the coming season. He'll need to make sure his health isn't an issue going into the year.

Redskins

The Redskins are an interesting team for the coming season. They have a new franchise quarterback in place (Robert Griffin III) and plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. The big issue might be getting this team to come together for 2012 with so many new faces and rookies expected to play a big role with the Redskins. Coach Mike Shanahan might have his work cut out for him to get this team ready to compete for a playoff spot. Shanahan gets a look at his squad, beginning July 26 at Redskins Parkin Ashburn, Va.

Position battle: Roy Helu really took over down the stretch and performed at a high level for the Redskins in a starting role his rookie season. But the Redskins aren't just handing him the starter's job for 2012. The brought back Tim Hightower as competition for the starting job. Hightower played well before tearing his ACL last season and seemed a pretty good fit for the offense. Helu has a ton more upside, though, so it makes much more sense for him to start.

Injury watch: Tim Hightower is another player returning from a torn ACL. He was hurt early last year and has a good chance to be 100 percent for the start of the season. Hightower should be ready for camp but you'll want to track his progress to make sure he doesn't have any setbacks. He'll compete for the starting job with Roy Helu.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

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