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Considering Kolb as a fantasy starter

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Posted July 12, 2010 @ 2:05 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

This is the seventh in a series of opinionated fantasy football columns that will be posted daily in July and August, providing fantasy owners with some insights to consider as they prepare for their drafts. You can get an in-depth preview of the upcoming fantasy football season with the purchase of the Yahoo! Sports / Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football Guide 2010, available now in newsstands and bookstores, or online at PFWstore.com.

If you’re in a 10- or 12-team fantasy league, Eagles QB Kevin Kolb is likely considered a borderline starter.

And he’s one of those fantasy speculations. We don’t really know how good he’ll be. If you draft Kolb, you probably had better draft another QB either soon before or soon after taking him. You’ll want to be insured in case he and the young Eagles struggle out of the box.

Although Kolb might not be an ace fantasy starter from the outset, I do believe you’re going to be looking at a top-10 fantasy QB when the dust settles.

First, the good news. Almost all of the Eagles’ offensive pieces remain, and nearly all of them are in their prime. They have had ample time to develop a rapport with Kolb — in offseasons, in preseasons and briefly last regular season. They have dangerous weapons at receiver, tight end and running back and there are some who believe the offensive line will be a better group this season.

The early schedule is not a beast. The Packers in Week One are a strong team, but one that was lit up defensively a few times late in the season. The next five games then are against the Lions (ranked 32nd defensively last season), the Jaguars (23rd), the Redskins (10th defensively but 18th in points allowed and undergoing a scheme change), 49ers (15th), Falcons (21st) and Titans (28th).

That’s a fairly soft slate for Kolb to start off his season, and it really doesn’t get too tough until the final four games of the season — facing the Cowboys twice, plus the Giants and Vikings.

Critics say Kolb doesn’t have the deep arm strength of Donovan McNabb, but Kolb’s yards per attempt (7.7) and yards per completion (12.0) are not too much below those of his predecessor (8.0 and 13.3). And because the Eagles’ receivers — DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin — are so good after the catch, the lack of downfield attempts is less of an issue.

With Jackson entering his third season, Maclin his second and TE Brent Celek his fourth, Kolb has three young standouts to go to on a weekly basis. He has the supporting staff he needs to succeed right away. Sure, the matchups with McNabb will be heavily scrutinized affairs, and any kind of struggles will weigh heavily for Kolb through fans and media.

But you can enter your draft knowing Kolb will be a top-10 quarterback when we look back on the 2010 season.

 

For authoritative coverage and analysis of NFL news, free agency and fantasy football, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.

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