- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
Each week, I provide my list of 10 things I'm watching on game day, so you'll be prepared for some of the week's biggest developments in advance.
Life in Philadelphia after Donovan McNabb. The loss of McNabb was a devastating blow to a fair share of contending fantasy teams, but I'd argue that his absence will be a bigger problem for the Eagles than it is for your squad. In fantasy, there are often useful matchup plays you can scoop up and fill in each week, but for the Eagles, losing McNabb means the aging Jeff Garcia and the erratic A.J. Feeley will try to keep the team in the thick of the NFC playoff race. Garcia gets the first look under center, and surely a lot of owners are going to remember that he was once a 30-TD passer in San Francisco, and a 10-TD performer in a four-game stretch to conclude the 2003 season. If that's the kind of player you're looking for, you're bound to be disappointed. Allow me to remind you that Garcia let you down in stints with the Browns and Lions the past two seasons, and at 36 years old, he shouldn't be expected to throw the deep ball nearly as effectively as he did for the 49ers a few seasons back. That'll be a problem, too, since Donte' Stallworth is arguably his most talented receiver, and he's a deep threat. I'm worried the Eagles could endure the kind of late-season swoon they did a year ago, when they lost four of their final six games after McNabb got hurt, also losing Brian Westbrook to a sprained foot in Week 13. By the way, who was Philadelphia's best player after that point? Sure, Ryan Moats did a respectable job stepping in for Westbrook, but it was kicker David Akers who wound up the fantasy standout. That's not a scenario fantasy owners are hoping for this time around.
What now for Philly? How will Hasselbeck look?