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James Casey 2013 Season Outlook

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#1 crusoe



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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:22 AM

Chip Kelly has been known to use his TE, and at the time of acquiring Casey he referred to him as his "joker". THe reports are that Kelly wants to use Casey like the Patriots use Aaron Hernandez. Kelly's run-first zone read offense creates holes in the middle of the field as defenders try to collapse the run. Casey has shown he has soft hands, and while Oregon TE Colt Lyerla didn't catch a ton of balls, his impact was felt as nearly all of his catches went for good yards. It seems that all of Lyerla's catches went for first downs or touchdowns.

As a self-proclaimed TE hater, I always wait until the last possible moment to draft one on draft day. I'm assuming nobody else in any league under 18 teams or two TE formats will be looking at this guy, so his price tag is easy to swallow. But will his return be worth anything, or will he live down to his draft day price?

What do you think he will be good for?

Edited by crusoe, 22 April 2013 - 12:24 AM.

#2 FFninja



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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:04 AM

Casey is an interesting player. Had he stayed at Rice one more year he was going to be their starting QB. Very versatile. As a Texans fan I was hoping we'd be able to retain him, but he obviously couldn't turn down that contract. That was kind of a shocker. The general feeling is that they way overpaid for him (not because he's not good but 3yr/$14.5m is a LOT for a guy who was a FB/3rd TE last year), but when you overpay for a guy it's because you like him and you have plans for him. I think he's a real sleeper this year based solely on talent, versatility, and that contract. I don't know much about Chip Kelly's system, but there are 8 million guaranteed reasons why he'll probably find a way to incorporate Casey often.

Off topic a bit, but I'm the same way with TEs. I think Bennett is another guy worth grabbing late.

#3 DocJ


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Posted 22 April 2013 - 11:13 AM

Celek is no slouch. I'm seeing he and Casey cancelling each other out fantasy-wise. Similar to Dreessen and Tamme in DEN. Combine their stats and you have an impressive line but separate you're looking at a huge headache.

2015 RW Mock Real League: 14-team, 0.5 PPR, All TDs 6 pts
***Follow along this season on our thread in the "Your League" forum on RW***

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#4 FFninja



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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:42 AM

I agree that Celek is no slouch, but this sure appears to be the case of a new HC coming in and bringing in his guy. In the case of Tamme and Dreessen, they were both brought in by the new coaching staff at the same time and paid very similarly to each other (3yr/8.5m vs. 3yr/9.0m). 3yr/14.5m was an aggressive play by Philly - almost as much as Tamme + Dreessen combined. Makes me think they plan to utilize him a lot.

#5 crusoe



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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:51 PM

FFNinja, that's how I feel about Casey too. While Celek has been an unexciting yet serviceable fantasy TE in years past, I feel that Philly paid to much to not use Casey in some crazy way. The Oregon TE was versatile enough to be used as a power rusher in Kelly's offense, and while I don't expect Casey to wrest away many carries from Lesean and Bryce Brown, I think Kelly likes the fact that he could potentially use Casey as a runner if needed to, along with the abilty to use him as a blocking TE and fullback in addition to a receiver. I'm not so sure that translates into fantasy potential though.

#6 FFninja



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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:20 AM

You're right. He could be paying to use him in all those other roles which don't yield fantasy points. Impossible to know right now, but given how late he is going, I think he's an easy target in deep leagues. If I was playing in a league with only 5 bench spots (which I wouldn't do), then he's not draftable, but in deep leagues, he's worth a shot.

#7 Robrain


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Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:16 AM

I think 2011 is a prime example of Casey's upside.

At the beginning of 2011, Arian Foster was dealing with a hamstring injury, which meant that Ben Tate was getting the bulk of the carries for the Texans during the first few weeks of the regular season.

Ben Tate's stats during the initial 3 weeks that Foster mostly didn't play during (Foster had 10 carries for 33 rushing yards and 2 receptions for 7 receiving yards during Week 2, before re-aggravating his hammy and getting pulled again):

Week 1: 24 carries / 116 rushing yards / 1 rushing TD (0 receptions)
[fellow backup HB Derrick Ward also got 11 carries for 39 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD that particular week, was somewhat of a timeshare]
Week 2: 23 carries / 103 rushing yards / 4 receptions / 32 receiving yards
Week 3: 19 carries / 82 rushing yards / 1 reception / 8 receiving yards

[Derrick Ward did not touch the ball during Weeks 2 and 3...actually, he didn't touch the ball again after Week 1 until Week 7]

James Casey:
Week 1: 3 receptions / 29 receiving yards [no Foster this entire game]
Week 2: did not receive any touches [remember, Foster was in the lineup for part of this game]
Week 3: 5 receptions / 126 receiving yards / 1 receiving TD / 1 rush / 11 rushing yards

Fast forward through the season again until the final week, Week 17, where Arian Foster was rested (did not play at all).

Ben Tate:
Week 17: 16 carries / 97 rushing yards / 1 rushing TD / 4 receptions / 24 receiving yards

Derrick Ward:
Week 17: 12 carries / 50 rushing yards / 0 receptions (2 incomplete passes thrown to Ward)

James Casey:
Week 17: 7 receptions / 91 receiving yards

So I definitely think that his story is more a case of under-use than lack of talent. He was basically buried behind Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Derrick Ward, and Owen Daniels, and last year add Justin Forsett to that list.

Given a prime opportunity, he could easily be a sleeper TE next season.

The note I'll make regarding that though is clearly I have no idea how Chip Kelly runs his offense, either in the NFL or college (I don't watch any college football). I'd have to go look up a ton of info on that before I could say that Casey has breakout potential in that new offense with any certainty.

That said, beyond the unknowns of how that offense works, there's also the fact that Celek really isn't a shabby TE. However, Celek's best season came in 2009 with McNabb at the helm, not Vick. Ever since Vick's been the starter, his TE's stats have dropped considerably since instead of using the TE as the release valve that he is supposed to be when a play breaks down, Vick instead frequently opts to run for it himself.

Celek's numbers:
2009: 76 receptions / 971 receiving yards / 8 receiving TDs
2010: 42 receptions / 511 receiving yards / 4 receiving TDs
2011: 62 receptions / 811 receiving yards / 5 receiving TDs
2012: 57 receptions / 684 receiving yards / 1 receiving TD

I believe Celek also dealt with a few nagging injuries during the years with Vick (concussion, plus surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip as well as a sports hernia).

Regardless, to me James Casey's contract has all the inklings of a coach putting together a very specific roster for a very unique offense. If he says he's going to use Casey as the joker TE, I think that's more than likely the gameplan.

Could Casey and Celek both cannibalize each other's value? Possibly, but I think you read the tea leaves and draft Casey late regardless, just like other breakout TE's in the past. He's one of the prime sleeper TE's in this year's draft, if you put together all the indications.

2015 Rotoworld Mock Draft Real League - 14-Team 0.5 PPR + ALL TDs = 6PTs:

_____STARTING LINEUP_______________.............._____BENCH_______________________
QB : Tom Brady..............(07.03)............. QB - Matthew Stafford.....(04.12)
WR1: Breshad Perriman.......(06.12)............. RB - Lorenzo Taliaferro...(08.12)
WR2: Marquess Wilson........(UD.FA)............. RB - Javorius Allen.......(09.03)
RB1: Arian Foster...........(01.14)............. RB - Chris Polk...........(UD.FA)
RB2: LeSean McCoy...........(02.09)............. WR - Dorial Green-Beckham.(10.12)
FLEX1: RB Frank Gore........(02.12)............. RB - Josh Robinson........(15.03)
FLEX2: RB Darren McFadden...(05.03)............. WR - Donte Moncrief.......(12.03)
TE : Eric Ebron.............(13.03)............. RB - Zach Zenner..........(UD.FA)

#8 crusoe



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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:51 AM

...And then the Eagles select Zach Ertz in the second round. If I wasn't confused by the Philly TE situation before, I certainly am now.

Off topic, but I almost certainly believe that Celek will be out of the picture now, though that still puts it as a two TE split in Philly.

#9 petekrum


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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:26 AM

If you'd like a year off from being competitive in your league, take an Eagles tightend as anything but a backup.
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