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May 21, 2017

Eagles fantasy football average draft position, with analysis

If you're like my cousin Ricky, you've already begun compiling lists of best overall players at each position for your fantasy football draft, and even started doing mock drafts with other nerds online. Hopefully, you have more success in your league than Ricky has had in ours.

Using a roundup of fantasy football overall draft position rankings, we'll take an early look at where some Eagles are being taken, and if those rankings are too high or too low.

Alshon Jeffery: 28th overall, No. 13 WR

That feels about right. If you're worried about Jeffery's injury history (he has missed 11 games over the last two years), then I won't blame you. However, his potential for big-time production in the Eagles' offense is very good if he can stay on the field. A season ago, the Eagles called nearly 700 pass plays, despite having arguably the worst wide receiving corps in the NFL. Jeffery is now very clearly the best receiver on the team – and by a wide margin. He is going to get ample opportunities.

LeGarrette Blount: 102nd overall, No. 40 RB

Earlier this week, we took a stab at how the Eagles' carries would be divvied up this season. Using just the backs currently on the roster, I'd set the rushing attempt over/unders like so:

  1. LeGarrette Blount: 170
  2. Darren Sproles: 80
  3. Wendell Smallwood: 80
  4. Donnel Pumphrey: 50

Blount should also get the bulk of the Eagles' carries in goal line situations, though he's nearly useless as a receiver. You could do worse than Blount as a third or fourth back on your squad.

Zach Ertz: 108th overall, No. 10 TE

Ertz's rankings are all over the map. Some sites have him as high as 75th. On ESPN, he's going 156th overall, which is absurd. While Ertz has his weaknesses as a tight end in the NFL, he should be a stud in fantasy football as there's little in question about his receiving ability.

Over the last two years, Ertz suffered early season injuries, limiting his effectiveness. Also in each of the last two seasons, he turned up his production big-time late in the season.

Ertz's production by month the last two years:

Zach Ertz Rec Yards YPC TD 
 September14 151 10.8 
 October25 269 10.8 
 November37 347 9.4 
 December/January77 902 11.7 

In other words, while Ertz's production was less meaningful to already out of it Eagles teams, he has been a fantasy football playoff star. If you can get him in the 10th round, as he is projected, that is an absolute steal.

Jordan Matthews: 115th overall, No. 46 WR

In the past, Matthews was going top 30 in some leagues. He was overvalued. This season his fantasy football value has plummeted. The additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith have no doubt turned some people off to Matthews, though he'll still easily be the second-most targeted Eagles receiver, assuming the team doesn't trade him.

Carson Wentz: 150th overall, No. 18 QB

Some local homer is going to take Wentz in the fifth round of your draft. Don't be that guy. I think Wentz's ranking at 18th among quarterbacks is fair. If you're in a league with non-Eagles fans, wait until the final rounds to scoop him up. His numbers should be significantly better this season playing with actual professional receivers.

Wendell Smallwood: 152nd overall, No. 53 RB

If you agree with my rushing attempt over-unders above, Smallwood is being overvalued here. This average draft position is likely a result of LeGarrette Blount not having been on the team until this past week. This should correct itself over time.

Ryan Mathews: 172nd overall, No. 59 RB

Huh? He's going to get released in a month, and there's a chance he'll never play again.

Darren Sproles: 184th overall, No. 63 RB

So Ryan Mathews is being drafted higher than Darren Sproles? People are so stupid. Clearly, Sproles is being way undervalued here, especially if you're in a PPR league.

Eagles defense / special teams: 210th overall, No. 17 DEF/ST

In 2016, the Eagles' defense and special teams scored five touchdowns, the second-highest total in the NFL. In 2015, they scored seven touchdowns, the most in the NFL. In 2014, they scored 11 touchdowns, the most in the NFL by a mile.

People will look at the Eagles' defense and the yards they allow and go, "They suck." Maybe, but the defense and special teams have consistently made huge plays regularly for three years now. It's not a fluke, and the idea that 16 defense / special teams units are going ahead of them is hilarious to me.

Torrey Smith: 221st overall, No. 75 WR

Smith should be better in the Eagles' offense than he was in San Francisco, but this draft spot is fair for him. In deeper leagues, I'd take a shot on him late. I mean, he is going to start, more than likely.

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