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August 17, 2021

Eagles fantasy football rankings, with buy/sell analysis

Now that we're a few weeks into Philadelphia Eagles training camp, we'll take a look at where the fantasy football experts have Eagles players rated, using a consensus of 116 experts, rounded up at, and determine if you should buy or sell each player based on what we know about the team and what we have seen so far in camp. (We'll use their PPR rankings.)

Miles Sanders (19th RB, 45th overall): This time last year, Sanders was being selected in the first round of most(?) fantasy football drafts. If you were among those that spent a high pick on him, you regretted that decision, as Sanders missed four games, finishing with 867 rushing yards and a highly disappointing 28 catches for 197 yards.

He wound up being overvalued. This year he's being undervalued, in my opinion. Throughout training camp, Sanders has struggled at times catching the football, which is a continuation of a frustrating season in 2020 in which he led the team with seven drops. That has been sort of the focus of his play from Eagles media this summer, because, well, we already know he can run. Regaining his receiving form of 2019 (when he had 50 catches for 509 yards) is going to be what makes him the complete three-down back that he has the potential to be, so that's what we've been watching.

But make no mistake, as a runner, Sanders is very good. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2020 (aided by some long runs), and he has looked explosive in camp. Additionally, the Eagles realize how big a gap there is between Sanders and whoever you want to call the RB2. That is why he was the only healthy starter to be held out of the Eagles' first preseason game. He's going to carry the load.

And then there's also the mystery of what Nick Sirianni's offense will look like in 2021. Logically, they should be implementing much of what the Baltimore Ravens are doing with Lamar Jackson to accentuate Jalen Hurts' skill set. If they can successfully become a run-first team, then Sanders just becomes all the more valuable. 

Verdict: If he's still sitting there in the third round of your draft, it's a potential steal.

Dallas Goedert (8th TE, 85th overall): I was surprised to see that Goedert is the eighth-highest drafted tight end in the league, since Zach Ertz hasn't yet been traded. To be clear, I still believe Ertz will be traded, but I figured his lingering presence on the roster would have scared some more folks off of Goedert. 

Goedert is the Eagles' clear No. 1 tight end, even if Ertz doesn't go anywhere, and a complete player, without many flaws. He has simply just not put up big numbers over the course of a full season yet.

Verdict: Still, TE8 is a little rich for my blood.

Jalen Hurts (11th QB, 90th overall): Hurts is obviously getting drafted this highly because of what he is as a runner, which makes sense. Hurts is probably already a bigger threat as a runner than every quarterback in the NFL not named Lamar Jackson. In four games in 2020 (eh, we'll call it 4.5 games — three starts, two half games, and a sprinkling of other snaps throughout the season), Hurts ran 63 times for 354 yards, three TDs, and 25 first downs.

If you were to extrapolate that over the course of a 16 game season, that would be 1,259 rushing yards and 11 rushing TDs. Obviously, that is not sustainable over the course of a season, much less a career, but it does show how effective he was with his legs in the games he played in 2020. Anything you get out of him as a passer this season should be viewed as a bonus.

Verdict: Neutral.

DeVonta Smith (40th WR, 92th overall): Smith no doubt slipped some because of his early-camp MCL sprain. However, he should be a full participant in practice soon (he was limited on Monday), and there's little doubt in my mind that as long as he's able to stay healthy in 2021, he's going to lead the team in catches and yards.

Verdict: Smith is being undervalued at WR40.

Jalen Reagor (61st WR, 159th overall): That's too high. Smith is definitely a starter, and the belief was that Reagor almost certainly would be as well, but he's competing for snaps with Travis Fulgham and camp standout Quez Watkins. 

Verdict: Pass.

Side note: Watkins is listed as WR138, which was obviusly before his impressive first preseason performance. I believe he's worth a late-round shot.

Zach Ertz (25th TE, 180th overall): Again, I believe that Ertz will eventually be dealt, and when he is, there's a good chance he'll be his new team's TE1. Ertz can still run routes, and he has had a nice camp, which is perhaps a bit of a surprise, given his unsettled situation.

Verdict: Ertz on the Eagles? No thanks. But since I think he'll be dealt... BUY!

Kenny Gainwell (55th RB, 191st overall): Gainwell had a slow start to camp, and may have been shaking off some rust after being a COVID opt-out at Memphis in 2020. Don't draft him, but monitor his usage during the season, as he could eventually get passing down opportunities in favor of Boston Scott. 

Verdict: Pass, for now.

Boston Scott (63rd RB, 218th overall): I would have Scott higher than Gainwell.

Verdict: Late-round pick in a deep league.

Eagles defense / special teams (20th DST, 249th overall): The Eagles' defense might actually be good! And more importantly, their defensive line — with a loaded front that includes Fletcher Cox, an invigorated Javon Hargrave, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, and newcomers Ryan Kerrigan and Milton Gainwell — has looked stellar this summer. They're going to create sacks, as well as opportunities for turnovers.

Also, while I'm down a bit on "Reagor the receiver," I'm up on "Reagor the punt returner." He struggled fielding punts in 2020 training camp, but has not had those issues in 2021. As long as he can field punts competently this season, he'll remain the punt returner, and he may have some explosive plays in him in that role.

Verdict: Buy.

Jake Elliott (17th K, 263rd overall): Eh. The Eagles aren't going to score many points and Elliott is coming off his worst season as a pro.

Verdict: Pass.

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