August 05, 2019
Fantasy football nerds are already deep into draft season, which is crazy to me, but also partly why I have a job, so thanks!
Here we'll take a look at where the fantasy football experts have Eagles players rated, using the consensus of 25 experts, rounded up at FantasyPros.com, 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 training camp. (We'll use their PPR rankings.)
• Zach Ertz (2nd TE, 26th overall): Ertz is a PPR stud, seeing as he broke the all-time NFL record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season last year. And yet, I wouldn't touch him with the 26th overall pick in a PPR league. In 2019, the Eagles' offense is stacked, with a trio of very good receivers in Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor, as well as an up-and-coming tight end complement to Ertz in Dallas Goedert. The Eagles are going to spread the ball around more than they did a year ago, when an "anonymous" player felt the offense had too much Ertz.
• Alshon Jeffery (24th WR, 48th overall): The crowded Eagles skill position problem that Ertz owners will face will apply to all the other Eagles receivers as well. Jeffery led the team in targets in 2017 with 120, and he still only had 789 yards. In 2018, he had 92 targets and 843 yards. There probably shouldn't be expectations for him to produce substantially more than that.
The one thing that's noteworthy about Jeffery is that he is kinda/sorta playing in a contract year, in that he's scheduled to count for almost $16 million in 2020, without a lot of pain to cut or trade him. If he is going to see that money, he'll have to produce. This is also potentially his first year as an Eagle where he could be healthy all season long.
Verdict: 24th WR is about right.
• Miles Sanders (33rd RB, 91st overall): Sanders is clearly the best running back on the team, and in my view, it's not even close. Additionally, coming out of college, there were concerns about his pass protection and receiving abilities, but he has been good enough in both areas during his rookie training camp that those potential issues won't keep him off the field. Sanders should play early and often, but will RB coach Duce Staley (who controls the RB rotation) fall too much in love with putting Darren Sproles on the field, as he has done in the past?
The Eagles will always take a committee approach to some degree, but the bet here is that Sanders shows that he is clearly the best running back on the team in actual games, and it's only a matter of time before he's starting and making plays.
Verdict: For the love of God, if he is somehow the 33rd RB taken in your draft and you didn't get him, you're a fool. BUY.
• Carson Wentz (9th QB, 99th overall): Ninth QB?!? Lol. That is absurd. The Eagles have an elite OL with depth, the best 1-2 TE combo in the NFL, a very good set of receivers with diversified skill sets, and as noted above, it looks like Miles Sanders might be pretty good. Oh, and Wentz would have been the MVP in 2017 had he not gotten hurt. Anyway, Wentz looks fully recovered, he has been dealing in camp, and the Eagles are going to put up a lot of points this year. Wentz is going to rack up big numbers, you know, "as long as he stays healthy."
Wanna play it safe and pass on Wentz, in, say, round 8, because you're scared he might get hurt? Go right ahead while someone takes him and he's top three in points for a QB.
• Jordan Howard (38th RB, 107th overall): Howard should get red zone opportunities, and I think he'll be used heavily to close out games in the second half, but I don't think he's going to be much of a factor at all in the passing game, and it's already clear that Sanders is a better player.
• DeSean Jackson (49th WR, 115th overall): DeSean's value to the Eagles' offense is the mere threat of him taking the top off the defense. While he'll be an outstanding addition to the offense, I don't think he's going to put up huge numbers, and the team doesn't need him to. He'll help them win games, but his contributions won't necessarily translate to big-time fantasy points. (I do think there will be some games where he gets you 50+ and wins you a matchup on his own, but there will be other games where he has 2 catches for 30 yards.)
Verdict: About right.
• Dallas Goedert (21st TE, 161st overall): Goedert had 33-334-4 as a rookie, 34-409-5 if you add in a 75-yard TD called back by one of the worst OPI calls I've ever seen. Early in the season in 2018, Goedert didn't play as much as he should have, but after the Eagles began committing to getting him on the field, he was playing roughing 60 percent of the snaps down the stretch.
Goedert doesn't have any weaknesses in his game, and he looks like he's going to be a very good player for a long time. As a result, the Eagles are going to play a ton of 2-TE sets in 2019, so Goedert should get his share of targets.
Verdict: He's probably rated correctly at TE21. He's better than a lot of the tight ends above him, but again, in the Eagles' offense, targets will be spread around to a lot of other players.
• Nelson Agholor (84th WR, 220th overall): Agholor is my sleeper. Yes, as noted above, the Eagles will use a lot of 2-TE sets, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Agholor will come off the field a ton. The only RB-WR-TE in the Eagles' offense who won't come off the field, ever, is Ertz. In other words, getting Goedert on the field will cost Agholor some snaps, but it's not like he's going to lose ALL the snaps when Goedert plays.
Agholor will play plenty in 2019, and he'll be a major beneficiary of Jackson stretching the defense, working the middle of the field. Agholor was second on the team in targets last year, with 97. He was third in 2017 with 95. He's going to get his chances.
Verdict: Buy. He's way too low at WR84, and is a perfectly cromulent occasional replacement for injured or bye week receivers.
• Eagles defense (18th DST): This ranking is just stupid. I think people may be looking at the Eagles' 30th ranked pass defense in 2018, and basing their judgment on that, not realizing the absurd number of injuries the secondary sustained.
Also in 2018, the Eagles were woeful on offense in the first quarter of games, and as a result they were often forced to play from behind. In 2017, when they were scoring early and often, the defense was able to pin their ears back and get after the passer, leading to takeaway parties most weeks, scoring six defensive touchdowns in the process. I believe the Eagles' defense will look more like the 2017 version than the 2018 version in 2019.
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