After an up and down rookie season, Carson Wentz exploded onto
the fantasy football landscape in 2017 with 33 touchdowns and
only seven interceptions before suffering a season-ending ACL
tear in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams. With at least two
touchdowns in 12 of his 14 games, Wentz posted the fifth highest
TD% (7.5) by a quarterback in their second season in NFL history,
behind Hall of Fame players Dan Marino, Kurt Warner, and Johnny
Unitas. Ironically, the player with the highest TD% in their sophomore
season is Nick Foles, the quarterback who took over for Wentz
last season and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl.
When you consider the fact that Sid Luckman’s 7.9% TD rate
is the highest in NFL history and future first ballot hall of
famer Tom Brady owns a career TD rate of 5.5%, a negative regression
for Wentz is likely in 2018. It should also be noted that although
Wentz posted impressive touchdown numbers in 2017, his completion
percentage dipped down to just over 60% from 62% as a rookie,
suggesting that his success throwing touchdowns at a high rate
is an outlier.
Questions surrounding his ability to return to form from his
severe knee injury also hurts the draft value of Wentz heading
into 2018. As a quarterback who excels at moving both inside and
outside the pocket, the inability to evade would-be tacklers and
extending plays could hurt Wentz’s overall value in 2018.
However, Wentz is surrounded by a collection of talented wide
receivers and running backs, and Doug Pederson’s stellar
offensive scheme should help Wentz finish as a top 12 QB this
One of the more polarizing players in fantasy last season, Jay
Ajayi rushed for 408 yards and one rushing touchdown in seven
games for the Eagles after joining the team midseason via trade
with the Dolphins. Although limited to just 70 carries in a crowded
backfield that included the now departed LeGarrette Blount, Ajayi
did make the most of his time with the Eagles, posting an impressive
5.8 yard per carry average.
Now that Blount has moved on to the Lions and the Eagles have
yet to add another bruising RB to the backfield, Ajayi looks poised
to take over as the primary first and second down back for an
Eagles team that finished third last season in total points scored.
The main knock against Ajayi and the reason why he is not considered
a second or third round pick in most experts’ eyes is the fact
that head coach Doug Pederson prefers to use multiple RBs out
of the backfield. Corey Clement looked impressive at times last
season, and veteran Darren
Sproles looks to return to the team as the primary receiving
The lack of clear touches will make many owners shy away from
Ajayi in drafts this summer. However, should he continue to fall
in ADP, Ajayi could end up being a great value, especially in
standard scoring formats.
Clement made a lasting impression on Eagles fans last season,
capping off his rookie campaign with 108 yards and a receiving
touchdown in Philly’s 41-33 win over the Patriots in the
Super Bowl. Although the former Wisconsin Badger never received
more than 15 total touches in a game in 2017, Clement scored six
total touchdowns and averaged 5.7 fantasy points per game in a
backfield that split nearly 400 carries between six running backs
With LeGarrette Blount now a member of the Detroit Lions, Clement
looks primed to be the second running back and change of pace
behind Jay Ajayi. Considering Ajayi’s well-documented knee
issues and Clement’s increased role in the Super Bowl, Clement
is an attractive draft and stash value as a late-round pick.
After a slow start to the season in which the former second-round
pick from South Carolina manned just two receiving touchdowns
in his first seven games, Alshon Jeffery came through for fantasy
owners with a receiving score in six of his final eight contests.
The high touchdown production made up for the fact that Jeffery
caught just 49% of his targets, failed to reach 100 yards in any
game, and posted the second-lowest yard per reception average
of his six-year NFL career.
Jeffery is an attractive option for owners playing in standard
leagues as he will continue to be a primary touchdown scoring
threat at the wide receiver position for Carson Wentz. Jeffery
will also become more of a valuable asset in PPR formats if he
is able to positively regress back to his career catch rate of
55% and yard per reception average of 15 yards.
It may surprise many readers to learn that Agholor, a former
first-round pick who appeared to be perilously close to getting
cut, scored nearly the same amount of fantasy points as fellow
Eagle Alshon Jeffery on 25 fewer targets.
Agholor set career highs in targets (95), receptions (62), yards
(768), and touchdowns (8) while posting an impressive 65% catch
rate. Although he is often the third or fourth option behind Jeffery,
Ertz, and the Philly receiving backs, head coach Doug Pederson
made Agholor a focus in the red zone (18 red zone targets), often
designing misdirection passing routes for the shifty receiver.
The fact that Agholor jumped up to eight receiving touchdowns
after catching a combined three in his first two seasons might
suggest that he is in line for some negative regression. It also
does not help that his quarterback’s 7.5% touchdown rate
late season was an outlier and Agholor was a beneficiary of that
outlier season. Despite these negative factors, the volume he
received last season will likely continue, with 90 to 100 targets
well within reach.
Wallace delved a quietly productive fantasy season last year
as part of a dreadful Baltimore passing game that ranked 29th
out of 32 teams in 2017. Although he caught a mere four receiving
touchdowns and topped 100 yards only twice, Wallace did provide
a nice floor of production as a flex player, with a least five
points in each of his final eight games.
The move for Wallace from Baltimore to Philadelphia will be a
catch-22 in that the veteran receiver will be part of a high scoring
passing offense, and his targets will be more valuable coming
from Carson Wentz as opposed to Joe Flacco. However, the likelihood
of Wallace receiving the 92 or 117 targets he garnered in his
last two seasons as a member of the Ravens will be hard to project
as the fourth or fifth option on the Eagles.
For that reason, Wallace projects to be a low-volume target in
standard leagues and someone who will likely start the season
on the waiver wire in PPR formats.
As the No.1 receiving threat (Sorry Alshon, but the numbers don’t
lie) in an Eagles offense that ranked third in points scored last
season, Zach Ertz firmly staked his claim as one of the best fantasy
tight ends in the business last year.
Only Travis Kelce average more targets per game and only Jimmy
Graham finished with more receiving touchdowns than Ertz, who
despite the addition of Alshon Jeffery, was clearly the favorite
target of quarterback Carson Wentz.
Perhaps most attractive about Ertz is his usage and efficiency
in the red zone, an area of the field in which Ertz had yet to
exploit before last season. In 2017, Ertz ranked third among tight
ends in red zone targets and tied for first on the Eagles with
Nelson Agholor (18 targets). He caught 12 of his 18 red zone targets
for eight touchdowns, effectively ending the narrative that the
former Stanford Cardinal could not be a touchdown scoring tight