Carson Wentz played his first full season as a pro since his
rookie year in 2016. He led an injury-depleted Eagles team to
the NFC East crown, only to suffer a concussion in the Eagles’
Wild Card round loss at home to the Seahawks.
On the positive side, Wentz topped 4k yards for the first time
in his career, and he continues to be efficient with the ball
as evident to his third consecutive season of only seven interceptions.
On the negative side, he posted his third-straight declining season
of average fantasy points per game.
The Eagles addressed deficiencies in the passing game with the
selection of WR Jalen Reagor from TCU in the first round, and
versatile quarterback/running back/wide receiver Jalen
Hurts. Reagor should give the Eagles some much-needed depth
at wide receiver, especially the deep threat option currently
occupied by the oft-injured veteran, DeSean Jackson.
The overall value of all the Eagles position players took somewhat
of a hit with the news of pro bowl tackle Brandon Books suffering
a season-ending Achilles injury. Brooks’ absence in games
last season proved to be a huge issue for Wentz and the Eagles.
From a fantasy perspective, Wentz does provide a high ceiling
with a solid floor. Although he will not likely throw for 40 touchdowns,
he will not burn you with a ton of interceptions, and he can add
some value on the ground. He is a solid option for owners who
wait on the quarterback position until the end of the draft, especially
with an opening week matchup against the Redskins.
Sanders’ rookie season started off slowly, with just over
six combined fantasy points against the Redskins and Falcons as
head coach Doug Pederson continued to use a bevy of running backs,
including veteran Jordan Howard.
Injuries to Howard and impressive bursts of production from Sanders
earned the former Penn State star more and more touches as the
season progressed, including four games of at least 19 touches
between Weeks 13 and 16.
Although the team continues to be rumored to add another veteran
like Devonta Freeman to take over the role vacated by Howard,
there is little doubt that Sanders will be the most heavily used
running back in a stable that includes Boston Scott.
The question is just how many touches Pederson will give Sanders,
as he is notorious for using multiple backs and going with the
“hot hand.” One thing that is appealing about Sanders
is his usage in the passing game. As a rookie, Sanders averaged
just over four receptions per game, giving him a 16-game pace
of 64. His work in the passing game could overcome any lack of
consistency in carries on the ground.
Owners should not expect Sanders to be a workhorse back in the
same light as higher-ranked players like CMC, Ezekiel Elliott,
or Saquon Barkley. But that does not mean he is not a solid RB
2 with the ability to provide RB1 numbers from time to time depending
on the matchup.
Jackson’s return to Philadelphia could not have turned
out better for the 13-year veteran. Eight catches for 154 yards
and a couple of scores in a 32-27 win over the Redskins. Eagles
fans were on cloud nine and fantasy owners who used a late-round
pick on him thought they had the steal of the draft. Unfortunately,
Jackson caught just one more pass for five yards as injuries derailed
The Eagles used their first-round pick on Jalen Reagor to presumably
learn and eventually replace Jackson as the deep threat for Carson
Wentz. Until that happens, and if Jackson can stay healthy - something
he has not done since 2016 - Jackson could be a massive value
late in drafts.
Fellow veteran Alshon Jeffery is likely going to miss the start
of the season due to a Lisfranc injury suffered against the Giants
in Week 17 of 2019. JJ
Arcega-Whiteside was somewhat of a disappointment in his rookie
season, and Reagor is a rookie who will have a limited offseason
due to COVID-19. Wentz will look to lean on his trusted weapons,
and Jackson and his tight end duo will be heavily utilized in
Jeffery suffered a Lisfranc injury against the Giants Week 14,
ending a disappointing, injury-plagued season for the veteran
wide receiver. It was the fourth time in the last five seasons
in which Jeffrey failed to play a full 16-game season.
His four touchdown receptions were the fewest in his time with
the Eagles, and his 11.4 yards per reception were the worst of
his career. Jeffrey is an old receiver who continues to break
down, and will likely start the season on the sidelines or the
Fantasy owners who have a PUP list/IR spot could consider adding
Jeffery very late in the draft as a stash. He did lead all Eagles
wide receivers with red zone targets (11) despite playing in only
Jalen Reagor had a solid, but not impressive college career at
Texas Christian University. In three seasons with the Horned Frogs,
Reagor managed just 22 touchdowns in 39 games and only broke 1000
receiving yards once in three years.
Reagor ran a somewhat disappointing 4.47 40-yard dash at the
combine despite showing better speed than that on the field during
games. At 5-foot-11, 206 pounds, Reagor does not have the size
of a prototypical No.1 wide receiver, but his opportunity to get
a ton of work early due to the injury to Jeffery could make him
an intriguing late-round pick.
A versatile receiver who can play in the slot and outside, Reagor
should give Carson Wentz another option in intermediate routes,
with DeSean Jackson working outside as the deep threat and the
tight end duo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert working the middle
of the field.
After setting an NFL record for catches in a season to tight
ends in 2018, Ertz was somewhat of a disappointment for owners
last season based on where he was drafted. Ertz posted single-digit
fantasy performances in seven of his first eight games, as teams
opted to bracket cover him with the team dealing with injuries
to wide receivers. Despite his fall off from the previous season,
Ertz did end the season with the second-most catches in his career
and six receiving touchdowns.
If DeSean Jackson can stay healthy and other Eagles wide receivers
step up for the injured Alshon Jeffery, Ertz could once again
see primarily linebacker and nickel back coverage, giving him
the opportunity to thrive. You could also argue that Ertz and
Dallas Goedert are the only two targets Wentz trusts at this time
outside of Jackson, which could lead to a ton of targets and volume.
Another thing to consider is the quality of targets that Ertz
received last season. His 19 red zone targets were tied with George
Kittle and Mark Andrews for second at the tight end position,
despite Ertz missing time with injuries. With Jeffery (the top
red zone threat at the WR position for the team) out to start
the year, Ertz could be in line for an uptick in touchdown production.
No other team in the NFL had more tight end touchdowns and red
zone targets than the Eagles. This was, in large part, to the
massive number of injuries sustained by the Philadelphia wide
Flash forward to 2020, and you have a wide receiving corps that
is already dinged up with Alshon Jeffery possibly starting on
the PUP, DeSean Jackson entering his 13th season and a rookie
in Jalen Reagor who will not have a full offseason to build rapport
with Carson Wentz.
Those factors will likely once again make Wentz lean heavily
on his tight end duo of Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz. The latter
is the higher targeted player who will cost significantly more
in drafts, while the former is a solid value who presents top-3
upside should Ertz go down.
Let’s just hope Goedert can avoid any more sucker-punches
in bars from now to the start of the season.