Hurts enters his second season as the unquestioned starter with
the benefit of an entire offseason to prepare with his new coaching
staff and players. The Eagles overhauled their coaching staff
and wide receiving corps in favor of two young WRs in first-round
picks, DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor (2020 first-rounder).
In his four games as a starter in 2020, Hurts had mixed results
throwing the ball, with a 52% completion percentage and just six
passing touchdowns compared to four interceptions. While those
numbers are certainly pedestrian, it should be noted that the
Eagles were decimated with injuries to the offensive line and
wide receiving corps, which made things difficult for both Hurts
and the departed Carson Wentz.
The ability to create with his legs is what makes Hurst attractive
for fantasy owners, as he is projected to run for nearly 800 yards
and six rushing touchdowns in 2021. Assuming he can get his completion
percentage up closer to 60% and improves his touchdown efficiency,
the added production on the ground should make Hurts a top-12
QB with excellent upside.
Injuries limited Sanders to just 12 somewhat underwhelming games
in 2020, with the former Penn State Star failing to be the breakout
candidate many hoped for in his sophomore season.
Although Sanders technically improved on his per-game scoring,
he delivered just two games of over 100 rushing yards and did
not top 36 receiving yards in any game. Despite being a talented
receiving back, he struggled mightily in that department in 2020,
and the Eagles responded by drafting an excellent receiving back
in Kenneth Gainwell and signed free agent Kerryon
Johnson. If you thought Sanders would grow into an elite workhorse
back, the chances are that dream will not come to fruition.
On a positive note, Sandersí best game of the season came
against New Orleans in Week 14, with Hurts under center running
the read-option. It was a small sample size of just four games,
but Sanders did score three of his six rushing touchdowns in the
final three games of the year.
Gainwell opted out of the 2020 COVID-19 season after a breakout
sophomore campaign in which he posted 2069 total scrimmage yards
and 16 total touchdowns in 14 games for the Memphis Tigers.
At 5-11, 191 pounds, Gainwell does not fit the prototypical
workhorse back mold. Despite his small stature, Gainwell has excellent
vision and explosiveness and could be a better route runner than
his former teammate Antonio Gibson.
The Eagles were in dire need of playmakers in the passing game,
which made them a perfect fit for reigning Heisman Trophy winner
DeVonta Smith of the University of Alabama.
Smith was a revelation for the Crimson Tide in 2020, with 1856
receiving yards and 24 total touchdowns in just 13 games. He can
play inside and out, with elite route-running skills and above-average
Donít be surprised to see him start off slowly like most rookie
wide receivers do when getting acclimated to the speed of the
NFL. However, he has the skill set to be this yearís Justin Jefferson
and should lead the WR corps in targets and catches.
One benefit that Smith has over other rookie wide receivers not
named Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle, is the fact that he
already has a rapport with Hurts, with both players playing for
the Crimson tide in 2018.
Reagorís rookie season was a disaster due to both injuries
and subpar play on the field, with the former first-round pick
login just 31 receptions for 396 yards and one touchdown in 11
The former TCU star failed to post more than 55 yards in any
game, and his 12.8 yards per reception average was much lower
than you would expect of a wide receiver with Reagorís speed.
On the positive side, Reagor has a full offseason ahead to work
with Hurts and the new coaching staff of head coach Nick Sirianni
and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. Injuries and COVID-19
appeared to put Reagor behind the 8-ball, and he never seemed
From a fantasy perspective, Reagor is a nice upside player to
target late in drafts to see if he can bounce back to how he played
in college. While we donít anticipate him being a target
monster in an offense that does not project to be pass-happy,
he could be a sneaky option based on matchups with defenses keying
on Smith and Goedert.
Goedert was one of the many Eagles who dealt with multiple injuries
in 2020. He managed to play in just 11 games, posting a career-low
three receiving touchdowns on 46 receptions. The breakout season
that many predicted did not come to fruition, with injures to
the offensive line and sporadic quarterback play hurting all skill
position playersí value.
Assuming Zach Ertz is on the way out, Goedert projects to be
the starting tight end for new head coach Nick Sirianni and possibly
the top receiving option for Jalen Hurts.
The Eagles have two young and unproven starting wide receivers
in Jalen Reagor and DeVonta Smith, which could lead to Hurts leaning
on Goedert over the middle along with his running backs out of
The Eagles are a difficult team to project-based the mass overhaul
in the coaching staff and the exodus of veteran wideouts like
DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. We assume Sirinani will have
Hurts lean on his tight ends and ground game, similar to the offense
he ran as the offensive coordinator with the Colts. However, he
has a quarterback in Hurts with a completely different skill set
than Philip Rivers, and his wide receivers with the Eagles are
far more explosive than those on the Colts.