Tough as this may be, it helps in fantasy football to not blindly draft members of the beloved team you root for. The following guide on the 2020 Philadelphia Eagles will survey each position, where players are currently being drafted, and where you can find value for the upcoming season.
Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz will not put up the gaudy numbers many are predicting from the likes of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. However, you’ll have to draft the two just mentioned in the very early rounds while Wentz’s current average draft position is in the middle of the eighth round (91st overall). This is very important to consider since I’m a huge advocate of using early round draft picks on top-tier running backs and wide receivers, positions where you need both quality and quantity. Wentz is being taken as the 11th quarterback off the board which nearly parallels his fantasy finish last year as the 10th highest scoring quarterback.
Carson Wentz has been the subject of fantasy football debate for years now. When he is healthy and everything is clicking for the Eagles offense he looks superb. But health…but weapons…but…I actually think Wentz is more of a safety net than anything else this year. He managed to play all 16 games last year and while he doesn’t have flashy wide receivers to boast of, he should be just fine with the likes of the ever reliable Zach Ertz and playmaker Miles Sanders out of the backfield. I don’t expect a top five finish for Wentz this year or a tremendous amount of week-winning point totals from him. However, as a quarterback you can wait on in drafts and who perennially posts a terrific TD-Int ratio (27:7 last year), he is a fine option for this season.
- Currently being drafted: Mid 8th Round
- I’d reach for him in: Early 8th Round
- A steal if I can draft him: 9th Round
Finally, there will be no continual frustration for fantasy owners of Miles Sanders. The electric rookie had valuable carries and touchdowns repeatedly filched away by bigger back Jordan Howard for most of last season. A fumbling problem in the beginning of the season didn’t help Sanders’ case, but by the end of the year it was clear to both the team and fans that Sanders was their future at the position. In limited time, he finished as the 15th highest scoring running back on the year. As proof that the Eagles believe in him, Howard now plays for the Miami Dolphins. Miles Sanders appears poised to take over lead dog responsibilities in the backfield and be a major contributor to any fantasy team.
There’s understandably a lot of hype around Sanders’ fantasy prospects this season. As a result, you’re going to have to draft him at the back of the first round or beginning of the second round if you want him on your roster. His current average draft position #12 overall, putting him exactly at the turn between the first and second round in standard drafts. His pass-catching out of the backfield is quite dangerous and gives him a bump in PPR leagues specifically. Boston Scott should be little competition for Sanders and should only get occasional touches to spell Sanders. I expect a lot of production this year from Sanders but a cap on his scoring potential if the Eagles sputter as a team and can’t rely on the run. I’m very comfortable drafting him the second round to pair with an elite running back or wide receiver.
- Currently being drafted: Late First/Early Second
- I’d reach for him in: Do Not Reach
- A steal if I can draft him: Mid Second
Particularly due to injuries, the wide receiver position plagued the Eagles for much of last year. The fantasy value to be found here isn’t much of a step up. DeSean Jackson is rumored to be the clear #1 option, but that designation is only nominal on this team as Ertz again will consume a massive target share. Alshon Jeffery returns to the team as well, completing a duo that likely has been the most injury-ridden in the NFL over the past couple of years. I would stay away from Jeffery (currently on the PUP) until he returns from injury and proves himself as a consistently viable option for this offense.
The approach to Jackson is a little different since consistency is never what you’ll get. His playstyle is boom or bust by design as it relies on single-play huge yardage bombs. He still hasn’t lost his speed and so remains a threat to get behind defenses on any given play…it’s just going to be quite unpredictable. I would gladly take a later round flyer on Jackson and hope to play him in the right matchups.
The Eagles first round pick this year, Jalen Reagor, should not see the field enough to have significant fantasy production. However, he is a name worth remembering should the Eagles experience similar injury concerns as last year.
- Currently being drafted: 11th Round
- I’d reach for him in: 10 Round
- A steal if I can get him: 12th Round
- Currently being drafted: 10th Round
- I’d reach for him in: Do Not Reach
- A steal if I can get him: 13th Round
Last year I recommended not drafting Zach Ertz, despite his obvious talent and role in the Eagles offense. The draft capital price was simply too rich and he was being taken at his absolute ceiling as a player. He finished as the overall tight end five which is respectable, but not what owners were looking for from Ertz. This year, his prospects have cooled and his average draft position sits at the back of the fourth or early fifth round (48th).
He remains the most stable feature of this Eagles offense by a long shot. Stability is crucial in the world of fantasy football and particularly with the tight end position since so many struggle every year to find a starter that lasts more than a week. If you’re the type of player that detests scouring the waiver wire week to week for a tight end then I think Ertz is a great pick in the fifth round. However, if you can play the matchups right then punting on tight end completely and taking one towards the end of the draft can pay huge dividends.
Speaking of the end of the draft, that’s where you can consider drafting Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert. He finished as the tight end 10 last year and showed off how incredibly dangerous his red zone presence is. Most defenses simply don’t have the personnel to match up with both Ertz and Goedert and that spells fantasy success on a consistent basis. Goedert isn’t as valuable in the middle of the field and isn’t the possession receiver that Ertz has proven to be. As a result, he is more a touchdown dependent option to play when the matchup is right.
- Currently being drafted in: Late 4th Round/Early Fifth Round
- I’d reach for him in: Do Not Reach
- A steal if I can get him: Mid Fifth Round
Those who aren’t completely new to the game of fantasy football should know not to draft a defense early. Relative to other positions, defense in fantasy football is a highly volatile gamble where week to week matchups have a significant impact. This Eagles defense is not highly touted going into 2020 and their average draft position currently sits at the #19 defense off the board. This means that in many drafts they won’t be selected at all. I would not recommend going with the Eagles as your year long defense as there are just too many question marks. However, their week 1 matchup with a Dwayne Haskins led Washington football team is juicy so look to either draft them in the last two rounds if you punted on drafting a defense earlier (as you should) or just pick them up on waivers for week 1.
- Currently being drafted in: 14th Round
- I’d reach for them in: Do Not Reach
- A steal if I can get them: Not Relevant
*All average draft positions are based on 12 team half point per reception leagues and are current as of August 20th, 2020