Your Fantasy Football Guide to the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles
You love rooting for your Philadelphia Eagles. You also love crushing the opposition each week in family or work fantasy football leagues. The competitive Philadelphia sports fan’s dream is to draft members of the Eagles onto your very own fantasy roster. A Wentz touchdown throw becomes a celebration for both the beloved Birds and your personal team. But you have to be smart about this.
Narrowly focusing on just one team, even a stellar team like the Eagles, will lead to a disastrous result in the fantasy world and a nightmare for your starting decisions during the Eagles week 10 bye. Below is a fantasy football guide providing both a general outlook on relevant Eagles players and where you should draft them at a value in your league.
Quarterback: Carson Wentz
The entire Eagles offense runs through Carson Wentz, and poised to return to the field after vanquishing nagging injury concerns, he shouldn’t disappoint. Fresh off a massive contract extension, Wentz is equipped with dynamic weapons around him at every position. So…early pick, right? Not so fast. As a result of talent at the quarterback position being so abundant in the NFL these days, it is wise to wait several rounds before picking a signal caller. This will provide you an opportunity to stock your roster with running backs and wide receivers in the early rounds and still come away with a great quarterback.
The fantastic news is that Wentz’s current ADP (average draft position) is at the back half of round 7 as the sixth quarterback off the board. As someone with top-5 upside this season, drafting Wentz in the 7th round is a terrific value. Need to reach for him in the late 6th? That’s fine too. No longer injured, his rushing prowess provides a safe baseline for his fantasy production. Definitely keep him on your radar in the middle rounds of your draft.
Running Backs: Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders
There are new faces all around in the Eagles running game this year. Jordan Howard, traded from the Chicago Bears, joined the team over the off-season. Additionally, the Birds selected Penn State native Miles Sanders in the second round of the NFL draft.
The Eagles adopted a running back by committee approach last season which frustrated many fantasy owners. The likes of Corey Clement and Josh Adams didn’t satiate any fantasy owner’s palate on a weekly basis, instead leading to a guessing game with a weekly disappointing result. Will it be any different this season? No one can say for certain, but it’s likely that carries will be somewhat split between these two backs. Although these players were going nearly next to each other in drafts at the beginning of the summer, the rookie Sanders has shined in camp leading to a dramatic uptick in his average draft position.
At present, Sanders is being taken as the 27th running back off the board in the middle of the 5th round while Howard is being selected as the 39th running back off the board in the middle of the 8th round. While Sanders is the pricier back to own, he is also the one I’m betting on. Howard has seen his yards per carry drop each of the last three seasons. Also, he has struggled immensely catching the ball out of the backfield, never posting a total of thirty receptions in this three-year career.
Sanders excels in that aspect of the game and if you play in a PPR league he should be your guy. As the season progresses, he should earn the trust of the offense and garner increased opportunities to score points. With a legitimate shot to become a reliable three-down back, Sanders could be a huge value in the fifth round and is falling further in drafts than other promising rookie running backs such as Josh Jacobs and David Montgomery. You probably don’t want either of these players as your running back starter, but Sanders could be a great backup who works his way onto your active roster.
Wide Receivers: Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson
All-pro tight end Zach Ertz has established himself as the primary receiving threat for Philadelphia, but you can’t ignore their wideouts this season. Alshon Jeffery returns as their number one receiver and should continue to be a consistent force on fantasy rosters. His end of season numbers last year left him just outside the top 24 at his position despite missing a few games. His draft price is similar going into this season as the 28th wide receiver taken off the board in the middle of the sixth round.
The big receiving acquisition for the Birds was DeSean Jackson, who returns to the team after a five-year absence. Jackson is the fantasy value for this position on the Eagles this year. You can nab him in the middle of the 10th round, a potential steal given his big-play ability. DeSean Jackson has notably improved the fantasy output for every starting quarterback he has played with beyond Jameis Winston, and my thinking is that Winston was the problem there. If you are lucky enough to draft Wentz, it could be a great idea to stack him with his new receiver acquisition.
Tight Ends: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert
By far the hardest Philadelphia Eagle player to acquire in fantasy football drafts is Zach Ertz. The man set NFL records last year posting impressive totals of 116 receptions, 1163 yards, and 10 touchdowns. No doubt, Ertz is a monster of a fantasy force and I think he will have another incredible year.
The problem is, he is currently being drafted at the beginning of the fourth round; a hefty price to pay for a tight end. Statistical regression for this player is likely, especially with the off-season acquisitions of DeSean Jackson and Miles Sanders to compliment him in the passing offense. I still think Ertz will receive the lion share of targets and give you heavy fantasy production, just not to the same level he did last year. If you’re dying to take Ertz, realize that he will need to repeat last year’s historical performance to be worth the draft capital.
Another Eagles tight end to keep on your radar is Dallas Goedert. He goes undrafted in nearly every league and I should mention that I don’t recommend drafting this player. However, he is someone to keep your eye on as his receiving talent and big play ability could result in an increased snap count as the season progresses. Tight ends seem to arise out of the blue and this could be the next break-out guy. Should an unfortunate injury occur to Ertz, he would become an immediate waiver-wire darling to get your hands on.
Predicting the success of fantasy defenses across seasons is notoriously difficult. As a result, it is prudent not to draft a defense until the very late rounds of a draft. A great approach to fantasy defenses in-season is streaming particular teams who have favorable matchups week to week. The Eagles defense fits that mold perfectly for week 1 as their opponent is the offensively inept Washington Redskins. Consequently its a terrific idea to scoop up this defense at the end of your draft.
Based on current draft position the Eagles players I would specifically target are Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, and DeSeason Jackson. Other members on the team are great options as well, and provided I can select them at an appropriate value, I wouldn’t hesitate. With great offenses, multiple players shine in the fantasy realm and the high flying birds have the potential to support the success of many of the names mentioned above. Happy drafting and go birds!
*All average draft positions are based on 12 team half point per reception leagues as 08/22/2019.