The Philadelphia Eagles had a down season, but made a massive organizational shift in not only Head Coach but also starting quarterback. They are giving Jalen Hurts the keys to the kingdom, at least for this year, to see if they have a new face of the franchise. They made this shift because Wentz was noticeably struggling this past season, but it’s hard to blame him because of the turmoil that offensive line was in last season. On top of struggling offensively, their defense was below average, struggling in areas they were once really dominant at with the front 7.
The Eagles entered the 2021 NFL Draft with a plan and hit the areas they struggled with the most right off the bat with WR, OL, DT, and CB with their first four picks respectively. With the return of Andre Dillard, Lane Johnson, and Brandon Brooks and the addition of Landon Dickerson, this line looks to greatly improve. This should allow Sanders to find the running lanes he was missing last season and give Hurts time in the pocket to continue to develop as a passer. If Hurts can improve as a passer, his upside is extremely high. It’s hard to tell if this team is a true playoff contender just yet, but you never know with the NFC East.
2021 Fantasy Preview Philadelphia Eagles- Projected Depth Chart
- Mile Sanders: Following a solid performance as a rookie in 2019, Sanders was viewed as a top-tier RB going into 2020 and consistently went in the first round of fantasy drafts. He, unfortunately, fell flat due to injuries to not only himself but also the offensive line. Additionally, the offense as a whole struggled in 2020, changing quarterbacks mid-way through the year. Hopefully this year the Eagles will have a much more stable offense behind Jalen Hurts and an injury-free offensive line. In the games Sanders and Hurts played together, Sanders was the RB7 overall in weeks 14-16 (granted small sample size). We should see a resurgence to borderline RB1 numbers assuming Sanders can stay healthy.
- DeVonta Smith: Smith is reuniting with his once college quarterback in Jalen Hurts, granted Hurts’ last year starting, Smith was not much of a factor in the offense yet. Smith has the potential to be a great dynasty asset as he is the de facto WR1 in a barren WR core and displayed a Heisman-worthy performance in his last year of college. One of the biggest question marks is how consistently Jalen Hurts can perform at the quarterback position in 2021, as that will determine his ceiling in redraft formats. It would not be surprising to see Smith on the “Studs” list come the 2022 season.
- Dallas Goedert: It feels like fantasy managers have been waiting for Goedert to break out for years. And this year we have the same reason for him to break out: Ertz is getting older and appears to be on his way out, the WR core is barren in an offense that has revolved around the TE position for years, and Goedert is just a talented player. He is one of the more senior players on a now incredibly young offense, and there have been rumors all offseason Ertz could potentially be traded or cut this offseason. Regardless of if Ertz moves on, he has started showing his age and it appears Goedert took over the TE1 duties last year even when Ertz was also on the field.
- Jalen Hurts: Hurts came in late in the season and produced really good numbers for fantasy owners. He provides a great rushing floor with yards and touchdowns that he can fall back on if he doesn’t produce in the passing game. His biggest knock was accuracy, and that is something he will have to focus on during this offseason. He provides a really good ceiling and a solid floor in 2021 as there isn’t any real threat behind him on the depth chart.
Keep an eye on
- Zach Ertz: Ertz was the model of consistency posting top 6 finishes from 2016 to 2019. In 2020, Ertz struggled to stay healthy, missing a good chunk of games in the middle of the season. He performed well in the first few games of the season, but once he returned towards the end of the year, he was obviously phased out of the offense and it was Goedert getting targets. There have been rumors for some time now that he is on his way out of Philly, and if he lands in a solid spot that he could be the starter again, he could be the starter for fantasy teams as well at a depleted position. Keep an eye out for any movement, he’s only 30 and should still have some tread left on his tires.
- Jalen Reagor: Reagor got the short end of the stick during his rookie campaign, missing a lot of time and playing for a struggling offense. With the addition of DeVonta Smith, he looks to be relegated to potentially the third option in this offense. The Eagles are moving him to the slot, and that should bode well for his production. If the offense as a whole takes a step forward, Reagor is a player to monitor, especially in dynasty formats.
- Travis Fulgham: Fulgham had a great series of games throughout the middle of the 2020 season. He started to falter in week 13 when Alshon Jefferey started to come back as well as Zach Ertz. It sounds like from camp that he has earned a starting spot in 3 WR sets, and if we see WR injuries, he could be a priority waiver add.
- Kenneth Gainwell: Gainwell was a solid talent coming out of college, but fell in the draft further than most expected. That being said, he has plenty of upside as a role player for the Eagles. Gainwell can easily take over the second RB role in the offense to spell Sanders when he comes off the field. Additionally, Sanders struggled to stay healthy in 2020, and if that continues we could see an uptick in Gainwell’s usage.
***Note: All projections and discussions are assuming full PPR formats.***
IDP Analysis With IDPIggy
Eric Wilson, Ryan Kerrigan, Anthony Harris, Andrew Adams
Fantasy Football Starters
Eric Wilson (LB), Anthony Harris (S), Brandon Graham (DL) (Deeper Leagues)
Philadelphia is in a great state of change, and has one of the lowest over/under win totals in most sportsbooks. There are questions from Head Coach down in this organization. Their one saving grace is being in the lackluster NFC East. The Eagles should have good pass rushers with Graham, Kerrigan, and Barnett (when healthy). If the Eagles can keep the game close they can utilize the strength of their defense, their defensive line, and generate a pass rush on 3rd downs and in the 4th quarter. If they are constantly playing from behind, there is little this defense can do in the way of big plays. There are not many opportunities for the Eagles to be in your D/ST lineups except for week 13 at NY Jets, It could be a battle for the first overall pick.
2021 Fantasy Preview Philadelphia Eagles- Stat Projections
***Note Player Projections are only fantasy relevant players. Team totals may not add up as we left out players that may not have a significant impact on the season. Projections are provided by Rich King and are based on 16 games.***
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