Philadelphia Eagles Team Outlook
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Eagles Offense Outlook
When at their best offensively in 2017, Philadelphia ran the ball well while their QBs delivered plus TDs in the red zone. Their regression on defense last year led to more passes, which wasn’t helped by regression as a running team. Their goal would be more balanced offensively while having the hammer at QB if the offense comes together in 2019. I expect plenty of scoring chance this year.
Over the last two seasons covering 24 games, Wentz has 54 TDs and 14 Ints, which is an attractive ratio for a winning time. He set a career high in his completion rate (69.8) in 2018 while being on paces for the most passing yards of his career (279 yards per game). Carson passed for over 300 yards in five contests, and he had three TDs in three games. Even with growth last year, Wentz did come up short in the red zone in multiple close games. Philadelphia signed him to a massive contract in the offseason, which shows the trust they have in his future.
His injury last year came on a run, which was surprising, considering he barely ran in 2018 (34/93) due to his recovery from his torn ACL. Carson has two elite TEs plus talent at WR. The running game should be improved, helping the ability to extend drives while adding to the scoring output. This season he could be undervalued, which makes him a viable cheat at QB. His next step is 4,500 combined yards with a chance at 35+ TDs.
Other Options: Nate Sudfeld, Cody Kessler, Clayton Thorson
After shining in his rookie season (1,611 combined yards with seven TDs and 29 catches), Howard had back-to-back years of regression for the Bears despite plenty of touches (2016 – 281, 2017 – 299, and 2018 – 270). His slide is clearly tied to his yards per rush (3.7 in 2018 and 5.2 in 2016). In his career, Jordan averages 18.1 touches per game. Last season he had two games with over 100 yards rushing (19/101 and 21/109/2), which came over the final four weeks of the year.
I expect Howard to be a good fit for the Eagles, but I can’t say that he’s a better player than Miles Sanders, which is going to be a problem for Fantasy owners in 2019. The Eagles’ RBs rushed for 1,458 yards on 357 carries with 12 TDs in 2018. The Philly will need to lean on one back on early downs, which points to 250 touches for 1,000+ yards and double-digit TDs. My bet has to be on the under for Howard as I’ve seen too many times in this offense where the coaching staff just rotates in multiple backs. More of stash than a target if his price falls in a favorable area.
With the great Saquon Barkley in front of him on the depth chart in 2016 and 2017, Sanders gained only 429 combined yards on 64 touches with four TDs and eight catches. In his first season as a starter, Sanders failed to get the whole show leading to questionable stats in the run (220/1274/9) and receiving game (24/139/0). His path to college painted him as a high-upside RB with plenty of experience touching the ball. Sanders offers an excellent combination of short area speed with vision and power. If given space after breaking the line of scrimmage, he knows how to get defenders flat-footed with subtle moves and head and shoulder fakes. Miles follows his blocks well with a gear to burst through the line while breaking tackling with his legs. His value in the receiving game looks below par based on his opportunity.
If given a chance in pass protection, I expect Sanders to handle his job. Overall, he comes into the draft slightly underrated, but I see enough to be a serviceable lead back in the NFL in an early down split role with a complementary pass-catching back. With Philadelphia, Miles will compete for touches with Jordan Howard. If the Eagles decide to rotate in both backs, they won’t have playable Fantasy value in many games. In the early draft season, his ADP (109) is relatively close to Howard (96). I can’t overpay for a bench player, so a Fantasy owner must follow this situation carefully over the summer.
Other Options: Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Boston Scott, Donnel Pumphrey
Heading into 2018, Jeffrey started the year on the shelf for three games due to a slow recovery from torn rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder that required surgery after the 2017 Super Bowl win. Fantasy owners thought that hit Fantasy value gold after three strong games (8/105/1, 8/74/2, and 7/88/1) in his first four starts. Unfortunately, a string of disappointing games (4/35, 4/48, 4/33, 3/39, and 3/31) led to trust issues.
Jeffery rebounded in his last four games (6/50/1, 8/160, 3/82, and 5/59/1) leading to the 27th ranking in WR scoring in PPR leagues. His pace over 13 games prorated over a full season would have pushed him to 16th in WR scoring. Jeffery’s catch rate (70.7) was a career-high while averaging only 7.1 targets per game. His best two years came in 2013 (89/1421/7) and 2014 (85/1133/10) with the Bears. Jeffrey offers scoring and big-play ability, but he can’t make a significant impact without growth in his opportunity. I’ll set his floor at 80+ catches for 1,000+ yards with eight to ten TDs.
After a five year vacation in Washington and Tampa, Jackson returns to Philly where he played the best ball of his career. DeSean has five seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving. Over the last four years, his game has taken a step back in three seasons (30/528/4, 50/668/3, and 41/774/4) while working as 3rd/4th WR for the Buccaneers in 2017 and 2018. He’s led the NFL in yards per catch four times in his career while posting a low catch rate (55.7) in his career.
Last December, he suffered an Achilles injury. Jackson should enter training camp healthy while becoming the deep threat for the Eagles in 2019. With a 16-game season, DeSean will catch 50+ balls for 800+ yards with five to seven TDs. More of a flash WR4 in PPR leagues with a chance to offer starting flex value if Philadelphia’s offense regains its fire.
Over the last years, Agholor delivered two similar seasons (62/768/8 and 64/736/4) while averaging six targets per game. The difference in TDs (4) and yards (52) in 2017 led to him finishing 23rd in WR scoring in PPR leagues compared to 34th last season. Nelson started all 16 games in 2018 while expecting to have a bump in chances over the first three games (8/49, 8/88/1, and 4/24) with Alshon Jeffrey on the shelf. Over his next ten games, he only caught 34 passes for 435 yards and no TDs on 57 targets while becoming unplayable in the Fantasy market in most weeks. Agholor made more plays over the last two games (5/116/1 and 5/40/2) before disappearing again in the playoffs (3/32 and 1/6). His catch rate (65.3 and 66.0) over the last two seasons does point to more upside if given more looks. Boring top 36 WR option at this point of his career who I’d rather own as a WR5 based on his lack of consistency and explosiveness.
Other Options: Mark Hollins, Shelton Gibson, Charles Johnson, Braxton Miller, Greg Ward
After three good seasons (75/853/2, 78/816/4, and 74/824/8) while missing five combined games, Ertz turned into a beast or a WR1 in 2018. He set career highs in catches (116), receiving yards (1,163), and targets (156) while matching 2017 in TDs (8). His catch rate (72.7) was elite. Zach started the year with double-digit targets over the first five games while adding four more games in his last 11 starts. He gained over 100 yards in five games with five awesome games in catches (11, 10, 10, 14, and 12). The TEs on the Eagles caught 154 passes for 1,561 yards and 12 TDs on 201 targets. This offense runs through the TE position, but Philadelphia does have a second TE of value on the roster. Ertz has a 90+ catch skill set, which gives him a chance at another 1,000+ yards with plenty of value in TDs.
Fantasy owners invested a high draft pick in Goedert in 2018, but he failed to deliver on his upside. Even with a short season (33/334/4 on 44 targets), Dallas did flash explosiveness and scoring ability at times highlighted by three games (7/73/1, 4/43/1, and 4/44/1). He finished with an elite catch rate (75.0), which will command more targets going forward. This season he’ll steal some chances away from Ertz while being an electric option if an injury creates a starting opportunity. Over his last two seasons at South Dakota State, Goedert caught 164 passes for 2,404 yards and 8 TDs with his best success coming in 2016 (92/1293/11). A special player if his price point is favorable.
Other Options: Richard Rodgers, Joshua Perkins, Will Tye
In his first season in the NFL, Jake made 26 of his 31 field goals (83.9 percent) while showing upside form long range (5-for-6). In 2018, Elliott matched his field goal output exactly with regression from long range (2-for-5). He’s made 72 of 77 extra points in his short career. Last year Philadelphia scored 41 TDs, which was 12 fewer than 2017. Solid leg for a team that should create plenty of scoring chances.
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