Taking a step away from my normal team analysis, I am excited to begin a new series on the site that’s dedicated to the fantasy football value of players on the Philadelphia Eagles. The series will occur every Thursday morning, in time for any Thursday Night Football games. I will recap how Eagles players did during the past week in fantasy football and preview which ones are worth owning/starting the next week.
Since the season hasn’t begun yet, and some people haven’t even had their fantasy football drafts, here’s a season preview of all the Eagles players to keep on your radar for fantasy drafts:
QB Sam Bradford
2015 ESPN Projection: 3,888 passing yards, 27 TDs, 12 INTs, 253.7 fantasy points
It’s difficult to know exactly what to expect from Bradford at this point. Obviously there is a lot of optimism in both the locker room and many writers around the league, but until he gets in regular season action, it’s tough to see exactly what he’s capable of. He definitely has a high ceiling though, showing bits and pieces of that with his accuracy in training camp. Even in a 12-team league, he’s not a safe pick as a starting quarterback, but he’s probably worth taking him in a very late round (round 15 or 16, depending on what site you play on) as a backup. If he plays poorly the first few weeks, just cut him. But he has the potential to do some really good things.
2015 ESPN Projection: 1,061 rushing yards, 10 TDs, 188.6 fantasy points
Murray has, by far, the most fantasy value of any player on the Eagles. He was the best fantasy running back by a long-shot in 2014, leading the NFL in rushing yards behind 400+ total touches. There’s just no way he’ll reproduce those numbers due to the running back depth and (general) sanity of Chip Kelly, but he should definitely have another great season if he stays healthy. His ESPN projection seems a bit low considering how good he was last year and the fact that he’s still in a run-heavy offense. Feel free to take Murray at any point in the second round, he’s a solid RB1 choice, and would be an excellent RB2.
RB Ryan Mathews
2015 ESPN Projection: 913 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 135.7 fantasy points
Mathews’ fantasy value is at the lowest its been in his career now that he’s a backup, but he’s still worth drafting in both 10- and 12-team leagues. I would be shocked if Murray stayed healthy the whole season, which means there should be plenty of touches for Mathews. However, I’d be shocked if he reached his ESPN projection numbers. The idea that Murray and Mathews are going to split time relatively equally is just not going to happen. I’d expect him to get closer to 600 rushing yards, unless Murray is out for an extended period of time. In a 10-team league, he’s a solid RB4 with the potential for RB3/flex if he starts.
2015 ESPN Projection: 224 rushing yards, 308 receiving yards, 2 total TDs, 65.9 fantasy points
Sproles has always been overrated in fantasy football, and the arrival of Mathews seems to have finally alerted the fantasy football projection gods that Sproles is not worth owning anymore, unless as an RB6 (regardless of league size). He did manage to score a bunch of touchdowns last year, but he was incredibly inconsistent due to an uneven amount of touches each week. Don’t bother getting him unless it’s the last round or so and there’s no one left.
2015 ESPN Projection: 990 receiving yards, 7 TDs, 141 fantasy points
I firmly believe Matthews is going to have a breakout year. While I’m slightly biased, it still does make sense. The departure of Jeremy Maclin opens up the opportunity for Matthews to become their top receiving option, even if it’s out of the slot. I think he’ll definitely eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. Because the Eagles do like to spread the ball around in the passing attack though, Matthews isn’t a WR1 at this point. He’s a great WR2 though, so scoop him up if he’s there in the fourth or fifth round.
WR Nelson Agholor
2015 ESPN Projection: 899 receiving yards, 6 TDs, 126.1 fantasy points
Agholor will probably be one of the best rookie fantasy options this year, and he’s also one of the safest. With not too many overly talented receivers on the team and the fact that they used a first round pick on him, he’s expected to be a solid part of their offensive production. This ESPN projection may be a bit on the high side depending on how many snaps he does end up getting, but he’s looked great in the preseason and should be a really good WR4 this year.
WR Josh Huff
2015 ESPN Projection: 157 receiving yards, 1 TD, 24 fantasy points
I list Huff here, but he really isn’t worth owning unless as a deep sleeper in a 12- or 14-team league. But at that point, most guys in the later rounds are almost worthless anyway. ESPN is obviously not on board with the idea that Huff is going to have a breakout year, and I agree. However, I do think he’ll do much better than the poultry 157 yards and one touchdown they predicted he’ll get. Still, he’s not really worth drafting.
TE Zach Ertz
2015 ESPN Projection: 658 receiving yards, 5 TDs, 94.5 fantasy points
Ertz is another guy who I don’t find quite as attractive a fantasy option as some Eagles fans might think he is. He’s pretty much solidified himself as the clear No. 1 receiving tight end on the team, but last year he just didn’t get enough targets to make it worthwhile. One way he can increase his fantasy value is to increase his touchdown total after scoring just three last year. He’s a low-end TE1 and high-end TE2.
2015 ESPN Projection: 27/30 FGs, 45/45 XPs, 134 fantasy points
Parkey set all kinds of NFL rookie and franchise records in 2014 after having a sensational season. It’s possible that he’s going to fall back down to earth this year, especially after showing a couple times in practice (and in the first preseason game against the Ravens) that he is indeed human and misses kicks. He’s still a very good choice as a starting kicker in fantasy this year due to the high-scoring offense of the Eagles.
2015 ESPN Projection: 49 sacks, 12 INTs, 14 FRs, 4 TDs, 367 PA, 114 fantasy points
Much to almost everyone’s surprise, the Eagles actually finished as the second best fantasy defense/special teams in 2014. That was mostly due to the incredible amount of special teams and defensive touchdowns they scored (11) and their 49 sacks, which was tied for second most in the league. Their defense is much improved this year and should be much better overall, even though the touchdown numbers will probably decrease. They’re a low-end starting option and high-end backup option.
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