The regular season is almost here, well technically it starts tonight when the New England Patriots begin their title defense against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But we’ll have to wait until Monday night to see the Philadelphia Eagles open up their season in the Georgia Dome against the Atlanta Falcons.
Moving back to my fantasy football series, I take a look at all the relevant fantasy football options on the Eagles and determine whether they’re worth starting this week against the Falcons, or even worth a roster spot. Here are the match-ups:
QB Sam Bradford
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 15.2 fantasy points
This seems like a pretty safe projection for Bradford. He may be a little risky to be starting in your first couple weeks because of the obvious uncertainty surrounding him and his health. However, if need be, the Falcons are a pretty good matchup. Their defense was downright awful last year, finishing last in yards per game allowed and 27th in points per game allowed. It’s most upsetting seeing that Marcus Mariota is projected to score more points (15.7) than Bradford in Week 1, but we all know that probably won’t happen.
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 13.8 fantasy points
Murray is also a pretty safe bet to have a good game against Atlanta. He’s fully healthy (as far as we know) and should be fresh for the beginning of the season. Atlanta ranked 21st in rush defense last year, so not one of the better teams, and low enough that Murray should be able to reach or exceed his fantasy projection.
RB Ryan Mathews
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 5.5 fantasy points
This also seems like a pretty accurate projection of what Mathews will get the first week. I’m still not sure how much he’ll be used compared to Darren Sproles (who by the way, is not a worthy fantasy option right now), but it will likely be greatly different on a week-to-week basis. This week though, Mathews isn’t even worth a flex spot unless you’re already ravaged by injuries
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 7.8 fantasy points
The only team that had a worse pass defense than the Eagles last year was the Falcons. Starting Matthews is a must-do this week, as he may have WR1 value against a defense this bad. His fantasy projection is a lot lower than what he likely will actually produce. Maybe I’m just being a homer, but at the same time, Matthews should be in for a great year.
WR Nelson Agholor
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 7.2 fantasy points
While Matthews’ projection may be a little low, Agholor’s is pretty accurate, if not maybe a bit high. Agholor’s production should be pretty solid, but it’s really dependent on how many snaps he gets. I’m not sure he’ll be worth starting unless as a flex for this week, but mostly just because of how bad the Falcons’ pass defense is. Still, he’s probably worth it, as he has breakout potential.
Other wide receivers not worth starting
Riley Cooper: ESPN Week 1 projection: 1.9 points
Josh Huff: ESPN Week 1 projection: 0.6 points
TE Zach Ertz
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 3 points
Ertz’s projection is much lower than normal because of his injury. He’s still recovering from his core muscle injury that kept him out of the entire preseason. Having an extra day of rest (since they’re playing on Monday) might help, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him sit in Week 1. If you have him on your team (like I do), I suggest finding another option for this week.
TE Brent Celek
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 3.5 points
Even if Ertz doesn’t play, I don’t think Celek is worth signing for a spot start. He held very little value last year and has become almost primarily a blocking tight end and veteran leader. He’ll still catch the occasional pass, but after struggling to do much last year, I don’t expect much to change.
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 7.7 points
Because I think this is going to be a high-scoring game, it makes sense to start Parkey. I know he’s been dealing with a nagging injury, but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Parkey may not be a top 10 kicker, but he certainly has the potential to eventually be. He was one of the best fantasy football kickers last year and has a chance to do so again.
ESPN Week 1 Projection: 4.6 points
This seems like it may be on the low side for a projection, but I do expect Atlanta’s offense to score a lot of points, even with all the improvements the Eagles’ defense has made. If the Eagles are able to pull off a special teams or defensive touchdown, they could easily surpass this projection. They had 11 touchdowns last year, so it’s not out of the question. I’d say they’re worth starting in 12-team leagues, and are a little more risky this week in 10-team leagues.
More from Inside the Iggles
- Eagles captains earn high praise on roster blending veteran leadership, youth
- How former Eagles star Cre’Von LeBlanc helped Renegades upstage Cowboys
- Eagles 2023 schedule: Every WR duo Darius Slay, James Bradberry will battle
- Imagining better names for Jason Kelce’s Good Guy Award
- Bold predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles offense in 2023