Philadelphia Eagles WRs will see ‘softest’ schedule of any receiving corps

Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles have Nick Sirianni’s brand spanking new offense to watch this season, but there’s even more to like after PFF released another set of rankings last week.

Kent Weyrauch of PFF took a comprehensive look at fantasy football matchups in 2021 and broke down teams’ strength of schedule based on position. For wide receivers, the Eagles top the list with DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor headlining Philly’s depth chart.

Granted, the focus here is on fantasy football, and the rankings derive from PFF’s own arbitrary fantasy grades for each team and player. But rather than simply listing the best pound-for-pound WRs in the NFL (which wouldn’t include any Eagles player by a long shot), Weyrauch factors in which opponents a team faces, and that creates much more surprising results.

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PFF first describes the Eagles’ wide receivers in brief complimentary phrases, especially noting Philly’s young passing attack spearheaded by Jalen Hurts.

Weyrauch continues:

"Speaking of players named Jalen, the man holding down the slot position this season will likely be Jalen Reagor. Last season, Reagor struggled playing out wide with a supporting cast of Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham (who was recently waived). Reagor may have some post-hype sleeper value with a transition to the slot."

With DeVonta Smith’s “big-play ability,” too, the Eagles have a dynamic and versatile wide receiver corps heading into the 2021 season. Would someone pick Smith over, say, Davante Adams in the first round of a fantasy draft? If he were a die-hard Eagles fan, maybe.

But Smith and Reagor take home top honors in this PFF ranking due to their relative strength compared to their opponents.

The Philadelphia Eagles WRs have the easiest schedule of any receiving corps in the NFL

The easiest wide receiver matchups the Eagles will face, per PFF, are those against the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, and Detroit Lions. Of those four teams, only Amari Cooper comes to mind as a rival wideout who could potentially do some harm to Philly.

The next tier includes the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets, among others. The wide receiver depth (or lack thereof) for those teams speaks for itself. Two of Philly’s most difficult WR matchups will be against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints.

The Bucs make sense, given Brady’s arm and the uber-talented trio of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. The fact that PFF rates New Orleans’ wide receiver room so highly makes us scratch our heads a little since most of the Saints’ pass-catchers are injured, recovering from injury, or awaiting suspension.

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Then again, Philly plays New Orleans in Week 11, by which time Michael Thomas will likely return, Deonte Harris will have served his suspension, and Tre’Quan Smith will have recovered in full.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ young passing offense arguably has a higher ceiling, though, and after this recent PFF ranking, Philly should be feeling pretty good about their upcoming season. Philly’s defense is a different story altogether, but the wide receivers, notably Smith and Reagor, just might have their work cut out for them in 2021.