Evan Silva of Rotoworld recently put together his post-free agency/pre-draft projections for the top 150 players in Fantasy Football for the 2015 season. Here we take a look at which Eagles players made the list.
No. 6 - RB DeMarco Murray
"In an attempt to "protect" a talent-deficient defense and quarterback with recurring back problems, the 2014 Cowboys made a commitment to run-heavy football. The plan worked in both real life and fantasy, as Dallas went 12-4 and Murray led all running backs in fantasy points. There are red flags for 2015, however. Free agency sent Murray to Philadelphia, where he will lose volume to Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. The Eagles' offensive line is good, but not quite as dominant as Dallas'. Including playoffs, Murray piled up an otherworldly 436 carries during 2014-2015, potentially putting him at breakdown risk. Murray's effectiveness also waned as the season progressed, averaging 3.93 YPC over the final five games after averaging 5.07 in the initial 11. He appeared noticeably sluggish on film. Murray won't be the value pick he was last year, but he'll still be worth drafting in the middle of round one as the lead back in one of the NFL's most rushing-friendly offenses."
It's no surprise to see Murray as the Eagles' top player. The team gave him a big contract in free agency and they're hoping he can lead the way in the ground game. As Silva notes, the Eagles likely won't attempt to burden Murray like Dallas did in 2014, but he should still be the focal point of a run-heavy offense. Murray ranks as the fifth overall running back in these rankings.
No. 30 - WR Jordan Matthews
"Nick Foles had to fracture his collarbone for Matthews to get going. He took off with inside-the-numbers thrower Mark Sanchez at the helm, posting a 35-559-5 line over the last eight games, even with a Week 15 goose egg mixed in. The numbers extrapolate to 70-1,118-10 over a full 16-game slate, hinting at Matthews' ceiling. Utilized a la Marques Colston in the slot of Chip Kelly's spread, Matthews was frequently matched on linebackers and safeties in coverage. He is abnormally young and more athletic than billed, sort of a cross between Colston and Michael Crabtree in their primes. Matthews only played 66% of the Eagles' snaps as a rookie, rotating in behind Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper. With Maclin off to Kansas City, Matthews is headed for a full-time role and could push for low-end WR1 stats."
Matthews is the Eagles' best receiver right now. Riley Cooper was terrible in 2014. Josh Huff has shown brief flashes of talent but is still largely unproven. The Eagles are reportedly higher on Huff than they are Matthews but the Vanderbilt alumnus should figure to be a productive player yet again in 2015. Keep in mind Matthews is still only 22 years old. Matthews ranks as the 12th best receiver in this list.
No. 73 - RB Ryan Mathews
"Early-career "made of glass" criticisms died down when Mathews played 16 games in 2013, but were revived as he missed all but six during his contract year. He suffered a severe early-season MCL sprain and a late-season ankle injury. Mathews' career efficiency marks are excellent and he has every-down back tools, but he has rarely stayed healthy, even dating back to his Fresno State days. Now going on age 28, Mathews signed on to to be "2" in a "1-2-3" punch with DeMarco Murray and Darren Sproles on the Eagles. My guess at Mathews' workload is 8-14 touches per game, with increased appeal based on Murray's injury history and breakdown concerns coming off a 497-touch season. Mathews lost value going from a lead-back role to complementary usage in Philadelphia, but he'd instantly become a fantasy RB1 if something happened to Murray. I see Mathews as an RB3 with flex viability during bye weeks."
It'll be interesting to see how the Eagles use Mathews. The injury concerns are not insignificant and his role will be limited, but the talent is intriguing.
No. 76 - TE Zach Ertz
"Still underutilized in his second NFL season, Ertz's seasonal snap rate jumped only from 40.5% as a rookie to 50.8% as a sophomore. Brent Celek remained the Eagles' base-offense tight end, while rookie Jordan Matthews siphoned snaps as an oft-used slot receiver. A beastly preseason led observers to believe Ertz was a prime 2014 breakout candidate, but his part-time role threw a major wrench into those expectations. Ertz finished 13th among tight ends in targets and 15th in per-game fantasy scoring. A third-year step forward still seems likely, particularly with the departure of Jeremy Maclin. Maclin finished eighth in the NFL in 2014 targets, creating tons of opportunity for Matthews, Ertz, and second-year WR Josh Huff."
With the Eagles stretched thin at wide receiver, perhaps Ertz will see a bigger role in the offense.
No. 122 - QB Sam Bradford
"Bradford suffered his second left ACL tear in less than a full calendar year last preseason, missing all of 2014. Still regarded highly around the NFL, Bradford had a strong trade market this offseason, with multiple teams reportedly offering the Rams a first-round pick to get him. St. Louis instead shipped Bradford to Philadelphia in exchange for Nick Foles and draft picks. This ranking assumes Chip Kelly doesn't flip Bradford in a Marcus Mariota trade. If Bradford is indeed Kelly's "guy," his stock gets a considerable boost in a speed-based offense that's turned Foles and Mark Sanchez into QB1s. Bradford played in a similarly up-tempo spread at Oklahoma, and Kelly has proven to be a true manufacturer of production. Bradford's supporting cast is also considerably better than it was in St. Louis."
Bradford could be an intriguing option given the "quarterback-friendly" nature of the Eagles offense. But will he even be the QB come this fall?
No. 138 - RB Darren Sproles
"Sproles teased with 263 total yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles' first two games, but he was an afterthought on offense the rest of the way, utilized as a package player and special teamer in his first season under Chip Kelly. Although Sproles was effective on the field, from a fantasy standpoint he served more to chip away at LeSean McCoy's receiving usage than establish himself as a standalone flex option. He also missed time with an MCL sprain. Sproles is entering his age-32 season on a team that doesn't envision him as more than a lightly used "satellite" back. In 2015, Sproles will be the No. 3 option in a "1-2-3" running back punch behind DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews."
Perhaps Sproles will be used in a larger pass-catching role this year if the Eagles go into the season thin at wide receiver.
16) LeSean McCoy
52) DeSean Jackson
59) Jeremy Maclin