Welcome to yet another edition of the Bleeding Green Nation Mailbag. Each weekend I'll be taking some of your Philadelphia Eagles questions and answering them here. Thanks to everyone who sent in a question. We already answered some of your inquiries on the latest episode of BGN Radio (click HERE to listen). Now I'll be getting to some of the ones we didn't already address. Let's get started.
@tracksideboy asks: Who's your pick for the best fantasy football player on the Eagles this year?
Good question. I'd be tempted to pick the Eagles' defense/special teams here if the question said "option" instead of "player." But alas, it does not.
The Eagles' offense as a whole isn't very inspiring, so it's not like there's a ton of great fantasy options. You can forget about Sam Bradford given his extensive injury history and mediocre career body of work. It's hard to count on any one rusher because Doug Pederson suggested the Eagles will use a running-back-by-committee. With QB and RB ruled out, that leaves wide receiver and tight end.
Jordan Matthews is the best and most reliable receiver on the Eagles right now. I'm not down on Matthews, but it says a lot about the team's receiver situation when the team's best option is the guy who dropped nine passes last season. Still, the 23-year-old pass catcher hasn't missed a single game in his career. Among Eagles players in their first two seasons, Jordan Matthews ranks first in receptions, second in yards, and second in touchdowns. Bradford likes to throw short and Matthews will be there for him.
Zach Ertz is the other name worth considering. The 25-year-old tight end finished the 2015 season with 48 targets, 35 receptions, 450 yards (12.9 average), and one touchdown in his final four games. Bradford really established a connection with him. The Chiefs' offense featured a lot of tight end usage while Pederson was in Kansas City, so Ertz has that going for him as well.
Overall, I think Matthews is the most reliable choice for this year's best Eagles fantasy player.
@mkb627 asks: 1) Do you think Carson Wentz will get any snaps this season? 2) Do you think that Chase Daniel is a better backup than Mark Sanchez?
I do think Carson Wentz will play at some point. Bradford is susceptible to getting injured or benched. If that's the case, Daniel would be the next guy in before Wentz, but the rookie quarterback would only be one play away from getting a snap himself. Another situation where Wentz gets playing time is one where the Eagles are bad by the end of the year and the season becomes a lost cause so why not just play the rookie.
Sanchez showed some encouraging signs (relative to being a backup) in 2014 but he wasn't able to build on those. He struggled last offseason and then in the two games he started. Daniel has looked solid this offseason. I think he can be better than Sanchez, though it's not like we're talking about a huge difference.
@Juslisun2DaMsg asks: If Byron Marshall enters camp and becomes a versatile threat as a WR/RB/KR/PR, then who goes: Kenjon Barner or Wendell Smallwood?
Smallwood is a lock to make the team. He was a fifth round pick, he looked good this spring, and running backs coach Duce Staley really likes him. Barner's roster spot is less certain. The 27-year-old has drawn some praise this offseason but he didn't really stand out in practices. Marshall might be able to unseat him. With that said, Marshall is facing an uphill battle. The rookie missed all of the team's OTAs and minicamp sessions so he has a lot of catching up to do.
I think the Eagles almost have to keep four running backs due to the fact Ryan Mathews is extremely injury prone and Smallwood and Darren Sproles are really only part-time players. Or they could keep three backs on the active roster and try to stash Marshall on the practice squad.
@LeroyXII asks: What is your assessment of the Nelson Agholor situation. Will he be available this year? @jimmystick27 asks: Does Nelson Agholor see any playing time this year? If not, who is his replacement?
Since these questions are similar, I'll address them with one response. The truth is I don't know what's to become of Agholor. We just have to be patient and wait to see what becomes of the investigation. The latest Agholor update can be found by clicking here. I thought the BGN Radio guys did a good job of discussing this situation on last week's podcast (starts around the 16:00 mark).
@Mkosz1 asks: DeMeco Ryans isn't signed. Any chance they bring him back for depth?
I think Ryans might retire. Here's what he recently had to say about playing in 2016, via AL.com. "If I could play again, that'll be great. If not, that's great as well." I don't see him returning to the Eagles.
@JustMyEnigma asks: Will the Eagles pursue LB depth? Maybe Stephen Tulloch or Donald Butler?
Don't see Butler happening. Only see Tulloch making sense if the Eagles face a major injury at linebacker and need a veteran stopgap for the 2016 season.
@jeff_berest asks: What's a reasonable expectation for Timothe Luwawu this season?
Nice, let's end this week's post with a Sixers question. I'm pretty high on Luwawu as I had him ranked No. 7 overall on my big board. It sounds like TLC is pretty intent on coming over to play in Philadelphia this season. Hopefully that's the case. I don't expect a major impact right away but he should show signs of being a 3-and-D guy.
This Sixers draft class was pretty encouraging. Getting Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz at 24 and 26, respectively, were great value picks. Drafting Ben Simmons at No. 1 was obviously great as well. The combination of Simmons and Joel Embiid ... phew. Good luck, rest of the NBA.