While the start of the 2017 NFL regular season is still over two months away, it’s never too early to gear up for the upcoming fantasy football season. ESPN’s fantasy football experts put together a list of fantasy sleepers, busts, and breakout players for this year.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is featured on the list of sleeper candidates. Four out of nine experts picked him for that category.
The volume of passing attempts will go down (607 in 2016, fifth in the NFL) as a result of better offensive balance, but the targets in Philly are vastly superior in 2017. Alshon Jeffery, Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz, Darren Sproles, Torrey Smith and others give Wentz weapons to succeed.
CBS Sports also recently named Wentz a fantasy football sleeper, so the sentiment seems to be going around.
It’s not an unreasonable thought. Wentz’s value figures to be relatively low given some of his struggles as a rookie. But with an improved supporting cast, Wentz could take a significant step forward in Year 2. He could be a nice bargain pick in your fantasy draft. Unless you’re drafting with a bunch of Eagles fans, of course.
While Wentz is projected to exceed his average draft position (ADP) this season, another NFC East quarterback is projected to fall short. Three ESPN experts picked Dak Prescott as their top bust candidate.
Other than Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, only four quarterbacks since 2001 posted a TD:INT ratio above 5.0 for a season. The other four quarterbacks averaged a TD:INT ratio of 1.9 for their non 5.0-plus ratio seasons. Before you believe that Prescott will join the immortals, let him show he's not the next Nick Foles or David Garrard.
Virtually everything went right for Prescott as a rookie. His running back produced at an elite level. His blocking was perfect. His receiving corps made big plays for him. Maybe Prescott will find a way to replicate his success in 2017, but I can’t help but feel he’s bound to regress to some extent. We saw how Foles fell off a cliff first-hand. I’m not saying Prescott is Foles, but I am saying Prescott still has a lot to prove. Honestly, Ezekiel Elliott is way more fearsome more than him.
Feel like a lot of people forget about how Dak almost lost last year’s Eagles-Cowboys game. McKelvin dropped game-ending pick. pic.twitter.com/SEf3GU3Zvp— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) June 10, 2017
Joining Prescott on the bust list is another Eagles player: Philadelphia running back LeGarrette Blount. Two out of nine experts selected him in this category.
Coming off an 18-touchdown campaign, it's hard to envision Blount falling far in drafts, especially because he is expected to carry a lead back role in Philly. But the early-round premium one will have to pay could prove dangerous. Aside from last year, Blount has just one other season with 1,000-plus yards and one other season with more than six rushing touchdowns.
Yeah, I’d stay away from drafting Blount early on. It’s not because I don’t think he can help the Eagles; it’s that I just don’t know what his workload will be like in Philadelphia. Blount figures to get the bulk of the Eagles’ carries, but just how many opportunities will he get in a running-back-by-committee system? Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Darren Sproles will all see touches this season.
What do you think about these picks? Are there any other Eagles players you’d categorize as a sleeper/bust/breakout? And why?