As Confucius famously said, “With the return of football comes the return fantasy football,” and folks, football is back! With the Washington Football Team coming to town, Eagles fans are anxiously awaiting the return of DeSean Jackson and the revamped offense that comes with it. The defensive line looks menacing, and the secondary is as healthy as it’s been since Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams, who somehow never seemed to leave the field, manned it. In this weekly post, we will break down which Eagles you should start and which ones you should not for your fantasy rosters. Generally speaking, these decisions will be based upon a standard 12-team PPR league, but if you have any questions regarding your specific situation please comment below or reach out to me on Twitter (@LeeSifford) for guidance. Let’s get to it!
Carson Wentz, Quarterback
He’s back, ladies and gentlemen, and if you’ve been anxiously awaiting his return, how do you think he feels? After losing his first two career games against the Washington Football Team, Wentz has won three straight including a prolific four-touchdown performance in October of 2017. With a complete arsenal of weapons, including some new, but talented, faces, Wentz should open the season in a big way.
Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver
Heading into his third season as an Eagle, expectations should be somewhat tempered for Jeffery. He has never really been Wentz’s favorite guy to throw to and with the return of DJax, there are only so many targets to go around. I’m going to give Alshon the benefit of the doubt to start the season as he remains the best red zone threat, among wide receivers at least, on the team, but he has a short leash.
DeSean Jackson, Wide Receiver
In his return to Philadelphia, Jackson gets to face the team that both signed and let him walk after Chip Kelly cut him from the Eagles. Jackson, always a showman, will be looking to take the top off of the Washington secondary all night and needs just one or two big plays to become fantasy viable. Jackson is especially valuable in Non-PPR leagues where his lack of targets will not punish him.
Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver
Although I think Agholor will be a frequent start candidate later in the season, it’s hard to give him a green light on an offense featuring so many other weapons. In deep leagues, he’s worth a flier as a FLEX option but should not be considered, if even rostered, in most leagues at this time.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Wide Receiver
Barring an injury or an insane blow-out victory, JJAW will not receive the snaps necessary to be fantasy relevant.
Zach Ertz, Tight End
As the Carson Wentz’s favorite target, Ertz will be a fantasy TE1 all season long. Dallas Goedert may take away some of Ertz’s TDs, but his target share alone keeps him a top-tier option.
Dallas Goedert, Tight End
Similar to Agholor, Goedert is simply too far down the depth chart to be fantasy relevant. He will almost certainly be a streaming option later in the season and would be promoted to a top-5 TE if anything were to happen to Ertz, but for now, try not to let your #EaglesBias influence your lineup decisions.
Jordan Howard, Running Back
The fantasy community as a whole seems to be pretty low on Jordan Howard, but after watching the David Montgomery get stiffed in the Bears game on Thursday night, I find it very hard to believe that the Eagles will heavily rely on a rookie from the first snap. Howard's value may decrease as the season goes on but for now, he is a capable RB2 with a fairly high floor in what could be a blow-out match up against Washington.
Miles Sanders, Running Back
Sanders should see his playing time increase by the game, but the uncertainty of the Philadelphia backfield has me leery of signing off on Sanders quite yet. In deep leagues where 40+ RBs will be started, he is worth a dart throw, but otherwise I’d stick to known commodities for your first game of the season
Darren Sproles, Running Back
Unfortunately Sproles is no longer fantasy relevant. He’s had a great career and we love him, but he is set to receive just a fraction of the offensive snaps and has Corey Clement battling him in passing situations. Until something changes, let Sproles be a fond fantasy memory and look towards more reliable players.
Corey Clement, Running Back
Barring an injury or an insane blow-out victory, Clement will not receive the snaps necessary to be fantasy relevant.
Jake Elliott, Kicker
Elliott is a quality kicker on a team that is projected to score a lot of points. He is worth starting, but until he starts making some shorter kicks more consistently he is not the best option out there.
Eagles Defense & Special Teams
While this unit should be in the start column most weeks, I’d consider them to be a top-of-the-line streaming option to start the season. Against an inept offense without a clear superstar, Fletcher Cox and company are going to feast.