Us fantasy football enthusiasts are very familiar with the concept that drafters tend to have favoritism towards players that are on one’s respective favorite NFL team.

Everyone feels as if they aren’t a culprit of this favoritism until they end up drafting 2015 Demarco Murray late-first round and start bragging about how big of a steal it was.

We’ve all done it with a player before; whether we like it or not.

Most of the time, overdrafting a player due to team bias doesn’t typically end well for the drafter; paying too high a price for a player who will likely pan out as an average starter hurts other areas of your team. There are cases, however, in which “overdrafting” players from a favorite team could make someone look a lot smarter than they originally bargained for.

For example, prior to the 2013 NFL season, experts had Eagles RB LeSean McCoy slotted as their 9th-best running back. Players such as Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Doug Martin, and C.J. Spiller were touted as better/safer options.

The 2013 season would be LeSean McCoy’s first season without Andy Reid calling the plays, adding the question to whether his stats would take a hit with the coaching change.

As an Eagles fan following the situation, I felt strongly about LeSean McCoy and his potential with Chip Kelly’s offensive system. I decided to “overdraft” Shady McCoy at a higher price.

Photo: Howard Smith/USA Today Sports

The 25-year-old responded with arguably the best season by a running back in Philadelphia Eagles history. During his 2013 rushing campaign, Shady McCoy produced 1,607 rushing yards on 314 carries (5.1ypa) and 9 rushing touchdowns. Along with rushing for over 100 yards per game, McCoy tallied up 52 receptions for 539 yards and two additional scores.

Single-Season Franchise Records McCoy now owns:

  • 2010 – Highest yards per carry total — min. 200 attempts (5.22)
    • (second: ’13 Lesean McCoy, 5.12)
  • 2011 – Most rushing touchdowns (17)
    • (second: ’45 Steve Van Buren, 15)
  • 2011 – Most total touchdowns, non-QB (20)
    • (second: 45 Steve Van Buren, 18)
  • 2013 – Most rushing yards in a single season (1,607)
    • (second: ’79 Wilbert Montgomery, 1,512)
  • 2013 – Most rushing yards per game in a single season (100.4 in 16 games)
    • (second: ’49 Steve Van Buren, 95.5 in 12 games)
  • 2013 – Most yards from scrimmage in a single season (2,146)
    • (second: ’07 Brian Westbrook, 2,104)

His 2,146 total yards that season led him to being the third-best fantasy football player that season, only ranking behind Jamaal Charles and Peyton Manning.

Miles Sanders is an intriguing prospect to debate in fantasy football for the upcoming 2020 season. Could he be the most successful Eagles running back in fantasy football since LeSean McCoy’s stint with the team?

As of right now, Miles Sanders is being ranked just outside of the top 10 running backs. Miles Sanders still has much to prove at the NFL level, but his rookie campaign showed encouraging signs of what he could become.

In 2019, Miles Sanders finished as fantasy football’s 15th-best running back despite being a rookie running back within a committee-type backfield. He concluded his rookie season with 1,327 total yards and six touchdowns.

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Entering his sophomore season, Miles Sanders is now the clear-cut starting running back and also has more viable threats in the passing game to surround him. His production should pick up and give him the opportunity to prove to the league that he is more than a fringe top-ten back.

Doug Pederson and the coaching staff have already proclaimed Miles Sanders as “the guy” for the 2020 season, giving him the nod as the three-down workhorse.

In a season that should be anything but predictable, monitoring the leap that Sanders takes from year one into the upcoming season should be a pleasant viewing experience for all Eagles fans and fantasy football owners.

Statistics: ProFootballReference
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