With training camps starting to ramp up around the NFL comes the start of fantasy football season. But before any draft, any good fantasy football team owner will do at least some research on who to draft and who to avoid.
When it comes to the Eagles, there are players that fall into both categories. Last season, the Eagles turned into a run-oriented team as the season went on but did not rely on any single running back. Instead, they relied on a committee of backs and the legs of Jalen Hurts.
This season, what the Eagles’ offense may look like is still up in the air with the potential for a Jalen Hurts breakout season throwing the football with the addition of A.J. Brown to complement second-year wide receiver, D’Vonta Smith. But even though, the Eagles certainly have a better receiving core, I’d be surprised if they became a pass-first offense.
Let’s look at potential breakout players, sleepers, busts, and locks for the 2022-23 season.
Breakout: Dallas Goedert
After Zach Ertz was traded before Week 7 last season, Dallas Goedert was the fifth highest-scoring TE in fantasy football. In that span after the Ertz trade, Goedert averaged just over six targets a game. For the total year, Goedert hauled in 56 of his 76 targets with 42 of them resulting in first downs. That means he extends drives and gives him and his team more chances for fantasy points.
And with Smith and A.J. Brown on the outside, it will certainly be harder to key in on stopping Goedert. HIs size should also lead to becoming a more consistent red-zone target. I’d expect more than the four touchdowns he totaled in 2021.
Also helping his case is the lack of depth the Eagles have behind him at tight end. Jack Stoll is a nice blocking option, but he certainly won’t eat into Goedert’s targets. Tyree Jackson is an interesting option but he is still out with an ACL injury. Other than that it’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Gran Calcaterra, and Richard Rodgers. I think Goedert could be a top-four tight end in 2022-23, especially if there are any injuries to their two wide receivers.
Lock: Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts has as much rushing potential as anyone not named Lamar Jackson. Averaging over 52 yards per game and leading the Eagles in rushing touchdowns, Hurts is a stellar pick for just his running game. He is the Eagles go-to rusher on the goal line and has shown the ability for long runs.
Now with A.J. Brown, I’d expect Hurts to throw the ball around 30 times a game and slowly push closer to 4,000 yards in a season after 3,100 in 15 games last year. Now with three legit receiving options, Hurts should be able to post top-five QB production in fantasy.
He is as safe as a pick as you can make at quarterback, besides Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Bust: Miles Sanders
Everyone knows that Miles Sanders, despite being the Eagles’ leading rusher and posting over 900 yards from scrimmage, did not reach the endzone once last year. With Jalen Hurts being the runner that he is, along with two other capable running backs in Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell, it’s hard to see Sanders as anything but a “in-between-the 20s” runner.
Philadelphia Eagles rush attempts inside the 10-yard line in 2021 and number of total rushes (%)
Jalen Hurts – 22 of 139 (15.8%)
Boston Scott – 16 of 87 (18.4%)
Jordan Howard – 14 of 86 (16.3%)
????? ??????? – 10 of 137 (7.3%) ?
Kenneth Gainwell – 8 of 68 (11.8%)
— Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler) June 30, 2022
With limited red zone carries and his recent injury history, it’s likely a wise decision to stay away from Sanders in the early rounds and having him in your starting lineup consistently.
Sleeper: Kenny Gainwell
While Sanders is one to stay away from, Kenny Gainwell could be an interesting pickup in the late rounds. Despite only having 68 rushes for 291 yards, he did rack up 5 touchdowns and garnered some snaps in the redzone even as the team’s third running back.
With the Eagles not re-signing Jordan Howard, Gainwell looks to be the backup to Sanders and looks like he could be in line for a decent amount of work, especially with the questions surrounding Miles Sanders’ health.
He won’t give you big numbers from week to week but could be a potential rotation runningback who could give you solid production as a late-round draft pick.
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