2017 NFL Team Outlook - Philadelphia Eagles

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After starting the season 3-0, things were looking very good for the Philadelphia Eagles. However, all of that would come crashing down throughout the course of the season, and some lackluster performances saw the Eagles fall to 4th place in the NFC East with a 7-9 record.

From a fantasy standpoint, there was not much to love. Other than rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, the top three scorers in points were kicker Caleb Sturgis, the defense, and now cut Ryan Matthews. Yikes.

That being said, the team has made some very big offseason moves and looks to have a rebound year both in real life and on the fantasy football field. For Eagles fans and fantasy owners alike, hopefully the team lives up to its heightened expectations.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Outlook

Offseason Moves

Notable Acquisitions: WR Torrey Smith, WR Alshon Jeffery, QB Nick Foles, QB Matt McGloin, RB LeGarrette Blount, CB Ronald Darby, DE Derek Barnett, CB Sidney Jones, RB Donnel Pumphrey, RB Corey Clement

Notable Losses: RB Kenjon Barner, CB Nolan Carroll, WR Jordan Matthews, RB Ryan Mathews, WR Dorial Green-Beckham

 

Quarterback

Carson Wentz had an up-and-down rookie season, finishing the year with almost 4,000 yards coupled with 16 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Wentz also added two touchdowns on the ground despite having limited carries. Although in now way should he be considered a locked-in starter for fantasy teams, Wentz carries a bit of upside with a completely revamped wide receiver core and the number one ranked offensive line according to Pro Football Focus.

For fantasy purposes, Wentz should not be drafted unless owners are in 2-QB or deeper leagues, but he will be a very intriguing streaming candidate for owners who do not target the position come draft day.

 

Running Back

Although Wentz is locked in as the quarterback in Philadelphia, the running back stable is much more intriguing. After releasing their leading rusher Ryan Mathews in the offseason, the Eagles have a diverse group of running backs who will likely eat into each other’s workloads. One year removed from over 1,000 yards and a league leading 18 rushing touchdowns, LeGarrette Blount is currently the top tailback on the Eagles depth chart. However, after talks of Blount being released after some subpar performances in the preseason, it is hard to trust him to be the workhorse of the team’s offense. Behind him is receiving specialist Darren Sproles, who is sure to take the majority of third down work. A dark horse to create a three-down role for himself is second year pro Wendell Smallwood, who has been splitting time with Blount in the first team and has been making the most of his opportunities. Add to the mix rookies Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement, who have both been making waves in training camp, and you have an extremely confusing backfield that is sure to disappoint owners come draft season. Luckily, none of the backs on the team have a high price in drafts, so the downside is baked into their draft price.

 

Wide Receiver

One year ago, the Eagles had one of the worst wide receiver cores in the entire league. Despite the departure of their previous top receiver Jordan Matthews to the Bills, the Eagles went and spent money on Alshon Jeffery, an elite but injury-plagued wideout. To help support him, Torrey Smith was also brought on after a disappointing stint in San Francisco. Behind the two top wide receivers is slot receiver Nelson Agholor, who looks to have his breakout season working behind Smith and Jeffery. All of these options offer interesting value, as Jeffery is only signed to a one-year deal and could explode if he builds chemistry with his young quarterback. Furthermore, Smith has shown that he can be top receiver during his time for the Ravens, and he will cost owners next to nothing. Finally, Agholor is sure to see targets from Wentz as he has spent the most time working with him and has the ability to break out this year.

 

Tight End

Zach Ertz has confused fantasy owners for many years. Ertz has always started his campaigns slow but picked up as the season continued. Entering his age-26 season, Ertz has built a solid rapport with Wentz and should be a top target in the redzone. If he can maintain his yardage totals and stay healthy for the entire season, Ertz is an intriguing option who is destined to experience positive regression in the touchdown department.

 

Kicker

Caleb Sturgis returns for another year as the Eagles kicker. He had a very solid season and there are few concerns that he can repeat his success from last year in the new season. He is a great value-add as a kicker who can be grabbed on waivers or in the last round of drafts.

 

Defense/Special Teams

Despite finishing with a 7-9 record, the Eagles defense was actually the sixth ranked defense at the end of the 2016 season. They have since only strengthened their depth chart, adding corners Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones (who is working back from injury) and drafting defensive end Derek Barnett with their first round pick in the NFL Draft. The special teams unit has also been known to break out some big plays, and the Eagles D/ST should be a locked in defense for owners to trust.

 

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