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Boston Scott - 2020 Fantasy Football Sleeper

Coming off of a 2019 season in which they won the NFC East crown, the Philadelphia Eagles enter 2020 looking to make a deep run in the postseason. Philadelphia finished 14th in total offense last year, which indicates a good-but-not-great offensive unit. However, considering the injuries they sustained, this production was a minor miracle. Their top three receivers (Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor) all missed time. Running backs Corey Clement and Darren Sproles finished the year on injured reserve. Even veteran tight end Zach Ertz was banged up by the end of the season. 

The good news is that these players, save for Agholor and Sproles, will be returning to Philadelphia fully healthy for the upcoming season. Their absences also allowed teammates to step up and assume larger roles in the offense. One such player was tailback Miles Sanders. As a rookie, Sanders led the squad with 1,327 yards from scrimmage. The Penn State product’s improved play down the stretch played a large role in the Eagles clinching the division title. As a result, Sanders will be a hot commodity in fantasy leagues this season.

However, one key player in Philadelphia’s backfield is being ignored in fantasy drafts to this point. The darling of Week 17 last season, running back Boston Scott will garner a larger role in the offense than the hype surrounding Sanders may have you believe. After a breakout performance that yielded 138 yards of offense and three rushing touchdowns, Scott needs to be regarded as a potential gem in fantasy football in 2020.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Soaring High in Philly?

Boston Scott flew under the radar coming out of Louisiana Tech in 2018, falling to the sixth round. However, after his sudden ascension into the spotlight last December, he has made the transition from a special teamer to an offensive weapon. Reports out of Philadelphia indicate that the Eagles plan on giving Scott an increased role in the offense this season. Whether or not he can continue his late-2019 success is the question.

Advanced statistics indicate that Scott’s opportunistic production was not a fluke. His production premium ranked sixth among running backs last season, showing that his efficiency was among the league’s elite tailbacks. He accomplished this despite facing an average of 6.9 defenders in the box, the eighth-most in the NFL. Miles Sanders, on the other hand, had just the 27th best production premium against an average of 6.5 defenders in the box. Scott’s fantasy efficiency also surpassed that of Sanders. By averaging 1.11 fantasy points per opportunity, Scott beat out the 0.9 points per opportunity that Sanders posted. Not only is Scott productive, but he is also more productive than his hyped teammate.

Interestingly, the Eagles ran the seventh-most times in the NFL last season despite ranking just 16th in terms of game script. This means that the team was committed to the rushing attack rather than using it to just run out the clock. The fact that Philadelphia was decimated by injuries in 2019 suggests that their health woes will revert to the mean in 2020, presumably leading to more late-game leads. Coupling this with the addition of rookies Jalen Reagor and Jalen Hurts to the offensive arsenal means that the Eagles may find themselves in even more rushing situations this coming season. Should Scott garner a large share of the team’s carries, he will find no shortage of opportunities to produce.

Of course, critics will point to the small sample size that has experts energized about Scott’s value. A majority of his fantasy points came in the last four weeks last season, meaning that his promising advanced statistics could be explained away by his fresh legs. The Eagles also have several other talented running backs on their roster, such as Corey Clement and Elijah Holyfield, that will see touches of their own.

Despite these potential drawbacks, Scott has a lot of upside heading into the 2020 campaign. Even if Sanders maintains his position as the lead running back on the team, Scott’s athleticism (4.45 40 time and 97th percentile agility) ensures that he will have value in fantasy leagues this season. Invisible no longer, he is firmly within Doug Pederson’s plans for the offense. Scott is currently going as the RB50 in drafts, which is an absolute steal. Do not hesitate to pull the trigger on him earlier than that. At that stage of the draft, maximizing upside is key, and Scott has an excellent chance of providing significant returns for his price.

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