The Philadelphia Eagles looked more like a fourth-preseason game team than a playoff team when they hobbled off the field after losing to the Seahawks in the playoffs. DeSean Jackson, Carson Wentz, Jordan Howard, and Alshon Jeffery had all succumbed to injury. They then spent the offseason solidifying their depth wherever they could… except for running back. The Philadelphia Eagles are retooled and ready to inexplicably win the division again against the Cowboys, Giants, and… team to be named later (literally). Who are the Philadelphia Eagles’ sleeper, breakout, and bust for 2020 fantasy football?
Sleeper – Jalen Reagor, Wide Receiver (WR57, 154 overall)
One or both of DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery won’t be available to start the season, creating a big hole in the Eagles’ wide receiver corps. In steps Jalen Reagor, who I have seen people lazily compare to DeSean Jackson. That’s not entirely true; whereas Jackson is more of a burner, the former Horned Frog is more of an all-around athletic beast. He’s fast, sure, nobody is doubting that. But he’s more than the one-trick pony that we’ve come to expect from a DeSean Jackson comparison. Plus, he’s free. He’s literally undrafted by ADP in ten-team, fifteen-round leagues. Take a shot on a guy who is going to fall into a situation where he’s competing with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Marquise Goodwin for targets. He was a first-round pick for a reason and has the best chance to succeed out of any of the rookie wide receivers this season.
Breakout – Miles Sanders, Running Back (RB11, 21 overall)
Pretty much everyone and their mama have Miles Sanders pegged for a 2020 breakout season, hence his elevated rank off of half of a season last year. The main reason to doubt what Sanders did following their week ten bye (RB7 on 98 rush yards and four receptions per contest). He’s really good and there’s an anti-breakout drumbeat from those who want to point to the Eagles using a split backfield in the past the evidence that they will in the future. That would probably work, except GM Howie Roseman, upon drafting Sanders, opined that they’d been looking for a back like him for years. A back they could dump everything onto.
Boston Scott truthers will point to how he performed down the stretch, wallpapering over three short-yardage touchdowns in the second half against a 4-12 Giants team that had packed it in for the season at that point. I do not fear what Boston Scott brings to the table, and if they add Devonta Freeman, I won’t fear him, either. It’s all systems go for Miles Sanders in 2020.
Bust – Zach Ertz, Tight End (TE4, 38 overall)
This one isn’t that I think that Zach Ertz isn’t going to be a true bust, but rather that he isn’t the tight end I want to own in Philadelphia. I think that Ertz is going to be a top-seven tight end, but that you could get 85% of his production 100 picks later. Dallas Goedert is out there for free in fantasy football drafts, and we are flocking to the big name instead, in Zach Ertz. This isn’t a statement that Ertz will be a true bust, but rather a lesson in relative value. Down the stretch last season (last six games), Goedert averaged six receptions for 58 yards per contest, to Ertz’s seven receptions for 65 yards per game. When accounting for touchdowns, Goedert came out to the #6 tight end in HPPR in that timeframe, and Ertz the #1.
A big difference in the ranking, but both very useful difference-makers down the stretch.
The problem in snake drafts with Zach Ertz comes when you consider who you are skipping to take him. To pass on Ertz at his ADP makes you able to snatch up JuJu Smith-Schuster or Calvin Ridley. Snagging Goedert 100 picks later will have you passing on Robby Anderson and Golden Tate. You can see my point, here, right? I’m not crazy? Don’t pay the premium for Zach Ertz.