Fantasy football season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. The time for unlimited mock drafts, ADP stock evaluations, and trash-talking your peers, coworkers, and friends is finally among us.
This year, before you all start drafting your teams and beginning your journey towards a fantasy championship, I wanted to give you a few nuggets of advice. Specifically, I wanted to highlight which Eagles players to target and which to avoid this season.
Eagles to Target
This one should be a bit of a no-brainer but let me explain why I love Jalen Hurts in fantasy so much this season.
For starters, dual-threat quarterbacks that rack up a lot of rushing yards and touchdowns excel in fantasy. Their ability to get you points through the air and on the ground makes them a cut above the rest and Hurts is one of the absolute best dual-threat quarterbacks in the league.
Last year, Hurts rushed for 784 yards in just 15 games. His 1,090 rushing yards since coming into the league is second among all quarterbacks, trailing only Lamar Jackson.
Hurts rushing production not only gives him a high fantasy floor on a week-to-week basis, but it also makes his ceiling that much higher.
Last year, despite his shortcomings as a passer, Hurts finished as the QB9 in fantasy, despite missing three starts with an ankle injury.
In 2022, with his new weapon AJ Brown in tow, I expect Hurts to go ballistic in fantasy once again.
The only thing I love more than his fantasy production is his low average draft position (ADP). Hurts is currently being drafted as the seventh quarterback off the board and around the same draft slot as Miles Sanders and TJ Hockenson.
Needless to say, you should be targeting Hurts at his current ADP. By season’s end, he could very well outscore all players in fantasy points so getting him in the sixth round will greatly improve your title odds.
One of the primary reasons I’m so confident in Hurts succeeding is his new WR1, AJ Brown.
Acquired in a trade with the Titans, Brown was impressive in his final season in Tennessee. Last year, the talented wideout had 859 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in a run-heavy Titans offense.
His explosive, big-play ability flashed repeatedly throughout the season and he has already begun turning heads in Philadelphia.
Expect Brown to improve on his receiving yard and touchdown totals from last season as Hurts peppers him with targets.
If Brown slips into the middle or even back end of the third round of your draft, scoop him up and do a dance.
Another weapon I’m targeting in the Eagles’ offense is tight end Dallas Goedert.
Last year, Goedert set a new career-high in yards, 20+ yard plays, and first-down receptions. In 2022, his first full season as the TE1, and without the shadow of Zach Ertz looming over his shoulder, I believe that Goedert can be an X-Factor for the Eagles.
He won’t be hyper-targeted since the Eagles still have to get the ball to the aforementioned AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, but Goedert is a freakish athlete that makes the most of his touches. And, from your tight end spot, you can’t ask for much more than 800 yards and a few scores from the tight end spot unless you are willing to spend up for Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews in the second round.
Goedert is currently being drafted in the eighth round and could end up outperforming his ADP.
Last year was a forgettable one for Miles Sanders. He struggled to stay healthy for a full season once again and failed to reach 1,000 rushing yards.
Heading into the offseason, many thought the Eagles would try and move on from Sanders or at the very least bring in some more competition to lighten his load.
With that being, Sanders still projects to be the lead back for the Birds, and there is reason for optimism for him in 2022.
For starters, he gets to run behind the best offensive line in football. Give virtually any running back 15 carries with the Eagles’ offensive line unit and they will find success.
In the same way Darren McFadden was able to find fantasy relevance behind the formerly stout Cowboys line in 2015, I expect Sanders to get loose and be productive on a weekly basis.
He won’t finish as a top ten running back, but with a current price tag of a seventh-round pick, you can do far worse than Sanders.
Eagles to Avoid
While I still love DeVonta Smith’s season outlook for the Eagles, I am not as big of a fan of him for fantasy purposes.
The former Heisman winner was spectacular in his rookie season in Philly, but his numbers aren’t likely to improve much from last year since he will have to relinquish some of the target share to AJ Brown.
Another reason I’m not a fan is his current ADP. Smith is going in the seventh round, the same range where one can acquire Jalen Hurts, who would be a much more impactful draft pick.
He’s also currently being drafted around names like DeAndre Hopkins and Adam Thielen, both of whom I think will be more fantasy relevant down the stretch.
Due to his low touchdown potential and the Eagles’ run-first approach, I am out on DeVonta Smith in fantasy this year.
The lesser-known Kenny G, Gainwell figured to have a pretty big role heading into Year 2, but coaches have reportedly soured on him a bit this summer.
I think he will still be a serviceable backup at the NFL level, but I’m not sure if he will be involved in the Eagles’ offense to warrant a spot on your fantasy roster.
He’s someone to watch if he’s on waivers, but I would avoid drafting him right now.
I love the skillset and potential of Quez Watkins, but just like Gainwell, I don’t think he will get a large enough slice of the pie to maintain fantasy relevance.
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