Fantasy football: Avoid LeGarrette Blount, Eagles running backs

Last season, the Eagles ran the football around 41 percent of the time while rookie quarterback Carson Wentz broke the first-year player record for completions in a season.

The additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to the passing game only reinforce the prediction that the Eagles will be one of the most pass-happy teams in the NFL.

Relegating their five running backs — LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Donnell Pumphrey and Wendell Smallwood — to a smaller role in the offense (though most of those backs can catch passes in the backfield or in the slot). 

In addition, the simple fact that they have kept five running backs means the workload will be spread out.

Many expect Blount, who had a revelation of a season with 18 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards in New England last year, to be the lead back.

But Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson was less than committal to that.

“It goes back to the game plan, quite honestly,” the coach said. “We understand that LeGarrette [Blount] might be a little different runner even than Sproles or Wendell [Smallwood]. I think it’s game plan specific. It’s hard to go into a game saying, ‘LeGarrette, you’re going to get X number of touches,’ because you never know what the game — what circumstances might be posed during the game.”

Blount was less than impressive during the preseason, but that’s what the preseason is for. With Blount’s short-yardage and goalline proclivities and his primary usage as a running (as opposed to catching) back, defenses seem to have targeted him in the backfield. He is a great runner between the tackles but speedy Smallwood and Sproles are more apt to sprint for yards on the outside.

All of this adds up to an unfriendly situation for fantasy owners. Who will be the man from week to week? It’s hard to say. Will Blount do more than run on short-yardage and goalline downs? Defenses certainly think so. 

If possible, avoide these backs, or only draft if Blount or Sproles falls to a very late round in your draft.

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