1. Fletcher Cox, Eagles DT (Last year 2)
With no playoff teams to boast in the city this year, there is really no best team’s best player to kick off this list. But Fletcher Cox has turned into a perrenial Pro Bowl pass-rusher and followed up 9.5 sacks in 2016 with 6.5 in 2016. Sacks don’t tell the full story, as the defensive tackle commanded double teams all year and will be in the heart of his prime in 2017 during his age 26 season.
2. Joel Embiid, Sixers C (Last year 33)
The big man played in only 31 games before a knee injury shut him down but his numbers were eye-popping. In just over 25 minutes per game, Jo Jo averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He was on a fast track to Rookie of the Year honors and had a reasonable case to be an All-Star starter. His defense around the rim was the stuff of legend in less than half a season and a healthy Embiid in 2017-18 will be an All-Star candidate right out of the gate.
3. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles WR
He’s never played a game in Philadelphia but we are already annoiting the former Bears wideout the third best standout in the city. He is big, he is fast. And when healthy, he is a 1,000 yard receiver even on a bad day. He’ll give Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz a target that dreams are made of.
4. Claude Giroux, Flyers C (Last year 1)
Likely playing through a lot of pain this season — one that saw the Flyers win 10 straight games in December but still miss the playoffs — Giroux had a down season by his standards. But he still posted some of the best numbers on his team and, if healthy in 2017-18, will prove that 2016-17 was a blip on the radar and not an early sign of decline.
5. Lane Johnson, Eagles RT (Last year 20)
One only needs to read one stat when assessing the importance of Johnson to the Eagles offense. With him at right tackle, Philly was 5-1 last season. With him suspended due to violating the NFL drug policy, Philly was 2-8. Can’t get much more valuable than that.
6. Jason Peters, Eagles LT (Last year 19)
Peters is a future NFL Hall of Famer and the highest paid player on the Eagles. He seems to have no intention of hanging up his cleats anytime soon at age 35 and is a regular anchor at left tackle on Pro Bowl teams.
7. Jeremy Hellickson, Phillies, SP (Last year 55)
Hellickson has been a model of consistency on a young Phillies pitching staff. He fills the roll of slump-buster perfectly as a level-headed master of acquiring quality starts. Don’t be surprised if he is moved before the July trade deadline — should his production continue.
8. Carson Wentz, Eagles QB
He’ll be No. 1 on this list very soon — possibly by the end of 2017. With the aformentioned Jeffery, newly acquired Torrey Smith (and two draft picks) as well as Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles, Wentz could have a breakout sophomore year.
9. Jordan Hicks, Eagles LB (Last year 10)
The quarterback of the Eagles defense, Hicks has shown he is a steady hand in the middle of the Eagles D and a turnover machine. In about a season and a half of NFL games, the middle linebacker has 135 tackles, seven interceptions and a pair of sacks.
10. Zach Ertz, Eagles TE (Last year 7)
We are always waiting for Ertz to play to his potential, and the inconsistency bug seems to be keeping him from making the leap to elite tight end. Over the last two seasons he’s averaged 76.5 catches for just around 840 yards and three touchdowns per campaign.
11. Jakub Voracek, Flyers RW (Last year 4)
Perhaps fittingly, at No. 11 just beneath Ertz, the Flyers’ oft-scoring winger is just as inconsistent as his football playing counterpart. Voracek has the ability to change a hockey game all by himself but sometimes falls into scoreless streaks like many other Flyers forwards.
12. Brandon Graham, Eagles DE (Last year 36)
Graham had a break out 2016, seemingly darting all over the field and accumulating a career-high in tackles and second best ever sack total (5.5). He was a borderling Pro Bowl performer and will once again be a key member of the Eagles front seven.
13. Odubel Herrera, Phillies OF (Last year 39)
Herrera was the best hitter on the Phillies a season ago and has been solid but not stellar in 2017. He has been much better working out of the three-hole in the lineup and is, as always, a dynamic personality in the Phils clubhouse.
14. Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles S (Last year 3)
The Eagles’ veteran safety has become a staple in the Philadelphia community as well as an outspoken locker room presence. He had two pick-sixes in an (alternate) Pro Bowl year for the Eagles in 2016.
15. Rodney McLeod, Eagles S
The other half of Philly’s safety tandem, McLeod is another reliable member of the secondary. He’ll likely be even better in his second season with the Eagles after signing with the team last offseason.
16. Cesar Hernandez, Phillies 2B (Last year 63)
Hernandez, once seen as a stopgap while Phillies prospects prepared to make it to the majors, has really found his groove in the lead-off spot for the Phils in 2017 and is among their best hitters thus far.
17. Dario Saric, Sixers PF
After Embiid was shut down for the season, the Rookie of the Year buzz didn’t decimate in Philly. In fact just the opposite, as blue-collar and hustling Saric became a fan favorite and posted numbers worthy of winning the award himself in 2017.
18. Torrey Smith, Eagles WR
Smith won’t quite fill the shoes left open when the Eagles cut speedster DeSean Jackson, but given a third contract with a third team the veteran will be a huge asset for Philly spreading the field alongside Jeffery.
19. Derrick Barnett, Eagles DE
The Eagles’ first overall pick earns a top 20 spot due to the importance of his selection at No. 14 overall. He has the chance to be a big piece of the Birds’ defense for a decade.
20. Jared Eickhoff, Phillies SP (Last year 48)
Quality starts have become synonymous with Eickhoff, who has used his curveball and control of the strike zone to emerge as a building block for the Phillies starting five.
Our list continues:
21. Brayden Schenn, Flyers LW
22. Wayne Simmonds, Flyers RW
23. Shayne Gostisbehere, Flyers D
24. Jordan Matthews, Eagles WR
25. Ben Simmons, Sixers SF
26. Freddy Galvis, SS, Phillies
27. Brandon Brooks, Eagles G
28. Ivan Provorov, Flyers D
33. Joaquin Benoit, Phillies RP
34. T.J. McConnell, Sixers PG
35. Sidney Jones, Eagles CB
36. Darren Sproles, Eagles RB
37. Andres Blanco, Phillies IF
38. Michael Saunders, Phillies OF
40. Vinny Curry, Eagles DE
41. Jon Dorembos, Eagles LS
42. Howie Kendrick, Phillies OF
43. Timmy Jernigan, Eagles DT
45. Sean Couturier, Flyers C
46. Jalen Mills, Eagles CB
47. Jason Kelce, Eagles C
48. Michal Neuvirth, Flyers G
50. Vincent Velasquez, Phillies SP
51. Donnie Jones, Eagles P
52. Tommy Joseph, Phillies 1B
53. Mychal Kendricks, Eagles LB
54. Matt Read, Flyers RW
55. Zach Eflin, Phillies SP
56. Daniel Nava, Phillies OF
57. Dorial Green-Beckham, Eagles WR
58. Caleb Sturgis, Eagles K
59. Michael Del Zotto, Flyers D
60. Nigel Bradham, Eagles LB
61. Robert Covington, Sixers SF
62. Chance Warmack, Eagles G
64. Isaac Seumalo, Eagles G
65. Wendell Smallwood, Eagles RB
66. Stefen Wisniewski, C
67. Radko Gudas, Flyers D
68. Mack Hollins, Eagles WR
69. Shelton Gibson, Eagles WR
70. Patrick Robinson, Eagles CB
71. Jaylen Watkins, Eagles S
72. Nick Cousins, Flyers C
73. Chris Maragos, Eagles S
74. Nick Pivetta, Phillies SP
75. Nick Foles, Eagles QB
76. Matt McGloin, Eagles QB
77. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Eagles T
78. Nate Gerry, Eagles LB
79. Donnell Pumphrey, Eagles RB
80. Cameron Rupp, Phillies C
81. Richaun Holmes, Sixers C
82. Taylor Hart, Eagles DT
83. Beau Allen, Eagles DT
84. Elijah Qualls, Eagles DT
85. Jordan Weal, Flyers C
86. Ron Brooks, Eagles CB
87. Trey Burton, Eagles TE
88. Pat Neshak, Phillies RP
89. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Flyers C
90. Roman Lyubimov, Flyers C
91. Chris Long, Eagles DE
92. Michael Raffl, Flyers RW
93. Steve Mason, Flyers G
94. Jahlil Okafor, Sixers C
95. Valtteri Filppua, Flyers C
96. Chris VandeVelde, Flyers RW
97. Mark Leiter, Phillies RP
98. Clay Buchholz, Phillies SP
99. Andrew McDonald, Flyers D
100. Allen Barbre, Eagles RT
101. Jeanmar Gomez, Phillies RP
102. Dale Weise, Flyers RW
103. Nick Schultz, Flyers D
104. Najee Goode, Eagles LB
105. Marcus Smith, Eagles LB
106. Brandon Manning, Flyers D
107. Jerryd Bayless, Sixers PG
108. Terrence Brooks, Eagles S
109. Andrew Knapp, Phillies C
110. Matt Tobin, Eagles G
111. Joe Walker, Eagles ILB
112. Nik Stauskas, Sixers SG
113. Byron Marshall, Eagles RB
114. Gerald Henderson, Sixers SG
115. C.J. Smith, Eagles CB
116. Nelson Agholor, Eagles WR
117. Justin Anderson, Sixers SG
118. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Sixers SF
119. Paul Turner, Eagles WR
120. Bryce Treggs, Eagles WR
121. Terrell Watson, Eagles RB
122. Aaron Grymes, Eagles CB
123. Kamu Grugier-Hill, Eagles OLB
124. Rasheed Bailey, Eagles WR
125. Joely Rodriguez, Phillies RP
126. Josh Andrews, Eagles G
127. Destiny Vaeao, Eagles DT
128. Edubray Ramos, Phillies RP
129. Shawn Long, Sixers PF