The Eagles’ offense is expected to be much better in 2017 after the team upgraded in several key skill position spots.
Soon-to-be sophomore quarterback Carson Wentz will look to improve on his team rookie-record setting numbers next season and should have a much better compliment of weapons to do so with. The squad should be competitive in the NFC East this season, meaning there will be meaningful reps all season long for the team’s starters. The offensive line, key to the team’s success and failure in a 7-9 2016 campaign has depth and health and could be an asset instead of a detriment.
Here’s a quick look at the five best fantasy players we expect to see from the Eagles’ roster this coming season:
1. Alshon Jeffery, WR
Jeffery is a big, talented and versatile wideout and when healthy one of the most skilled pass-catchers in the NFL. Health is key though. Last year he caught just 52 passes and two touchdowns in an injury-riddled year, he combined for 17 touchdowns and more than 2,500 yards in 2013 and 2014, his most productive years. He’s a risk-reward pick and will likely be around somewhere in the late second, early third round.
Wentz raved about Jeffery in training camp: “It’s really nice having a guy like Alshon, not only his catch radius, he also has some of the strongest hands I’ve ever seen… he’s kind of a different animal, throwing the ball to him, he can cover some ground.”
2. LeGarrette Blount, RB
All indications from the Eagles’ coaching staff is that they intend to get Blount carries early and often. He may not be raking in 20-25 carries per game, but he certainly should eclipse 12-15 and will have the lionshare of goalline carries. Even a fraction of his 2016 output (1,161 yards and 18 TD) would make him draftable in the first half of a fantasy draft.
3. Special teams/defense
The Eagles defense is improved personnel-wise and has always been a turnover producing unit. They also have flanked Fletcher Cox with Timmy Jernigan and rookie Derek Barnett — along with Brandon Graham fresh off his best season ever. Special teams is always a strength for Philly and Darren Sproles will be returning punts once again in his final season. Obviously, snatch them in one of the last few rounds when the run on defenses starts.
4. Zach Ertz
Ertz has been a frustrating fantasy player, as he seems to be terribly inconsistent stat-wise. He will split reps partially with Brent Celek and Trey Burton but is an important red zone threat for Wentz. He’s worth a pick up in a later round.
5. Carson Wentz
Wentz isn’t among the top half of quarterback draftees — not yet at least — but he is worth consideration due to the dynamic weapons he has around him like Torrey Smith and rookie Donnell Pumphrey. If he isn’t drafted he certainly will be a waiver wire player to keep a close eye on as the season progresses.