Yesterday we kicked of a three-part preview of the Eagles’ fantasy options with a look at the quarterbacks and running backs. Today we pick up where we left off, this time checking out the wide receivers and tight ends.
Alshon Jeffery (ADP 56, WR 24)
Honestly, it feels like Jeffery is being undervalued here. Last year he put up a respectable 57 receptions for 789 yards and nine touchdowns despite playing hurt. He’s the clear number one receiver on a team with a franchise quarterback in place and a prolific offense. The analytics crowd is predicting a touchdown regression for Carson Wentz and expect Jeffery to feel some of the effects of that, but it seems Jeffery will have every opportunity to come close to replicating last season’s numbers, which landed him as a top 15 WR. There have been some rumblings that Jeffery could start the season on the PUP list, which would cost him a sizeable portion of the fantasy season, so be sure to monitor his status closely.
Nelson Agholor (ADP 111, WR 30)
After a slow rookie season and a disastrous sophomore campaign that had many Eagles fans ready to give up on the young receiver as the drops piled up, Agholor responded nicely in 2017 with 62 catches for 768 yards and eight touchdowns. In the process he improved his catch percentage from 52.2 percent in 2016 to 65.3 percent last year.
If you believe Agholor can get anywhere close to those 2017 numbers, then he’s approaching steal status in the 9th round, where he is currently going.
We don’t list Wallace’s ADP because in some leagues he isn’t even being drafted at all. To give you some perspective, he’s generally been the 70th-80th wide receiver off the board. But unlike with Sproles, I think overlooking Wallace is a mistake.
Wallace gives the Eagles a threat they haven’t had in some time. He’s firmly entrenched as WR2, and as we mentioned has the benefit of quality quarterback play and an aggressive coach. Age is a concern, but Wallace finds himself in an improved situation from the one he was in in Baltimore a season ago, where he still managed 52 receptions for 748 yards and four touchdowns. Wallace has also proven to be incredibly durable during his career (knock on wood again), a quality that gets overlooked and can have major fantasy implications. If Wallace is floating around late in your draft, grab him. Jeffery’s injury concerns could boost the value of both Wallace and Agholor should Alshon miss extended time.
Note: The Eagles have the third easiest schedule for wide receivers.
Zach Ertz (ADP 36, TE 3)
Looking for your Eagles fantasy stud in 2018? Look no further than Zach Ertz. If Wentz proves fully healthy and shakes off the rust, he will naturally steal the show, but Ertz is definitively the safest Eagles fantasy pick in 2018.
The only tight ends going ahead of Ertz are all-world talents Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce, and Ertz’s durability and consistency put him squarely in the discussion with those two as the elite tight ends in the league. Over the past three season’s Ertz has averaged 76 catches, 831 yards, and nearly five touchdowns per season, topping it off in 2017 with 74/824/8.
There remains debate about where it’s worth taking a tight end in fantasy drafts, but Ertz’s production speaks for itself. Go get him.
Like Sproles and Wallace, rookie tight end Dallas Goedert finds himself on the fringe of fantasy drafts.
Goedert will be limited by Ertz’s dominance and by the rookie learning curve, making it difficult to invest a draft pick in him.
However, he has impressed throughout training camp and his play-making skills were on display in the Eagles’ preseason opener, where he found the end zone in his first NFL action. Like Corey Clement, there may be a week or two where Goedert is a difference maker, so his name will be one to keep an eye on on the waiver wire.
Note: The Eagles have the 8th easiest schedule for tight ends.
One could argue that the Eagles’ pass catchers offer the most safe and consistent fantasy production on the team. They face a favorable schedule, have a stud quarterback to throw them the ball who happens to be protected by the best offensive line in football, and benefit from an aggressive coach that has a penchant for extending drives on third and fourth down. The Birds’ tendency to spread the ball around limits the upside of all their fantasy players, but the pass catching corps look like your safest bet when selecting Eagles at your draft.
Check back later this week for the final installment of our Eagles fantasy preview.