If you have Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill or Mike Gillislee in fantasy, you're off to a great start heading into the first NFL Sunday of the season. (Here's a crazy stat on Hunt.)
Each week, we'll take a look at the Eagles and their opponent from a fantasy perspective to help with any lineup-related decisions.
Obviously, Alshon Jeffery is a must-start, but what should we expect in his Eagles debut? Which Redskins are in position to feast this Sunday?
We'll evaluate the key players on a matchup scale from 1 to 5 stars:
WR Alshon Jeffery
Jeffery is likely to get a heavy dose of Josh Norman in Week 1. When they last matched up on Christmas Eve 2016, Jeffery caught 5 of 10 targets for 92 yards, including a 37-yarder.
As Doug Pederson said earlier this week, neither player won the matchup but both had their moments.
Obviously, Jeffery is playing with a better quarterback than he had last season in Chicago. And because his size always makes him a threat in the red zone, one play could allow him to overcome a tough matchup on any given week.
Jeffery has a 3-inch and 18-pound advantage on Norman. But Norman is used to holding in check bigger opponents, and last season he allowed completions on just 45 of 84 targets (53.6 percent).
Because the Eagles have other weapons that match up well with the Redskins' weaknesses, this might not be an explosive debut for Jeffery.
Matchup: 3 stars
Projected Jeffery stat line: 5 catches, 80 yards, 0 TD
• • •
TE Jordan Reed
Reed is a monster when healthy and was Kirk Cousins' favorite target even when he had DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. Reed doesn't have huge numbers against the Eagles because he's had so much trouble staying on the field, but he did destroy them two meetings ago with 9 catches, 129 yards and two TDs on Dec. 26, 2015.
Reed last season missed four games altogether and played sparingly in three others. But in his nine healthiest games, he averaged 7 catches for 70 yards and scored five touchdowns.
Cousins especially likes to involve Reed early in games. Last season, 38 of his 53 catches came in the first half. The year before, when he scored a career-high 11 TDs, he had his most receptions (25), yards (300) and touchdowns (4) in the first quarter.
In 2016, the Eagles' defense actually surrendered the fewest catches (44) and yards (414) to opposing tight ends. The flip side of that fact, though, is that they didn't face many good tight ends. They saw Kyle Rudolph and Jimmy Graham — and that was pretty much it. Reed missed one of the meetings and barely played in the other.
Matchup: 4 stars
Projected Reed stat line: 7 catches, 90 yards, TD
• • •
TE Zach Ertz
The Redskins last season were so, so, so much worse against tight ends than the Eagles were.
TEs vs Eagles: 44 catches, 414 yards
TEs vs Redskins: 108 catches, 1,119 yards
You did not read that wrong.
The last three seasons, Ertz has done little against the Redskins in the season's first meeting, then torched them in the second.
2014: 3 catches for 14 yards, then 15 catches for 115
2015: 2 catches for 11 yards, then 13 catches for 122
2016: 1 catch for 22 yards, then 10 catches for 112
The guess here is that the pattern changes in 2017 and Ertz opens up with a big game. The Redskins have a weak defense and won't be able to commit an over-the-top safety to Ertz much if at all. Why? Because the Eagles have a speed threat on one side in Torrey Smith, a deep threat on the other side in Jeffery, and Washington will have to stay home, especially in play-action situations, because of its shaky run defense.
Ertz's matchup: 4.5 stars
Projected Ertz stat line: 6 catches, 80 yards, 0.75 TDs
• • •
RB LeGarrette Blount
There might not be many great matchups for Blount this season because of the Eagles' crowded backfield, but this is one of them.
Washington's run defense last season was abysmal. The 'Skins allowed 1,741 rushing yards (4.52 per carry) and 15 touchdowns to running backs. And, quite frankly, the run defense could be even worse this season. Chris Baker is now in Tampa Bay, and nose tackle Phil Taylor is out for the season. Washington will go with a weak front three of Jonathan Allen, Ziggy Hood and Stacy McGee.
I like Blount to score a TD this week and have one of his better rushing afternoons of 2017.
Matchup: 3.5 stars
Projected Blount stat line: 75 rushing yards, TD, 5 receiving yards
• • •
WR Terrelle Pryor, WR Jamison Crowder
Crowder has the better matchup this week, both because of the cornerback matchup and the fact that he has much more of a rapport with Cousins than Pryor.
Pryor finished with 1,007 receiving yards last season but his year wasn't as impressive as many think. He scored just once in his final 10 games, and in his last eight games averaged 4.5 catches for 59.5 yards. Those aren't even WR2 numbers in fantasy.
Pryor is playing with a better quarterback this year, so I do expect him to exceed last year's totals. But in Week 1, I'd rather be the Crowder fantasy owner than the Pryor fantasy owner.
In three-receiver sets, Crowder will likely spend much of his time in the slot against Patrick Robinson, a winnable matchup for the third-year WR.
Crowder is listed as questionable for Sunday's game with a hip injury, but he expects to play.
Pryor matchup: 2.5 stars
Projected Pryor stat line: 4 catches, 52 yards
Crowder matchup: 3.5 stars
Projected Crowder stat line: 6 catches, 90 yards
• • •
RBs Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson
Kelley hurt the Eagles last season, rushing 21 times for 122 yards and a TD in the two meetings. When the Eagles and 'Skins first played on Oct. 16, he wasn't yet the feature back, but a 45-yard run late in that game helped push him up the depth chart.
Kelley had a couple huge games last season, notably the 137-yard, 3-TD performance vs. the Packers. But he also averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry in four of his final six games, which is why a lot of fantasy analysts are high on his backup, rookie Samaje Perine.
This isn't a great matchup for Kelley against a strong Eagles defensive line. Pass-catching back Chris Thompson could end up with the juicier stat line.
Kelley's matchup: 2 stars
Projected Kelley stat line: 45 rushing yards, 0 TD
Thompson's matchup: 3 stars
Projected Thompson stat line: 20 rushing yards, 4 catches, 45 receiving yards