The Eagles might not be one of the best teams in football this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fantasy football value to be found up and down their roster.
From starter-level QB play to sneaky additions for IDP leagues, here’s a look at the nine most valuable players in fantasy football from the Eagles’ 2021 roster:
9. RB Boston Scott
2020 Stats: 80 rushes, 374 yards, 1 TD / 25 catches, 212 yards, 1 TD
Scott is such an interesting player. If he’s playing the Giants, he’s an insta-start - the guy has 44 rushes for 222 yards and five touchdowns plus 14 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown in just four games vs. NYG! - but otherwise he’s a pretty hit-or-miss player. The question is whether Scott will be the straight-up RB2 for the Eagles this year, or if Jordan Howard or Kenneth Gainwell wrests that spot away. If Scott gets ~10 touches per game through the run and pass game, he could be an interesting bench player or desperate flex. And RB2 is just one tight hamstring away from RB1.
8. CB Darius Slay
2020 Stats: 1 INT, 2 TFL
If you’re in a league that uses IDP, Slay was probably a huge disappointment last year. I’m here to tell you that he should be back to form in 2021. With the Eagles’ signing of Steven Nelson and with Anthony Harris at safety and Eric Wilson at linebacker, opposing quarterbacks won’t have easy outs all over the field to simply avoid Slay. This is a guy who had at least two interceptions in six straight seasons, and is prime for a breakout.
7. DE Brandon Graham
2020 Stats: 8.0 sacks, 13 TFL, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
Graham simply refuses to age, and it makes me happy. The guy has 16.5 sacks in his last two seasons combined, to go along with 28 combined tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and 96 total tackles. He’s always around the ball, he’s a high-motor guy who should have some relief with Josh Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan absorbing the offensive line’s attention, and this Eagles defense in general is improved in the secondary which should lead to a couple extra coverage sacks. If your league uses IDP, Graham is a sneaky solid pick.
6. WR Jalen Reagor
2020 Stats: 31 catches, 396 yards, 1 TD
Reagor is a tough sell after a rough rookie year, and with a strong new crop of wideouts to choose from in the 2021 Draft class. But I still think he has a lot of potential as a bench wideout who has upside, and playing opposite DeVonta Smith will be a good way to ease him back into the offense. He won’t be commanding CB1 coverage, and if both Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz are on the roster, he might get lost in the shuffle among the secondary. Plus, Jalen Hurts likes throwing the long ball and Reagor’s calling card out of college was his speed, plus his ability to catch contested passes. He’s a buy-low guy with boom potential.
5. D/ST Eagles
2020 Stats: 49.0 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 12 fumbles recovered, 8 INT
Last year’s Eagles defense already was a Top 15 unit in fantasy, averaging around 6.5 points per game despite nabbing the fourth-fewest interceptions in the league. Add in improvement at cornerback, safety, and linebacker and you’ve got a unit ready to explode. They dominated with sacks, where they ranked third, and can only go up in interceptions with Steven Nelson opposite Darius Slay and Anthony Harris backing up the secondary at safety. I also think the Birds stop giving up huge chunk plays to opposing tight ends with the addition of Eric Wilson. And slapping Ryan Kerrigan onto an already-formidable defensive line, as Josh Sweat emerges and Brandon Graham refuses to age, keeps the Eagles as one of the league’s most legit sack threats. Give me the Eagles D/ST as a Top 8 starting defense this year.
4. TE Dallas Goedert
2020 Stats: 46 catches, 524 yards, 3 TD
Even if Zach Ertz is back in the fold this season, this is the year that Goedert should emerge as TE1 for the Birds. He’s a super athlete who is basically unguardable in single coverage, and with DeVonta Smith at WR1 and Miles Sanders ideally serving as a pass-catching threat out of the backfield, opposing defenses won’t be able to double Goedert on every play. Goedert piled up solid enough numbers even while playing in Ertz’s shadow for three seasons; if he gets his rightful TE1 spot, Goedert should be able to drop at least 60 catches, 650 yards, and 6 TD this year.
3. RB Miles Sanders
2020 Stats: 164 rushes, 867 yards, 6 TD / 28 catches, 197 yards
Sanders felt like such a good pick last year, and then his contributions in the passing game fell off a cliff just like Carson Wentz did. Whether Sanders’ problems with drops were Wentz-related or a serious regression remain to be seen; ideally, he can get back to his rookie year’s production, when Sanders caught 50 passes for 509 yards and three touchdowns . On the ground, Sanders has been a nice reliable back with explosive potential. He ripped off three 40+ yard rushes last year; only Derrick Henry and Aaron Jones had more. His touchdown numbers weren’t great, but I think those will jump this year as the whole Eagles offense looks more like a functioning offense.
2. WR DeVonta Smith
2020 Stats: N/A
This could be your steal of the draft. The targets are going to have to end up somewhere in this offense, and Smith is a dynamic wide receiver who runs every route well, meaning he’ll be able to grab 20+ yard chunk plays while also eating up receptions for PPR leagues on shorter routes. The kid won the Heisman for a reason: he caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns at Alabama last year. Those are video game numbers. He won’t be a WR1 or even WR2 in fantasy this year, but he could be a WR3 or a consistent flex play depending on how things pan out for your team, and for the Eagles. And if you play dynasty, this is a must-have dude. He could be a weapon for a decade to come.
1. QB Jalen Hurts
2020 Stats: 52% completion, 1,061 yards, 6 TD, 4 INT / 63 rushes, 354 yards, 3 TD
Hurts will obviously be at the core of everything the Eagles do this year, and even if the team itself isn’t successful in wins and losses, he should be a monster in fantasy because of his dual-threat ability. Hurts had just 14.5 quarters as QB1 last season, but in that time he put up 1,028 passing yards, 301 rushing yards, and nine combined touchdowns. Over a full 17-game season that equates to 4,820 passing yards, 1,411 rushing yards, and 42.2 combined touchdowns. Is that what Hurts’ 2021 season will look like? Probably not. Those are wild numbers, even with a 17th game tacked on this season. But if he puts up 80% of that line, he’s clearly worth a starting QB spot after the first handful of obvious names are off the board. And who knows - maybe Hurts becomes the next fantasy hero this year, and you were bold enough to make the pick.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: