Fantasy football Week 8 advice: Which Eagles running back is worth starting?

USA Today Images

Fantasy football Week 8 advice: Which Eagles running back is worth starting?

You better not be starting Blake Bortles or any Jaguars receiver this Sunday. If you are, don't even continue reading, you're not making the fantasy playoffs anyway.

The only fantasy-relevant Jags in this game are T.J. Yeldon and the Jacksonville defense/special teams. Even Yeldon's production could suffer with Carlos Hyde now in the mix. Keep in mind, the Eagles have allowed the fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL (55.3) and just two rushing TDs in seven weeks. Neither Yeldon nor Hyde would be a comfortable start.

Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery are obvious must-starts. Jeffery has looked even better and healthier this season than he did last. Ertz is the most consistent fantasy tight end right now, ahead of even Travis Kelce.

On to the borderline guys, with the obligatory reminder to set your lineup by tonight with the 9:30 a.m. ET game Sunday:

Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement

Unless you absolutely have to, I'd stay away from the Eagles' running backs this week. You're likely going to need a touchdown for either Corey Clement or Wendell Smallwood to be productive and how would you ever know which one is going to get those goal-line touches?

Since Jay Ajayi went down for the season, Smallwood has gotten seven carries inside the 20-yard line. On those carries, Smallwood has gained 0, 1, 2, 3, 3, 6 and -2 yards. He hasn't gotten a carry inside the 9-yard line.

During that same period, Clement has gotten just two carries inside the 20. One was a 1-yard touchdown. The other was a 14-yard gain that set up a 1st-and-Goal from the 1.

Just a muddy situation. Clement is the better start because he should catch a few passes, but neither is a safe bet for double-digit points.

WR Nelson Agholor

It bodes well for Agholor that the Jags' weakest performance all season came against the Cowboys and slot receiver Cole Beasley. Otherwise, Jacksonville has shut receivers down. Even DeAndre Hopkins, who went 3-50-TD against them last week, did so on eight targets.

Agholor is having one of the strangest years ever for a wide receiver, catching almost exclusively short passes. 

Is this the week the Eagles let his routes develop a bit more? You'd figure that with all the recent emphasis on Ertz and Jeffery, the Jags will try their best to take those two away.

I could see Agholor going 7-for-77 in this game, decent WR3 numbers.

Play Agholor over: Sterling Shepard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, Will Fuller, Marvin Jones, Jordy Nelson, Larry Fitzgerald

QB Carson Wentz

Most weeks, Wentz is a must-start. But the Jaguars, despite their massive drop-off from last year, are still stingy against quarterbacks. They've held opposing QBs to 195 passing yards with just 6 TDs and 3 interceptions.

They have, however, allowed the third-most rushing yards to opposing QBs. This could be a game in which Wentz scrambles once or twice for a big gain.

The only way you don't start Wentz this week is if you have one of the following QBs: Pat Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Jared Goff.

I'd still go with Wentz over Cam Newton, DeShaun Watson, Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton.

Just keep in mind that no team has been better against opposing receivers and tight ends than the Jaguars. An A.J. Bouye absence would help the Eagles' cause, but Jalen Ramsey will likely blanket Jeffery.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagle Eye Podcast: Reacting to the Carson Wentz story

Eagle Eye Podcast: Reacting to the Carson Wentz story

Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss the Carson Wentz story from PhillyVoice. Regardless of how factual the story was, this will add pressure on Wentz next season.

The guys react to a thrilling and extremely controversial championship weekend in the NFL. How much of an officiating problem does the NFL have?

1:00 - Initial thoughts on the Carson Wentz story from PhillyVoice.
7:00 - Derrick's in the locker room daily. What is the environment there?
11:00 - Added pressure on Wentz next season.
16:00 - Saints get jobbed.
23:00 - Patriots are amazing.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: 
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

Lane Johnson replaces Tyron Smith on NFC Pro Bowl roster

USA Today Images

Lane Johnson replaces Tyron Smith on NFC Pro Bowl roster

Lane Johnson finally got the Pro Bowl nod he deserves.

Johnson will replace injured Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith in the annual AFC-NFC All-Star game, scheduled for this weekend in Orlando, Florida. Johnson was originally snubbed when the team was announced in December.

This is Johnson’s second straight Pro Bowl selection. He was unable to play last year because the Eagles were on their way to the Super Bowl.

Johnson is the fifth Eagle now represented on the NFC Pro Bowl team. Brandon Brooks, Zach Ertz and Fletcher Cox were on the original roster and Malcolm Jenkins was also an injury replacement. 

The Eagles’ current starting line now has a total of 13 Pro Bowls to their name. Jason Peters has been picked to seven and Johnson, Brooks and Jason Kelce two apiece.

That’s a far cry from the nearly two-decade period from 1982 through 2000, when the Eagles didn’t have a single offensive lineman selected to a Pro Bowl.

After serving a 10-game suspension for a positive test for a banned substance in 2016, his second suspension, Johnson vowed that he would be as good a player without taking supplements as he was before his suspensions.

Since then he’s played two full seasons and made the Pro Bowl in each one.

The Eagles are 26-9 with Johnson in uniform during the regular season since 2016 and 50-29 with him in uniform since the Eagles drafted him in the first round in 2013. Including the playoffs, they’re 54-30 when Johnson plays. 

Johnson has a Pro Bowl escalator in his contract, which increases the base salary of each remaining year of his contract by $500,000, so his base goes from $790,000 this year to $840,000 and increases by $500,000 the next three years also — to $11,150,000 in 2019, $9,335,000 in 2020 and $8,815,000 in 2021.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles