EAGLES

Why Hurts is a top pick for fantasy football quarterback

EAGLES

Thinking about drafting Jalen Hurts in fantasy football this year? Let's explore what you should do.

2020 Stats: 52% completion, 1,061 yards, 6 TD, 4 INT / 63 rushes, 354 yards, 3 TD

Here we have maybe the biggest fantasy question mark of the entire 2021 season: is Jalen Hurts going to be worth anything at all? Is there a chance he could be a Top 10 QB this year? What should we expect?!

It’s so hard to give a definitive answer about the soon-to-be-23-year-old QB who was suddenly thrust into the spotlight last year after Carson Wentz forgot how to play football.

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. As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank examined last week, Hurts was on pace for the most combined passing and rushing touchdowns by any Eagle in franchise history in his 2020 starts. Over a full 17-game season that equates to 4,820 passing yards, 1,411 rushing yards, and 42.2 combined touchdowns. 

Now, 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. 

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And there’s no reason to think he won’t be an improved player after an entire offseason program geared towards him being the starter, entering an offense that will ideally be designed around maximizing Hurts’ dual-threat abilities as both a passer and a runner. Last year he was operating in an offense built around Wentz, a mobile QB but by no means a dual-threat, particularly not post-2017 ACL tear Wentz. 

Hurts brings a scary dynamic to the Eagles’ offense for opposing defenses as the in-control runner with a combination of breakaway speed and hard-nosed toughness. Reference his goal-line truck stick against the Cardinals last year for an example of how this man will find the end zone, one way or another.

All of this sounds so good. There’s so much promise in Hurts, and since QB is a position with more depth than ever as the league transitions more and more to all 32 teams leaning on the passing game, he might be available as a later-round steal. Particularly if you’re trying to build a dynasty team for the future, if teams in your league are cool on his potential, you should snap him up - maybe even as a top-flight backup, or trade deadline fodder - and stash him simply because the ceiling could be so high. Lamar Jackson-type high? Maybe not, but also maybe not far off from a fantasy perspective.

And who knows - maybe Hurts becomes the next fantasy hero this year, and you were the one bold enough to make the pick.

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