The 2018 National Football League season is well underway and with it brings another year of America’s favorite pastime: fantasy football. With two weeks in the books, and with so much potential on the Philadelphia Eagles roster, many fantasy owners around the area are trying to see how their favorite players can help their fantasy squads make the playoffs.
Over the summer, everyone was anxiously awaiting to see who head coach Doug Pederson would start at quarterback come week one. Well, two weeks in and it appears that Carson Wentz is still not healthy enough to suit up for the Birds and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is currently the Eagles’ starting QB. Some analysts believe that Nick Foles might be the starter for as late as week four. However, Foles is too inconsistent to deserve a starting nod. Foles is only owned in 12.7 percent of ESPN leagues according to ESPN.com and rightfully so. If Carson Wentz is your starting QB, don’t seek Foles as a replacement. Instead, go for Andy Dalton against the Panthers or Ryan Fitzpatrick against Pittsburgh if they are still available.
Although running back Jay Ajayi is currently the Eagles’ number one back, expect backups Darren Sproles and Corey Clement to be decent W/R/T options this season. Owners who already have Ajayi should look no further and start him weekly, as he is the number one RB in this committee. Although, for those who are currently in a PPR league and need a backup running back or W/R/T option, Sproles is only owned in 10.9 percent of leagues according to ESPN.com. Sproles won’t get the same amount of touches as Ajayi, but he seems to still be a solid contributor to the Eagles offense. In a pinch, don’t be afraid to take a shot on Sproles in week three against the Indianapolis Colts since the veteran running back has been known to take advantage of vulnerable defenses.
As far as wide receivers are concerned, it may be best to wait until Carson Wentz returns before owners make a commitment to starting Eagles wide outs. Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery were popular picks for many owners on their draft days. However, due to Jeffery’s shoulder injury and Agholor’s inconsistent touchdown production, neither have been effective fantasy options outside of PPR leagues so far. Even later on in the season when Wentz returns, expect these two wide outs to have a difficult time putting up big touchdown numbers due to the defensive strength of many of the Birds’ opponents. Philadelphia has matchups against three of the best defenses in the league in Jacksonville, Minnesota and the Los Angeles Rams on top of the decent defenses in the NFC East. Until Wentz returns to the form fans saw prior to the injury, my best advice is to stay away from Philadelphia wide receivers.
At tight end Pederson is sticking with Zach Ertz as his number one tight end, but rookie Dallas Goedert will be more limited in production. Ertz is owned in 100 percent of ESPN leagues and is projected to put up 124.7 points with 6.6 touchdowns and 77.7 receptions in 2018 according to fantasypros.com. Goedert on the other hand is only owned in 2 percent of ESPN leagues and is projected to have a mere 42.7 points for the season according to fantasypros.com. If you don’t have Ertz, it’s probably best to stay away from Goedert until next year when we have a better idea of how he fits into the offense.
Perhaps the best-looking fantasy prospect on the 2018 Eagles roster is their defense. Ranked as the second best defense on ESPN.com, Philly’s defense is projected to score 159 points in 2018 with 19 interceptions, 38 sacks and five touchdowns. In 2017 the Birds scored the third most fantasy points among D/ST units in the league and have made the top five in three of the past four years. This defensive side led by Jim Schwartz should exceed expectations and score at least ten points in every game this season. If you have a multitude of options for the W/R/T spot, it might not be a bad idea to trade some of those options for the consistency that the Eagle’s defense will have this season.
Andrew Heller is a second-year graduate student majoring in English. AH804286@wcupa.edu.