Today we finish off my NFC East preview with taking a glance at the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. Part I can be viewed here.

Completed Previews:  AFC NorthNFC North

2019 projections referenced below are based on razzball.com 2019 projections managed and updated by our very own @RudyGamble . ADP, and strength of schedule data referenced below are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Carson Wentz

2018 Recap

  • QB23.
  • Started 11 of 16 games, missed 5 due to injury (knee/back).
  • Beat weekly projections 8 out of 11 games (highest rate of QBs covered thus far).
  • 21 TDs to 7 INT.
  • 401 Passing Attempts (QB23).
  • 17.5 fantasy points per game (Qb17).

2019 Outlook

  • Strength of schedule at-a-glance.
  • 5th easiest overall strength of schedule for fantasy QBs.
  • Faces the #9 and #7 toughest fantasy defense in weeks 14 and 16 to close the fantasy season.

We all know if it wasn’t for his injury history that Carson would be drafted as a top 5 fantasy QB.  Will this be the year he can put it all together? Just looking at his average pass attempts per game in 2018 and project it out for a full 16 games he would have finished with 583.27 attempts, which would put him as QB7 in total pass attempts, ahead of Mahomes. This roster is loaded on talent at all levels of the offense, I like Carson to return to his MVP form from 2017. He was cleared to participate fully in OTAs, suffered no setbacks, and is nearly 20-months removed from his knee injury. Make sure to draft a second QB for insurance if you take Carson in the middle rounds, current ADP of 98, QB10, and going in the beginning of the 8th round. 

RB Jordan Howard

2018 Recap

  • RB20.
  • Played all 16-games.
  • Beat projections 9 out of 16 games.
  • 2 games over 100yds rushing.
  • 1.3 rec per game on 1.7 targets per game.
  • 3.7 yards per rush and 7.3 yards per reception.
  • 11.3 fantasy point per game.

2019 Outlook

  • Strength of Schedule at-a-glance.
  • 24th easiest overall strength of schedule (#8 toughest).
  • Attractive run in to the playoffs, facing the #4 and #8 easiest fantasy defenses for RBs in weeks 13 and 14. Rough championship matchup (week 16) against the #6 toughest ranked fantasy defense for opposing runnings backs in the Dallas Cowboys

Do not draft Howard as your RB1 or RB2, view him as a flex starter with RB2 upside. He will play a role for the Eagles similar to Blount early in 2017 and like Ajayi after he arrived. He will be the early down and goal line back in Philly. His upside lies in touchdowns, not total yards, and not for receiving. Rudy has Howard finishing as RB37 which puts him exactly at the RB3/flex spot and inline with his current ADP of 34. In a high powered offense, that runs a lot of plays, look for the Eagles to present multiple scoring opportunities for Howard to run behind this top rated offensive line. 

TE Zach Ertz

2018 Recap

  • TE2.
  • Started in all 16 games.
  • Beat weekly projections 6 out of 16 games.
  • 5 games over 100yds receiving.
  • 9.8 targets per game and TE1 in total targets (156).
  • 3.2 receptions per game and TE1 in tot receptions (116).
  • 10.0 yds/rec and .5 TDs/gm.
  • 18.4 fantast points per game.

2019 Outlook

  • Strength of schedule at-a-glance.
  • 8th easiest overall strength of schedule for TE.
  • An unattractive first half of the season for Ertz, no matchups against a top 10 easiest fantasy defense for TEs and faces 6 teams ranked in the top 10 toughest fantasy defenses the first 9 weeks of the season. 

Ertz set a NFL season record in 2018 for receptions in a season. His 156 TE targets in 2018 would put him at WR6 in total targets for wide receiviers. In a position that has a huge cliff after the “big 3,” Kelce, Ertz, and Kittle there should be no hesitation taking Ertz in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Rudy has projected a drop off of 60+ points in 2019 between the 3rd ranked projected TE and TE4. Ertz is projected to finish at TE2 with over 1,000 yds receiving and 8 TDs. Add-on the addition of Desean Jackson that will force safeties to pull out of the box as DJax speeds by them leaving the middle of the field wide open for Ertz to eat. Look for Wentz to continue feeding targets to his favorite teammate, Julie Ertzs’ husband.

PHI Quick Hits: I love the Desean Jackson and Carson Wentz stack in best ball leagues. DJax returns “home” and you are darn right the Eagles coaching staff + Wentz will draw up a handful of plays each game to get #10 the ball. Imagine the Linc when he scores his first TD. He still has elite level speed and an offense loaded with weapons that’ll give him plenty of advantageous matchups. It’s hard to trust Alshon Jeffery for consistent weekly production with Philly spreading the ball around to the stable of weapons at every skill position. Alshon has the 3rd easiest overall strength of schedule for WRs. He finished 2018 as WR26 and Rudy has him projected to finish 2019 as WR28, ahead of everyones fantasy crush Chris Godwin. Miles Sanders has received a lot of hype being touted as the best back drafted this year. It’s hard for me to see the Eagles turning over lead duties to a rookie running back that had ball security issues in college. If he truly was the best back in the draft he would have went earlier. The long-term upside for Sanders is what is appealing, which mainly applies to dynasty leagues. Unless he just dominates in pre-season, temper expectations for the rookie in 2019. Rudy has Miles finishing RB42 but he is getting drafted as RB31 with an ADP of 74, buyer beware. I love the Eagles DST unit this season as more than just a streaming unit. They’re D-line is arguably the deepest in the league and they improved it this offseason, if that’s possible. They add DT Malik Jackson from Jacksonville, brought back former Philly DE Vinny Curry (on 2017 SB roster), and are returning their 2017 1st round pick, DE Derek Bennett from injury. Look for Philly to continue to get after the QB and create turnovers with a healthy secondary expected to be 100% by start of season. 

 

Washington Redskins

RB Adrian Peterson

2018 Recap

  • RB19.
  • Played in all 16 games.
  • Beat weekly projections 6 of 16 games.
  • 1.3 rec per game on 1.6 targets per game.
  • 4.2 yards per carry and 10.4 yards per reception.
  • 11.8 fantasy points per game.

2019 Outlook

  • Strength of schedule at-a-glance
  • 30th easiest overall strength of schedule for RBs (#3 toughest)

Adrian has a lot of factors working against him heading in to 2019. The return of Derrick Guise, his age (34), a healthy Chris Thompson as the 3rd down/receiving back, and RB Bryce Love drafted in the 4th round. Sure Adrian will get his opportunity but will it be enough to produce RB2 numbers again? Not likely, Rudy has AP finishing as RB57, 11 spots behind is current draft price of RB46/119 overall. I’m avoiding everyone in Washington this year along with Peterson. 

WAS Quick Hits: Who in WAS is worthy of drafting in fantasy? Josh Doctson finished 2018 WR67, their highest scoring wideout. Jordan Reed finished the season as TE15 and projected to finish 2019 as TE18. Both potential starting quarterbacks, Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins, are playing their first year in Washington and in Jay Gruden’s system. Both QBs are projected to finish outside the top 30 at the position. Derrius Guice is less than 12 months removed from his ACL tear. How long will it take for him to get up to game speed and be effective? Rudy has Guice finishing as RB43 and will likely share the load with AP until either proves more productive. Can you tell I am not high on anyone in WAS? I won’t paint some magical picture to convince you to consider drafting one either. Maybe Chris Thompson in PPR leagues as a flex. Rudy has him finishing as RB31 and his criminally undervalued with an ADP in the 200’s and RB65 off the board. I rather take Thompson over AP and Guice. Good luck if you invest in the offense for fantasy!

Next up: AFC East, starting with the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins for Part I next Monday. Followed by New England Patriots and The New York Jets on Wednesday. 

 

 

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