2018 Philadelphia Eagles: Who to Trust in the Reigning Champs’ Backfield

Shawn Childs, high stakes expert and several-time Fantasy Football winner, breaks down each and every relevant skill player on the Philadelphia Eagles from a Fantasy Football point of view. This includes delving into Philadelphia's backfield and determining if there are any running backs owners can trust as we approach the 2018 season!

Jay Ajayi
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Quarterbacks

QB Carson Wentz – Over two seasons in the NFL, Wentz has an 18-11 record with a fair completion rate (61.5). His best area of growth in his sophomore season was his game management skills. Carson posted 33 TDs over 13 games while being on pace to lead the NFL in TDs. He cut his interceptions (7) in half from 2016 (14) while adding more length to his yards per attempts (7.5). Over an eight-game strength from Week 2 to Week 11, Wentz never had over 32 passing attempts. Carson had six games with three TDs or more and four games with over 300 yards passing. Despite growth as a runner (64/299), he didn’t score a rushing TD in 2017. His torn ACL came on a rushing play at the goal line. The Eagles expect him to be ready for the start of the regular season. In 2018, Wentz has three strong WRs plus an elite TE. When you add in passing catching talent at RB, and upside second TE, Carson has all the tools to continues his path to a top QB in the NFL. His next step is 4,500 combined yards with 35+ TDs. The biggest threat to his downside will be an uptick in rushing TDs.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 91 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank: July 2 – QB5 | August 1 – TBD

QB Nick Foles – As a relief QB over the last three games of the 2017 regular season and playoffs, Foles led the Eagles to five wins in six games with his best success coming in the NFC Championship game (352/2) and Super Bowl (373/3). Over his three games in the playoffs, Nick had a 72.6 percent completion rate while gaining 9.2 yards per pass attempt leading to 971 yards and six TDs. Foles has a 17-10 record in his career while proving he has the talent to offer winning upside if needed to start for the Eagles.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 272 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank: July 2 – QB37 | August 1 – TBD

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Running Backs

RB Jay Ajayi – After a breakthrough season in 2016 with the Dolphins, Ajayi fell out of favor with Miami’s coaching staff after a slow start to the year (532 combined yards with no TDs and seven catches). His game was much improved with the Eagles (5.8 yards per rush and 9.1 yards per catch). With Miami, Jay averaged 21.7 touches per game compared to 11.4 with Philadelphia. Over his last three games with the Eagles, Ajayi gained 242 combined yards with five catches and one TD on 46 touches plus 254 combined yards in three games in the playoffs with 16 touches per game. In 2018, the RBs on Philly combined for 2,287 yards with 13 TDs and 53 catches. In 2018, Jay will be the early down back with minimal chances in the passing game. A fair starting point would be 250 touches for 1,200 yards with a chance at double-digit TDs. Ajayi will have the most value in games when Philly plays from the lead. Mid-tier RB2 in PPR leagues.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 51 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – RB21 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – RB21 | August 1 – TBD

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RB Corey Clement – As a part-time player buried on the depth chart, Clement gained 444 combined yards with six TDs and ten catches in his rookie season after signing with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent. His best game in the regular season came in Week 9 (67 combined yards with three TDs and one catch. Corey came up big as well in the Super Bowl (108 combined yards with one TD and three catches). Sneaky backup player in 2018 as he could be one injury away from a top 20 opportunity.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 128 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – RB59 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – RB55 | August 1 – TBD
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RB Wendell Smallwood – Over three years with West Virginia, Smallwood rushed for 2,462 yards on 425 carries with 12 rushing TDs. He also caught 68 passes for 618 yards with no receiving TDs. His value moved onto the NFL map after his junior season (238/1519/6 with 26 catches for 160 yards). His resume won’t blow you away, and his game doesn’t look to be explosive. In his last season in college, he ran many of his plays out of the shotgun where he delivered 59 runs of 10 yards or more. He needs to prove he can run through tight quarters in the NFL while handing his duties in pass protection. His style of play warrants volume of touches, but it could produce short results at times. Wendell has some talent as a pass catcher. Over two seasons in the NFL, Smallwood gained 644 combined yards with two TDs and 19 catches. An early season knee injury cost him a better than expected opportunity after the Eagles lost Darren Sproles for the season.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 246 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – RB92 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – RB91 | August 1 – TBD

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RB Darren Sproles – Sproles missed 13 games last year after breaking his right arm and tearing his ACL in his right knee in after three games. At age 35, Darren has a lot to overcome to regain any playable value in the Fantasy market. Last year Philly only completed 53 balls to the running back position, which set a boring picture for Darren in 2018. From 2014 and 2016, Sproles averaged 8.3 touches per game with 147 catches for 1,202 yards and 14 combined TDs. Wrong kind of Fantasy bet even with a low price on draft day.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 251 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – RB71 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – RB77 | August 1 – TBD

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Wide Receivers

WR Alshon Jeffery – Jeffery played a full season in 2017 for the only the second time in his career. He averaged 7.5 targets per game while coming up short in his catch rate (47.5). His best value came in TDs (9). Alshon played well in Week 2 (7/92/1) while delivering the most consistency from Week 9 to Week 14 (28/36/6) when Jeffery caught at least four passes per game. In the playoffs, he caught 12 of his 18 targets for 219 yards and three TDs. Overall, Alshon did fit well in the Eagles’ game plan. He flashed a high ceiling in 2013 (89/1421/7) with the Bears. He still owns the skill set to be a top WR in the game, but Jeffery doesn’t have a WR1 opportunity plus he’ll have plenty of competitions for targets again in 2018. I like how he developed over the course of the season, which points to 70+ catches for 1,000+ yards and possibly double digit TDs.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 41 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – WR17 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – WR18 | August 1 – TBD

WR Nelson Agholor – After taking some baby steps in his first two seasons in the league after getting drafted in the first round in 2015, Agholor stated to look the part of a top NFL WR last year. He caught 62 of his 95 targets for 768 yards and eight TDs, which was more than his first two seasons combined. Nelson scored five TDs in his first seven games while being more active from Week 13 to Week 15 (22/264/2 on 32 targets). He played his best game in the playoffs in the Super Bowl (9/84). Last year the WRs on the Eagles caught 178 passes for 2,269 yards and 20 TDs on 312 targets. This season the WR3 in Philly’s offense is much stronger than 2017, which make it tough believe in a jump in opportunity. I’d draft him as WR3 while expecting about 65 catches for 800+ yards and about seven TDs.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 100 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – WR52 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – WR49 | August 1 – TBD

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WR Mike Wallace – In his eight seasons in the NFL, Wallace has six seasons with 60 catches or more and three years with over 1,000 yards receiving. He scored 41 TDs in his first 79 games in the NFL, but only ten TDs in his last 47 games. After playing well for the Ravens in 2016 (72/1017/4), Mike struggled to make an impact and plays last year (52/748/4). He had two games with over 100 yards receiving (3/133) and 5/116) in 2017 while playing his best over his last five games (23/377/1 on 42 targets). His skill set should work well in the Eagles. I expect him to stretch the defense while being a threat to score in the red zone. His chances would be helped by higher completion rate by Carson Wentz to WR. Possible 60+ catches for 750+ yards with a handful of TDs, which makes him 40 percent better than Torrey Smith (36/430/2) in 2017.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 183 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – WR65 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – WR73 | August 1 – TBD

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Tight Ends

TE Zach Ertz – Over the last three seasons, Ertz averaged 109 targets per seasons while missing five games. He has over 70 catches in each of these seasons leading to 800+ yards and 14 combined TD. Zach showed growth in TDs (8) in 2017. Ertz scored seven of his TDs in 12 games with Carson Wentz behind center. He had seven games with five catches or more while receiving double-digit targets in five games. Last season Philly completed 110 of 163 passes to the TE position for 1,202 yards and 13 TDs, which was actually a downtick for 2016 (129/1298/5). We know two things for sure in this offense. Ertz has talent and upside, but he needs to stay healthy for 16 games. Second, the Eagles like to throw to the TE. Zach is the top receiving threat in this offense with developing value in TDs. With a full season of action, I could see 90+ catches for 1,000+ yards and a run at double-digit TDs.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 42 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – TE3 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – TE4 | August 1 – TBD
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

TE Dallas Goedert – Over the last two seasons, Goedert caught 164 passes for 2,404 yards and 8 TDs with his best success coming in 2016 (9/1293/11). Philly doesn’t need to rush Dallas with Zach Ertz on the roster. This year he’ll take over the Trey Burton opportunity in this offense, which worked out pretty well over the last two seasons (60/565/6 on 91 targets). Upside second TE in Philly with possible developing value as the season progresses in 2018. Viable flier in a draft champions type league.

ADP: July 2 – Pick 355 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (PPR): July 2 – TE36 | August 1 – TBD
Position Rank (Non-PPR): July 2 – TE32 | August 1 – TBD



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2018 Fantasy Football: Positional Team Outlooks

Fantasy Football Rainman Shawn Childs, a six-figure high-stakes career earner and one of the most accurate rankers in the industry, previews the most relevant players at each skill position on all 32 NFL teams! Use these team previews to DOMINATE your competition as we approach the 2018 Fantasy Football season!
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Shawn Childs
About Shawn Childs 253 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros.As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.