32 Teams In 32 Days Philadelphia Eagles
Hello, fellow fantasy football degenerates. In my “32 In 32” series I will be going team by team breaking them down from every aspect you can think of. From their records, team statistics, Vegas lines, contract situations, individual statistics, fantasy numbers, draft picks and implications, free agency updates, and more. Everything to recap 2018 and preview 2019.
Prior to the 2018 season, our number 11 team in the #32TeamsIn32Days series was riding as high as you can be. Fresh off a Super Bowl victory against our number 10 team (New England Patriots) that was capped off by “The Philly Special.” 2018 was not quite their season. We are going to look at why as well as all the weapons, new and old, that helped or hurt your team in 2018 as well as what to make of the tea heading into 2019. It is “fly Eagles fly” in today’s installment.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) Wild Card
The Eagles would enter 2018 coming off an unbelievable Super Bowl win that featured the famed “Philly Special” involving back-up QB Nick Foles. Entering the season without their starting QB as they ended the previous year would result in a 1-1 record and people already worried about the Super Bowl hangover. They got their quarterback back but it would not make an immediate impact as the Eagles would go 3-3 over the next six games as they headed into the bye. They lost the first two games following the bye and found themselves in a tough spot.
The panic was at a high as Philly entered Week 12 against the New York Giants but the switch would get flipped. They would go on to beat the Giants and continue winning with the only loss being in overtime to division rival Dallas. A loss due in large part to a heartbreaking dropped pass in the divisional round ended their repeat hopes but after a 4-6 start, they absolutely were able to make some waves.
|Pre 1||Thu||August 8||7:30 PM ET||Tennessee Titans|
|Pre 2||Thu||August 15||7:00 PM ET||@||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Pre 3||Thu||August 22||7:30 PM ET||Baltimore Ravens|
|Pre 4||Thu||August 29||7:00 PM ET||@||New York Jets|
|1||Sun||September 8||1:00PM ET||Washington Redskins||preview|
|2||Sun||September 15||8:20PM ET||@||Atlanta Falcons||preview|
|3||Sun||September 22||1:00PM ET||Detroit Lions||preview|
|4||Thu||September 26||8:20PM ET||@||Green Bay Packers||preview|
|5||Sun||October 6||1:00PM ET||New York Jets||preview|
|6||Sun||October 13||1:00PM ET||@||Minnesota Vikings||preview|
|7||Sun||October 20||8:20PM ET||@||Dallas Cowboys||preview|
|8||Sun||October 27||1:00PM ET||@||Buffalo Bills||preview|
|9||Sun||November 3||1:00PM ET||Chicago Bears||preview|
|11||Sun||November 17||4:25PM ET||New England Patriots||preview|
|12||Sun||November 24||8:20PM ET||Seattle Seahawks||preview|
|13||Sun||December 1||1:00PM ET||@||Miami Dolphins||preview|
|14||Mon||December 9||8:15PM ET||New York Giants||preview|
|15||Sun||December 15||1:00PM ET||@||Washington Redskins||preview|
|16||Sun||December 22||4:25PM ET||Dallas Cowboys||preview|
|17||Sun||December 29||1:00PM ET||@||New York Giants||preview|
The Eagles were coming off a year in which they finished as one of seven teams to average 365 or more yards of offense per game and one of four teams to average 28 points per game. 2018 would be similar in one fashion and it shows how much offense took a jump forward this year in the league. Philly averaged 0.5 yards less this season but finished 14th in the league in yards per game. They averaged fewer penalties per game and their first downs per game and third down % stayed about the same. Scoring would go down by almost six points per game though. There were injuries, but one of the biggest reasons for the slow start was the fact they had 17 more turnovers than in 2017.
Running back was on a “what have you done for me lately basis.” None of the running backs could really establish a rhythm but this system has worked and did for the most part again in 2018. Is it running back by committee (RBBC) because that is just what they do? Or have they just not found “the guy?” The receiving weapons were up and down outside of their fantastic tight end but the volume is there. The Eagles finished seventh in both attempts passing (599) and yards passing (4275), and fifth in completions (422). Determining which players to use outside of that tight end has been a task at times.
- Points Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 28.6/ 22.9/ -5.7
- Yards Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 365.8/ 365.3/ -0.5
- First Downs Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 21.12/ 21.62/ +0.5
- Third Down Conversion Rate 2017-2018 Differences 41.7%/ 41.0%/ -0.7%
- Penalties Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 7.25/ 6.25/ -1.0
- Turnover Differential 2017-2018 Differences 11/ -6/ -17
|G#||Opp||Spread||Over/Under||Result||vs. Line||OU Result|
Results vs. Line: 9-9-0
As Underdog vs. Line: 3-2-0
Favored vs. Line: 6-7-0
Over: 7 Under: 11 Push: 0
Just like 2017, the Eagles season lay in the hands of their backup QB. But again remember, their Super Bowl-winning backup QB. Philadelphia looked to be on a second straight magic carpet ride to the Super Bowl. Nick Foles was bringing them back against the New Orleans Saints but, unfortunately, we all know what happened. It had that feel though. So let us start right there. Nick Foles bought his contract out so he is betting on himself for the future and signed a deal to head to Duval County. But as far as 2018, Foles did exactly what he did for the Eagles in the previous year. Provided a stable arm under center that they could trust to run the system.
He did it to perfection in the last three games of the season averaging 29 completions on 37.7 attempts passing (76.99%) for 320.7 yards per game. Foles had a 2/1 TD/INT ratio and averaged 8.51 yards per attempt and 11.05 yards per completion. Oh yes, and went 3-0 in leading the Eagles to the playoffs. People were a little nervous when Wentz was injured in Week 14 (back), largely in part to the backup’s performance in the first two games of the season. Foles did not perform badly but he was much better during the stretch run to the playoffs.
Wentz’s 2018 Season (11 Games)
- QB21, 192.4 Fan Points
- Completed 279/401 Attempts (69.6%)
- 3,204 Yards (7.7 Y/A – 11.0 Y/C)
- 21 TDs (5.2% TD Rate) 7 INT (1.7% INT Rate)
- 34 RuAtt, 93 Yards, 0 TD
- Total QBR 69.4 (QB Rate 102.2)
Carson Wentz entered 2018 still healing from his torn ACL. As a result, he would miss the first two games and it took some time to get the rust off. About one week. Following his first game back, Wentz went on a tear. Over the next six games, the Eagles third-year QB averaged 27.7 completions on 38.7 targets (71.55%), 315.5 yards, 2.3 TDs, 0.3 INTs, 8.98 yards per attempt, and 11.38 yards per completion.
The good times would slow down for Wentz production wise (3 TDs, 4 INTs over next three games) but the team would win two of the three games so the result was there. In the final game of his season, Philly’s QB would play in a loss to division rival Dallas, but Wentz had a great game throwing 3 TDs and 0 INTs but on the second-fewest yards in a game of the season.
This coming season will be huge for Wentz. The Eagles drafted him to be their QB of the future but he is going to have to prove it. There were outcries for the Eagles to move on from Wentz and move forward with Foles. A bit ridiculous but it is something that was being said. We know that Foles is gone so the team is all Wentz’s for another year. The addition of a few new offensive pieces will help but ultimately it might come down to his ability to stay on the field. Availability is the best ability.
2019 Free Agency QB Update
Nick Foles has moved onto Jacksonville so we know that the Eagles are all in on Carson Wentz even though they did try to re-acquire Foles but he had other ideas. Nate Sudfeld is currently the backup QB and they drafted Clayton Thorson out of Northwestern as well. Sudfeld’s contract expires in 2020.
- Clayton Thorson QB, NWEST
Height: 6-4, Weight: 222
Thorson did improve his completion % each season which is good to see but that could be in part to throwing the ball shorter. You can see that his yards per attempt passing went down in three straight seasons and the interceptions increased pretty significantly without a very dramatic increase in his attempts. Not as promising of a sign.
In 2018, the Eagles running games was inconsistent, to say the least. At least when you look at it on an individual level. The group of backs, five in total (Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi, Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, and Darren Sproles), totaled 349 attempts rushing, 1,438 yards, 12 touchdowns rushing, caught 77/102 targets for 660 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns receiving.
Touches per Game Played/ Games per TD In 2018 (Total Touches/ TDs)
- Jay Ajayi (4 Games) – 12.5/ 1.33 (50/ 3)
- Josh Adams (14 Games) – 9.07/ 4.6 (127/ 3)
- Corey Clement (11 Games) – 8.18/ 5.5 (90/ 2)
- Darren Sprole (6 Games) – 7.33/ 2.0 (44/ 3)
- Wendell Smallwood (16 Games) – 7.18/ 3.2 (115/ 5)
Only one of the five saw double-digit touches per game played and with all the injuries throughout the season, this is significant in that the only time all five were healthy in the same week was the first of the year and none of them saw more than 12.5 touches per game played. Only two times all year did a single Back touch the ball 20+ times (Both Josh Adams) for the Eagles and none of them scored more than five times in 2018. Jay Ajayi has been a pretty big disappointment and will hit free agency in 2019 along with Sproles but as we have seen with this coaching staff, that does not care about feeding one player alone. If you look at the totals from 2018, here is how they shake out against two RBs from the same division in 2018
- Eagles RBs – 426 Touches (Caught 77/102 Targets), 2,098 Yards, 16 TDs, 305.8 Standard FanPoints
- Ezekiel Elliott Dal – 381 Touches (Caught 77/95 Targets), 2,001 Yards, 9 TDs, 252.2 Standard FanPoints
- Saquon Barkley NYG – 352 Touches (Caught 91/121 targets), 2,028 Yards, 15 TDs, 294.8 Standard FanPoints
If one RB can get the bulk of the work, this could be a gold mine for fantasy but that is just not how the coaching staff seems to want to do things. Either that or they do not believe one guy in their locker room can handle the load. Jay Ajayi went on the IR on October 11th with a knee injury, Corey Clement to the IR on December 16th, and Darren Sproles missed 10 games due to injury. Josh Adams looked like he could be effective but that was short lived and Wendell Smallwood had moments here and there. As we will talk about below, they mad a couple of moves and one, in particular, could be the man that changes things.
2019 Free Agency RB Update
The Eagles missed out on the Lev Bell sweepstakes if they were ever truly interested in acquiring him. Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi have still not signed with a team for 2019.
On March 28th, the Eagles completed a trade that sent a 2020 sixth round pick (Potential fifth-round pick) to the Chicago Bears for Jordan Howard. The third-year back that ran for 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons and came just shy this season (935) in what was a down year. Howard was miscast in a Matt Nagy (via Andy Reid) offense that requires a little more versatility than what Howard brings to the table.
RB1 Receptions In An Andy Reid Offense
RB1 Receptions In A Matt Nagy Offense
RB2 Receptions In A Matt Nagy Offense
Above you can see the reception totals for an RB1 in an Andy Reid offense and below that is the difference between the RB1 and RB2 in a Nagy offense. Howard being the RB2 in the Nagy offense. They need to be more of a pass catcher then Howard has shown to be. His season did start off strong with 10 receptions in the first three games. The good times were short-lived though. Howard would catch 10 passes the rest of the season (13 games). Through his first two seasons, Howard would total 29 (2016) and 23 (2017) respectively.
Howard is stepping into another system that operates as a committee from what we know. Howard is coming off his worst fantasy finish in three years and it was still good enough for a top-20 RB finish (RB20). If Howard can show up when his name is called, there are fantasy points to be had. The Eagles scored 12 touchdowns rushing and four receiving in 2018. Philly can cut him at any time during the life of the contract and never pay more than $248,022 (2019 Total) dead cap. He better show that the discount paid was a wise choice because the Eagles drafted a running back we might not have seen the full capabilities of yet because he sat behind Saquon Barkley until 2018.
- Miles Sanders RB, PSU
Height: 5-11, Weight: 211
So, as you know by know, Saquon Barkley is one of the best college running backs of all time and one of the best size adjusted athletes we have ever seen. Sanders averaged 2.78 touches and 18.65 yards per game (6.7 yards per touch) behind Barkley and once he got a shot to carry the load in 2018, he excelled. Not as efficiently as his first two seasons but more volume usually means a dip in that department. Sanders averaged 5.8 yards per touch in 2018 on 244 touches (24 receptions) and 9 touchdowns.
Couple the workouts with the production and the fact one of the best running backs in the league was in front of him and you can paint the picture of Sanders becoming at least the majority shareholder in the Eagles backfield. You saw the totals above compared to Zeke and Saquon. Here is a reminder of the RB comparison followed by a 60% share of the workload.
- 255 touches, (catch 46.2/61.2 targets)
- 1,258.8 yards
- 9.6 total touchdowns
- 183.48 fantasy points
- RB13 (right between Derrick Henry RB12 and Chris Carson RB13)
- Nico Evans
Undrafted: 2019, Eagles
WR was a very inconsistent position for the Eagles all season. Even their WR1 was very up and down all season and finished as a middle of the road WR3 in fantasy. Alshon Jeffery’s season started out by missing the first three weeks of the season while recovering from rotator cuff surgery. Jeffery would return in Week 4 and hit the ground running with eight receptions on nine targets for 105 yards and a TD. He would only catch two passes the following week but it was against the Minnesota Vikings and on eight targets. Over the next two games, he would get back on track and haul in three more TDs and receive double-digit targets in each game.
The success was short lived though as the eagles WR1 would fail to surpass 50 yards receiving and only catch 1 TD over the following six games. Then over the last three games, Jeffery would see a little more success with his second 100-yard game of the season, catching 16 of the 18 targets he saw, totaling 301 yards, and 1 TD. He should get to work with his QB for the whole offseason but in 2018, his season had three parts to it.
Jeffery’s 2018 Season Splits (Games Played)
- 1-4 – Caught 6.3/9.8 Targets (64,1%), 76.5 Yards, 12.24 Yards per Reception, 7.85 Yards per Target, 1.0 TD
- 5-10 – Caught 4.0/5.8 Targets (68.6%), 39.3 Yards, 9.83 Yards per Reception, 6.74 Yards per Target, 0.2 TD
- 11-13 – Caught 5.3/6.0 Targets (88.9%), 100.3 Yards, 18.81 Yards per Reception, 16.72 Yards per Target, 0.3 TD
Jeffery’s 2018 Season
- WR29, 108.4 Fan Points
- Caught 65/92 Targets (70.6%) 5.0 P/G
- 843 Yards (12.9 Y/R, 9.16 Y/T) 2 100 Yard games
- 6 TDs
Nelson Agholor started the season as the Eagles WR2 and if you were to only look at his target numbers for 2018, you would think that he was doing some impressive things as far as production but you would be wrong. Over the first four games of the season, Agholor was seeing 9.8 targets per game. The results of those targets were 41.8 yards (6.68 yards per reception, 4.28 yards per target) and 0.3 TDs per game. Not anything spectacular and only a player that is viable for a PPR league as far as fantasy. Over the next six games, Agholor would be moved more to an outside role and see his targets and receptions drop by nearly half (5.2 targets per game, 3.5 receptions per game) and he failed to score a TD.
The early season acquisition/re-tread Jordan Mathews and others were largely ineffective and Philly had lost a potential deep threat in Mike Wallace to the IR (Shin) weeks prior after Week 2. Philly saw their playoff hopes declining and made a move they hoped would bring them back into the race.
Golden Tate was acquired on 10/30/2018 for the price of a 2019 third rounder. Tate was on a 16 game pace with the Detroit Lions to see 101 receptions on 158 targets for 1,187 yards and 7 TDs. Following the trade, Tate would have far less success. Tate averaged just 3.8 receptions on 5.5 targets for 34.8 yards per game (9.27 yards per receptions, 6.32 yards per target) and 0.1 TDs. Resulting in a 16 game pace of just 60 receptions on 88 targets, 536 yards, and 2 TDs. He was also outproduced by Agholor on less usage. Suffice it to say, the Eagles expected more.
2019 Free Agency WR Update
Both Golden Tate (NYG) and Jordan Matthews (SF) have moved onto new teams and Mike Wallace has yet to sign with a team. None of which were a large factor outside of a few games, late in the season for Tate. WRs do generally take a season or two to acclimate to a new team though so we could just see a repeat. You can see below this was the case when Tate switched locations.
The Eagles also brought back an old friend in DeSean Jackson. Jackson was highly effective when on the field in 2018.
Always a more valuable asset in standard leagues as you can see above. The volume will never be there but he does work on the amount that he does get. Jackson will provide a, still dangerous, deep threat to play off of the passing work that the running backs, slot receivers, and tight ends receive in the short and intermediate areas. Also, he will provide a good complement to what Jefferey and the below discussed J.J. Arcega-Whiteside do well. Jackson is coming off a season in which he sported his highest yard per reception (18.9) and second highest yard per target (10.5) since 2014. The return Eagle caught 41/74 targets for 774 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2018 (12 games played, thumb injury).
- JJ Arcega-Whiteside WR, STNFRD
Height: 6-2, Weight: 225
If the Eagles wanted to draft a younger, faster, bigger, and cheaper Alshon Jeffrey clone, they got it. Arcega-Whiteside was a touchdown machine for the Stanford Cardinal. A very efficient one to boot. Here is his final season for JJAW at Stanford. He caught a TD on every 4.5 receptions, every 75.64 yards receiving, and every 30.07 team attempts passing. Here is how he compared with a few other receivers from the class during their biggest seasons. Check out this player and all the great profiles of this year’s rookies and draft breakdowns on FFStatistics.
- Deandre Thompkins
Undrafted: 2019, Eagles
College: Penn State
Very little needs to be said about the Eagles stud TE. At least there is not much that you have not heard about Zach Ertz breaking the all-time TE reception record in 2018 with 116. Or receiving 156 targets (First in the league among TEs), gaining 1,163 yards (Third), and scoring 8 TDs (Third). Ertz was first among TEs in red zone target share (32.1%) and air yards (848), and second in red zone receptions (16) and fantasy points per game (17.5). Ertz had nine games with double-digit targets and five games each with double-digit receptions and 100+ yards receiving. Locking himself in as a top-3 TE in fantasy (any format) and as you can see below, just getting better and better.
Ertz’s 2018 Season
- TE2, 162.8 Fan Points
- Caught 116/156 Targets (74.3%) 7.3 P/G
- 1,163 Yards (10.02 Y/R, 7.4 Y/T)
- 8 TDs
The Eagles did draft a very good TE out of South Dakota State, Dallas Goedert, to take the place of the departed Trey Burton (Prior to 2018 season start). The rookie showed some flashes in a secondary role as Burton had before him. Goedert caught 4 TDs on the season. Half as many as Ertz did on just over 28% of the number of targets that Ertz had. Goedert should only become more a part of the offense and there is a realistic chance that following 2020 or 2021 after Ertz is 30 years old (when the dead cap hit would be either $6,495,000 in ’20 or $2,447,500 in ’21), Goedert, as crazy as it sounds, could be the next Zach Ertz.
Note: Feb 27th, from the team – Goedert needs and deserves more touches.
2019 Free Agency TE Update
Richard Rodgers has resigned on a two-year deal.
2019 Free Agency/Draft O-Line Update
Center Steven Wisniewski who started seven games and played on more than half the offensive snaps has yet to sign with a team and guard Chance Warmack who played only seven offensive snaps has also not signed yet.
- Andre Dillard OL, WASHST
Height: 6-5, Weight: 315
Coming from a high powered passing attack at Washington State, Dillard could be a perfect fit for the style of offense the Eagles have run.
2018 Fantasy Relevant Draftees
49th Overall, TE Dallas Goedert
- Caught 33/44 Targets, 334 Yards, 4 TDs
With the 25th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Philidelphia Eagles select… (Projection originally made 3/5/2019)
With the Eagles likely not resigning Golden Tate in the offseason, Jordan Matthews and Mike Wallace also entering Free Agency, and a very deep WR class in the ’19 Draft, maybe look for the Eagles to try and find a player to take that role. There is a good amount of slot receiver talent.
- Andre Dillard OL, WASHST
Height: 6-5, Weight: 315
- Miles Sanders RB, PSU
Height: 5-11, Weight: 211
- JJ Arcega-Whiteside WR, STNFRD
Height: 6-2, Weight: 225
- Shareef Miller EDGE, PSU
Height: 6-4, Weight: 254
- Clayton Thorson QB, NWEST
Height: 6-4, Weight: 222
Click here to see the Eagles injuries.
Cap Space $22,534,518
The Eagles will move on from there Super Bowl hero backup QB (declined to franchise tag Foles) so the time is now for their young QB entering his fourth season in the pros. Carson Wentz will need to prove he can be their guy in 2019 if he is to warrant a big-time deal with his second contract. The organization believes in him but the fans saw reasons to doubt and Wentz will have a little bit of pressure to perform this coming year. They drafted a new backup QB and as we have seen, the system can make the player at times. The starting line will stay intact as they are all under contract until 2020 at the earliest which will not hurt.
The running game is a bit of a question. Do they keep running the RBBC system we have become accustomed to? Or did they find the guy in the draft that could be “the guy.” The WR position received a bit of an overhaul. Golden Tate and Jordan Matthews are gone, and Mike Wallace has yet to sign. Philly also drafted a stud on the outside. TE is an asset for Philly that is as good as it gets in the league. Ertz and the now second-year Goedert make up what is probably the best or close to the best duo in the league.
The Eagles may not get back to the 2017 version of themselves but they should not lose many of their important pieces on offense outside of Foles and to a lesser extent Tate. Look for the revamped offense to be more consistent for your teams in 2019.