2020 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles


Answering 7 questions to help preview the Eagles' 2020 season ...

The 2020 NFL Season is nearly upon us, and in anticipation of the new season we’ll be previewing the action team-by-team, using the draft order from last season. The previews will kick off with the Bengals and run right through the reigning champion Chiefs. Come back each day to check out your favorite team. All ADP and Rankings reflect PPR scoring. 2020 Projections are based on a 12-team league (i.e. WR1 (Top 12), WR2 (13-24), WR3 (25-36)).

            The Eagles kicked off the 2019 campaign gunning for a playoff berth. After seeing Nick Foles head off to Jacksonville, it was all on Carson Wentz to get them there. And things didn’t start out that hot for the Eagles. The team was 5-4 heading into its bye week, and in a tight competition with the Cowboys. But injuries kept wreaking havoc on the offensive skill positions, while the Eagles came out of a bye with three straight losses that left the team at 5-7. The final blow was a loss to the Dolphins in Miami that had the Eagles two games under .500 and looking like their season was over.

            But Wentz rallied, the Cowboys swooned, and the Eagles managed to find some late season magic. The team won four straight games, including beating the Cowboys 17-9 in Week 16 to lock up the NFC East and a playoff berth. Best yet, it appeared Wentz was going to get to lead the Eagles in the playoffs. But shortly after the Wild Card game against the Seahawks began, Wentz was knocked out of the game and the Eagles’ playoff run ended. They head into the 2020 season with a talented core but still plenty of questions as Wentz tries to get to and make a deep run in the playoffs.

Off-Season Changes

            The Eagles saw some veterans on offense head out as Jordan Howard signed with the Dolphins and Nelson Agholor went to the Las Vegas Raiders. But the team did bolster its receivers by snagging Marquise Goodwin in trade from the 49ers. The speedy receiver figured to give the Eagles a weapon, but he chose to opt out of the 2020 season. But the Eagles did a lot of upgrading through the draft.

            The team drafted receiver Jalen Reagor out of TCU with their first-round pick.  In three seasons Reagor caught 148 passes for 2,248 yards and 22 TDs. He figures to be one of the best weapons for the Eagles. The team also invested in the quarterback position, snagging Jalen Hurts in the second round to provide insurance behind Wentz. Hurts started his college career in Alabama and was a starter before ceding his job to Tua Tagovailoa. He spent last season at Oklahoma, throwing for 3,851 yards and 32 TDs. The Eagles also drafted receivers John Hightower and Quez Watkins later in the draft.

Fantasy Impact

            Wentz is the starter and is a starter in fantasy. He threw for 4,039 yards and 27 TDs, rushing for an additional 243. He finished as QB9 in 2019 and should be a QB1 in 2020, too. In the backfield, the top option is second year back Miles Sanders. Sanders started 11 games and rushed for 818 yards and three TDs, adding 50 receptions for 509 yards and three more TDs. With Howard gone, it’s his backfield and I like him as an RB1. Behind Sanders, the Eagles have Boston Scott, who has some RB4 appeal as a change-of-pace option, Corey Clement and Michael Warren. Clement and Warren are little more than deep stashes, but if Sanders were to miss time it figures Scott would merely share the load.

            Receiver is possibly the biggest question for the Eagles. The team drafted Reagor but they also return veterans Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson along with Greg Ward, Jr., and second-year receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. All four contributed to some degree in 2019, and all are still in the mix. For Jeffery and Jackson, the issue has been health. Ward, who came from the AAF, showed some flashes at times while JJAWs underwhelmed as a rookie. And that’s without considering if Hightower and Watkins will be in the mix. Jeffrey led receivers last season with 43 receptions for 490 yards and four TDs in 10 games. He’s the No.1 if healthy, and Jackson should be a starter. Reagor is a first-round pick in Dynasty rookie drafts and the future, but moderate expectations in 2020. I’m leery of relying on any Eagles’ receiver as a week-to-week starter, but I think Reagor finishes the best, creeping into WR4 territory. But if Jeffrey or Jackson ever put it together, they could have decent seasons. I like both as end of draft picks, which is where they’re mostly going.

            The Eagles best fantasy option in the receiving game is at tight end, where the team has two good ones. Zach Ertz is the top TE, and the team’s top receiver. He caught 88 passes for 916 yards and six TDs. The team also has Dallas Goedert, who caught 58 passes for 607 yards and five TDs. I like Ertz as a TE1 in 2020 and Goedert as a high-end TE2/low-end TE1 in 2020, too.

Prediction

            The Eagles are a talented team in a winnable division. They have talent on offense and if everyone can stay on the field, they can be a dynamic group. I think they’ll be in the playoff hunt throughout the season.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.