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AP Photo/Terrance Williams

2023 Fantasy Football Preview: Philadelphia Eagles


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Player Outlooks (2023)

 

QB Jalen Hurts: An ankle injury suffered late in the 2022 season prevented Hurts from an overall QB1 finish, but he led the league in fantasy points per game (25.2)—thanks in large part to his 13 rushing touchdowns. Of course, the rushing production shouldn’t cause the passing success to go overlooked, as Hurts displayed top-level poise and accuracy last year, including perhaps the best deep ball in the NFL. Protected by a great offensive line, the only thing that might slow the MVP candidate down (other than an injury of his own) would be A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith missing time for a passing attack that runs through the stars with limited depth behind them at wide receiver; and even then, Hurts would remain a high-end QB1 option.

 

RB D’Andre Swift: Swift was an intriguing addition for the Eagles, as he brings plenty of juice to the offense, and Philadelphia doesn’t need him to carry the load between the tackles having also signed Rashaad Penny to join a strong stable of runners. The possibility of increased involvement for the running backs in the passing game would be a major boost to Swift’s fantasy value in a new city, and he should be taken as an upside FLEX with big-play ability that can also provide a nice floor in PPR formats.

 

RB Rashaad Penny: Injuries have been the issue for Penny since being taken in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but the impact is undeniable when in the lineup—rushing 337 times for 1,918 yards (5.7 YPC) and 13 touchdowns in his career. The year-to-year greatness of Philadelphia’s offensive line makes the new team a perfect landing spot for Penny, and he was signed to be their top early-down ball-carrier with the team stating they didn’t have any intention of trading for Swift. With an ability to rip off chunk gains as a runner, Penny can certainly lead the backfield when healthy.

 

RB Kenneth Gainwell: Gainwell appeared to be on his way to a significant role before the Eagles acquired Swift during the 2023 NFL Draft, but he should still see more work this season based on his playoff emergence with 40 touches for 236 total yards and one score in three postseason outings. A full-blown committee would be a good thing for Gainwell because it’s unlikely he’d simply hop Swift on the depth chart, and perhaps new OC Brian Johnson’s imprint on the offense will include more targets for the running backs in 2023.

 

RB Trey Sermon: Sermon clearly showed something last year while developing on the practice squad with Philadelphia talking him up this offseason, and he could be an injury to Rashaad Penny away from an early-down role. The former Ohio State standout turned 24 in January and should at least be on dynasty benches with a chance at redraft value with a strong summer.

 

RB Boston Scott: It will be interesting to see what the acquisition of Swift will mean for Scott’s standing on the roster, but the five-foot-six runner has performed whenever called upon, and one or two injuries—on an injury-prone depth chart—could give him a substantial role. For now, there are probably better late-round targets.

 

WR A.J. Brown: Those expecting a drop in production for Brown in Philadelphia were sorely mistaken, as one of the game’s most efficient (and best) wideouts remained just that with increased volume—catching 88 passes for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns. The chemistry with Jalen Hurts allowed Brown to hit the ground running, and he finished on a scorching pace in 2022 (even with Hurts missing a couple of games). Entering his age-26 season, Brown should be taken as a top-five option at wide receiver.

 

WR DeVonta Smith: Smith went off down the stretch—with lines of 5/102/1, 5/64/1, 5/126, 8/113/2, and 9/115 from Week 12 through Week 17—to make up for some inconsistency earlier in the year, and he’s being underrated by those not putting him in the WR1 rankings after a top-ten finish in 2022. Overall, the Eagles have a matchup-proof offense, and that extends to the former Heisman winner; look for Smith to have another big year following a 95/1,196/7 line last season.

 

WR Quez Watkins: The Philadelphia passing attack will continue playing through Brown, Smith, and Dallas Goedert for the most part, but Watkins is said to be very determined this offseason—and he’s just a year removed from 650 total yards with an average of 10.4 yards per target. Watkins can have some big weeks if he’s able to run under some on-point deep balls from Jalen Hurts.

 

WR Olamide Zaccheaus: Zaccheaus is more of a traditional No. 3 wideout that should push for time in the slot, and how his playing time is distributed in preseason action will be something to watch. If it looks like the former Falcons starter is a no-doubt roster lock, his fantasy outlook in the event of an injury would be increased.

 

WR Devon Allen: The lack of depth for the Eagles at wide receiver is perhaps their biggest weakness, but it leaves room for guys to step up—including an Olympic hurdler with elite speed in Allen. The 28-year-old caught a 55-yard touchdown last preseason, and increased development could allow him to crack the 53-man roster.

 

WR Joseph Ngata: Ngata is an undrafted wide receiver out of Clemson, but he shouldn’t be counted out from a role based on his talent at six-foot-three with impressive twitch for his size. While it will be an uphill battle, the thin depth chart can result in Ngata making the team or at least being a developmental option for the practice squad.

 

TE Dallas Goedert: The willingness of Jalen Hurts to throw the ball downfield and give his teammates a chance to make plays has been a definite boost for Goedert’s fantasy outlook, and he’s led the NFL in yards per target among tight ends in each of the past two seasons (10.9 in 2021 and 10.2 in 2022). Tight end looks very strong for a handful of options behind Travis Kelce having the case for high-end TE1 value, and the Eagles passing more in 2023 could allow Goedert’s raw numbers to increase by surpassing his career-high of 87 targets,

 

TE Dan Arnold: Arnold didn’t have much of a role last year in Jacksonville as Evan Engram enjoyed a breakout campaign, but he is in a good spot with Philadelphia—particularly considering the limited depth at wide receiver. Standalone fantasy value will be difficult to predict, though, so it might take Goedert going down for Arnold to build on the promise showed previously with Arizona.

 

Other Notes

 

Best IDP value: LB Nakobe Dean

Dean was essentially redshirted as a rookie, but he’ll now be the play-caller for Philadelphia’s defense—and tasked with cleaning things up behind former Georgia teammates Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, and Nolan Smith. Our full scouting report for Dean can be read here, but we expect him to immediately be a Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker as the starter.

 

Stat to know (via draft guide)

Before missing Week 16 and Week 17 of last season, Jalen Hurts was on a 17-game pace of 4,216 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, six interceptions, 189 carries, 907 rushing yards, and 16 rushing touchdowns.