The Philadelphia Eagles display a Carson Wentz-led offense featuring an emphasis on the tight ends including Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, both of whom put up fantastic numbers in 2019 as the TE1 and TE2. Miles Sanders put up some stellar numbers during his rookie season, and he figures to build on it.
This article outlines the 4 players mentioned above in terms of the stud, sleeper, stumbler, and breakout player. Our studs and sleepers project to be safer bets for the over and are solid early-round fantasy football pickups or steals.
The stumbler term isn’t bad. It means the player listed is safer to bet the under with and is a possible reach in fantasy drafts.
The breakout is the player who has lower projections but will supersede them and makes for a decent fantasy football steal. They’re often in their rookie or 2nd season, as opposed to the sleeper.
1 – Stud: Carson Wentz, QB
- 388 completions
- 607 attempts
- 27 touchdowns
- 7 interceptions
- 62 carries
- 243 yards
- 1 touchdown
Wentz continues to debunk the narrative that only big school quarterbacks play well in the NFL. Sure, there are other small school studs in the NFL today like Miami of Ohio’s Ben Roethlisberger, Duke’s Daniel Jones, Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, and Fresno State’s Derek Carr.
And of course, Wentz played his college ball at North Dakota State, a school of just 13,000 undergrads.
Unlike the other quarterbacks listed, Wentz continues to produce at a top level in his young career. The jury is still out for Jones and Allen, while Derek Carr hasn’t been the same since his 2016 leg injury.
Garoppolo didn’t see much regular-season action until his trade to the San Francisco 49ers, and even Roethlisberger struggled in his 3rd season in the league, tossing a league-high 23 interceptions the year after winning Super Bowl XL.
As of 2020, Wentz is still the stud of this offense and he’s projected to pick up where he left off in 2019, per ESPN.com. ESPN projects Wentz to produce numbers identical to what he garnered in 2019, but a shade lower.
This makes Wentz a popular pick for the over on player productivity and he’s also a viable QB1 in fantasy football, projecting as a mid-round pick in fantasy drafts.
While Wentz is the stud, he also displays some stumbler traits, as he’s missed 8 regular-season games over the past 3 seasons because of injury. However, he bounced back in 2019 and started all 16 games as the Eagles edged their way into the playoffs.
Wentz is also turnover-prone, having 48 career fumbles in just 4 seasons (12 fumbles per year) including a career-high 16 fumbles in 2019, in which he lost 7.
So, in terms of touchdown to interception ratio, completion percentage, and passing yards, Wentz is a safe over bet and a safe fantasy football selection. But in terms of fumbles, you need to watch as he’s arguably the most fumble-prone player in football.
Either way, I see him as a safe pick for the over given his production in previous seasons, even his injury-riddled ones.
Here are his projected 2020 statistics from ESPN.com:
- 339 completions
- 530 attempts
- 3,836 yards
- 27 touchdowns
- 9 interceptions
- 54 carries
- 212 yards
- 2 rushing touchdowns
The projections for Wentz are lower than his actual statistics in 2019, in which he threw for over 4,000 yards for the first time in his career. However, had he been completely healthy in 2018 and 2019 he was on pace to eclipse the 4,000-yard mark.
This should make him a safe pick to bet the over.
2 – Sleeper: Dallas Goedert, TE
- 58 receptions
- 607 yards
- 10.5 yards per reception
- 5 touchdowns
After the Eagles drafted 3 wide receivers, including spending a 1st round pick on TCU’s Jalen Reagor, indications show the team may include the receivers more in their offensive strategy.
However, neither Reagor nor the other 2 draftees lit up the stat sheet in college.
And they haven’t played a down in the NFL.
Enter Goedert, whose production as a TE2 bested many starting tight ends in the NFL. However, he’s seemingly the odd man out as the Eagles loaded up their receiving corps, and with starting tight end Zach Ertz performing at a high level, someone’s projections must take a hit.
For some reason, it’s the proven Goedert, who’s sustained decent production throughout his first 2 seasons and played in all but 1 game. Not bad for a guy who went to a little school called South Dakota State.
The odd man out is an obvious sleeper pick, especially with Ertz turning 30 this season. Per ESPN, Goedert’s targets and overall production is expected to drop, and maybe it will. However, it shouldn’t drop as far as ESPN is projecting, with only 67 projected targets versus 86 from 2019.
Especially when Goedert snagged in 67 percent of those 86 targets for 58 receptions.
While it’s true Goedert sees a drop in production, it’s likely to be minute if he continues to play the way he’s been playing throughout his first 2 seasons.
He’s a safe pick for the over and he’ll be a decent fantasy football pickup in the late rounds of your fantasy football draft, especially as a TE2, and if you already have Ertz on the roster.
Here are Goedert’s projected statistics:
- 46 receptions
- 468 yards
- 10.1 yards per reception
- 4 touchdowns
Goedert, barring injury, is a safe pick for the over in terms of receptions, yards, and even touchdowns.
There are no guarantees in the productivity betting realm, but if Goedert continues to play well, he’ll see more opportunities come his way.
3 – Stumbler: Zach Ertz, TE
- 88 receptions
- 916 yards
- 10.4 yards per reception
- 6 touchdowns
Don’t take this as a knock on Ertz. He will still snag at least 65 receptions in 2020 if not more.
But given Goedert’s emergence plus the fact Ertz is heading into his 8th season and will be 30, expect signs of wear.
Often, players are still in their prime and will continue to produce well but since the Eagles have a capable TE2 on the roster who can start for at least half the teams in the league means Ertz’s opportunities might not be as prevalent.
So, while Ertz is still a great mid-to-late round fantasy football selection, gear betting his productivity toward the under at online NFL betting sites. Ertz’s eventual drop-off is a matter of when rather than ‘if.’
Again, this doesn’t mean Ertz falls off the map. He’s still an effective player and he has at least 2 good years left in him.
It just means that with Goedert’s continual emergence along with capable receivers coming to the team, Ertz’s production is most likely to take a larger hit.
The most productive pass-catcher on the roster still may lead the team in productivity, but it won’t be as high in years’ past and it will be lower than what ESPN is projecting.
Here are Ertz’s projected numbers for 2020:
- 78 receptions
- 828 yards
- 10.6 yards per carry
- 7 touchdown
The touchdowns figure to be Ertz’s ceiling for the year. While 78 receptions is a number he can easily go over, something between 65 and 70 is more realistic given the talent coming onto the team.
4 – Breakout: Miles Sanders, RB
- 179 carries
- 818 yards
- 4.6 yards per carry
- 3 touchdowns
- 50 receptions
- 509 yards
- 3 touchdowns
Sanders, a 2nd round pick out of Penn State in 2019 logged a stellar rookie season and will only build on his production over the next few seasons.
He’s a complete back who can come out of the backfield and make a catch while gaining between 4 and 5 yards a carry with each touch.
Despite his production, his 2020 projections are low, with only 6 projected rushing touchdowns and 43 projected receptions, low numbers for a player looking to transition to featured back.
Especially when the team’s other running backs in 2019 have 850 rushing yards in a combined 5 seasons of experience.
In other words, Sanders will get the most opportunities at running back in 2019, as none of the other backs on the roster have garnered serious production in the NFL.
Here are Sanders’ 2020 projections:
- 224 carries
- 979 yards
- 4.4 yards per carry
- 6 touchdowns
- 43 receptions
- 362 yards
- 2 touchdowns
He’s projected to score just 8 total touchdowns in 2020, so look for him to score a higher total in the season. If he scored 6 in 2019 on limited carries, he’ll receive far more opportunity to supersede that in 2020.
The Eagles’ offense is full of talent and this article doesn’t even discuss the team’s 3 rookie receivers in Reagor, John Hightower, or Quez Watkins. It also doesn’t dip into a potential bounce-back season from DeSean Jackson and it also neglects Alshon Jeffery, who can also return to prominence.
So, the Eagles’ offense is one where more than the players listed at stud, sleeper, and breakout might overproduce. But, there’s also a chance they can underproduce and stumble once again, so pay close attention to each players’ projected stats from oddsmakers.