As week 1 dawns upon us, it's time for fantasy football! All drafts have been completed and football fans are excited for a new league year. Eagles players have gotten significant stock put into them by the fantasy community with names like Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert being drafted in almost all leagues amongst others.
For the Eagles first contest of the 2021 season, they head down to Atlanta who rank outside the top 20 in total defense. This is a great matchup for owners of Philadelphia Eagles players as this game has the makings of a good old fashioned shootout. Vegas would tend to agree with that statement setting the over under at a near 50, 48.5 to be exact.
Jalen Hurts as we all know took over for Carson Wentz last year as the starter in week 13 and made 4 starts from weeks 14-17. In those 4 starts he averaged 24.2 fantasy points in 4 point touchdown quarterback leagues. His highest scoring game came in week 15 on the road in Arizona in which he put up 37.8 fantasy points. In a game which will be as high scoring as this one I like Jalen Hurts chances to put up a top 5 fantasy week this week. I believe with Nick Sirianni calling plays for the first time in his coaching career the Eagles will come firing on all cylinders in the passing game and there will be plenty of chances for Hurts to throw the ball, make plays with his legs, and score points for your team this week.
Contrasting to Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders is one I don't like as a start this week in fantasy. This is a bad matchup for Sanders not only because Atlanta was ranked 6th last year against running backs this year which was shocking, but because there won't be as many opportunities for him to score points as Eagles fans and Sanders owners would hope for. I believe there will be a lot of emphasis in the pass game this week and not as much in the run game and that does not bode well for Sanders putting up a high level fantasy week this week. In standard scoring leagues I wouldn't start him but in half ppr leagues or full ppr leagues I would use him as a pessimistic flex option.
Here's the big one, how will DeVonta Smith perform in his NFL debut? What will his numbers be in fantasy off the rip? I believe it will be a big one. With the trend of predicting a pass heavy Eagles offense in week 1, this means nothing but all great things for Smith. For this week he easily is a flex option this week in any scoring setting. In any ppr scoring leagues however, don't be shocked if he finishes the week as a top 10 fantasy wide receiver.
Dallas Goedert / Zach Ertz
One would think a prediction of a big week for one receiving threat in a pass heavy offense would lead to multiple big fantasy weeks especially with the Eagles boasting tight ends the caliber of Goedert and Ertz. But wrong, I don't like either as a start this week. Not because of matchup, they have a great matchup this week with Atlanta ranking 28th last year in fantasy defense against tight ends last year. I don't like either because I am not sure which will have the bigger fantasy impact on this team. The common thought is that Goedert is the Eagles tight end to own this year, but with Ertz still mightily in the picture this year I am worried about how high Goedert's volume will be. If I were to start one of these tight ends and bet on a good week it would be Dallas Goedert but I wouldn't do it confidently or recommend anyone to do it. Be careful this week with the birds tight end room and if you have a safer option on your roster at tight end play them this week, and if you don't cross your fingers that the Eagles tight end you start is the one that explodes in the fantasy box score this week.