After weeks of speculation and rumors, the Philadelphia Eagles finally pulled the trigger on trading quarterback Carson Wentz. The Eagles sent Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a pair of draft picks. Wentz will now be reunited with his former offensive coordinator in Frank Reich, while Philadelphia will turn the reigns over to second year quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts had a solid four-game stretch last season after replacing Wentz in Week 13 against the Packers.
He showed that he could make plays on the ground as a plus-one and create big passing plays down the field. Hurts along with new head coach Nick Sirianni will be tasked with creating explosive plays and getting their playmakers involved. When it comes to fantasy football, it is tough to gauge the Eagles’ offensive players value as we do not know what Sirianni’s offense will look like and the overall personnel. However, we’ll break down the effect that the Wentz trade has on each position group heading into the 2021 season.
If last season was any indication of what Hurts could be in fantasy football, then he will be on the radar of many fantasy football managers this summer. The former second-round pick had two dynamic games against the Saints and Cardinals. In his first NFL start, Hurts posted 19.28 fantasy points against the Saints, where he had 106 rushing yards, 167 passing yards, and a passing touchdown.
He followed up that performance against Arizona with 338 yards, three touchdowns, 63 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. For his efforts, Hurts rewarded fantasy football managers with 37.82 fantasy points.
Can Hurts put up those type of stats next season? It is certainly possible, especially with his dual-threat ability. However, I think to start off, we will see him hovering around 20-25 fantasy points per game, which isn’t bad as a mid-tier QB1 option and someone with limited NFL experience. This also leaves room for improvement and development in Sirianni’s system.
One would expect with no more Wentz that the Eagles will feature Miles Sanders a lot more than they did this past season. Despite missing a few games, Sanders managed to produce 867 rushing yards on 164 carries and six touchdowns, along with 28 receptions for 107 yards.
The former Penn State running back had seven games where he scored 10 or more fantasy points. But Sanders only accomplished that feat once in the last six games he played in. The hope is that Sirianni comes in and uses Sanders like how Indianapolis used Jonathan Taylor last season.
For this Eagles’ offense to take that next step, it will be up to their young wide receivers to play better and make explosive plays. Travis Fulgham was a standout for fantasy football managers for a few weeks last season, while Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins had a moment of two where they had an exciting play.
Fulgham had three-straight weeks where he scored 11.7, 21.2, and 13.5 fantasy points. It was clear that he was Wentz’s favorite target. However, his playing time began to decrease due to other receivers coming back from injury and the Eagles needing more down-field plays. This is where Reagor and Watkins comes into play, both wideouts showed that they had better chemistry with Hurts last season.
Watkins only had seven receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown, which happened on a screen pass against the Arizona Cardinals. However, with his speed, there could be room for him to become maybe a FLEX play or WR4 in fantasy.
Reagor will be further under the microscope next season after a less than stellar rookie season. The former first-round pick produced 31 receptions (54 targets) for 396 yards and a touchdown. He will be looked upon to be this team’s No. 1 or No. 2 wideout as they will not have a lot cap space to work with this offseason. Along with those three receivers, you also have to factor in John Hightower, Alshon Jeffery, and Marquise Goodwin.
If the Eagles end up moving on from Zach Ertz, then Dallas Goedert will become TE1 and continue his climb as a top-10 tight end play in fantasy football. Ertz and Goedert were Wentz’s perfect safety valves in the middle of the field and inside the redzone. Now without Wentz, we should not see a downtick in Goedert’s production. If we go based off of what Indy has done with their tight ends, the former second-round pick should be in great shape next season.
In 2020, Goedert had 46 receptions (65 targets) for 524 yards and three touchdowns. All three stats were lower than his second season, but he still proved to be a solid fantasy play most weeks.