The big storyline going into Thursday Night Football in Week 2 is the Philadelphia Eagles’ backfield. The Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings on TNF and we already know RB Kenneth Gainwell isn’t playing due to injury. In Week 1, we saw Gainwell lead the backfield touches along with QB Jalen Hurts. That left RB Rashaad Penny as a healthy scratch, and RBs D’Andre Swift and Boston Scott used scarcely. So with Gainwell out and head coach Nick Sirianni down on Swift and Penny, might that open up Scott for more touches? We take a look.
Fantasy football, Week 2: Is Boston Scott a sneaky play?
First, there’s a school of thought and good reasoning behind just fading the Eagles’ backfield altogether this week. Hurts should eat into some work and the team could also just throw the ball a ton against a weak Vikings’ secondary. But the Eagles are 6.5-point favorites and could build up a lead, which would then require running the ball. If that’s the case, Scott could see more work than we think.
Looking at last week, here’s how the backfield touches shook out, per Pro Football Focus.
Kenneth Gainwell: 41 snaps, 16 routes run, 4 targets, 14 carries
D’Andre Swift: 19 snaps, 13 routes run, 2 targets, 1 carry
Boston Scott: 8 snaps, 4 routes run, 1 target, 1 carry
So Gainwell was the primary ball carrier and Swift served as more of a receiver. Scott was worked in slightly but also finished with basically the same stat line as Swift. Hurts had nine carries for 37 yards and a TD. So we can expect around the same amount of rushing plays from Hurts, around 8-12. That would leave the 18 touches from Gainwell split between Swift, Penny and Scott.
Looking at Scott’s career, he isn’t far removed from scoring seven TDs in 2021. That also came when Miles Sanders, Gainwell and Jordan Howard were apart of the backfield depth. The big trend you see from 2021 with Scott is, games in which he performed well in fantasy came when the Eagles were up big and won. Again, Philly is a pretty big favorite at -6.5, so a blowout could mean Scott eats up plenty of carries.
Swift may get the start and first crack at rushes, but should end up the receiving option. It’s tough to trust Penny; he was a healthy scratch in Week 1, that usually isn’t good. So there’s a scenario in which Scott gets more of the early-down and goal-line work. Plus, the Eagles could ride Scott a bit if they pull away.
For DraftKings Showdown contests, you aren’t captaining Scott at $3,300 but it does open up for interesting roster builds. At $2,200, Scott feels like a good pivot off the chalk that could be Swift and/or Penny. In 61 games (just 12 starts), Scott has 16 TDs in four full NFL seasons. At this price, all it would take is a TD and we know the over/under is 49, so the books are expecting plenty of points.
In season-long, Scott is a very risky option. We wouldn’t recommend you play him in any format unless you absolutely have to. We could see Swift and Penny dominate the backfield. We could see mostly Swift and Hurts. There’s a lot of volatility and different scenarios for the Eagles rushers. Scott makes more sense in DFS contests.