2023 Fantasy Football Philadelphia Eagles Preview

by Dennis Sosic
2023 Fantasy Football Philadelphia Eagles Preview.

Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the continuation of the Fantasy Six Pack Team Previews. Today we're back at it with the 2023 Fantasy Football Philadelphia Eagles Preview.

The Eagles won a franchise record 14 regular season games and then cruised through the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Playoffs en route to the Super Bowl. The Eagles battled the Kansas City Chiefs in an epic game that unfortunately resulted in a loss to the Chiefs on a last-second field goal.

The Philadelphia Eagles proved they were not satisfied with how the season ended and restocked this offseason. The Eagles lost both safeties from last season's NFC Championship squad but quickly filled their defensive backfield by signing Terrell EdmundsJustin Evans, and Greedy Williams. They also didn't forget about the offense, signing power back Rashaad Penny, who averaged 5.7 yards per carry last season. The concern with Penny has always been his ability to stay on the field.

The Eagles were also big winners during the 2023 NFL Draft. They traded a 2025 Day 3 pick to the Detroit Lions to obtain running back D'Andre Swift. Swift will team up with Penny to provide a sensational backfield. His issue has been consistency and his ability to stay on the field.

Acquiring Swift was not their biggest win; the Eagles also captured two Georgia Bulldog defenders, Jalen Carter, and Nolan Smith. Both players will significantly impact and elevate the Eagles' defense, ranking eighth last season.

Will the Eagles suffer a Super Bowl Hangover? Who will emerge in the Eagles' backfield? Does Jalen Hurts run less this season? The answers to these questions and much more will be found in the 2023 Fantasy Football Philadelphia Eagles Preview.

2023 Fantasy Football Philadelphia Eagles Preview

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Quarterback

Jalen Hurts finished as the QB3 despite missing two regular season games. He threw for 22 touchdowns and scored a league-high 13 quarterback rushing touchdowns last season. Hurts was near the top of the NFL in many other categories, primarily in rushing, but he is an explosive offensive weapon. He has established himself as a leader by guiding the Eagles to the Super Bowl last season in his second season as the full-time starter.

His dual-threat ability rivals the top players in the league, and at only 24 years old, Hurts still has room to grow as a quarterback. He has playmakers on the outside, which facilitate his ascending passing numbers. Hurts should be drafted within the top three quarterbacks in all fantasy football drafts.

Marcus Mariotta arrives in Philadelphia to back up Hurts after disappointing seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Mariotta was never able to establish himself as the starter in Atlanta. He performed rather horribly passing the ball and was brought here to provide a veteran presence as a backup with Gardner Minshew no longer with the Eagles. Mariotta still has wheels and could provide some fantasy success with gadget plays. However, beyond that, Mariotta is not an NFL-caliber quarterback.

Running Back

The Eagles' leading rusher from last season, Miles Sanders, felt slighted by the team, decided to move on, and signed with the Carolina Panthers. Sanders had a career season in 2022 with a career-high 1,269 rushing yards, the fifth-most in the league, and a career-high 11 touchdowns. However, the Eagles did not wait long to replace Sanders.

As mentioned, the Eagles obtained D'Andre Swift during the 2023 NFL Draft. Swift was disgruntled in Detroit, and the Eagles jumped at the opportunity to grab the skillful Swift. Swift is a big-play running back, a dangerous weapon in the passing game. The former Bulldog finished second in yards per touch last season and fifth with an 8.1 percent breakaway run rate. However, Swift is always guaranteed to miss a few games each season, so he can not be counted upon as a featured back. He is currently ranked as a high-end Flex/RB3, which bakes in the injury factor. Although, in this offense, Swift should climb into the RB2 territory and provide fantasy managers with plenty of splash weeks.

Rashaad Penny is a workhorse back who has always been a time-share running back committee. Penny will also miss time; it always happens after he has put together a great couple of games. His game is short-yardage and goal-line work and being a grinder. He is an ideal complement to Swift, but the obvious question is how much will he see the ball near the goal line when you have Hurts behind center? Penny projects as the running back between the twenties, then it's the Jalen Hurts show. It will be challenging to trust Penny in your weekly lineups.

Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott both produced when called upon last season. They are both talented, but with the recent additions, there are concerns about how much they will get to see the ball unless Swift or Penny misses time. With both backs being injury-prone, grabbing one of these backs to stash at the back end of your roster could pay huge dividends this season.

Wide Receiver

The A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith combination is among the top duos at wide receiver. Brown stepped up in his first season in Philadelphia. He immediately developed chemistry with Jalen Hurts. Brown caught 88 of his 145 targets for 1,496 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, the second-highest among wideouts. Brown is a big-play receiver who finished with the second-most yards after catch (543) and fourth in air yards (1772). The former Ole Miss wide receiver should continue his trajectory up the wide receiver rankings and finish as a top-ten wide receiver this season.

DeVonta Smith exploded last season into a career season that saw the former Alabama wide receiver catch 95 passes on 136 targets for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith finished as the WR10 and was a league-winner draft pick for fantasy managers last season. His WR1 production pushes his fantasy stock into a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 and is well-deserved and warranted.

With the volume of targets given to Brown and Smith, there are not many targets for any other receiving option. The rest of this wide receiver group is nothing to get excited about. Zaccheaus produced career highs in catches (40) and touchdowns (three) last season with the Atlanta Falcons. However, the Falcons' offense was void of weapons outside of Drake London, so Zaccheaus will not get the looks here in Philadelphia. Watkins is a super deep option if the worst-case scenario happens to their top two wideouts.

Tight End

Dallas Goedert was the TE4 before suffering an injured shoulder in a Week 10 loss to the Washington Commanders. The Eagles' offense suffered without the security blanket that Goedert provides. He still finished with 55 receptions for 702 yards and three scores in just 12 games and still wound up as the TE12. Goedert should be drafted as a top-six tight end for this season.

Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra contributed when Goedert was out last season, but neither tight end puts fear in defenses and should not be considered fantasy relevant.

Final Verdict

The Eagles added significant pieces on both sides of the ball. The impact of those players should allow the Eagles to be the team in the NFC once again. The Eagles will have the league's most challenging strength of schedule (.566). They will also have targets on their back, being the NFC Champions.

However, with a healthy Jalen Hurts throughout the season and playoffs, the Eagles will fly into the playoffs and match last season's record at 14-3. The Eagles have the second-best Super Bowl odds, and a return trip is a great bet.


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