Eagles' Biggest Sleepers, Busts, Stars to Target in 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts
It became clear what the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive strategy was late in the 2021 season: Run the ball. A lot.
That's why the Eagles averaged 159.7 rushing yards per game last year, while none of the other 31 NFL teams had a higher rushing average than 149.4. Not only did Philadelphia have a solid stable of running backs, but quarterback Jalen Hurts used his legs to pick up yardage.
The Eagles may not run quite as much in 2022, though. Their passing attack got a major upgrade when they acquired wide receiver A.J. Brown in a trade with the Tennessee Titans in April. So that could change their offensive game plan quite a bit for this season.
However, Philadelphia should have a better overall offense, and it could rank higher than 14th in the NFL in total yards per game, like it did last season (359.9). And that will be a good thing for fantasy football managers targeting Eagles players in drafts.
Here's a fantasy outlook for notable players on Philadelphia's offense heading into the 2022 season.
Jalen Hurts, QB
Hurts may not be a top-tier quarterback in the NFL, but he's a must-start fantasy QB. Last season, he passed for only 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns. However, he compiled 784 yards on the ground and 10 rushing scores, boosting his fantasy value.
When Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are off the board and there's likely a run on quarterbacks around the fifth or sixth round of the draft, Hurts will be one of the stronger options. He should be considered in the same fantasy tier as QBs such as Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray.
A.J. Brown, WR
Brown was limited to 13 games last season (his third in the NFL), resulting in his first year with less than 1,000 receiving yards. He finished with 63 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns.
But the Titans didn't have many other strong receiving options in their run-heavy offense to take some of the attention off him. Brown should have a bounce-back 2022 season, especially because defenses facing the Eagles will also need to try to stop DeVonta Smith on the other side of the field.
Dallas Goedert, TE
Philadelphia traded Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals last October, making Goedert the clear-cut No. 1 tight end on the Eagles' offense. He capitalized on the increased number of targets, finishing with 56 receptions for 830 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games.
Goedert may put up even bigger numbers with a full season as the true No. 1 tight end in Philadelphia in 2022. Don't be surprised if ends up as a top-five fantasy TE.
Miles Sanders, RB
Sanders was a bust in 2021, when he rushed for a career-low 754 yards, scored zero touchdowns and barely was a factor in the Eagles' passing game (26 catches for 158 yards). That's why he should be avoided during the early rounds of fantasy drafts this year.
Philadelphia may start to give more touches to Kenneth Gainwell, who flashed his potential as a rookie last season. Boston Scott and undrafted rookie Kennedy Brooks could also be involved in the backfield mix, which would cut even more into Sanders' workload.
If Sanders is still on the board late into the seventh round or even into the eighth, he could be a smart selection in case he has a bounce-back year. But over the first six or so rounds, there will be safer, better RBs to target.
Jalen Reagor, WR
This shouldn't come as a surprise after how much Reagor has struggled over his first two NFL seasons. Over the first 28 games of his career, he has 64 catches for 695 yards and three touchdowns.
Now, Reagor will be even further down the Eagles' depth chart. Brown, Smith and Quez Watkins are the likely starters, while others such as Zach Pascal, Greg Ward and John Hightower will be in the mix for playing time.
Reagor is not going to be a factor in fantasy football in 2022.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB
Although Gainwell will be at No. 2 on the depth chart behind Sanders, he should be a key contributor for the Eagles' offense this season. Not only could the 23-year-old get more carries than he did last year, but he may be the team's top receiving back.
In 2021, Gainwell had 33 catches for 253 yards and a receiving touchdown. He also had five rushing scores and averaged 4.3 yards per carry (68 attempts for 291 yards).
Because Gainwell could still be on the board around the 12th or 13th round in fantasy drafts, he's worth taking a late-round flier on. He may end up providing tremendous value from that spot.
There are reasons to believe Philadelphia's defense will put up more fantasy points this season. Haason Reddick should rack up a decent number of sacks on the edge, while James Bradberry will combine with Darius Slay to limit opponents' passing offenses.
It's always wise to wait until the final two rounds to draft a D/ST, considering you'll likely be playing the matchups throughout the year. And the Eagles open with a Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions that could be good to exploit.