Kenjon Barner, Wendell Smallwood Fantasy Outlook After Eagles RB Injuries

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2016

Philadelphia Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood in action during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

If you are a desperate fantasy football player looking for any running back with an opportunity, the Philadelphia Eagles' depth chart may have an answer.

The Eagles announced running backs Ryan Mathews (knee) and Darren Sproles (ribs) missed the stretch run of Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, which could lead to additional chances for Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood.

While their long-term fantasy values are directly tied to the severity Mathews' and Sproles' injuries, here is a quick breakdown for each player.


Kenjon Barner

Kenjon Barner's Week 11 Stats
CarriesRushing YardsRushing TDsCatchesTargetsReceiving YardsTD Catches

Barner is best known from his days as a speedy playmaker in head coach Chip Kelly's offense at Oregon, but he hasn't caught on at the NFL level.

Barner had only seven rushing yards and seven receiving yards as a rookie for the Carolina Panthers. After suffering an injury in the preseason, he didn't appear in a game in 2014, and he had just 124 rushing yards and 22 receiving yards for the Eagles in 2015.

Barner did show flashes in September, with 86 rushing yards in three games, but he had a mere 18 since then entering Sunday's contest. Barner also entered Sunday's game with a grand total of one catch, so he hasn't been much of a threat in the passing attack.

At this point, any fantasy player looking to pick up Barner off the waiver wire is hoping the player who racked up 1,767 rushing yards in his final collegiate season shows up with Sproles and Mathews out. He is worth monitoring for that slight possibility, but Barner is not someone who should be starting for your fantasy team.

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Wendell Smallwood

Wendell Smallwood's Week 11 Stats
CarriesRushing YardsRushing TDsCatchesTargetsReceiving YardsTD Catches

Smallwood is a more worthwhile waiver-wire addition than Barner, even if Sproles or Mathews returns in the near future.

The Eagles selected him with a fifth-round pick, and the rookie tallied 70 rushing yards on 13 carries during last Sunday's win over the Atlanta Falcons. The 208-pounder has demonstrated bursts of power and could serve as a goal-line option with the two primary backs out.

He also impressed in his only other game with double-digit carries before Sunday, notching 79 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 25.

Smallwood has thrived at times and shown more potential than Barner. Target him if you are looking Philadelphia's way for fantasy help.