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Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders' Eagles Fantasy Outlook After Carson Wentz's Benching

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 8, 2020

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) looks to run the ball during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec 6. 2020, between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Hurts will take over at quarterback Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson announced that Hurts will make his first career start in Week 14.

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

Breaking News: QB Jalen Hurts will start this Sunday against the Saints. https://t.co/VgGU54flLf

Hurts replaced Carson Wentz in the second half of Sunday's 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The 22-year-old made a strong first impression with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward on his second drive:

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

.@JalenHurts has his first NFL touchdown! #PHIvsGB | #FlyEaglesFly 📺: CBS https://t.co/TuRPDyFU0k

Looking ahead for fantasy managers who have running back Miles Sanders on their rosters and are interested in Hurts' potential, the outlook isn't strong this week.

The Eagles are going against a Saints team that has won nine straight games. The defense is allowing 8.8 points per game over the last five weeks, and the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13 were the only team to rack up more than 300 yards of total offense during that span.

Things will get easier after that, as the Eagles finish the season against the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team.

Hurts is the Eagles player to watch because of his ability to run and pass. The 2019 Heisman Trophy runner-up has 82 rushing yards on 17 carries this year, but the Packers held him to 5-of-12 passing for 109 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

If you want to take a flier on Hurts, the best time to do it will be in Week 15 against the Cardinals and Week 16 against the Cowboys. Those defenses rank 20th and 21st in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks, respectively, per Pro Football Reference.

Of course, those will be the last two weeks of the fantasy playoffs in most leagues. Betting on a rookie quarterback who's playing behind a patchwork offensive line with little help at wide receiver is a major risk if you want to win.

Keep an eye on how Hurts performs against the Saints. If he fares well, add him to your roster as a potential sleeper in superflex leagues for the following two games.

Sanders looks unplayable in fantasy at this point. The 23-year-old has a total of 53 yards from scrimmage in the past two weeks and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 5.

Week 16 against the Cowboys looks like the best bet for Sanders to return to his early-season form. He averaged 105 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns in his first five games.

Dallas ranks 27th in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game.

Sanders has done nothing in recent weeks to warrant trust from fantasy managers. If you have the Penn State alum rostered and there aren't any better options available, using him as a flex player could pay off if Hurts decides to check down a lot until he gets more comfortable in the NFL.

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