Fantasy Football 2017: Philadelphia Eagles depth chart

An improved Wentz could mean big things for Eagles WRs in fantasy

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The 2017 Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football magazine is on newsstands now and available online at www.ProFootballWeekly.com/magazine. In addition to rankings, mock drafts and loads of player reports, it features 32 team fantasy depth charts. Here's a small taste of the Eagles information you'll get by purchasing your copy today. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

QB1: Carson Wentz — In his rookie season, Wentz finished a QB24 with a not-so-ideal ratio of 16 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. The hope in Philadelphia is that a Year Two jump combined with the arrivals of veteran wideouts Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith should prime Wentz for an improved season. His numbers should go up — it was asking a lot for big production from the former North Dakota State QB, but he did get off to a scintillating start. He’s a QB2 with upside. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

RB1: LeGarrette Blount — With 18 rushing touchdowns last season for the Patriots, Blount finished as RB7, a very impressive feat, but he isn’t going to have as many opportunities to punch it in from the goal line in Philly’s offense. Still, he enters the season as the top option in the backfield. He has plenty of experience (49 rushing TDs), though he’s a nonfactor in the passing game. There’s a reason, though, it took so long for Blount to land on a team. Owners have to be cautious. He has a RB2 ceiling but is an RB3/flex to start. / RB2: Darren Sproles (above) — Sproles is everything Blount isn’t — he can catch, he’s quick and he’s diminutive in size. At 34, Sproles is still a factor, finishing with 865 total yards last season and four scores. He’s been incredibly durable in his career and has averaged 60 catches per season since 2009. He had 52 catches in ’16 and while he’s no more than a flex in fantasy, he has good value in PPR. Sproles’ ceiling isn’t high, but he’s the one known commodity in the Eagles’ backfield. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

RB3: This will be a competition between Wendell Smallwood (above) and rookie Donnell Pumphrey. In minicamp, Pumphrey reportedly got more reps, but Smallwood showed flashes in '16 with 312 yards. Considering the age of the top two backs, whoever emerges as the Eagles' RB3 could have some opportunities for production. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

WR1: Alshon Jeffery — The Eagles’ best fantasy option is Jeffery. Well, he has the most potential. Remember 2013-14? A healthy Jeffery had 174 catches for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns in those seasons. In 2015, he battled several injuries. In ’16, he served a four-game PEDs suspension. The talent is all still there, it’s just a question of if Jeffery can stay on the field and establish a rapport with Wentz. He should be the top target and he has WR1 talent, but he’s an WR2/3 as we wait to see how he fits and if Wentz is improved. / WR2: Jordan Matthews — In his three NFL seasons, Matthews has been solid, just not spectacular. His numbers went down in ’16 as he missed two games (73-804-3 after 8 TDs in each of his first two seasons). Matthews has the route running, size and speed to be a formidable target. He needs to be more consistent week-in and week-out, but at 25, Matthews still has upside and can come on the cheap in fantasy. / WR3: Torrey Smith — Here’s the good — Smith is only 28, has great speed and should get deep-ball opportunities (17.0 yards per catch in his career) with the big-armed Wentz. The bad? He had only 53 catches in 28 games with the 49ers the past two seasons and his 65-1,128 season in ’13 was a long time ago. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

One thing helping the Eagles and their offense will be an O-line, with a strong right side of Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks (above) then Jason Kelce at center, veteran Jason Peters at left tackle and there will be a spirited battle at left guard. That pass pro should help Wentz's potential in fantasy as well as the running backs. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

TE1: Zach Ertz —Part of a big Year Two for Wentz would be taking advantage of his receivers on the outside to make big plays to Ertz up the seam. A top-10 TE, Ertz is squarely on the TE1 line and he finished as the eighth-best tight end in fantasy last season with 816 yards and four touchdowns. Ertz has been pretty good the past two seasons, going 75-853-2 in ’15 and 78-816-4 in ’16, but there is potential for more production. He showed it in a 13-139-2 performance in Week 17 and is only 26. If Wentz improves, look for Ertz to put up better numbers and be a clear TE1. (H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)

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