Kickoff: Sunday, October 2 at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Lincoln Finacial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Betting Odds: PHI -6.5, 47 Total on Oddshark
Writer: Drew DeLuca (@DrewDeLaware on Twitter)
Trevor Lawrence (Sit, QB2)
Carson Wentz was treated rudely by his former team at FedEx Field last weekend. The former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was sacked an astonishing nine times, fumbled twice, and threw for only 211 yards despite racking up over 300 yards through the air in each of his two previous games under center for the Commanders. Enter Trevor Lawrence, who is coming off two stellar games of his own. The former Clemson standout has completed 70 percent of his passes in each of his last two games, tossing five touchdowns and no interceptions during that span.
A week prior, Kirk Cousins was under siege in Philadelphia despite lighting up the Green Bay Packers a week beforehand. We have little confidence that Lawrence will buck this trend and continue his superior play against an Eagles defense that’s rounding into form as one of the NFC’s best. For these reasons, Lawrence is a low-end QB2 in superflex or 2QB leagues, and a straight-up “sit” in traditional single quarterback formats.
James Robinson (Start, Flex), Travis Etienne (Start, Flex), Snoop Conner (Sit), JaMycal Hasty (Sit)
This Tweet from FantasyPros showing James Robinson taking a 4th-and-1 handoff to the house is pure perfection. Indeed, Robinson’s doctor is a miracle worker: if there was a Hall of Fame for orthopedic surgeons, he’d be wearing a mustard yellow jacket. Robinson has four touchdowns in three games, tied for tops in the NFL. He also ranks ninth in the league in rushing yards and seventh in rushing attempts. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t expected to do much of anything until the second half of the season.
The only thing more remarkable than Robinson’s incredible rebound from a catastrophic Achilles injury is the inconsistent usage of 2021 first-rounder Travis Etienne, who likewise returned strong from a season-ending injury (foot, lisfranc). Over the past two weeks, Etienne’s snap share has trended slightly lower (37 percent and 43 percent) than his Week 1 showing (51 percent). However, he has become a bigger part of the gameplan when on the field, as his touch totals have risen each week, from six in Week 1 to 16 last week.
Etienne has also been more efficient from a yards-per-touch standpoint (5.7) than Robinson (4.7) to date. He has also served as a bigger part of the passing game, receiving 10 targets to Robinson’s seven. We expect a negative game script for the Jaguars, so Eaglesre likely than not that Robinson will be stymied by the Eagles’ defense, which held Antonio Gibson to 38 rushing yards last week and a healthy Dalvin Cook to just 17 yards on the ground a week prior.
This will be an unpopular take among James Robinson managers, but Etienne may end up with the better fantasy day this Sunday, given his likely involvement in the passing game if and when the Eagles take a commanding lead. From a scoring standpoint, both grade out as “flex options,” but given the dearth of options at the running back position and subsequent injuries to several key players at the position, we understand if you need to slide in either Jaguars running back as your RB2. Whatever you do, keep Snoop Conner and JaMycal Hasty on the waiver wire where they belong.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Christian Kirk (Start, WR2), Zay Jones (Start, Flex), Marvin Jones, Jr. (Sit), Jamal Agnew (Sit), Tim Jones (Sit), Evan Engram (Sit, TE2), Chris Manhertz (Sit), Dan Arnold (Sit)
A month ago, the Jaguars were widely lampooned after inking Christian Kirk and Zay Jones to contracts of $84 million and $27 million, respectively. Kirk had never logged a 1,000-yard season, and caught more than five touchdown passes only once in his four-year career. Jones, a five-year veteran, snared only two touchdowns over his last three season, and boasted just one season with 50 or more catches, way back in 2018. Fast-forward to the present, and Kirk enters Week 4 ranked eighth in the NFL in receiving yards while tied for second in touchdown grabs. Jones has caught nearly 80 percent of passes thrown his way and is on pace for a 108-980-6 season as the Jaguars’ WR2. “Impressive” would be the understatement of the year.
When Terry McLaurin went over 100 yards last week, he became the first wide receiver to do so against the Eagles this season, hitting a mark that Amon-Ra St. Brown (64), Justin Jefferson (48), and Adam Thielen (52) failed to reach. Kirk, Jones, Marvin Jones, Jr., Jamal Agnew, and Tim Jones (whew that’s a lot of Joneses) will have their hands full with a talented secondary featuring Darius Slay, James Bradberry IV, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Avonte Maddox. Expecting the Jags’ receiving corps to maintain their stellar numbers against this group would be a mistake. Start Kirk for sure as a WR2, and if you must pick a Jones to flex, make it Zay.
At the tight end position, Evan Engram appeared to be gaining momentum after catching 11 of 12 targets in his first two games. However, Week 3, much like his career from Year 2 onward, was a disappointment. Engram managed to haul in just one of three targets for nine yards, and he’s still searching for his first touchdown of the season. The good news: the Eagles aren’t especially stingy to opposing tight ends, and Doug Pederson offenses have a way of utilizing the tight end position, especially in the red zone: two of Engram’s three targets last week came inside the 20-yard line. While Engram won’t be in many of our lineups, he could be an option for those streaming the position in larger leagues, especially those featuring TE-premium scoring systems. Chris Manhertz and Dan Arnold don’t move the needle for us, given their minor roles in this offense.
Jalen Hurts (Start, QB1)
Jalen Hurts continues to put on a show, and we don’t foresee a stumble against a Jaguars defense that doesn’t rank among the league’s tops (23rd overall) in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Up to this point, the Jaguars have faced three quarterbacks: one who doesn’t hold up well to pressure (Wentz), a bona fide statue (Matt Ryan), and a third who was shellshocked as a result of fractured rib cartilage (Justin Herbert). Forgive the pun, but Hurts will give this defense a run for its money: he leads all NFL quarterbacks in rushing touchdowns (3), and only Lamar Jackson (243) has rushed for more yards than Hurts (167). The second-year starter has overall QB1 upside, and should be in all lineups this week, without exception.
Miles Sanders (Start, RB2), Kenny Gainwell (Sit), Boston Scott (Sit)
As mentioned last week, Miles Sanders‘ fantasy production is throttled by a prolific rushing quarterback who vultures touchdowns and eats up yards between the 20s. Underutilization in positive gamescripts is a concern; Sanders has just 6 touches in three games when his team leads with fewer than four minutes to go, a time when the Eagles should ideally be feeding him to run out the clock. Sanders still managed to lead all Eagles running backs with a 59 percent snap share, outpacing both Kenny Gainwell (31 percent) and Boston Scott (10 percent).
We want pieces of this high-flying Eagles offense, and Sanders, who ranks 11th in the NFL in rushing yards, is the guy to roster in this backfield. Start him with confidence as a mid-to-high-end RB2 this week. We need to see Gainwell and Scott play larger roles before we can recommend starting (or even rostering) them in traditional leagues; the two combined for only five touches last week in a laugher that invited a run-heavy approach.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
A.J. Brown (Start, WR1), DeVonta Smith (Start, WR2), Quez Watkins (Sit), Zach Pascal (Sit), Dallas Goedert (Start), Jack Stoll (Sit), Grant Calcaterra (Sit)
First, it was A.J. Brown week: 10 catches for 155 yards in his Eagles debut. The following week, Jalen Hurts and his three total touchdowns stole the show. Not to be outdone, DeVonta Smith, last year’s first-round pick, enjoyed his breakout performance. Smith, snubbed for NFC Offensive Player of the Week in favor of Cordarelle Patterson (153 total yards and a touchdown against the lowly Seahawks), corralled eight passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. Given their demonstrated stratospheric upside, Brown and Smith are must-starts until further notice.
After streaking into the end zone for the Eagles’ longest touchdown grab of the season to date, Quez Watkins failed to catch his only target in Week 3. We loved Quez as a late-round bestball target back in August, but we fear his boom-or-bust nature in traditional managed leagues. Leave him on your waiver wire along with Zach Pascal, a professional wide receiver with real-life value who excels in nearly everything that doesn’t appear on the stat sheet.
Finally, be sure to keep Dallas Goedert in your lineups, even though Jacksonville has allowed fewer points to tight ends than any other team in the league. Goedert will be the best option at the tight end position on just about every fantasy team that rosters him, and he’ll also be the best tight end *by far* that the Jaguars have squared up against this season.
He hasn’t had his breakout week just yet, but Goedert (15.3) leads all qualified tight ends (9 or more touches) in yards per touch. Kyle Pitts (13.9) is second, followed by Gerald Everett (13.6) and Travis Kelce (12.8). We don’t expect Goedert to outpace Pitts and Kelce throughout the season, but he’ll have boom weeks in which he will, and his efficiency makes him a worthwhile weekly start at the thinnest skill position in fantasy football.