Saints @ Eagles
The story coming into this game was rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts making his first career start for the Eagles. He started off the game very well. The Eagles had three scoring drives in the first half and missed another field goal attempt on their way to a 17-0 lead. The Saints showed much better in the second half but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Eagles. The Saints scored all three of their touchdowns in the second half but narrowly missed an onside kick recovery late and lost 24-21. The Saints will host the Chiefs next week and the Eagles travel to Arizona.
New Orleans Saints
Taysom Hill: 28/38, 291 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int, 5 sacks | 5 carries, 33 yards, 1 fumble lost
Taysom Hill really struggled to move the Saints’ offense in the first half. He was not pushing the ball down the field and wasn’t running much either. Hill had 65 yards passing on 11 completions and 3 rushing yards in the first half. The Eagles lost three starters in their secondary early in the second half and Taysom Hill took advantage. All five of their second-half drives were strong. One ended in a missed field goal and another ended in a lost fumble on a sack where Hill held the ball too long. The other three were touchdown drives. Down by 10, with over six minutes left in the game, the Saints offense showed zero sense of urgency and took the clock all the way down to 2 minutes and attempted a 57-yard field goal that was missed. The Eagles turned the ball over shortly after that and the Saints scored again but that sequence was a bit discouraging. Hill may or may not get the start next week against the Chiefs. He will be a low-end QB1 thanks to his rushing ability in that game if he is starting.
Alvin Kamara: 11 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD | 10 targets, 7 receptions, 44 yards
Latavius Murray: 4 carries, 13 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, -6 yards
This was a big change in usage for Alvin Kamara compared to the other Taysom Hill starts. Kamara garnered 10 targets on Sunday compared to six total in the previous three games combined. Hill was checking the ball down a lot instead of tucking the ball and running it. Kamara scored on an easy outside run in the red zone on the first drive in the second half. Kamara is a no doubt RB1 with this kind of usage. If Hill is under center next week Kamara is a no-doubt start but would still be in the RB1/2 range. Latavius Murray has really been phased out the last couple of weeks. Sunday, the Saints were in a negative game script for the most part which does not play into Murray’s hands. He isn’t a recommended start against the Chiefs next week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Michael Thomas: 8 targets, 8 receptions, 84 yards
Emmanuel Sanders: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 48 yards, 1 TD
Jared Cook: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 37 yards, 1 TD
Tre’Quan Smith: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 60 yards
Michael Thomas was moving the chains consistently with intermediate receptions. He has been Hill’s favorite target in every start and was only out-targeted by Kamara on Sunday. He is a WR1 every week even with the backup Hill in at quarterback. Jared Cook had a grown man touchdown catch over a defender on the Saints drive to get the team within three points (see below).
— QB List (@TheQBlist) December 14, 2020
Cook didn’t do much else in this one and remains the 3rd-5th target in this offense. He is a low-end TE 1 at the moment as he needs a TD most weeks to really help you. Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders were moderately involved in this one similar to last week’s game. Sanders caught a 37-yard touchdown and made a great adjustment on the underthrown ball by Hill (great adjustment see below).
— QB List (@TheQBlist) December 13, 2020
He didn’t do much else in this game. Tre’Quan had a couple of nice chain-moving catches but he doesn’t garner enough volume to be counted on weekly. They both aren’t recommended starting options in fantasy.
Jalen Hurts: 17/30, 167 yards, 1 TD | 18 carries, 106 yards, 1 fumble lost
Jalen Hurts had a nice showing in his first career start. His touchdown in the first half to Alshon Jeffery was on a nice timing/comeback route that Hurts threw while being hit. He didn’t push the ball down the field much but he did enough to lead his team to a win. The Saints were playing a lot of man defense and Hurts was taking advantage with his legs, and Hurts had 81 rushing yards in the first half. He had both designed runs and scrambles and he ran for over 100 yards in the game overall. He did make a mistake at the end of the game though. With under two minutes left in the game and the Eagles up by 10, Hurts lost a fumble on a carry and the Saints later scored a touchdown. Hurts is an upside QB2 option at the moment and the matchup with Arizona is solid next week.
Miles Sanders: 14 carries, 115 yards, 2 TDs | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 21 yards
Boston Scott: 3 carries, 6 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards
The Eagles finally went back to committing to Miles Sanders at running back on Sunday. Jordan Howard didn’t have a touch and may have been a healthy scratch. Boston Scott was nothing more than a change of pace option in the game. With less than two minutes left in the first half, Sanders broke a tackle and outran the defense for a long 82-yard touchdown run. Other than that run there wasn’t a ton of room on the ground for Sanders. It was still nice to see the Eagles stick with him throughout the game. He scored on a short goalline run in the fourth quarter as well to further boost his stat line. Sanders was the first 100-yard rusher against the Saints in their last 56 games (that snapped the longest streak in the Superbowl era). It’s hard to know if this usage will continue for Sanders but he is a rock-solid RB2 right now (Sanders long TD below).
📺: FOX pic.twitter.com/AN4riFIYzR
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 13, 2020
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Greg Ward: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards
Alshon Jeffery: 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards, 1 TD
Jalen Reagor: 4 targets, 2 reception, 46 yards | 1 carry, 19 yards
Dallas Goedert: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 43 yards
Zach Ertz: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards
The Eagles had five players with at least three targets but no one had more than six. As mentioned before, Alshon Jeffery had the lone touchdown from Hurts. That was his only target on the day and he can’t be trusted in fantasy at the moment. Jalen Reagor had a nice 39-yard catch and run that probably should have been flagged for a “pick” penalty by Zach Ertz. Reagor has been showing some flashes in the last couple of weeks but isn’t quite getting enough usage to be a constant fantasy asset. He is in the WR4 range with upside for more. It was nice to see Dallas Goedert be used more than Ertz once again this week in Ertz’s second game back from injury. Goedert had a couple of nice chain-moving plays and remains in the TE1 conversation. Ertz is just a touchdown or bust option at this point.
— Kevin Taylor (@ktbeast918 on Twitter)