Football Team @ Eagles
In a game that the Washington Football Team had to win to qualify for the NFL playoffs, they got a little help from somewhere they weren’t expecting it – that’s right, the Philadelphia Eagles themselves. In a head-scratching moment, rookie QB Jalen Hurts was pulled from the game and replaced by 3rd-stringer QB Nate Sudfeld. The NBC broadcast crew mentioned that Eagles’ Head Coach Doug Pederson had said to them that he wanted to get Sudfeld into the game. If it seems like he wanted to play Sudfeld to help the Eagles secure the #6 pick instead of the #9 pick in the ’21 NFL Draft, that is as good a guess as any. Washington would turn over Sudfeld twice and hold the Eagles scoreless in the 2nd half to win the NFC East Division title. What does all of this mean for your fantasy championships? Let’s dive into what we saw:
Washington Football Team
Alex Smith: 22/32, 162 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs | 1 carry
Not enough can be said about the courage and determination it’s taken for Washington QB Alex Smith to even return to the football field this season – let alone lead his team to a playoff berth after a 2-7 start. Smith started off with a great first drive – hitting a variety of receivers on short passes and taking advantage of yardage gained after the catch. He had a tough time moving the ball deep downfield, but put together a few solid TD drives. While it’s a fantastic story about Smith leading Washington to a home playoff game against Tampa Bay, Smith hasn’t been much of a factor in fantasy football this season. If you were relying on Smith to help you in your championship game, you were probably left disappointed.
Antonio Gibson: 19 carries, 75 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards
J.D. McKissic: 2 carries | 8 targets, 5 receptions, 30 yards
Peyton Barber: 4 carries, 10 yards
It was a disappointing night if you needed any of the Washington backfield to help you in your championship games this weekend. RB Antonio Gibson came into the game without an injury designation and carried a pretty typical workload, but his failure to find the end-zone led to a disappointing week. RB/WR J.D. McKissic had a quiet night as well – his 7 touches in the game were his fewest since Week 7 against Dallas. It should be said that Washington ran Gibson more towards the end to try and hold their lead and ice the game, so McKissic only saw 44% of the offensive snaps. While they may have finished with a dud, both Gibson and McKissic will look ahead to a possible improvement at QB in 2021.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Terry McLaurin: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD
Cam Sims: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 43 yards
Steven Sims: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards | 1 carry, 18 yards
Logan Thomas: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 37 yards, 1 TD
While there weren’t many receiving yards to be had for Washington receivers Sunday night, both WR Terry McLaurin and TE Logan Thomas made the most of their touches by finding the end zone. Coming into this week, McLaurin had been nursing the same ankle injury that kept him out last week against Carolina – but he was able to suit up and add a 4th TD to his 2020 campaign totals. Lack of solid QB play definitely played a part in limiting McLaurin’s upside this season, but he still worked his way to low-end WR2 production overall. Thomas’ TD was a beautiful leaping grab that used all of his 6’6″ frame and 36-inch vertical leap. Thomas hadn’t scored since Week 13 against Pittsburgh, but even with limited TDs Thomas produced enough to finish as the TE3. A new QB situation in Washington could certainly boost the value of these receivers next season.
What a grab by Logan Thomas to put #WashingtonFootball ahead!
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2021
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2021
Jalen Hurts: 7/20, 72 yards, 1 INT | 8 carries, 34 yards, 2 TDs
Nate Sudfeld: 5/12, 32 yards, 1 INT | 2 carries, 12 yards, 1 fumble
With the game very much still on the line at the start of the 4th quarter, Eagles’ 3rd-string QB Nate Sudfeld entered the game for the Eagles – and promptly turned it over twice and allowed Washington to hold on for the victory. Sudfeld was so bad, the Eagles may as well have played QB Carson Wentz. That was a joke of course, but it really did appear as though Doug Pederson decided that the #6 pick would be worth Sudfeld-ing away his chances at winning Sunday night. Hurts ran for 2 TDs on back-to-back possessions in the 2nd quarter on Sunday night, but was visibly inefficient throwing the ball and did absolutely nothing on Philadelphia’s three 3rd-quarter possessions before being pulled for Sudfeld. If you played Hurts in hopes of winning a championship, his 2 rushing TDs may have just been enough to bail you out.
Boston Scott: 15 carries, 65 yards | 5 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards
Corey Clement: 1 carry, 1 yard | 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards
With RB Miles Sanders being held out with a sore knee, we figured we’d see some RB Boston Scott in this one. Scott made a couple of decent outside runs here and there throughout the game, but wasn’t able to score or otherwise do enough to really stand out. RB Corey Clement mustered only 8 total yards on his two touches. On a night where Philadelphia’s offense struggled most of the time and played from behind a lot of the time, these RBs didn’t have a suitable game script to provide very much fantasy output. Hopefully if you had Scott as your handcuff, you looked elsewhere for your starting lineup this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Jalen Reagor: 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 40 yards
Travis Fulgham: 2 targets, 1 reception, 15 yards
Zach Ertz: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 16 yards
Like the RB group, the Eagles’ pass-catchers failed to make many impact plays against Washington on Sunday night. WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had one of the more exciting catches of the night – a contested ball where he high-pointed it over good coverage to set up first-and-goal. WRs Jalen Reagor and Travis Fulgham both finished with exactly one catch for 15 yards. This was another super depressing group this week – hopefully you avoided any of these WRs at all costs. Other than their prized rookie Reagor, the rest of the Eagles’ pass-catchers could look a lot different next season. It will be interesting to see which free agent WRs might fly to Philly to join up with Hurts and the new-look Eagles’ offense.
— Corey Saucier (Deputy_Commish on Twitter, LightsKamaraAction on Reddit)