Eagles @ 49ers
While the 49ers offense had been on a roll with injured QB Jimmy Garoppolo on the sidelines, the Eagles’ defense never let San Francisco establish the run game on Sunday night, leading to a Philadelphia victory. We saw both defenses play well throughout the first half and a relatively low-scoring game overall to this season’s offensive standards. We saw a dominant resurgence from 49ers’ TE George Kittle after missing the last two games with a knee injury. What else did we see? Let’s dive in.
Carson Wentz: 18/28, 193 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 7 carries, 37 yards, 1 TD
While Eagles’ QB Carson Wentz did enough to earn his team a victory on Sunday night, he delivered yet another disappointing fantasy performance. Wentz took several bad sacks and struggled for much of the night against San Francisco’s defensive front, but he also made a few drive-extending plays with his legs – as he tends to do. It’s clear to see that Wentz is struggling to move the ball downfield without his top weapons at WR available. A rushing TD and a 2-point conversion salvaged a respectable fantasy performance on Sunday for Wentz, but he still isn’t providing a lot of confidence to start him in 1-QB formats. Eagles’ rookie backup QB Jalen Hurts saw a handful of snaps throughout the course of the night but hasn’t been seeing enough work to either provide fantasy relevance or take away from Wentz’s. Wentz and the Eagles will face a tough task next week against a well-rested Steelers’ defense – whose game in week 4 was postponed due to Tennessee’s COVID-19 outbreak.
Miles Sanders: 13 carries, 46 yards | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 30 yards
Boston Scott: 2 carries, 1 yard
Corey Clement: 2 carries, 3 yards
It was another disappointing outing from RB Miles Sanders and the rest of the Eagles’ RBs on Sunday night. After missing week 1 with a hamstring injury, Sanders has produced moderately well with a high touch volume – but he hasn’t always looked very impressive doing it. It stands to reason that Sanders will be more effective once some of Philly’s injured WRs return and allow the offense to stretch the field more effectively, but to this point, Sanders hasn’t yet delivered near expectations of his late first-round/early second-round ADP. While Sunday was Sanders’ lowest-scoring output thus far, RBs Boston Scott and Corey Clement aren’t cutting into Sanders’ workload hardly at all. Sanders’ near 80% snap share should still be encouraging. It feels like it’s only a matter of time before Sanders breaks out with a big game – but managers with Sanders rostered may need to wait at least one more week as Philadelphia faces a tough matchup with Pittsburgh in week 5.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Zach Ertz: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 9 yards
Greg Ward, Jr: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 38 yards
John Hightower: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards
Richard Rodgers: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards
Travis Fulgham: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 57 yards, 1 TD
You may not have recognized many names while scrolling through Philly’s pass-catchers from Sunday night. With WRs DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, Jalon Reagor, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside all sidelined with injury on Sunday night, the Eagles found themselves scrambling to dress enough WRs to play. The decision to call up second-year WR Travis Fulgham from the practice squad on Saturday proved to be a wise one as Fulgham connected with Wentz on a beautiful 42-yard TD to put the Eagles ahead in the 4th quarter. TE Zach Ertz was especially quiet, especially considering the absence of TE Dallas Goedert. It’s tough to say how long Philly’s pass-catchers will be sidelined, but I wouldn’t rush to add Fulgham or WR John Hightower from the waiver wire anytime soon. Philadelphia will want to run the offense through Miles Sanders and the run game until more of Wentz’s weapons return to action.
San Francisco 49ers
Nick Mullens: 18/26, 200 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
C.J. Beathard: 14/19, 138 yards
Fantasy managers hoping for a repeat performance from 49ers’ QB Nick Mullens in Jimmy Garoppolo‘s absence were left sorely disappointed on Sunday night. While Mullens was glad to see his favorite target back in TE George Kittle, the offense struggled to establish the run against the Eagles – and so the Eagles forced Mullens and the 49ers’ offense to be one-dimensional. Mullens was 12/12 when targeting Kittle and 6/14 while targeting anyone else. In fact, Mullens was benched in the 4th quarter for QB C.J. Beathard after throwing an ugly pick-six that effectively sealed the victory for the Eagles. Beathard led San Francisco on a quick TD drive to pull within one score towards the end of the game, but couldn’t connect with Kittle on a game-winning Hail Mary in the final seconds. If Garoppolo misses any more time, expect Beathard to get the start for the 49ers.
Jerrick McKinnon: 14 carries, 54 yards, 1 TD | 8 targets, 7 receptions, 43 yards
Kyle Juszczyk: 2 targets, 1 reception, 13 yards
Jeff Wilson: 3 carries, 6 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards
It was far from an explosive rushing performance from the 49ers offense, but RB Jerrick McKinnon scored a TD for the 4th straight game this season while finishing with nearly 100 scrimmage yards. We expected for McKinnon to anchor San Francisco’s backfield with RBs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman sidelined with injuries, and he delivered a more-than-respectable performance – especially in PPR leagues. With Mostert and Coleman out, McKinnon figures to continue to provide RB2/Flex value in HC Kyle Shanahan‘s run-heavy scheme. RB Jeff Wilson was much less involved on Sunday after his 15 touch/2 TD performance from week 3 against the Giants.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Brandon Aiyuk: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards | 1 carry, 38 yards, 1 TD
Deebo Samuel: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards | 1 carry, 10 yards
Kendrick Bourne: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 33 yards
George Kittle: 15 targets, 15 receptions, 183 yards, 1 TD | 1 carry, 8 yards
The biggest fantasy story of the night was the dominant performance from 49ers’ TE George Kittle after missing 2 weeks with a knee injury. Kittle decided to make up for lost time Sunday night – finishing with a ridiculous 15 catches on 15 targets. Historically, Kittle has been the favorite target of both QB Nick Mullens and QB CJ Beathard, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see him peppered with targets so aggressively – but it was honestly a bit surprising to see him reel in every single one of them. Kittle did drop a 2-point conversion in the 2nd half but otherwise had a perfect night for his managers – who were surely itching to see him back healthy. Rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk scored a TD for the second straight week – this time on a dazzling 38-yard catch-and-run where he completely hurdled Eagles S Marcus Epps, landed cleanly, and stepped into the end-zone. Aiyuk is starting to garner Flex start consideration but will need more volume to produce at that level consistently. 49ers’ WR Deebo Samuel made his 2020 season debut on Sunday night, finishing with a light load due to a likely snap count as he works his way back into game shape. Kittle and the 49ers offense faces a formidable, sneaky top-10 Dolphins’ defense in week 5.
-Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/LightsKamaraAction on Reddit)