Season-Long Fantasy Outlook - NFC East

Check out this post for a breakdown of my philosophy on each position

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Vegas has the Cowboys regular season win total set at 9, which means they think it should be a decent season for this team. Their defense is one of the best in the NFC, so I think this number is more a reflection on great defense than it is on great offense.

Quarterback: Sure, take a shot on Dak and play him when he gets easy matchups.

Running Back: This is another messy backfield that I want more details on before I make a decision. Ezekiel Elliott is still holding out, but the team remains optimistic that he won’t miss any games. While that may be the case, there is still some risk in taking him early on. If we get word that he is signing a long-term deal before the season starts, I think he’s worth a top 5 pick. If not, I would probably rather have Deandre Hopkins or Michael Thomas if I had the 4th or 5th overall pick.

The only other guy worth mentioning is rookie 4th round pick Tony Pollard out of Memphis. If this team doesn’t reach a deal with Elliott, Pollard could become this season’s James Conner. He’s projected to be selected in the 14th or 15th round. If I’m looking through names in the 12th or 13th round and nobody is standing out, I may reach a little bit on a guy with a ton of upside.

Wide Receiver: The three receivers we are looking at here are Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb. Amari Cooper was fantastic after joining the Cowboys last season, but his projections are just a little too much for me. I don’t feel the need to go up and take him early in the 3rd round when guys like Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Stefon DIggs, and Kenny Golladay will be available in the 4th round. Cooper should be good, but I see him as a little overvalued in an offense with some uncertainty surrounding it.

Michael Gallup is 23 years old and is entering his 2nd season in the NFL. While he didn’t really do much to impress last season, it is not unreasonable to think he could take a huge step forward in year 2. He projects to be an 8th round pick and I can definitely see taking a shot on him if he falls in your lap this year. I’m not prioritizing him, but I would not be surprised if he averaged 12 points per game this year.

Randall Cobb is too old and not talented enough for me to use a draft pick on. I just don’t personally see any upside in a guy who got a significant downgrade at quarterback moving from Green Bay to Dallas.

Tight End: There’s one robot worth mentioning on this offense and that’s Jason Witten. I won’t take him, but if he can be the player he used to be he’s good for the 6-12 points per week you’re looking for in a late round tight end.

New York Giants

The Giants regular season win total is set at 6, which is a little higher than I would have expected it to be. That means that either Vegas or the public thinks Daniel Jones could be decent this season. Either way, we don’t learn a lot from this line.

Quarterback: Do whatever you want. I’m taking a wait and see approach here with Daniel Jones.

Running Back: Saquon Barkley should be the first or second pick in the draft this season and it’s not particularly close. After that it’s Wayne Gallman, who can be used as a handcuff to Barkley but his upside is limited by the fact that he’s not nearly the player Saquon is. Saquon is one of the only running backs in the NFL whose talent is the biggest reason for his fantasy production.

Wide Receiver: This goes right along with the quarterback situation here. Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are the only real talented receivers I see on this team, and their value will completely depend on the quarterback situation. Shepard projects as an early 7th round pick, so if you believe in Daniel Jones you should absolutely be reaching on him in the 5th or 6th round. If Jones is good, Shepard will be good.

Tate is interesting regardless of what happens with this quarterback situation. He is an easy guy to work into an offense because he runs a lot of short routes. He should cut out a decent chunk of this offense compared to his past situations and I can see using an 11th or 12th round pick on him.

Tight End: Evan Engram is one of the top fantasy tight ends in the league this season. He’s young, he’s large, he’s fast, and he’s just a good player. This team doesn’t have Odell Beckham Jr. anymore so they have to throw the ball to somebody. I can see Engram being a guy who eats up 8+ targets per game and finishes the season as a top 5 fantasy tight end. He projects as an early 6th round pick. I’ll be reaching a little bit to make sure I get him this season.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have one of the highest projected win totals in the league this season at 10.5. They should be the best team in this division and they have a chance to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl once again. I live in Philadelphia, so I usually draft with Eagles fans who reach on all their players, so I never really wind up with Eagles on my team. I’ll breeze through this team pretty quickly.

Quarterback: Carson Wentz will be great but I don’t see the need to use an 8th round pick on him.

Running Back: Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, and Corey Clement should all share the workload in this backfield. The only guy I have interest in is Miles Sanders, but I already know the people I draft with will be reaching on him so I’m not even going to bother.

Wide Receiver: It’s Alshon Jeffrey, Desean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor as the main guys on this unit with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins as the young guys. Jeffrey is the most talented receiver on this team, but these guys will all compete for targets and I just don’t think I see the need to reach on any of them.

Tight End: Am I missing something on Zach Ertz? I expected to see him taken up near Travis Kelce in the 2nd round but he’s projected to go in the middle of the 3rd. I doubt I will have a chance to get him because of all the Eagles fans in my leagues, but if he’s around when I’m picking I will absolutely consider reaching on him. He’s a target machine.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins have a surprisingly respectable 6.5 projected regular season win total that makes me feel like this team could be decent. I don’t even know who the quarterback of this team will be, but apparently they’re not going to be too horrible?

Quarterback: No.

Running Back: I expect Derrius Guice to quickly bypass the aging Adrian Peterson as the lead back on this team, but I don’t think he’ll ever take the 3rd down responsibilities away from Chris Thompson. We are used to dealing with running backs sharing workloads in 2019, however it’s tough to gauge how valuable these guys can really be.

The best case scenario for Guice is this: He takes over for AP as the early down back and gets 15-20 carries per game including all the red zone carries. This would probably make him a guy who can get you 10-15 points per game with the occasional 20-point ceiling game mixed in. There is some upside here, but I don’t want to use a 6th round pick on a guy with this much uncertainty.

The only other guy to look at here is Chris Thompson who showed last year he’s worth a late round flyer. He’s a talented player who can catch passes and would become an elite fantasy running back if injuries opened up early-down opportunities for him. Outside of that, he’ll give you 4-12 points per week and ultimately just frustrate you all season long.

Wide Receiver: This is an interesting unit. Sheesh. Usually teams have at least one wide receiver projected as a somewhat-respectable early fantasy pick. This team has an extremely young unit consisting of Josh Doctson, Cam Sims, Trey Quinn, Paul Richardson, and a few other random dudes I’ve never heard of. My personal opinion here is to wait and see if anybody separates themselves from the rest of this bunch and to hit the waiver wire hard here. There’s no clear number 1 receiver right now, but I would not be surprised if one of these guys has a breakout season in 2019.

Tight End: You know what you’re getting from Jordan Reed. He’s a really good player who is going to be hurt all year long. When healthy, he can be one of the best tight ends in fantasy, unfortunately staying healthy is not too easy for him. He’s ranked as the 13th overall tight end so I think you can take a shot on him as long as you have a decent backup plan. If he falls to me in the 12th round I think I’d be willing to give him a shot because I know the upside is there.

About the Author

  • Matt Shanahan (mshanahan)

  • Matt Shanahan is an engineer by trade and firmly believes in data-driven analytics. He grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. His betting strategy is to develop theories, create models to test those theories, and then collect data to see what works and what doesn’t.

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