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Fantasy Football: Why You Shouldn’t Draft Eagles Running Backs

Bryce Shadday breaks down why he is avoiding the Eagles’ backfield in fantasy football drafts this offseason.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - AUGUST 12: Running back D'Andre Swift #0 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 12, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Former Eagles running back Miles Sanders trolled us all last offseason by publicly stating not to draft him in fantasy for the upcoming 2022 season. Most of us believed him, but, little did we know, Sanders would rush for over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns, finishing as a solid RB2 in a high-powered Eagles offense. However, Sanders signed with the Panthers this offseason, theoretically leaving an opportunity for his former teammates Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell to gain control of the backfield. However, Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman is always looking to improve the team. To bolster the backfield, he signed former Seahawks first-rounder Rashaad Penny on a prove-it deal and shockingly traded for D’Andre Swift on the night of the NFL Draft.

With Scott, Gainwell, Swift, Penny, Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks all on the roster currently, how will the Eagles backfield shake out? Even after the first preseason game for Philadelphia, we are still searching for answers. Scott and Gainwell did not suit up for the game against the Ravens, but the Eagles’ official depth chart lists all five backs except for Brooks as starters.

Each running back possesses certain abilities that can be used in Nick Siranni’s offense in different situations. Eagles running back coach Jemal Singleton alluded to that fact this past week as he rotated all five of the top backs with the first team to begin training camp. Hopefully, a rotation may become more clear before the start of the regular season, but it could change in an instant due to injury, especially given the players we are dealing with.

Penny has missed a number of games due to multiple injuries during his time in Seattle. At 27 years old, Penny has dealt with a torn ACL, a broken tibia, two hamstring strains, a calf strain and two knee strains. These injuries have all cost him games and, in some instances, a whole season. Swift has also dealt with injuries, although not to the extent that Penny has. There is still some concern Swift could be injury prone, as fantasy managers have been waiting for the year Swift breaks out, but he was never given a full workload in Detroit. Scott and Gainwell have yet to have any injuries during their young careers, but neither has shown that they can handle a full workload either.

It will be interesting to monitor moving forward, but as a fantasy manager, I would avoid drafting Eagles running backs. There may be an opportunity to pick one up on waivers after a couple of weeks as you monitor their situation, but there are less crowded backfields to select from for the time being.