Do the Eagles - and can fantasy managers - trust Miles Sanders?
Yahoo Fantasy’s Liz Loza and Adam Rank discuss the Philadelphia running back’s outlook for 2020 and if the Eagles’ newest draft picks could steal touches. Subscribe to the Yahoo Fantasy Football Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
LIZ LOZA: Let's talk about Miles Sanders, because this is another divisive player, long lived in the shadow of Saquon Barkley, now seemingly doing that in the same division and also in fantasy. People love this player, but it doesn't feel like he's going to get the opportunity that we are all wishcasting him to have.
ADAM RANK: Yeah. As much as we want this to happen, as much as we look at Miles Sanders and we're like, this should be the guy-- we're going to be like Joke in the Madden Bowl and want to run him every play-- Doug Pederson has different ideas. And I think that last year, when he topped 200 touches or 200 carries or whatever it was, it's probably going to be very similar. Doug Pederson does not want to overload his running backs. He wants to use a nice mix. And we love him, and it's fun and all that stuff, but you can't trust that situation. You have to look at other players.
And, yeah, a guy-- as a player, if I'm a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, I love Miles Sanders and everything that he's going to bring. As a fantasy enthusiast, that is probably going to be one where the price tag is going to be a little bit too high for me.
LIZ LOZA: So let's play a little bit of over/under here, because in case anyone listening hasn't been informed yet, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane is reporting that the Eagles have shown interest in both LeSean McCoy, which, woo, that's an interest-- all right. Like-- I don't know-- for the Eagles now to be looking at McCoy, that tells me exactly what you're saying is correct in that Doug Pederson doesn't care, like he just wants someone to keep Sanders fresh. Devonta Freeman also in the mix. I think Devonta Freeman would probably command more cash than McCoy because of tread on the tires.
Let's assume, however, that neither of these guys signed week 1 with the Eagles. Are you still interested in Sanders at the end of the second round, which is just about where Melvin Gordon is going to go, who you hyped a little bit earlier?
ADAM RANK: It does seem, too, like Doug Pederson-- when I look at the Miles Sanders situation-- you have two kids, I have two kids, and it's like one of them always wants to have all the attention, and you can't do it. You want to spread it. I feel like that's the way Doug Pederson is treating his running backs. And he's gonna-- like why can't you just spend time with Miles Sanders? Why do you have to bring in other people? Like you have enough-- like you have something going on. Just do that.
But that being said, I really do believe that if Miles Sanders is not really challenged, if they don't bring in LeSean McCoy, Devonta Freeman ends up getting too much money or asking for too much money, I kind of like it the third round. I just don't believe that they're going to end up giving him the volume that's going to reward you for taking him in the second round.
LIZ LOZA: Well, also, I think when you have these rookies like Jalen Hurts, right, who's a phenomenal rusher-- in fact, one of the knocks against him as a quarterback was that he was a better rusher than passer. So we know that Pederson is going to want to do some gadgety backfield. Maybe it's hyperbolic to say we'll see Taysom Hill type stuff with Hurts. And then you also have Jalen Reagor who, at TCU, excelled in those-- gadgety again-- out-of-the-backfield jet sweep sort of formations. I don't know if you're going to see Miles Sanders get the sort of volume that you're expecting.
Also, Sanders' target total towards the end of the season-- as the whole of the receiver corps fell apart-- was super high. So I think, again, if you're looking for a regression candidate, especially in PPR-friendly formats, Sanders is not going to see like seven targets a game again.