Miles Sanders has No. 1 overall fantasy upside

Andrew Porter
August 19, 2020 - 1:22 pm

The Philadelphia Eagles are making it clear: We need to be drafting Miles Sanders in our Fantasy Football drafts this summer.

Speaking virtually on Wednesday with reporters, Eagles assistant head coach / running backs coach Duce Staley raved over Sanders.

There are many reasons to like Sanders this year in Fantasy Football, but the main reason may be volume. The Eagles' depth chart at running back is Sanders' for the taking, as Jordan Howard is no longer with the team. The Eagles let Howard go and did not invest in the position at all, essentially making Sanders a workhorse back, something Staley is hyping up in the media.

"You saw Miles get better, get better, and better in the passing game," Staley told reporters on Wednesday. "From protection, to running routes, and catching the ball. And those were the three main things in being an elite third down back. Protection is number one, route running is number two, and of course we all know you gotta catch the ball.

"And I felt Miles continuing to climb the mountain and continuing to get better in all three phases."

Last season when Howard was not in the lineup, Sanders averaged 17.2 points per reception fantasy points per game, per J.J. Zachariason of NumberFire.com. The number, averaged out for the entire season, would have made Sanders a top-10 PPR fantasy player.

Sanders played 16 games last year as a rookie, but started just 11 and played only 53% of the team's offensive snaps. Still, Sanders tallied 818 yards on the ground and 509 yards in the air on 50 catches, scoring six times.

Sanders' snap share is guaranteed to increase, and it should increase dramatically. Accumulating 1,000 rushing yards, 1,000 receiving yards, 60+ catches, and 10+ total touchdowns is a certainly a realistic possible outcome for the 23-year-old former Penn Stater.

The Eagles as a team projected to win 9.5 games, score a lot of points, accumulate a lot of yards, and win football games. DeSean Jackson is 33 coming off an injury. Alshon Jeffery is on the PUP list. Jalen Reagor is a rookie. The only other dependable offensive weapon on the Eagles is Zach Ertz (and I guess Dallas Goedert to a lesser extent), who does not have the explosiveness, youth, or upside like Sanders does.

The Eagles' backfield, and essentially offense, is all Sanders' and he could be staring at a breakout season or even an MVP season, something he's talked about plenty this offseason.

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