November 4, 2022, 2:35 pm
Eagles 29, Texans 17 (Texans covered +14, O 45)
Pregame: No, you didn’t read that wrong – the one-win Texans are 14-point home underdogs to the undefeated Eagles. Philly brings with them the third-best scoring offense and fourth-best scoring defense, both of which should have no issues handling the Texans and produce plenty of fantasy points in the process. Houston’s scoring defense is actually almost league-average, yet they’re the third-worst team in terms of yards given up. The Eagles are six-best in red zone scoring percentage, so the Texans will have their hands full.
The biggest trade deadline move between these two teams was the Eagles’ huge acquisition of DE Robert Quinn. More on the fantasy D/ST ramifications there, but another fun nugget is that Quinn could become the first player in NFL history to play 18 games in a season since the Eagles already had their bye in Week 7 and the Bears had played a full slate leading up to the trade.
Postgame: They did it, the Eagles have their first 8-0 regular season start in franchise history. It wasn’t in hand until late though, as the Texans drew first blood and actually entered the second half tied. Houston actually had a much better overall running game than the Eagles (sixth-most rushing yards on the season), out-gaining them 168-143 in net yards rushing and a YPC margin of 5.3-4.6. It didn’t matter in the end, as Jalen Hurts’ four-yard passing strike to Dallas Goedert in the endzone early in the fourth was all they’d need to pull away. Fantasy-wise, most managers with Eagles players went to bed happy, while Dameon Pierce truthers enjoyed a new career-high in single-game rushing yards for the talented rookie.
Pregame: Jalen Hurts has paved his way to fantasy’s overall QB4 at the midseason mark with a lot of consistency. He has only two sub-20 point efforts but has also not scored less than 16.9 points in any game. Hurts will actually face his stiffest test of the season yet in the Texans, who have actually given up the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. However, that’s not necessarily against quarterbacks who play like Hurts, because the Texans are actually the single most vulnerable team in the NFL against running backs and we know how much the ground game anchors Hurts’ fantasy production.
Postgame: Hurts didn’t have a great first half, with a critical lost fumble after a Steven Nelson sack early in the second quarter that was a key reason the Texans managed to get to halftime with the score knotted up. He settled down afterwards and closed the door on the victory with two second half touchdown passes to A.J. Brown and Dallas Goedert. Fantasy managers still enjoyed a 20-point fantasy day from Hurts (21-243-2 passing, two-point conversion), but it was his third-straight underwhelming game on the ground (9-23-0 rushing). He’s averaged a putrid 3.0 YPC over his last three games and hasn’t topped 27 yards rushing since Week 5. Houston has been the eighth-best team at limiting QB rushing yards, so it’s worth a tip of the cap to them. But, Hurts will need to get the legs going again the next couple weeks against two beatable defenses allowing the 16th and 18th-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks in the Commanders and Colts, respectively.
Pregame: After a few seesaw weeks, Sanders finally strung together back-to-back double-digit fantasy efforts (albeit sandwiching their bye week) over his last two outings. That Steelers game was actually the first time all season he had single-digit carries, but that was largely due to the game being out of hand early, resulting in Sanders being given the fourth quarter off along with the rest of the Eagles starters. As such, he should be coming into this mouthwatering matchup against the worst defense against fantasy running backs extremely fresh, having only toted the rock nine times in two weeks because of the bye. There’s still no threat to his workload from anyone else on the depth chart at the moment at the RB position, so he should be locked in for a great game.
Postgame: Make that three out of the past four games now that Miles Sanders (17-93-1 rushing, 15.3 total fantasy points) has churned out 13.7-plus fantasy points. He’s achieved this despite a disappearing role in the passing game, where he has a grand total of one receiving yard over his past three games. It’s certainly a bit of a PPR bummer, but overall Sanders’ fantasy season to-date has been a net positive especially given the disappointing 2021 season and worrisome offseason chatter from him personally about his role in the offense. Sanders also had a very healthy 17-5 running snap advantage over his backfield mates, which saw a decent game from Kenneth Gainwell (4-22-1 rushing, 3-16-0 receiving, 11.3 total fantasy points) after he had basically disappeared for a month from fantasy relevance. Gainwell ran nine routes compared to none for Sanders, so perhaps he’ll regain some PPR flex appeal here down the stretch run.
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