*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
There’s not a lot to take to the bank from this game because the Saints got up quick, the Eagles were already down CBs and then lost more in this game, Brees took advantage, and the whole Eagles game plan crumbled as the Saints offense looked like a video game.
You know it’s not a normal game because Michael Thomas got just 4 targets and Carson Wentz threw for 0 TDs/3 INTs.
We’ll get into the player notes in a second because there is a HUGE takeaway from this game that we have to discuss…on you know who…Josh Adams. We’ll get there.
The Eagles fall to 4-6 in a do-or-die game with NYG this week. If they can beat NYG-DAL, both home games, the next two weeks (and they should but not a ‘given’ with all their injuries), they would jump to 6-6 and be either a game out of first of tied for the division lead with 4 games left, including ones against Dallas and Washington (and the Rams).
So many injuries for Philly…we are projecting them right on the border of 8-8/9-7. If they lose one of their next two it’s pretty much over. If they lose to Dallas Week 14…it’s pretty much over. The Eagles have a very narrow window to win this division now…BUT they are playing a lot of winnable games…however, Philly is all kinds of banged up. It’s not over…but no room for error.
The Saints keep winning, which we need to keep the Rams going (not resting)…which the Rams winning is important to keep the Saints going. Had the Rams lost, the Saints would have been inching closer to throttling back players Week 16-17. It’s still possible. If you have Rams-Saints assets…you want the Saints to lose soon. Thursday vs. Atlanta would be perfect.
We see the Saints finishing 13-3/14-2, which means they will have to fight to the end to stay ahead of the Rams.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Josh Adams (7-53-1, 3-19-0/6) is the full-fledged starter for the Eagles. It has happened. At least, based on this game. I never thought I’d see the day…in 2018.
I saw something with Adams in this game that I haven’t see from an Eagles RB since they had a ton of injuries in a particular week and were forced to go with one RB most all game a year or two ago – and that is…Adams started in the backfield on almost every series. He may have been in on the first play of every series this game, I just stopped tracking it after the first 5-6 series. That’s rare…he was ‘starting’ ever series.
Usually, one RB starts for Philly…then comes another RB next series…then another. Within a series it’s the runner one play, the receiver one the next, and flip and flop looking for the hot hand or just ‘keeping fresh’. Not here. Adams started and barely came out of this game – and that’s almost unheard of for Doug Pederson.
Pederson sees what we all knew for months – Josh Adams is a stud and BY FAR the best RB on the roster. If the Eagles are going to go forward, they will be led by Josh Adams.
You see the ‘7 carries’ and think ‘more splitting’. That’s not true. He had 7 carries of the 10 the backfield had (run game ditched in the blowout). Adams played 28 snaps compared to 14 for Corey Clement (2-11-0, 2-4-0/2) and just 4 for Wendell Smallwood (1-0-0).
Even better…Adams 6 targets and the other RBs just two combined. And Adams is a good receiver. AND Adams didn’t leave when this turned frenzy all-pass comeback desperation in a blowout.
Had this been a normal game flow, I think Adams would have taken 15+ carries and saw 5+ targets…20+ touches and, thus, ‘the man’. He’s getting that vs. NYG this week and that’s why we have him as an RB1 this week – I’m all-in because I think Doug Pederson is all-in. Finally.
The ‘7 carries’ looks like a split again…so, go get him via trade ASAP if you believe. His current owner doesn’t know what they have with Adams, and they see the 9-7-7 carries the last three weeks and figure ‘issues’. That’s why FantasyPros has him #35 for the week…behind McGuire-Gore, among others. You have a perfect window here to go get him if still possible to trade.
-- Tre’Quan Smith (10-157-1/13) had quite the game. Why do we not have him ranked higher this week? A few reasons…
-Zero targets in 50 snaps the week prior.
-Keith Kirkwood (3-33-0/5) had four targets and Dan Arnold (2-25-0/2) had two targets before Tre’Quan got his first in this game. In the early going Smith wasn’t ‘a thing’.
As the game went on, Brees started hitting Smith for 5-10 yards a pop and then the Eagles lost two more DBs and then Brees just kept wearing out Smith as the lead grew…almost like they were using it as a practice session.
-Smith has missed the first two practices this week with a foot issue. If Smith is out…Keith Kirkwood is a possible deep-sleeper play.
-- Carson Wentz (19-33 for 156 yards, 0 TD/3 INTs) is fine…just a bad game. We should hold off calling for Nick Foles to come back to start for at least another week!
Two of his picks in this game were late game in-a-blowout Hail Mary-ish throws.
Wentz has had a great season until this game. 15 TDs/3 INTs, 300+ yards per game and over 70%+ completions prior to this game. If anything, he’s a ‘buy low’. The Eagles will be in shootouts ahead and that’s good for Wentz.
…and with that – Alshon Jeffrey (4-33-0/5) has been down the last few weeks, but I think he’s ready for the uptick with Wentz + the schedule + the collapsed defense forcing shootouts ahead.
-- Jordan Hicks (7 tackles) is a great ILB…and he got hurt in this game (causing more of the collapse) and may miss a week or two. He’s a great coverer of tight ends/the Eagles are a top ‘against the TE’ defense. With him missing it’s a big opportunity for Evan Engram if he can get a few targets (probably not).
-- If you ignore the Rams game Week 9, the Saints defense has allowed 20 or fewer points to opponents in five of their last 6 games. This is a really good defense that’s catching fire like KC-LAR-PIT…talented offenses allowing them to play aggressive and they have defensive talent to boot.
At DAL, at TB Weeks 13-14 might not be so bad for using them as a DST?
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams…
All clear for the Saints. Week 14-16 @TB, @CAR, PIT. You wish Week 15 was home not away…Carolina may be 50 degrees then…or if it goes bad/cold, caps the Saints’ passing game upside some.
Philly has @DAL, @LAR, HOU. That LAR game may be a passing game issue if Aqib Talib is back…but the Eagles may give up 50+ points so maybe a shootout? Good weather games except Week 16 hosting HOU might be chilly, but they’re used to that. Josh Adams played at Notre Dame…he’s fine too.
Snap Counts of Interest:
57 = Mk Thomas
50 = Tre’Quan
31 = Carr
25 = Kirkwood
21 = Watson
15 = Arnold
28 = Adams
14 = Clement
04 = Smallwood