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Assessing Fantasy Value for Eagles Miles Sanders

The second-year running back should be an owner's first pick, though later in the first round, but there are some things to be wary of when it comes to him

Among the many dilemmas for NFL fantasy owners when it comes time to building their rosters is where to draft Eagles running back Miles Sanders.

My colleague Corey Parson, known as the Fantasy Executive, and I have a slight difference in opinion in where Sanders should be drafted, and there are some things to take into consideration when making the decision on the Eagles' second-year back from Penn State.

It’s no secret that head coach Doug Pederson likes to use a running-back-by-committee approach, a system he rode to a Super Bowl title with LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi, and Corey Clement in 2017.

Pederson has yet to have a running back run for more than 1,000 yards in a season since his arrival in 2016. The last Eagles back to top a number that seems routine in the era of a 16-game schedule was LeSean McCoy in 2014.

Sanders came close, ending with 818 rushing yards as a rookie.

Of course, Sanders also offers value in the passing game. He had 50 catches for 509 yards receiving.

Sanders is a solid first pick for any team. My feeling is he is a solid pick in the eight to 15 range, so he could even be had early in the second round of a draft depending on how large the league is.

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Parson isn’t so sure, as you can see from the attached video, and there are some things to factor in with Sanders.

The biggest is Pederson’s approach, but my opinion is the Eagles are going to rely heavily on Sanders, even though the team is seriously considering bringing in one of three veteran running backs: McCoy, Carlos Hyde, and Devonta Freeman.

Hyde, however, was removed from consideration Friday evening when he agreed to terms with the Seattle Seahawks.

Sanders’ touches will increase in the running game this season. He had 179 last year. That will rise to above 200, probably closer to 250.

Even with the addition of a veteran, the Eagles’ depth behind Sanders isn’t great.

Yes, Boston Scott will be a nice change-of-pace runner, but the others have yet to play an NFL game, including Elijah Holyfield, who the Eagles grabbed during the first week of the playoffs from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad, and undrafted rookies Adrian Killins and Michael Warren.

Sanders will eat this season and any fantasy owner would be wise to grab him early.