Why did Miles Sanders say he’s not dragging him into fantasy football?

“Don’t take me in fancy no more; I really don’t care.” These were the words of the Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders in a late June interview with John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The announcement, unsurprisingly, drove the fantasy football community into a frenzy. Many people took his comment as fanciful advice, while others looked at how crime might happen in 2022, and some simply raised it for draft day.

So why did Miles Sanders say not to enlist in fantasy football? Who are his fellow running mates in Philadelphia’s backyard? Are any of them worth crafting? Let’s delve into it.

Why did Miles Sanders say not to drag him?

Although Sanders’ comments caught the eye in the fantasy community, they weren’t malicious. Instead, he offered a solution to fantasy directors resentful of his inconsistent role in crime. He said, “You’ll still get two to three points if that’s how we face our insult.”

It’s definitely been an inconsistent year for Sanders on the Philadelphia backcourt. The Penn State producer had the worst season of his career, scoring only 754 yards and 158 yards through 12 contests. He did not find the end zone. Sanders scored three games with a double-digit Fantasy score last season, and hardly one of them qualified like this: a 10.1-point finish in Week Five. He only appeared twice on the field for more than two-thirds of the Eagles’ attack. Stabilizes. When all was said and done, he finished the year as an RB44.

Sanders didn’t play offensive with too many mouths to feed, and he certainly didn’t find himself in a highly competitive backyard. So why did his production falter last season, and will he be back on track this year? Let’s look at the guns that surrounded Sanders in 2021, and then compare that to the list the Eagles will roll out in 2022.

Who are Sanders’ running buddies?

Quarterback Galen Hurts led the Eagles’ rushing attack in 2021, capturing 784 yards to the ground. He finished with just 30 yards more than Sanders but 378 yards higher than his third-busiest run, Jordan Howard, who scored three touchdowns but didn’t take into account the passing game.

While Howard has played in less than half of the Eagles’ games, players like Kenneth Jenwell and Boston Scott have been on the roster all season. In his rookie year, Gainwell amassed 291 fast yards, 253 yards, and six total touchdowns. He obviously got into the passing game more than Sanders, and also had more chances near the end zone. Scott also played a role, rushing for 373 yards while leading the backroom running with a seven touchdown.

Howard is gone, but Hurts, Jenuel and Scott remain active members of the Eagles offensive in 2022. The three (plus Sanders) have a chance of carving out a quick workload next season, but Jenuel’s stock is the most likely bullish considering his young age (23) And his superb skills on the ground and in cross attack. Gainwell’s prowess will earn him more playing time over Sanders and Scott, especially in touchdowns where fantasy points come in handy.

Not only was Sanders’ value affected by the backroom running, but the Eagles’ wide receiving corps could dictate how Sanders will rate in 2022. Last season, Hurts threw for 3,144 yards and only 16 touchdowns. He used his arm to take to the field, but once the Eagles were centered in the red, he preferred to run or deliver the ball himself rather than pass. The Eagles’ poor set of wide receivers is likely a factor in this bypass approach. Philadelphia had Dallas Goedert as its big narrow end, but the rest of the group left a lot to be desired.

Rookie DeVonta Smith has only eight goals from the red zone, which is ranked 59th among NFL receivers. Overall, the Eagles ranked 23rd in the red zone goals (58) and 20th in the red zone (38) reception. This proves that Philadelphia threw the ball into the red zone well below the league average (73.5 goals), instead confident in the rushing attack to find his paycheck. Results? Sanders is still zero touchdowns and only 15 on the backcourt as a whole.

Statistics of the red zone via the sports reference

Heading into 2022, the Eagles’ red zone divisions won’t be conducive to the appearance of the racer. Hurts is expected to throw the ball more, and big-bodied team AJ Brown added to the receiving team. The former Tennessee Titans wide receiver had 11 red-zone goals and three red-zone touchdowns last year. Hurts will be given more chances to throw the ball near the end zone this coming year, which doesn’t bode well for any linebackers, especially Sanders and Scott.

In the face of increased competition and an unfavorable use of the red zone, Sanders’ fictional stock is not expected to look any better in 2022 than it did last year.

Which eagles running backwards should I design?

Sanders is currently drafted at an ADP of 87, making him the 31st decliner of the board. In theory, this means he should have a medium to low RB3/FLEX value every week. Although it didn’t achieve that level of production in 2021, it finished the RB24 title in 2020 and the RB14 in 2019, so it has a history of delivering solid value in the lineups.

He is also entering into a general contract and is in good health, having missed nine matches in the past two seasons. These two factors bode well for Sanders’ pursuit of a positive regression toward the importance of imagination in 2022, whether he wants to or not. It’s worth crafting at its current price, but fantasy directors have to admit that it can’t guarantee legitimate fantasy points per week.

Gainwell enters fantasy drag season with an ADP 128, the equivalent of the RB46. He’s certainly going forward and offering promise in a passing game, but he’s still hard to trust as the fourth best player on the roster. The current ADP coined it before such interesting names as Tyler Allgeier, James Robinson and Ronald Jones. He was also drafted to 25 spots prior to receiving fellow NFC East teammate, JD McKissic. If you’ve built a solid back core in the first rounds of your draft, you can try swinging for a run with Gainwell at its current price. Other than that, it is very expensive at the moment.

The final piece of the puzzle is Scott, who has an ADP of 271 (RB76). Assuming you still have list points open at that point in the draft, it’s a good option, especially if you picked Sanders earlier. He doesn’t offer any oomph in the passing game but he definitely showed a talent for physical running and finding the end zone last season. Scott is a good hideout on the bench in the deep leagues and is crafted around players with similar shares, such as Chuba Hubbard, Rex Burkhead, Mike Davis, Jeff Wilson and Samaji Perrin.

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