2019 Fantasy Football Preview: NFC East

Friday, Jul 5, 2019 at 12:00 pm ET

Training camps will be here before you know it followed quickly by the preseason. That means that fantasy drafts are right around the corner as is your fantasy research. Let's start that research with the NFC East.

Aggregated team reviews are below.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys

This offense runs through Zeke. He's as consistent and productive as you can hope to get. He continually leads the league in rushing yards per game and there's no reason to think that it won't happen again in 2019. The Cowboys also have a legitimate WR1 in Amari Cooper to start the year which they didn't have last season. While they lost RB Rod Smith and WR Cole Beasley, they added veteran WR Randall Cobb from the Packers.

Top Fantasy Player

Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott - RB

Ezekiel Elliott is a no-doubt-about-it top-four Fantasy pick, if not the No. 1 overall choice regardless of format. He's the most consistent player in Fantasy, hitting 10-plus non-PPR points in 37 of 40 career games. That's thanks to recording 100 total yards in 29 career outings. The Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines out there, Elliott is just 24 years old and is expected to continue his increased role in the passing game this season. After two improbable years with just nine total touchdowns, expect Elliott to easily find 1,500 total yards, 12-plus scores and become a reason why you win your league.

Best Fantasy Players By Position

PositionPlayerPosition RankAuction Price
QBDak Prescott13th$8
RBEzekiel Elliott2nd$65
WRAmari Cooper12th$38
TEJason Witten31st$0

Sleeper: Tony Pollard

The Cowboys selected rookie running back Tony Pollard in the fourth round of the NFL Draft from Memphis, and he's expected to compete with Darius Jackson and fellow rookie Mike Weber for the backup running back job in Dallas behind Ezekiel Elliott. Most likely, Jackson will be in that spot, but Pollard could carve out touches in a hybrid role as a running back and receiver. That said, it isn't likely to be many touches, but keep an eye on his role in training camp. He could be worth a late-round flier in seasonal leagues if he's No. 2 on the depth chart behind Elliott.

Breakout: Michael Gallup

Michael Gallup could be ready for a sophomore breakout this season, and he's someone to target in all leagues with a late-round pick. He will be the No. 2 receiver in Dallas this year opposite Amari Cooper, and he should prove to be a go-to option for Dak Prescott. Even with the addition of Randall Cobb and the return of Jason Witten, there should be enough targets to help Gallup produce as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver. He won't be a weekly starter in most leagues barring a dramatic boost in production, but he did close last year with double digits in PPR points in three of his final five games. And in the NFL playoffs, he scored against Seattle in the wild-card round and had six catches for 119 yards in the divisional-round loss to the Rams.

Bust Alert: Jason Witten

These Cowboys figure to throw the ball more often than they did in 2016 or 2017, which would grow the entire target pie. But Witten will also face much more target competition than he did at the end of his first Cowboys stint. That's bad news for a volume-driven fantasy asset. He'll likely pop up for spot starts here and there, but don't expect Witten to return as a reliable weekly fantasy starter.

N.Y. Giants N.Y. Giants

Depending upon your perspective, the biggest news out of New York is either the drafting of Duke QB Daniel Jones or the departure of stud WR Odell Beckham Jr. From a fantasy perspective, Jones is not fantasy-relevant so Beckham is the big topic. His departure leaves a void that Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and newly-acquired Golden Tate will need to fill. The biggest fantasy threat here is obviously Saquon Barkley who is an absolute fantasy monster for both rushing and receiving.

Top Fantasy Player

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley - RB

Saquon Barkley lived up to the hype as a rookie in 2018, and hopefully he won't suffer a sophomore slump this season. We don't expect that to happen, which is why he's a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in all leagues and should come off the board no later than No. 3 overall. He did everything you can ask for last season when he had more than 2,000 total yards, caught 91 passes and scored 15 touchdowns. The Giants beefed up their offensive line with the additions of Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers, and this offense will run through Barkley now that Odell Beckham is gone. One problem for Barkley could be defenses focusing on him, but that was the case as a rookie as well. And he still managed 24.1 PPR points per game. Barkley is awesome, and you'll be happy if he's on your Fantasy team.

Best Fantasy Players By Position

PositionPlayerPosition RankAuction Price
QBEli Manning30th$0
RBSaquon Barkley1st$64
WRSterling Shepard35th$11
TEEvan Engram6th$18

Sleeper: Sterling Shepard

Sterling Shepard could be the No. 1 receiver for the Giants this season now that Odell Beckham (Browns) is gone. Shepard will compete with Golden Tate for the top spot, and it will be interesting to see who leads the Giants in targets this season, especially when you factor in Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley. Shepard is worth drafting with a mid- to late-round pick in all leagues, and he had a touchdown or at least 100 receiving yards in two of the four games Beckham missed at the end of last year. The biggest issue for Shepard will be role, because he's better suited to play in the slot than outside. But Tate is also better in the slot as well. It would not be a surprise to see Shepard outperform his draft value, but you also don't want to overvalue him now that Beckham is gone. Figure you should draft Shepard after Round 9 in most formats.

Breakout: Evan Engram

There are only three tight ends we feel certain are going to be good in 2019. At the top of the next group is Evan Engram, which makes him worthy of a late-fourth or early-fifth round pick. Engram has been outstanding without Odell Beckham and should continue that success even with Golden Tate in town. He's better viewed as a bridge between the elite tight ends and the rest, and he may be joining the former group this season.

Bust Alert: Golden Tate

Tate hits a WR corps of similar talents, which could mean more outside playing time. But he's a short-range wideout who will now play with either one of the league's worst QBs (Eli Manning) or a questionable rookie (Daniel Jones) -- in an offense set to spread the targets around. There's nothing to get excited about with Tate, who should be no more than a WR4 in any format.

Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles

The success of the Eagles hinges upon the health of Carson Wentz. If he can stay healthy, there's some optimism in Philly. There's also nowhere to really go but up. Wendell Smallwood led the backfield last year and finished the season as a fantasy RB5. Plenty of other cast members tried but ultimately failed to be fantasy relevant (Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, Nelson Agholor). While Alshon Jeffery finished the season as a high-end WR3, the real fantasy option on this offense is stud TE Zach Ertz. Ertz is as safe a pick as it gets at the TE position.

Top Fantasy Player

Zach Ertz

Zach Ertz - TE

If you like targets and love receptions, and you want your lineup to stand out from your league rivals, draft Zach Ertz between 20th and 30th overall. Ertz caught the second-most passes of any player last year and has regularly finished as a top-3 Fantasy tight end in Fantasy points and consistency over the last two seasons. Defenses have a hard time matching up with him and Philadelphia has become an offensive juggernaut. He's one of the safest picks you could possibly make.

Best Fantasy Players By Position

PositionPlayerPosition RankAuction Price
QBCarson Wentz10th$10
RBMiles Sanders41st$8
WRAlshon Jeffery22nd$23
TEZach Ertz3rd$38

Sleeper: Dallas Goedert

Zach Ertz is the top tight end in Philadelphia, and Goedert will get limited targets, especially since the Eagles also have Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor in the receiving corps. However, Goedert might be the best No. 2 tight end in the NFL, and all he needs is additional targets to be successful. As a rookie in 2018, Goedert had three games with at least five targets, and he scored at least 14 PPR points in each outing. Goedert is worth drafting with a late-round pick in deeper leagues this year.

Breakout: Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders has the chance to be the lead running back for the Eagles this year, and he's worth drafting as early as Round 5 in most leagues. The Eagles selected Sanders in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft from Penn State, and he should prove to be the best running back in Philadelphia. His main competition will come from Jordan Howard, but the Eagles also have Josh Adams, Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood on the roster. But Sanders enters the NFL with the most talent of this group, and he's worth drafting as a flex option with the chance to be a starting running back in all formats. At Penn State, Sanders replaced Saquon Barkley when he left for the NFL in 2018, and he rushed for 1,274 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns while adding 24 receptions for 139 yards. The Eagles don't have a good track record of featuring one running back under coach Doug Pederson -- LeGarrette Blount's 173 carries in 2017 are the most -- but Sanders could change that. He's someone to covet on Draft Day this year.

Bust Alert: Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery is the No. 1 receiver in a very good offense, with a creative head coach and a borderline great quarterback. But due to his inconsistency and the focus of the offense, you shouldn't draft him before the sixth round. For one thing, Zach Ertz is going to lead the team in targets, and if past history is any indication, the rest of the targets will be spread around. Jeffery has averaged just 7.3 targets per game as an Eagle. With his career efficiency that makes 1,000 yards a long shot even if he plays 16 games, which he's only done once since 2014. Jeffery is a fine No. 3 receiver who should score touchdowns.

Washington Redskins Washington Redskins

The QB situation is not particularly pretty here with Case Keenum, first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, Colt McCoy, and Alex Smith on the depth chart. While the Redskins re-signed veteran RB Adrian Peterson, your eyes should be on Derrius Guice who will be back this season. The problem comes down to usage and how those carries will be split.

Top Fantasy Player

Jordan Reed

Jordan Reed - TE

If Jordan Reed can stay healthy, he could be a standout Fantasy tight end, but that been the case for three seasons in a row. After a breakout season in 2015 when he was challenging the likes of Rob Gronkowski to be the No. 1 Fantasy tight end, he's missed 17 games over the past three years. And even though he played 13 games last season, he battled through foot and toe injuries. Coach Jay Gruden said Reed is healthy now, and it would be great if he can play 16 games for the first time in his career. Washington needs him with a receiving corps led by Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn, and Fantasy players would love to get a quality tight end like Reed playing at a high level. He's worth drafting with a late-round pick in all formats, and he could be a top-10 tight end by the end of the year.

Best Fantasy Players By Position

PositionPlayerPosition RankAuction Price
QBCase Keenum34th$0
RBAdrian Peterson50th$1
WRJosh Doctson83rd$0
TEJordan Reed16th$2

Sleeper: Jordan Reed

Again, the question for Reed becomes his health and how long you'll be able to use him on your team. When he's on the field, he's fantastic, but he has yet to finish a full 16-game season. He's a great target - particularly in the endzone. The nice thing about Reed is that his ADP puts him squarely in backup-TE territory and that's great value.

Breakout: Paul Richardson

Paul Richardson should be a key member of Washington's receiving corps this season, and he's worth a look with a late-round pick in deeper leagues. He had an injury-marred 2018 campaign, his first in Washington, but he did score double digits in PPR points in three of the seven games he appeared in. He's not someone to covet in most leagues, but he could be worth a late-round flier in deeper formats. Washington could lean heavily on Richardson with a receiving corps that features Josh Doctson, Trey Quinn, Jordan Reed and rookies Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon. Just make sure Richardson's shoulder is fine before drafting him this season.

Bust Alert: Josh Doctson

Doctson has been a disappointment through three seasons in the NFL, and he has yet to have 50 catches, 500 yards or more than six touchdowns in any season. But with the rest of this receiving corps looking like Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn, Brian Quick and rookies Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon, you can see there's an opportunity for Doctson to make plays. The question is whether or not he'll capitalize on them.

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