Eagles Start Em/Sit Em, Week 1

Week 1's always a bit harder to get a hold on for fantasy football, but we make an educated guess for Sunday's match-up with the Jaguars. Here's one player to start, and one to sit.

START: Brent Celek

Despite all of the fantasy forecasting that has anointed Zach Ertz the solution to all red zone quandaries, Celek remains the Eagles starter at tight end. Such prognosticating has left Celek in the dust; ESPN, a few weeks ago, listed Celek as their 37th best tight end for PPR leagues (285th overall), despite preseason evidence indicating Celek's best days are far from over.

After establishing himself once more as a downfield menace against the Steelers (helmet detachment and all), there's a good chance Celek finds heavy use on Sunday against the Jaguars. Jacksonville's numbers a year ago suggest both tight ends are up for potentially big days.

In 2013, four tight ends hauled in 70+ receiving yards against the Jaguars, and none of them are exactly household names. The most well-known is Indianapolis' Coby Fleener, who caught five balls for 77 yards and a score. Among the others were Luke Willson (5/76), Garrett Graham (8/73/TD), and Rob Housler (6/70).

The pass coverage from the Jags linebackers were as weak as any other group on the team, and the only change among the starters is the insertion of second-year man Laroy Reynolds over the now-retired Russell Allen. Celek's big-catch capability suggests he could easily haul in two or three long passes, while Ertz's red-zone establishment is a gamble: Philadelphia could more content to try running it in. Against a team that struggles with tight ends, Celek's an underrated asset.

SIT: Darren Sproles

This isn't to say that Sproles will somehow have an awful day against the Jaguars; it's more of an indication that his talents will hardly be required.

A year ago, ten different running backs ran for 70 yards on the Jaguars mediocre run defense, and none needed more than Chris Johnson's 22 carries to do it. In other words, teams spent so much time gutting Jacksonville with their passing prowess, strong efforts from a game-breaking running back were hardly necessary.

If McCoy ran exactly 22 times on Sunday, at his 5.11 YPA clip a year ago, he'd hit 113 yards no problem. Combined with elevated projections for Nick Foles, and you can see where Sproles might not see more than just a handful of touches.

Sproles will find the most use against a more complex defense that requires both himself and McCoy to carve up through the middle and around the edges. Of course, if you take my advice, and Sproles torches the Jags with a punt-return score, you're free to hate me. I won't even blame you.

Follow Justin Henry on Twitter

War Nest Top Stories