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Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bengals




Matt Savoca breaks down every single fantasy football matchup for Week 3 fantasy football and NFL DFS | Eagles vs Browns incl. Miles Sanders.

It’s a battle of winless foes as Wentz and the Eagles travel to Cincy to take on Burrow and the Bengals. Can Philly avoid a slide to 0-3? For the 2020 NFL season, Matt Savoca will be providing his weekly NFL Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown column, going through every single game and offensive and defensive matchup, every week of the season. For your viewing convenience, we have broken up the matchups breakdown into several single columns, each one covering a single game. You can find links to every game right here. We have 13 games on tap for Week 3 NFL DFS and NFL Fantasy Football, so let’s dive in. The entire matchups article will be available in podcast form, every Friday afternoon on the Awesemo Podcast Network. Let’s get into Eagles-Bengals for your NFL DFS lineups.

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Philadelphia Eagles (26.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (20) – Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Eagles Passing Game

It can be at least partially attributed to a crumbling offensive line, but Carson Wentz is struggling. In Tuesday’s weekly data deep dive on, he graded out in the bottom-10 of both crucial efficiency metrics. He’s neither converting drives into scores into an above average rate (he’s 31st in true drive success rate), nor adding more than the expected number of points per drive, leading to a composite quarterback efficiency score that puts him 27th among all signal callers.

Wentz’ inefficiency is especially unfortunate because Philadelphia’s offense is designed well for fantasy football. The Eagles are third in team pass plays per game, second in air yards, and second in deep ball attempts. But their inability to string together first downs has led to insufficient red zone trips (Wentz is 25th in red zone attempts), less scores and more negative game scripts. Wentz’ accuracy has been attrictious. His true completion percentage is under 65%, 30th among quarterbacks, his catchable pass rate is outside the top-25, as is his true passer rating and total QBR. Even his rushing upside has shriveled (despite an end zone plunge last week), averaging only 1.5 rushes for 4.5 yards per game. He’s yet to finish higher than 25th at the position.

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Against the Bengals this week, the only net advantage the Eagles seem to have over the Bengals defense (according to PFF grades) is in pass protection. The only problem is Wentz has the 23rd best clean pocket completion percentage, and the the Eagles’ receivers (now without first rounder Jalen Reagor for the foreseeable future) have the 27th average separation at target in the league.

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The Bengals’ William Jackson has graded out (by PFF) as a top 10 cornerback over the first two weeks, and without Reagor to focus on, he’ll likely set his sights on stopping DeSean Jackson. Jackson, who’s already seen 27% of the Eagles’ true weighted opportunity share, stands to gain a ton from Reagor’s absence, as the two had been essentially splitting Wentz’ deep targets. His matchup gets tougher due to Reagor’s injury, but it’s never impossible for DJax to get loose, as he only needs 1-2 plays to drastically change his fantasy output.

The Eagles’ dual tight ends will also see increased looks, despite already commanding a whopping 32% of the Philadelphia true weighted opportunity share. Currently the lead is Goedert’s (17% to 15%), but both players, who are already top 10 among tight ends in targets could see increased usage on deep looks and over the middle of the field, should Wentz find his accuracy in week 3. John Hightower (9%) and Greg Ward (8%, 97% of snaps in the slot) will also get increased run, and make for interesting dart throw plays in GPP tournaments.

Eagles Running Game

Miles Sanders was immediately inserted into a workhorse role in week 2, and commanded the fourth highest receiving opportunity share of any running back. His 20 carries and 7 targets (including 4 touches in the red zone) led to the sixth best running back finish last week. This week the Eagles will continue to try and get Sanders involved, and are presented with the ninth highest net rushing advantage of any team this weekend. If the Eagles can dictate the pass of the game with Sanders, it’s possible they won’t have to rely on the struggling Wentz. But the more likely scenario is that Sanders will need Wentz to be more efficient in the passing game (which should heavily involve Sanders as well as Boston Scott) so that Sanders can finish more drives with touchdowns. As the tenth highest priced back on the slate, Sanders presents exciting upside (even with the relative uncertainty of the Eagles’ offensive quality) in week 3, and his (and Boston Scott’s) bullish projection reflects that.

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Bengals Passing Game

The Bengals are going to let Joe Burrow throw. His 97 pass attempts (including 61 in week 2) are by far the most in the league. His 10 deep passes and 15 red zone attempts are also fourth in the league, and his total air yards is third. But the efficiency has been only so-so for the number one overall pick. Burrow ranks 18th in composite efficiency (see the Wentz blurb above) and 13th in fantasy points per game thus far, but he’s left a lot of points on the field as well, and to make matters worse for Burrow, the Bengals have the second worst net pass blocking advantage of the entire weekend, and the fourth worst route-running advantage as well. In short, the Eagles’ pass rush has an increased probability of disrupting plays, and the Eagles secondary has an increased probability of shutting down Cincinnati’s receivers.

A.J. Green has seen an insane amount of volume. The 32 year old ranks 4th in targets, 21st in target share, sixth in air yard share, and first in deep targets. But Green has struggled at the catch point. His true catch rate is below 60%, putting him outside the top 100 wideouts. The same for his yards per target. His average yards of separation at target is outside the top 50. It’s possible father time, who remains undefeated, may have caught up with Green, or he simply hasn’t gotten on the same page with his rookie quarterback. Still, he remains a volume play, and Awesemo’s projections are about in-line with WR31 price.

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Tyler Boyd (13% true weighted opportunity share) and Tee Higgins (12%) are the only other fantasy relevant players in the receiving game, especially after C.J. Uzomah went down with a season ending injury in week 2. Boyd has been quite efficient on his targets (he’s caught 11 of 13) and saved his fantasy day with a touchdown late in a blowout loss to Cleveland in week 2. This week he’ll likely be matched up against Nickell Roby-Coleman, which PFF has graded as one of the top 10 receivers advantageous matchups of the weekend. Tight end Drew Sample will replace Uzomah, but he’s too much a risk at $4,800 on DraftKings to be considered anything but a contrarian play.

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Bengals Running Game

Per PFF, the Bengals have the seventh lowest net rushing advantage on the slate. This doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for Joe Mixon, who is currently PFF’s 103rd highest graded rusher. Mixon has not finished inside the top-25 at his position in either of the first two weeks, and has only totaled five receptions. Without a touchdown or reception floor, Mixon is a riskier option than he was at the end of 2019, but still should see the volume needed to be fantasy relevant. He’s seen 20 touches in back to back contests. Giovani Bernard vulture a touchdown from Mixon (which then got called back), but it only creates less “outs” for Mixon, who must be efficient, and over achieve in the touchdown and reception department to live up to his twelfth highest running back Salary. He’s not an outright fade per’s projections, but it’s certainly a not bullish outlook either.


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A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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